Thai Langauge

Thai is one of the oldest languages in East and South-East Asia. It is a monosyllabic language which uses five tones (high, mid, low, rising, and falling tone) to alter the meaning of a single syllable. This makes it rather tricky to learn for most Westerners used to speaking non-tonal languages.

The Thai script, introduced by King Rham Khamhaeng in 1283, consists of 44 consonants and 48 vowels, and is of Sanskrit origin.

Words and Phrases

When being polite the speaker ends his or her sentence with 'khrap' (for men) or 'kha' (for women). khrap and kha are also commonly used to answer 'yes' or to show agreement.

In the following examples tones are represented by colours (High, Mid, Low, Rising, Falling)

English Thai English Thai
I Phom (men)
Deechan (women)
No?  -  Isn't it?
Mai chai
Mai  -  Chai mai
You Khun (for peers)
Thaan (for elders)
Good Dee
Thank you Khawp Khun (khrap/kha) Like Chawp
Hello Sawatdee (khrap/kha) Hello Paul Sawatdee (khrap/kha) Khun Paul
Understand Khao jai I understand Khao jai (khrap/kha)
Don't understand Mai khao jai I don't understand Mai khao jai (khrap/kha)
Excuse me
Kor tot I'm sorry
Excuse me please
Kor tot (khrap/kha)
Today Wan nee John is going today Khun John pai wan nee
Tomorrow Prung nee Go tomorrow Pai prung nee (khrap/kha)
Yesterday Meua waan Good Dee
How much Tao rai How much is this Nee tao rai (khrap/kha)
Where Tee nai Where is the bathroom Hong naam tee nai (khrap/kha)
When Meu arai Go to Pattaya when Pai Pattaya meuarai (khrap/kha)
This Nee Bathroom Hong naam
Go Pai I'm not going Mai pai (khrap/kha)

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