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My brother told me that the sentence structure in Thai is quite similar to Chinese, so I shouldn’t have a hard time picking up Thai.
Boy, was he wrong!
In the 2 weeks that I’ve been here, I’ve only used the two phrases that most people know when learning a new language – Hello and Thank you.
I thought about taking language classes but since I only wanted to learn a few phrases here and there, I enlisted the help of my new local Thai friend – Mew!
I met her at my gym – she works the front desk 🙂 I asked her to teach me the useful phrases so I can survive in the next few months.
I’ll keep adding to the list below and will highlight the ones I use often in red!
When I was looking into seriously learning Thai, here were some of the resources that others referred me to:
My phonetic sounds might be wrong, but it’s how I can remember to say it, so sue me!
I know the 4 tones in Mandarin, that helps me in navigating the 4 tones in Thai. Apparently, there are 9 tones in Cantonese, but I have no idea what they all are!
Hello or Goodbye
Notes: Just like in Japan, there is a different way of saying it if you are male or female. Naturally, I only learned the female way…I’m so happy that this does not exist in Chinese.
Thank You (for a female)
Notes: I have trouble saying this…the “kr” sound throws me off. Most of the time, I just end up speaking English. Bad farang!
End of sentence – period or question mark
Notes: Just like in Japanese “Desu vs Desu ka?”
Foreigner (specifically Caucasians)
Notes: Mew said I don’t count as a Farang…I am Chinese.
Notes: People + China = Chinese
Canadian / Americian
Con Ka-Na-Da / Con A-Me-Ri-Ca
Chan2 (Women) / Pom (Man)
Yes / No
Chai1 / Mai4
Notes: Enunciate the ‘d’ in ‘ped’
Can I get the bill, please?
Git Dang1 (or Ngoon1) Dui4 Ka2?
Check Bin1 Noi3 Ka2?
Money – two ways of saying it
N(g)oon or Dang
Excuse me (…can I order?)
Khor3 Toad4 Ka1
Notes: Used at a restaurant…again, the “kh” sound throws me off
Calling the waiter (women)
Nong Ka, Nong Ka (if they are younger than you)
Pi Ka, Pi Ka (if they are older than you)
Full / I’m Full
Inm3 / Inm3 Liao3 Ka1
Hungry / I’m Hungry
Hew2 / Hew2 Liao3 Ka1
Means: apparently it was derived from Chinese…
Notes: This means that PAD THAI is fried!!
Spoon / Fork
Chon2 / Som1
Pon3 La1 Mai2
Bargaining at Local Markets
Can I get a discount?
Lood4 Dai4 Mai2 Ka2?
Notes: Most important one to learn, which is also the one that I can’t pronounce correctly the most. Need to put this into practice when I go hit up night markets!
How much is it?
Tao4 Rai3 Ka2
How much is this one?
Un3 Nee2 Tao4 Rai3 Ka2?
Getting a Massage
Kor3 Raeng Raeng1
Kor3 Bao Bao1
Too Strong / Too Soft
Raeng Bai / Bao Bai