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Archive for the 'Thai Culture' Category

Learn Thai national anthem and its history

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When you think of one country, what do you think about? Is it food, traditional clothes, language? People naturally think of things that represent that country, and the national anthem is one of them. Yes, you guessed it correctly, in this lesson, you will get to learn everything about the national anthem in Thailand.

Apart from being a song that represents the Thai nation, เพลงชาติไทย (phleeng-châat-thai), the Thai national anthem, also gives some insight into the history of Thailand as well. So if you are interested in Thai culture and its history, you shouldn’t miss this lesson.

The lesson will begin with Thailand’s national anthem in English, followed by the origin of the Thai national anthem and how it develops. Then, we will tell you what you should do when you hear the national anthem playing in Thai. So if you plan to come to Thailand, make sure to pay special attention to the third part. Lastly, we will give you some interesting facts about the Thai national anthem.

Woman Using Tablet

Learn about the national Thai anthem

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Thai Table of Contents
  1. Thai national anthem lyrics
  2. History of the Thai national anthem
  3. Regulation about the Thai national anthem
  4. Interesting facts about the Thai national anthem
  5. Conclusion

1. Thai national anthem lyrics

Let’s start our lesson with Thai national anthem lyrics in English. Basically, the Thai national anthem comes from poetry, and most of the words in the lyrics are not used in daily life. The same goes for the way each sentence is composed. Thai people understand the meaning of the whole, but we can’t explain the meaning of each part well. 

Many of you may be curious about the meaning of Thai national anthem lyrics and may try searching its English meaning or even translating it into English by yourself. Still, the English meaning of the Thai national anthem we provide you here is a bit different. Instead of being translated literally from its lyrics, this translation comes from the interpretation (meaning) of the Thai national anthem by Lady Somroj Sawatdikul Na Ayutthaya. In our opinion, it will give you more insight into the Thai national anthem song.

Thai national anthem: ประเทศไทยรวมเลือดเนื้อชาติเชื้อไทย
Thai national anthem pronunciation: bprà-thêet-thai-ruuam-lûueat-núuea-châat-chúuea-thai
Thai interpretation: ประเทศไทยเป็นถิ่นที่รวมชนผู้มีเลือดเนื้อเชื้อชาติไทยไว้ให้ได้อยู่อาศัยร่วมกัน
English meaning: Thailand is a place in which people with Thai flesh and blood live together.

Thai national anthem: เป็นประชารัฐไผทของไทยทุกส่วน 
Thai national anthem pronunciation: bpen-bprà-chaa-rát-phà-thai-khǎawng-thai-thúk-sùuan
Thai interpretation: แผ่นดินทุกส่วนของประเทศไทยย่อมเป็นของชาวไทยทุกคน
English meaning: All its land belongs to all Thai people.

Thai national anthem: อยู่ดำรงคงไว้ได้ทั้งมวล 
Thai national anthem pronunciation: yùu-dam-rong-khong-wái-dâi-tháng-muuan
Thai interpretation: ประชาชนไทยรักษาแผ่นดินไทยทั้งหมดไว้ได้
English meaning: Thai people can maintain its independent (all their lands)

Thai national anthem: ด้วยไทยล้วนหมายรักสามัคคี 
Thai national anthem pronunciation: dûuai-thai-lúuan-mǎai-rák-sǎa-mák-khii
Thai interpretation: ก็ด้วยทุกคนมีน้ำใจสามัคคี รักคนไทยด้วยกัน และรักประเทศชาติ
English meaning: because they are in harmony, love one another and love their country.

Thai national anthem: ไทยนี้รักสงบแต่ถึงรบไม่ขลาด
Thai national anthem pronunciation: thai-níi-rák-sà-ngòp-dtàae-thǔeng-róp-mâi-khlàat
Thai interpretation: ชนไทยรักที่จะอยู่อย่างสุขสงบ แต่ถ้าจำเป็นต้องรบกับศัตรูแล้วคนไทยไม่เคยขลาดกลัวเลย
English meaning: Thai people love living peacefully but if they need to fight the enemies, they are not cowards.

Thai national anthem: เอกราชจะไม่ให้ใครข่มขี่
Thai national anthem pronunciation: èek-gà-râat-jà-mâi-hâi-khrai-khòm-khìi
Thai interpretation: ไม่มีวันยอมให้ศัตรูหน้าไหนมาข่มขู่ทำลายความเป็นอิสระของชาติไทยได้
English meaning: They don’t let any enemies threaten its independence.

Thai national anthem: สละเลือดทุกหยาดเป็นชาติพลี 
Thai national anthem pronunciation: sà-là-lûueat-thúk-yàat-bpen-châat-phlii
Thai interpretation: ทุกคนยอมสละเลือดทุกหยดเพื่อชาติไทยอยู่ยั่งยืน
English meaning: Everyone is willing to sacrifice their blood for the nation.

Thai national anthem: เถลิงประเทศชาติไทยทวีมีชัย ชโย 
Thai national anthem pronunciation: thà-lǒoeng-bprà-thêet-châat-thai-thá-wii-mii-chai chá-yoo
Thai interpretation: จะปกป้องคุ้มครองประเทศไทยให้เจริญรุ่งเรืองยิ่งๆ ขึ้นไป และให้มีแต่ชัยชนะตลอดไป
English meaning: They will protect Thailand, making it even more prosperous and be victorious forever.

2. History of the Thai national anthem

1- Origin of the Thai national anthem

During the absolute monarchy (before 1932), the royal anthem of Thailand or เพลงสรรเสริญพระบารมี (pleeng-sǎn-sǒoen-phrá-baa-rá-mii) was considered to be the national anthem for all practical purposes.

Chakri Dynasty

Thai royal anthem was considered to be the Thai national anthem in the past.

After Thailand became a democratic country from the Siamese revolution in 1932, the revolutionary council declared the Thai national anthem should be used instead of the Thai King’s anthem. The first version was used for only 7 days before being changed due to its unpopularity.

One of the revolutionary council members asked Pithi Wathayakon, who was very well-known in the music industry at that time, to compose Thailand’s national anthem. For the lyrics, it is believed that Sanga Kanjanakphan was the writer. Despite its popularity, this version of the Thai national anthem was not used officially.

2- The first official version of the Thai national anthem

In 1933, the government held a contest for the Thai national anthem. There were 2 types of national anthems in the contest which were: a Thai-styled national anthem, composed of Thai musical instruments, and an international version of the national anthem.

For the Thai-styled national anthem, มหานิมิตร (Mahanimitr), composed by Jangwangthua Pathayagoson, won the first-place award. For the international version, only the lyrics were changed, and the winner was Sanga Kanjanakphan, with the first runner-up being Chan Khamwilai. The lyrics for both were composed in the form of a Thai octameter poem. 

In the end, using 2 versions of the national anthem was not considered to be the best decision, so only the international version was used. However, when combining the lyrics of both Sanga Kanjanakphan and Chan Khamwilai, the national anthem became too long. It took almost 4 minutes to sing, so most people sang only the lyrics written by Sanga Kanjanakphan.

Below here are the official lyrics of Thai national anthem,

แผ่นดินสยามนามประเทืองว่าเมืองทอง      ไทยเข้าครองตั้งประเทศเขตต์แดนสง่า
สืบชาติไทยดึกดำบรรพ์บุราณลงมา            ร่วมรักษาเอกราษฎร์ชนชาติไทย
บางสมัยศัตรูจู่มารบ                                  ไทยสมทบสวนทัพเข้าขับไล่
ตะลุยเลือดหมายมุ่งผดุงผะไท                   สยามสมัยบุราณรอดตลอดมา
อันดินแดนสยามคือว่าเนื้อของเชื้อไทย       น้ำรินไหลคือว่าเลือดของเชื้อข้า
เอกราษฎร์คือกระดูกที่เราบูชา                    เราจะสามัคคีร่วมมีใจ
ยึดอำนาจ กุมสิทธิ์อิสสระเสรี                     ใครย่ำยีเราจะไม่ละให้
เอาเลือดล้างให้สิ้นแผ่นดินของไทย           สถาปนาสยามให้เทิดชัยไชโย

3- Shortened version of the Thai national anthem

In 1935, the government implemented a new regulation about the national anthem. The full version of the national anthem was used in some big ceremonies only. The shortened version, which is a 10-second-long instrumental, was used with people-related ceremonies.

4- The current version of the Thai national anthem

In 1939, the name of Thailand was changed from สยาม (sà-yǎam) to ไทย (thai), resulting in the change of national anthem’s lyrics. The Thai government held a contest for lyrics of the national anthem and the winner was Nuan Pajinphayak. This version of the Thai national anthem was officially used from 10 December 1939 all the way until now, the present. In Thailand, the national anthem is performed by a brass band.

3. Regulation about the Thai national anthem

There are no laws in Thailand about the national anthem, but there have been some regulations since the World War II period. It is stated that the Thai national anthem is one of the signals for paying respect to the national flag, so people should:

  • Pay respect to the national flag by standing still and facing toward the national flag or its location when the flag is being raised or lowered.
  • Stand still until the song is finished when hearing the anthem.

Thai Flag in Front of the Ministry of Defense

This is how you stand when you hear the Thai national anthem

Normally, the national anthem is played twice a day at 8 am., when the national flag is raised, and at 6 pm., when the national flag is lowered. If you come to Thailand, you will get to hear the national anthem playing in official places such as schools, police stations, etc., as well as through national television and radio. If you are in public when you hear the Thai national anthem, all you have to do is stand still until the song ends. Don’t worry about not recognizing the Thai national anthem. You will notice if everyone suddenly stands still with a song in the background, so just copy them.

Thai Flag in Front of the Ministry of Defense

Thai national flag in front of government office.

4. Interesting facts about the Thai national anthem

As the Thai national anthem is played daily, there are some interesting activities related to it, as listed below,

1- Introduction to the Thai national anthem

Before the Thai national anthem is played on national television or radio, there is always an introductory speech being spoken, like the one below:

Thai introduction: ธงชาติและเพลงชาติไทย เป็นสัญลักษณ์ของความเป็นไทย 
Thai introduction pronunciation: thong-châat-láe-phleeng-châat-thai bpen-sǎn-yá-lák-khǎawng-kwaam-bpen-thai
English meaning: Thai national flag and the Thai national anthem are the symbols of the Thai nation.

