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Useful classroom phrases in Thai for teachers and students

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Thailand is a nice place to live.  The cost of living isn’t high.  People are kind and friendly as reflected by the name land of smiles.  Thus, in each year, many people come to Thailand to study as well as to be a teacher.  You may get to teach or learn using English but it would be nice if you know some Thai words and phrases for class.  Apart from making the communication easier, knowing how students and teachers communicate in Thai gives you an insight of some culture and beliefs of Thai people as well.  Obviously, knowing only Thai educational information isn’t enough.

So in this lesson, we have prepared Thai classroom phrases for teachers as well as students.  You can use these Thai classroom phrases in various situations such as greetings, making requests, asking questions, etc.  So, let’s learn classroom phrases in Thai language.

Teacher in the Classroom

Learn Thai classroom phrases in English

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Thai Table of Contents
  1. Thai classroom greetings
  2. Thai classroom command phrases
  3. Thai classroom phrases for students
  4. Thai classroom phrases used to explain absence and tardiness
  5. Thai conversation phrases in the classroom
  6. Conclusion

1. Thai classroom greetings

Thai culture as well as social hierarchy influence the relationship between teachers and students.  Since children are taught to be respectful toward adults, the relationship between teachers and students in Thailand is pretty formal.  For example, Thai students always add titles in front of teachers/professor names when they address them.  And as you can guess, the way Thai students greet their teachers is quite formal.  

Actually, in Thai schools, Thai students have to greet the teachers when the class begins and its process is pretty much the same in almost every school.  So you have to practice these greeting phrases to speak Thai in the classroom like native.  Below are Thai phrases that students use in the classroom for the greeting. 

1- Student, salute

Thai phrase:  นักเรียน ทำความเคารพ

Thai pronunciation:  nák-riian tham-kwaam-khao-róp

Explanation:  When teacher comes into the classroom, class leader will ask everyone to get ready by saying นักเรียน (nák-riian).  Then, the leader continue the order with ทำความเคารพ (tham-kwaam-khao-róp) which literally means “paying respect” in Thai. 

At some schools, all the students stand up and then ไหว้ (wâi) their teacher as a greeting.  While at some schools, all the students remain seated and prostrate themselves on the table as a greeting.

Apart from using this for greeting at the beginning of the class, it can also be used with greeting (thank) after the class finishes as well.  

2- Hello, teacher/professor

Thai phrase:  สวัสดี คุณครู/อาจารย์

Thai pronunciation:  sà-wàt-dii khun-khruu/aa-jaan

Explanation:  The greeting word for the teacher is pretty simple.  Thai students just say สวัสดี (sà-wàt-dii).  You may notice that both คุณครู (khun-khruu) and อาจารย์ (aa-jaan) can be used in this case.  Which one should you use?  The answer depends on which school you are in now.  Some schools use คุณครู (khun-khruu) while some schools use อาจารย์ (aa-jaan) to refer to educator.

Apart from being Thai phrases in classrooms used in greeting, Thai students also use them to greet teachers when they meet outside of classrooms as well.  If you are learning Thai or currently studying in Thai school, you will definitely get to use this phrase.

3- Thank you, teacher/professor

Thai phrase:  ขอบคุณ คุณครู/อาจารย์

Thai pronunciation:  khàawp-khun khun-khruu/aa-jaan

Explanation:  As mentioned above, Thai students also thank their teacher after the class as well.  But instead of สวัสดี (sà-wàt-dii), they say ขอบคุณ (khàawp-khun) to thank their teacher instead.  

4- See you on …

Thai phrase:  เจอกัน + day/date

Thai pronunciation:  jooe-gan + day/date

Explanation:  Once the students finish thanking their teacher after class, some teacher may tell the student “see you on…”.

Example 1: Teacher walks into the classroom.

หัวหน้าห้อง:  นักเรียน ทำความเคารพ
hǔua-nâa-hâawng: nák-riian tham-kwaam-khao-róp
Class leader:  Student, salute

นักเรียน:  สวัสดีค่ะ คุณครู
nák-riian: sà-wàt-dii-khâ khun-khruu
Student:  Hello, teacher.

