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Learn the Names of Animals in Thai

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When a baby starts learning their native language, animal names are one of the first word categories their parents teach them. As a Thai learner, you’ll find it beneficial to learn the names of animals in Thai early on—this is a natural way to expand your vocabulary, and doing so will help you start conversations with native speakers. After all, who doesn’t love talking about their pets or favorite animals? 

In this article, we’ll teach you the names of common animals in Thai. This includes:

  • Pets
  • Farm animals
  • Wild animals
  • Marine animals
  • Bugs and insects
  • Birds
  • Reptiles and amphibians

In addition, we’ll teach you what to call the different body parts of animals and what sounds animals make according to Thai onomatopoeia. Make sure to stick around until the end, where we’ll introduce you to frequently used idioms that mention animals; this will help familiarize you with Thai culture and give you an idea of how these words might be used in a sentence.  

Let’s get started!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Thai Table of Contents
  1. Pets
  2. Farm Animals
  3. Wild Animals
  4. Marine Animals
  5. Bugs & Insects
  6. Birds
  7. Reptiles & Amphibians
  8. Animal Body Parts
  9. Animal Sounds in Thai
  10. Animal-Related Idioms in Thai
  11. Conclusion

1. Pets

The most popular pets among Thai people are dogs and cats, though some people own smaller mammals or even birds and fish. Here’s a list of common pets in Thailand:

  • สุนัข (sù-nák) = “dog” (formal)
  • หมา (mǎa) = “dog” (informal)
  • แมว (maaeo) = “cat”
  • กระต่าย (grà-dtàai) = “rabbit”
  • แฮมสเตอร์ (haaem-sà-dtôoe) = “hamster”
  • ปลาทอง (bplaa-thaawng) = “goldfish”
  • นก (nók) = “bird”

A Girl Hugging a Dog

Dogs are a popular pet in Thailand.

2. Farm Animals

Do you know which farm animals are most common in Thailand? Most of them are the same animals you’d expect to find on a farm in other countries. Take a look: 

  • โค (khoo) = “ox” / “cow” (formal) 
  • วัว (wuua) = “ox” / “cow” (informal) 
  • กระบือ (grà-buue) = “buffalo” (formal)
  • ควาย (khwaai) = “buffalo” (informal)
  • สุกร (sù-gaawn) = “pig” (formal)
  • หมู (mǔu) = “pig” (informal)
  • เป็ด (bpèt) = “duck”
  • ไก่ (gài) = “chicken”
  • ห่าน (hàan) = “goose”
  • ม้า (máa) = “horse”
  • ล่อ (lâaw) = “mule”
  • ลา (laa) = “donkey”

3. Wild Animals

Below, you’ll find the names of different wild animals in the Thai language. Many of these animals can only be found in zoos and national parks, and some of them are currently endangered or extinct. 

  • สิงโต (sǐng-dtoo) = “lion”
  • เสือโคร่ง (sǔuea-khrôong) = “tiger”
  • เสือดาว (sǔuea-daao) = “leopard”
  • จิ้งจอก (jîng-jàawk) = “fox”
  • กวาง (gwaang) = “deer”
  • ละมั่ง (lá-mâng) = “antelope” (endangered species)
  • สมัน (sà-mǎn) = “Schomburgk’s deer” (deer with the most beautiful antlers in the world)
  • เก้ง (gêeng) = “barking deer” (endangered species)
  • แรด (râaet) = “rhinoceros”
  • กระทิง (grà-thing) = “gaur”
  • แกะ (gàe) = “sheep”
  • แพะ (pháe) = “goat”
  • ลิง (ling) = “monkey”
  • ชะนี (chá-nii) = “gibbon”
  • ลิงกอริลล่า (ling-gaaw-rín-lâa) = “gorilla” 
  • ลิงชิมแปนซี (ling-chim-bpaaen-sii) = “chimpanzee”
  • ยีราฟ (yii-ráap) = “giraffe”
  • จิงโจ้ (jing-jôo) = “kangaroo”
  • ช้าง (cháang) = “elephant”
  • แพนด้า (phaaen-dâa) = “panda” 
  • หมี (mhǐi) = “bear”
  • หมีโคอาล่า (mhǐi-khoo-aa-lâa) = “koala” 
  • ฮิปโป (híp-bpoo) = “hippopotamus”

A Tigress with Her Cub

Let’s go see a tiger at the zoo!

4. Marine Animals

As with wild animals, Thai people most often get to see marine life in zoos or aquariums. Here are the names of common sea animals in the Thai language: 

  • สัตว์น้ำ (sàt-nám) = “aquatic animals”
  • กุ้ง (gûng) = “shrimp”
  • กั้ง (gâng) = “mantis shrimp”
  • หอย (hǎauy) = “shellfish”
  • ปู (bpuu) = “crab”
  • ปลา (bplaa) = “fish”
  • หมึก (mùek) = “squid” / “octopus”
  • วาฬ (waan) = “whale”
  • ฉลาม (chà-lǎam) = “shark”
  • โลมา (loo-maa) = “dolphin”
  • ม้าน้ำ (máa-nám) = “seahorse”
  • เต่า (dtào) = “turtle”
  • แมงกะพรุน (maaeng-gà-phrun) = “jellyfish”
  • พะยูน (phá-yuun) = “sea cow”
  • ม้าน้ำ (máa-nám) = “seal”
  • ปลิงทะเล (bpling-thá-lee) = “sea cucumber”
  • ดาวทะเล (daao-thá-lee) = “starfish”
  • ปะการัง (bpà-gaa-rang) = “coral”

A Hammerhead Shark

I saw a shark at the aquarium.

5. Bugs & Insects

In Thailand, it’s not uncommon to eat certain insects as food. Worms, grasshoppers, and crickets are especially popular! 

Here are the names of common insects and other bugs in Thailand: 

  • แมลง (má-laaeng) = “insect”
  • แมลงสาบ (má-laaeng-sàap) = “cockroach”
  • แมลงวัน (má-laaeng-wan) = “fly”
  • แมลงปอ (má-laaeng-bpaaw) = “dragonfly”
  • แมลงเต่าทอง (má-laaeng-dtào-thaawng) = “ladybug”
  • แมงมุม (maaeng-mum) = “spider”
  • แมงป่อง (maaeng-bpàawng) = “scorpion”
  • มด (mód) = “ant”
  • ยุง (yung) = “mosquito”
  • ผึ้ง (phûeng) = “bee”
  • ต่อ (dtàaw) = “wasp”
  • ตั๊กแตน (dták-gà-dtaaen) = “grasshopper”
  • จั๊กจั่น (ják-gà-jàn) = “cicada”
  • หิ่งห้อย (hìng-hâauy) = “firefly”
  • หนอน (nǎawn) = “worm”
  • ผีเสื้อ (phǐi-sûuea) = “butterfly”

Three Ladybugs

These ladybugs are so cute.

6. Birds

Below, you’ll find the names of common birds in Thailand and abroad. While Thai people can encounter some of these species in their daily lives, others can only be seen in zoos. 

  • นกพิราบ (nók-phí-râap) = “pigeon”
  • นกกระจอก (nók-grà-jàawk) = “sparrow”
  • นกแก้ว (nók-gâaeo) = “parrot”
  • นกกระจอกเทศ (nók-grà-jàawk-thêet) = “ostrich”
  • นกยูง (nók-yuung) = “peacock”
  • นกอินทรี (nók-in-sii) = “eagle”
  • นกกะเรียน (nók-gà-riian) = “flamingo”
  • นกฮูก (nók-hûuk) = “owl”
  • นกนางนวล (nók-naang-nuan) = “seagull”
  • หงส์ (hǒng) = “swan”
  • แร้ง (ráaeng) = “griffon”
  • อีกา (ii-gaa) = “crow”
  • เหยี่ยว (yìiao) = “hawk”
  • เพนกวิน (phen-gwîn) = “penguin”

7. Reptiles & Amphibians

In Thailand, there is a famous crocodile show held at the Samutprakarn Crocodile Farm and Zoo. If you plan on visiting the country anytime soon, make sure to check it out! 

Here are the names of common reptiles and amphibians in Thailand: 

  • กบ (gòp) = “frog”
  • เขียด (khìiat) = “green frog”
  • อึ่งอ่าง (ùeng-àang) = “bullfrog”
  • จระเข้ (jà-rá-khêe) = “crocodile”
  • งู (nguu) = “snake”
  • ตัวเงินตัวทอง (dtua-ngoen-dtua-thaawng) = “water monitor” (formal)
  • เหี้ย (hîia) = “water monitor” (informal)
  • กิ้งก่า (gîng-gàa) = “chameleon”
  • จิ้งจก (jîng-jòk) = “lizard”
  • ตุ๊กแก (dtúk-gaae) = “gecko”
  • จิ้งเหลน (jîng-lěen) = “skink”
  • อิกัวนา (i-gua-nâa) = “iguana”
  • ตะขาบ (dtà-khàap) = “centipede”
  • หอยทาก (hǎauy-thâak) = “snail”
  • กิ้งกือ (gîng-guue) = “millipede”

A Lizard

I hate lizards.

8. Animal Body Parts

Now that you’ve learned the names of several animals in Thai, it’s time to learn what their body parts are called! 

  • จะงอยปาก (jà-ngaauy-bpàak) = “beak”
  • ปีก (bpìik) = “wing”
  • หาง (hǎang) = “tail”
  • ขน (khǒn) = “feather”
  • เขา (khǎo) = “horn” / “antler”
  • งา (ngaa) = “ivory”
  • นอ (naaw) = “rhinoceros’s horn”
  • กระดอง (grà-daawng) = “shell”
  • ครีบ (khrîip) = “fin”
  • กรงเล็บ (grong-lép) = “claw”

9. Animal Sounds in Thai

In each country, people associate animals with different onomatopoeic sounds. If you live in the United States, for example, you likely say that dogs go “woof” and cats go “meow.” But do you know their sounds in Thai? 

Notice that most of the sounds below are doubled, as this is how they’re represented in the Thai language. 

  • โฮ่ง ๆ (hôong-hôong) = dog’s sound
  • เหมียว ๆ (mǐiao-mǐiao) = cat’s sound
  • อู๊ด ๆ (úut-úut) = pig’s sound
  • มอ ๆ (maaw-maaw) = ox’s sound
  • ฮี่ ๆ (hîi-hîi) = horse’s sound
  • เอ้กอีเอ้ก ๆ (êek-ii-êek-êek) = cock’s sound
  • จิ๊บ ๆ (jíp-jíp) = bird’s sound
  • ก้าบ ๆ (gâap-gâap) = duck’s sound
  • เจี๊ยบ ๆ (jíiap-jíiap) = chick’s sound
  • เจี๊ยก ๆ (jíiak-jíiak) = monkey’s sound
  • แปร๋น ๆ (brǎaen-brǎaen) = elephant’s sound
  • อ๊บ ๆ (óp-óp) = frog’s sound

10. Animal-Related Idioms in Thai

There are many idioms in Thai that mention animals. Learning them will give you a better idea of how we view animals in Thai culture, and using them yourself will help you sound more like a native speaker. Below, we’ve listed and explained the ten most common animal idioms. 

1 – กระต่ายหมายจันทร์ 

Pronunciation: grà-dtàai mǎai jan

Literal translation: Rabbit wants the moon.

Idiom meaning: This idiom comes from a children’s story, and it refers to a man who loves a woman of higher social or financial status. It compares a man to a rabbit and a woman to the moon. Despite how much the rabbit wants the moon, it can do nothing but stare. There are two ways to use this idiom: to say that a man is like a rabbit or to compare a man’s actions to those of a rabbit.

Example:
เมฆชอบดาวมาก แต่เขาก็เป็นได้แค่กระต่ายหมายจันทร์
mêek-châawp-daao-mâak dtàae-khǎo-gâaw-bpen-dâi-khâae-grà-dtàai-mǎai-jan
“Mek likes Dow a lot, but there is nothing he can do (because Dow is richer or has a much higher social status).”

2 – หนูตกถังข้าวสาร 

Pronunciation: nǔu-dtòk-thǎng-khâao-sǎan

Literal translation: A rat falls into a bucket of rice.

Idiom meaning: When a rat falls into a bucket of rice, it suddenly has a lot of food without needing to do anything. In the same way, a man who marries a richer woman gets more money without having to work for it. This idiom is typically used as an insult directed toward men who marry women of higher financial status. 

Example:
วินแต่งงานกับคนรวย เลยถูกดูถูกว่าเป็นหนูตกถังข้าวสาร
win-dtàaeng-ngaan-gàp-khon-ruuay looei-thùuk-duu-thùuk-wâa-bpen-nǔu-dtòk-thǎng-khâao-sǎan
“Win married a rich woman, so others look down on him.”

3 – วัวแก่กินหญ้าอ่อน 

Pronunciation: wuua-gàae-gin-yâa-àawn

Literal translation: Old ox eats young grass.

Idiom meaning: This idiom refers to a man who marries (or is in a relationship with) a much younger woman. The saying stems from the eating habits of oxen; young oxen only eat young grass, but old oxen can choose to eat either old or young grass. Older men who marry younger women are like an old ox that chooses to eat only young grass. We normally use this idiom in a negative way, as this type of relationship is quite improper in Thailand. 

Example:
ลุงเป็นวัวแก่กินหญ้าอ่อน เมียของลุงอายุน้อยกว่าลุงตั้ง 15 ปี
lung-bpen-wuua-gàae-gin-yâa-àawn miia-khǎawng-lung-aa-yú-náauy-gwàa-lung-dtâng-sìp-hâa-bpii
“Uncle is in a relationship with a young woman. His wife is 15 years younger than him.”

4 – รีดเลือดกับปู 

Pronunciation: rîit-lûueat-gàp-bpuu

Literal translation: Squeeze blood from crab

Idiom meaning: This idiom refers to a situation where someone tries to benefit or receive financial gain from those who have nothing to give. Crabs have little blood, so trying to get blood from them is next to impossible. 

Example:
เขารู้ว่าคนที่เช่าที่เขาไม่มีเงิน แต่ก็จะขึ้นค่าเช่า รีดเลือดกับปูชัด ๆ
Khǎo-rúu-wâa-khon-thîi-châo-thîi-khǎo-mâi-mii-ngoen dtàae-gâaw-jà-khûen-khâa-châo rîit-lûueat-gàp-bpuu-chát-chát
“The landlord knows that his tenant has no money. Still, he increases the rent. He threatens to get benefits from those who have nothing to give.”

5 – ขี่ช้างจับตั๊กแตน 

Pronunciation: khìi-cháang-jàp-dták-gà-dtaaen

Literal translation: Ride an elephant to catch grasshoppers

Idiom meaning: This Thai idiom refers to investing a lot only to get a little in return. Traditionally, elephants were used in big events such as war or long-distance travel; it wouldn’t make sense to use such a large animal for something small or insignificant (like catching grasshoppers). Likewise, one should not invest heavily in something that does not promise a high yield. 

Example:
ถ้าจะเปิดร้านขายขนม แล้วต้องใช้เงินเยอะขนาดนี้ ดูยังไงก็ขี่ช้างจับตั๊กแตนนะ
thâa-jà-bpòoet-ráan-khǎai-khà-nǒm láaeo-dtâawng-chái-ngoen-yóe-khà-nàat-níi duu-yang-ngai-gâaw-khìi-cháang-jàp-dták-gà-dtaaen-ná
“If you invest this much money to open a bakery shop, it is like investing a lot to get a little in return.”

6 – นกน้อยทำรังแต่พอตัว

Pronunciation: nók-náauy-tham-rang-dtàae-phaaw-dtuua

Literal translation: Small bird builds its nest big enough for itself.

Idiom meaning: You should adjust your spending patterns based on how much money you have, and never buy what you can’t afford. Just like a bird can build its nest with the basic materials it finds, so can we build our homes and our lives with however much money we have. 

Example:
แม่ว่ากระเป๋าใบนั้นราคาแพงไปหน่อยนะ นกน้อยต้องทำรังแต่พอตัวนะจ๊ะ
mâae-wâa-grà-bpǎo-bai-nán-raa-khaa-phaaeng-bpai-nàuuy-ná nók-náauy-dtâawng-tham-rang-dtàae-phaaw-dtuua-ná-já
(Mother talking to daughter) “I think that bag is too expensive. You should buy things based on the amount of money you have.”

7 – หมากัดอย่ากัดตอบ

Pronunciation: mǎa-gàt-yàa-gàt-dtàawp 

Literal translation: Dog bites, don’t bite back.

Idiom meaning: This Thai proverb means that we should not lower ourselves to the level of those who hurt us or do bad things. In Thailand, we view those who do bad things or act inappropriately as lower-class people. By doing the same actions in order to get back at them, one is no better than they are. It’s okay to be angry, but we should never stoop down to their level. 

Example:
ถึงเขาจะทำตัวหยาบคายใส่เรา แต่เราต้องไม่ทำแบบนั้น หมากัดอย่ากัดตอบ
thǔeng-khǎo-jà-tham-dtuua-yàap-khaai-sài-rao dtàae-rao-dtâawng-mâi-tham-bàaep-nán mǎa-gàt- yàa-gàt-dtàawp
“Although he acted rudely, we must not act rudely back. Don’t do bad things in order to get back at bad people.”

8 – จับปลาสองมือ

Pronunciation: jàp-bplaa-sǎawng-muue

Literal translation: Catch fish with two hands

Idiom meaning: This idiom refers to doing two difficult tasks at the same time, which will render your efforts unsuccessful. Think about trying to catch one fish in your right hand and another fish in your left hand at the same time; it would be very difficult! It’s better to do one thing at a time. 

Example:
เธอจะขับรถหรือจะโทรศัพท์ ทำทีละอย่าง อย่าจับปลาสองมือ
thooe-jà-khàp-rót-rǔue-jà-thoo-rá-sàp tham-tii-lá-yàang yàa-jàp-bplaa-sǎawng-muue
“Are you going to drive or use your mobile phone? Do one thing at a time. Do not do two things at the same time.”

9 – ชี้โพรงให้กระรอก

Pronunciation: chíi-phroong-hâi-grà-râawk

Literal translation: Point to a hollow for a squirrel

Idiom meaning: This Thai proverb warns people to be careful when speaking, because our words can encourage others to do bad things (even if that was not our intention). For example, imagine that a woman is telling a friend that her window is broken and that she’s afraid a thief will come in that way. If someone in need of money happens to overhear, they may decide to break into that woman’s house to steal. A saying with a similar meaning in English might be, “Keep honest people honest.” 

Example:
เธอพูดแบบนี้ ชี้โพรงให้กระรอกชัด ๆ
thooe-phûut-bàaep-níi chíi-proong-hâi-grà-râawk-chát-chát
“Your saying this is like encouraging someone to do a bad thing.”

10 – สอนจระเข้ให้ว่ายน้ำ

Pronunciation: sǎawn-jà-rá-khêe-hâi-wâi-nám

Literal translation: Teach a crocodile to swim

Idiom meaning: This idiom refers to teaching something to someone who can already do that thing well. Because crocodiles can already swim, there’s no need to teach them how. 

Example:
เธอจะไปสอนแนนทำอาหารทำไม สอนจระเข้ให้ว่ายน้ำชัด ๆ
thooe-jà-bpai-sǎawn-naaen-tham-aa-hǎan-tham-mai sǎawn-jà-rá-khêe-hâi-wâi-nám-chát-chát
Why will you teach Nan how to cook? She already cooks well.

A Woman Preparing a Meal

11. Conclusion

In this article, you learned several Thai animal names and some other relevant vocabulary. We also introduced you to the ten most common Thai idioms and proverbs that mention animals. It will take some time to memorize all of the words and phrases in this article, but you’re sure to get there if you practice often. Having these Thai words for animals up your sleeve will help you converse with native speakers about pets, favorite animals, and even nature in general! 

If you would like to continue learning Thai in the fastest, easiest, and most fun way possible, make sure to create your free lifetime account on ThaiPod101.com today. We offer our students a variety of audio and video lessons, vocabulary lists, and other free resources to help them make the most of their study time. 

Not sure where to start? We recommend you check out these fun articles:

Happy learning!

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Learn Basic Thai Phone Call Phrases

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Who doesn’t have a phone these days? 

In Thailand, nearly 90% of the population owns a mobile phone and uses it on a daily basis.

While chat applications and social media have grown in popularity over the years, phone calls are still an important means of communication. It’s through phone calls that we make appointments, stay in close contact with friends and family, ask for information, and complete other essential tasks. 

Because telephone communication is such an integral part of life, learning even a few basic Thai phone call phrases will greatly benefit you as a language learner. 

In this article, you’ll learn how to make a phone call in Thai. We will cover a variety of phrases and expressions you’ll need for answering the phone, introducing yourself, stating your reason for calling, handling connection issues, ending the call, and more! In addition, we’ve provided two sample phone conversations in Thai so you can see how these phrases might be used during an actual call.

Let’s get right to it.

A Guy on the Couch Talking on the Phone with a Remote in His Hand

I’m calling my Thai friends.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Thai Table of Contents
  1. How to Begin the Phone Call
  2. Stating Your Reason for Calling
  3. When They’re Not Available
  4. Problems During the Call
  5. Ending the Call
  6. Sample Phone Conversations
  7. Conclusion

1. How to Begin the Phone Call 

There are a couple of different ways a telephone conversation in Thailand might begin, depending on whether it’s a formal or informal situation. In either case, the call will begin with a greeting and the caller will ask if they have the right number. 

In a formal context, the caller will introduce themself and then state their purpose for calling. But if the context is informal, the caller will simply ask if they can speak to someone. 

With this in mind, here are the most typical Thai phone call phrases for greeting, checking, and self-introductions. 

1 – Greeting

There are two common ways to answer the phone in Thai:

Formal situation

Thai: สวัสดี
Pronunciation: sà-wàt-dii
English: Hello

Informal situation

Thai: ฮัลโหล
Pronunciation: han-lǒo
English: Hello

2 – Checking

After your greeting, you can check whether you’re contacting the right number by using one of these useful Thai phrases for a phone call.

Formal situation

Thai: ที่นี่ใช่___รึเปล่า
Pronunciation: thîi-nîi-châi-___-rúe-bplào
English: Is this ___?

Informal situation

Thai: ใช่___รึเปล่า
Pronunciation: châi-___-rúe-bplào
English: Is this ___?

3 – Introducing yourself

In formal situations, it’s proper to introduce yourself before stating your reason for calling. In many cases, the person who receives your call will inquire about who you are.

Question:  

Thai: ติดต่อมาจากไหน
Pronunciation: dtìt-dtàaw-maa-jàak-nǎi
English: Who is calling?

Answer:  

Thai: ดิฉันชื่อ…ติดต่อมาจาก… (Female answer)
Pronunciation: dì-chǎn-chûue-…-dtìt-dtàaw-maa-jàak-… 
English: My name is ___. I’m calling from ___.

Thai: ผมชื่อ…ติดต่อมาจาก… (Male answer)
Pronunciation: phǒm-chûue-…-dtìt-dtàaw-maa-jàak-… 
English: My name is ___. I’m calling from ___.

2. Stating Your Reason for Calling

During a formal call, the next step is usually to give your reason for calling. You can also skip this step and just ask if you can speak to someone (which is most often how an informal call goes). Below are several Thai phone conversation phrases you can use for these purposes. 