Thai introduction: เราจงร่วมใจกันยืนตรงเคารพธงชาติ ด้วยความภาคภูมิใจในเอกราช และความเสียสละของบรรพบุรุษไทย
Thai introduction pronunciation: rao-jong-rûuam-jai-gan-yuuen-dtrong-khao-róp-thong-châat dûuai- kwaam-phâak-phuum-jai-nai-èek-gà-râat láe-kwaam-sǐia-sà-là-khǎawng-ban-phá-bù-rùt-thai
English meaning: We all should stand still to pay respect to the national flag with a proud feeling of our independence and of the sacrifices of our ancestors.

Thai Flag being Held

Thai national flag is the symbol of the Thai nation.

2- Paying respect to the Thai national anthem at school

In every school in Thailand, there is a national flag. Every morning, the Thai national flag should be raised due to the regulation mentioned above. Thai students do an activity called เคารพธงชาติ (khao-róp-thong-châat). Basically, all students gather in line and sing the national anthem while the national flag is being raised.

In some schools, students and teachers just sing the national anthem. In other schools, the national anthem is played, and everyone sings along. In a big school with a brass band, the national anthem is played every morning.

5. Conclusion

This is the end of this lesson and hopefully, you understand more about the Thai national anthem and the activities related to it. When I grew up, I kind of assumed the activities related to the national anthem in each country were the same. Of course, I was wrong, so please share your national anthem customs in the comments below. How often is it being played, and on which occasion? What is the meaning of your national anthem? How long is it?

Now that you have knowledge about the Thai national anthem let’s browse other interesting and fun lessons at ThaiPod101.com. If you don’t have any ideas, we suggest Thai dialects, Loy Krathong Day, and Thai drinks.

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Useful classroom phrases in Thai for teachers and students

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

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

Teacher in the Classroom

Learn Thai classroom phrases in English

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

1. Thai classroom greetings

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

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

1- Student, salute

Thai phrase:  นักเรียน ทำความเคารพ

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

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

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

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

2- Hello, teacher/professor

Thai phrase:  สวัสดี คุณครู/อาจารย์

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

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

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

3- Thank you, teacher/professor

Thai phrase:  ขอบคุณ คุณครู/อาจารย์

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

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

4- See you on …

Thai phrase:  เจอกัน + day/date

Thai pronunciation:  jooe-gan + day/date

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

Example 1: Teacher walks into the classroom.

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

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

Example 2: When the class finishes

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

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

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

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

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

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

2. Thai classroom command phrases

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

1- Listen carefully

Thai phrase:  ตั้งใจฟังนะ

Thai pronunciation:  dtâng-jai-fang-ná

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

Example:  เอาล่ะ เดี๋ยวครูจะอธิบายวิธีการแก้สมการนี้ ตั้งใจฟังดี ๆ นะคะ

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

2- Any questions?

Thai phrase:  มีคำถามมั้ย

Thai pronunciation:  mii-kham-thǎam-mái

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

Example:  ก่อนเราจะเริ่มบทถัดไป มีคำถามอะไรมั้ยครับ

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

Do you have any questions?

3- Be quite

Thai phrase:  เงียบหน่อย

Thai pronunciation:  ngîiap-nàauy

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

Example:  เงียบหน่อยค่ะ อย่าคุยกันเสียงดังเกินไป เสียสมาธิคนอื่นค่ะ

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

4- Do you understand?

Thai phrase:  เข้าใจมั้ย

Thai pronunciation:  khâo-jai-mái

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

Example:  จบส่วนของประวัติศาสตร์สมัยอยุธยาแล้ว เข้าใจมั้ย

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

5- Go to the page…

Thai phrase:  เปิดหนังสือไปที่หน้า…

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

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

Example:  สำหรับรูปส่วนประกอบของเซลล์ นักเรียนสามารถเปิดหนังสือไปที่หน้า 102 ได้ค่ะ

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

6- Does anyone know the meaning of…?

Thai phrase:  มีใครรู้ความหมายของ…บ้าง

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

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

Example:  มีใครรู้ความหมายของคำว่า “พูดลอย ๆ” บ้างครับ

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

3. Thai classroom phrases for students

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

1- I don’t understand

Thai phrase:  ผม/หนูไม่เข้าใจ

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

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

Example:  หนูไม่เข้าใจวิธีการคำนวณมวลของวัตถุค่ะ ช่วยยกตัวอย่างหน่อยได้มั้ยคะ

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

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

Confusing Boy Looking at the Notebook.

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

2- I have a question.

Thai phrase:  ผม/หนูมีคำถาม

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

Example:  หนูมีคำถามค่ะ คำที่อาจารย์เขียนบนกระดานออกเสียงยังไงคะ

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

3- I can’t hear what you are saying.

Thai phrase:  ผม/หนูไม่ได้ยินที่ครู/อาจารย์พูด

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

Example:  ผมไม่ได้ยินที่ครูพูด ครูช่วยพูดเสียงดังหน่อยได้มั้ยครับ

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

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

4- Can you explain it again?

Thai phrase:  ครู/อาจารย์ช่วยอธิบายอีกครั้งได้มั้ย

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

Example:  อาจารย์ช่วยอธิบายอีกครั้งได้มั้ยครับ ผมยังไม่ค่อยเข้าใจครับ

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

5- Can you repeat it again?

Thai phrase:  ครู/อาจารย์ช่วยพูดอีกครั้งได้มั้ย

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

Example:  ครูช่วยพูดอีกครั้งได้มั้ยคะ หนูได้ยินไม่ชัดค่ะ

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

6- Can you speak louder?

Thai phrase:  ครู/อาจารย์ช่วยพูดดังหน่อยได้มั้ย

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

Example:  ครูช่วยพูดดังหน่อยได้มั้ยคะ ข้างหลังไม่ได้ยินค่ะ

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

7- Can you give some examples?

Thai phrase:  ครู/อาจารย์ช่วยยกตัวอย่างหน่อยได้มั้ย

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

Example:  ผมไม่ค่อยเข้าใจเรื่องประเภทของคำนามครับ อาจารย์ช่วยยกตัวอย่างหน่อยได้มั้ยครับ

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

4. Thai classroom phrases used to explain absence and tardiness

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

Thai phrase:  ผม/หนูรู้สึกไม่ค่อยดีเลย วันนี้ไปโรงเรียนไม่ไหว

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

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

Example:  ผมรู้สึกไม่ค่อยดีเลย ปวดท้องมาก วันนี้ไปโรงเรียนไม่ไหว

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

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

Thai phrase:  ผม/หนูรู้สึกไม่ค่อยดีเลย ขอกลับบ้านก่อนได้มั้ย

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

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

Example:  หนูรู้สึกไม่ค่อยดีเลย ขอกลับบ้านก่อนได้มั้ยคะ

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

I’m not feeling well.

3- Sorry, I’m late….

Thai phraseขอโทษที่มาสาย + reason

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

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

Example1:  ขอโทษที่มาสายค่ะ วันนี้รถติดมากเลยค่ะ

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

Example2:  ขอโทษที่มาสายค่ะ ฝนตกหนักมากเลยค่ะ รถก็เลยติด

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

Example3:  ขอโทษที่มาสายครับ ผมไม่ได้ยินเสียงนาฬิกาปลุกเลยตื่นสายครับ

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

The traffic is very bad today.

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

Thai phrase:  ขอโทษที่ไม่ได้เอาการบ้านมาส่ง + reason

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

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

Example1:  ขอโทษที่ไม่ได้เอาการบ้านมาส่งครับ ผมยังทำไม่เสร็จ จำวันส่งผิดครับ

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

Example2:  ขอโทษที่ไม่ได้เอาการบ้านมาส่งค่ะ คอมพิวเตอร์หนูพัง การบ้านที่ทำไว้เลยหายหมดเลยค่ะ

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

Example3:  ขอโทษที่ไม่ได้เอาการบ้านมาส่งครับ ผมลืมการบ้านไว้ที่บ้านครับ

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

5. Thai conversation phrases in the classroom

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

1- I like…

Thai phrase:  ผม/หนูชอบ + name of subject

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

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

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

Example:  ฉันชอบวิชาศิลปะ แต่ว่าวาดรูปไม่สวยนะ

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

I like art but I can’t draw well.

2- I don’t like…

Thai phrase:  ผม/หนูไม่ชอบ + name of subject

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

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

Example:  ฉันชอบวิชาศิลปะ แต่ไม่ชอบวิชาพลศึกษา ฉันเล่นกีฬาไม่เก่ง

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

3- I’m good at…

Thai phrase:  ผม/หนูเก่ง + name of subject

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

Example:  แอนเก่งวิชาภาษาไทยมาก เธอแต่งกลอนได้ดี

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

4- I’m not good at…

Thai phrase:  ผม/หนูไม่เก่ง + name of subject

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

Example:  ตั้มไม่เก่งวิชาเคมี แต่เรียนฟิสิกส์ได้ดีมาก

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

6. Conclusion

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

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

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Learn Thai restaurant phrases you definitely need to know

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Food is one of the basic needs of humans.  Apart from eating to survive, food plays other important roles as well.  It represents the culture of the country.  Cooking food can be an art.  Moreover, having a meal can be used as a way to build relationships.  As eating is a basic activity in daily life, it makes sense for all Thai learners to learn all the basic Thai phrases used in a restaurant.  

In this lesson, we provide the most common Thai restaurant phrases for you.  Of course, those come with the English translation and many examples.  Hopefully, you will be able to learn more about Thai culture and Thai food through this lesson as well. 

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Thai Table of Contents
  1. Asking for the table in Thai
  2. Food ordering and questions in restaurants in Thai
  3. Phrases used after dining in a restaurant in Thai
  4. Conclusion

1. Asking for the table in Thai

Let’s start with the first list of Thai restaurant phrases, how to ask for a table once you arrive at the restaurant, and how to book a table.

1- Table for … please

Thai phrase:  … คน

Thai pronunciation:  … – khon

Additional explanation:  When Thai people go into a restaurant, they often tell the number of people coming to the waiter or waitress right away or as an answer to the question “how many people?”.

Example:  

  • พนักงานเสิร์ฟ:  ทั้งหมดกี่คนคะ
  • phá-nák-ngaan-sòoep:  tháng-mòt-gìi-khon-khá
  • Waitress:  How many people?
  • ลูกค้า:  4 คนครับ
  • lûuk-kháa:  sìi-khon-khráp
  • Customer:  4 people

2- Do you have a table on the patio?