Example 2: When the class finishes

หัวหน้าห้อง:  นักเรียน ทำความเคารพ
hǔua-nâa-hâawng: nák-riian tham-kwaam-khao-róp
Class leader:  Student, salute

นักเรียน:  ขอบคุณครับ อาจารย์
nák-riian: khàawp-khun-khráp aa-jaan
Student:  Thank you, professor.

Example 3: Meeting the teacher outside the class, before going back home.

นักเรียน:  อาจารย์คะ สวัสดีค่ะ
nák-riian: aa-jaan-khá sà-wàt-dii-khâ
Student:  Hello, teacher.

อาจารย์:  สวัสดีค่ะ กลับบ้านกันดี ๆ นะคะ เจอกันวันอังคารหน้าค่ะ
aa-jaan: sà-wàt-dii-khâ glàp-bâan-gan-dii-dii-ná-khá jooe-gan-wan-ang-khaan-nâa-khâ
Professor:  Hi, go back home safely.

นักเรียน:  ขอบคุณค่ะ อาจารย์
nák-riian: khàawp-khun-khâ aa-jaan
Student:  Thank you, professor.

2. Thai classroom command phrases

Another type of useful Thai classroom phrases is the instructions from the teachers.  Here are the common classroom phrases for teachers in Thai that you should know.

1- Listen carefully

Thai phrase:  ตั้งใจฟังนะ

Thai pronunciation:  dtâng-jai-fang-ná

Explanation:  Thai teachers often say this Thai class phrase before explaining a complicated topic or some order that is hard to understand.  When a Thai teacher says this phrase to all students in the room, there is no need to answer him/her.

Example:  เอาล่ะ เดี๋ยวครูจะอธิบายวิธีการแก้สมการนี้ ตั้งใจฟังดี ๆ นะคะ

  • ao-là dǐiao-khruu-jà-à-thí-baai-wí-thii-gaan-gâae-sà-má-gaan-níi dtâng-jai-fang-dii-dii-ná-khá
  • Okay, I will explain how to solve this equation.  Listen carefully.

2- Any questions?

Thai phrase:  มีคำถามมั้ย

Thai pronunciation:  mii-kham-thǎam-mái

Explanation:  In Thai classrooms, most of the time, the teacher is the one who explains or talks about each topic.  There is not much discussion in class.  Students normally get the chance to ask the questions after the teacher finishes some part or all the lesson.  

Example:  ก่อนเราจะเริ่มบทถัดไป มีคำถามอะไรมั้ยครับ

  • gàawn-rao-jà-rôoem-bòt-thàt-bpai mii-kham-thǎam-mái-khráp
  • Before we start the next lesson, do you have any questions?
Teacher in the Classroom with Students Raising Their Hands

Do you have any questions?

3- Be quite

Thai phrase:  เงียบหน่อย

Thai pronunciation:  ngîiap-nàauy

Explanation:  When students start talking too much or too loud, teachers often use this phrase to make the class quiet.

Example:  เงียบหน่อยค่ะ อย่าคุยกันเสียงดังเกินไป เสียสมาธิคนอื่นค่ะ

  • ngîiap-nàauy-khâ yàa-khui-gan-sǐiang-dang-gooen-bpai sǐia-sà-maa-thí-khon-ùuen-khâ
  • Quiet please, don’t talk to each other too loud.  You are disturbing others.

4- Do you understand?

Thai phrase:  เข้าใจมั้ย

Thai pronunciation:  khâo-jai-mái

Explanation:  When teachers explain something, they sometimes ask if students understand their explanation or not.  It is another Thai classroom phrase apart from มีคำถามมั้ย (mii-kham-thǎam-mái) teacher can use to check if student can keep up with the lesson or not.

