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Some Thai words to get around

18 Jul 2018

Thailand, Koh Phangan included, is a very touristic place. Because of that, most people speak at least a few words of English. It allows us to order food, find the toilets or the nearest beach without too much trouble. But it's always very appreciated when we foreigners make the effort to learn a few words of their language. It is, after all, an equal exchange.

It can also, if you end up in a very local area, save your life, or your pants. So let me give you a few words and expressions that could help you! 

    Hi: sawa dee kha/kap ( Boys say "Kap" while girls say "Kha" )
    Thank you: kob khun kha/kap
    You're welcome: Yin dee kha/kap
    I'm sorry: kor tod kha/kap
    How much? Tao rai kha/kap?
    I don't understand: mai khao jai kha/kap

    Toilet: hong nam
    Airport: sanam bin
    Train station: sa ta nee rodfai


Some food related vocabulary
    Spicy: pet
    Not spicy: mai pet
    Very delicious: aroy  

If you need help
    Hospital: rong pha ya baan
    Police: dtam ruad

There are a few apps available for free, that gives you some vocabulary, and the well needed pronunciation to go with it. Some of them work offline, so you don't even need to use your Instagram data to check! I personnally use Thai Lite, where I found most of this vocabulary. You have to realize though, that many times it will not come out completely correct. Thai is one of the hardest language to translate with Google or any of the other applications for thai language. Thai language is very tricky to pronounce. It has a lot of different tones that can completely change the meaning of what you're trying to say. It can lead to hilarious, or awkward, situations. But you will always get points for trying, and you'll be able to impress your friends back home with your new polyglot skills!

Written by guest writer Anne - Laure Guillaumat