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How to Say Good Morning in Thai

Many cultures use different greetings depending on the time of day.  While Thai language has a couple phrases that are similar to “good morning,” “good afternoon,” and “good night,” Thai people do not commonly use these very much in daily life.

However, you may hear them on Thai dramas or in Thai movies, so it’s ok to learn it.  If you want to know how Thai people say good morning to each other at different times of the day, below are both the formal and informal phrases you’ll come across either in book, classes or other websites.  Be sure to read to the end as that’s where the most common phrases are.

good morning in thai

How to Say Good Morning in Thai

Formal Thai for “Good Morning” Part 1: (What Thai language books and other websites tell you to say…)

—- Examples:

  1. อรุณสวัสดิ์ (ah-roon-sa-wat) Good morning
  2. สวัสดีตอนเช้า (sa-wat-dee ttawn-chao) Good morning

*Disclaimer: We mention these phrases, because it’s the only way to rank this page high enough on Google that you will ever see it, but I will stress that Thai people don’t say these 2 phrases and neither should you.  Except, perhaps to be silly.  If you use it (especially ah-roon-sa-wat), you will probably get a laugh or a smile so there may be some value in learning these 2 Thai phrases  just to get a reaction out of people.

Google is getting better at recognizing what’s actually used as opposed to what the top websites might tell you.

google translate search of "good morning" in thai

Don’t use SA-WAT-DEE-TAWN-CHAO

Formal Thai for “Good Morning” Part 2: (What Thai people REALLY say)

—- Examples:

  1. สวัสดี ครับ/ค่ะ (sawat-dee + khrap/kha) – Hello + (male/female polite particle)
  2. ทานข้าวรึยัง (taan khaao rue yang) – Have you eaten yet?*

*ทาน (taan) is a slightly more polite/formal word for “to eat” in Thai.  If you frequent the same restaurant or cafe, as the staff  start getting to know you, they may use this word for a time instead of กิน (kin) which also means “to eat.”   Using ทาน (taan) instead of กิน (kin) is more formal/polite and maintains a level of distance from the person being spoken to.

Informal Thai for “Good Morning” (What you should use with your friends)

  1. หวัดดี ครับ/ค่ะ (wat-dee + khrap/kha) – Hi
  2. กินข้าวรึยัง (kin khaao rue yanng?) – Have you eaten yet?*

You’ll use *”กิน (kin) – to eat” most of the time when speaking with friends or colleagues.

Want to Know More Thai Greetings and Basic Phrases?

To learn all about the best Thai greetings to use in every situation, check out our “How to Say Hello in Thai” post.  In that post, you’ll find the 2 most useful phrases in the Thai language so don’t miss out.

Want to learn to speak and read Thai language?  Check out my Thai foundation online course here or sign up below to try some free lessons from the program.

 

How to Practice Tones

I’ve been making lots of new videos lately.  If you haven’t subscribed to my youtube channel or liked my facebook page then consider doing so.  It’ll take me a while to post everything I’ve filmed in the past few weeks, but much of it is already up there.  I won’t ever post anything spam-y so when I put something up, I assume it will be useful to you, or particularly funny (in a Thai way).

Here’s an easy way for beginners to practice tones in a tonal language like Thai:

Why learn Thai?

Why bother learning Thai? After all, you don’t need it if you are living in Bangkok, Chiang Mai or any of the other heavily farang’d out cities. Sure, you’ll probably get ripped off now and then, have trouble doing stuff like opening bank accounts, going to the dentist or getting a haircut, but it’s not that big of a deal. Right?

If you did bother to learn Thai, you just might:

  • Make more friends
  • Really get to know people and have a better grasp of why they do things that are different than what you might do.
  • Have more fun
  • Pay the same prices as locals do
  • Know for sure whether or not they are really talking about you or if it’s just in your head…

Just do it.  Everything will be better.  I promise.  Get started with the Thai alphabet.

Where to Start?

