language HUA HIN

learning the lingo in paradise city ...

Introduction to the Thai language

language Although English is widely spoken in Hua Hin and other major tourist areas around Thailand, it can be indispensible to learn a few simple, everyday words and phrases to get you around.

Not only will it make life easier, but your hosts will appreciate you all the more for your efforts.

Thai is a tonal language and there are 5 distinct ones - low, high, falling, rising and mid. This effectively means that the same word can be pronounced 5 different ways to produce 5 different meanings. Sounds complicated? Well, it can be at the start, but you shouldn't let this put you off trying to speak. In practise you're only likely to be using a handful of words and their meaning to a Thai will be obvious from the situation you find yourself in.

The Thai script is totally different to the western and includes 44 consonants and 48 vowels and diphthongs. Many of the sounds are not used in western languages and there is no clear way to tranliterate from Thai to English.

As a result, we have compiled a brief guide to common words and phrases below and tried to sectionalise them into the areas where they're most likely to be used. We have not given the Thai spelling of these English words, but have indicated a phonetic approximation of the Thai word in English.

There are a couple of things that should be pointed out from the start. Thai people are extremely polite and this is reflected in their language. Most sentences will conclude with a "polite" word. The word used depends on the gender of the person who has spoken. For a man it is "krap" or more commonly these days "kap". For a woman, it is "ka". So the Thai for hello is "sawadii" and if said by a man, it becomes "sawadii krap/kap" and for a woman, "sawadii ka". Thankyou is "khawp khun"... "krap/kap" or "ka".

Questions and answers are quite straightforward. If asking a question, you just say the necessary words and add "mai?" at the end of the sentence ( "krap/kap/ka" afterwards is again polite). To answer a question, you simply repeat the words in the question and leave the "mai" out. So, how are you? (sabai dee MAI?) is simply answered with "sabai dee". Again, for the last time of reminding, a krap/kap/ka at the end is polite. More on the Thai language can be found here:

Useful Thai words and phrases

Numbers and counting
One neung
Two song
Three sam
Four sii
Five haa
Six hok
Seven jet
Eight bad
Nine gow
Ten sip
Eleven sip et
Twelve sip song
Thirteen sip sam
Fourteen sip see
etc to….  
Twenty yii sip
Twenty one yii sip et
Twenty two yii sip song
Twenty three yii sip sam
etc to…  
Thirty sam sip
Fourty sii sip
Fifty haa sip
etc to…….  
One hundred neung roi
One thousand neung pun
Ten thousand neung meun
Hundred thousand neung saen
One million neung laan
Greetings and civilities
Hello sawadii
Goodbye sawadii/lah gorn na
Thankyou khawp khun
Please krap/kap/ka
How are you? sabai dee mai?
I'm fine sabai dee
Everyday words and phrases
Me/I pom (men)
  diichan (women)
You khun
What is your name? khun cheu arai?
My name is.. pom cheu (men)
  diichan cheu (women)
Do you have….? mee……mai?
I have mee
I do not have mai mee
Yes chai
No mai chai
It doesn't matter mai pen rai
I would like….. ao
Who? krai?
What? a rai?
Where? tee nai?
Why? tam mai?
When? mua rai?
(I) inderstand khao jai
(I) do not understand mai khao jai
A little nit noi
What is this? nii arai?
Today wan nii
Tomorrow prung nii
Yesterday meua wan
Go bai
Will go ja bai
Come maa
Will come ja maa
(I) like chawp
(I) do not like mai chawp
Food and Drink
Bowl chahm
Chopsticks dta gee up
Cup too ay
Dessert korng wahn
Fish bplah
Fork sorm
Glass gair o
Knife meet
Meat neua
Menu may noo
Noodles goo ay dtee o
Pepper prik thai
Plate jahn
Rice kao
Salt gleu a
Soup soop
Spoon chorn
Table dto
Another eek………neung
Excuse me (to waiter) koon krap/kap/ka
The bill please chek bin
Butter neree sot
Chilli paste nam prik
Coconut milk ga ti
Fish sauce nam bplah
Sugar nam dtahn
Vinegar nam som
Chicken gai
Beef neua
Pork moo
Duck bpet
Lamb neua gair
Fish bplah
Crab bpoo
Lobster goong yai
Mussels hoy mairng poo
Octopus bplah meuk yuk
Oyster hoy nahng rom
Seafood ah harn talay
Shellfish hoy
Prawn goong
Squid bplah meuk
Apple ah bun
Banana gloo ay
Coconut ma prao
Durian too re un
Fruit pon la mai
Grapes a ngoon
Guava fa rang
Jackfruit ka noon
Lemon/lime ma nao
Longan lam yai
Lychee lim yee
Mango ma moo ung
Mangosteen mang koot
Melon dtaing tai
Orange som
Papaya ma la gor
Pineapple sap bpa rot
Pomelo som oh
Rambutan ngo
Rose apple chom poo
Sapodilla la moot
Strawberry sa dtror ber ee
Water melon dtairng moh
Asparagus nor mai farang
Aubergine ma keua
Bamboo shoots nor mai
Bean sprouts tooa ngork
Cabbage ga lam bplee
Carrot hooa pak gaht dairng
Cauliflower dork galam bplee
Chilli prik
French fries man farang tort
Cucumber dtairng gwah
Garlic gra tee am
Ginger king
Lettuce pak gaht
Mange tout tooa lan dtao
Morning glory pak boong
Mushrooms het
Onion hooa horm
Lentils tooa
Potato man farang
Sweetcorn kao poht
Tomota ma keua tayt
Vegetables pak
Chilled yen
Coffee gah fair
Tea nam chah
Coconut juice nam ma prao
Coke/pepsi coke/pepsi
Orange juice nam som
Ice nam kairng
Milk nam
Water nahm
Beer beera
Bottle koo ut
Gin lao yin
Whisky lao wit sa gee
Wine lao wai
Wine list rai gahn lao wai
Airport sanam bin
Customs soon la gah gom
Immigration dtroo ut kon kao meuung
Ticket office tee jam nai dtoo a
Entrance tahng kao
Exit tahng ork
Air con bus rot bprap ahgaht
Information bpra chah sampan
Ticket office tee jam nai dtoo a
Timetable gam not way la dem rot
Tour bus rot too a
Train rot fai
Platform chahn chah lah
Hotel rohng rairm
Coffee shop korp fee chorp
Double room horng koo
Floor chan
Guesthouse gayt haot
Room horng
Single room horng dee o
Swimming pool sa wai nahm


Note: As there is no direct and standard form of transliteration in Thailand you may come across these words spelled differently. The only way to be 100% correct with your pronunciation is to learn Thai script.



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