1 – I want to…

Question:  

Thai: ต้องการติดต่อเรื่องอะไร
Pronunciation: dtâawng-gaan-dtìt-dtàaw-rûueang-à-rai
English: How can I help you?

Answer:  

Thai: ต้องการสอบถามเรื่อง…
Pronunciation: dtâawng-gaan-sàawp-thǎam-rûueang-…
English: I want to ask about…

Thai: ต้องการจอง…
Pronunciation: dtâawng-gaan-jaawng-…
English: I want to book

Thai: ต้องการนัด…
Pronunciation: dtâawng-gaan-nát-…
English: I want to make an appointment

Thai: ต้องการเสนอ…
Pronunciation: dtâawng-gaan-sà-nǒoe…
English: I want to offer…

Thai: โทรกลับมาหาคุณ ___
Pronunciation: thoo-glàp-maa-hǎa-khun-___
English: I’m calling ___ back.

A Woman Talking on the Phone while Working Late at the Office

I’m calling Miss Pranee back.

2 – I want to speak to…

Formal situation

Thai: ขอเรียนสายคุณ ___
Pronunciation: khǎaw-riian-sǎai-khun-___
English: May I speak to ___?

Informal situation

Thai: ขอสาย___หน่อย
Pronunciation: khǎaw-sǎai-___-nàauy
English: May I speak to ___?

3 – Please wait a moment…

Formal situation

Thai: รบกวนถือสายสักครู่
Pronunciation: róp-guuan-thǔue-sǎai-sàk-khrûu
English: Please wait for a moment.

Thai: รอสักครู่ จะโอนสายให้
Pronunciation: raaw-sàk-khrûu jà-oon-sǎai-hâi
English: Wait for a moment, I will put you on the line.

Informal situation

Thai: รอแป๊บนะ
Pronunciation: raaw-bpáep-ná
English: Wait a minute.

Thai: ถือสายแป๊บนะ
Pronunciation: thǔue-sǎai-bpáep-ná
English: Hold on for a minute.

3. When They’re Not Available 

Sometimes, you may not be able to contact the person you intended to. In this case, the receiver will let you know why that person is unavailable and you’ll have the opportunity to leave a message.

1 – Reason for unavailability

Thai: ___ไม่อยู่
Pronunciation: ___mâi-yùu
English:  ___ is not here.

Thai: ตอนนี้___ไม่สะดวกรับสาย
Pronunciation: dtaawn-níi-___-mâi-sà-dùuak-ráp-sǎai
English: ___ can’t answer the phone now.

Thai: ตอนนี้สายไม่ว่าง
Pronunciation: dtaawn-níi-sǎai-mâi-wâng
English: The line is not available now.

Thai: ตอนนี้___ติดประชุมอยู่
Pronunciation: dtaawn-níi-dtìt-bprà-chum-yùu
English: ___ is in a meeting now.

2 – Leaving a message

In formal situations, the receiver will likely ask if you would like to leave a message. Here are a couple of phrases you could use to do so: 

Thai: ฝากข้อความเอาไว้ให้ได้มั้ย
Pronunciation: fàak-khâaw-kwaam-ao-wái-hâi-dâi-mái
English: Can I leave a message?

Thai: ให้โทรกลับมาที่___ได้มั้ย
Pronunciation: hâi-thoo-glàp-maa-thîi-___-dâi-mái
English: Can ___ call back at ___?

A Napkin that Says Call Me! with a Phone Number Written Down

Can he call back?

4. Problems During the Call

Any number of issues could arise during your phone call, such as a bad connection or unclear message. These Thai phone call phrases can help you navigate this type of situation:

Thai: ช่วยพูดเสียงดังหน่อยได้มั้ย ไม่ค่อยได้ยินเลย
Pronunciation: chûuai-phûut-sǐiang-dang-nàauy-dâi-mái mâi-khâauy-dâi-yin-looei
English: Can you speak louder? I can’t hear you.

Thai: สัญญาณไม่ค่อยดีเลย ได้ยินมั้ย
Pronunciation: sǎn-yaan-mâi-khâauy-dii-looei dâi-yin-mái
English: The connection is not so good. Can you hear me?

Thai: ไม่ได้ยินเลย
Pronunciation: mâi-dâi-yin-looei
English: I can’t hear you.

Thai: ไม่แน่ใจว่าสะกดยังไง
Pronunciation: mâi-nâae-jai-wâa-sà-gòt-yang-ngai
English: I’m not sure how to spell this.

Thai: ขอทวนอีกครั้ง
Pronunciation: khǎaw-thuuan-ìik-khráng
English: I will repeat it again.
Additional note: In formal situations, it is good to repeat the details of an important conversation to make sure that you understand things correctly.

Thai: คุณโทรผิด
Pronunciation: khun-thoo-phìt
Pronunciation: khun-thoo-phìt

5. Ending the Call

The final part of the phone conversation will be ending the call. Here are a few ways to end a phone call in Thai:

Thai: แค่นี้นะ
Pronunciation: khâae-níi-ná
English: That’s it.
Additional note: This is the most common phrase for ending phone calls in Thailand.

Thai: ขอบคุณ
Pronunciation: khàawp-khun
English: Thank you.

Thai: แล้วเจอกัน
Pronunciation: láaeo-jooe-gan
English: See you.

6. Sample Phone Conversations

Now that you’ve learned all the essential Thai phone call phrases, let’s see how they might be used in real phone conversations. Below are two sample conversations: one casual call between friends and one formal call about booking a table. 

A conversation between friends

เอ:  

  • ฮัลโหล
  • han-lǒo
  • Hello.

บี:  

  • ฮัลโหลเอ นี่บีเองนะ
  • han-lǒo-ee nîi-bii-eeng-ná
  • Hello, A. This is B speaking.

เอ:  

  • ว่าไงบี
  • wâa-ngai-bii
  • What’s up, B?

บี:  

  • วันเสาร์นี้ว่างมั้ย ไปกินข้าวกัน
  • wan-sǎo-níi-wâang-mái bpai-gin-khâao-gan
  • Are you available this Saturday? Let’s have a meal together.

เอ:  

  • ได้สิ เจอกันซัก 10 โมงดีมั้ย ที่ร้านเดิมนะ เดี๋ยวเราโทรไปจองโต๊ะให้
  • dâi-sì jooe-gan-sák-sìp-moong-dii-mái thîi-ráan-dooem-ná dǐiao-rao-thoo-bpai-jaawng-dtó-hâi
  • Sure, should we meet at ten a.m. at the same restaurant? If so, I will book a table for us.

บี:  

  • ได้ เสร็จแล้วไปซื้อของเป็นเพื่อนเราหน่อยได้มั้ย เราอยากได้แว่นกันแดดอันใหม่
  • dâi sèt-láaeo-bpai-súue-khǎawng-bpen-phûuean-rao-nàauy-dâi-mái rao-yàak-dâi-wâaen-gan-dàaet- an-mài
  • Yes. After the meal, can you go shopping with me? I want new sunglasses.

เอ:  

  • โอเค เราก็อยากได้เหมือนกัน แต่เราอยู่ได้ถึงแค่บ่ายสองนะ
  • oo-khee rao-gâaw-yàak-dâi-mǔuean-gan dtàae-rao-yùu-dâi-thǔeng-kâae-bàai-sǎawng-ná
  • Okay, I want a new pair too. But I can only stay until two p.m.

Two Friends Posing with Sunglasses on

We want new sunglasses.

บี:  

  • ได้ งั้นเจอกันวันเสาร์นี้นะ
  • dâi ngán-jooe-gan-wan-sǎo-níi-ná
  • No problem, see you this Saturday.

เอ:  

  • เจอกัน แค่นี้นะ
  • jooe-gan khâae-níi-ná
  • See you.

Booking a table at a restaurant

เอ:  

  • สวัสดีค่ะ
  • sà-wàt-dii-khà
  • Hello.

พนักงานร้านอาหาร:  

  • สวัสดีครับ คาเฟ่บ้านยิ้ม ยินดีให้บริการครับ
  • sà-wàt-dii-khráp khaa-fêe-bâan-yím yin-dii-hâi-baaw-rí-gaan-khráp
  • Hello, this is Ban Yim Cafe. How can I help you?

เอ:  

พนักงานร้านอาหาร:  

  • ได้ครับ สำหรับวันไหนดีครับ
  • dâi-khráp sǎm-ràp-wan-nǎi-dii-khráp
  • Okay, on which date?

เอ:  

  • วันเสาร์ที่ 19 พฤศจิกายน เวลา 10 โมงค่ะ
  • wan-sǎo-thîi-sìp-gâo-phrúet-sà-jì-gaa-yon-wee-laa-sìp-moong-khà
  • Saturday, November 19, at ten a.m.

พนักงานร้านอาหาร:  

  • เรียบร้อยครับ ลูกค้าอยากจะสั่งอาหารไว้ล่วงหน้ามั้ยครับ วันเสาร์นี้จะมีเมนูพิเศษเป็นเครปมะพร้าว ครับ มีแค่ 20 ที่เท่านั้นครับ
  • rîiap-ráauy-khráp lûuk-kháa-yàak-jà-sàng-aa-hǎan-wái-lûuang-nâa-mái-khráp wan-sǎo-níi-jà-mii- mee-nuu-phí-sèet-bpen-khréep-má-práao-khráp mii-khâae-yîi-sìp-thîi-thâo-nán-khráp
  • Done. Do you want to order the food in advance? This Saturday, our special menu is “coconut crepe.” There will be only 20 pieces.

เอ:  

  • จองเครปมะพร้าว 1 ที่ค่ะ
  • jaawng-khréep-má-práao-nùeng-thîi-khà
  • Then, I want one coconut crepe.

A Plate of Crepes

I want one coconut crepe.

พนักงานร้านอาหาร:  

  • ได้ครับ ขอทวนอีกครั้งนะครับ ลูกค้าต้องการจองโต๊ะสำหรับ 2 ท่าน วันเสาร์ที่ 19 พฤศจิกายน เวลา 10 โมง และจองเครปมะพร้าว 1 ที่ครับ
  • dâi-khráp khǎaw-thuuan-ìik-khráng-ná-khráp lûuk-kháa-dtâawng-gaan-jaawng-dtó-sǎm-ràp-sǎawng- thâan wan-sǎo-thîi-sìp-gâo-phrúet-sà-jì-gaa-yon-wee-laa-sìp-moong láe-jaawng-khréep-má- práao-nùeng-thîi-khráp
  • Okay, I will repeat it again. You want to book a table for two people on Saturday, November 19, at ten a.m. and order one coconut crepe.  

เอ:  

  • ถูกต้องค่ะ 
  • thùuk-dtâawng-khà 
  • That is correct.

พนักงานร้านอาหาร:  

  • ขอทราบชื่อลูกค้าด้วยครับ
  • khǎaw-sâap-chûue-lûuk-kháa-dûuai-khráp
  • What is your name?

เอ:  

  • เอค่ะ 
  • ee-khà 
  • My name is A.

พนักงานร้านอาหาร:  

  • เรียบร้อยครับ ขอบคุณครับ
  • rîiap-ráauy-khráp khàawp-khun-khráp
  • All done, thank you.

7. Conclusion

In this article, you learned many different Thai phone call phrases for use in typical phone conversations. You should now have more confidence to make and take phone calls, but don’t forget to practice often! 

What are some common phone phrases in your language? How different are they from those in Thai? Let us know in the comments! 

Now that you know how to make a phone call in the Thai language, you may want to explore other interesting topics here at ThaiPod101.com. Here are suggestions for you:

Happy learning! 

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Must-know Basic Thai Words for Beginners

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When you start learning any language, it’s important to begin by memorizing the most basic words and phrases. You need words to form sentences, and practicing sentence formation is the best way to gain an understanding of the language’s grammar. In other words, the basics serve as a foundation on which you can build up your language skills

In this lesson, you’ll learn the most useful Thai words for beginners along with their pronunciation. We’ve categorized the words on this list according to their part of speech, so you’ll get to see and start memorizing all of the essentials in one place.


A Girl Studying Flashcards that Have Fruit Names on Them
Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Thai Table of Contents
  1. Numbers
  2. Pronouns
  3. Nouns
  4. Verbs
  5. Adjectives
  6. Conjunctions
  7. Ending Particles and Auxiliary Words
  8. Conclusion

1. Numbers

The first set of Thai beginner words we’ll look at are numbers. The word for “number” in Thai is ตัวเลข (dtuua-lêek)

  • ศูนย์ (sǔun) = 0
  • หนึ่ง (nùeng) = 1
  • สอง (sǎawng) = 2
  • สาม (sǎam) = 3
  • สี่ (sìi) = 4
  • ห้า (hâa) = 5
  • หก (hòk) = 6
  • เจ็ด (jèt) = 7
  • แปด (bpàaet) = 8 
  • เก้า (gâo) = 9
  • สิบ (sìp) = 10

Blocks Shaped Liked the Numbers 1-5

Let’s count!

2. Pronouns

Another key set of beginner words in Thai are the pronouns, or คำสรรพนาม (kham-sàp-phá-naam). To make it easier for you to remember and use them, we’ve categorized them based on type: personal, demonstrative, and interrogative. 

Personal Pronouns

  • ผม (phǒm) = I [male]
  • ฉัน (chǎn) = I [female]
  • คุณ (khun) = you [formal / male / female]
  • พวกเรา (phûuak-rao) = we
  • พวกเขา (phûuak-khǎo) = they [human]
  • พวกมัน (phûuak-man) = they [animal / object]
  • เขา (khǎo) = he
  • เธอ (thooe) = she
  • มัน (man) = it

Demonstrative Pronouns

  • นี่ (nîi) = this / these
  • นั่น (nân) = that / those (far from the speaker but near the listener)
  • โน่น (nôon) = that / those (far from both speaker and listener)

Interrogative Pronouns / Question Words

  • อะไร (à-rai) = what
  • ทำไม (tham-mai) = why
  • เมื่อไหร่ (mûuea-rài) = when
  • ใคร (khrai) = who
  • ของใคร (khǎawng-khrai) = whom
  • ที่ไหน (thîi-nǎi) = where
  • อย่างไร (yàang-rai) = how
  • อันไหน (an-nǎi) = which

3. Nouns

As a beginner, you’ll want to focus a lot of your efforts on learning as many nouns as you can. In Thai, these are called คำนาม (kham-naam). Below is a list of some easy Thai nouns in several different categories. 

Days 

  • วันจันทร์ (wan-jan) = Monday
  • วันอังคาร (wan-ang-khaan) = Tuesday
  • วันพุธ (wan-phút) = Wednesday
  • วันพฤหัสบดี (wan-phá-rúe-hàt-sà-baaw-dii) = Thursday
  • วันศุกร์ (wan-sùk) = Friday
  • วันเสาร์ (wan-sǎo) = Saturday
  • วันอาทิตย์ (wan-aa-thít) = Sunday

Time

  • วินาที (wí-naa-thii) = second
  • นาที (naa-thii) = minute
  • ชั่วโมง (chûua-moong) = hour
  • วัน (wan) = day
  • วันที่ (wan-thîi) = date
  • อาทิตย์ (aa-thít) = week [informal]
  • สัปดาห์ (sàp-daa) = week [formal]
  • เดือน (duuean) = month
  • ปี (bpii) = year

Family Members

  • ครอบครัว (khrâawp-khruua) = family
  • พ่อ (phâaw) = father
  • แม่ (mâae) = mother
  • พี่สาว (phîi-sǎao) = older sister
  • พี่ชาย (phîi-chaai) = older brother
  • น้องสาว (náawng-sǎao) = younger sister
  • น้องชาย (náawng-chai) = younger brother
  • ลูกสาว (lûuk-sǎao) = daughter
  • ลูกชาย (lûuk-chaai) = son

Occupations

  • อาชีพ (aa-chîip) = occupation
  • หมอ (mǎaw) = doctor
  • ทนาย (thá-naai) = lawyer
  • ครู (khruu) = teacher
  • นักเรียน (nák-riian) = student
  • ตำรวจ (dtam-rùuat) = policeman
  • พนักงานธนาคาร (phá-nák-ngaan-thá-naa-khaan) = banker
  • ข้าราชการ (khâa-râat-chá-gaan) = government officer
  • พ่อค้า (phâaw-kháa) = seller [male]
  • แม่ค้า (mâae-kháa) = seller [female]
  • โปรแกรมเมอร์ (bproo-graaem-môoe) = programmer
  • ดีไซน์เนอร์ (dii-sai-nôoe) = designer
  • นักบัญชี (nák-ban-chii) = accountant
  • พนักงานเสิร์ฟ (phá-nák-ngaan-sòoep) = waiter 
  • ช่าง (châang) = mechanic
  • นักบิน (nák-bin) = pilot
  • แอร์โฮสเตส (aae-hóot-sà-dtèet) = flight attendant
  • นักดับเพลิง (nák-dàp-plooeng) = firefighter
  • นักแสดง (nák-sà-daaeng) = actor / actress
  • คนขับรถ (khon-khàp-rót) = driver
  • นักเขียน (nák-khǐian) = writer

People Dressed in Outfits Symbolizing Different Professions

What is your occupation?

Places

  • โรงพยาบาล (roong-phá-yaa-baan) = hospital
  • โรงเรียน (roong-riian) = school 
  • ตลาด (dtà-làat) = market
  • ธนาคาร (thá-naa-khaan) = bank
  • โรงหนัง (roong-nǎng) = cinema
  • ร้านอาหาร (ráan-aa-hǎan) = restaurant
  • ห้างสรรพสินค้า (hâang-sàp-phá-sǐn-kháa) = department store
  • ร้านกาแฟ (ráan-gaa-faae) = coffee shop 
  • ร้านตัดผม (ráan-dtàt-phǒm) = barbershop
  • ห้องสมุด (hâawng-sà-mùt) = library
  • สนามบิน (sà-nǎam-bin) = airport
  • สถานีรถไฟ (sà-thǎa-nii-rót-fai) = train station
  • ท่าเรือ (thâa-ruuea) = pier
  • วัด (wát) = temple
  • สถานทูต (sà-thǎan-thôot) = embassy
  • สถานีตำรวจ (sà-thǎa-nii-dtam-rùuat) = police station

School

  • ห้องเรียน (hâawng-riian) = student
  • ชุดนักเรียน (chút-nák-riian) = school uniform
  • กระเป๋านักเรียน (grà-bpǎo-nák-riian) = school bag
  • เครื่องเขียน (khrûueang-khǐian) = stationery
  • ปากกา (bpàak-gaa) = pen
  • ดินสอ (din-sǎaw) = pencil
  • ดินสอสี (din-sǎaw-sǐi) = color pencil
  • ยางลบ (yaang-lóp) = eraser
  • ไม้บรรทัด (mái-ban-thát) = ruler
  • กล่องดินสอ (glàawng-din-sǎaw) = pencil box
  • เครื่องคิดเลข (khrûueang-kít-lêek) = calculator
  • กระดาษ (grà-dàat) = paper
  • หนังสือ (nǎng-sǔue) = book 
  • สมุด (sà-mùt) = notebook
  • คอมพิวเตอร์ (khaawm-phiu-dtôoe) = personal computer
  • โน้ตบุ๊ค (nóot-búk) = laptop

A Variety of School Supplies Laid Out on a Blue Table

I brought a lot of things to school.

Body Parts

  • ร่างกาย (râang-gaai) = body
  • หัว (hǔua) = head
  • ผม (phǒm) = hair
  • คิ้ว (khíu) = eyebrow
  • ตา (dtaa) = eye
  • จมูก (jà-mùuk) = nose
  • หู (hǔu) = ear
  • ปาก (bpàak) = mouth
  • คอ (khaaw) = neck
  • หน้าอก (nâa-òk) = breast
  • หน้าท้อง (nâa-tháawng) = belly
  • หัวไหล่ (hǔa-lài) = shoulder
  • แขน (khǎaen) = arm
  • ข้อศอก (khâaw-sàawk) = elbow
  • ข้อมือ (khâaw-muue) = wrist
  • มือ (muue) = hand
  • นิ้วมือ (níu-muue) = finger
  • เล็บ (lép) = nail
  • ขา (khǎa) = leg
  • เข่า (khào) = knee
  • ข้อเท้า (khâaw-tháao) = ankle
  • เท้า (tháo) = foot
  • นิ้วเท้า (níu-thàao) = toe
  • ขน (khǒn) = body hair

Food

  • อาหาร (aa-hǎan) = food
  • ข้าว (khâao) = rice
  • ข้าวเหนียว (khâao-nǐiao) = sticky rice
  • ก๋วยเตี๋ยว (gǔuai-dtǐiao) = noodle
  • ผัก (phàk) = vegetable
  • มะเขือเทศ (má-khǔuea-thêet) = tomato
  • มันฝรั่ง (man-fà-ràng) = potato
  • คะน้า (khá-náa) = Chinese broccoli
  • กะหล่ำปลี (gà-làm-bplii) = cabbage
  • ผักกาดขาว (phàk-gàat-khǎao) = white cabbage
  • ผักโขม (phàk-khǒom) = spinach
  • ไชเท้า (chai-tháao) = radish
  • ฟักทอง (fák-thaawng) = pumpkin
  • สาหร่าย (sǎa-ràai) = seaweed
  • แตงกวา (dtaaeng-gwaa) = cucumber
  • แครอท (khaae-ràwt) = carrot
  • หัวหอมใหญ่ (hǔua-hǎawm-yài) = onion
  • หอมแดง (hǎawm-daaeng) = red onion
  • ต้นหอม (dtôn-hǎawm) = green onion
  • กระเทียม (grà-thiiam) = garlic
  • ผลไม้ (phǒn-lá-mái) = fruit
  • มะม่วง (má-mûuang) = mango
  • ทุเรียน (thú-riian) = durian
  • เงาะ (ngáw) = rambutan
  • มะพร้าว (má-práao) = coconut
  • แอปเปิ้ล (aép-bpôen) = apple
  • กล้วย (glûuai) = banana
  • มะละกอ (má-lá-gaaw) = papaya
  • ส้ม (sôm) = orange
  • มังคุด (mang-kút) = mangosteen
  • ลิ้นจี่ (lín-jìi) = lychee
  • องุ่น (à-ngùn) = grape
  • แตงโม (dtaaeng-moo) = watermelon
  • สับปะรด (sàp-bpà-rót) = pineapple
  • เนื้อสัตว์ (núuea-sàt) = meat
  • อาหารทะเล (aa-hǎan-thá-lee) = seafood
  • หมู (mǔu) = pork
  • ไก่ (gài) = chicken
  • เนื้อวัว (núuea-wuua) = beef
  • กุ้ง (gûng) = prawn
  • ปลา (bplaa) = fish
  • ปลาหมึก (bplaa-mùek) = squid
  • ไข่ (khài) = egg
  • เครื่องดื่ม (khrûueang-dùuem) = drinks
  • น้ำเปล่า (nám-bplào) = water
  • น้ำอัดลม (nám-àt-lom) = sparkling water
  • น้ำผลไม้ (nám-phǒn-lá-mái) = juice
  • เหล้า (lâo) = alcohol
  • ไวน์ (wai) = wine
  • ของหวาน (khǎawng-wǎan) = dessert
  • ขนม (khà-nǒm) = snack

The Thai Dish Som Tam

I love Thai food.

4. Verbs

Verbs are the words we use to identify actions and states of being. In Thai, they’re known as คำกริยา (kham-grì-yaa) and they’re some of the most useful words for beginners to pick up. Let’s take a look. 

