Ethnic Thais speak four dialects, which correspond to the country’s four geographic regions: Central, Northeastern, Northern, and Southern. The central Thais of the Chao Phraya Basin compose about 36 percent of the ethnic Thai population and are the dominant social and political group. The Central Thai dialect in considered “standard” Thai language and is the medium for education.
Thais believe the head is the most sacred part of the boby. Thus, refrain from touching the head.
The feet are considered the lowest part of the body; don’t rest your feet, or put your shoes, on a table and don’t point your feet to anyone’s direction.
Thais feel strongly about their religion, so don’t wear immodest attire at a temple, don’t climb Buddha images, and always remove your shoes before entering a temple.
The traditional Thai greeting is the “WAI”
, where the hands are brought together in front of the chin. The younger, or the lower-ranking person, should be the one to make the wai first.
The Royal family is deeply loved and respected. Don’t speak ill of its members even in jest.
Displays of affection between sexes in public places are a no-no. Don’t sunbathe topless.
Thais are quite respectful of Westerners and some may try their English on you. Don’t be offended by questions about your age, salary and marital status; they don’t mean to be intrusive.
is a Thai word describing everything that is fun, enjoyable and gives pleasure. This is often combined with the phrase “mai-pen-rai”
Hello = Sa-wat-dee
How are you? = Sa-by-dee=my
I am fine = Sa-by=dee
Thank you = Kop-Koon
Sorry/Excuse me = Kor-Thot
I understand = Kao-chy
I don’t understand = My-kao-chy
I cannot speak Thai = Pood-ty-my-dy
Doesn’t matter = My-pen-rai
Where are you going? = Py-tee-ny
I am going to...= Py...
Market = Ta-laat
Hotel = Rong-raem
Restaurant = Raan-a-haan
Post office = Pry-sa-nee
Swimming pool = Sa-wy-naam
Airport = Sa-naam-bin
Train station = Sa-ta-nee-rot-fy
Bus terminal = Sa-ta-nee-rot-bat
Hospital = Rong-pa-ja-baan
One = Neung
Two = Song
Three = Saam
Four = See
Five = Haa
Six = Hok
Seven = Jet
Eight = Paed
Nine = Kao
Ten = Sib
What is this? = Nee-pen-a-ry
How much is this? = Nee-tao-ry
Can I look at it? = Koh-doo-dy-my
Do you have other? = Mee-eek-my
Too expensive = Paeng-py
Can you discount = Lot-ra-kaa-dy-my
Can I look at the menu = kor-doo-menoo
Not spicy please = My-phet
Vegetarian = Mang-sa-wee-rat
Delicious = A-roi
Spicy = Phet
Very spicy= Phet-mak-maak
Bill please = Geb-taang-duay
Keep the change = My-tong-thorn
Female speakers say after every sentence the word “KHA”
Male speakers say after every sentence the word “KRAP”