Thai Language Basics YWAM Thailand Baan Dem Rak

Thai Language Basics – Short-term Mission trips training guide

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.

Thai Language Basics for mission trips YWAM


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

sa-wat-dii kha/khapHello
kha/khapPolite Particle at the end of a sentence (male/female)
sa-baai-dii maiHow are you?
sa-baai-diiI’m fine.
khun cheur arai kha/khapWhat is your name?
chan cheur _ kha/khapMy name is __

2. Addressing People

Phom/ChanI (Guy/Girl)
Phii­­­ (name)Senior (name)
Nong(name)Junior (name)
Thuk khornEveryone
Phuu yingFemale
Phuu ChaaiMale

3. Instructions/Command Words/Phrases: 

Maa thii niiCome here
Pai thii nanGo there
Len GamePlay game
Hua NaaLeader
Rong PleangSing a song
Ten RarmDance

4. Adjectives:

Naa RakCute
GengSmart / well done

5. Numbers:

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

6. Conversation

A: Sa-wat-dii-khaA: Hello
B: Sa-wat-dii-khapB: 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 khaA: I’m ____ years old.

7. Important Words/Phrases

Mai Khao JaiDon’t understand
Mai RuuDon’t know
Phuut Yik Thi Dai MaiPlease repeat what you said
Mai AawDon’t want
Khor ThodSorry

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 / KhuaaLeft / Right
Trong Bpai Khang NaaGo straight ahead

9. Food


10. Christian Terms

Phra Jao Rak KhunGod loves you
Phra Ye Su Rak KhunJesus loves you
Phra Jao Wai PornGod Bless you
Na Ma Sa KanWorship
Ah Thi ThanPray
Sa Sa Na ChristChristianity
San La Sern Phra JaoPraise God
Nai Naam Phra Ye Su Krit amenIn 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.

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