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Speak like a Thai

If you’re heading to Thailand on vacation and want to learn Thai you’ve come to the right place - have a go at the ten Thai phrases & words below to get you started.  Keep in mind that to make a request or greeting sound more polite, male people should add 'khap' to the end of a sentence and female 'kha'.


  1. Sa-wat dee: Hello
    Used for both hello and goodbye.  
  2. Khop koon: Thank you
    How to show your appreciation once you’ve been handed your Singha beer and pad Thai.
  3. Gee baht?: How much? 
    Essential for all the shopping you’ll be doing, or when haggling with tuk-tuk drivers.
  4. Yoo tee nai...?: Where is... 
    Invaluable when lost!  Just point at a place on your map or in your guidebook and say ‘yoo tee nai’. Also useful when you are trying to find the right bus to go to Phuket or otherwise.
  5. Mai ow: Don't want 
    Useful for fending off persistent street vendors.
  6. Khor tort: Sorry!
    Stood on someone’s foot at the Chatuchak market?  Now you can apologise.
  7. Neung, song, saam, see, haa, hook, jet, baat, gow, sip: Counting from one to ten
    Impress the locals by reciting one to ten.
  8. Lot noi dai mai?: Can you make it cheaper?
    If you are doing a lot of shopping then try this handy phrase. By speaking a little Thai you might just get a better discount.
  9. A-roi: Delicious 
    Show your appreciation for that delicious Thai meal!  You never know, if you go back to the same place you might get an extra helping.
  10. Mai pen lai: Never mind
    A common phrase in the Thai language – if someone apologises to you (khor tort) then reply with ‘mai pen lai’. If someone thanks you (khop koon) say ‘mai pen lai’.  If there’s a mix up (which invariably happens with a language barrier) have a chuckle and say ‘mai pen lai’!


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