My brief intro to the Thai language.

There’s a million websites that claim to be able to teach you a new language. I’ve tried to utilize these resources, but as always, immersion and in-person teachers are the tride-and-true way to go.

I’ve been learning plenty of daily, home-use kind of words, but am now attempting to learn more “work” words for communicating with my co-workers at the media company where I work.

The Thai language is actually much simpler (in structure) than the English language. After being overwhelmed by the gigantic alphabet and the talk about the scary “tonal” aspect to the language (like Chinese, but completely different), the way one puts together sentences came as a relief.


English: “There is a lot of traffic on this road today.”

Thai: “Today traffic very much.” or “Wan-hee rot-it maak.”

This makes constructing sentences fairly easy, once you can obtain some vocabulary of course.

Most useful words I’ve learned so far:

Sawat-dee Ka (or Krap if you’re a dude) = Hi, how’s it going, good morning, good afternoon, good evening, bye, see you later, welcome.

Khob-Khuhn-Ka = Thanks/Excuse me

Dai/chai = yes, you’re right, exactly

Ka = Ya, go on, ok

Mai = no.

Maak = very much, many, a lot (can be combined with pretty much anything)

Nit-noi = a little

Thai lai? = How much? (price)

Aroi = delicious.

phet = spicy

Khao = rice

Pak = veggies

Man-saw-we-rot = vegetarian

Mai sai ___ = don’t put ____ in. (for allergies)

Food words are the most useful, since Thais love to talk about their food and have you try it. Plus they usually know the English words for “taste” so you’ll be trying all kinds of things (both “aroi” and “mai aroi.”)