Select Page

Scarlet's Blog

...All Remaining Passengers...

Practice Your Thai

A little bit of a local language does go a long way. I’ve never had anything but encouragement when trying out my please and thank you’s in a variety of  Asian languages – the shy smiles and an occasional chuckle are well worth the attempt. Contact with non-english speaking locals happens outside the comfort zone of your hotel – in markets or  coffee houses, a taxi or restaurant. Learning how to order a coffee without sugar becomes vital for me by the  second morning, and a simple greeting will greatly enhance bargaining skills in the local night  market. 

I try to add a few more words or phrases each trip, and while I won’t ever become fluent I do enjoy my  linguistic interactions. One final confession – I  keep a good translator app on my phone for those occasions when a little more help is needed! 

Hello – Sawadee kaa/krup (the endings change depending on the gender of the  speaker – I’ve put the female form first)

With sugar – sai nam taan

No sugar – mai sai nam taan

Thank you – Khop khun kaa/krup yes – kaa/krup 

No – mai 

No worries/nevermind  – mai pen rai

I don’t understand – mai kao jai

Do you understand? – Jai mai?

Restroom – hong nam 

Where is the rest room? Hong nam you  tee nah kaa/krup? 

Slow down – cha cha 

Delicious – arroy 

The bill please – Gep taang kaa/krup

Very expensive – paeng maak

Do you have a name card? – Nam baht mai?

What is this?  – Nee arai? 

How much? – Nee tao-rai kaa/krup 

How are you? Sabai dee mai? 

Fine thanks – Sabai dee kaa/krup 

Please use the meter (for taxi) – bai meter mai?