Most Common Phrases in Thai (English Translations)

Most Common Phrases in Thai (English Translations)

Learning a few words of Thai shows respect for the culture and can be helpful when traveling in Thailand. In tourist areas, English is widely spoken, but knowing some basic Thai phrases can still come in handy. Adding polite words like ‘ka’ or ‘khap’ at the end of sentences is customary. Thai is a tonal language, and transliteration into English can vary. We’ve compiled a list of essential Thai phrases for you to learn before your trip.

Key Takeaways:

  • Learning basic Thai phrases can show respect for Thai culture and enhance your travel experience.
  • Polite words like ‘ka’ or ‘khap’ should be added to the end of sentences to show respect.
  • Thai is a tonal language, so pronunciation is important.
  • Knowing common Thai phrases will make it easier to navigate in Thailand, even in English-speaking areas.
  • Learning a few essential Thai phrases can help with greeting, introducing yourself, navigating, shopping, and dining during your trip.

Polite Phrases and Greetings

Thai culture places a strong emphasis on politeness. Adding words like ‘ka’ or ‘khap’ at the end of sentences is important for showing respect. When greeting someone in Thai, the commonly used phrase is ‘sawatdee’, which can be used for both hello and goodbye. Saying ‘khop khun’ is how you express gratitude and say thank you in Thai.

“Khaw thawt” is the phrase to use when you need to say excuse me, whether it’s to get someone’s attention or to apologize. And when someone thanks you, responding with “yindee” is the polite way to say you’re welcome.

Learning these basic Thai greetings and polite phrases will help you navigate polite conversation in Thailand. Whether you’re interacting with locals, hotel staff, or other travelers, using these phrases will show your respect for Thai culture and make a positive impression.

Phrase Translation
Sawatdee Hello/Goodbye
Khop Khun Thank you
Khaw Thawt Excuse me
Yindee You’re welcome

Introducing Yourself

When visiting Thailand, it’s important to know how to introduce yourself in Thai. The following phrases will help you navigate conversations and make a good first impression:

Khun cheu arai?

Translation: What is your name?

This phrase is used to ask someone’s name. To respond with your own name, you can say:

Phom cheu [your name] khrap (for male speakers)

Dichan cheu [your name] ka (for female speakers)

Translation: My name is [your name]

Remember to use “khrap” at the end of the sentence if you’re a male speaker, or “ka” if you’re a female speaker, for politeness. It’s common to add these polite particles to sentences in Thai culture.

Additionally, when meeting someone for the first time, it’s polite to say:

Yindee thii dai ruujak

Translation: Pleased to meet you

This phrase conveys your pleasure in meeting the person and is a respectful way to greet someone in Thai.

Now that you know these essential phrases for introducing yourself, you’ll be able to confidently engage in conversations and create positive connections during your time in Thailand.

Basic Conversation

Engaging in small talk is a common way to connect with locals in Thailand. By learning some basic Thai conversation phrases, you can initiate conversations and make meaningful connections during your visit. Here are some essential Thai phrases for small talk:

Greetings and Asking How Are You

To start a conversation, you can use the Thai phrase “sabai dee mai?” which means “how are you?” It’s a polite way to show interest in the well-being of the person you’re talking to. If someone asks you how you’re doing, you can reply with “sabai dee”, which means “I’m fine.”

Talking About Feelings

If you want to express how you feel, you can use the phrase “my ngai” for “I’m tired,” or “khao jai mai?” meaning “do you understand?” These phrases can help you better communicate your emotions and thoughts during a conversation.

Wishing Good Luck

When someone is about to undertake something challenging or important, it’s common to wish them good luck. In Thai, you can say “chok dee.” This phrase is a thoughtful way to show support and encourage someone in their endeavors.

Saying No Problem

Thai culture values harmony and avoiding conflict. If someone asks for your assistance or apologizes for a minor inconvenience, you can respond with “mai pen rai.” This phrase conveys a sense of understanding and reassurance that there is no problem or need for concern.

Thai Phrase English Translation
sabai dee mai? How are you?
sabai dee I’m fine
my ngai I’m tired
khao jai mai? Do you understand?
chok dee Good luck
mai pen rai No problem

Dining and Food Phrases

When dining in Thailand, it’s important to know some basic food phrases to navigate the menu and communicate your preferences. Here are a few essential Thai phrases for ordering food, expressing dietary preferences, and complimenting the delicious flavors:

Ordering at a Restaurant

Asking for the menu:
“Kor toong naan a-rai ka/krub?” (What is the menu?)

Ordering a dish:
“Chan yaak ork…” (I would like to order…)

Vegetarian/Vegan Preferences

Asking if a dish is vegetarian/vegan:
“Mee mangsawirat a-rai mai ka/krub?” (Are there any vegetarian/vegan options?)