Thai phrase:  โต๊ะริมระเบียงว่างมั้ย

Thai pronunciation:  dtó-rim-rá-biiang-wâang-mái

Example:  

  • ลูกค้า:  โต๊ะริมระเบียงว่างมั้ยคะ
  • lûuk-kháa:  dtó-rim-rá-biiang-wâang-mái-khá
  • Customer:  Do you have a table on the patio?
  • พนักงานเสิร์ฟ:  ว่างค่ะ สำหรับ 2 ท่านนะคะ เชิญด้านนี้เลยค่ะ
  • phá-nák-ngaan-sòoep:  wâang-khâ sǎm-ràp-sǎawng-thâan-ná-khá chooen-dâan-níi-looei-khâ
  • Waitress: Yes, we have a table on the patio for 2 people.  Please come this way.

A Man and a Woman Dining at the Table on the Patio.

(Do you have a table on the patio?)

3- Do you have a table near the window?

Thai phrase:  โต๊ะริมหน้าต่างว่างมั้ย

Thai pronunciation:  dtó-rim-nâa-dtàang-wâang-mái

Example:  

  • ลูกค้า:  โต๊ะริมหน้าต่างว่างมั้ยครับ
  • lûuk-kháa:  dtó-rim-nâa-dtàang-wâang-mái-khráp
  • Customer:  Do you have a table near the window?
  • พนักงานเสิร์ฟ:  ตอนนี้โต๊ะริมหน้าต่างเต็มครับ เป็นโต๊ะด้านนี้ได้มั้ยครับ
  • phá-nák-ngaan-sòoep:  dtaawn-níi-dtó-rim-nâa-dtàang-dtem-khráp bpen-dtó-dâan-níi-dâi-mái-khráp
  • Waiter: There is no table near the window available now.  Is the table in this area okay?

4- I want to book a table for (number of people) on (date and time) 

Thai phrase:  จองโต๊ะสำหรับ + number of people + คน + วันที่ + date + เวลา + time

Thai pronunciation:  jaawng-dtó-sǎm-ràp + number of people + khon + wan-thîi + date + wee-laa + time

Additional explanation:  When Thai people make a reservation, they don’t frame it as a question but say what they want instead.

Example:  

  • ลูกค้า:  จองโต๊ะสำหรับ 2 คน วันที่ 14 กุมภาพันธ์ เวลา 6 โมงเย็นครับ
  • lûuk-kháa:  jaawng-dtó-sǎm-ràp-sǎawng-khon-wan-thîi-sìp-sìi-gum-phaa-phan-wee-laa-hòk-moong- yen-khráp
  • Customer:  I want to book a table for 2 on February 14 at 6 pm.
  • พนักงาน:  ได้ค่ะ ขอทราบชื่อลูกค้าและเบอร์ติดต่อด้วยค่ะ
  • phá-nák-ngaan:  dâi-khâ khǎaw-sâap-chûue-lûuk-kháa-láe-booe-dtìt-dtàaw-dûuai-khâ
  • Staff: There is no table near the window available now.  Is the table in this area okay?
  • ลูกค้า:  เมฆ 081-254-4586
  • lûuk-kháa:  mêek sǔun-bpàaet-nùeng-sǎawng-hâa-sìi-sìi-hâa-bpàaet-hòk
  • Customer:  My name is Mek.  My number is 081-2544586.

5- How long do we have to wait?

Thai phrase:  ต้องรอคิวนานมั้ย

Thai pronunciation:  dtâawng-raaw-khiu-naan-mái

Example:  

  • พนักงานเสิร์ฟ:  สวัสดีครับ กี่ท่านครับ
  • phá-nák-ngaan-sòoep:  sà-wàt-dii-khráp gìi-thâan-khráp
  • Waiter: Hello, how many people?
  • ลูกค้า:  3 คนครับ ต้องรอคิวนานมั้ยครับ
  • lûuk-kháa:  sǎam-khon-khráp dtâawng-raaw-khiu-naan-mái-khráp
  • Customer:  3 people, how long do we have to wait?
  • พนักงานเสิร์ฟ:  ประมาณ 30 นาทีครับ
  • phá-nák-ngaan-sòoep:  bprà-maan-sǎam-sìp-naa-thii-khráp
  • Waiter:  Around 30 minutes.

2. Food ordering and questions in restaurants in Thai

Now that you know how to get the table in Thai, the next step is asking for a menu in the Thai language.  You should learn Thai restaurant phrases used in ordering the food and how to order take-out in Thai as well.  These essential Thai phrases below will help you to be able to express your eating preference as well as make a request in the restaurant.  This will be especially useful for you if you know Thai food vocabulary.

1- Getting waiter/waitress attention

Thai phrase:  พี่ / น้อง

Thai pronunciation:  phîi / náawng

Additional explanation:  Thai people guess the age of the waiter/waitress.  If he/she seems to be older, the customer calls him/her พี่ (phîi).  If he/she seems to be younger, the customer calls him/her น้อง (náawng).

Example:  

  • ลูกค้า:  น้องคะ ตอนนี้มีโต๊ะว่างมั้ยคะ
  • lûuk-kháa:  náawng-khá dtaawn-níi-mii-dtó-wâang-mái-khá
  • Customer:  (getting waiter/waitress’s attention) Do you have a table available?
  • พนักงานเสิร์ฟ:  มีครับ กี่ท่านครับ
  • phá-nák-ngaan-sòoep:  mii-khráp gìi-thâan-khráp
  • Waiter:  Yes, we have.  How many people?

2- Can I have a menu

Thai phrase:  ขอเมนูหน่อย

Thai pronunciation:  khǎaw-mee-nuu-nàauy

Example:  

  • ลูกค้า:  พี่คะ ขอเมนูหน่อยค่ะ
  • lûuk-kháa:  phîi-khá khǎaw-mee-nuu-nàauy-khâ
  • Customer:  (getting waiter/waitress’s attention) I want a menu.
  • พนักงานเสิร์ฟ:  ได้ค่ะ 
  • phá-nák-ngaan-sòoep:  dâi-khâ
  • Waitress:  Sure.

Calling Waiter

(Getting waiter’s attention – I want a menu.)

3- Do you have any recommendations?

Thai phrase:  มีเมนูแนะนำมั้ย

Thai pronunciation:  mii-mee-nuu-náe-nam-mái

Example:  

  • ลูกค้า:  มีเมนูแนะนำมั้ยครับ
  • lûuk-kháa:  mii-mee-nuu-náe-nam-mái-khráp
  • Customer:  Do you have any recommendations?
  • พนักงานเสิร์ฟ:  เมนูแนะนำของร้านเรา คือ ผัดไทยทะเลค่ะ 
  • phá-nák-ngaan-sòoep:  mee-nuu-náe-nam-khǎawng-ráan-rao-khuue-phàt-thai-thá-lee-khâ
  • Waitress:  Our recommendation is Seafood Padthai.

4- What is this dish?

Thai phrase:  อันนี้ (or dish name) คืออะไร

Thai pronunciation:  an-níi-khuue-à-rai

Additional explanation:  If you don’t know what the dish is called, you can point at the picture or the name and ask the waiter.  Sometimes, the restaurant names the dish uniquely.  Sometimes, the name of Thai food can be so strange that even Thai people can’t guess what it is, such as royal Thai cuisine.  So you have to ask them.

Example:  

  • ลูกค้า:  อันนี้คืออะไรคะ
  • lûuk-kháa:  an-níi-khuue-à-rai-khá
  • Customer:  What is this dish?
  • พนักงานเสิร์ฟ:  อันนี้ คือ ปลาช่อนลุยสวนค่ะ เป็นปลาช่อนทอดราดน้ำยำสมุนไพรค่ะ 
  • phá-nák-ngaan-sòoep:  an-níi-khuue-bplaa-châawn-lui-sǔuan-khâ bpen-bplaa-châawn-thâawt-râat- nám-yam-sà-mǔn-phrai-khâ
  • Waitress:  This is Plachon lui suan.  It is a fried fish topped with spicy herb salad.

5- What is in this dish?

Thai phrase:  อันนี้ (or dish name) ใส่อะไรบ้าง

Thai pronunciation:  an-níi-sài-à-rai-bâang

Additional explanation:  Similar to the question above, If you don’t know what the dish is called, you can point at the picture or the name and ask the waiter.  If you are allergic to some food, this is a useful expression in a restaurant in the Thai language that you should know.

Example:  

  • ลูกค้า:  ปลาช่อนลุยสวนใส่อะไรบ้างคะ
  • lûuk-kháa:  bplaa-châawn-lui-sǔuan-sài-à-rai-bâang-khá
  • Customer:  What is Plachon lui suan?
  • พนักงานเสิร์ฟ:  มีปลาช่อน มะม่วง เม็ดมะม่วงหิมพานต์ แครอท สะระแหน่ พริก และมะนาวค่ะ 
  • phá-nák-ngaan-sòoep:  mii-bplaa-châawn má-mûuang mét-má-mûuang-hǐm-má-phaan khaae-ràawt sà-rá-nàae phrík láe má-naao-khâ
  • Waitress:  There are snakehead fish, mango, cashew, carrot, mint, chili, and lime.

6- Can I get …?

Thai phrase:  ขอ…หน่อย

Thai pronunciation:  khǎaw-…-nàauy

Example:  

  • ลูกค้า:  ขอตะเกียบหน่อยครับ
  • lûuk-kháa:  khǎaw-dtà-gìiap-nàauy-khráp
  • Customer:  Can I get a pair of chopsticks?
  • พนักงานเสิร์ฟ:  ได้ครับ สักครู่นะครับ
  • phá-nák-ngaan-sòoep:  dâi-khráp sàk-khrûu-ná-khráp
  • Waiter:  Sure, please wait for a moment.

7- I can’t eat spicy food.  Please make it not spicy.