Daily Routine Verbs

  • ตื่นนอน (dtùuen-naawn) = wake up
  • อาบน้ำ (àap-nám) = take a bath
  • แปรงฟัน (bpraaeng-fan) = brush [your teeth]
  • แต่งตัว (dtàaeng-dtuua) = get dressed
  • กิน (gin) = eat
  • ดื่ม (dùuem) = drink
  • ทำงาน (tham-ngaan) = work
  • เรียน (riian) = study
  • ไป (bpai) = come
  • มา (maa) = go
  • ขับรถ (khàp-rót) = drive
  • ดูทีวี (duu-thii-wii) = watch TV
  • ฟังเพลง (fang-phleeng) = listen to music
  • ซื้อของ (súue-khǎawng) = buy
  • ทำความสะอาด (tham-kwaam-sà-àat) = clean
  • ซักผ้า (sák-phâa) = wash clothes
  • รีดผ้า (rîit-phâa) = iron clothes
  • นอน (naawn) = sleep

Other Common Verbs

  • เดิน (dooen) = walk
  • วิ่ง (wîng) = run
  • ว่ายน้ำ (wâai-nám) = swim
  • เล่น (lên) = play
  • ออกกำลังกาย (àawk-gam-lang-gaai) = exercise
  • ยิ้ม (yím) = smile
  • หัวเราะ (hǔua-ráw) = laugh
  • ร้องไห้ (ráawng-hâi) = cry
  • นั่ง (nâng) = sit
  • ยืน (yuuen) = stand
  • กระโดด (grà-dòot) = jump 
  • ให้ (hâi) = give
  • รับ (ráp) = take
  • เอามา (ao-maa) = bring
  • เปิด (bpòoet) = open / turn on [electrical appliance]
  • ปิด (bpìt) = close / turn off [electrical appliance]
  • ซ่อม (sâawm) = fix
  • สั่งอาหาร (sàng-aa-hǎan) = order food
  • หยิบ (yìp) = pick up
  • วาง (waang) = put down
  • ถาม (thǎam) = ask
  • ตอบ (dtàawp) = answer
  • สั่ง (sàng) = order
  • ฟัง (fang) = listen 
  • พูด (phûut) = talk
  • อ่าน (àan) = read
  • เขียน (khǐian) = write
  • โทร (thoo) = make a phone call
  • เรียก (rîiak) = learn
  • หา (hǎa) = find / search
  • ทำ (tham) = do

5. Adjectives

As a Thai beginner, you’ll find that learning at least a few adjectives will go a long way! You can use these words to flavor your speech or add flair to your writing. In Thai, adjectives are known as คำวิเศษณ์ (kham-wí-sèet). Here are the most common ones in a variety of categories:

Describing Objects

  • ใหญ่ (yài) = big
  • เล็ก (lék) = small
  • สั้น (sân) = short
  • ยาว (yaao) = long
  • กว้าง (gwâang) = wide
  • แคบ (khâaep) = narrow
  • ใหม่ (mài) = new
  • เก่า (gào) = old
  • แพง (phaaeng) = expensive
  • ถูก (thùuk) = cheap 
  • เยอะ (yóe) = a lot [amount]
  • น้อย (náauy) = a little [amount]

Describing People

  • สูง (sǔung) = tall
  • เตี้ย (dtîia) = short
  • ผิวขาว (phǐu-khǎao) = light-skinned tone
  • ผิวดำ (phǐu-dam) = dark-skinned tone
  • ผิวสีน้ำผึ้ง (phǐu-sǐi-nám-phûeng) = tan skin
  • สวย (sǔuai) = beautiful
  • หล่อ (làaw) = handsome
  • น่ารัก (nâa-rák) = cute
  • น่าเกลียด (nâa-glìiat) = ugly
  • อ้วน (aûuan) = fat
  • ผอม (phǎawm) = thin

Describing Emotions

  • อารมณ์ดี (aa-rom-dii) = good mood
  • อารมณ์ไม่ดี (aa-rom-mâi-dii) = bad mood
  • มีความสุข (mii-kwaam-sùk) = happy
  • เศร้า (sâo) = sad
  • เฉยๆ (chǒoei) = so-so [not happy but not sad]
  • เหงา (ngǎo) = lonely
  • โกรธ (gròot) = angry
  • เบื่อ (bùuea) = bored
  • กลัว (gluua) = scared
  • อาย (aai) = shy
  • กังวล (gang-won) = worried
  • ตื่นเต้น (dtùuen-dtên) = excited

A Little Girl Posing for Different Emotions

How do you feel?

Describing Weather

  • แดดออก (dàaet-àawk) = sunny
  • ฝนตก (fǒn-dtòk) = rainy
  • เมฆครึ้ม (mêek-khrúem) = cloudy
  • ลมแรง (lom-raaeng) = windy
  • ร้อน (ráawn) = hot
  • เย็น (yen) = cool
  • หนาว (nǎao) = cold

6. Conjunctions

Learning a few Thai conjunctions will help you sound more like a native speaker! 

  • และ (láe) = and
  • หรือ (rǔue) = or
  • แต่ (dtàae) = but
  • เพราะว่า (práw-wâa) = because
  • ดังนั้น (dang-nán) = so
  • แล้วก็ (láaeo-gâaw) = then
  • อย่างไรก็ตาม (yàang-rai-gâaw-dtaam) = however

7. Ending Particles and Auxiliary Words

Let’s conclude our list of Thai beginner words with some particles and auxiliaries that you’ll find useful as you continue your studies. 

  • ครับ (khráp) = ending particle for males; makes the sentence formal
  • ค่ะ (khà) = ending particle for females; makes the sentence formal
  • จะ () = will
  • ต้อง (dtâawng) = must
  • ไม่ (mâi) = not
  • เคย (khooei) = used to
  • กำลัง (gam-lang) = [verb]ing

8. Conclusion

Congratulations! You’ve just taken your first major step into Thai language learning. We hope that you’ll practice and memorize these 200 Thai beginner words, and that they prove useful to you. 

What did you think about this list? Do you think it’ll be difficult to remember all of these words? Let us know in the comments!

Once you have these beginner words down, you may want to try other basic Thai lessons at ThaiPod101.com. You might find our lessons Fine-Tuning Your Thai Vowels and Cracking the Thai Writing System particularly helpful at this stage in your learning journey.

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10 Filler Words in the Thai Language You Should Know

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A good portion of conversation time is spent thinking about what to say next. Sometimes, we find ourselves searching for just the right word or figuring out how to respond to someone’s comment. These natural pauses in speech are often “filled” with small, usually meaningless words and expressions that make the lull feel less awkward for both parties. 

Thai filler words play a large role in the day-to-day conversations of native speakers, so it’s an important topic for Thai learners to study once they have the basics down. Being able to use filler words correctly will help you sound more like a native speaker and allow you to better understand Thai conversations. 

In this article, you’ll learn more about what filler words are and study the most common fillers in the Thai language. We’ll show you how to use each one and provide examples to give you a better idea of what they might sound like in a conversation.

Let’s get started.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Thai Table of Contents
  1. What are Thai filler words?
  2. อืม (uuem) – um
  3. เอ่อ (òoe) – ah
  4. หือ (hǔue)
  5. อ่าฮะ (àa-há) – yep
  6. แบบ (bàaep) – like
  7. อย่างนี้นะ (yàang-níi-ná) – well
  8. อะไรแบบนี้ (à-rai-bàaep-níi) – stuff like that
  9. คือว่า / พอดีว่า (khuue-wâa / phaaw-dii-wâa) – well
  10. ประมาณว่า (bprà-maan-wâa) – like
  11. ก็ (gâaw) – because
  12. Conclusion

1. What are Thai filler words?

Before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s go over some basic information about Thai filler words. 

Like those in other languages, Thai filler words are meaningless utterances we use to make our conversations smoother. Keep in mind, however, that there is no word for “filler words” in Thai. 

While filler words are most often used in spoken conversation, you might also find them written in certain types of literature (especially fiction novels). 

Now, let’s look at the most popular filler words in Thai! 

2. อืม (uuem) – um

Thai people often make the sound อืม (uuem) during conversations when they’re thinking about what to say or how to answer something. 

Example 1

  • พ่อ: วันนี้หนูอยากดูหนังเรื่องอะไร
  • ลูกสาว: อืม…หนูว่าดูหนังตลกดีกว่า จะได้คลายเครียด 
  • phâaw: wan-níi-nǔu-yàak-duu-nǎng-rûueang-à-rai
  • lûuk-sǎao: uuem…nǔu-wâa-duu-nǎng-dtà-lòk-dii-gwàa jà-dâi-khlaai-khrîiat
  • Dad: Which movie do you want to watch today?
    Daughter: Um… I think we should watch a comedy movie to relieve stress.

A Young Asian Woman Thinking with a Finger to Her Chin

Um… I think we should watch a comedy movie to relieve stress.

Example 2

  • เอ: ฉันอยากกินอาหารญี่ปุ่น
  • บี: ฉันอยากกินอาหารเกาหลี
  • ซี: อืม…งั้นเราไปกินอาหารญี่ปุ่น เสร็จแล้วไปกินบิงซูต่อกัน
  • ee: chǎn-yàak-gin-aa-hǎan-yîi-bpùn
  • bii: chǎn-yàak-gin-aa-hǎan-gao-lǐi
  • sii: uuem…ngán-rao-bpai-gin-aa-hǎan-yîi-bpùn sèt-láaeo-bpai-gin-bing-suu-dtàaw-gan
  • A: I want to eat Japanese food.
  • B: I want to eat Korean food.
  • C: Um… Let’s eat Japanese food and then Bingsu.

3. เอ่อ (òoe) – ah

เอ่อ (òoe) is a popular filler in Thai, used to express shock when the speaker isn’t sure what to say. 

Example 1

  • ปลา: ฉันใส่เสื้อตัวนี้แล้วเป็นยังไงบ้าง
  • แก้ว: เอ่อ…เสื้อสีสวยดี แต่ว่าตัวเมื่อกี๊ดีกว่านะ
  • bplaa: chǎn-sài-sûuea-dtuua-níi-láaeo-bpen-yàng-ngai-bâang
  • gâaeo: òoe…sûuea-sǐi-sǔuay-dii dtâae-wâa-dtuua-mûuea-gíi-dii-gwàa-ná
  • Pla: How do I look in this shirt?
  • Kaew: Ah… The color is nice, but I think the previous one you tried is better.

*In this case, Kaew was shocked when she saw Pla and thought she looked bad in the shirt. However, she didn’t want to make Pla feel bad, so she gave her opinion this way. (Thai people have the fear of เสียหน้า [sǐia-nâa] or “losing face.”)

Example 2

  • คนขาย: ลองชิมขนมชั้นดูมั้ยคะ อร่อยมากเลยนะคะ
  • คนซื้อ: น่าทานมากค่ะ ขอลองชิม 1 ชิ้นค่ะ
  • คนขาย: อร่อยมั้ยคะ ตอนนี้มีโปรโมชั่น 3 กล่อง 100 บาท รับ 3 กล่องเลยมั้ยคะ
  • คนซื้อ: เอ่อ…กล่องเดียวก็พอค่ะ 
  • khon-khǎai: laawng-chim-khà-nǒm-chán-duu-mái-khá à-ràauy-mâak-looei-ná-khá
  • khon-súue: nâa-thaan-mâak-khà khǎaw-laawng-chim-nùeng-chín-khà
  • khon-khǎai: à-ràauy-mái-khá dtaawn-níi-mii-bproo-moo-chân-sǎam-glàawng-nùeng-ráauy-bàat ráp- sǎam-glàawng-looei-mái-khá
  • khon-súue: òoe…glàawng-diiao-gâaw-phaaw-khà
  • Seller: Do you want to try ขนมชั้น (khà-nǒm-chán)? It is very delicious.
  • Buyer: It looks really good. I want to try one.
  • Seller: Delicious, right? Currently, we have a promotion: 3 boxes for 100 Baht. Do you want to buy 3 boxes?
  • Buyer: Ah… Just one would be enough.

*In this case, the buyer may not like the taste of ขนมชั้น (khà-nǒm-chán) and she definitely doesn’t want to buy any. However, Thai people have a trait called เกรงใจ (greeng-jai). Since she has already tried it, she has decided to buy one box despite its taste.

**ขนมชั้น (khà-nǒm-chán) is a Thai dessert. Its name means “layer snack,” because you can see its layers. 

4. หือ (hǔue)

Thai people use the filler หือ (hǔue) to show that they didn’t hear or understand what the other person said.

Example 1

  • ตาล: ช่วยหยิบของให้หน่อย
  • บอล: หือ…เมื่อกี้พูดว่าอะไรนะ
  • dtaan: chûuay-yìp-khǎawng-hâi-nàauy
  • baawn: hǔue…mûuea-gíi-phûut-wâa-à-rai-ná
  • Tarn: Please bring me that.
  • Ball: What did you just say?

Example 2

  • คนขาย: รับของหวานเพิ่มมั้ยคะ วันนี้มีไอศครีมชาเย็นค่ะ
  • คนซื้อ: หือ…พูดช้า ๆ อีกทีได้มั้ยคะ 
  • khon-khǎai: ráp-khǎawng-wǎan-phôoem-mái-khà wan-níi-mii-ai-sà-khriim-chaa-yen-khà
  • khon-súue: hǔue…phûut-cháa-cháa-ìik-thii-dâi-mái-khá 
  • Seller: Do you want a dessert? Today, we have Thai tea ice-cream.
  • Buyer: Can you speak again slowly?

5. อ่าฮะ (àa-há) – yep

We use อ่าฮะ (àa-há) in conversations to show that we understand what the other party has said, but we either don’t know what to reply or only reluctantly agree. 

Example 1

  • นักเรียน 1: งานกลุ่มครั้งนี้ ฉันจะทำส่วนนี้ เธอทำส่วนนี้แล้วกันนะ
  • นักเรียน 2: อ่าฮะ
  • nák-riian 1: ngaan-glùm-khráng-níi chǎn-jà-tham-sùuan-níi thooe-tham-sùuan-níi-láaeo-gan-ná
  • nák-riian 2: àa-há
  • Student 1: For this group project, I will do this part and you do this part.
  • Student 2: Yep.

Example 2

  • จันทร์: ฉันไม่ชอบล้างจาน เธอล้างจานแล้วกันนะ
  • นภา: อ่าฮะ
  • jan: chǎn-mâi-châawp-láang-jaan thooe-láang-jaan-láaeo-gan-ná
  • ná-phaa: àa-há
  • Chan: I don’t like washing dishes. You do it.
  • Napha: Yep.

6. แบบ (bàaep) – like

แบบ (bàaep) is a common filler in Thai, used when the speaker is thinking of how to explain something. 

Example 1

  • มินต์: เธอว่ายำจานนี้รสชาติโอเครึยัง ต้องเติมอะไรอีกมั้ย
  • น้ำ: เราว่ามันรสชาติแบบ…หวาน เปรี้ยว แต่ไม่ค่อยเค็ม เติมน้ำปลานิดหน่อยสิ
  • mín: thooe-wâa-yam-jaan-níi-rót-châat-oo-khee-rúe-yang dtâawng-dtooem-à-rai-èek-mái
  • nám: rao-wâa-man-rót-châat-bàaep…wǎan bprîiao dtàae-mâi-khâauy-khem dtooem-nám-bplaa- nít-nàauy-sì
  • Mint: Do you think this spicy salad tastes alright? Should I add anything?
  • Nam: I think it tastes…like sweet, sour, but not salty enough. You should add some fish sauce.

Example 2

  • เพลิน: เธอว่าหนังสือเล่มนี้เป็นยังไงบ้าง น่าซื้อมั้ย
  • พราว: ก็สนุกดี แต่มันแบบ…จบงง ๆ 
  • phlooen: thooe-wâa-nǎng-sǔue-lêm-níi-bpen-yang-ngai-bâag nâa-súue-mái
  • phraao: gâaw-sà-nùk-dii dtàae-man-bàaep…jòp-ngong-ngong
  • Ploen: What do you think about this book? Is it worth buying?
  • Praw: It is fun but its ending is…like, unclear.

A Woman Asking about a Book in a Bookstore

This book is fun but its ending is…like, unclear.

7. อย่างนี้นะ (yàang-níi-ná) – well

Thai people often use the filler phrase อย่างนี้นะ (yàang-níi-ná) before explaining something.

Example 1

  • ครู: ทำไมเธอถึงใช้ตารางในการอธิบาย
  • นักเรียน: อย่างนี้นะคะ หนูว่าถ้าใช้ตารางจะดูง่ายกว่า
  • khruu: tham-mai-thooe-thǔeng-chái-dtaa-raang-nai-gaan-à-thí-baai
  • nák-riian: yàang-níi-ná-khá nǔu-wâa-thâa-chái-dtaa-raang-jà-duu-ngâai-gwàa
  • Teacher: Why did you use tables in explanation?
  • Student: Well, I think it is easier to explain if I use tables.

Example 2

  • เปิ้ล: ทำไมถึงไม่ไปเที่ยวกับครอบครัวเมื่อวานหละ
  • ชมพู่: อย่างนี้นะ ช่วงนี้พู่งานเยอะมาก แล้วก็ไม่ค่อยสบาย เลยไม่ได้ไป
  • bpôoen: tham-mai-thǔeng-mâi-bpai-thîiao-gàp-khrâawp-khruua-mûuea-waan-là
  • chom-phûu: yàang-níi-ná chûuang-níi-phûu-ngaan-yóe-mâak láaeo-gâaw-mâi-khâauy-sà-baai looei- mâi-dâi-bpai
  • Ple: Why didn’t you travel with your family yesterday?
  • Chompu: Well, recently, I have a lot of work to do. Also, I didn’t feel well so I didn’t go.

8. อะไรแบบนี้ (à-rai-bàaep-níi) – stuff like that

Thai people often use the filler อะไรแบบนี้ (à-rai-bàaep-níi) when explaining things to others, especially if they can’t give as many examples as they would like to.

Example 1

  • ลูกค้า: ที่นี่มีบริการนวดแผนไทย หรืออะไรแบบนี้มั้ยคะ
  • พนักงาน: เรามีบริการนวดแผนไทยและนวดเท้าค่ะ
  • lûuk-kháa: thîi-nîi-mii-baaw-rí-gaan-nûuat-phǎaen-thai rǔue-à-rai-bàaep-níi-mái-khá
  • phá-nák-ngaan: rao-mii-baaw-rí-gaan-nûuat-phǎaen-thai-láe-nûuat-thǎao-khà
  • Customer: Are there Thai massages or stuff like that here?
  • Staff Member: We have Thai massage and foot massage.

A Woman Rubbing Her Neck in Pain

Are there Thai massages or stuff like that here?

Example 2

  • ส้ม: แม่คะ หนูหิว มีขนมปัง ผลไม้ หรืออะไรแบบนี้มั้ยคะ
  • แม่: มีกล้วยอยู่บนโต๊ะ
  • som: mâae-khá nǔu-hǐu mii-khà-nǒm-phang phǒn-lá-mái rǔue-à-rai-bàaep-níi-mái-khá
  • maae: mii-glûuay-yùu-bon-dtó
  • Son: Mom, I’m hungry. Is there any bread, fruit, or stuff like that?
  • Mother: There is a banana on the table.

9. คือว่า / พอดีว่า (khuue-wâa / phaaw-dii-wâa) – well

The filler phrases คือว่า / พอดีว่า (khuue-wâa / phaaw-dii-wâa) are often used when the speaker is talking about the events leading up to the current situation.

Example 1

  • หัวหน้า: ทำไมวันนี้มาสายคะ
  • พนักงาน: พอดีว่า เมื่อเช้ารถเสียค่ะ
  • hǔua-hnâa: tham-mai-wan-níi-maa-sǎai-khá
  • phá-nák-ngaan: phaaw-dii-wâa mûuea-cháao-rót-sǐia-khà
  • Boss: Why are you late today?
  • Employee: Well, my car broke this morning.

Example 2

  • พ่อ: ทำไมห้องนอนรกอย่างนี้
  • ลูก: คือว่า ช่วงนี้รายงานเยอะ หนูเลยไม่มีเวลาทำความสะอาดค่ะ
  • phâaw: tham-mai-hâawng-naawn-rók-yàang-níi
  • lûuk: khuue-wâa chûuang-níi-raai-ngaan-yóe nǔu-looei-mâi-mii-wee-laa-tham-kwaam-sà-àat-khà
  • Dad: Why is your bedroom so messy?
  • Daughter: Well, I have a lot of reports to do recently. I have no time to clean.

10. ประมาณว่า (bprà-maan-wâa) – like

Thai people often use ประมาณว่า (bprà-maan-wâa) when they want to explain something.

Example 1

  • หนึ่ง: ทำไมราณีซื้อบ้านหลังนี้หละ ไกลจากที่ทำงานออก
  • สอง: ราณีชอบ ประมาณว่า ราคาถูก และก็สวยดี
  • nùeng: tham-mai-raa-nii-súue-bâan-hlǎng-níi-là glai-jàak-thîi-tham-ngaan-àawk
  • sǎawng: raa-nii-châawp bprà-maan-wâa raa-khaa-thùuk láe-gâaw-sǔuay-dii
  • Nueng: Why did Ranee buy this house? It is so far from her workplace.
  • Song: She likes this house, like it is cheap and beautiful.

A Row of Three Houses in a Nice Suburban Area

She likes this house, like it is cheap and beautiful.

Example 2

  • อนันต์: ทำไมร้านนี้คนเยอะจัง
  • ฤดี: ร้านอาหารร้านนี้ดังมากค่ะ ประมาณว่า อาหารอร่อย ราคาไม่แพง 
  • a-nan: tham-mai-ráan-níi-khon-yóe-jang
  • rúe-dii: ráan-aa-hǎan-ráan-níi-dang-mâak-khà bprà-maan-wâa aa-hǎan-à-ràauy raa-khaa-mâi- phaaeng
  • Anan: Why is this restaurant so crowded?
  • Ruedee: This restaurant is so popular, like the food is delicious and it’s not expensive.

11. ก็ (gâaw) – because

We often use the Thai filler word ก็ (gâaw) to explain why we did something.

Example 1

  • กฤช: ทำไมซื้ออาหารมาเยอะขนาดนี้
  • มาโนช: ก็ตอนซื้อหิวมาก เลยซื้อมาเยอะ
  • grìt: tham-mai-súue-aa-hǎan-maa-yóe-khà-nàat-níi
  • ma-nôot: gâaw-dtaawn-súue-hǐu-mâak looei-súue-maa-yóe
  • Krit: Why did you buy this much food?
  • Manot: Because when I bought it, I was very hungry so I ended up buying a lot.

Example 2

  • แม่: ยิ้ม ทำไมตื่นสายขนาดนี้ วันนี้เราจะไปหาคุณยายกันนะ
  • ยิ้ม: ก็หนูลืม เดี๋ยวหนูรีบไปอาบน้ำเลย
  • mâae: yím tham-mai-dtùuen-sǎai-khà-nàat-níi wan-níi-rao-jà-bpai-hǎa-khun-yaai-gan-ná
  • yím: gâaw-nǔu-luuem dǐiao-nǔu-rîip-bpai-àap-nám-looei
  • Mother: Yim, why did you wake up so late? Today, we will go visit Grandmother.
  • Yim: Because I forgot. I will go take a bath now.