Example:  จบส่วนของประวัติศาสตร์สมัยอยุธยาแล้ว เข้าใจมั้ย

  • jòp-sùuan-khǎawng-bprà-wàt-sàat-sà-mǎi-à-yút-thá-yaa-láaeo khâo-jai-mái
  • We have already finished the history of the Ayutthaya era.  Do you understand?

5- Go to the page…

Thai phrase:  เปิดหนังสือไปที่หน้า…

Thai pronunciation:  bpòoet-nǎng-sǔue-bpai-thîi-nâa-…

Explanation:  This basic classroom phrase is used to guide the students to find information in the right pages.

Example:  สำหรับรูปส่วนประกอบของเซลล์ นักเรียนสามารถเปิดหนังสือไปที่หน้า 102 ได้ค่ะ

  • sǎm-ràp-rûup-sǔuan-bprà-gàawp-khǎawng-seo nák-riaan-sǎa-mâat-bpòoet-nǎng-sǔue-bpai-thîi-nâa -nùueng-ráauy-sǎawng-dâi-khâ
  • For the composition of the cell, go to page 102.

6- Does anyone know the meaning of…?

Thai phrase:  มีใครรู้ความหมายของ…บ้าง

Thai pronunciation:  mii-khrai-rúu-kwaam-mǎai-khǎawng-…-bâang

Explanation:  This is another good phrase a teacher can use for language class.  When Thai teachers encourage students to answer the question, they often use this kind of question.  There is a high chance you may hear this in Thai language class.

Example:  มีใครรู้ความหมายของคำว่า “พูดลอย ๆ” บ้างครับ

  • mii-khrai-rúu-kwaam-mǎai-khǎawng-kham-wâa-phûut-laauy-laauy-bâang-khráp
  • Does anyone know the meaning of “พูดลอย ๆ” in Thai?

3. Thai classroom phrases for students

Now that you know Thai class words and phrases for the teacher, let’s learn Thai important phrases in the classroom that students normally use.  Apart from learning how to read and write Thai, it is important to know how to communicate in the classroom as well.

1- I don’t understand

Thai phrase:  ผม/หนูไม่เข้าใจ

Thai pronunciation:  phǒm/nǔu-mâi-khâo-jai

Explanation:  This sentence can be used as it is to show that the subject doesn’t understand something or you can be more specific and add the topic that the subject doesn’t understand afterward.

Example:  หนูไม่เข้าใจวิธีการคำนวณมวลของวัตถุค่ะ ช่วยยกตัวอย่างหน่อยได้มั้ยคะ

  • nǔu-mâi-khâo-jai-wí-thii-gaan-kham-nuuan-muuan-khǎawng-wát-thù-khâ chûuai-yók-dtuua-yàang-nàauy-dâi-mái-khá
  • I don’t understand how to calculate an object’s mass.  Could you please give some examples?

Additional information:  In Thai, when young people talk with older people, a female call herself หนู (nǔu). 

Confusing Boy Looking at the Notebook.

I don’t understand.  Can you give me some examples?

2- I have a question.

Thai phrase:  ผม/หนูมีคำถาม

Thai pronunciation:  phǒm/nǔu-mii-kham-thǎam

Example:  หนูมีคำถามค่ะ คำที่อาจารย์เขียนบนกระดานออกเสียงยังไงคะ

  • nǔu-mii-kham-thǎam-khâ kham-thîi-khruu-khǐian-bon-grà-daan-àawk-sǐiang-yang-ngai-khá
  • I have a question.  How to pronounce the word you wrote on the board?

3- I can’t hear what you are saying.

Thai phrase:  ผม/หนูไม่ได้ยินที่ครู/อาจารย์พูด

Thai pronunciation:  phǒm/nǔu-mâi-dâi-yin-thîi-khruu/aa-jaan-phûut

Example:  ผมไม่ได้ยินที่ครูพูด ครูช่วยพูดเสียงดังหน่อยได้มั้ยครับ

  • phǒm-mâi-dâi-yin-thîi-khruu-phûut chûuai-phûut-sǐiang-dang-nàauy-dâi-mái-khráp
  • I can’t hear what you are saying.  Could you speak louder?