Thai phrase:  subject + ทานเผ็ดไม่ได้ ไม่เอาเผ็ดนะ

Thai pronunciation:  subject + thaan-phèt-mâi-dâi mâi-ao-phèt-ná

Example:  

  • ลูกค้า:  ผมทานเผ็ดไม่ได้ ไม่เอาเผ็ดนะครับ
  • lûuk-kháa:  phǒm-thaan-phèt-mâi-dâi mâi-ao-phèt-ná-khráp
  • Customer:  I can’t eat spicy food.  Please make it not spicy.
  • พนักงานเสิร์ฟ:  ได้ครับ ก๋วยเตี๋ยวไม่เผ็ด 1 ชามครับ
  • phá-nák-ngaan-sòoep:  dâi-khráp gǔuai-dtǐiao-mâi-phèt-nùeng-chaam-khráp
  • Waiter:  Okay, 1 bowl of non-spicy noodles.

8- I can’t eat very spicy food.  Please make it just a little spicy.

Thai phrase:  subject + ทานเผ็ดมากไม่ได้ เอาเผ็ดน้อยนะ

Thai pronunciation:  subject + thaan-phèt-mâak-mâi-dâi ao-phèt-náauy-ná

Example:  

  • ลูกค้า:  ป้าทานเผ็ดมากไม่ได้ เอาเผ็ดน้อยนะ
  • lûuk-kháa:  bpâa-thaan-phèt-mâak-mâi-dâi ao-phèt-náauy-ná
  • Customer:  I can’t eat very spicy food.  Make it just a little spicy.
  • พนักงานเสิร์ฟ:  ได้ครับ งั้นส้มตำใส่พริก 1 เม็ดนะครับ
  • phá-nák-ngaan-sòoep:  dâi-khráp ngán-sôm-dtam-sài-phrík-nùeng-mét-ná-khráp
  • Waiter:  Okay, then we will put only 1 chili in papaya salad.

Papaya Salad

(Papaya salad with 1 chili)

9- I’m allergic to (food).  Please don’t put it in.

Thai phrase:  subject + แพ้ + food name อย่าใส่ + food name +นะ

Thai pronunciation:  subject + pháae + food name + yàa-sài + food name – ná 

Example:  

  • ลูกค้า:  ลุงแพ้ถั่วลิสง อย่าใส่ถั่วนะ
  • lûuk-kháa:  lung-pháae-thùua-lí-sǒng yàa-sài-thǔua-ná
  • Customer:  I’m allergic to nuts.  Don’t put it in.
  • พนักงานเสิร์ฟ:  ได้ค่ะ ผัดไทยไม่ใส่ถั่ว 1 ที่นะคะ
  • phá-nák-ngaan-sòoep:  dâi-khâ phàt-thai-mâi-sài-thùua-nùeng-thîi-ná-khá
  • Waitress:  Okay, Padthai with no nuts.

Additional information:  When it comes to ordering food in Thai, you will find that you can tell them what you need and don’t need.  For example, if you don’t like something, ask them not to put it in.  If you don’t like a certain taste, you can ask them to adjust (such as “not so sweet, please”).  Most of the restaurants have no problem cooking as you request.  Again, we recommend you learn Thai vocabulary about ingredients to be able to use this sentence.

10- Where is the toilet?

Thai phrase:  ห้องน้ำอยู่ทางไหน

Thai pronunciation:  hâawng-nám-yùu-thaang-nǎi 

Example:  

  • ลูกค้า:  ห้องน้ำอยู่ทางไหนครับ
  • lûuk-kháa:  hâawng-nám-yùu-thaang-nǎi-khráp
  • Customer:  Where is the toilet?
  • พนักงานเสิร์ฟ:  ตรงไปด้านนี้ อยู่ฝั่งซ้ายมือค่ะ
  • phá-nák-ngaan-sòoep:  dtrong-bpai-dâan-níi yùu-fàng-sáai-muue-khâ
  • Waitress:  Go straight this way, it is on the left.

11- Can I get a take-out, please?

Thai phrase:  ช่วยห่อกลับบ้านหน่อย

Thai pronunciation:  chûuay-hàaw-glàp-bâan-nàauy

Example:  

  • ลูกค้า:  ช่วยห่อกลับบ้านหน่อยครับ
  • lûuk-kháa:  chûuay-hàaw-glàp-bâan-nàauy-khráp
  • Customer:  Can I get a take-out, please?
  • พนักงานเสิร์ฟ:  ได้ค่ะ สักครู่นะคะ
  • phá-nák-ngaan-sòoep:  dâi-khâ sàk-khrûu-ná-khá
  • Waitress:  Sure, a moment, please.

Additional information:  Thai people use meal time to bond with one another, and the way to do it is sharing the food.  When Thai people gather and have a meal together, they often order a lot of food.  So it is possible that there is leftover food which they often take back home.

Sharing French Fries

(Thai people like sharing food.)

3. Phrases used after dining in a restaurant in Thai

Once you finish your meal, you have to know how to ask for the bill in Thai.  Another Thai phrase used in restaurants that are very useful is how to ask about promotion and discount.  You can find all these basic Thai restaurant words and phrases below.

1- Bill, please

Thai phrase:  เก็บเงินหน่อย / คิดเงินหน่อย / เช็คบิลหน่อย

Thai pronunciation:  gèp-ngoen-nàauy / khít-ngoen-nàauy / chék-bin-nàauy 

Example1:  

  • ลูกค้า:  เก็บเงินหน่อยค่ะ ทั้งหมดเท่าไหร่คะ
  • lûuk-kháa:  gèp-ngoen-nàauy-khâ tháng-mòt-thâo-rài-khá
  • Customer:  Bill, please.  How much is it?
  • พนักงานเสิร์ฟ:  ทั้งหมด 6 ชาม 300 บาทค่ะ
  • phá-nák-ngaan-sòoep:  tháng-mòt-hòk-chaam sǎam-ráauy-bàat-khâ
  • Waitress:  It is 300 Baht in total for 6 bowls.

Example2:  

  • ลูกค้า:  คิดเงินหน่อยครับ
  • lûuk-kháa:  khít-ngoen-nàauy-khráp
  • Customer:  Bill, please.  
  • พนักงานเสิร์ฟ:  ได้ค่ะ สักครู่นะคะ
  • phá-nák-ngaan-sòoep:  dâi-khà sàk-khrûu-ná-khá
  • Waitress:  A moment please.

Example3:  

  • ลูกค้า:  เช็คบิลหน่อยครับ
  • lûuk-kháa:  chék-bin-nàauy-khráp
  • Customer:  Bill, please.  
  • พนักงานเสิร์ฟ:  ทั้งหมด 1,150 บาทครับ ถ้าลูกค้าชำระเป็นเงินสดมีส่วนลด 10 % ครับ
  • phá-nák-ngaan-sòoep:  tháng-mòt-nùeng-phan-nùeng-ráauy-hâa-sìp-bàat-khráp thâa-lûuk-kháa- cham-rá-bpen-ngoen-sòt-mii-sùuan-lót-sìp-bpooe-sen-khráp
  • Waiter:  It is 1,150 Baht.  If you pay in cash, we will give you a 10% discount.

Additional information:  เช็คบิลหน่อย (chék-bin-nàauy) may seem weird when you think of it in English.  Thai people in the past tried to copy and translate restaurant phrases from English to Thai but made a mistake in the process.  Instead of using either check or bill, they combined these words together.

2- Can I pay with a credit card?

Thai phrase:  รับบัตรเครดิตมั้ย

Thai pronunciation:  ráp-bàt-khree-dìt-mái

Example:  

  • ลูกค้า:  รับบัตรเครดิตมั้ยครับ
  • lûuk-kháa:  ráp-bàt-khree-dìt-mái-khráp
  • Customer:  Can I pay with a credit card?
  • พนักงานเสิร์ฟ:  ถ้ายอดเกิน 300 บาท ชำระด้วยบัตรเครดิตได้ค่ะ
  • phá-nák-ngaan-sòoep:  thâa-yâawt-gooen-sǎam-ráauy-bàat cham-rá-dûuai-bàt-khree-dìt-dâi-khâ
  • Waitress:  If the amount exceeds 300 Baht, you can pay with a credit card.

Handing Credit Card.

(Can I pay with a credit card?)

3- Can we pay separately?

Thai phrase:  จ่ายแยกได้มั้ย

Thai pronunciation:  jàai-yâaek-dâi-mái

Example:  

  • ลูกค้า:  จ่ายแยกได้มั้ยครับ
  • lûuk-kháa: jàai-yâaek-dâi-mái-khráp
  • Customer:  Can we pay separately?
  • พนักงานเสิร์ฟ:  ได้ค่ะ คนละ 80 บาทค่ะ
  • phá-nák-ngaan-sòoep:  dâi-khâ khon-lá-bpàaet-sìp-bàat-khâ
  • Waitress:  Yes, you can.  It is 80 Baht / person.

4- Do you have any promotions?

Thai phrase:  มีโปรโมชั่นอะไรมั้ย

Thai pronunciation: mii-bproo-moo-chân-à-rai-mái

Example:  

  • ลูกค้า:  มีโปรโมชั่นอะไรมั้ยคะ
  • lûuk-kháa: mii-bproo-moo-chân-à-rai-mái-khá
  • Customer:  Do you have any promotions?
  • พนักงานเสิร์ฟ:  ถ้าลูกค้าใช้บัตรเครดิตซิตี้แบงค์ มีส่วนลด 5% ค่ะ
  • phá-nák-ngaan-sòoep:  thâa-lûuk-kháa-chái-bàt-khree-dìt-sí-dtîi-báaeng mii-sùuan-lót-hâa-bpooe- sen-khâ
  • Waitress:  If you pay with CitiBank credit card, there is a 5% discount.

5- I want (quantity) of noun

Thai phrase:  เอา + noun + quantity + numerical classifier

Thai pronunciation: ao + noun + quantity + numerical classifier

Example:  

  • ลูกค้า:  เอาขนมครก 2 กล่อง
  • lûuk-kháa: ao-khà-nǒm-khrók-sǎawng-glàawng
  • Customer:  I want 2 boxes of Khanomkrok
  • พนักงานเสิร์ฟ:  เอาหน้าอะไรคะ
  • phá-nák-ngaan-sòoep: ao-nâa-à-rai-khá
  • Waitress:  Which topping do you want?
  • ลูกค้า:  ข้าวโพดกับเผือกครับ
  • lûuk-kháa: khâao-phôot-gàp-phùueak-khráp
  • Customer:  corn and taro

Additional information:  ขนมครก (khà-nǒm-khrók) is a sweet and savory Thai sweet made from coconut milk.  It can be served with no topping or served with corn, taro, or spring onion as a topping.  It is crisp on the outside and soft on the inside.   It is one of the street foods in Thailand.