12. Conclusion

Congratulations! You’ve reached the end of our Thai filler word and phrase list. What do you think? Are Thai filler words different from filler words in your native language? Comment below to let us know.

While you should be able to speak more like a native with this new information, there’s so much more to learn before reaching fluency! If you want to keep studying and practicing, check out ThaiPod101.com. Not sure where to start? Learning about Thai idioms and slang expressions can make your speech sound even more natural and fluid.

Happy learning!

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Learn How to Say “I Love You,” in Thai

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There are several words and phrases that students of a foreign language learn early on: 

Hello.
Thank you.
I’m sorry.

And…

I love you.

Depending on how long you’ve been studying the language, you might already know how to say “I love you,” in Thai. But are you familiar with the more nuanced expressions, or how to take your romantic relationship a step further? 

Knowing love expressions in Thai is essential. Love is one of the most important emotions anyone could feel, so you should absolutely learn how to express it. 

In this article, we’ll teach you several essential Thai love phrases you can use in various situations. Whether you want to woo a Thai love interest or strengthen your existing relationship with a native speaker, the words and phrases here will be invaluable to you!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Thai Table of Contents
  1. Pick-up Lines in Thai
  2. Thai Love Phrases for Her / Thai Love Phrases for Him
  3. Being Together and Getting Married
  4. Endearment Terms
  5. Sayings About Love in Thai
  6. Conclusion

1. Pick-up Lines in Thai 

If you’ve found yourself falling head over heels for a native Thai speaker, the following lines can help you get your foot in the door. There are two ways that Thai people usually begin flirting with someone: 

1) By asking if he or she is in a relationship.
2) By showing that they care about the person.

Below are a few Thai phrases for flirting you can start practicing right away.

1 – มีแฟนยัง

Pronunciation:
mii-faaen-yang

English translation:
Do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend?

Additional explanation:
Literally, แฟน (faaen) means “boyfriend” or “girlfriend” in Thai. However, Thai people can also use this word in reference to a husband or wife.

2 – [pronoun “I” or name] + อยากเป็นแฟน + [pronoun “you” or name]

Pronunciation: 
[pronoun “I” or name] + yàak-bpen-faaen + [pronoun “you” or name]

English translation: 
I want to be your boyfriend/girlfriend.

Additional explanation: 
In Thai, there are many ways you can refer to yourself or to other parties. You can call someone by name, use a nickname, or use the pronoun “I” or “you.”

3 – จีบได้มั๊ย

Pronunciation:
jìip-dâi-mái

English translation: 
Can I court you?

Additional explanation: 
Another way you can express your interest is to say this sentence directly to the one you’re interested in.

A Man Flirting with a Woman in a Cafe

Can I court you?

4 – เป็นยังไงบ้าง / ทำอะไรอยู่

Pronunciation: 
bpen-yang-ngai-bâang / tham-à-rai-yùu

English translation:
How are you? / What are you doing?

Additional explanation: 
By asking about your love interest’s daily life, you’re showing that you care about the person. If someone asks you these questions, it might be an indicator that they have feelings for you—but remember that it doesn’t mean you’re courting yet!

5 – เป็นห่วงนะ

Pronunciation:
bpen-hùuang-ná

English translation:
I care about you.

Additional explanation:  
This phrase can be used to show that you care about someone. Saying เป็นห่วง (bpen-hùuang) implies that you think about that person and want him/her to be happy and physically well.

6 – เหนื่อยมั๊ย

Pronunciation:
nùueai-mái

English translation:
Are you tired?

Additional explanation:
When you’re feeling down or tired, being asked if you’re tired/okay can sometimes make you feel better. If someone asks you this, it’s a good sign that they still care about you.

7 – ฝันดีนะ

Pronunciation:
fǎn-dii-ná

English translation:
Have a good dream.

Additional explanation:
Wishing someone good dreams shows that you care about them, even as they sleep.

2. Thai Love Phrases for Her / Thai Love Phrases for Him

Once your romantic relationship is more solid, it’s time to keep your partner hooked by expressing your affection each and every day. Below are several love expressions in Thai you can use to do so! 

8 – [pronoun “I” or name] + คิดถึง + [pronoun “you” or name]

Pronunciation:
[pronoun “I” or name] + khít-thǔeng + [pronoun “you” or name]

English translation:
I miss you.

A Woman Embracing a Man from Behind

I miss you.

9 – [pronoun “I” or name] + ชอบ + [pronoun “you” or name] + มากกว่าเพื่อน

Pronunciation:
[pronoun “I” or name] + châawp + [pronoun “you” or name] + mâak-gwàa-phûuean

English translation:  
I think of you as more than a friend.

Additional explanation:
This phrase literally means “I like you more than a friend,” but its equivalent in English is “I think of you as more than a friend.”

10 – [pronoun “I” or name] + หยุดคิดถึง + [pronoun “you” or name] + ไม่ได้

Pronunciation:
[pronoun “I” or name] + yùt-khít-thǔeng + [pronoun “you” or name] + mâi-dâi

English translation:
I can’t stop thinking about you.

11 – [pronoun “I” or name] + อยากเจอ + [pronoun “you” or name] + ตลอดเวลา

Pronunciation:
[pronoun “I” or name] + yàak-jooe + [pronoun “you” or name] + dtà-làawt-wee-laa

English translation:
I want to see you all the time.

Additional explanation:
You can use this Thai love phrase to imply that you miss the other person.

12 – [pronoun “I” or name] + ชอบ + [pronoun “you” or name]

Pronunciation:
[pronoun “I” or name] + châawp + [pronoun “you” or name]

English translation:
I like you.

Additional explanation:
If you want to emphasize that you like the person “very much,” you can add มาก (mâak) to the end of the sentence.

13 – [pronoun “I” or name] + รัก + [pronoun “you” or name]

Pronunciation:
[pronoun “I” or name] + rák + [pronoun “you” or name]

English translation:
I love you.

Additional explanation:
As with the Thai love phrase above, if you want to say “I love you very much,” or “I love you so much,” you can add มาก (mâak) to the end of the sentence.

14 – [pronoun “you” or name] + มีความหมายต่อ + [pronoun “I” or name] + มาก

Pronunciation:  
[pronoun “you” or name] + mii-khwaam-mǎai-dtàaw + [pronoun “I” or name] + mâak 

English translation:
You mean so much to me.

15 – [pronoun “I” or name] + ชอบอยู่กับ + [pronoun “you” or name]

Pronunciation:
[pronoun “I” or name] + châawp-yùu-gàp + [pronoun “you” or name]

English translation:
I like being with you.

Additional explanation:
If you feel like the previous Thai love phrases were too cheesy or intense, you can opt for this more subtle one instead!

16 – [pronoun “you” or name] + ทำให้ชีวิตของ + [pronoun “I” or name] + มีความหมาย

Pronunciation:
[pronoun “you” or name] + tham-hâi-chii-wít-khǎawng + [pronoun “I” or name] + mii- kwaam-mǎai 

English translation:
You make my life meaningful.

3. Being Together and Getting Married

Thailand is a family-oriented society. This means that if you’re in a serious relationship with a Thai person, you’ll have to meet and interact with your in-laws to some extent. As your relationship moves forward, learning the following phrases can be very helpful.

17 – [day] + [pronoun “you” or name] + ไปทานข้าวกับพ่อแม่ของ + [pronoun “I” or name] + ได้มั๊ย

Pronunciation:
[day] + [pronoun “you” or name] + bpai-thaan-khâao-gàp-phâaw-mâae-khǎawng + [pronoun “I” or name] + dâi-mái 

English translation:
Can you have a meal with my parents on…?

Additional explanation:
Thai people often meet their boyfriend’s or girlfriend’s parents for the first time in a restaurant setting. So if your boyfriend/girlfriend asks you this question, it implies that he/she takes the relationship seriously.

18 – ช่วงนี้พ่อแม่ของ + [pronoun “I” or name] + จะมาหา + [pronoun “you” or name] + มาเจอพ่อแม่ของ + [pronoun “I” or name] + หน่อยได้มั๊ย

Pronunciation:
chûuang-níi-phâaw-mâae-khǎawng + [pronoun “I” or name] + jà-maa-hǎa + [pronoun “you” or name] + maa-jooe-phâaw-mâae-khǎawng + [pronoun “I” or name] + nàauy-dâi-mái

English translation:
My parents will come to see me, can you come to meet them?

Additional explanation:
Thai people usually visit family members during the holidays, so if your lover doesn’t live with his/her parents, he/she may ask you this.

19 – [day] + [pronoun “you” or name] + สะดวกมาบ้าน + [pronoun “I” or name] + มั๊ย ผมอยากแนะนำคุณให้พ่อแม่รู้จัก

Pronunciation:
[day] + [pronoun “you” or name] + sà-dùuak-maa-bâan + [pronoun “I” or name] + mái phǒm-yàak-náe-nam-khun-hâi-phâaw-mâae-rùu-jàk

English translation:
Are you available to come to my home on…? I want to introduce you to my parents.

Additional explanation:  
Apart from restaurant meetings, it’s also common for Thai people to meet their lover’s parents at his/her home. This way, in addition to getting to know his/her family members, you’ll also get to see how they live their daily lives as well.

20 – ย้ายมาอยู่ด้วยกันนะ

Pronunciation:
yáai-maa-yùu-dûuay-gan-ná

English translation:
Let’s move in together.

Additional explanation:
Nowadays, Thai people are more open to the idea of lovers living together before getting married. So if your lover is quite open-minded about this, he/she may say yes.

21 – คุณอยากย้ายมาอยู่กับ + [pronoun “I” or name] + มั๊ย 

Pronunciation:  
khun-yàak-yáai-maa-yùu-gàp + [pronoun “I” or name] + mái

English translation:  
Do you want to move into my house?

Additional explanation:  
Another question you can ask your lover if you’d like them to move in with you.

22 – แต่งงานกันนะ 

Pronunciation:
dtàaeng-ngaan-gan-ná

English translation:
Will you marry me?

A Man Putting a Ring on a Woman’s Finger on Their Wedding Day

Will you marry me?

23 – [pronoun “you” or name] + อยากมีลูกมั๊ย

Pronunciation:
[pronoun “you” or name] + yàak-mii-lûuk-mái

English translation:
Do you want to have a baby?

Additional explanation:
If you want to start a family together, you should know first whether your lover wants a child as well. Some Thai people do not like kids and plan to have no children. So if you’re in a serious relationship, don’t forget to ask about this to make sure that you have the same family goals in terms of kids.

24 – [pronoun “I” or name] + อยากมีลูก คุณเห็นว่าอย่างไร

Pronunciation:
[pronoun “I” or name] + yàak-mii-lûuk khun-hěn-wâa-yàang-rai

English translation:
I want to have a baby. What do you think?

Additional explanation:
Another way you can ask for your partner’s opinion about having children together.

25 – เรามาวางแผนมีลูกกันเถอะ

Pronunciation:
rao-maa-waang-phǎaen-mii-lûuk-gan-thòe

English translation:
Let’s make a plan about babies.

Additional explanation:
You can use this sentence when you’re sure that your lover also wants to have a baby.

A Woman Breastfeeding Her Baby

Let’s make a plan about babies.

4. Endearment Terms

When it comes to terms of endearment in Thai, you’ll find that Thai people have some odd ways of expressing affection. While we do have terms like “my love” in Thai, there are also some endearment terms that may sound more like verbal abuse in other cultures. It’s just how Thai lovers refer to one another. Despite the meaning, you have to focus on the tone as well.

26 – ที่รัก

Pronunciation:
thîi-rák

English translation:
Darling

Additional explanation:
It can be used to refer to both men and women.

27 – เบบี๋ / บี๋

Pronunciation:
bee-bǐi / bǐi

English translation:
Baby

Additional explanation:
It can be used to refer to both men and women.

28 – อ้วน

Pronunciation:
ûuan

English translation:
Fat

Additional explanation:
This endearment term doesn’t sound nice at all, but Thai lovers do call one another this. Instead of using it in a negative or abusive way, they say it in a cute manner—like when you see a chubby puppy. It can be used to refer to both men and women.

29 – เหม่ง

Pronunciation:
mèng

English translation:
Wide forehead

Additional explanation:
Similar to อ้วน (ûuan), เหม่ง (mèng) is used as an affectionate term. Men often call their girlfriends this.

30 – เค้า / ตัวเอง

Pronunciation:
kháo / dtuua-eeng

English translation:
I / You

Additional explanation:
This is a very cute pronoun that Thai lovers use when talking to each other. เค้า (kháo) is “I” and ตัวเอง (dtuua-eeng) is “you.” These two words can be used for both men and women.

31 – พี่ / หนู

Pronunciation:  
phîi / nǔu

English translation:
I (male) / You (female)

Additional explanation:
This is another pronoun pair that Thai lovers use when the male is older than the female. พี่ (phîi) is “brother” and หนู (nǔu) is “I,” used when the speaker is younger than the other party.

32 – พ่อ / แม่

Pronunciation:
phâaw / mâae

English translation:
Father / Mother

Additional explanation:  
When a couple have children together, they sometimes change the way they call each other to พ่อ (phâaw) and แม่ (mâae).

5. Sayings About Love in Thai 

To sound more like a native and to gain more insight into romance in Thai culture, you should also learn some Thai idioms about love as well as popular Thai love quotes

33 – ดื่มน้ำผึ้งพระจันทร์

Pronunciation:
dùuem-náam-phûeng-phrá-jan

Literal translation:
drink honey moon

English translation:
honeymoon

Additional explanation:
This Thai idiom refers to a “honeymoon,” with nearly the same meaning as the English word.

34 – ข้าวใหม่ปลามัน

Pronunciation:
khâao-mài-bplaa-man

Literal translation: 
new rice, oily fish

English translation:  
newlywed

Additional explanation:
This Thai idiom is used to refer to a couple who has just gotten married.

ข้าวใหม่ปลามัน

35 – น้ำตาลใกล้มด

Pronunciation:
náฟm-dtaan-glâi-mót

Literal translation: 
sugar near ant

English translation:
If a man and a woman spend a lot of time together, they can fall in love.

Additional explanation:
This Thai idiom is used to explain that if a man and a woman are close to each other, there is a higher chance of them falling in love.

36 – ยามรักน้ำต้มผักยังว่าหวาน

Pronunciation:
yaam-rák-náam-dtôm-phàk-yang-wâa-wǎan

Literal translation:
Soup made with vegetables is sweet when you are in love.

English translation:
When you are in love, everything about your lover is good.

Additional explanation:
This Thai idiom compares couples when they’ve just fallen in love to someone eating vegetable soup and thinking it’s sweet. In other words, you think that everything about your lover is good simply because you love him or her.

37 – รัก คิดถึง แค่คำสั้น ๆ แต่มีความสุขทุกครั้งที่พูดมันออกไป

Pronunciation:
rák khít-thǔeng khâae-kham-sân-sân dtàae-mii-kwaam-sùk-thúk-khráng-thîi-phûut- man-àawk-bpai

English translation:
“Love,” “miss you,” they are just short words but I’m happy every time you say them.

38 – ความสัมพันธ์ที่ดี จะไม่ทำให้เราต้องมีคำถามใด ๆ ในความสัมพันธ์เลย

Pronunciation:  
kwaam-sǎm-phan-thîi-dii jà-mâi-tham-hâi-rao-dtâwng-mii-kham-thǎam-dai-dai- nai-kwam-sǎm-phan-looei

English translation:  
A good relationship is a relationship that you have no question about.

39 – ชอบ คือ ถูกใจในข้อดี รัก คือ ยินดีรับในข้อเสีย

Pronunciation:
châawp-khuue-thùuk-jai-nai-khâaw-dii rák-khuue-yin-dii-ráp-nai-khâaw-sǐia

English translation:
“Like” is liking the good part of someone. “Love” is accepting the bad part of someone.

40 – จงอยู่กับคนที่แสดงความรักให้เห็น มากกว่าคนที่แค่พูดให้ได้ยิน

Pronunciation: 
jong-yùu-gàp-khon-thîi-sà-daaeng-kwaam-rák-hâi-hěn mâak-gwàa-khon-thîi-khâae- phûut-hâi-dâi-yin

English translation:
Be with a person who shows you his/her love, not the one who just speaks it.

6. Conclusion

This is the end of the article. We hope you were able to pick up a few love phrases in Thai, some other romantic words, and even a couple of sweet quotes! Even if you can’t remember all of these Thai love phrases yet, you should now have more confidence in your ability to express your romantic feelings! 

What did you think about this lesson? Is the way Thai people express their love different from how it’s done in your country? Leave us a comment below to share your thoughts.

If you would like to continue learning Thai love words and phrases, or want to further explore romance in Thai society, make sure to check out the following pages on ThaiPod101.com: 

Happy learning, and wishing you success in your love life!

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Negation in Thai: Learn How to Form Negative Sentences

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One of the first words a baby learns to say is “no.” 

It turns out that this little word will come in handy for the rest of our lives! We use it to express our needs, wants, and boundaries on a daily basis. Whether saying no comes as naturally to you as breathing or you consider yourself a people-pleaser, one thing is certain: 

As a Thai learner, it’s crucial that you learn how to negate in Thai! 

“Negation” refers to the act of making a positive (or affirmative) statement negative, and this is a crucial skill to have for any conversation. It allows you to tell others no, answer questions negatively, and much more. 

In this article, we’ll teach you everything you need to know about Thai negation. You’ll learn about the rules and steps involved, pick up some useful negation words and phrases, and even gain some cultural insight along the way.

    → Before we start, you may want to look at our article about Thai tenses. This topic plays a large role in negation, so we recommend becoming familiar with it before diving into this article!
Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Thai Table of Contents
  1. An Overview of Negation in Thai
  2. Other Words of Negation in Thai
  3. Thai People and Negation
  4. Conclusion

1. An Overview of Negation in Thai 

The Thai word for “negation” is: 

Literally, this word refers to the action of saying no to someone or something. This word is also used as part of a longer phrase (ประโยคปฎิเสธ) which means “negative sentence.”

Fortunately for you, Thai grammar is very easy. Things like gender and number do not affect the structure of Thai sentences at all, and negating in Thai is as simple as adding the word “no” or “not” to the sentence. 

Below are several different ways you can make a sentence negative in Thai. 

1 – Negating Affirmative Sentences [present tense]

Negation particle used: 
ไม่ (mâi) = not

How to negate:
Subject + ไม่ (mâi) + Verb + Object [if any]

Example 1:
แม่ไม่ชอบสีแดง
mâae-mâi-châawp-sǐi-daaeng
Mom doesn’t like the color red.

Example 2:
ฤดีพรไม่เรียนไวโอลินวันเสาร์
rúe-dii-paawn-mâi-riian-wai-oo-lin-wan-sǎo
Ruedeepron doesn’t learn violin on Saturday.

2 – Negating Affirmative Sentences [past tense]

Negation particle used: ไม่ได้ (mâi-dâi) = not

How to negate:
Subject + ไม่ได้ (mâi-dâi) + Verb + Object [if any]
Subject + ไม่ได้ (mâi-dâi) + เพิ่ง (phôeng) + Verb + Object [if any]

Example 1:
ตุลย์ไม่ได้ไปโรงเรียนเมื่อวานนี้
dtun-mâi-dâi-bpai-roong-riian-mûuea-waan-níi
Tun didn’t go to school yesterday.

Example 2:
น้าไม่ได้ซื้อนมมาจากตลาด
náa-mâi-dâi-súue-nom-maa-jàak-dtà-làat
Aunt didn’t buy milk from the market.

Example 3:
ครูไม่ได้เพิ่งสั่งงานมา ทำไมยังทำไม่เสร็จ
khruu-mâi-dâi-phôeng-sàng-ngaan-maa tham-mai-yang-tham-mâi-sèt
The teacher didn’t just order the work. Why isn’t your work finished yet?

Example 4:
แก้วไม่ได้เพิ่งเริ่มเรียนภาษาจีน เธอเรียนมาแล้วสามปี จึงพูดภาษาจีนได้ดี
gâaeo-mâi-dâi-phôeng-rôem-riian-phaa-sǎa-jiin thooe-riian-maa-láaeo-sǎam-bpii jueng-phûut-phaa- sǎa-jiin-dâi-dii
Kaew didn’t just start learning Chinese. She has learned it for 3 years now so she can speak it well.

3 – Negating Affirmative Sentences [future tense]

Negation particle used: 
ไม่ (mâi) = not

How to negate:
Subject + จะ () + ไม่ (mâi) + Verb + Object [if any]

Example 1:
ณัฐจะไม่ไปพัทยาวันอังคารหน้า
nát-jà-mâi-bpai-phát-thá-yaa-wan-ang-khaan-nâa
Nut will not go to Pattaya next Tuesday.

Example 2:
พ่อจะไม่ทานข้าวเย็นกับพวกเราวันนี้
phâaw-jà-mâi-thaan-khâao-yen-gàp-phûuak-rao-wan-níi
Dad will not have dinner with us today.

4 – Negating Affirmative Sentences [present continuous tense]

Negation particle used:
ไม่ได้ (mâi-dâi) = not

How to negate:
Subject + ไม่ได้ (mâi-dâi) + กำลัง (gam-lang) + Verb + Object [if any]

Example 1:
นักเรียนไม่ได้กำลังเรียนหนังสืออยู่
nák-riian-mâi-dâi-gam-lang-riian-nǎng-sǔue-yùu
The student is not studying now.

Example 2:
เด็ก ๆ ไม่ได้กำลังนอนอยู่
dèk-dèk-mâi-dâi-gam-lang-naawn-yùu
The kids are not sleeping now.

5 – Negating Affirmative Sentences [perfect tense]

Negation particle used:
ไม่ (mâi) = not
ไม่ได้ (mâi-dâi) = not

How to negate:
Subject + ไม่ได้ (mâi-dâi) + Verb + Object [if any] + มา (maa) or ตั้งแต่ (dtâng-dtàae) + Time
Subject + ไม่ (mâi) + เคย (khooei) + Verb + Object [if any]

Example 1:
การะเกดไม่ได้ทำงานมา 3 วันแล้ว เธอป่วย
gaa-rá-gèet-mâi-dâi-tham-ngaan-maa-sǎam-wan-láaeo thooe-bpùuai
Garaget hasn’t worked for 3 days now. She is sick.

Garaget Hasn’t Worked for 3 Days Now. She Is Sick.

Example 2:
พิพัฒน์ไม่ได้อ่านหนังสือมาหลายอาทิตย์แล้ว เขายุ่งมาก
phí-phát-mâi-dâi-àan-nǎng-sǔue-maa-lǎai-aa-thít-láaeo khǎo-yûng-mâak
Pipat hasn’t read any books for many weeks now. He is very busy.

Example 3:
รำไพไม่เคยไปประเทศเกาหลี
ram-phai-mâi-khooei-bpai-phrà-thêet-gao-lǐi
Ramphai has never been to Korea.

Example 4:
ตั้มไม่เคยกินผลไม้ชนิดนี้มาก่อน
dtâm-mâi-khooei-gin-phǒn-lá-mái-chá-nít-níi-maa-gàawn
Tum has never eaten this kind of fruit before.