Spicy or Non-Spicy

Expressing preference for spicy or non-spicy food:
“Mai phet” (Not spicy)
“Phet nit noy” (A little spicy)

Complimenting the Food

Thai Phrase English Translation
Kor toong naan a-rai ka/krub? What is the menu?
Chan yaak ork… I would like to order…
Mee mangsawirat a-rai mai ka/krub? Are there any vegetarian/vegan options?
Mai phet Not spicy
Phet nit noy A little spicy
Aroy Delicious

Travel Phrases

When traveling in Thailand, it’s important to know some essential phrases for directions, transportation, and emergency situations. These phrases can help you navigate your way, seek assistance when needed, and handle unforeseen circumstances. Here are some useful Thai travel phrases to make your journey smoother:


When you’re trying to find your way around, these phrases will come in handy:

  • “tiinai?” – Where?
  • “dtrong bpai” – Go straight


Getting around Thailand involves various modes of transportation. Use these phrases to communicate your transportation needs:

  • “dtrong rotfai” – Take the train
  • “nai rotfai” – On the train
  • “nai rot songtaew” – On the songtaew (shared taxi)

Asking for Help

If you find yourself in need of assistance, these phrases can help you communicate your request:

  • “choo-ay dai mai?” – Can you help?
  • “long tahng” – I’m lost

Emergency Situations

In case of emergencies, knowing these phrases can help you seek the necessary help:

  • “sataanii dtamruat yoo tee nai?” – Where is the police station?
  • “dahm rot pa-ya-bahn” – Call an ambulance

Remember, it’s always good to have these phrases in your language toolkit when traveling in a foreign country. They can make a huge difference in your overall experience and ensure your safety and convenience.

Next up, let’s dive into some essential shopping phrases to help you navigate the bustling marketplaces of Thailand.

Shopping Phrases

When traveling to Thailand, shopping is a popular activity that offers a unique cultural experience. Whether you’re browsing through bustling markets or exploring modern shopping malls, knowing some basic Thai phrases can greatly enhance your shopping experience. Here are some essential shopping phrases to help you navigate through the vibrant Thai retail landscape:

1. Asking for the Price

Asking for the price is a crucial step when shopping in Thailand. Use the phrase “taorai?” (เท่าไร) to ask “how much?” This question will come in handy when you’re interested in an item but want to know its cost before making a purchase.

2. Bargaining

Bargaining is an integral part of the shopping culture in Thailand. To negotiate a lower price, you can politely ask “lod noi dai mai?” (ลดน้อยได้มั้ย), which translates to “Can I get a discount?” Remember to smile and engage in friendly banter to increase your chances of success.

3. Clothing and Souvenirs

If you’re specifically looking for clothing or souvenirs, the phrase “ao annii” (เอาอันนี้) will be useful. It means “I want this one” and can be used to express your interest in a particular item.

4. Money and Payment

Understanding basic words for money is essential for smooth shopping transactions. The Thai currency is called “baht,” and it is helpful to be familiar with the Thai numerals for counting prices. For example, “nueng baht” (หนึ่งบาท) means one baht, and “song baht” (สองบาท) means two baht. This knowledge will help you handle money and communicate effectively during payment.

5. Asking for Discounts

If you’re interested in getting a better deal, you can ask for a discount by saying “lod noi dai mai?” (ลดน้อยได้มั้ย). This phrase indicates your willingness to negotiate the price and can potentially lead to a lower offer from the seller.

Remember, shopping in Thailand is not just about acquiring goods; it’s also an opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture. By using these basic Thai phrases for shopping, you can communicate with vendors, explore the vibrant markets, and enjoy the unique shopping experiences that Thailand has to offer.

Numbers and Counting

Learning Thai numbers is essential for various situations, such as counting, understanding prices, and quantifying quantities. Familiarizing yourself with basic Thai numbers will enable you to navigate these interactions confidently.

Here are some fundamental Thai numbers:

  • Nung – One
  • Song – Two
  • Sip – Ten

When dealing with larger amounts, you can combine these numbers with the words for hundred, thousand, or more:

  • Neung rooi – One hundred
  • See-ram – Thousand
  • Mun – Million

Understanding numbers is crucial for shopping, bargaining, and comprehending prices in Thailand. Being able to count and express quantities accurately is particularly useful when engaging in transactions and negotiations.

Let’s take a look at an example:

Item Price Quantity Total
Mangoes Sip baht Neung roi (100) Seerung sip baht (1,000 baht)
Pineapples Song baht See-ram (1,000) Garn song baht (2,000 baht)

By familiarizing yourself with Thai numbers, you’ll be able to confidently communicate prices, quantities, and understand math-related conversations during your time in Thailand.

Nightlife Phrases

Thailand’s nightlife is known for its vibrant atmosphere and exciting social scene. Whether you’re hitting up bars, clubs, or enjoying a night out with friends, knowing some essential Thai phrases can enhance your experience and help you connect with locals. Here are a few phrases to add to your vocabulary:

1. Cheers!

If you’re raising a glass with friends, say “chon gâew” to toast and say “cheers” in Thai.