4. Conclusion

For those who live in Thailand or are about to come to Thailand, we hope this lesson is very useful for you.  With all the Thai words and phrases we provide you, along with the example of Thai conversation in a restaurant, you should be able to communicate and have a good meal in Thailand.  Do you have any comments on the way Thai people order food?  Is it different from your country?  Let us know in the comment below.

Now that you have learned the restaurant phrases in the Thai language, you may find related topics interesting.  Here are some Thai lessons recommendations from ThaiPod101.com, table etiquette, Thai sweets, and asking how to eat something.

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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 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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10 Reasons Why You Should Learn the Thai Language

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So, you’re thinking about learning a foreign language…but you’re not quite convinced that it’s worth the time and effort. Or maybe you’re aware of the benefits bilingualism can bring, but you’re not sure which language you should pursue. 

If you’re feeling stuck and need that extra push to start working toward your linguistic aspirations, you’ve come to the right place! 

In this article, we’ll give you 10 compelling answers to the question “Why learn Thai?” 

Some of the reasons we list can be applied to any foreign language (career opportunities and personal growth), while others are unique to Thai (familiarity with the Thai culture and better access to the country). 

Let’s dig in!

A Woman Thinking against a White Background

Why should you learn Thai?

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Thai Table of Contents
  1. Thailand has a rich culture.
  2. It’s a nice place for retirement.
  3. Learning Thai will increase your work opportunities and career options.
  4. It will also increase your business opportunities.
  5. You’ll have better travel experiences.
  6. You’ll be able to communicate better with loved ones.
  7. Your life in Thailand will be much more convenient.
  8. You’ll have a better chance of wooing a Thai lover.
  9. The grammar is actually pretty easy!
  10. You can learn Thai online, anywhere and anytime.
  11. Conclusion

1. Thailand has a rich culture.

Thailand may be a famous travel destination with natural beauty and an inexpensive cost of living, but many people become interested in something else while visiting: the Thai society and culture. 

Thai food is delicious, the local art is unique and beautiful, and many people like how Thai people live.  

If you like Thailand, this is a great reason why you should learn Thai. The language itself is a part of Thai culture, and knowing at least the basics will enable you to understand the culture and society better.

2. It’s a nice place for retirement.

Thinking about retirement? Here are just a few reasons Thailand is the perfect place to spend your golden years: 

But there’s a hitch: Not all Thai people can speak English.  

Close your eyes and imagine you’re grocery shopping or trying to go somewhere by yourself. You try asking someone for help, but you cannot communicate with anyone because of the language barrier. As a result, you end up spending money on something you don’t want or get lost.

So, if your retirement plan is to live in Thailand, learning the Thai language is essential. If you can communicate, life will be much easier for you!

An Old Man Painting Something

I want to live in Thailand after retirement.

3. Learning Thai will increase your work opportunities and career options.

Another compelling reason why you should learn Thai is that it will benefit your work life—especially if you plan to work abroad or with an international company! 

First of all, it will make communication with your coworkers so much easier. Most of the Thai people you’ll work with may not be able to communicate in English well, so knowing their language will allow for smoother operations in the workplace.

Second, learning the Thai language will help you understand the Thai culture and how Thai people think. When working abroad, cultural differences in the workplace often cause problems. Knowing the Thai language can help you see your coworkers’ point of view and reduce the number of issues resulting from cultural differences. 

Third, better communication can improve the quality of work and even lead to a promotion!

Finally, learning a foreign language broadens your career options. Thailand is quite open to foreign workers, and knowing Thai will give you more career opportunities in this beautiful country. 

4. It will also increase your business opportunities.

As mentioned earlier, learning the language will help you understand Thai people better—and this is the key to doing good business here! 

Your cultural knowledge, combined with the insight you gain through conversations with others, will make you a more appealing individual with whom to do business. And believe us, there are tons of business opportunities here! For example, you could…

  • …invest in interesting projects that have a chance to be successful but have no funding.  
  • …invent products and services for Thai people.  
  • …find markets for Thai exported products.
  • …own and operate a big business in Thailand.
A Man Shaking Hands with a Woman During a Business-related Meeting

Because I know Thai, I am able to make great business deals.

5. You’ll have better travel experiences.

When you travel, it’s always better to know the language of the country you’re visiting. Before we get ahead of ourselves, though…what makes Thailand such a fantastic travel destination? 

  • Thailand is full of natural beauty.
  • The country has a unique art scene. 
  • The food here is to die for! 
  • Believe it or not, traveling in Thailand is fairly inexpensive. 

Future plans to visit this stunning country is a great reason to learn Thai, and here’s why: 

First of all, there will be less chance of you getting lost—and even if you did get really lost, you could ask locals for directions. On a side note: Don’t be afraid to ask locals for help! Even if your Thai isn’t up to par yet, most locals will be more than willing to help you out. 

Second, you’ll be able to experience living like a local. Some tourists worry about the language barrier; they typically feel more comfortable going to restaurants with menus in English or places with English-speaking staff. However, if you know the Thai language, you won’t have to worry about that at all. You’ll be able to visit the restaurants and places most popular among locals.

Third, you can bargain and ask for discounts when shopping. Anyone who loves shopping also loves a good discount. And let us tell you, if you go to a Thai market and can talk the talk, most sellers will often give you a small discount or giveaway.  

6. You’ll be able to communicate better with loved ones.

Speaking in English with Thai people—even if they know the language well—is not the same as using their native tongue. 

If you have family members, a partner, or friends who are Thai, communicating with them in their mother tongue can strengthen your bonds with them. Taking the time and putting in the effort to learn their language will show them you care and really want to maintain a good relationship.

Moreover, your loved one will be more than happy to help you practice your Thai once you make the commitment—it’s a win-win situation!

Two Thai Women Sitting on a Sofa and Talking

I can talk to my Thai friend in Thai.

7. Your life in Thailand will be much more convenient. 

Do you plan to live or work in Thailand? Or maybe you want to visit often? These are good reasons why you should learn Thai! 

We’ve touched on this a little bit in our previous points, but to recap, you’ll be able to…

  • …visit a greater variety of restaurants, shops, and less-touristic locations with ease! 
  • …read signs and understand announcements. 
  • …communicate with Thai people who do not speak English well (juristic office staff, mechanics, etc.). 

8. You’ll have a better chance of wooing a Thai lover. 

Communication is key in any romantic relationship. When you live together with someone, you want to talk to one another and share your thoughts. 

If you’ve recently found yourself swooning over a potential Thai lover, you should consider making the effort to learn their native tongue. After all, Google Translate isn’t really a practical way to share your innermost feelings with someone. 

Do you already have a Thai partner? Then learning their mother tongue will show them that you’re willing to go the extra mile! 

9. The grammar is actually pretty easy! 

While deciding whether to learn a foreign language or not, one usually takes into consideration how difficult that language is. If a given language is particularly difficult or has complex grammar rules, you might opt to study a different one. 

Fortunately for you, Thai grammar is very easy! Here’s why:

  • There is no grammatical gender.
  • There is no verb conjugation.  
  • Most of the sentence structures are quite simple and similar to those in English.  

For more useful information on the topic, visit our lesson on Thai Grammar or read our article Is Thai Difficult to Learn? (And Tips to Succeed!).

10. You can learn Thai online, anywhere and anytime.

Still wondering why to learn Thai? 

Well, studying foreign languages is so much easier today than in times past. 

With the internet, you can learn Thai at your own pace from anywhere in the world. If you’re wondering where to learn Thai online, look no further than ThaiPod101.com! While there are a few different resources available, we can offer the best results! 

Our professional language learning platform has become one of the best ways to learn Thai. We create lessons and materials designed to speed up your learning progress, and we even design curated pathways for learners at different levels. When you create your account with ThaiPod101, you get all of this in addition to support from Thai teachers and practical tips on how to learn Thai effectively.

A Woman Doing Something on Her Tablet

It’s so convenient to learn Thai online at ThaiPod101.com.

11. Conclusion

As you can see, there are many good reasons for you to learn Thai.  

After reading this article, what are your thoughts on learning the language? Are you any closer to making a decision? 

If you would like to sample what to expect from the Thai language (and from our learning platform), we recommend checking out these fun lessons on ThaiPod101.com: 

Happy learning!

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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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Common English Words in Thai: Do You Know Tinglish?

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Because English is a global language, it’s only natural that it would influence and be used in other languages, including Thai. If you know anything about Thai culture or have lived in Thailand for any amount of time, you’ll know that Thai people are very open-minded concerning outside influences. For this reason, there are many English loanwords in the Thai language. 

However, this influence has not been heavily reciprocated, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find any Thai words used in English. 

In this article, we’ll introduce you to Tinglish (Thai+English), English loanwords in Thai, and more!

A Woman Reading a Book on the Bus

Let’s learn Tinglish and English loanwords!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Thai Table of Contents
  1. Introduction to Tinglish
  2. English Loanwords Used in Thai
  3. How to Say These Names in Thai
  4. Conclusion

1. Introduction to Tinglish

As mentioned earlier, Thai people are pretty open-minded. They have been greatly influenced by foreigners in terms of food, clothing, and language. There is no clear evidence indicating how Tinglish became so popular, but a possible explanation is that some Thai people heard these English words used in a specific context and misunderstood the actual meanings. As a result, they began using these words incorrectly.

Although the pronunciation of Tinglish words is the same as (or very similar to) that of the original English words, you have to know their Thai meaning in order to communicate effectively with Thai people. 

To help you start strong, we’ve compiled several examples of Tinglish, or common English words used in Thai with different meanings. 

1 – Fit 

Thai word: ฟิต (fít)

English meaning: the perfect size

Thai meaning: too tight or too small 

Example:  
ชั้นใส่กระโปรงตัวนี้ไม่ได้แล้ว มันฟิตเกินไป ต้องลดความอ้วนแล้วหละ
chǎn-sài-grà-bproong-dtuua-níi-mài-dâi-láaeo man-fít-gooen-bpai dtôong-lót-khwaam-aûuan-láaeo-là
I can no longer wear this skirt. It is too tight. I have to go on a diet now.

2 – Check bill 

Thai word: เช็คบิล (chék-bin)

English meaning: In English, people use either “check” or “bill.”

