On a Yacht charter in Thailand? Follow our guide to speaking Thai and some useful phrases that may come in handy. History of Thai
- The Thai language is spoken exclusively in Thailand, which is approximately 60 million people. The dialect that is spoken in the central region is known as “Standard Thai” and is the language used throughout the country in schools and the media.
- Thai language is closely related to Lao, the language of neighbouring country Laos. In fact, many Thai television shows are broadcast and understood in Laos. There are also similarities between Cambodian and Thai languages, due to their close history and geography.
- Thai is a tonal language, so you need to learn how to recognise the pitch of a word. There are five tones in total; mid, low, high, falling and rising. In Thai the meaning of a syllable can vary depending on which of the five tones is used to pronounce it, this makes it a difficult language to learn for someone who is used to a non-tonal language such as English.
- Thai has borrowed many words from the English language, in particular scientific or technology words, they have just adapted and left off consonants or sounds when they are not used in Thai. For example, e-mail is pronounced “e-may” as there is no final “l” sound in Thai.
Useful Phrases If you are male, some phrases are ended with “krup” and begin with “pom”. If you are female, some phrases are ended with “ka” and begin with “di-chun”
Hello & Goodbye: “sa-wut dee krup” (male) “sa-wut dee ka” (female)
Thank you: “korp-kOOn”
You’re welcome: “mai bpen rai”
Do you speak English?: “kOOn poot pah-sah ung-grit bpen mai?”
I’m sorry: “kor-toht krup” (male) “kor-toht ka” (female)
My name is… “pom cheu…” (male) “di-chun cheu…” (female)
I don’t understand: “pom mai kao jai” (male) “di-chun mai kao jai (female)