Thais are generally a very friendly bunch and they respond very positively to foreigners who make an effort with their language. They might giggle at you for getting tones wrong and mispronouncing things but that’s all part of the fun of learning a new language. So if you are thinking of moving to Thailand or you want to learn some choice phrases to make your life easier these are my top picks (please note I’ve used my own phonetic spellings to make them sound as close as possible to how they actually sound):
- Mai bpen rai – It doesn’t matter. Something you will hear a lot; the Thais are generally pretty laid back and the phrase mai bpen rai is a reflection of this. They say it a lot to take the seriousness out of situations and life in general.
- Alloy mahk – Very delicious. If you are having a nice meal be sure to say this to the waitress to express your appreciation.
- Sabai dee mai – How are you. A nice polite question.
- Sa wat dee – Hello. A polite greeting
- Pohm cheu – My name is…..
- Khap khun khrap / kar – Thank you (khrap if you are a male, kar if you are female)
- Poot passa angrit dai mai – Can you speak English? Handy in lots of situations
- Kaaw toht – Sorry. Helped with a wai if you want to be very polite
- Phom Lak Khun – I love you
- Mai kow jai – I don’t understand
- Tow rai – How much? Helpful when buying something.
- Lot dai mai – Can you discount? Helpful when bartering
- Hong nam yoo tee nai – Where is the bathroom?
So there we go. Your first step to exploring the amazing world of the Thai language.