Thai meaning: Thai people use both words together as เช็คบิล (chék-bin).

Example:  
เช็คบิลเลยค่ะ และอาหารที่เหลือนี่ห่อกลับบ้านนะคะ
chék-bin-looei-khà láe-aa-hǎan-thîi-lǔuea-nîi-hàaw-glàp-bâan-ná-khá
Bill, please. And pack this leftover food to take home.

A Man Asking for the Check at a Restaurant

Should I say “check bill” or “bill”?

3 – Intrend

Thai word: อินเทรนด์ (in-treen)

English meaning: There is no English meaning for this word, but it comes from the word “trend.”

Thai meaning: trendy

Example:  
ตอนนี้สีเขียวกำลังอินเทรนด์เลย
dtaawn-níi-sǐi-khǐiao-gam-lang-in-threen-looei
“Green” is very trendy now.

4 – Chill 

Thai word: ชิล (chin)

English meaning: cold

Thai meaning: chill out

Example:  
บรรยากาศดีมาก น่ามานั่งชิล
ban-yaa-gàat-dii-mâak nâa-maa-nâng-chin
The atmosphere is very good for chilling out.

5 – In 

Thai word: อิน (in)

English meaning: a preposition 

Thai meaning: being “into” something

Example:  
ตอนนี้แม่กำลังอินเรื่องการปลูกต้นไม้
dtaawn-níi-mâae-gam-lang-in-rûueang-gaan-bplùuk-dtôn-mái
Right now, mom is so into planting.

6 – Fitness 

Thai word: ฟิตเนส (fít-nèet)

English meaning: a term referring to being physically fit and healthy

Thai meaning: a fitness center or gym

Example:  
ฤดีไปออกกำลังกายที่ฟิตเนสทุกวัน
rúe-dii-bpai-àawk-gam-lang-gaai-thîi-fít-nèet-thúk-wan
Ruedee goes to the gym every day.

A Woman being Spotted on the Bench Press at the Gym

I go to the ‘gym,’ not the ‘fitness.’

7 – Over 

Thai word: โอเวอร์ (oo-vôoe)

English meaning: an adjective (Winter is almost over.) / a preposition (over the mountain) / an adverb (the puddle he jumped over) / a prefix (The light was overhead.)

Thai meaning: to exaggerate

Example:  
อย่าพูดจาโอเวอร์ไปหน่อยเลย
yàa-phûut-jaa-oo-vôoe-bpai-nàauy-looei
Don’t over exaggerate.

8 – Gay 

Thai word: เกย์ (gee)

English meaning: homosexual

Thai meaning: male homosexual

Explanation: While the English word can refer to both male and female homosexuals, the Thai word only refers to males.

Example:  
พัฒน์เป็นเกย์
phát-bpen-gee
Pat is gay.

9 – Wave

Thai word: เวฟ (wéep)

English meaning: sea wave / a hand gesture used for greeting

Thai meaning: to warm food or a drink in a microwave oven

Explanation: Thai people shorten the word “microwave” and use it as a verb.

Example:  
หลังจากนำออกจากตู้เย็น ให้เอาไปเวฟ 1 นาที
lǎng-jàak-nam-àawk-jàak-dtûu-yen hâi-aao-bpai-wéep-nùeng-naa-thi
Warm this in the microwave for 1 minute after taking it out from the fridge.

10 – Pretty 

Thai word: พริตตี้ (phrít-dtîi)

English meaning: beautiful or cute

Thai meaning: model

Example:  
พริตตี้ที่งานมอเตอร์โชว์สวยมาก
phrít-dtîi-thîi-ngaan-maaw-dtôoe-shoo-sǔuai-mâak
Models at the auto show are very beautiful.

2. English Loanwords Used in Thai 

คำทับศัพท์ (kham-tháp-sàp) means “English loanwords.” 

The difference between English loanwords in Thai and Tinglish is that loanwords retain their original English meaning. There are a lot of English words used in Thai, so we’ve prepared a list of the most common loanwords by category.

1 – Food

  • apple = แอบเปิ้ล (áep-bpôoen)
  • strawberry = สตอเบอร์รี่ (sà-dtraaw-booe-rîi)
  • blueberry = บลูเบอร์รี่ (bluu-booe-rîi)
  • berry = เบอร์รี่ (booe-rîi)
  • cherry = เชอร์รี่ (chooe-rîi)
  • kiwi = กีวี่ (gii-wîi)
  • soup = ซุป (súp)
  • hotdog = ฮ็อทดอก (hót-dòk)
  • burger = เบอร์เกอร์ (booe-gôoe)
  • french fries = เฟรนซ์ฟราย (frén-fraai)
  • macaroni = มักกะโรนี (mák-gà-roo-ni)
  • spaghetti = สปาเก็ตตี้ (sà-bpa-gét-dtîi)
  • pasta = พาสต้า (pháat-dtâa)
  • pie = พาย (phaai)
  • ham = แฮม (haaem)
  • carrot = แครอท (khee-ràawt)
  • broccoli = บล็อคโคลี่ (bláwk-khoo-lîi)
  • cheese = ชีส (chíit)
  • mustard = มัสตาร์ด (mát-dtàat)
  • mayonnaise = มายองเนส (maa-yaawng-néet)
  • barley = บาร์เลย์ (baa-lèe)
  • quinoa = คีนัว (khii-nuua)
  • almond = อัลมอนด์ (an-môn)
  • macadamia = แม็คคาเดเมีย (máek-khaa-dee-miia)
  • walnut = วอลนัท (waaw-nát)
  • jam = แยม (yaaem)
  • cake = เค้ก (khêek)
  • cookie = คุ้กกี้ (khúk-gîi)
  • chocolate = ช็อคโกแล็ต (chók-goo-láaet)
  • vanilla = วะนิลา (vá-ní-laa)
  • sauce = ซอส (sáawt)
  • toffee = ท็อฟฟี่ (thóp-fîi)
  • ice cream = ไอศครีม (ai-sà-khriim)
  • soda = โซดา (soo-daa)
  • rum = รัม (ram)
  • brandy = บรั่นดี (bràn-dii)
  • whiskey = วิสกี้ (vít-gîi)
  • beer = เบียร์ (biia)

An Image of Several Grains, Nuts, Fruits, and Veggies

There are many English loanwords related to food and drinks.

2 – Sports 

  • golf = กอล์ฟ (gáawp)
  • ball = บอล (baawn)
  • football = ฟุตบอล (fút-baawn)
  • basketball = บาสเก็ตบอล (báat-gêt-baawn)
  • tennis = เทนนิส (then-nít)
  • ski = สกี (sà-gii)
  • skateboard = สเก็ตบอร์ด (sà-gét-bàawt
  • bowling = โบว์ลิ่ง (boo-lîng)
  • captain = กัปตัน (gàp-dtan)
  • game = เกม (geem)
  • foul = ฟาวล์ (faao)

3 – Music 

  • piano = เปียโน (bpiia-noo)
  • guitar = กีตาร์ (gii-dtâa)
  • violin = ไวโอลิน (vai-oo-lin)
  • flute = ฟลุ๊ต (flút)
  • bass = เบส (bèet)
  • note = โน๊ต (nóot)
  • chord = คอร์ด (khàawt)
  • chorus = คอรัส (khaaw-rát)
  • microphone = ไมโครโฟน (mai-khroo-foon)
  • single = ซิงเกิล (sing-gôoen)
  • album = อัลบัม (an-la-bâm)
  • show = โชว์ (shoo)
  • concert = คอนเสิร์ต (khaawn-sòoet)

4 – Automobiles and Electronics

  • gear = เกียร์ (giia)
  • brake = เบรก (brèek)
  • bus = บัส (bàt)
  • tractor = แทรกเตอร์ (thráek-dtôoe)
  • taxi = แท็กซี่ (tháek-sîi)
  • technology = เทคโนโลยี (thék-noo-loo-yii)
  • computer = คอมพิวเตอร์ (khaawm-phíu-dtôoe)
  • notebook = โน๊ตบุ๊ค (nóot-búk)
  • keyboard = คีย์บอร์ด (khii-bàawt)
  • mouse = เมาส์ (máo)
  • plug = ปลั๊ก (bplák)
  • internet = อินเตอร์เน็ท (in-dtooe-nèt
  • website = เว็บไซต์ (wép-sái)
  • digital = ดิจิตอล (dí-gì-dtân)
  • update = อัพเดท (áp-dèet)

5 – Academics

  • graph = กราฟ (gráap)
  • quota = โควต้า (khoo-dtâa)
  • nuclear = นิวเคลียร์ (niu-kriia)
  • protein = โปรตีน (bproo-dtiin)
  • carbohydrate = คาร์โบไฮเดรต (khaa-boo-hai-drèet)
  • physic = ฟิสิกส์ (fí-sìk)
  • cell = เซลล์ (seen)
  • spore = สปอร์ (sà-bpoo)
  • course = คอร์ส (kháawt)
  • fossil = ฟอสซิล (fót-sîn)
  • thesis = ธีสิส (thii-sìt)
  • grade = เกรด (grèet)

6 – Clothes and Cosmetics 

  • bra = บรา (braa)
  • boxer shorts = บ็อกเซอร์ (bók-sôoe)
  • necktie = เน็คไท (nék-thai)
  • jeans = ยีนส์ (yiin)
  • dress = เดรส (dréet)
  • lipstick = ลิปสติก (líp-sà-dtìk)
  • eyeshadow = อายชาโดว์ (aai-shaa-dôo)
  • brush on = บรัชออน (bràt-aawn)
  • mascara = มาสคาร่า (máat-khaa-râa)
  • toner = โทนเนอร์ (thoon-nôoe)
  • moisturizer = มอยซ์เจอร์ไรเซอร์ (máauy-jooe-rái-sôoe)
  • lotion = โลชั่น (loo-chân)

7 – Places

  • office = ออฟฟิศ (áawp-fít)
  • clinic = คลีนิก (khlii-nìk)
  • resort = รีสอร์ท (rii-sàawt)
  • apartment = อพาร์ทเมนท์ (a-pháat-mén)
  • condominium = คอนโดมิเนียม (khon-doo-mí-nîiam)
  • club = คลับ (khlàp)
  • bar = บาร์ (baa)
  • farm = ฟาร์ม (faam)
  • lift = ลิฟท์ (líp)

8 – Animals 

  • giraffe = ยีราฟ (yii-ráap)
  • hippopotamus = ฮิปโปโปเตมัส (híp-bpoo-bpoo-dtee-mát)
  • koala = โคอาล่า (khoo-aa-lâa)
  • panda = แพนด้า (phaaen-dâa)
  • penguin = เพนกวิน (phen-gwîn)
  • dinosaur = ไดโนเสาร์ (dai-noo-sǎo)

A Mother Koala Bear with Its Baby

A lot of animal names in Thai are English loanwords.