Additional information:  When Thai students let the teacher know about a situation like this, they often raise their hand and wait until the teacher sees them before saying anything. 

4- Can you explain it again?

Thai phrase:  ครู/อาจารย์ช่วยอธิบายอีกครั้งได้มั้ย

Thai pronunciation:  khruu/aa-jaan-chûuai-à-thí-baai-ìik-khráng-dâi-mái

Example:  อาจารย์ช่วยอธิบายอีกครั้งได้มั้ยครับ ผมยังไม่ค่อยเข้าใจครับ

  • aa-jaan-chûuai-à-thí-baai-ìik-khráng-dâi-mái-khráp phǒm-yang-mâi-khâauy-khâo-jai-khráp
  • Can you explain it again?  I still don’t really understand.

5- Can you repeat it again?

Thai phrase:  ครู/อาจารย์ช่วยพูดอีกครั้งได้มั้ย

Thai pronunciation:  khruu/aa-jaan-chûuai-phûut-ìik-khráng-dâi-mái

Example:  ครูช่วยพูดอีกครั้งได้มั้ยคะ หนูได้ยินไม่ชัดค่ะ

  • khruu-chûuai-phûut-ìik-khráng-dâi-mái-khá nǔu-dâi-yin-mâi-chát-khâ
  • Can you repeat it again?  I didn’t hear you well.

6- Can you speak louder?

Thai phrase:  ครู/อาจารย์ช่วยพูดดังหน่อยได้มั้ย

Thai pronunciation:  khruu/aa-jaan-chûuai-phûut-dang-nàauy-dâi-mái

Example:  ครูช่วยพูดดังหน่อยได้มั้ยคะ ข้างหลังไม่ได้ยินค่ะ

  • khruu-chûuai-phûut-dang-nàauy-dâi-mái-khá khâang-lǎng-mâi-dâi-yin-khâ
  • Can you speak louder?  We, the students who sit at the back, can’t hear you.

7- Can you give some examples?

Thai phrase:  ครู/อาจารย์ช่วยยกตัวอย่างหน่อยได้มั้ย

Thai pronunciation:  khruu/aa-jaan-chûuai-yók-dtuua-yàang-nàauy-dâi-mái

Example:  ผมไม่ค่อยเข้าใจเรื่องประเภทของคำนามครับ อาจารย์ช่วยยกตัวอย่างหน่อยได้มั้ยครับ

  • phǒm-mâi-khâauy-khâo-jai-rûueang-bprà-phêet-khǎawng-kham-naam-khráp aa-jaan-chûuai-yók- dtuua-yàang-nàauy-dâi-mái-khráp

4. Thai classroom phrases used to explain absence and tardiness

1- I’m not feeling well.  I can’t go to school today.

Thai phrase:  ผม/หนูรู้สึกไม่ค่อยดีเลย วันนี้ไปโรงเรียนไม่ไหว

Thai pronunciation:  phǒm/nǔu-rúu-sùek-mâi-khâauy-dii-looei wan-níi-bpai-roong-riian-mâi-wǎi

Explanation:  This sentence can be used as it is to tell that you are not well or you can be more specific and give more information on how you are not feeling well.

Example:  ผมรู้สึกไม่ค่อยดีเลย ปวดท้องมาก วันนี้ไปโรงเรียนไม่ไหว

  • phǒm-rúu-sùek-mâi-khâauy-dii-looei bpùuat-tháawng-mâak wan-níi-bpai-roong-riian-mâi-wǎi
  • I’m not feeling well.  I have a bad stomach ache.  I can’t go to school today.

2- I’m not feeling well.  May I be excused?

Thai phrase:  ผม/หนูรู้สึกไม่ค่อยดีเลย ขอกลับบ้านก่อนได้มั้ย

Thai pronunciation:  phǒm/nǔu-rúu-sùek-mâi-khâauy-dii-looei khǎaw-glàp-bâan-gàawn-dâi-mái

Explanation:  Similar to the sentence above, this sentence can be used as it is to tell that you are not well or you can be more specific and give more information on how you are not feeling well.