2. Would you like a drink?

When you want to offer someone a drink, you can ask “ja deum arai mai?” which means “would you like a drink?”. It’s a great icebreaker to start a conversation and make new friends.

3. Ordering at a bar

When ordering at a bar, it’s helpful to know some basic words. You can ask for a beer by simply saying “beer“, or if you’re in the mood for a cocktail, you can say “cocktail” or “ka-thaa-dee“. For non-alcoholic drinks, you can say “naam yen” for “iced water” or “saa-pa-rot” for “cold soda water.”

Remember to use polite language by adding “ka” at the end of your sentences if you’re female, or “khrub” if you’re male. It’s a respectful way to communicate in Thai.

Now that you have these handy phrases, you’re ready to enjoy the vibrant nightlife in Thailand. Cheers! Chon gâew!


Learning the most common phrases in Thai (English translations) is essential for travelers visiting Thailand. These essential Thai phrases can greatly enhance your experience and show respect for the local culture. Whether it’s polite greetings, basic conversation phrases, dining and food phrases, travel phrases, shopping phrases, or nightlife phrases, having a basic understanding of Thai will help you navigate through various situations and engage more effectively with the locals.

One important aspect of Thai language is the use of polite words like ‘ka’ or ‘khap’ at the end of sentences, which signify respect. Additionally, being familiar with basic Thai numbers and counting can be particularly useful for shopping, bargaining, and understanding prices when exploring local markets.

By learning these essential Thai phrases, you can effectively communicate and connect with the people of Thailand, making your trip more enjoyable and memorable. So, before you embark on your Thai adventure, take the time to practice and familiarize yourself with these phrases. Your efforts will be appreciated and will go a long way in creating positive interactions with the locals.


What are the most common phrases in Thai with English translations?

Some of the most common Thai phrases with English translations include greetings like “sawatdee” for hello and goodbye, and “khop khun” for thank you. Polite phrases like “khaw thawt” for excuse me and “yindee” for you’re welcome are also essential.

How do I introduce myself in Thai?

You can use phrases like “khun cheu arai?” for “what is your name?” and “phom cheu…/dichan cheu/chan cheu” for “my name is…”. Male speakers can add “khrap” at the end of a sentence, while female speakers should use “ka.” Saying “yindee thii dai ruujak” for “pleased to meet you” is a polite way to greet someone for the first time.

What are some basic conversation phrases in Thai?

Basic conversation phrases in Thai include “sabai dee mai?” for “how are you?” and “sabai dee” for “I’m fine”. Wishing someone good luck can be done by saying “chok dee”. Expressing that something is not a problem can be conveyed by saying “mai pen rai”.

What are some essential dining and food phrases in Thai?

When dining in Thailand, it is helpful to know phrases like “kor toong naan a-rai ka/krub?” for requesting the menu and “chan yaak ork…” for ordering. Expressing whether you want the food spicy or not can be done by saying “mai phet” or “phet nit noy”. Complimenting the food can be done with “aroy” for delicious.

What are some important travel phrases in Thai?

In Thailand, knowing travel phrases such as “tiinai?” for “where?” and “dtrong bpai” for “go straight” can be helpful. When in need of assistance, phrases like “choo-ay dai mai?” for “can you help?” and “long tahng” for “I’m lost” can be useful. You can also address emergency situations with phrases like “sataanii dtamruat yoo tee nai?” for “where is the police station?” and “dahm rot pa-ya-bahn” for “call an ambulance”.

What are some useful shopping phrases in Thai?

Useful shopping phrases in Thai include “taorai?” for “how much?” and “lod noi dai mai?” for requesting a discount. When looking for a specific item, saying “ao annii” can be helpful. Understanding basic words for money, such as “baht,” is important for shopping transactions.

How do I count in Thai?

In Thai, basic numbers include “nung” for one, “song” for two, and “sip” for ten. When counting larger amounts, you can add the word for hundred, thousand, or more. Understanding numbers is crucial for shopping, bargaining, and understanding prices in Thailand.

What are some useful phrases for nightlife in Thailand?

In Thailand’s vibrant nightlife scene, saying “chon gâew” for “cheers” when toasting with drinks is common. Asking “ja deum arai mai” for “would you like a drink?” can initiate conversation. Understanding basic words for bars and clubs, such as “raan gaafee” for cafe and “beer” for beer, is useful for ordering drinks.

Why should I learn common Thai phrases before traveling to Thailand?

Learning common Thai phrases not only enhances your experience but also shows respect for the culture. It allows you to navigate Thailand with ease and engage with the locals. Polite greetings, basic conversation phrases, dining and food phrases, travel phrases, shopping phrases, and nightlife phrases are all important to know before your trip.

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