9 – Health and Hospitals 

  • vitamin = วิตามิน (wi-dtaa-min)
  • vaccine = วัคซีน (wák-siin)
  • serum = เซรุ่ม (see-rûm)
  • virus = ไวรัส (wai-rát)
  • bacteria = แบคทีเรีย (bàaek-thii-riia)
  • X-ray = เอ็กซ์เรย์ (ék-sà-ree)
  • CT-scan = ซีทีแสกน (sii-thii-sà-gaaen)

10 – Verbs

  • copy = ก็อบปี้ (gáawp-bpîi)
  • click = คลิก (khlík)
  • cheer = เชียร์ (chiia)
  • charge = ชาร์จ (cháat)
  • check = เช็ค (chék)
  • shopping = ชอปปิ้ง (cháawp-bpîng)
  • print = ปรินท์ (bprín)

11 – Other English Loanwords in Thai 

  • plastic = พลาสติก (phláat-sà-dtìk)
  • gas = แก็ส (gáaet)
  • card = การ์ด (gáat)
  • cartoon = การ์ตูน (gaa-dtuun)
  • coupon = คูปอง (khuu-bpaawng)
  • guide = ไกด์ (gái)
  • tour = ทัวร์ (thuua)
  • queue = คิว (khiu)
  • spray = สเปร์ย (sà-phree)
  • spa = สปา (sà-bpaa)
  • TV = ทีวี (thii-wii)

3. How to Say These Names in Thai

In addition to คำทับศัพท์ (kham-tháp-sàp), or “loanwords,” there are many English words in the Thai language that derive directly from global brands or names. Like loanwords, these words have a different pronunciation in Thai. Read through this useful list we’ve compiled to get a better idea of how to pronounce global names in the Thai language! 

1 – Restaurant and Cafe Brands 

  • McDonald’s = แม็คโดนัล (máek-doo-nân)
  • KFC = เค เอฟ ซี (khee-éep-sii)
  • Burger King = เบอร์เกอร์ คิง (booe-gôoe-khing)
  • 7-Eleven = เซเว่น อีเลเว่น (see-wêen-ii-lee-wêen)
  • Family Mart = แฟมิลี่มาร์ท (faaem-mí-lîi-màat)
  • Starbucks = สตาร์บัค (sà-dtaa-bák)
  • Au Bon Pain = โอบองแปง (oo-baawng-bpaaeng)
  • Swensen = สเวนเซ่นส์ (sà-wên-sên)

2 – Entertainment-Related Names 

  • Marvel = มาร์เวล (maa-wêen)
  • Disney = ดิสนีย์ (dít-nîi)
  • Harry Potter = แฮร์รี่ พ็อตเตอร์ (haae-rîi-pháawt-dtôoe)
  • Lord of the Rings = ลอร์ด ออฟ เดอะ ริงส์ (làawt-áawp-dòe-ring)
  • Star Wars = สตาร์ วอร์ (sà-dtaa-waaw)
  • Iron Man = ไอรอนแมน (ai-râawn-maaen)
  • Captain America = กัปตันอเมริกา (gàp-dtan-à-mee-rí-gaa)
  • Hulk = ฮัค (hák)
  • Thor = ธอร์ (thaaw)
  • Black Widow = แบล็ควิโดว์ (bláaek-wí-dôo)
  • Hawkeye = ฮอร์คอาย (háawk-aai)
  • Spider-Man = สไปเดอร์แมน (sà-bpái-dôoe-maaen)
  • Antman = แอนท์แมน (áaen-maaen)
  • X-men = เอ็กซ์เมน (ék-meen)
  • Batman = แบทแมน (báaet-maaen)
  • Superman = ซุปเปอร์แมน (súp-phôoe-maaen)
  • Wonder Woman = วอนเดอร์วูแมน (wáawn-dôoe-wuu-mâaen)
  • Aquaman = อควาแมน (à-khwâa-maaen)
  • MIB = เอ็ม ไอ บี (em-ai-bii)
  • Transformers = ทรานซ์ฟอร์เมอร์ (thraan-faaw-môoe)
  • Toy Story = ทอยสตอรี่ (thaauy-sà-dtaaw-rîi)
  • Frozen = โฟรเซ่น (froo-sên)
  • Lion King = ไลออน คิงส์ (lai-âawn-king)
  • Mulan = มู่หลาน (mûu-lǎan)
  • Beauty and the Beast = บิวตี้ แอนด์ เดอะ บีสต์ (biu-dtîi-aaen-dòe-bìit)
  • Maleficent = มาลิฟิเซนต์ (ma-lí-fi-sén)

A Cartoon Drawing of Thor

Thor is ธอร์ in Thai.

3 – Singer and Band Names

  • Maroon 5 = มารูน ไฟฟ์ (maa-ruun-fái)
  • Linkin Park = ลินคิน พาร์ค (lin-khîn-pháak)
  • Black Eyed Peas = แบล็ค อาย พี (bláaek-aai-phii)
  • One Direction = วัน ไดเร็คชั่น (wan-dai-rék-chân)
  • The Pussycat Dolls = พุซซี่ แคทดอล (phút-sîi-kháet-daawn)
  • Fifth Harmony = ฟิฟ ฮาร์โมนี่ (fít-haa-moo-nîi)
  • Coldplay = โคล เพลย์ (khoo-phlee)
  • Beyonce = บียองเซ่ (bii-yaawng-sêe)
  • Taylor Swift = เทเลอร์ สวิฟต์ (thee-lôoe-sà-wíp)
  • Katy Perry = เคที่ เพร์รี (khee-thîi-phee-rîi)
  • Kanye = คานเย (khaan-yêe)
  • Snoop Dogg = สนูป ดอกซ์ (sà-núup-dáawk)
  • Jennifer Lopez = เจนนิเฟอร์ โลเปซ (jee-ní-fôoe-loo-phéet)
  • Mariah Carey = มาราย แครี่ (maa-raai-khee-rîi)
  • Charlie Puth = ชาร์ลี พุท (chaa-lii-phút)
  • Celine Dion = เซลีน ดีออน (see-riin-dii-aawn)
  • Nicki Minaj = นิคกี้ มินาจ (ník-gîi-míi-nàat)
  • Meghan Trainor = เมแกน เทรนเนอร์ (mee-gaaen-three-nôoe)
  • Justin Bieber = จัสติน บีเบอร์ (ját-thin-bii-bôoe)
  • Eminem = เอ็มมิเน็ม (em-mí-nem)
  • Selena Gomez = เซลาน่า โกเมซ (see-lee-nâa-goo-méet)
  • Bruno Mars = บรูโน่ มาร์ส (bluu-nôo-maa)

4 – Clothing Brands 

  • Victoria’s Secret = วิคตอเรีย ซีเคร็ท (wík-dtaaw-riia-sii-khrèt)
  • Playboy = เพลย์บอล (phlee-baauy)
  • H&M = เอช แอนด์ เอ็ม (éet-aaen-em)
  • Zara = ซาร่า (saa-râa)
  • Mango = แมงโก้ (maaeng-gôo)
  • Uniqlo = ยูนิโคล่ (uu-ní-khlôo)
  • Nike = ไนกี้ (nai-gîi)
  • Adidas = อาดิดาส (aa-di-dáat)
  • Puma = พูม่า (phuu-mâa)
  • Topshop = ท็อปช็อป (tháawp-chàawp)
  • Mark & Spencer = มาร์ค แอนด์ สเปนเซอร์ (máak-aaen-sà-phen-sôoe)
  • Flipflop = ฟิตฟลอป (fít-flàawp)
  • Birkenstock = เบอร์เก็นสต็อค (booe-gên-sà-dtáawk)

5 – Cosmetic Brands 

  • Mac = แม็ค (máek)
  • Benefit = เบเนฟิต (bee-nee-fìt)
  • Bobby Brown = บ็อบบี้ บราวน์ (bóp-bîi-braao)
  • Kiehl’s = คีลส์ (khiin)
  • L’oreal = ลอรีอัล (laaw-ríi-ân)
  • Maybelline = เมเบอร์ลีน (mee-booe-liin)
  • Clinique = คลีนิค (khlii-nìk)
  • Lamer = ลาแมร์ (laa-maae)

6 – Bag Brands 

  • Chanel = ชาแนล (chaa-naaen)
  • Coach = โค้ช (khóot)
  • Prada = ปราด้า (bpraa-dâa)
  • Kate Spade = เคท สเปซ (khéet-sà-bpéet)
  • Louis Vuitton = หลุยส์ วิคตอง (lǔi-vít-dtaawng)
  • Gucci = กุชชี่ (gút-chîi)

7 – Grocery Brands 

  • Unilever = ยูนิลีเวอร์ (uu-ní-lii-wôoe)
  • P&G = พี แอนด์ จี (phii-aaen-jii)
  • Nestle = เนสท์เล่ (néet-lêe)
  • Lion = ไลอ้อน (lai-âawn)

Conclusion

By now, you’ve learned many of the most popular English words in the Thai language. We bet you can remember most (if not all) of them, as they sound so similar to their English equivalents. Because Thai people use these words so often, memorizing them is an important step in your language learning journey. 

Were you surprised by any of the words on our list? Let us know in the comments, and feel free to list any more loanwords you know about! 

And as always, don’t forget to explore ThaiPod101.com to find more interesting lessons. Not sure where to start? Here are a few we think you’ll like: 

Happy learning, and have fun practicing your Tinglish!

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A Brief Thai Culture Overview

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If you’ve ever been to Thailand, you may have found yourself quickly becoming enthralled with the Thai culture. The culture of Thailand features some very distinct qualities that set it apart from Western culture. From the warm, friendly, and open smiles of its people to the national religion of Buddhism, Thailand will inspire any visitor to learn more about the Thai culture, people, and language. 

