From its jungles to gorgeous urban metropolises, Thailand is a dream vacation. Their food is legendary and mouth-watering, and the sights are unforgettable.
Before you buy your tickets though, there are a few phrases and words you should know to navigate the streets of Thailand.
To start, Thailand’s official language is, of course, Thai. However, only about 30% of the population speaks Thai natively. The other 70% or so actually speak languages that are derived from Thai.
In the main cities, though, the predominant language is Thai, so we will be focusing on that in this guide.
Sometimes, all it takes is a word to get your point across. That point could be just a simple greeting or politeness.
One common phrase in any culture is “hello.” It can be used to get someone’s attention or just to be friendly. When greeting someone in Thai, you’d say swasdi (สวัสดี).
When you want to be polite, a “thank you” never hurts! If you’ve just gotten directions or help navigating Bangkok, you could say khx khxbkhun (ขอขอบคุณ).
If you’re going for polite, “please” is always a good bet. Whether you’re asking for someone to take a picture or ordering some mouth-watering Pad Thai, saying pordโปรด is always a nice gesture, and may just get you some extra peanut sauce!
Finally, sometimes you need to use the lou, the potty, or the restroom. No matter where you are, you’ll eventually have to use the restroom, so this simple word can help you get there, even if you don’t have time to pull out your Jarvisen Translator. Asking someone hxngna (ห้องน้ำ) will get the job done and make sure you get your emergency taken care of!
Words aren’t enough when traveling abroad. You need to know phrases, too! And these phrases will help you navigate Thailand like a pro.
Sometimes, it’s best to admit what you don’t know. “I’m sorry, I don’t speak Thai” can help you to find someone who speaks your language if you need them. Simply say chan khxthos chan mi phud phasa thiy (ฉันขอโทษฉันไม่พูดภาษาไทย).
There is no shame in asking someone if they can speak your language, either. As long as you ask nicely, you’ll be one step closer to getting what or where you need. Khun phud phasa xangkvs di nim (คุณพูดภาษาอังกฤษได้ไหม) means “Can you speak English?” and will no doubt help you out.
Especially in a nation of plentiful sights and attractions, you’ll always be going somewhere, so knowing how to ask “How can I get to [Name of Place]?” is a must-know. Simply say chan ka pi di xyangri (ฉันจะไปได้อย่างไร) and you’ll get a point or nudge in the right direction
We all love souvenirs, so it’s no surprise that you need to know how to ask how much something is. Hold up the item or point and ask how much it is, like this: rakha theari (ราคาเท่าไร)?
Last, but not least, you’ll want to share what you’ve seen and what you’ve learned about Thailand’s amazing culture with the world--or just Mom and Dad. So, you may have to ask where you can use the internet. That’s easy: chan samarth chi xinthexrnet dithi hin (ฉันสามารถใช้อินเทอร์เน็ตได้ที่ไหน)?