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Thailand Tourist Information : Speaking Thai

(For more information about the Thai language,
see Romanization System of the Thai Language section.)


As you know, Thailand is a land of smiles. The Thai people are easy to approach and will be all smiling when you try to speak to them in Thai and that will add to your pleasure during your stay in Thailand.

There is one important thing you should remember in learning to speak Thai, that is the Thai language has five tones with four tonal marks. They are the mid tone, low tone, falling tone, high tone and rising tone. There are many groups of words which have the same sound but with different tones and meanings. For example, the word suai can mean bad luck (suai), bribe (suai1) or beautiful (suai4), depending on the tone.

To prevent you from pronouncing with the wrong tone and unintentionally cause misunderstanding to the listeners, here we will use four numbers to represent four tones: 1 = low tone, 2 = falling tone, 3 = high tone and 4 = rising tone. The mid-level tone syllable will be unmarked.

Listed below are some useful Thai words and phrases for travel in Thailand, with their romanized spellings, tonal marks and their meanings.

(Note : Thais use the word 'khrap' (for men) and 'kha' (for women) to end the sentence or phrase spoken to show politeness. For example, when you want to say 'hello' in Thai, if you are a man, you say 'sawatdi khrap' and if a woman, 'sawatdi kha'.)


(For more information about the Thai food, desserts and fruits
see Thailand Tourist Information : Dining section.)


General
suai4 mak2 very beautiful
mai2 suai4 not beautiful
chop2 mak2 like a lot
mai2 chop2 not like
na2 rak3 lovely, nice
sa1 nuk1 It's fun.
sa1 nuk1 mak2 It's great fun.
mai2 sa1 nuk1 no fun
di Good
di (mak2) (very) good
mai2 di not good, bad
a kat1 ron3 The weather is hot.
a kat1 nao4 The weather is cold.
a kat1 yen The weather is cool.
fon4 tok1 It rains.
phoum4 rak3 khun I love you.(used by men)
chan4 rak3 khun I love you.(used by women)
phoum4 chop3 khun I like you.(used by men)
chan4 chop3 khun I like you.(used by women)



(For more information about the Thai food, desserts and fruits
see Thailand Tourist Information : Dining section.)

More about Thailand
Thai cultures Thai Cultures
Court culture • Traditional culture • Linguistic culture
Thai Products Thai Products
OTOP & Some best buys
Dining in Thailand Dining in Thailand
One of the great pleasure of being in Thailand
Tomyumkung Thai Foods
Top ten Thai dishes loved by foreigners
Thai fruits Thai Fruits
The kingdom of a hundred fruits
Thai desserts Thai Desserts
Impressive in Taste & Appearance

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