Before we dive in, how about a quick fun fact? There is a special Thai greeting called ไหว้ (wâi) that you won’t find in other cultures. To perform wai, hold your hands together and bring them up to just under your chin. Once your hands are in position, give a slight nod. Wai is the Thai equivalent of saying hello, goodbye, or any other greeting. 

Of course, there is much more to Thai culture that you should know. On this page, we’ll give you all the information you need to avoid Thai culture shock and learn more about Thai culture and traditions.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Thai Table of Contents
  1. Values and Beliefs
  2. Philosophies and Religions
  3. Family and Work
  4. Art
  5. Food
  6. Traditional Holidays
  7. Conclusion

1. Values and Beliefs

A Thai Woman Performing a Traditional Dance

Let’s learn more about Thai culture and traditions.

To understand the behaviors and worldviews of Thai people, you need to be aware of the traditional Thai values and beliefs. There are two in particular that play a huge role in our daily lives. 

A- Social Hierarchy

Although Thailand has not been governed by an absolute monarchy for over a hundred years now, there is still a social hierarchy in the country. Thai people pay more respect to certain groups of people, such as the royal family and monks. Also, Thai people are taught to respect those who are older than themselves as well as their benefactors (parents, teachers, etc.). So don’t be surprised when you see the degree of respect shown in our interactions with elders and parents! 

B- Collectivism 

Thailand is often called “the land of smiles” because Thai people always seem to have a smile on their face. While it’s true that Thai people are friendly, visitors will be surprised to find out that a smile does not always equate to happiness. Different smiles can mean anything from pleasure to anger, and most of the time you won’t be aware of any negativity. This is because Thai culture values avoiding conflict and “saving face.” 

The reason behind this is that Thailand is a collectivist society. If you’re in Thailand long enough, you may start to notice that Thai people tend to go along with others when doing group activities. This is because Thai people want to be like others and remain as part of the group. As a result, they don’t dare to voice their opinions in front of others and prefer to compromise instead of really solving problems.    

2. Philosophies and Religions

In addition to smiles, Thailand is well-known for the Buddhist statues found all over the country. Buddhism is the national religion and over ninety percent of Thai people practice it. It’s common to see Buddhist monks in traditional robes walking just about everywhere you go. 

If you truly want to learn Thai, getting acquainted with the basics of Buddhism is not a bad idea. Of course, you don’t have to convert to Buddhism to master the language, but a good knowledge of the religion will go a long way toward understanding the country.

Someone Giving a Buddhist Monk Food Donations

Buddhism is the dominant religion in Thailand.

As you can guess, most Thai philosophies are influenced by Buddhism in one way or another. However, modern Thai culture is one of diversity. As Thai people are quite open-minded, they are also influenced by other religions and beliefs to some extent.  

Because there are many Thai-Chinese in Thai society, there are many practices influenced by Taoism and Confucianism. One example of this is the Vegetarian Festival, which is celebrated during October each year. This popular food festival is mainly celebrated by the Thai-Chinese, though the rest of the population also gets in on the action. Another Thai-Chinese custom is เชงเม้ง (cheeng-méng), when they pay respect to deceased ancestors. 

3. Family and Work

Family and work are integral aspects of society, no matter where you are in the world. In this section, we’ll discuss the essential features of Thai workplace culture and the Thai family. 

A- Family

The Thai culture is very family-oriented. In the past, it was common for Thai people to have large families.  Grandparents got to see their grandchildren, nieces, and nephews on a daily basis, as family members all lived in the same area.

Of course, things have changed over time. While you may see this type of big family in the countryside, it’s not very common in urban areas. Still, Thai families share a strong bond. Despite not living in the same area, family members often meet with each other or communicate via other means. This Thai value has played a large role in shaping the modern Thai society. The importance of family in Thai culture is also reflected in the various Thai words used for family members.

The concept of ความกตัญญู (khwaam-gà-than-yuu), or “gratitude,” is another thing that reflects Thailand’s family-oriented society. Because our parents raised us, it’s very important to take care of them when we grow up. Thus, Thai people won’t send their elderly parents to care centers unless they’re really sick. Doing so would mean that they don’t care for them.

Now let’s discuss a final point about family: marriage. In the past, men could have many wives but nowadays Thai people only practice monogamy. Despite this step forward, there are still some cultural elements that reflect gender inequality. For example, Thai women are pressured to get married earlier than men. While it’s fine for a man to be single in his thirties, this is not the case for women. On the other hand, a man has to pay a ‘bride price’ to a woman’s parents in order to marry her.

B- Work

Thai people are chill by nature and love to have fun. To some extent, this characteristic is reflected in the business world as well. If you ever decide to work in Thailand, you’ll find that Thai people aren’t very punctual in their work. Also, the work atmosphere tends to be less stressful than those in other countries.

Most Thai people work solely to make a living, not to do things they love or are passionate about. The Patronage system, which was a prominent feature in how Thailand was once governed, also plays a role in our work environment.

4. Art

Several aspects of the Thai culture and heritage feature heavily in our artwork, with many of our most popular paintings and sculptures having roots in Buddhism. For example, you can find various paintings of Buddhist stories in the temples and Buddha statues are viewed as an artform as well as a religious symbol. 

Thailand is also home to several impressive architectural feats, most notably our temples. In the past, temples were not only places for practicing religion, but they also served as the royal family’s palace. Because the temples in Thailand reflect this aspect of history, their extreme beauty should come as no surprise.

A Temple in Bangkok, Thailand

Beautiful Thai architecture

Earthenware is another outstanding Thai artform. While temples are related to religion, this type of art is more ordinary in nature. A famous type of earthenware is called “celadon ware,” or เครื่องสังคโลก (khrûueng-sǎng-khá-lôok). It originated in Sukhothai province during the Sukhothai Era.

As for literature, Thailand is known for its poetry. There are various types of poems written in the Thai language, many of which focus on storytelling. These poetic ‘stories’ are diverse, covering a range of genres from religion and fantasy to love and food.

Thailand boasts a range of musical instruments and styles. In Thai culture, music is a huge part of daily life and is also incorporated into special events. For example, Thai people like to sing a song called เพลงรำวงเกี่ยวข้าว (phleeng-ram-wong-gìiao-khâao), or “Harvest Song,” during the harvest. This is also a great example of their fun-loving nature, as they love to sing and dance even during work.

5. Food

Nowadays, Thailand is well-known for two things: its beautiful travel destinations and its delicious cuisine. Indeed, Thai food and culture go hand in hand. There’s even a special Thai phrase that ties into this topic:

  • ในน้ำมีปลา ในนามีข้าว” (nai-nám-mii-bplaa nai-naa-mii-khâao)

Literally meaning, “There are fish in the water and rice in the rice field,” this saying has been used since the Sukhothai Era to describe Thailand’s natural richness. From the past until now, Thailand has never lacked food. If you visit Thailand, you’ll be able to find food 24/7.  

Thai cuisine is known for its use of herbs and deep flavors, as well as its beautiful and colorful presentations. As mentioned earlier, Thai people are quite open-minded. This means you’ll find many Thai food items that have been influenced by foreign cuisines. For example, Thai sweets that use egg as an ingredient are the result of Portuguese influence.

Orange Curry, a Popular Thai Dish

Thai food is tasty and full of herbs.

6. Traditional Holidays

When it comes to traditional Thai holidays, there are two that stand out from the rest: วันสงกรานต์ (wan-sǒng-graan) and วันลอยกระทง (wan-laauy-grà-thong). 

A- วันสงกรานต์ (wan-sǒng-graan)

วันสงกรานต์ (wan-sǒng-graan), or the Thai New Year, takes place from April 13 to April 15 each year. During this holiday, Thai people go back to their hometown to visit their parents or travel with family

Popular วันสงกรานต์ (wan-sǒng-graan) activities include visiting temples to make merit and building pagodas made of sand and flowers. Thai people also รดน้ำดำหัวผู้ใหญ่ (rót-nám-dam-hǔua-phûu-yài), which is an activity to show one’s gratitude, ask for forgiveness, and get a blessing from one’s parents or grandparents. 

These activities clearly reflect the family-oriented society of Thailand.

Thai Water Sprinkling for Songkran Festival

รดน้ำดำหัวผู้ใหญ่ [rót-nám-dam-hǔua-phûu-yài]

In addition to the activities above, Thai people also play with water during this period. This is because วันสงกรานต์ (wan-sǒng-graan) is not only the solar new year, but also the hottest time of the year. Family gatherings and water games make วันสงกรานต์ (wan-sǒng-graan) a colorful holiday that foreigners and natives alike look forward to.

B- วันลอยกระทง (wan-laauy-grà-thong)

The history of วันลอยกระทง (wan-laauy-grà-thong) dates back to the Sukhothai Era. On this day, Thai people engage in certain activities to ask forgiveness from พระแม่คงคา (phrá-mâae-khong-khaa), the goddess of rivers. Thai people make กระทง (grà-thong), or “lotus-shaped boats,” from banana tree leaves and flowers and float them down the river.  

Nowadays, วันลอยกระทง (wan-laauy-grà-thong) is one of the most popular holidays in Thailand. There are many activities you can do on this day: observe the beautiful scenery at night, see women dressed in traditional Thai clothing, experience the beauty of Thai dancing, and much more.

Lotus-shaped Boats with Candles Floating Down the River for Loy Krathong

Let’s ลอยกระทง [laauy-grà-thong].

7. Conclusion

Learning about Thai culture and society is a good way to complement your language studies. In doing so, you’ll gain a deep appreciation for the language, and may even be inspired to take your studies further. 

If you’re looking for a language course, our Thai podcast lessons and other learning materials may be just what you need. At ThaiPod101.com, we understand that busy individuals may find it hard to fit study time into their hectic schedules. That’s why we offer additional tools—such as themed vocabulary lists and a Thai-English dictionary—to help you learn Thai more quickly. In addition, you’ll find a number of articles related to Thai culture topics such as traditional clothing, history, and food. In short, we make learning Thai easy and fun!

Actually, the language itself is a great representation of Thai culture and values. In each of our lessons, we combine grammar and vocabulary points with practical cultural information. To get a taste of our teaching approach, create your free lifetime account today and check out our lessons for yourself. Our content will prepare you both linguistically and culturally for a range of daily situations, from talking about your pets or discussing your hobbies to planning a date

Before you go, let us know in the comments how Thai culture compares to that in your country. We look forward to hearing from you!

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