Learning Thai Words

Though it's not really necessary to get by, you will undoubtedly have an easier and more enjoyable experience in Thailand from any time you spend learning Thai. Most Thais don't expect a foreigner to be able to speak any of their language, and are often visibly surprised if you can string a few sentences together.

It's also encouraging how many people will tell you that you " poot tai geng " (speak Thai well), no matter how limited your command of the language really is. Even with only a fairly small vocabulary, you will find it a lot easier to get discounted prices at shops and markets "rah kah poot tai dai" (Thai speaker prices) and to make friends amongst the locals.

This is a simple guide for the benefit of visitors and to help those intending to learn Thai to get started. The following basic words should help you to communicate at a basic level.



hello sawadee (krup/ka) you khun
how are you sabai dee mai (rising tone) he, she, they kao
i'm fine sa-bai dee us, we rao
thank you kharb khun what is your name khun chuu a-rai
bye bye sawadee yes/no chai/mai chai
see you again pob gan mai (rising tone) you're welcome yin dee
excuse me / sorry khar toort welcome to yin dee tawn rap
I, me phom (male) dee chan (female) or simply chan never mind mai pen rai


want (something) aow walk dern (pai) as in trekking
want (action) yaak find phob
go pai repair som
come maa take a look long duu
take aow pai (lit; want & go) chat kui
would like kor speak phuut
drive/ride kap / kii bring aow maa
pay jaai buy sue (low tone)
receive rap visit pai tiow
can / cannot dai / mai dai eat gin / kin
like / prefer chawp drink derm
sleep nawn    

Everyday Items

money ngern motorcycle (rot) mor-tor-sai
baggage/bags gra-pao boat ruav
clothes suea books nang-sua
mobile phone meu tor map preen-tee
taxi tak-see things khawng
bus rot but soap sa-buu
train rot fai towel pra-chet-tua
airplane kruang bin pen pak-ga
car rot yon spectacles wen-ta
gasoline naam man    


one nueng eleven sib-et
two sawng twelve sib-sawng (and so on)
three saam twenty yee-sib
four see twenty one yee-sib-et (and so on)
five haa (falling tone) thirty saam-sib
six hock hundred rooi
seven jet thousand pan
eight bat ten thousand mueng
nine gow (short and low) hundred thousand sen
ten sib million laan

Days and Time

Monday wan jan month due-en
Tuesday wan ankhaan year pii
Wednesday wan phut hour chua mong
Thursday wan paruhat minute na-tee
Friday wan suk morning dawn chao
Saturday wan saow afternoon dawn bai
Sunday wan ah-tit evening dawn yen
Weekend sao-ahtit night dawn tum


what a-rai
where (thee) nai (sometimes nai is used on its own)
when mua-rai or gee mong (at what time)
how much tao rai
how many gee (comes before the subject, as an exception to the rule)
is (is not) yaang raimai (rising tone)
can (cannot) dai mai (rising tone)
have (action) rue yaang (as in have you finished)
are (to be) rue plow (as in are you Thai)


hotel rong rerm fan phad lom
guest house baan phak storey chan
restaurant raan ah-harn swimming pool sa-wai-inaam
toilet/bathroom hawng naam knife, fork, spoon met, sawm, chorn
hot water naam rawn bill check bin
room hawng telephone tor-ra-sap
bed thii nawn tv tor-ra-tat
massage nuat cable cay-bon
air con air con    

Eating and Drinking

food ah-harn pork (all kinds) muu
seafood pla talae beef neu-ah
drinking water naam plao shrimp / prawns gung
beer bier tofu tao hoo
ice nam ken vegetables phak
liquor lao noodles kwai-teow
fruit juice naam pon-lamai bread ka-nom pan
fruit pon-lamai bakes / snacks ka-nom
lunch ah-harn klang wan sugar naam-taan
breakfast ah-harn chao sweet wan
dinner ah-harn yen salt(y) kem
rice kaow(falling tone) spicy / chilli pet / prik
fried rice kaow pad msg pon suu rot
chicken gai wheat kao saa lii
If you dont want an ingredient included simply add mai ow ( not want) before any of these (e.g. Mai own pon suu rot).


city / town meu-ang national park suan sa-ta-na
village (moo) baan waterfall naam tok
house baan museum pee piti pan
beach haad bank ta-na-karn
island koh bus station sa-tar-ni rot but
bay aow train station sa-tar-ni rot fai
mountains phuu-kao airport sa-nam-bin
river mae naam police station sa-tar-ni tam ruat
market talad post office pra-sa-nii
park suan-luang    


fast reo slow cha
big yaai small lek
fat uan thin phawm
early chao late saai
cheap tuuk expensive paeng
long yaow  short tia
difficult yaak easy ngaai (falling tone)
full tem empty mot
hot rawn cold yen (naow  weather)
loud siang dang quiet niyap
near glai-ee (falling) far glai (low tone)
black sii dam white sii khaow (rising tone)
red sii dang yellow sii luang
blue (light / dark) sii faa / sii nam ngerng green siik Kieow
gold sii tong grey sii tao
long time naan a lot yerk/maak
little nit noi    


help! chuay duay danger aan-ta-rai
not well mai sabai hurt / pain jep / puat
stomach ache puat tong headache phuat hua
toothache puat fun eyes sore puat taa
hospital rong payabaan police station sa-tar-ni tum ruat
doctor maw dentist maw fan
thief / stolen kamoy-ee accident oo-bot-tee-het
medicine yaa lawyer nat got-mai nuay
afraid klua must have dong mee

Essential Phrases

I dont understand mai kao jai
I want to go to yaak pai
What time will you leave? ja pai gee mong
What time does it close? bit gee mong
Turn left / right leo saai / kwaa
I dont want any thanks mai ow krap / ka!
Can you fix this? som nee dai mai (falling and rising tone on dai mai)
Can you make it cheaper? lot dai mai (falling and rising tone on dai mai)
Can we meet again? pob gan dai mai (rising tone on mai)
I miss you kit tung khun
Do you understand? kao jai mai (rising tone on last word)
Do you have a room? mee hawng wang mai (rising tone on last word)
What time will it open? bert gee mong
Which way? tang nai
Go straight / stop! trong pai / yuut!
Go away pai sii!!
How much is this? nee tao rai
I dont like (this) mai chawp (nee)
I love you Pom / chan rak kun
very much maak