Learning a few Thai Phrases
Replies: 49 - Last Post: May 3, 2012 4:54 AM Last Post By: LearnThaiCM
Apr 27, 2012 2:31 PM
Learning a few Thai PhrasesHello,
I'm trying to learn a few new Thai phrases. Strangely enough the only words I know in Thai are:
Hello, thankyou, fireman, lawyer, not spicy, not thanks.
I've taken a few phrases online which I think will be useful for my next trip, these are:
khor thot" means "sorry".
I don't want any (mai ow khrab*)
I don't want to go (mai yak bai)
How much is this? (ra ka thao rai)
That is a little expensive. (paeng bai)
Can you make it cheaper? (lot noi dai mai)
I am just looking. (khor doo thao nun)
What I am wondering is, when do I add "Kaa"/"Khrab" to the above phrases? I'm not sure if it's always supposed to be added or not. Also, any other suggestions for phrases that will come in handy? I'm thinking perhaps "toilet" and "pharmacy" or "hospital"/"doctor"
Apr 27, 2012 3:15 PM
1Since you are a lady, you put ka at the end of the sentence. You can also add na ka. I don't know exactly how to explain the difference in English, but it makes it sound nice. You can never go wrong adding it.
I think a better way to say 'how much' would be 'ah nee tao rai ka?'. 'ra kha' works, but the first way to say it is a bit more widely used .
'Khor doo thao nan' actually means 'I request to just look'. 'Khor' is used when you are asking for something. An example is 'khor naam plow'- or I'd like some water. 'Khae doo chuy chuy' would be better for I'm just looking.
Toilet- 'hong naam' 'hong naam yu tee nai' means where is the bathroom.
Pharmacy- 'raan khai ya'.. literally 'store that sells drugs'
Hospital- 'ruang pai ya baan'.
Apr 27, 2012 5:38 PM
2The whole business with romanizing Thai is just horrid. That thing with adding an "r" at the end to represent "อ" is awful. And failing to distinguish between aspirated and unaspirated consonants is fundamental fail, like "ka" for "ค่ะ". Good luck with that. I see tourists trying out their romanized Thai on the locals sometimes and the locals are perplexed, polite and smiling but no clue unless they are used to hearing foreigners attempt broken Thai.
Apr 27, 2012 5:41 PM
3^^ it is true. The best thing to do would be to look it up online. There are some online dictionaries that also have a sound byte for different words or phrases. If you have an iPhone, there are some free apps which have basic phrases for everything you need. Speak Thai EN works pretty well and I suggest that for my friends who are going to Thailand for the first time.
Apr 27, 2012 7:10 PM
Also from #1 -re: the use of 'na' before 'ka'. Na is used to soften the sentence. An English example might be a curt 'Sorry' as opposed to a heartfelt 'Oh, I'm sorry'. I would avoid using 'na' as it does not apply in every case. Based on the phrases you already know:
khor thot means "sorry". - can use 'na ka'
I don't want any (mai ow ka*) - can use 'na ka' (mai ow na ka)
I don't want to go (mai yak bai) - can use 'na ka'
How much is this? (ra ka thao rai) - can only use 'na ka' if you are asking the about the price for the second time, i.e. you did not hear the price the first time
That is a little expensive. (paeng bai) - can use 'na ka'
Can you make it cheaper? (lot noi dai mai) - can NOT use 'na ka'
I am just looking. (khor doo thao nun) - can use 'na ka'
Apr 27, 2012 9:07 PM
Apr 27, 2012 10:48 PM
Apr 27, 2012 11:20 PM
7Learning a few phrases isn't very practical. Setting aside pronunciation problems. The main issue concerns how well you can enter into a dialog. Will you understand the Thai person who says something and which prompts your 'replies' such as 'I'm just looking.'? Will you understand answers to any questions you ask? An invitation to barter (How much is this? Can you make it cheaper?) is going to invite an exchange more complicated than you can handle.
Can you count?
Apr 28, 2012 12:09 AM
Apr 28, 2012 12:25 AM
Apr 28, 2012 3:55 AM
As an alternative, practice negotiating a restaurant interaction, where the person not only knows the answer to a question, but also where there is nothing at stake (as in a barter situation) -- so the form of interaction is simpler. One can ask: how much does this cost? knowing the answer, but then also training one's ear to recognize what '150 baht' sounds like. Asking directions in a bus station is another practice ploy.
Communication involves a lot more than having a few stock phrases memorized.
Showing some respect for/knowledge of local tradition, habits, ways of doing things and so on makes just as much, if not more, of a good impression on people.
Apr 28, 2012 4:28 AM
11khor thot" means "sorry".
I don't want any
How much is this?
I'd stick with just those from your list.
There are others that are of use, but you'll pick them up as you go along.
I always just say "sorry" as it's pretty obvious what you mean. Anyway, I thought it is pronounced khor tode. Must ask my wife.
Apr 28, 2012 4:33 AM
The phrases that the OP has chosen can be used without too much interaction at all.
E.g. a simple "khor thot" when she bumps into someone; when shopkeepers/even touts try to sell something, a simple "mai ow" or "khor doo thao nun" can be effective.
Apr 28, 2012 4:39 AM
Apr 28, 2012 5:14 AM
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