6 – The Negation of “Can” in Thai

Negation particle used:
ไม่ (mâi) = not
ไม่ได้ (mâi-dâi) = not

How to negate:
Subject + ไม่ (mâi) + สามารถ (sǎa-mâat) + Verb + Object [if any] + ได้ (dâi)
Subject + Verb + Object [if any] + ไม่ได้ (mâi-dâi)

Example 1:
นทีไม่สามารถกินเผ็ดได้
ná-thii-mâi-sǎa-mâat-gin-phèt-dâi
Nathi can’t eat spicy food.

Example 2:
นทีกินเผ็ดไม่ได้
ná-thii-gin-phèt-mâi-dâi
Nathi can’t eat spicy food.

Example 3:
ปริณไม่สามารถขับรถได้
bpà-rin-mâi-sǎa-mâat-khàp-rót-dâi
Prin can’t drive.

Example 4:
ปริณขับรถไม่ได้
bpà-rin-khàp-rót-mâi-dâi
Prin can’t drive.

Additional note: 
These two Thai negation patterns are completely interchangeable! The meaning of the sentence will not change if you use one instead of the other.

7 – Negating Thai Adjectives and Adverbs

Negation particle used: 
ไม่ (mâi) = not

How to negate:
ไม่ (mâi) + adjective / adverb

Example 1:
เสื้อตัวนี้ราคาไม่แพง
sûuea-dtuua-níi-raa-khaa-mâi-phaaeng
This shirt is not expensive.

This Shirt Is not Expensive.

Example 2:
คุณตาเดินไม่เร็ว เพราะ พื้นลื่น
khun-dtaa-dooen-mâi-reo-phráw-phúuen-lûuen
Grandpa doesn’t walk fast because of the slippery floor.

8 – Giving Negative Instructions and Commands

Negation particle used:
ห้าม (hâam) = do not
อย่า (yàa) = do not

How to negate:
ห้าม (hâam) + Verb + Object [if any]
อย่า (yàa) + Verb + Object [if any]

Example 1:
ห้ามเข้า
hâam-khâo
Do not enter.

Example 2:
ห้ามใส่กางเกงขาสั้น
hâam-sài-gaang-geeng-khǎa-sân
Do not wear shorts.

Example 3:
อย่ากลับบ้านดึกนะ
yàa-glàp-bâan-dùek-ná
Do not come home late.

Example 4:
อย่าใส่พริกเยอะ เดี๋ยวจะเผ็ดเกินไป
yàa-sài-phrík-yóe dǐiao-jà-phèt-gooen-bpai
Do not add too much chili or else it will be too spicy.

Additional note:
Both ห้าม (hâam) and อย่า (yàa) are commonly used when giving negative commands in Thai. However, the two are slightly different in meaning. ห้าม (hâam) is used when giving a strong order, while อย่า (yàa) is typically used for giving a suggestion.

9 – Answering Yes-or-No Questions

Negation particle used:
ไม่ (mâi) = no

How to negate:
ไม่ (mâi) + Verb in the question

Example 1

Question:
เธอจะเอาขนมหวานมั๊ย
thooe-jà-ao-khà-nǒm-wǎan-mái
Do you want dessert?

Answer:
ไม่เอา
Mâi-ao
No, I don’t

Example 2

Question:
มะลิชอบสีเขียวมั๊ย
má-lí-châawp-sǐi-khǐiao-mái
Does Mali like the color green?

Answer:
ไม่ชอบ
mâi-châawp
No, she doesn’t.

Additional note: 
Sometimes questions end with รึเปล่า (rǔe-plào), which is a casual version of ใช่หรือไม่ (châi-rǔue-mâi) meaning “yes or no.” To answer negatively in this case, you would say เปล่า (plào), meaning “no.”

10 – Double Negation in Thai

Negation particle used:
ไม่ได้ (mâi-dâi) = not
ไม่ใช่ (mâi-châi) = not

How to negate:
ไม่ได้ (mâi-dâi) or ไม่ใช่ (mâi-châi) + Normal negation form

Example 1

Question:
เธอไม่ชอบฉันเหรอ
thooe-mâi-châawp-chǎn-rǎaw
Do you not like me?

Answer:
ฉันไม่ได้ไม่ชอบเธอ
chǎn-mâi-dâi-mâi-châawp-thooe
I don’t dislike you.

Example 2

Question:
ไอศครีมร้านนี้ไม่อร่อยเหรอ
Ai-sà-khriim-ráan-níi-mâi-à-hràauy-rǎaw
Does ice cream at this shop not taste good?

Answer:
ไอศครีมร้านนี้ ไม่ใช่ไม่อร่อย แต่แพงเกินไป
ai-sà-khriim-ráan-níi mâi-châi-mâi-à-ràauy-dtàae-phaaeng-gooen-bpai
The ice cream at this shop is good but too expensive.

This Ice Cream Is Delicious but Too Expensive.

Additional note:
Thai people often use double negation when answering questions. You can use both ไม่ได้ (mâi-dâi) and ไม่ใช่ (mâi-châi), as there’s no difference in meaning between the two words.

2. Other Words of Negation in Thai

Of course, there might be situations where you want to give a stronger (or more colorful) negative response. Following are several words and phrases you can use to add flavor to your speech and sound more like a native speaker. 

1 – ไม่มีทาง

Pronunciation:
mâi-mii-thaang

Literal translation:
No way

Explanation:
This phrase is used exactly like “no way” is in English. It’s used to express that you strongly disagree with an offer.

Example 1:
ไม่มีทางที่ฉันจะให้เธอยืมเงิน
mâi-mii-thaang-thîi-chǎn-jà-hâi-thooe-yuuem-ngoen
There is no way that I will let you borrow my money.

Example 2:
ไม่มีทางที่ปราณแต่งงานกับอรณี เขาไม่ชอบเธอ
Mâi-mii-thaang-thîi-bpraan-jà-dtàaeng-ngaan-gàp-aawn-rá-nii khǎo-mâi-châawp-thooe
There is no way that Pran will marry Onranee. He doesn’t like her.

2 – หัวเด็ดตีนขาดก็ไม่…

Pronunciation:
hǔa-dèt-dtiin-khàat-gâaw-mâi-…(verb)

Literal translation:
Even my head and leg are cut, still no.

Explanation:
This phrase is stronger than the one above. It means that even if someone tries to force you into agreement by threatening to cut off your leg or head, you’ll still say no.

Example 1:
หัวเด็ดตีนขาดก็ไม่ไป
hǔa-dèt-dtiin-khàat-gâaw-mâi-bpai
I WON’T GO.

Example 2:
ข้อเสนอบ้าบออย่างนี้ หัวเด็ดตีนขาดก็ไม่ตกลง
khâaw-sà-nǒoe-bâa-baaw-yàang-níi hǔa-dèt-dtiin-khàat-gâaw-mâi-dtòk-long
I WON’T AGREE with this ridiculous offer.

3 – ฝันเอา / ฝันไปเถอะ

Pronunciation:
fǎn-ao / fǎn-bpai-thòe

Literal translation:
Dream it

Explanation:
This phrase is used much the same way as the English phrase “in your dreams.”

Example 1:
ฝันไปเถอะ ยังไงฉันก็ไม่ตกลง
fǎn-bpai-thòe yang-ngai-chǎn-gâaw-mâi-dtòk-long
You have to dream it. I won’t agree nonetheless.

Example 2:
ใครจะไปซื้อไหว แพงขนาดนั้น ฝันเอาแล้วกัน
khrai-jà-bpai-súue-wǎi phaaeng-khà-nàat-nán fǎn-ao-láaeo-gan
Who will be able to buy that? It is that expensive. You have to dream it.

4 – บ้ง

Pronunciation:
bông

Literal translation:
Worm

Slang translation:
Not good

Explanation:
This is a slang term used among youngsters. It means “not okay.”

Example 1:
เธอใส่ชุดนี้แล้วบ้งมาก ไม่ควรซื้อ
thooe-sài-chút-níi-láaeo-bông-mâak mâi-khuuan-súue
You don’t look good in this dress, so you shouldn’t buy it.

Example 2:
วันนี้ขายของไม่ได้เลย บ้งมาก
wan-níi-khǎai-khǎawng-mâi-dâi-looei bông-mâak
I can’t sell anything today, not good.

5 – มองบน

Pronunciation:
maawng-bon

Literal translation:
Look up

Slang translation:
Not happy with something

Explanation:
This is another slang term used by youngsters. It’s used to imply that one is not happy with something.

Example 1:
เธอได้ยินปัญหาแล้วก็อดมองบนไม่ได้
thooe-dâi-yin-bpan-hǎa-láaeo-gâaw-òt-maawng-bon-mâi-dâi
Once she heard of the problem, she was not happy with it.

Example 2:
ทำไม่ต้องมองบนขนาดนั้น
tham-mai-dtâawng-maawng-bon-khà-nàat-nán
Why are you that unhappy?

6 – เซ็งเป็ด

Pronunciation:
seng-bpèt

Literal translation:
Bore of the duck

Slang translation:
Not in a good mood

Explanation:
This slang term is used to say that you’re not in a good mood or that something has put you in a bad mood.

Example 1:
เห็นงานที่ต้องทำแล้วเซ็งเป็ดเลย
hěn-ngaan-thîi-dtâawng-tham-láaeo-seng-bpèt-looei
I’m not in a good mood now after seeing the work that I have to do.

I’m Not in a Good Mood Now After Seeing the Work that I Have to Do.

Example 2:
อากาศแบบนี้ออกไปข้างนอกไม่ได้ เซ็งเป็ด
aa-gàat-bàaep-níi-àawk-bpai-khâang-nâawk-mâi-dâi seng-bpèt
I can’t go out in this weather. I’m not in a good mood now.

3. Thai People and Negation

Now that you know how to properly use negation in Thai, there are a couple of cultural aspects you should be aware of. 

1 – เกรงใจ

เกรงใจ (greeng-jai) is a trait that many Thai people possess. This word refers to the feeling of not wanting to disturb, inconvenience, or cause problems for another person. Someone who feels เกรงใจ (greeng-jai) will find it hard to say “no” to someone who has asked a favor of them. They may also try to make life as easy as possible for others. 

For example, imagine that a Thai person is visiting their neighbor’s home. If the neighbor asks this person if they would like anything to drink, the person may feel เกรงใจ (greeng-jai). As a result, they might ask for something simple (like plain water or juice) even if they would prefer something else (like a smoothie or cocktail). 

If you were asked a favor by a coworker in the workplace to assist his/her tasks, in the case that you were feeling เกรงใจ (greeng-jai), you might end up agreeing to help that coworker complete their tasks—even if you already had a lot of work to do and needed to stay overtime for that. This is because saying “no” would hurt the feelings of your coworker.

So, when you ask a Thai person to do something, you have to look at their body language as well. If they look reluctant but still say yes, you should know that they are เกรงใจ (greeng-jai) and may not actually be willing to help.

Thai People Can’t Say No

2 – Using Negation to Save Someone’s Feelings

Sometimes, saying things directly can hurt other people’s feelings. To avoid doing so, Thai people use negation in order to convey the same message in a more indirect manner.  

Example 1: เตี้ย

Saying that someone is short can hurt that person’s feelings. Instead, you could use “not tall” instead of “short.”

  • เขาเตี้ย
  • khǎo-dtîia
  • He is short.
  • เขาตัวไม่สูง
  • khǎo-mâi-sǔung
  • He is not tall.

Example 2: ถูก

Since quality and price are often related, some Thai people feel that saying that something is cheap is like looking down on its quality. So instead of using “cheap,” you could use “not expensive.”

  • อาหารร้านนี้ถูกมาก
  • aa-hǎan-ráan-níi-thùuk-mâak
  • The food at this restaurant is very cheap.
  • อาหารร้านนี้ราคาไม่แพง
  • aa-hǎan-ráan-níi-raa-khaa-mâi-phaaeng
  • The food at this restaurant is not expensive.

4. Conclusion

As you can see, Thai negation is relatively simple. The only thing you really need to worry about is how to correctly use the negating words ไม่ (mâi), ไม่ได้ (mâi-dâi), and ไม่ใช่ (mâi-châi). It might take some time, but with enough practice you’ll become familiar with them. 

What are your thoughts on this lesson? Did you find it difficult, or was this pretty easy for you? And how does negation in Thai differ from that in your language? 

We look forward to hearing from you! 

If you would like to continue learning about the Thai language and culture, make sure to explore ThaiPod101.com and create your free lifetime account today. Not sure where to start? How about you try these lessons:

Happy learning!

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Does Thai Have Tenses?

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Being able to express the timing of an action is a key skill to acquire when learning a foreign language. Did it happen yesterday? Is it going to happen next year? Or maybe it’s happening right now, as you read this?

In most languages, tenses are used to accomplish this. A tense is a grammatical concept that can be applied to verbs through conjugation. For example, in English you could express the past, present, and future this way:

  • I walked.
  • I am walking.
  • I will walk.

But there’s some good news for Thai learners: There are no Thai tenses you need to learn! Thai is a tenseless language and we have other (much simpler) ways of expressing time as it relates to actions.

A Signpost with Signs for Now, Tomorrow, and Yesterday

Thai has no tenses to worry about.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Thai Table of Contents
  1. An Overview
  2. How to Indicate Time in the Thai Language
  3. Auxiliary Verbs and Prepositions
  4. Conclusion

1. An Overview

Because there are no tenses in Thai, there’s no verb conjugation either. We use the same form of a verb regardless of when the action took place. 

For example:

Past tense

  • เมื่อเช้านี้ ฉันกินขนมปัง
  • mûuea-cháao-níi chǎn gin khà-nǒm-phang
  • This morning, I ate bread.

Present tense

  • ฉันกินขนมปังทุกวันตอนเช้า
  • chǎn gin khà-nǒm-phang thúk-wan dtaawn-cháo
  • I eat bread every day in the morning.

Present continuous tense

  • ฉันกำลังกินขนมปัง
  • chǎn gam-lang gin khà-nǒm-phang
  • I am eating bread.

Present perfect tense

  • ฉันกินขนมปังทุกวันมาตั้งแต่เด็ก
  • chǎn gin khà-nǒm-phang thúk-wan maa dtâng-dtàae-dèk
  • I have eaten bread every day since I was young.

Future tense

  • ฉันจะกินขนมปังพรุ่งนี้เช้า
  • chǎn jà gin khà-nǒm-phang phrûng-níi-cháo
  • I will eat bread tomorrow morning.

You can see from the sentences above that despite the action taking place at different times, the verb (bolded) is the same in each sentence. In Thai, we use different “time words” (auxiliary verbs or prepositions) to indicate the timing of the action and to provide context. 

2. How to Indicate Time in the Thai Language

In order to indicate the time or context of an action in Thai, you need to know how Thai people express time in sentences. In addition to knowing how to tell the time (whether it’s 6 a.m. or midnight, for example), you should know the vocabulary used to talk about the present, past, and future. 

A. Present 

There are several words used to talk about the present in Thai. We’ve categorized them for you below and provided examples for each one. 

1- Now

ตอนนี้ (dtaawn-níi) is “now” in Thai. This is a safe word choice you can use in almost any situation.

  • ตอนนี้ อากาศที่ลพบุรีร้อนมาก
  • dtaawn-níi aa-gàat thîi lóp-bù-rii ráawn-mâak
  • Now, the weather at Lopburi is very hot.

ขณะนี้ (khà-nà-níi) is another word for “now.” Compared to ตอนนี้ (dtaawn-níi), ขณะนี้ (khà-nà-níi) is more formal. You would usually hear this word in the news, for example.

  • ขณะนี้เวลา 8 นาฬิกา 15 นาที
  • khà-nà-níi wee-laa bpàaet-naa-lí-gaa sìp-hâa-naa-thii
  • Right now, it is 8:15.

เวลานี้ (wee-laa-níi) – “this time” 

  • เวลานี้คือช่วงเวลาที่ดีในการซื้อคอนโด
  • wee-laa-níi khuue chûuang-wee-laa-thîi-dii nai gaan-súue-khaawn-doo
  • Now is a good time to buy a condo.

เดี๋ยวนี้ (dǐiao-níi) – “right now”

  • เธอต้องไปเดี๋ยวนี้เลย ไม่งั้นสาย
  • thooe dtâawng bpai dǐiao-níi looei mâi-ngán sǎai
  • You have to go now or else you will be late.

A Man Looking at His Wristwatch and Hurrying to Work

You have to go now or else you will be late.

2- The current period

ปัจจุบันนี้ (bpàt-jù-ban-níi) – “currently”

  • ปัจจุบันนี้ เกือบทุกคนมีมือถือเป็นของตัวเอง
  • bpàt-jù-ban-níi gùueap-thúk-khon-mii-muue-thǔue-bpen-khǎawng-dtuua-eeng
  • Currently, almost everyone owns a mobile phone.

ช่วงนี้ (chûuang-níi) – “recently”

  • ช่วงนี้ ฉันออกกำลังกายทุกวัน
  • chûuang-níi chǎn-àawk-gam-lang-gaai-thúk-wan
  • As of recently, I exercise every day.

3- Time unit + นี้

Another way you can tell time in the present tense is to use the structure “time unit + นี้” which means “this + time unit” in Thai. Below are a few examples of this structure.

วันนี้ (wan-níi) – “today” 

สัปดาห์นี้ (sàp-daa-níi) – “this week” 

  • สัปดาห์นี้ ฉันงานยุ่งมาก
  • sàp-daa-níi chǎn-ngaan-yûng-mâak
  • This week, I’m very busy.

เดือนนี้ (duuean-níi) – “this month” 

  • เดือนนี้ ฉันอยู่ที่พัทยา
  • duuean-níi chǎn-yùu-thîi-phát-thá-yaa
  • This month, I’m in Pattaya.

ปีนี้ (bpii-níi) – “this year”

  • ปีนี้ มีโรคระบาด
  • bpii-níi mii-rôok-rá-bàat
  • This year, there is an epidemic.

4- ทุก + time unit

You can also use the structure “ทุก + time unit” which means “every time unit” in Thai. Here are some examples:

ทุกวัน (thúk-wan) – “every day”

ทุกวันจันทร์ (thúk-wan-jan) – “every Monday”

  • แม่ไปตลาดทุกวันจันทร์
  • mâae-bpai-dtà-làat-thúk-wan-jan
  • Mom goes to the market every Monday.

ทุก 2 สัปดาห์ (thúk-sàp-daa) – “every week” 

  • น้องสาวของฉันไปร้านหนังสือทุก 2 สัปดาห์
  • náawng-sǎao-khǎawng-chǎn-bpai-ráan-nǎng-sǔue-thúk-sàp-daa
  • My younger sister goes to a bookshop every 2 weeks.

ทุก 3 เดือน (thúk-duuean) – “every month” 

  • คุณยายไปหาหมอทุก 3 เดือน
  • khun-yaai-bpai-hǎa-mǎaw-thúk-sǎam-duuean
  • Grandmother goes to see a doctor every 3 months.

ทุกปี (thúk-bpii) – “every year” 

  • ครอบครัวของเราไปทะเลทุกปี
  • khrâawp-khruua-khǎawng-rao-bpai-thá-lee-thúk-bpii
  • Our family goes to the sea every year.

B. Past 

Just as we saw for the present tense, there are many words we can use to describe past events in Thai. Let’s take a look! 

1- In the past

ในอดีต (nai-à-dìit) means “in the past” in Thai. It refers to any period that took place more than fifty years ago.

  • ในอดีต คนไทยเดินทางโดยเรือเป็นหลัก
  • nai-à-dìit khon-thai-dooen-thaang-dooi-ruuea-bpen-làk
  • In the past, Thai people mainly traveled by boat.
People Selling Produce on the River in the Vietnamese City of Can Tho

In the past, Thai people mainly traveled by boat.

เมื่อก่อน (mûuea-gàawn) is another word for “in the past.” This one is used when referring to past events that took place not as long ago. It’s often used to talk about things that used to happen in the past, but no longer happen nowadays.

  • เมื่อก่อน ฉันเคยไม่กินผัก
  • mûuea-gàawn chǎn-khooei-mâi-gin-phàk
  • In the past, I used to not eat vegetables.

ก่อนหน้านี้ (gaawn-hnaa-nii) means “before this time.” It also refers to a time in the past, but usually in reference to something that has just happened.  

  • ฉันเพิ่งกินมาก่อนหน้านี้เอง
  • chan-phôeng-gin-maa-gàawn-nâa-níi-eeng
  • I just ate before this.

2- เมื่อ + time period

The structure “เมื่อ + time period” can be used to refer to a period of time that has just passed.

เมื่อวาน (mûuea-waan) is “yesterday.” This one is special, as วาน does not mean “day” in Thai.

  • รัมภาเพิ่งกลับจากฮ่องกงเมื่อวาน
  • ram-phaa-phôeng-glàp-jàak-hâwng-gong-mûuea-waan
  • Rampa just came back from Hong Kong yesterday.

เมื่อวานซืน (mûuea-waan-suuen) – “the day before yesterday”

  • ฉันเพิ่งย้ายมาอยู่ที่นี่เมื่อวานซืน
  • chǎn-phôeng-yáai-maa-yùu-thîi-nîi-mûuea-waan-suuen
  • I just moved in here the day before yesterday.

เมื่อเช้า (mûuea-chao) – “this morning” 

  • เมื่อเช้า ฝนตกแรงมาก
  • mûuea-cháo fǒn-dtòk-raaeng-mâak
  • It rained heavily this morning.

เมื่อกลางวัน (mûuea-glaang-wan) – “this afternoon” 

  • ปรางทำกระเป๋าเงินหายเมื่อกลางวัน
  • bpraang-tham-grà-bpǎo-ngoen-hǎai-mûuea-glaang-wan
  • Prang lost her wallet this afternoon.

เมื่อเย็น (mûuea-yen) – “this evening” 

  • ดาวกินเค้กไป 2 ชิ้น เมื่อเย็นที่ผ่านมา
  • Daao-gin-khéek-bpai-sǎawng-chín-mûuea-yen-thîi-phàan-maa
  • Dow ate 2 pieces of cake this past evening.

เมื่อคืน (mûuea-khuuen) – “last night” 

  • เมื่อคืนนี้ ต่ายไปนอนบ้านเพื่อน
  • mûuea-khuuen-níi dtàai-bpai-naawn-bâan-phûuean
  • Last night, Tai slept at her friend’s house.

3- Time unit + ที่แล้ว/ก่อน

The structure “time unit + ที่แล้ว/ก่อน” is like the Thai version of “ago.” Here are some examples:

2 วันก่อน (sǎawng-wan-gàawn) – “2 days ago” 

3 สัปดาห์ที่แล้ว (sǎam-sàp-daa-thîi-láaeo) – “3 weeks ago”

  • พ่อซื้อเสื้อตัวใหม่ให้ฉันเมื่อสามสัปดาห์ที่แล้ว
  • phâaw-súue-sûuea-dtuua-mài-hâi-chǎn-mûuea-sǎam-sàp-daa-thîi-láaeo
  • Dad bought me a new shirt 3 weeks ago.

5 เดือนที่แล้ว (hâa-duuean-thîi-láaeo) – “5 months ago” 

  • ร้านกาแฟนี้เพิ่งเปิดเมื่อห้าเดือนที่แล้ว
  • ráan-gaa-faae-níi-phôeng-bpòet-mûuea-hâa-duuean-thîi-láaeo
  • This coffee shop just opened 5 months ago.

