Perhaps you are leading a mission trip to Thailand, or planning to study DTS (Discipleship Training School) in one of the YWAM bases in Thailand. This quick guide can help you familiarize with Thai Language basics.
In general, Thai people are very forgiving towards foreigners who try to speak Thai. In their eyes, it’s an honour and joy to see foreigners try speaking Thai, and they are generally very helpful to correct you and help you use the correct tones.
Thai people might laugh at your intonation, but don’t worry, they are not mocking you. In general, Thais find it very entertaining to hear their native language spoken with the accent of a foreign country. They mean no harm and it doesn’t mean that they despise you. Instead, we recommend that you muster up the courage to make as many mistakes as possible as this is the fastest way to learn the language.
So, here’s a compilation of words, phases, and conversations to help you get better at Thai Language basics.
ABOUT THE THAI LANGUAGE:
It is the national and official language of Thailand and the mother tongue of the Thai people, Thailand’s dominant ethnic group.
Thai Language is a tonal language and it has 5 tones.
1. Basic Greetings
|kha/khap||Polite Particle at the end of a sentence (male/female)|
|sa-baai-dii mai||How are you?|
|khun cheur arai kha/khap||What is your name?|
|chan cheur _ kha/khap||My name is __|
2. Addressing People
|Phii (name)||Senior (name)|
3. Instructions/Command Words/Phrases:
|Maa thii nii||Come here|
|Pai thii nan||Go there|
|Len Game||Play game|
|Rong Pleang||Sing a song|
|Geng||Smart / well done|
nung = 1
song = 2
saam = 3
sii = 4
haa = 5
hok = 6
jet = 7
paet = 8
gao = 9
sip = 10
sip et = 11
sip song = 12
(for 12 – 19, it’s just adding the numbers 2 – 9 to ‘sip’)
yii-sip = 20
yii-sip-et = 21
yii-sip-song = 22
saam-sip = 30
saam-sip-sii = 34
sii-sip = 40
roy = hundred
nung-roy = 100
song-roy = 200
saam-roy-haa-sip-gao = 359
|A: Sa-wat-dii-kha||A: Hello|
|B: Sa-wat-dii-khap||B: Hello|
|A: Khun Cheur arai kha?||A: What’s your name?|
|B: Phom cheur ____ khap. Khun la khap?||B: My name is ____. How about you?|
|A: Chan cheur ____ kha.||A: My name is ____.|
|A: Khun ah-you thao-rai kha?||A: What’s your age?|
|B: Phom ah-you ____ Pii Khap. Khun la khap?||B: I’m ____ years old. How about you?|
|A: Chan ah-you ____ Pii kha||A: I’m ____ years old.|
7. Important Words/Phrases
|Mai Khao Jai||Don’t understand|
|Mai Ruu||Don’t know|
|Phuut Yik Thi Dai Mai||Please repeat what you said|
|Mai Aaw||Don’t want|
8. Getting Around/Directions
|_____ Yuu Thi Nai kha/khrap?||Where is _____?|
|Hong Naam Yuu Thi Nai Kha/khrap?||Where is the toilet?|
|Bpai yang rai kha/khrap?||How do I make my way there?|
|Saai / Khuaa||Left / Right|
|Trong Bpai Khang Naa||Go straight ahead|
10. Christian Terms
|Phra Jao Rak Khun||God loves you|
|Phra Ye Su Rak Khun||Jesus loves you|
|Phra Jao Wai Porn||God Bless you|
|Na Ma Sa Kan||Worship|
|Ah Thi Than||Pray|
|Sa Sa Na Christ||Christianity|
|San La Sern Phra Jao||Praise God|
|Nai Naam Phra Ye Su Krit amen||In Jesus name we pray, amen|
Is Thai Language Basics hard?
We hope that this compilation helped you one way or another. Yes, you might find it overwhelming, but do take your time to use them and let people correct your tones along the way. Over time, you will improve without even knowing. All the best in your growth in Thai language basics!
If you are keen to join us in a short mission trip, visit our Baan Dem Rak home page for more information.