Welcome to Chiangmai and Chiangrai magazine
Site Map

Mind Your Language - simple words and phrases in Thai for the visitor

About 13.5 million foreigners visit Thailand each year, spending around 450 billion baht. And you are worried about sounding silly when you try to speak Thai! Most shopkeepers here will be delighted to teach you how to say the following phrase in flawless Thai:

"Open your wallet and repeat after me - help yourself!" The average stay of the foreign visitor is a mere handful of days; so who is going to study the language before coming to the country for a short time - so to speak? I rest my case.

Mind your language 1 Mind your language 2

Here are some examples of words you are likely to come across during your stay. We thought you might find it amusing to try them out in given situations.

Aroy: Delicious. A compliment to anyone providing you with anything from a snack to a meal.

Aroy mahk, mahk: Very, very delicious. Normally used by overeaters, or people trying to pick up the waitress.

Sa-waht dee-krap: Hello, when said by a man. (In the end, men are always krap).
Sa-waht dee-ka. Hello, when said by a woman (Women never are).
[General rule: Men say Krap at the end of every statement. (Think of your tax bill). Women say Ka at the end of every statement. (Like a NewYork lady saying car.)]

Helloa: Hello. What you hear when a local picks up a phone.(Think Hawaiian Alloha)

Sabai-dee-mhai?: How are you? (civil)

Sabai-dee: I'm fine. (polite)

Mhai-dee: I'm not so good. (Think Gable - Frankly my-dee I don't give a damn.)

Kop coon: Thank you. ( Think Liverpudlian varmint )

Chuay: Please. (Like a toffee).

Chang: Elephant. (The pachyderm sponsor of Everton Football Club.)

Kaow or Khao: Rice (sounds like a cockney saying cow).

Kow! Mountain (like a man addressing his mother-in-law under his breath)

Khao Pud: Fried rice. (Eat it, but don't stand in it whatever you do!)

Klong: Canal (sounds like Big Ben with a cleft palate).

Farang: Westerner. (Originally meant Frog. Sorry! Frenchman).

Mun farang: Potato (Spud Murphy?)

Chah: Tea. (A memsahib's housemaid).

Chah Keyho or Khiew: Green tea. (What a memsahib's housemaid uses to eavesdrop).

Gah-fay: Coffee (It's that New York lady again).

Gah-fay Ron: Hot coffee (Use only when offering Ron a coffee).

Pom: I/me (said by man)___(actually, whinging Englishman!)

Chun: I/me (said by woman)___(Usually a Chinese lady).

Prik: Chilli pepper (and you thought it meant taxi driver!)

Shob: I like (Think lamb chop).

Mai Shob: I don't like. (OK take it; I don't want it!)

Soo-way or Suay: Beautiful (So that's what Billy-Bob was sayin' to the hogs!)

Tao-rye: How much? (price) (Irish conservative).

Yow Tao-rye: How long? (length) (I'd better not!)

Rong-Ram: Hospital (Ewe said it!).

Rot-may: Bus (Think rancid mutton).

Sa-Tanee-rot-fai: Train station. (Devil of a place where sinners burn)

Keane-eeaow or Kee-niew: Stingy/tight/mean (Recipient of a Roy Keane tackle).

Wit-sa-gee: Whisky (Electric soup).

Bee-uh: Beer (sounds like a bad pint).

Bee-uh Chang: Local brand of beer. (Elephant in a glass).

Bee-uh Sing: Singha Beer (what they serve at Karaoke bars to make you join in).

Tanna-kahn: Bank (A can for sixpenny pieces?).

Pry-sanee: Post office (Beckham's patella must be worth a fortune!)

Home | Site Map | Sponsors | Feedback | Hot Links | Travel Help | Search

Copyright © 1995-2014 Welcome to Chiangmai and Chiangrai magazine All rights reserved.
Web site design and hosting by Infothai CM Co. Ltd.