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The most important vocabulary to know during your trip in Thailand

Unless you are really good at learning foreign languages, you will only succeed in remembering basic phrases in Thai during your trip to Thailand. Otherwise, the only alternative is English.

Thai is the official language

With 44 consonants, 11 vowels and 4 intonation signs, Thai possesses an alphabet that is very different from ours. It is not easy to learn a language that has no point in common with one that we would know like a Latin language.

Thai is of Chinese influence with a mixture of Khmer, Pali and Sanskrit. Probably something you will not be able to master.

At least try to learn polite, basic phrases such as "Hello", Thank you" and "Goodbye". Learning to count can also be helpful. Thai people will be delighted to hear a foreigner making the effort to speak their language.

Pronunciation Tips

Simply put, if you try to speak Thai, you must respect that certain pronunciation rules are very different from your mother tongue.

Firstly, you must roll the 'r' in Thai. The 'ai' is pronounced 'ail' and the letter 'u' is pronounced 'ou'. 'Ph' is simply said as 'p', the 'h' is silent. It is the same when it is placed after the letter 'k' or the letter 't'.

The real difficulty in Thai is to use the right tone. There are 5 different tones (neutral, bass, falling, high and rising). Two words with the same spelling do not mean the same thing depending on the tone used. For example, when we say "green wood does not burn, does it?" Response: "Mai, mai mai mai mai" A fun exercise. At the same time, you will certainly not have the opportunity to ask this question.

Discover Thailand

Use English

You will have understood, that it is complicated to speak exclusively in Thai during a trip to Thailand. To hold a conversation you have no other choice than to speak English. The language of Shakespeare is spoken in all the major cities, the tourist sites and generally by all those who have contact with tourists.

If you speak English badly, brush up on the language before you go and take a small phrase book.

Basic expressions / Common Words

Good morning / Good eveningSawat di khrap
How are you?Sabai ïdi ru ?
Fine, thank you, and you?Sabaïdi khrap
I understand / I don't understandKhâo jai / Mâi khâo jai
SorryKho thot
GoodbyeSawat di khrap
WelcomeThi mo som
Thank you (very much)Kop khun khrap
Excuse meKhaw à phai / Kà rú naa
My name is...Phom chêu
No thank youMay tchaï kop khun khrap
Yes / NoTchaï May tchaï
You're welcomeMâi pen rai / Yin-dii


How much is it?Rakha thao-raï
It is very cheapRaa-khaa thuuk
It is too expensive!Phaeng koen pai !
Can you lower the price?Lót raa-khaa nawy dâi mai ?
I would like to buy ... this one!Yaak ja séu
I like it / I don't like itChâwp / Mâi châwp
I'm just looking around.Duu choe choe


I would like to go to ...Yàak jà pai
PlaneKhrêuang bin
TrainRót fai
BusRót meh
I would like to rent ...Phom di-chan yàak châo
MotorbikeRót maw-toe-sai
CarRót yon
BikeRót jàk-kà-yaan


Where is ...? / How can I get to ...?Yuu thîi nai ?
Train stationSathani rot faï
CentreJai klaang meuang
HotelRong raem
HospitalRong phá-yaa-baan
Is it close / far?Klâi / Klai ?
Straight aheadTrong pai
Left / RightSaï / Kwa
North / South / East / WestNua / Tai / õk / Ta-wan-tok

Numberssieben, acht, neun, zehn

one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, tenNeung, song, sam, si, ha, hok, tjet, pèt, kao, sip
twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, sixtyYi sipp, sam sipp, si sipp, ha sipp, hok sipp
seventy, eighty, ninetyTjet sipp, pèt sipp, kao sipp
One hundredRoï

Hours/Dates and daysDienstag, Mittwoch, Donnerstag, Freitag, Samstag, Sonntag

What time is it?Kii mohng láew ?
When?Mua raï ?
YesterdayMûea wann nii
Today (morning/midday/evening)Wan nii (tonn tchao / thiang / tonn kam)
TomorrowPhrûng nii
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, SundayWan jan, wan ang-khaan, wan phút, wan phá-réu-hàt, wan suk, wan sao, wan aa-thít
I am here on vacationPhom wan yut / kan den thagn
I am here for businessPhom thou ra / den thagn pai thou rakit

Time to eat!

I am hungry / I am thirstyHiou / Hiou nam
EnjoyKhõ hai dja
Cheers!Ne se traduit pas
It was deliciousA rõi
What can you recommend?Mi araïïaroïbâang ?
I am vegeterianKhon kin dje
Not spicy please (I don't like spices)Ao maï phèt !
It's too hotRon !
I am allergicPhom pháe
Sea foodHoi tha lé
PeanutsThua lí song
I would like...Yàak jà
Tee / CoffeeNam chaa / kaafè
Beer / WineBia / wai
The bill, pleaseKep tagn, douéi

Health / Emergency / Security

I need to see a doctor.Tâwng kaan maw
Call an ambulance / Call 911Rîak maw nàwy
Where is the hospital?Rong phayaabaan thi naï ?
I do not feel very goodChan puay
It hurts hereJèp trong née
Where can I find the restrooms?Hâwng sûam thi naï ?
Help!Chûay dûay !
DangerAnta rai
I'm lostChan long thaang


Have a nice day !Sawat di khrap
David Debrincat
459 contributions
Updated 26 October 2018

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