Example:  หนูรู้สึกไม่ค่อยดีเลย ขอกลับบ้านก่อนได้มั้ยคะ

  • nǔu-rúu-sùek-mâi-khâauy-dii-looei khǎaw-glàp-bâan-gàawn-dâi-mái-khá
  • I’m not feeling well.  May I be excused?
Young Women Coughing

I’m not feeling well.

3- Sorry, I’m late….

Thai phraseขอโทษที่มาสาย + reason

Thai pronunciation:  khǎaw-thôot-thîi-maa-sǎai + reason

Explanation:  If you are late, you should start your sentence by apologizing and then tell the reason why you are late.  The popular reasons are traffic jams, the rain and waking up late.

Example1:  ขอโทษที่มาสายค่ะ วันนี้รถติดมากเลยค่ะ

  • khǎaw-thôot-thîi-maa-sǎai-khâ wan-níi-rót-dtìt-mâak-looei-khâ
  • Sorry, I’m late.  The traffic is very bad today.

Example2:  ขอโทษที่มาสายค่ะ ฝนตกหนักมากเลยค่ะ รถก็เลยติด

  • khǎaw-thôot-thîi-maa-sǎai-khâ fǒn-dtòk-nàk-mâak-looei-khâ rót-gâaw-looei-dtìt
  • Sorry, I’m late.  It rains heavily so the traffic is bad.

Example3:  ขอโทษที่มาสายครับ ผมไม่ได้ยินเสียงนาฬิกาปลุกเลยตื่นสายครับ

  • khǎaw-thôot-thîi-maa-sǎai-khráp phǒm-mâi-dâi-yin-sǐiang-naa-lí-gaa-bplùk-looei-dtùuen-sǎai-khráp
  • Sorry, I’m late.  I didn’t hear my alarm so I woke up late.
Traffic Jam

The traffic is very bad today.

4- Sorry, I can’t submit the homework today…

Thai phrase:  ขอโทษที่ไม่ได้เอาการบ้านมาส่ง + reason

Thai pronunciation:  khǎaw-thôot-thîi-mâi-dâi-ao-gaan-bâan-maa-sòng + reason

Explanation:  Similar to the situation above, if you can’t submit your homework within time, you should start your sentence by apologizing and then tell the reason.  The popular reasons are unfinished homework, broken computer, or forgetting it at home.

Example1:  ขอโทษที่ไม่ได้เอาการบ้านมาส่งครับ ผมยังทำไม่เสร็จ จำวันส่งผิดครับ

  • khǎaw-thôot-thîi-mâi-dâi-ao-gaan-bâan-maa-sòng-khráp phǒm-yang-tham-mâi-sèt jam-wan-sòng- phìt-khráp
  • Sorry, I can’t submit the homework today.  I’m still not finishing it.  I remembered the wrong deadline.

Example2:  ขอโทษที่ไม่ได้เอาการบ้านมาส่งค่ะ คอมพิวเตอร์หนูพัง การบ้านที่ทำไว้เลยหายหมดเลยค่ะ

  • khǎaw-thôot-thîi-mâi-dâi-ao-gaan-bâan-maa-sòng-khâ khaawm-phiu-dtôoe-nǔu-phang gaan-bâan- thîi-tham-wái-looei-hǎai-mòt-looei-khâ
  • Sorry, I can’t submit the homework today.   My computer is broken so all the homework is gone.

Example3:  ขอโทษที่ไม่ได้เอาการบ้านมาส่งครับ ผมลืมการบ้านไว้ที่บ้านครับ

  • khǎaw-thôot-thîi-mâi-dâi-ao-gaan-bâan-maa-sòng-khráp phǒm-luuem-gaan-bâan-wái-thîi-bâan-khráp
  • Sorry, I can’t submit the homework today.  I forget it at home.

5. Thai conversation phrases in the classroom

The last section of this Thai school phrases lesson is about the favorite subject.  Below shows how you can express your preference about the subject.  

