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Handy Phrases

Below, you'll find some Thai phrases that may come in handy when you are travelling in Thailand. But first...

A Brief Note on Polite Particles

Most of these phrases can (and should) be made more polite by adding a particle to the end. Male speakers should add ครับ   /khrapH/ while women should add ค่ะ   /khaF/ to the end of statements and คะ   /khaH/ to the end of questions. จ้ะ  /jaF/ can be used by children or between intimate friends. There are many more particles in common use, especially considering regional variations; some Thai people will stick with an obscure favorite as a matter of personality.

At first, Westerners find these particles easy to forget, but with practice, eventually you will find yourself adding polite particles automatically. You can further "soften" requests or aggresive statements by also adding น่ะ   /naF/ before you say khrapH or khaF (ladies, remember to use น่ะ   /naF/ คะ   /khaH/ to make your questions more polite). If you listen to broadcast talk shows in Thailand, you may hear a speaker ending every single sentence with /naF khrapH/—since he doesn't know who may be listening, he endeavors to be most polite.

สวัสดีsaL watL deeM[a polite greeting or farewell used when meeting or parting] hello; goodbye; good morning; good afternoon; good evening; good night; greetings
สบายดีหรือsaL baaiM deeM reuuR"How are you?"
ขอบคุณkhaawpL khoonM[spoken formally to a person of higher rank or status, e.g. parents, teachers] "Thank you" [male: add ครับ ; female: add ค่ะ ]
นี่เท่าไร?neeF thaoF raiM"How much is this?"
ไม่เป็นไรmaiF bpenM raiM"It doesn't matter." — "Never mind." — "You're welcome" — "Don't mention it." — "It's no big deal."
แล้วพบกันใหม่laaeoH phohpH ganM maiL"See you later." — "See you soon!" — "Until we meet again."
ขอโทษkhaawR tho:htF"I apologize" — "I'm sorry" — "Excuse me" — "Pardon me."
สบายดีsaL baaiM deeMto be feeling fine; I am fine; I'm fine.
สวัสดีครับsaL watL deeM khrapH[spoken politely by a male] hello; goodbye
สวัสดีค่ะsaL watL deeM khaF[spoken politely by a female] hello or goodbye
พูดไทยไม่ได้phuutF thaiM maiF daiF"I can't speak Thai."
ไม่เข้าใจmaiF khaoF jaiM[I, you, they] don't understand
เข้าใจไหมkhaoF jaiM maiHDo you understand?
ถ่ายรูปได้ไหมthaaiL ruupF daiF maiHMay I take a picture?
ห้องน้ำอยู่ที่ไหนhaawngF naamH yuuL theeF naiR"Where's the restroom?"
นี่อะไรneeF aL raiM"What is this?"
แพงไหม?phaaengM maiH"Is it expensive?"
ขอให้โชคดีkhaawR haiF cho:hkF deeM"Good luck to you."
ใครขายไข่ไก่khraiM khaaiR khaiL gaiL[tongue twister, alliteration] "Who sells chicken eggs?"
เก็บตังค์gepL dtangM"Check, please."
เป็นยังไงบ้างbpenM yangM ngaiM baangF"How's it going?" — "How do you feel?" — "How do you do?" — "What's up?"
คุณอายุเท่าไรkhoonM aaM yooH thaoF raiM"How old are you?"
อะไรก็ได้aL raiM gaawF daiFanything will do; that option would also be fine; whatever; anything will be okay; anything you want
ไปไหนbpaiM naiR"Where are you going?"
คุณพูดภาษาอังกฤษได้ไหมkhoonM phuutF phaaM saaR angM gritL daiF maiH"Can you speak English?"
ขอบคุณมากkhaawpL khoonM maakF[a person, younger and/or lower in status, thanking the other who is older and/or higher in status] "Thank you very much"
ขอไม่เผ็ดkhaawR maiF phetL"Please don't make the food spicy-hot."
ขอเผ็ด ๆ นะครับkhaawR phetL phetL naH khrapH[spoken by a male] "Please make the food spicy-hot"
กรุณาพูดช้า ๆ หน่อยgaL rooH naaM phuutF chaaH chaaH naawyL"Please speak slowly."
อะไรนะ?aL raiM naH"What?" — "Huh?" — "What did you say?" — "What was that?"
คุณอยู่ที่ไหนkhoonM yuuL theeF naiR"Where are you?"
ไม่ใช่maiF chaiF"I don't think so" — "not right" — "not so" — "not true" — "No, it is not"
คุณพูดภาษาจีนได้ไหมkhoonM phuutF phaaM saaR jeenM daiF maiH"Can you speak Chinese?"
กี่โมงแล้วgeeL mo:hngM laaeoH"What time is it?"
ผมไม่เข้าใจphohmR maiF khaoF jaiM"I don't understand." — "I do not understand."
ผมเป็นคนอเมริกันphohmR bpenM khohnM aL maehM riH ganM"I am an American."
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