Central Thai is the national language, with 4 regional dialects, and other ethnic languages. English is widely spoken in urban and tourism centres.

The Thai alphabet was adapted from Khmer script and standardised during the Sukhothai period.

Thai language is ‘tonal’, meaning that the same ‘word’ pronounced with a different inflection can have several different meanings! This makes Thai a challenge to learn… Thai people love it when a visitor tries to speak Thai, so try to learn at least a few words!

“Hello!” – Men say ‘Sawadee krup’ women say ‘Sawadee Kha’

สวัสดีครับ / ค่ะ

“What’s your name?” Khun Chur A-Rai krup / kha?

ขอโทษ คุณชื่ออะไรครับ / ค่ะ

“How are you?” Khun Sabai Dee Mai Krup / Kha?

คุณสบายดีมั๊ยครับ / ค่ะ

“What is this called in Thai?” An-nee Phasa Thai poot  yang rai?

อันนี้ ภาษาไทย พูดอย่างไร

“How much does this cost?” An-nee rakaa tao rai krup / kha?

อันนี้ ราคาเท่าไหร่ครับ / ค่ะ

“Thank-you very much” Kop khun krup / kha?

ขอบคุณครับ / ค่ะ

“Do you mind if I take a picture?” Pom tai roop dai mai krup / kha?

ผมถ่ายรูบได้ไหมครับ / ค่ะ

Pet” means spicy. “Kin Mai Pet” means “not too spicy… and “arroy” means delicious. “Kin Jay” means “vegetarian”.

Language is not only verbal… The Wai guesture is commonly used to greet, pay respect, thank, or bid farewell.

Soria Moria-Staff smiling Cambodia

© Soria Moria