4 ปีก่อน (sìi-bpii-gàawn) – “4 years ago”

  •  ฉันซื้อรถคันนี้เมื่อสี่ปีก่อน
  • chǎn-súue-rót-khan-níi-mûuea-sìi-bpii-gàawn
  • I bought this car 4 years ago.

C. Future 

Now, let’s go over how to talk about the future in Thai. 

1- In the future

ในอนาคต (nai-à-naa-khót) – “in the future” 

  • ในอนาคต น้ำวางแผนจะย้ายมาอยู่เชียงใหม่
  • nai-à-naa-khót náam-waang-phǎaen-jà-yáai-maa-yùu-chiiang-mài
  • In the future, Nam plans to move to Chiangmai.

พรุ่งนี้ (phrûng-níi) – “tomorrow”

  • ฉันหวังว่าฝนจะไม่ตกวันพรุ่งนี้
  • chǎn-wǎng-wâa-fǒn-jà-mâi-dtok-wan-phrûng-níi
  • I hope it will not rain tomorrow.

มะรืนนี้ (má-ruuen-níi) – “the day after tomorrow” 

  • มะรืนนี้ พิมจะสอบเลข
  • má-ruuen-níi phim-jà-sàawp-lêek
  • Pim will have a math test the day after tomorrow.
A Couple of Equations on a Math Test

Pim will have a math test the day after tomorrow.

2- Time unit + ข้างหน้า

The structure “time unit + ข้างหน้า” is like “in ___ time unit” in Thai. Here are some examples for you:

2 ชั่วโมงข้างหน้า (sǎawng-chûua-moong-khâang-nâa) – “in 2 hours” 

  • เธอจะมาถึงในอีกสองชั่วโมงข้างหน้า
  • thooe-jà-maa-thǔeng-nai-ìik-sǎawng-chûua-moong-khâang-nâa
  • She will arrive in 2 hours.

10 วันข้างหน้า (sìp-wan-khâang-nâa) – “in 10 days” 

  • ฉันจะทำให้เสร็จใน 10 วันข้างหน้า
  • chǎn-jà-tham-hâi-sèt-nai-sìp-wan-khâang-nâa
  • I will finish this in 10 days.

7 ปีข้างหน้า (jèt-bpii-khâang-nâa) – “in 7 years” 


3. Auxiliary Verbs and Prepositions

As mentioned above, Thai people also use auxiliary verbs and prepositions to indicate the time of an action. Let’s take a closer look at this through examples.

A- กำลัง

  • Thai pronunciation: gam-lang
  • English meaning: v.ing
  • Word type: auxiliary verb
  • How to use: กำลัง + verb

Explanation:
This word is used to show that the subject is doing the action now. Thus, it implies the present continuous tense.

Example 1:
ณัฐพรกำลังเขียนรายงานภาษาอังกฤษอยู่
nát-thà-phaawn-gam-lang-khǐian-raai-ngaan-phaa-sǎa-ang-grìt-yùu
Nattaporn is now writing an English report.

Example 2:
คุณตากำลังรดน้ำต้นไม้
khun-dtaa-gam-lang-rót-nám-dtôn-mái
Grandfather is watering the trees.

B- เคย

  • Thai pronunciation: khooei
  • English meaning: used to
  • Word type: auxiliary verb
  • How to use: เคย + verb

Explanation:
This one is used to show that the subject used to do a certain action but no longer does that action now. Thus, it implies the past tense.

Example 1:
เมื่อก่อน แม่เคยขับรถไปส่งฉันที่โรงเรียนทุกวัน
mûuea-gàawn mâae-khooei-khàp-rót-bpai-sòng-chǎn-thîi-roong-riian-thúk-wan
Mom used to drive me to school every day in the past.

Example 2:
มีคณาเคยอยู่ที่พัทลุงตอนเด็ก
mii-khá-naa-khooei-yùu-thîi-phát-thá-lung-dtaawn-dèk
Meekhana used to live in Pattalung when she was young.

C- เพิ่ง

  • Thai pronunciation: phôeng
  • English meaning: just
  • Word type: auxiliary verb
  • How to use: เพิ่ง + verb

Explanation:
You can use this word to show that the subject has just completed an action. Thus, it implies the past tense.

Example 1:
นทีเพิ่งอบพิซซ่าเสร็จ รีบมากินเร็ว
ná-thii-phôeng-òp-phít-sâa-sèt rîip-maa-gin-reo
Nathee just finished baking his pizza. Come and eat it quickly.

A Pizza Fresh Out of the Oven

Nathee just finished baking his pizza. Come and eat it quickly.

Example 2:
เขาเพิ่งเริ่มทาสี
khǎo-phôeng-rôoem-thaa-sǐi
He just started painting.

D- จะ

  • Thai pronunciation:
  • English meaning: will
  • Word type: auxiliary verb
  • How to use: จะ + verb

Explanation:
This word is used to show that the subject will do a certain action in the future. Thus, it implies the future tense.

Example 1:
วารีจะไปตราดมะรืนนี้
waa-rii-jà-bpai-dtràat-má-ruuen-níi
Waree will go to Trad the day after tomorrow.

Example 2:
เตารีดที่บ้านเพิ่งเสีย พ่อจะไปซื้อเตารีดใหม่เย็นนี้
dtao-rîit-thîi-bâan-phôeng-sǐia phâaw-jà-bpai-súue-dtao-rîit-mài-yen-níi
The iron at my home just broke. Dad will go buy a new one this evening.

E- ตั้งแต่

  • Thai pronunciation: dtâng-dtàae
  • English meaning: since
  • Word type: preposition
  • How to use: ตั้งแต่ + starting time

Explanation:
This preposition is used to emphasize the starting time of an action that the subject has been doing. Thus, it implies a perfect tense.

Example 1:
ฉันย้ายมาอยู่ที่ภูเก็ตตั้งแต่ 2009
chǎn-yáai-ma-yùu-thîi-phuu-gèt-dtâng-dtàae-bpii-sǎawng-phan-gâo
I have moved to Phuket and lived here since 2009.

Example 2:
แม่ทำงานเป็นนักบัญชีตั้งแต่อายุ 25 ปี
mâae-tham-ngaan-bpen-nák-ban-chii-dtâng-dtâae-aa-yú-yîi-sìp-hâa-bpii
Mom has worked as an accountant since she was 25 years old.

F- มา

  • Thai pronunciation: maa
  • English meaning: for
  • Word type: preposition
  • How to use: มา + length of time

Explanation:
This one is used to tell how long the subject has been doing a certain action. Thus, it implies a perfect tense.

Example 1:
กฤษณาวาดภาพเป็นงานอดิเรกมา 10 ปีแล้ว
grìt-sà-nǎ-wâat-phâap-bpen-ngaan-à-dì-rèek-maa-sìp-bpii-láaeo
Kritsana has been drawing as a hobby for 10 years now.

Example 2:  
ฤดีกรไม่สบาย จึงไม่ได้ไปเรียนมา 1 สัปดาห์แล้ว
rúe-dii-gaawn-mâi-sà-baai jueng-mâi-dâi-bpai-riian-maa-nùeng-sàp-daa-láaeo
Ruedeekorn is sick. She hasn’t gone to school for a week now.

4. Conclusion

By now, I bet you feel that this was one of the easiest Thai grammar lessons ever! As long as you keep practicing, it won’t take very long for you to master the essential skill of talking about the past, present, and future in Thai. 

What tenses are there in your native language, and how do they work? Do you think that the Thai way of indicating time is easier or harder? 

We hope you enjoyed this lesson! If you’d like to continue studying with ThaiPod101.com, we have a few fun recommendations for you:

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Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Thai

How Long Does it Take to Learn Thai?

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If you’re like most aspiring language learners, you’ve probably asked this all-too-common question at some point: How long does it take to learn Thai? 

Thai is not an easy language to learn, especially for a native English speaker. You’ll have to learn a whole new reading and writing system, study a new set of grammar rules, and—most difficult of all—get the hang of Thai pronunciation. Fortunately, the grammar part is pretty simple as there’s no verb conjugation to worry about (tense, mood, and gender play no role here).  

Taking the language’s difficulty into consideration, what kind of time commitment should you expect? 

In this article, we’ll take a look at the three different levels of Thai fluency: beginner, intermediate, and advanced. For each level, we will provide a list of abilities the learner should have at that stage (based on the CU-TFL test for non-native speakers). In addition, we’ll talk about the different factors that can influence your progress and give you tips on how to learn the Thai language faster. 

Let’s go!

How Long Does It Take to Learn Thai?
Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Thai Table of Contents
  1. Factors That Affect Your Thai Language Learning
  2. How Long Does it Take to Achieve Beginner Level?
  3. How Long Does it Take to Achieve Intermediate Level?
  4. How Long Does it Take to Achieve Advanced Level?
  5. Conclusion

1. Factors That Affect Your Thai Language Learning

Before we get ahead of ourselves, you should know that there’s no concrete answer regarding how long it takes to learn Thai. There are many factors that can affect your Thai learning progress:

  • Where you live.

    If you live in Thailand or visit the country often, you’ll naturally become more familiar with the Thai language. This frequent exposure will help you pick up basic words and phrases, and get you acquainted with Thai pronunciation.
  • Whether you have Thai people in your life.

    One of the best ways to gain Thai speaking skills is to practice with native speakers. If you have family members, friends, or colleagues who are Thai, you can pick up the language much more quickly!
  • Your reasons for learning the language.

    Why are you learning Thai? If you chose to learn Thai for personal reasons, such as interest in the culture or a loved one who speaks the language, you’re more likely to learn it well!
  • Your opportunities to use Thai.

    The more you use the language, the better your language skills will become. By practicing what you learn, you’re allowing yourself to internalize the information and concepts—the ultimate key to success!
  • Your learning ability.

    Is langu1age learning your specialty, or are you better at math and science? Are you a fast learner in general? How’s your memory? Your learning experience and abilities have a massive effect on how long it will take you to learn Thai.
  • Your learning resources and methods.

    Who’s teaching you Thai? What materials are you using? Having good Thai learning resources for your studies is like having a good car for driving: It will help you get to your destination faster and with fewer issues.

To put it simply: If you’re in a good environment for learning Thai, you can learn it faster.

2. How Long Does it Take to Achieve Beginner Level?

So, how long does it take to learn basic Thai? 

It should take around 500 hours (20 weeks if you study 25 hours a week).  

Thai Skills Needed for Beginner Level

In order to reach the beginner level, there are a few skills you’ll need to master. 

Reading: 

  • Memorize all characters of the Thai script. 
  • Memorize the vocabulary used in daily life.
  • Understand basic phrases and sentences. 
  • Read and understand signs written in basic language.
  • Understand basic written orders and instructions.
  • Understand vocabulary associated with the characteristics of objects, people, and places.

Listening: 

  • Understand short, simple sentences.
  • Understand the phrases used in day-to-day conversations.
  • Memorize key phrases used during social interactions.

Speaking: 

  • Use simple words and sentence structures to make basic conversation. 
  • Communicate effectively in daily life.

Writing: 

  • Write simple words, phrases, or sentences used in daily life.
  • You tend to use the same simple sentence structures over and over again.
  • You will probably make a lot of spelling and spacing mistakes.  

Learning Tips for Beginners

500 hours is a long time! But luckily for you, we’re here with some tips on how to learn basic Thai more effectively. 

  • Memorize all 44 consonants and 21 vowels early on.

    Instead of learning with romanization, you should learn all of the Thai characters right from the start. Doing so will make Thai pronunciation easier for you to master. A great way to really internalize them is to listen to and repeat after the alphabet songs Thai children listen to.
  • Practice the five tones.

    The hardest part of learning Thai is the pronunciation, especially when it comes to the tones. In Thai, the consonant and vowel sounds combine with one of five tones in order to form different words. Practicing these five tones early on will help you become familiar with them from the start, and help you make faster progress later on!
  • Memorize the most important vocabulary used in daily life.

    Beginner-level students should be able to make and understand day-to-day conversations, so it’s very important to remember key vocabulary. Using flashcards and trying to remember words and phrases based on category is a great idea at this point.
  • Listen to Thai songs.

    Listening to Thai songs is a great way to become familiar with the pronunciation, even if you can’t understand the lyrics. This is an enjoyable study method that you can do at the same time as other activities: during your morning routine, on the way to work, while exercising, etc. It won’t take long for you to find yourself pleasantly surprised at how much vocabulary you’ve picked up through songs!
I Love Thai Songs.
  • Watch educational kids’ shows or cartoons.

    Even Thai children pick up the language through educational shows and cartoons, which makes this a wonderful learning resource for non-native beginners.
  • Read kids’ tales or stories.

    Stories for children are often written using simple language, which makes them good for both reading and pronunciation practice.

How ThaiPod101 Can Help

ThaiPod101.com is the best place to learn Thai online. In addition to our recommended lesson pathways for beginners, we have plenty of fun and effective resources you can take advantage of from Day One! 

  • Our Thai Alphabet Video

    If you’ve just started learning Thai, we recommend beginning with our Thai alphabet video. As mentioned earlier, learning the Thai alphabet should be your first priority as this will speed up your progress and make your continued studies easier. We have a few lessons and articles on our website covering this topic, but many new students benefit from visual and auditory learning. Click the link above to visit our Thai alphabet video on YouTube!
  • ThaiPod101 YouTube Channel

    Speaking of YouTube, have you been to our channel? We provide fun, engaging content on a range of topics, from vocabulary and pronunciation to culture!
  • Flashcards

    Wondering how to learn Thai vocabulary effectively? Use the spaced repetition flashcards on our website to memorize new words and phrases via a proven method!
  • Painless Thai Grammar

    Our Painless Thai Grammar lesson is the perfect place to get some useful tips on how to learn the more difficult grammar concepts. However, we also have tons of other lessons on various Thai grammar points! You may find it useful to write three original sentences after each lesson, applying the concept(s) you just learned; this will help you ensure you understood the lesson correctly.
  • Introduction to Thai Writing

    If you aren’t sure how to learn Thai writing, we recommend visiting our Introduction to Thai Writing page. Here, you’ll find all of the information you need to know as a beginner. Learning to write in Thai will be even easier with the help of a native speaker, so you may want to upgrade to Premium PLUS and utilize our MyTeacher service. This way, you can practice writing sentences and then send them to your personal teacher for feedback!
Write Three Original Sentences for Your Teacher.
  • Ultimate Thai Pronunciation Guide

    Another page you should visit is our Ultimate Thai Pronunciation Guide. This lesson will provide you with all of the basics you need to know, so you can get a good headstart on your learning. It will be hard to get the pronunciation and tones correct by yourself, so you should record yourself speaking and send the audio to your teacher for feedback.

3. How Long Does it Take to Achieve Intermediate Level?

How long does it take to learn intermediate-level Thai? It should take around 1,100 hours (44 weeks if you study 25 hours a week). Following is a breakdown of what you should know… 

Thai Skills Needed for Intermediate Level

To complete the intermediate level, here are the Thai language skills you need to have. 

Reading:

  • Understand short essays or stories on topics that interest you (or that you’re specialized in) with long and complicated sentences.   
  • Identify the main idea of an essay or story. 
  • Understand the context of a sentence.

Listening:  

  • Understand stories when spoken in a clear fashion at normal speed.
  • You might still be unable to understand long and complicated stories.

Speaking: 

  • Use both formal and informal language when speaking, and offer opinions on topics that are familiar to you.
  • Communicate with Thai people on less-familiar topics (though you might struggle) and use some non-verbal language.

Writing:  

  • Write essays with a good flow in terms of time, ideas, and logic.
  • Use conjunctions in essays and other texts.
  • Describe, explain, and give information via writing.
  • You might still make some mistakes in spelling, spacing, and word choice.

Learning Tips for Intermediate-Level Students

Reaching this level is a huge time commitment, but we have a few tips on how to learn Thai more quickly. 

  • Read short stories or essays on topics that interest you.

    To write well, you should start by reading so you become more familiar with sentence structure and how to use conjunctions. By reading stories or essays that match your interests, you’ll make the process more enjoyable and might be able to memorize even more vocabulary.
  • Translate short stories or essays.

    This will allow you to pick up more useful vocabulary and become familiar with things like conjunctions and essay structures. As with the tip above, you should make sure to pick short stories or essays on topics that fascinate you. For example, if you like cooking, try translating your special recipe into Thai.
  • Watch Thai TV shows, movies, or dramas.

    Watching Thai TV shows, movies, or dramas is a great way to practice listening and become more familiar with how Thai people speak in various situations.
Thai Movies Are Fun.

How ThaiPod101 Can Help 

ThaiPod101.com has plenty of useful resources for intermediate learners, too! Here are just a few recommended pages and tools for you. 

  • 5 Tips to Reach Intermediate Level 

    If you’re feeling stuck at the beginner stage, listen to these five tips from Alisha on how to finally move forward to the intermediate level.
  • Intermediate-Level YouTube Videos

    Of course, our YouTube channel features plenty of fun and educational videos designed for intermediate-level learners. Check it out!

4. How Long Does it Take to Achieve Advanced Level?

To become completely fluent in Thai, you’ll need to put in a whopping 2,500 hours (100 weeks if you study 25 hours a week). Here’s everything you should know about reaching the advanced level. 

Thai Skills Needed for Advanced Level

Reading:

  • Understand both academic and non-academic texts on a variety of topics, featuring both complex and simple sentences. 
  • Know and be able to use Thai idioms, proverbs, and other sayings that aren’t used much in daily life.

Listening: 

  • Understand both academic and non-academic stories, even when the speaker talks quickly. 
  • Understand the tone of the speaker and the cultural/societal context within the story. 

Speaking: 

  • Use formal/informal language as required by the situation. 
  • Communicate well on a variety of topics. 
  • Give explanations and opinions, influence and persuade others, and make compromises. 
  • Use all Thai vocabulary and grammar correctly, including slang, idioms, and proverbs.
  • Have a good understanding of Thai culture and apply this to your speech. 

Writing:

  • Write essays on various topics.
  • Explain, discuss, share opinions, and do creative writing.
  • Use suitable words and sentence structures, as well as idioms, proverbs, and other Thai sayings.
  • Write essays with good flow in terms of time, ideas, and logic, with a solid conclusion at the end.

Learning Tips for Advanced Students

  • Read and summarize academic essays.

    You likely have no problem with non-academic topics at this point, so you should focus on the academic part. By reading and summarizing essays written in Thai, you can learn new words and structures and practice writing.
  • Watch or listen to Thai news.

    Listening to something more formal like the news will help you become familiar with academic vocabulary that’s less common in daily life.
  • Watch Thai TV shows, movies, or dramas in various genres.

    Watching Thai movies and shows is a great way to practice your listening and become more familiar with Thai culture. It will also expose you to various Thai accents, and give you a better idea of how idioms and proverbs are used in different contexts.
  • Debate on various topics.

    Try debating with your Thai friends on various topics. This will help you practice explaining concepts, giving your opinions, influencing others, persuading your audience, and making compromises.
Let’s Debate on Which Is the Healthier Way to Cook: Boiling or Steaming?

How ThaiPod101 Can Help

  • Conversation Starters for Advanced Listeners

    Knowing how to start and hold conversations is a crucial skill for advanced-level learners. In our Conversation Starters for Advanced Learners series, you can listen to various Thai-related stories to improve your listening and speaking skills.
  • Must-Know Thai Slang Words & Phrases

    Knowing how to use slang, idioms, and proverbs is a major step forward. In our Must-Know Thai Slang Words & Phrases series, you’ll be able to learn phrases you wouldn’t find in a textbook—from sayings about personalities and electronics, to words you can use to sound cuter!
  • Advanced-Level YouTube Videos

    Finally, our YouTube channel has plenty of videos geared toward advanced-level learners. Pick up more complex phrases and sentences, dive deeper into various grammar concepts, discover more about Thai culture, and have fun the entire time!

Conclusion

By this point, we’re sure that you have a better idea of how long it takes to learn Thai. What are your thoughts on the topic? If you’ve already started learning Thai, please comment below to let your fellow language learners know how long it took you to get where you are!

Since you’re reading this article, you’re surely interested in the Thai language and/or culture. ThaiPod101.com has an array of fun but practical lessons and materials you’re sure to enjoy going through! Create your free lifetime account today to get the most out of your time studying with us, and see your progress soar.

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The Top 30 Thai Proverbs and Sayings

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Thai people have been using metaphors in day-to-day life for a very long time, so it’s not surprising that proverbs are so prominent in the Thai language today. As a learner of the language, you can greatly benefit from studying Thai proverbs. Doing so will not only help you sound more like a native speaker, but it will also give you more insight into Thai culture and the way Thai people think. 

In this lesson, we’ll go over the characteristics of Thai proverbs and present you with a list of the top thirty Thai proverbs and sayings you should learn. Each proverb on our list is accompanied by a detailed explanation and an example of how to use it properly. 

Enjoy!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Thai Table of Contents
  1. An Introduction to Thai Proverbs
  2. Good Doctrines
  3. Things You Should Do
  4. Things You Shouldn’t Do
  5. Conclusion

1. An Introduction to Thai Proverbs 

To begin, let’s break down the Thai word for “proverb”: สุภาษิต (sù-phaa-sìt).

  • สุ () – good
  • ภาษิต (phaa-sìt) – educational phrases that have been passed down from generation to generation

So literally, สุภาษิต (sù-phaa-sìt) refers to a good phrase that has been used to teach people for a long time.

A สุภาษิต (sù-phaa-sìt) is a metaphor that’s used to teach people so that they learn and become better. It’s often written in rhyme, making it easy to remember. 

In Thai, idioms and proverbs are very similar. Because they’re both metaphors, Thai people have a hard time differentiating between the two and often group them together as สำนวนสุภาษิตไทย (sǎm-nuuan-sù-phaa-sìt-thai). One trick you can use is to ask, “Can you use this phrase to teach people or not?” If you can, then it’s a สุภาษิต (sù-phaa-sìt), or Thai proverb. If you can’t, then it’s just a Thai idiom, or สำนวนไทย (sǎm-nuuan-thai).

In the following section, you’ll learn a variety of Thai proverbs and sayings. We’ve included the literal translation of each proverb, as well as a close English proverb and an explanation of how to use it. These proverbs are divided into three categories: 

  • Good Doctrines
  • Things You Should Do
  • Things You Shouldn’t Do 

Let’s get to it! 

2. Good Doctrines

Here are several Thai proverbs about life and how to live well. 

1 – คุณค่าของคนอยู่ที่ผลงาน

  • Pronunciation: khun-khâa-khǎawng-khon-yùu-thîi-phǒn-ngaan
  • Literal translation: The value of a man comes from his works.
  • Close English proverb: A man of word, not a man of deed, is like a garden full of weeds.

Explanation:
We determine the value of a person’s life based on their actions and the results of those actions. This expression is used to teach people to work diligently and not just lay around all the time. When you work, you get something from it; if you don’t work, it lessens the value of your life.

Example:
คุณค่าของคนอยู่ที่ผลงาน ถ้าไม่ตั้งใจทำงาน เอาแต่เที่ยวเล่น เธอก็จะกลายเป็นคนไม่มีค่า
khun-khâa-khǎawng-khon-yùu-thîi-phǒn-ngaan thâa-mâi-dtâng-jai-tham-ngaan ao-dtàae-thîiao-lên thooe-gâaw-jà-glaai-bpen-khon-mâi-mii-khâa
The value of a man comes from his/her actions. If you don’t pay attention to work, only to partying and drinking, you become worthless.