1- I like…

Thai phrase:  ผม/หนูชอบ + name of subject

Thai pronunciation:  phǒm/nǔu-châawp + name of subject

Explanation:  To tell the subject you like, you can use the basic structure of “I like something” in Thai followed by the name of the subject.  To give you the idea, this is the name of the school subjects, one of the classroom vocabulary in Thai you should know.

  • วิชา… (wí-chaa) = subject
  • คณิตศาสตร์ (khá-nít-sàat) = mathematics (formal)
  • เลข (lêek) = math (informal)
  • ภาษาไทย (phaa-sǎa-thai) = Thai language
  • ภาษาอังกฤษ (phaa-sǎa-ang-grìt) = English
  • วิทยาศาสตร์ (wít-thá-yaa-sàat) = Science
  • ฟิสิกส์ (fí-sìk) = physic
  • เคมี (khee-mii) = chemistry
  • ชีววิทยา (chii-wá-wít-thá-yaa) = biology
  • สังคมศึกษา (sǎng-khom-sùek-sǎa) = social study
  • ประวัติศาสตร์ (bprà-wàt-dtì-sàat) = history
  • บัญชี (ban-chii) = account
  • เศรษฐศาสตร์ (sèet-thà-sàat) = Economics
  • ศิลปะ (sǐn-lá-bpà) = arts
  • พลศึกษา (phá-lá-sùek-sǎa) = physical education

Example:  ฉันชอบวิชาศิลปะ แต่ว่าวาดรูปไม่สวยนะ

  • chǎn-châawp-wí-chaa-sǐn-lá-bpà dtàae-wâat-rûup-mâi-sǔuai-ná
  • I like art but I can’t draw well.
A Girl Happily Shows Her Drawing.

I like art but I can’t draw well.

2- I don’t like…

Thai phrase:  ผม/หนูไม่ชอบ + name of subject

Thai pronunciation:  phǒm/nǔu-mâi-châawp + name of subject

Explanation:  Similar to the previous sentence, you can use the basic structure of “I don’t like something” in Thai followed by the name of the subject. 

Example:  ฉันชอบวิชาศิลปะ แต่ไม่ชอบวิชาพลศึกษา ฉันเล่นกีฬาไม่เก่ง

  • chǎn-châawp-wí-chaa-sǐn-lá-bpà dtàae-mâi-châawp-wí-cha-phá-lá-sùek-sǎa chǎn-lên-gii-laa-mâi-gèng
  • I like art but I don’t like physical education.  I’m not good at sports.

3- I’m good at…

Thai phrase:  ผม/หนูเก่ง + name of subject

Thai pronunciation:  phǒm/nǔu-gèng + name of subject

Example:  แอนเก่งวิชาภาษาไทยมาก เธอแต่งกลอนได้ดี

  • aaen-gèng-wí-chaa-phaa-sǎa-thai-mâak thooe-dtàaeng-glaawn-dâi-dii
  • Ann is very good at Thai.  She can write poetry well.

4- I’m not good at…

Thai phrase:  ผม/หนูไม่เก่ง + name of subject

Thai pronunciation:  phǒm/nǔu-mâi-gèng + name of subject

Example:  ตั้มไม่เก่งวิชาเคมี แต่เรียนฟิสิกส์ได้ดีมาก

  • dtâm-mâi-gèng-wí-chaa-khee-mii dtàae-riian-fí-sìk-dâi-dii-mâak
  • Tum isn’t good at Chemistry but he is very good at Physics.

6. Conclusion

This is the end of the lesson.  Hopefully, you now understand and can remember all the Thai classroom phrases as well as common words in Thai language we prepared for you.  What do you think about the ways Thai people communicate in class?  Is it different from yours?  Let us know in the comment below.

Since we just finished the lesson about communication in class, do  you want to learn more about the related topics?  At ThaiPod101.com, we also have lessons about school supplies, phrases for bad students, teacher’s day in Thailand and much more!!

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