|Useful phrases in Thai|
While you will most probably be able to get by just fine speaking only English while you are on holidays in Thailand if you stick to the tourist areas, it is always a great idea to learn some of the local language. While you will most probably slaughter the language, Thai people are very patient and will respond well and even be flattered that you have taken the time to learn some phrases. Here are a few phrases that may come in handy while you are in Thailand.
One of the first things to remember when speaking Thai is that politeness is very important. The good news is that it is relatively easy to be polite in Thai. If you are a guy you add "khrup" on the end of most sentences. If you are female you add "kha" to the end.
To refer to yourself, a man would say "Phom", a woman would say "Chan"
To introduce yourself, you would say "Phon chuu your name khrup". For women it would be, "Chan chuu your name Kha"
When getting into taxi, you can tell the driver where you want to go by saying "Yaak ja bai" followed by the name of your destination. Hotel is "rongram", so if you were going to the Four Seasons hotel you would say, "Yaak ja bai rongram four seasons khrap/kha". Make sure they turn the meter on, (which is required by law) and if they haven't, remind them by saying "Metaa na khrap/ kha"
Giving directions to the driver:
You should decide on a price with the Tuk Tuk driver before you get in. Since air-conditioned taxi fares start at 35 Baht (about USD1) you are probably better off (and certainly more comfortable) riding in a taxi in most cases, but as a tourist you would probably want to try a tuk tuk at least once. Be very careful though, if a tuk tuk driver tells you that the temple you want to visit is closed that day or is closed for a religious ceremony and then offers to take you to a gem store. It is a scam. You should not go with the tuk tuk driver if this happens.
How much is it to Silom? "Bai Silom, tao rai krap/kha?"
Too expensive. How about 30 baht? "Pang bai, sam sib baht dai mai?
I don't want to go there "Mai yak bai"
What is this? Nii arai?
How much is this? "Ra ka tao rai?"
That's a little expensive. "Paeng bai"
Can you give me a better price? "Lot noi dai mai?" - The answer will be "Dai" (can do) for yes or "Mai dai" (cannot do) for no.
If you are being hassled by street hawkers and you are not interested you can tell them that you don't want what they are selling by saying "Mai ow khrap/kha". If they still don't leave you alone you can easily get rid of them by telling them you don't have any money, "Mai mee dtung"
For further study you might like to check out some of the learning Thai resources at Amazon on the left side of this page.