2 – สำเนียงส่อภาษา กริยาส่อสกุล

  • Pronunciation: sǎm-niiang-sàaw-phaa-sǎa-gì-rí-yaa-sàaw-sà-gun
  • Literal translation: The accent implies your language and the manner implies your clan.
  • Close English proverb: Good manners are part and parcel of a good education.

Explanation:
This Thai proverb means that the way you speak and act reflects how you were raised. It shows whether your parents took care of you and taught you properly. This proverb also reflects the importance of the family unit in Thai society.

Example:
ลูกควรจะพูดจาให้สุภาพตลอดเวลา เพราะ สำเนียงส่อภาษา กริยาส่อสกุล ถ้าพูดจาหยาบคาย คนอื่นจะหาว่า พ่อแม่ไม่สั่งสอนได้
lûuk-khuuan-jà-phûut-jaa-hâi-sù-phâap-dtà-làawt-wee-laa phráw sǎm-niiang-sàaw-phaa-sǎa-gì-rí- yaa-sàaw-sà-gun thâa-phûut-ja-yàap-khaai khon-ùuen-jà-hǎa-wâa-phâaw-mâae-mâi-sàng-šaawn dâai
[speaking to your child] You should speak politely all the time because the way you speak and act reflects how you are being raised. If you speak rudely, others will say that you are not being raised well by your parents.

3 – ไม่มีอะไรสายเกินแก้

  • Pronunciation: mai-mii-à-rai-sǎai-gooen-gâae
  • Literal translation: Nothing is too late to mend.
  • Close English proverb: It is never too late to mend.

Explanation: 
Everybody makes mistakes. This Thai proverb aims to encourage people to fix their mistakes.

Example:
ถึงเธอจะเคยทำตัวไม่ดี แต่เธอก็สามารถปรับปรุงตัวได้ ไม่มีอะไรสายเกินแก้
thǔeng-thooe-jà-khooei-tham-dtuua-mâi-dii dtàae-thooe-gâaw-sǎa-mâat-bpràp-bprung-dtuua-dâai mâi- mii-à-rai-sǎai-gooen-gâae
Despite being bad before, you can improve. Nothing is too late to mend.

4 – ความพยายามอยู่ที่ไหน ความสำเร็จอยู่ที่นั้น

  • Pronunciation: khwaam-phá-yaa-yaam-yùu-thîi-nǎi khwaam-sǎm-rèt-yùu-thîi-nân
  • Literal translation: Where there is an effort, there is a success.
  • Close English proverb: Where there is a will, there is a way.

Explanation:
This Thai proverb means that if you try hard, you’ll be successful. It aims to teach people not to give up easily as everything in life has its challenges.

Example:  
ถึงมันจะยาก แต่ฉันจะทำให้ได้ ความพยายามอยู่ที่ไหน ความสำเร็จอยู่ที่นั่น
thǔeng-man-jà-yâak dtàae-chǎn-jà-tham-hâi-dâai khwaam-phá-yaa-yaam-yùu-thîi-nǎi khwaam-sǎm- rèt-yùu-thîi-nân
Despite it being hard, I will do it. If I try hard, I will be able to do it.

5 – ทำดีได้ดี ทำชั่วได้ชั่ว

  • Pronunciation: tham-dii-dâai-dii tham-chûua-dâai-chûua
  • Literal translation: If you do good, good things come to you. If you do bad, bad things come to you.
  • Close English proverb: What goes around comes around.

Explanation:  
This saying, influenced by Buddhist doctrine, encourages people to always do good things.

Example:  
ถึงแม้จะไม่มีใครเห็น เธอก็ไม่ควรทำสิ่งที่ผิด เพราะ ทำดีได้ดี ทำชั่วได้ชั่ว
thǔeng-máae-jà-mâi-mii-khrai-hěn thooe-gâaw-mâi-khuuan-tham-sìng-thîi-phìt phráw tham-dii-dâai-dii tham-chûua-dâai-chûua
Even though no one will see, you shouldn’t do the wrong thing because if you do good, good things come to you and vice-versa.

6 – คบคนพาล พาลไปหาผิด คบบัณฑิต บัณฑิตพาไปหาผล

  • Pronunciation: khóp-khon-phaan phaan-bpai-hǎa-phìt khóp-ban-dìt ban-dìt-phaa-bpai-haa-phǒn
  • Literal translation: If you have bad friends, they lead you to bad. If you have graduated friends, they lead you to good.
  • Close English proverb: Tell me who your friends are, and I will tell you who you are.

Explanation:  
This Thai proverb means that bad friends will influence you to do bad things, while good friends will influence you to do good things. It aims to teach people that friends or other people you spend time with influence you. If you want to be good and successful, spend time with good people.

Example:  
เวลาคบเพื่อน ให้เลือกคบเพื่อนที่ตั้งใจเรียนนะคะ คบคนพาล พาลไปหาผิด คบบัณฑิต บัณฑิตพาไปหาผล
wee-laa-khóp-phûuean hâi-lûueak-khóp-phûuean-thîi-dtâng-jai-riian-ná-khá khóp-khon-phaan phaan- bpai-hǎa-phìt khóp-ban-dìt ban-dìt-phaa-bpai-hǎa-phǒn
When making friends, choose people who pay attention in class. If you have good friends, they influence you to do good things and vice-versa.

3. Things You Should Do

Now that we’ve gone over a few general sayings about how to live life well, let’s look at some common Thai proverbs that talk about what you should do to be successful. 

7 – นกน้อยทำรังแต่พอตัว

  • Pronunciation: nók-náauy-tham-rang-dtàae-phaaw-dtuua
  • Literal translation: A small bird builds its nest big enough for itself.
  • Close English proverb: Cut your coat according to your clothes.

Explanation:  
This Thai proverb means that you should only buy things you can afford.

Example:  
แม่ว่าหนูซื้อรถรุ่นนี้ก็พอ รุ่นนั้นแพงเกินไป นกน้อยทำรังแต่พอตัวนะจ๊ะ
mâae-wâa-nǔu-súue-rót-rûn-níi-gâaw-phaaw rûn-nán-phaaeng-gooen-bpai nók-náauy-tham-rang- dtàae-phaaw-dtuua ná-já
[mother talking to daughter] I think you should buy this model (car). That model is too expensive. You should buy things based on the amount of money you have.

8 – พูดไปสองไพเบี้ย นิ่งเสียตำลึงทอง

  • Pronunciation: phûut-bpai-sǎawng-phai-bîia nîng-sǐia-dtam-lueng-thaawng
  • Literal translation: Speaking lost two silvers, being silent got one gold.
  • Close English proverb: Silence is golden.

Explanation:  
Sometimes, staying silent is better or more appropriate than speaking out.

Example:  
เขากำลังโกรธ พูดไปก็สองไพเบี้ย นิ่งเสียตำลึงทอง รอเขาอารมณ์ดีก่อนดีกว่า
khǎo-gam-lang-gròot phûut-bpai-gâaw-sǎawng-phai-bîia nîng-sǐia-dtam-lueng-thaawng raaw-khǎo- aa-rom-dii-gàawn-dii-gwàa
He is angry now. It is not good to speak now, so you better stay silent and wait until he is in a good mood.

Silence Is Golden

9 – เข้าเมืองตาหลิ่ว ให้หลิ่วตาตาม

  • Pronunciation: khâo-muueang-dtaa-lìu hai-lìu-dtaa-dtaam
  • Literal translation: Go into the city where people look with one eye, and follow them by looking with one eye.
  • Close English proverb: When in Rome, do as the Romans do.

Explanation:  
This Thai proverb encourages us to act as most people do in a given society. When you go to a new place, you should follow the customs and actions of the people there.

Example:  
เข้าเมืองตาหลิ่ว ให้หลิ่วตาตาม ตอนนี้มาอยู่ที่อเมริกาแล้ว จะกินข้าวทุกมื้อก็คงจะไม่สะดวก
khâo-muueang-dtaa-lìu hai-lìu-dtaa-dtaam dtaawn-níi-maa-yùu-thîi-a-mee-rí-gaa-láaeo jà-gin- khâao-thúk-múue-gâaw-khong-jà-mâi-sà-dùuak
You should act as most people do in society. Now that you are in America, eating rice with every meal would be inconvenient.

10 – กันไว้ดีกว่าแก้

  • Pronunciation: gan-wái-dii-gwàa-gâae
  • Literal translation: Prevent is better than repair. 
  • Close English proverb: Prevention is better than a cure.

Explanation:  
This Thai proverb means that it’s better to prevent problems from happening than to solve them. It emphasizes the importance of prevention and preparation, as many problems won’t happen (or have a lesser chance of happening) if you take action in advance.

Example:  
ไปดูทีว่าปิดประตูบ้านดีหรือยัง กันไว้ดีกว่าแก้นะ
bpai-duu-thii-wâa-bpìt-bprà-dtuu-bâan-dii-rúue-yang gan-wái-dii-gwàa-gâae-ná
Go check whether the door is locked properly or not. It is better to prevent problems from happening.

11 – เข้าเถื่อนอย่าลืมพร้า

  • Pronunciation: khâo-thùuean-yàa-luuem-phráa
  • Literal translation: Don’t forget to bring a knife when you go to the jungle.

Explanation:  
This is just another way of saying, “Don’t be reckless.” You have to prepare yourself before doing things.

Example:  
พรุ่งนี้เธอจะเดินทางแล้ว เตรียมตัวหรือยัง เข้าเถื่อนอย่าลืมพร้านะ
phrûng-níi-thooe-jà-dooen-thaang-láaeo dtriiam-dtuua-rǔue-yang khâo-thùuean-yàa-luuem-phráa ná
Tomorrow, you will go traveling. Are you prepared? Don’t be reckless.

12 – คบคนให้ดูหน้า ซื้อผ้าให้ดูเนื้อ

  • Pronunciation: khóp-khon-hâi-duu-nâa súue-phâa-hâi-duu-núuea
  • Literal translation: Look at the face before making a friend with someone, like looking at the cloth itself before buying the clothes.

Explanation:  
There are good people and bad people in society. You should determine whether or not a person is good before becoming friends with them.

Example:  
คบคนให้ดูหน้า ซื้อผ้าให้ดูเนื้อ ฉันว่าคนนั้นพูดจาหยาบคาย เราอย่าไปยุ่งกับเขาเลย
khóp-khon-hâi-duu-nâa súue-phâa-hâi-duu-núuea chǎn-wâa-khon-nán-phûut-jaa-yàap-khaai rao- yàa-bpai-yûng-gàp-khǎo-looei
We have to think before making friends with someone. That person speaks rudely. We shouldn’t associate ourselves with him.

You Should Make Friends with Good People.

13 – ช้า ๆ ได้พร้าเล่มงาม

  • Pronunciation: cháa-cháa-dâai-phráa-lêm-ngaam
  • Literal translation: Slowly to get beautiful knife
  • Close English proverb: Haste makes waste.

Explanation:  
When you do things, you should take the time to do them carefully. The metaphor refers to how you can only make a good knife by taking your time.

Example:  
จะทำงานศิลปะต้องค่อย ๆ ทำถึงจะได้งานที่สวย ช้า ๆ ได้พร้าเล่มงาม
jà-tham-ngaan-sǐn-lá-bpà-dtâawng-khâauy-khâauy-tham-thǔeng-jà-dâai-ngaan-thîi-sǔuai cháa-cháa- dâai-phráa-lêm-ngaam
When you do artwork, you have to do it slowly to get beautiful work. When you do things, you shouldn’t rush; instead, take the time to do it carefully.

14 – น้ำขึ้นให้รีบตัก

  • Pronunciation: náam-khûuen-hâi-rîip-dtàk
  • Literal translation: Quickly fetch the water during the rising tide.

Explanation:  
This Thai proverb means that you should take advantage of opportunities as they arise.

Example:  
ช่วงนี้ ฉันเปิดร้านเร็วกว่าปกติ 1 ชั่วโมง เพราะ คนมาเที่ยวเยอะ น้ำขึ้นต้องรีบตัก
chûuang-níi chǎn-bpòoet-ráan-reo-gwàa-bpòk-gà-dti-nùeng-chûua-moong phráw khon-maa-thîiao-yóe náam-khûen-hâi-rîip-dtàk
Recently, I opened my shop one hour earlier than usual because there are a lot of travelers. I have to take a chance when I have one.

15 – อยู่บ้านท่านอย่านิ่งดูดาย ปั้นวัวปั้นควายให้ลูกท่านเล่น

  • Pronunciation: yùu-bâan-thâan-yàa-nîng-duu-daai bpân-wuua-bpân-khwaai-hâi-lûuk-thâan-lên
  • Literal translation: Don’t do nothing in another’s home; make a cow doll for their child.

Explanation:  
This Thai proverb means that if you live in another person’s house, you should help them. If someone lets you live with them for free, it’s good manners to help them out around the house.

Example:  
ไปพักอยู่บ้านคุณป้าก็ช่วยคุณป้าทำงานบ้านบ้างนะ อยู่บ้านท่านอย่านิ่งดูดาย ปั้นวัวปั้นควายให้ลูกท่านเล่น
bpai-phák-yùu-bâan-khun-bpâa-gâaw-chûuay-khun-bpâa-tham-ngaan-bâan-bâang-ná yùu-bâan- thâan-yàa-nîng-duu-daai bpân-wuua-bpân-khwaai-hâi-lûuk-thâan-lên
Once you live with your aunt, you should help do some of the housework. If you live in another person’s house, you should help them.

Help Your Aunt do Some Housework

16 – เอาใจเขามาใส่ใจเรา

  • Pronunciation: ao-jai-khǎo-maa-sài-jai-rao
  • Literal translation: Put his/her heart into our heart

Explanation:  
This saying means that you should think of others, and pay attention to how they think and feel.

Example:  
ถ้าจะอยู่ด้วยกัน ก็ต้องเอาใจเขามาใส่ใจเรา
thâa-jà-yùu-dûuai-gan gâaw-dtâawng-ao-jai-khǎo-maa-sài-jai-rao
If you want to live together, you have to think of one another.

4. Things You Shouldn’t Do

To conclude our list of popular Thai proverbs, let’s look at some words of wisdom on how not to act. 

17 – หมากัดอย่ากัดตอบ

  • Pronunciation: mǎa-gàt-yàa-gàt-dtàawp 
  • Literal translation: Dog bites, don’t bite back.

Explanation:  
This Thai proverb means that you shouldn’t lower yourself to a bad person’s level in order to fight back. Thai people view those who do bad things or act inappropriately as lower-class people. By doing the same action those people do, you lower yourself. So even when you’re angry at how someone hurt you, you should avoid hurting them back.

Example:  
ถึงเขาจะพูดจาหยาบคายใส่เรา แต่เราต้องไม่พูดจาหยาบคายกลับไป หมากัดอย่ากัดตอบ
thǔeng-khǎo-jà-phûut-jaa-yàap-khaai-sài-rao dtàae-rao-dtâawng-mâi-phûut-jaa-yàap-khaai-glàp-bpai mǎa-gàt-yàa-gàt-dtàawp
Although he talked to us rudely, we must not speak rudely back. Don’t do bad things in order to fight back against bad people.

18 – กินบนเรือนขี้บนหลังคา

  • Pronunciation: gin-bon-ruuean-khîi-bon-lǎng-khaa
  • Literal translation: Eat in the house and then poop on the roof.
  • Close English proverb: Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.

Explanation:  
This Thai proverb refers to a situation where someone is being unthankful and doing harm to people who are good to them and have helped them before. It encourages us to be thankful to parents, teachers, and our benefactors.

Example:  
คนที่กินบนเรือนขี้ยนหลังคาเป็นคนที่คบไม่ได้
khon-thîi-gin-bon-ruuean-khîi-bon-lǎng-khaa-bpen-khon-thîi-khóp-mâi-dâai
People who are unthankful and doing harm to people who are good to them shouldn’t be associated with.

19 – สาวไส้ให้กากิน

  • Pronunciation: sǎao-sâi-hâi-gaa-gin
  • Literal translation: Pull the intestine out for the crow to eat.
  • Close English proverb: Don’t wash dirty linen in public

Explanation:  
This saying refers to a situation where someone reveals a bad secret concerning family or friends to others. You shouldn’t tell secrets (bad things) about people who are close to you.

Example:  
เรื่องทะเลาะกันของพี่น้อง อย่าเล่าให้คนอื่นฟัง จะเป็นการสาวไส้ให้กากิน
rûueang-thá-láw-gan-khǎawng-phîi-náawng yàa-lâo-hâi-khon-ùuen-fang jà-bpen-gaan-sǎao-sâi-hâi- gaa-gin
You shouldn’t tell others about a fight between siblings. It’s like revealing bad things about your family to others.

20 – หาเหาใส่หัว / แกว่งเท้าหาเสี้ยน

  • Pronunciation: hǎa-hǎo-sài-hǔa / gwàaeng-tháo-hǎa-sîian
  • Literal translation: Find the louse and put it on the head. / Sway your feet for the bur.
  • Close English proverb: Let a sleeping dog lie.

Explanation:  
Both of these Thai proverbs encourage us not to interfere in a situation that’s already good enough, because it can lead to more problems.

Example 1:  
รู้ก็รู้ว่าเพื่อนทำผิด ยังจะไปช่วยอีก หาเหาใส่หัวชัด ๆ
rúu-gâaw-rúu-wâa-phûuean-tham-phìt yang-jà-bpai-chûuay-ìik hǎa-hǎo-sài-hǔua-chát-chát
You know that your friend did a bad thing but you still helped him. You just found yourself a problem.

Example 2:  
อย่าแกว่งเท้าหาเสี้ยนเลย แม่ขอร้อง
yàa-gwàaeng-tháo-hǎa-sîian-looei mâae-khǎaw-ráawng
[mother speaking to her children] I beg you, don’t do things that will bring problems.

21 – วัวหายล้อมคอก

  • Pronunciation: wuua-hǎai-láawm-khâawk
  • Literal translation: Making a stall after the cow is lost
  • Close English proverb: Locking the stable door after the horse is stolen

Explanation:  
This Thai proverb means that you shouldn’t wait to take action until after the problem arises, because it’s then useless. You should rather prevent the problem from happening in the first place. There’s no point in taking preventative measures afterward, because you can’t bring back what you already lost.

Example:  
ผมว่าหน้าต่างบ้านคุณดูไม่แข็งแรงเลย น่าจะเปลี่ยนใหม่นะ อย่ารอจนวัวหายแล้วค่อยล้อมคอก
phǒm-wâa-nâa-dtâang-bâan-khun-duu-mâi-khǎaeng-raaeng-looei nâa-jàa-bplìian-mài-ná yàa- raaw-jon-wuua-hǎai-láaeo-khâauy-láawm-khâawk
I don’t think your window is in good condition. You better change it. Don’t wait until the damage is already done to take some action.

22 – จับปลาสองมือ

  • Pronunciation: jàp-bplaa-sǎawng-muue
  • Literal translation: Catch fish with one hand at the same time
  • Close English proverb: He who hunts two hares, leaves one and loses another.

Explanation:  
Doing two difficult things at the same time will lead to failure in both. Imagine how hard it would be to catch a fish in each hand at the same time! Instead, we should focus on doing one thing at a time.

Example:  
จะทำอะไรก็เลือกเอาสักอย่าง อย่าจับปลาสองมือ
jà-tham-à-rai-gâaw-lûueak-ao-sák-yàang yàa-jàp-bplaa-sǎawng-muue
Choose one thing that you want to do. Don’t try to do two difficult things at the same time.

23 – ตีตนไปก่อนไข้

  • Pronunciation: dtii-dton-bpai-gàawn-khâi
  • Literal translation: Think that you have a fever before you actually have a fever
  • Close English proverb: Don’t cross the bridge until you come to it.

Explanation:  
This Thai proverb refers to a situation where someone is fearful or worried about something that hasn’t happened yet. It encourages us not to worry too much about problems that haven’t happened yet. In the end, that problem may not happen at all!

Example:  
ยังไม่เกิดปัญหาอะไร อย่าเพิ่งตีต้นไปก่อนไข้ จะปวดหัวเปล่า ๆ
yang-mâi-gôoet-bpan-hǎa-à-rai yàa-phôoeng-dtii-dton-bpai-gàawn-khâi jà-bpùuat-hǔua-bplào-bplào
There’s no problem yet. Don’t worry about things that haven’t happened yet. You’ll have a headache for nothing.

24 – กำแพงมีหู ประตูมีช่อง

  • Pronunciation: gam-phaaeng-mii-hǔu bprà-dtuu-mii-châawng
  • Literal translation: Walls have ears. Doors have holes.
  • Close English proverb: The walls have ears.

Explanation:  
When talking about a secret, you have to be very careful because people may overhear and reveal it to others. Even if you’re in a room with the door closed, there may be people outside trying to eavesdrop.

Example:  
จะพูดอะไรให้ระวังหน่อย กำแพงมีหู ประตูมีช่อง
jà-phûut-à-rai-hâi-rá-wang-nàauy gam-phaaeng-mii-hǔu bprà-dtuu-mii-châawng
Be careful when speaking. People may hear your secret and reveal it to others.

Be Careful When Speaking; Walls Have Ears

25 – เอาไม้ซีกไปงัดไม้ซุง

Pronunciation: ao-máai-sîik-bpai-ngát-máai-sung

Literal translation: Use a thin stick of wood to wedge a log

Explanation:  
If you fight or disagree with people who have more power, there’s a good chance you’re going to lose. This proverb encourages us to choose our fights carefully.

Example:  
ตัวเล็กแค่นี้ ยังไปท้าต่อยตีกับเค้า เอาไม้ซีกไปงัดไม้ซุงแท้ ๆ
dtuua-lék-khâae-níi yang-bpai-tháa-dtàauy-dtii-gàp-kháo ao-máai-sîik-bpai-ngát-máai-sung-tháae-tháae
You’re this small but still pick a fight with others. You’re going to lose as you fight with bigger people.

Don’t Fight People Who Are Bigger Than You

26 – กวนน้ำให้ขุ่น

  • Pronunciation: guuan-nám-hâi-khùn
  • Literal translation: Stir the water, making it muddy

Explanation:  
This proverb refers to a situation where things are about to become good again, but someone ruins it. It’s often used when someone is about to forget about a bad thing that happened, but someone does something to remind them of it again.

Example:  
พ่อกำลังจะลืมอยู่แล้ว จะพูดขึ้นมาเพื่อกวนน้ำให้ขุ่นทำไม เดี๋ยวพ่อก็โกรธอีก
phâaw-gam-lang-jà-luuem-yùu-láaeo jà-phûut-khûen-maa-phûuea-guuan-nám-hâi-khùn-ìik-tham-mai dîiao-phâaw-gâaw-gròot-ìik
Dad is about to forget. Why do you speak about it to make him remember? He will get angry again.

27 – กบเลือกนาย

  • Pronunciation: gòp-lûueak-naai
  • Literal translation: Frog chooses boss.

Explanation:
If you’re too choosy, you may end up making a bad decision in the end. This proverb aims to teach people that it’s good to consider your options, but you shouldn’t overdo it.

Example:  
อย่าทำตัวเป็นกบเลือกนายหน่อยเลย เลือกเอาจากตัวเลือกที่มีก็พอ
yàa-tham-dtuua-bpen-gòp-lûueak-naai-nàauy-looei lûueak-ao-jàak-dtuua-lûueak-thîi-mii-gâaw- phaaw
Don’t be too choosy or else you may end up with the bad choice in the end. Just choose from the options you have.

