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'.
- Sa-wat dee: Hello
Used for both hello and goodbye.
- Khop koon: Thank you
How to show your appreciation once you’ve been handed your Singha beer and pad Thai.
- Gee baht?: How much?
Essential for all the shopping you’ll be doing, or when haggling with tuk-tuk drivers.
- 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.
- Mai ow: Don't want
Useful for fending off persistent street vendors.
- Khor tort: Sorry!
Stood on someone’s foot at the Chatuchak market? Now you can apologise.
- Neung, song, saam, see, haa, hook, jet, baat, gow, sip: Counting from one to ten
Impress the locals by reciting one to ten.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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’!