For any English speaker, learning Thai may seem very daunting and difficult. The prefixes are different, the writing is different, the pronunciation is different. They even have 5 meanings for the same word! So we are not surprised when Thai seems like a confusing language. However we love to urge people to speak the language where and whenever possible whilst here in Thailand. The local Thai people love seeing foreigners make an effort to immerse into their culture and become of them.
It can be so easy to get frustrated with the language barrier, especially when you’re in a remote part of Thailand where not many of the locals speak English. However we must remember that we are guests in their country and we cannot expect them to speak their language whilst we’re on their land.
So we’ve picked the most common and useful words for you to learn before you’re trip to Thailand, so you can arrive already have a head start on the lingo!
If you had to learn one word in the whole of the Thai language, it would be Sawadeeka (or ‘Sawadeekrub’ for a boy). Just like in any country, you would greet new people with this word wherever you go. This is also often accompanied with your palms facing together by your hearts centre and a little head bow, a sign of respect to the Thai locals.
Khob-Khun-Ka: Thank You
Thank you is another term that you will most probably be using a lot. If you drop that into your conversation, we’re sure they’ll be very impressed with you! And remember, the same rules apply, so if you’re a boy saying this, it would be ‘Khonkhunkrub’.
If you’re eating out in a restaurant and really want to impress them, tell them the food was ‘Arroy’ and they’ll love you forever!
If there’s one thing you’ll pick up from Thai people is how relaxed and laid back they are. Nothing is too much trouble for them and nothing is ever a problem. That’s why you’ll commonly hear the word ‘Sabai’, meaning ‘chill’.
So give these words a try and become fluent in no time!