28 – ขี่ช้างจับตั๊กแตน 

Pronunciation: khìi-cháang-jàp-dták-gà-dtaaen

Literal translation: Ride the elephant to catch the grasshoppers

Explanation:  
This Thai proverb refers to a situation where you invest a lot but only get a small return. It warns us to be careful with our investments so that we don’t end up losing out in the end.

Example:  
คิดยังไงถึงจะลงทุนซื้อรถคันใหม่เพื่อไปส่งของแค่ไม่กี่ครั้ง ขี่ช้างจับตั๊กแตนชัด ๆ
Khít-yang-ngai-thǔeng-jà-long-thun-súue-rót-khan-mài-phûuea-bpai-sòng-khǎawng-khâae-mâi-gìi- khráng khìi-cháang-jàp-dták-gà-dtaaen-chát-chát
What are you thinking? Buying a new car to deliver packages for a few times. You’re investing a lot for a small return.

29 – ชี้โพรงให้กระรอก

  • Pronunciation: chíi-phroong-hâi-grà-râawk
  • Literal translation: Point cavity for squirrel

Explanation:  
This proverb encourages us to be careful about the things we say, because we may unintentionally invite others to do something bad. For example, someone may say that the window of her house is broken and she is afraid a thief may come in that way. People who are in need of money may overhear what she said and decide to break into her house to steal.

Example:  
จะพูดอะไรต้องระวัง เดี๋ยวจะเป็นการชี้โพรงให้กระรอกเสียเปล่า ๆ
jà-phûut-à-rai-dtâawng-rá-wang dǐiao-jà-bpen-gaan-chíi-phroong-hâi-grà-râawk-sǐia-bplào-bplào
You have to be careful when speaking or else you may unintentionally advise someone to do bad things.

30 – อย่าไว้ใจทาง อย่าวางใจคน จะจนใจเอง

  • Pronunciation: yàa-wái-jai-thaang yàa-waang-jai-khon jà-jon-jai-eeng
  • Literal translation: Don’t trust the way, and don’t trust people or else you will be in trouble.

Explanation:  
This Thai proverb warns us against trusting people too easily, because doing so can cause us trouble in the long run.

Example:  
ถึงแม้ว่าเพื่อนของเธอจะแนะนำ แต่เธอก็ต้องดูรายละเอียดของบริการเองด้วย อย่าไว้ใจทาง อย่าวางใจคน จะจนใจเองนะ
thǔeng-máae-wâa-phûuean-khǎawng-thooe-jà-náe-nam dtàae-thooe-gâaw-dtâawng-duu-raai-lá-ìiat- khǎawng-baaw-rí-gaan-eeng-dûuai yàa-wái-jai-thaang yàa-waang-jai-khon jà-jon-jai-eeng
Even though it was recommended by your friend, you still have to look at the service details. Don’t trust people easily.

5. Conclusion

In this article, you learned thirty of the most common Thai proverbs, what they mean, and how to use them. How many of them can you relate to? And are there similar proverbs in your language? 

If you enjoyed this lesson, we recommend continuing to explore ThaiPod101.com. We provide tons of fun and informative lessons from native speakers, free vocabulary lists, an online dictionary, and much more. Here’s just a sample of what you can expect: 

Happy learning!

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Bangkok Travel Guide – The Best Places to Visit

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Travel is one of the reasons many people decide to learn a new language. There’s something magical about visiting a foreign country and being able to speak with locals in their native tongue. 

Thailand—often labeled the Land of Smiles—is a wonderful travel destination, whether you’re learning the language or not. Bangkok, in particular, is known for its beauty and strong tourist appeal. 

In this Bangkok travel guide from ThaiPod101.com, we’ll provide you with a list of the most famous places to visit in Bangkok. We’ll also give you some tips on how to make the most of your trip and go over some basic travel vocabulary you should know. 

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Thai Table of Contents
  1. Facts About Bangkok, Thailand
  2. Where to Visit for a 1-3 Day Trip
  3. Highly Recommended Places for a 4-7 Day Trip (or Longer)
  4. Thai Survival Phrases for Travelers
  5. Conclusion

1. Facts About Bangkok, Thailand

Let’s start with some interesting information about Bangkok so that you know what to expect and how to prepare yourself for the trip.

Name

Did you know that Bangkok, in the native language, is the longest city name in the world

Most Thai people call the city กรุงเทพมหานคร (grung-thêep-má-hǎa-ná-khaawn) or simply กรุงเทพ (grung-thêep) for short. But the city’s full name is much longer:

กรุงเทพมหานคร อมรรัตนโกสินทร์ มหินทรายุธยา มหาดิลกภพ นพรัตนราชธานีบูรีรมย์ อุดมราชนิเวศน์มหาสถาน อมรพิมานอวตารสถิต สักกะทัตติย วิษณุกรรมประสิทธิ์ (grung-thêep-má-hǎa-ná-khaawn à-maawn-rát-dtà-ná-goo-sǐn má-hǐn-thá-raa-à-yút-thá-yaa má-hǎa-dì-lòk-phóp nóp-phá-rát-râat-chá-thaa-nii-buu-rii-rom ù-dom-râat-chá-ní-wêet-má-hǎa-sà-thǎan à-maawn-phí-maan-à-wá-dtaan-sà-thìt sàk-gà-thát-dtì-yá wít-sà-nú-gam-bprà-sìt)

It’s such a long name that Thai children sing it in a song when doing hand play.

General Information

Bangkok has been the capital city of Thailand since 1782. It’s home to around six million people, which makes it the largest city in the country

The currency of Thailand is Baht. Compared to other countries, the cost of living here isn’t very expensive.  The average cost of a normal meal is 50 Baht (1.61 USD) and the cost of a hotel starts at around 700 Baht (22.5 USD).

If you decide to come to Bangkok, do not worry about the language barrier. Not all Thai people can speak English, but they’re still willing to help you should you need it. That said, knowing a little bit of Thai can go a long way; for an even better travel experience, make sure to study our list of travel phrases at the end of the article. 

Weather

Since Thailand is located near the equator, the weather is hot and humid all year long, except during the rainy season from mid-May to mid-October. The temperature is normally around 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit).   

So, what is the best season to visit Bangkok? It all depends on what you want to see and do while you’re there! 

The best time to visit Bangkok for shopping is from November to January. The weather during this time frame isn’t very hot, the department stores have all been decorated for Christmas, and there are a lot of promotions going on. But if you want to join the Songkran Festival, April would be the best time to travel to Bangkok.

Travel Tips

Let’s start with the most important question: Is a visa required to visit Bangkok? 

For a concrete answer, you’ll need to check with the Thai embassy in your country. You may need a visa to visit Bangkok depending on your nationality. 

Because the currency in Thailand is Baht, you’ll need to prepare some cash before your trip. However, most hotels and department stores also accept credit or debit cards

In addition to your normal belongings, you may need to bring an umbrella as well as a hat or cap as the weather is hot and sunny. Other than that, if you forget anything, you can buy it in Bangkok.

2. Where to Visit for a 1-3 Day Trip 

If you plan to visit Bangkok in three days or less, there are a few locations you may want to prioritize. Following is a list of our recommendations, based on category; skim through and pick the ones that best match your tastes! 

Temples

The Thai word for “temple” is วัด (wát). 

If you come to Thailand, visiting temples is a must. Apart from their religious associations, temples reflect the architecture and culture of Thailand. Here are three temples in Bangkok we think you’ll love to see! Because they’re all nearby each other, you can visit all three on the same day. 

วัดพระศรีรัตนศาสดาราม (วัดพระแก้ว) / พระบรมมหาราชวัง

English name:
The Temple of the Emerald Buddha / The Grand Palace

Thai name:
wát-phrá-srǐi-rát-dtà-ná-sàat-sà-daa-raam  (wát-phrá-gâaeo) / phrá-bà-rom-má-hǎa-râat-chá-wang

Highlight:
The Temple of the Emerald Buddha is called “The Grand Palace” because in the past, kings lived inside of it. Due to its royal past, it boasts some beautiful architecture. Also, as its name suggests, another highlight is the Emerald Buddha. 

Things to do:
There’s a lot you can do here: pay respects to the Emerald Buddha, look at the wall painting of Ramayana, view the “Dusit Maha Prasat Throne Hall,” and visit “Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles.”

What it’s most recommended for:

วัดพระเชตุพนวิมลมังคลารามราชวรมหาวิหาร (วัดโพธิ์)

English name:
Wat Pho

Thai name:
wát-phrá-chee-dtù-phon-wí-mon-mang-khá-laa-raam-râat-chá-wo-rá-má-hǎa-wí-hǎan (wát-phoo)

Highlight:
This temple is viewed as being the first university in Thailand because the names of various educational subjects are inscribed here. It’s also “The Memory of the World Programme of UNESCO.”

Things to do:
There are plenty of unique experiences to be had here. You can pay respects to the reclining Buddha, look at the beauty of various pagodas, and listen to the story of the Wat Pho giants. After you’ve gotten your fill of Thai culture and history, you can also get a Thai massage here.

What it’s most recommended for:
  • Learning about Thai culture
  • Viewing architecture
  • Sightseeing 

วัดอรุณราชวรารามราชวรมหาวิหาร (วัดอรุณ / วัดแจ้ง)

English name:
Temple of Dawn

Thai name:
wát-à-run-râat-chá-wá-raa-raam-râat-chá-waaw-rá-má-hǎa-wí-hǎan (wát-à-run / wát-jâaeng)

Highlight:
The Temple of Dawn is known for its incredible beauty and architecture, making it the perfect spot for sightseeing and photo-ops. 

Things to do:
Stupa of Wat Arun is one of the most popular Bangkok sightseeing places, offering a spectacular view of the sunrise and sunset at the riverside. And of course, to complete the story of the Wat Pho giants, you have to listen to the story of the Wat Jaaeng giants as well.

What it’s most recommended for:
  • Learning about Thai culture
  • Viewing architecture
  • Sightseeing
  • Taking pictures

Let’s Take Photos at the Temple of Dawn

Shows

There are a lot of interesting shows you can watch in Bangkok that reflect Thai culture, so you’re sure to find one you like! 

สยามนิรมิต

English name:
Siam Niramit Show

Thai name:
sà-yǎam-ní-rá-mít

Highlight of the show:
This is the show to see for an enthralling story of Thailand’s history and culture. It takes place on a gigantic stage and employs amazing special effects—there are even live elephants involved! This show has been the recipient of several prestigious awards, so you shouldn’t miss it.

What it’s most recommended for:
  • Learning about Thai culture
  • Good for kids
  • Good for a rainy day
  • Easy access for seniors and people with disabilities

มวยไทย

English name:
Thai boxing show

Thai name:
muuai-thai

Highlight of the show:
Thai boxing is a favorite sport of many people, both inside and outside of Thailand. If you enjoy sports or the martial arts, your visit to Bangkok should absolutely include a live Thai boxing match! 

What it’s most recommended for:
  • Good for a rainy day
  • Sports

คาลิปโซ่ คาบาเร่ต์

English name:
The Calypso Cabaret Show

Thai name:
khaa-líp-sôo khaa-baa-rêe

Highlight of the show:
The Calypso Cabaret Show provides a truly unique Broadway-style show. The cast is composed of transgender individuals who perform an array of shows, from dance numbers to dramas. The stage, music, and lighting are all phenomenal, and the shows are designed to cater to a wide variety of audiences and nationalities. 

What it’s most recommended for:
  • Good for a rainy day
  • Broadway-style show

The Cabaret Show Is So Fun!

Nature

Being in the city for a while might make you crave some time in nature. Despite being a big, crowded city, Bangkok does have several outdoor activities for tourists! These activities are budget-friendly, great for kids, and the perfect way to spend some quality outdoor time

สวนลุมพินี

English name:
Lumpini Park

Thai name:
sǔuan-lum-phí-nii

Highlight:
Lumpini Park is the first public park in Thailand and is over 142 acres in size. It’s located in the center of the city, and because it’s so big, entering the park is like going into another world. The weather in the morning and evening is very nice, so if you want to get some exercise during your trip, you should definitely add this park to your itinerary! The park is known to host a variety of meditation and aerobics classes (free of charge!), and you can also rent paddle boats anytime or enjoy listening to live jazz music on a Sunday.  

Things to do:
  • Exercise
  • Meditate
  • Jog
  • Ride a bicycle
  • Walk
  • Sightsee
  • Take pictures
  • Listen to live music
  • Rent paddle boats

สวนวชิรเบญจทัศ (สวนรถไฟ)

English name:
Rotfai Park

Thai name:
sǔuan-wá-chí-rá-ben-jà-thát (sǔuan-rót-fai)

Highlight:
This is another park in Bangkok you can visit. Its location may not be as convenient as Lumpini Park’s, but the atmosphere is quite pleasant. It’s slightly bigger than Lumpini Park, at over 148 acres. In addition to renting paddle boats for the lake or bicycles for the trails, you can pass some time in the park’s butterfly garden or admire the cute miniature version of Bangkok that features small replicas of popular buildings. 

Things to do:
  • Exercise
  • Jog
  • Ride a bicycle
  • Walk
  • Sightsee
  • Take pictures
  • Rent paddle boats
  • See butterflies
  • View the miniature Bangkok setup

บางกะเจ้า

English name:
Bangkachao

Thai name:
baang-gà-jâo

Highlight:
Bangkachao is called “the green lung” of Bangkok, and Time magazine even referred to it as “the best urban oasis” in Asia. You can come here to relax in a natural atmosphere, far from the worries of life and the bustling areas of the city. 

Things to do:
  • Ride a bicycle
  • Walk
  • Sightsee
  • Take pictures
  • Shop
  • Relax

Shopping

Now, for the favorite activity of many people: shopping! Going shopping in the local markets and seeing the different products and foods here is an easy, exciting way to really feel the Thai culture. Here are the best places to lighten your wallet in Bangkok. 

ถนนข้าวสาร

English name:
Khaosan Road

Thai name:
thà-nǒn-khâao-sǎan

Highlight:
ถนนข้าวสาร (thà-nǒn-khâao-sǎan) is one of the top places in Bangkok to get your shop on! There are numerous things you can buy here, including plenty of clothing items that reflect Thai culture. You can also find many restaurants and guesthouses here, in addition to budget-friendly hotels for solo travelers. And if you come here for the Songkran Festival, you can participate in water games with the locals! 

What it’s most recommended for:
  • Budget-friendly
  • Shopping place
  • Street food

ตลาดนัดจตุจักร

English name:
Chatuchak Weekend Market

Thai name:
dthà-làat-nát-jà-dtù-jàk

Highlight:
Chatujak Weekend Market is famous for being the biggest shopping market in Bangkok—and the most-visited weekend market worldwide. First opened in 1942, this is a market of massive scale featuring twenty-seven individual sections and numerous stalls. You can find an array of products and food items here, from clothing to plants and even vintage products. 

What it’s most recommended for:
  • Shopping place
  • Unique shopping experience

เยาวราช

English name:
Chinatown

Thai name:
yao-wá-râat

Highlight:
เยาวราช (yao-wá-râat), or Yaowarat Road, is where much of Bangkok’s Chinatown is located. You can enjoy a good day of shopping here and indulge in some of the area’s notorious street food. If you come here during the Vegetarian Festival (October), there will be a lot of delicious vegetarian foods for you to try. You’ll also get to experience a small bit of Thai-Chinese culture.

What it’s most recommended for:
  • Shopping place
  • Street food

Let’s Eat Something at Chinatown.

3. Highly Recommended Places for a 4-7 Day Trip (or Longer)

If you have a longer stay planned, there are more interesting places you can visit in Bangkok. Here are our recommendations.

Museums

If you want to learn more about Thai culture, history, or art, there are a few museums in Bangkok you shouldn’t miss. 

พิพิธภัณฑ์บ้านจิมทอมป์สัน

English name:
Jim Thompson House Museum

Thai name:
phí-phít-thá-phan-bâan-jim-thaawm-sǎn

Highlight:
You may be wondering about the name of this museum: Jim Thompson was an American businessman who founded a silk company in Thailand. He was known for his love of art collection, and over the years, he added to his collection of Southeast Asian art—especially that of Thailand. Thompson disappeared in 1967, after which his collection became open for public viewing via this museum. Here, you’ll find Thai-style houses and pottery in a natural and relaxing atmosphere at the center of Bangkok.

What it’s most recommended for:
  • Culture
  • Architecture
  • Restaurant

ท้องฟ้าจำลอง

English name:
Planetarium

Thai name:
tháawng-fáa-jam-laawng

Highlight:
If you love astronomy or stargazing, you need to make room for this on your itinerary at all costs. It’s a nice place to visit and children will definitely love it.

What it’s most recommended for:
  • Budget-friendly
  • Good for kids
  • Good for a rainy day
  • Honeymoon spot

Can We Stargaze During the Day?

พิพิธภัณฑ์สถานแห่งชาติ

English name:
National Museum

Thai name:
phí-phít-thá-phan-sà-thǎan-hàaeng-châat

Highlight:
If you want to know more about Thai history and Thai-style arts, this Bangkok art and culture museum is the perfect place. Because it used to be a palace, you’ll also be able to see beautiful architecture during your visit.

What it’s most recommended for:
  • Culture
  • Sightseeing
  • Thai arts

Animals

If you’re an animal-lover, there are plenty of exciting attractions in Bangkok you’ll have a blast visiting. 

ซีไลฟ์ แบงคอก โอเชี่ยน เวิลด์

English name:
Sealife Bangkok Ocean World

Thai name:
sii-lái-báaeng-khâawk-oo-chîian-wooen

Highlight:
Home to a large variety of sea life, Sealife Bangkok Ocean World boasts an aquarium of 10,000+ square meters. While here, you can get close to the sea stars and sea cucumbers, watch divers submerge themselves in a seven-meter tank to feed the sea life, and admire tropical freshwater species from around the world.

What it’s most recommended for:
  • Good for kids
  • Good for a rainy day
  • Easy access for seniors and people with disabilities

สถานเสาวภา สภากาชาดไทย (สวนงู)

English name:
Snake Farm

Thai name:
sà-thǎan-sǎo-wá-phaa sà-phaa-gaa-châat-thai (sǔuan-nguu)

Highlight:
This is an educational organization about snakes, located at the center of the city. During your visit here, you’ll be able to watch how venom is extracted from snakes, see snake handling up close, and take pictures with the snakes. It’s a great opportunity to learn more about snakes, including information about snake biology and snake bite treatment.

What it’s most recommended for:
  • Snake-lovers
  • Budget-friendly

อุทยานผีเสื้อและแมลงกรุงเทพ

English name:
Bangkok Butterfly Garden and Insectarium

Thai name:
ùt-thá-yaan-phǐi-sûuea-láe-má-laaeng-grung-thêep

Highlight:
At the Bangkok Butterfly Garden and Insectarium, you can learn about and watch over 500 butterflies of twenty different species in a large dome. There’s also a video to watch about insects and ecology, and you can see an exhibition about the larvae of butterflies and insects.

What it’s most recommended for:
  • Butterfly-lovers
  • Budget-friendly
  • Good for kids

I Want to Know How Larvae become Butterflies.

Nightlife

Wondering where to visit in Bangkok at night? Here are two locations you should definitely check out for an exhilarating night out (keep in mind that these are not family-friendly). 

ซอยคาวบอย

English name:
Soi Cowboy

Thai name:
saauy-khaao-baauy

Highlight:
Located in the Asoke area, Soi Cowboy is a popular nightlife destination for tourists. The place is named after an American named T.G. “Cowboy” Edwards, who opened the second bar in the area. Today, the area is mostly known for its string of go-go bars and pubs. 

What it’s most recommended for:
  • Adult-only
  • Drinking
  • Sexy show

ถนนพัฒน์พงศ์

English name:
Patpong Road

Thai name:
thà-nǒn-phát-phong

Highlight:
Patpong Road is located in the Silom area and is a “designated entertainment zone” as well as a red light district. Like Soi Cowboy, Patpong Road is popular for its go-go bars and pubs. 

What it’s most recommended for:
  • Adult only
  • Drinking
  • Sexy show

Department Stores

If you didn’t get enough shopping in earlier, now’s the time to get your fill! Here are two department stores in Bangkok we highly recommend. 

ไอคอน สยาม

English name:
Icon Siam

Thai name:
ai-khâawn-sà-yǎam

Highlight:
This is a department store near the riverside, and it’s composed of several areas, such as:

    ★ Siam Takashiyama (Japanese department store)
    ★ Sook Siam (Thai culture representation and products)
    ★ Dear Tummy (Premium supermarket)
    ★ Superpark (Theme park)

There are often beautiful shows here during festivals and holidays, such as on Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Things to do:
  • Shopping
  • Eating
  • Watching shows
  • Souvenir shopping


What it’s most recommended for:
  • Shopping
  • Restaurants
  • Good for a rainy day
  • Cinema

สยาม พารากอน

English name:
Siam Paragon

Thai name:
sà-yǎam-phaa-raa-gaawn

Highlight:
One of the top three biggest department stores in Thailand, this place is heaven for people who love shopping.  You can find everything here: all kinds of restaurants, a big supermarket, clothing shops, bag shops, watch shops, and the list goes on.

Things to do:
  • Shopping
  • Eating
  • Watching sea life at “Sealife Bangkok Ocean World”
  • Souvenir shopping


What it’s most recommended for:
  • Shopping
  • Restaurants
  • Good for a rainy day
  • Cinema

4. Thai Survival Phrases for Travelers

How Much Is It?

If you’re going to travel to Thailand, learning some basic phrases may prove very helpful in a variety of situations. To give you a nice head start, we’ll provide you with ten Thai survival phrases for travelers. Keep in mind that when Thai people greet each other, they do an action called ไหว้ (wâi)

  • สวัสดี (sà-wàt-dii) – “Hello.” / “Goodbye.”
  • ขอบคุณ (khàawp-khun) – “Thank you.”
  • ขอโทษ (khǎaw-thôot) – “Sorry.”
  • ดีมาก (dii-mâak) – “Very good.”
  • ไม่เข้าใจภาษาไทย (mâi-khâo-jai-phaa-sǎa-thai) – “I don’t understand Thai.”
  • ห้องน้ำอยู่ที่ไหน (hâawng-nám-yùu-thîi-nǎi) – “Where is the restroom?”
  • ราคาเท่าไหร่ (raa-khaa-thâo-rài) – “How much is it?”
  • ลดราคาหน่อยได้มั๊ย (lót-raa-khaa-nàauy-dâi-mái) – “Can I reduce the price?”
  • เอาอันนี้ (ao-an-níi) – “I want this.”
  • ช่วยด้วย (chûuay-dûuay) – “Help!”

Conclusion

If you were on the fence before, we hope this article has given you plenty of good reasons to visit Bangkok in the near future. And if you’ve been to Bangkok already, we would love to hear about your visit! Are there any impressive locations we didn’t include?  

We encourage you to learn a few additional Thai words or phrases to supplement the ones we listed above—this will make your trip much smoother and a lot more fun! ThaiPod101.com has plenty of useful language and culture resources to help you make the most of your time in Bangkok. After reading this article, you may want to check out these pages:

We’re wishing you happy Thai learning and safe travels!

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