I often feel that the greatest weakness of the blog format is that old content tends to be forgotten and needs to be repeated. Regular readers rarely access old materials for whatever reason.  I am not much different.  On sites in my rss feeds, there are a handful of posts that contain information that I want to go back to and I will usually email them to myself, but aside from that I only go back to most sites when there is new content to read.  While I hope to continue creating good content, I feel that I’m nearly always asked the same questions.  People learning their first 2nd language tend to ask the same questions.  They don’t really know what to do and simply telling them isn’t enough for them to believe it and find the discipline to actually do it.  I completely understand this as I often feel that I spread myself far too thin by always dabbling in a too many languages and could always be spending more time than I actually do.  So in order to streamline the process for newer readers, I’m going to provide links below to older posts that should anticipate and hopefully answer some of those questions that come up while you are climbing the language mountain.

Sometimes people seem to want me to tell them exactly what to do.  I then expend a lot of time and energy creating routines and flashcards for them, but then they don’t do it.  While this can be frustrating, it doesn’t really matter as long as you are doing something.  Chances are there will always be ways to improve on what you are currently doing so it doesn’t hurt to experiment.  If one way up the mountain seems impassable, go back down and find another way.  Master the basics, don’t fly through them.  Don’t just learn them.  Absorb them, conquer them.  Be able to run circles around the bottom of the mountain with ease before trying to make it all the way to the top.  This isn’t a race.

Don’t let anyone discourage you.  They will try.  This is normal as people tend to be pretty lame and rarely actually know what they are talking about.

Basic Tips/Concepts

The Rules of the Game

Be a Cheater

Consistency

Don’t Stop

Remembering Stuff

Spaced Repetition System

Stages of Learning

Thai Tips

Rhythm

De-Farang-ify

Tools to Get You There –

Tone Drills by Class

Anki – So ya don’t forget

Reading Stuff –

How to Start

News

LTfaWG – Why study with me?

I realize that while I have created a number of resources here, much of it isn’t very useful for a beginner that doesn’t know where to begin.  So I’m offering myself to you, dear readers.

Reading is ez!  It takes most people about 2 weeks* to go through the alphabet and all the tone rules, however, it will take a bit of regular practice before you are able to fully master/internalize everything.   From there we start reading the Wimpy kid books. We start easy with captions and go back and forth with that while drilling essential phrases until you can handle longer passages.  Then I keep feeding you useful language bits while you keep reading and working out the class/tone rules until you no longer need to think about them. I supply you with flashcards with audio for everything so you can review it.

*Individual results may vary. My system was developed over a period of about 10 years and in the last 5 years or so of teaching Thai privately, it generally took 6 hours of 1 on 1 lessons to cover all the material that you can now find in my online course. The time it takes someone to complete the 50 or so lessons in the online course will likely take you somewhere in the vicinity of 10-20 hours including review time.

Once you are ready for longer passages, we jump around in the Wimpy Kid books with you reading while I create flashcards for the more useful phrases and tell you what things mean. After you have a decent vocab and have begun to figure out how the language works, you can go off on your own or you can cut back your time spent with me and we can go through the whole book together.

It works slightly better in person because the internet in Thailand isn’t what I would call reliable, but via the magic of skype or google voice/vid chat distance really isn’t much of an obstacle.

Key Points/Strategies in my Method –

  • No Textbooks
  • No Phonetics/Transliteration
  • Only Authentic Material that is Interesting (Wimpy Kid books!)
  • SRS Flashcards (So you can’t forget)
  • No Word Lists
  • Fun Super-Useful Phrases (ie – 100 sentence project)
  • No Pressure
  • More Bang  for your Baht

Stages of Learning

In my experience, there are 3 stages involved in going from the point where you sort of understand to being able to use something in a language.  You don’t have as much control as you might think and schools and teachers usually have even less.

We could analyze this stuff much deeper, but I find this to be the easy way to break it down.  We progress through these stages by encountering these words/expressions/sentences in real life (read/heard/tried to use).  Spaced repitition will significantly increase the chance of the words in question staying in your short term memory indefinitely so that when you encounter a situation where it is used…you can remember/use/understand it.

  1. Able to understand the underlying meaning of the question and possibly able to offer a simple answer such as in the case of กินข้าวรึยัง – กินแล้ว  or “have you eaten yet?” — “ate already” but unable to reproduce the original question or even work out for certain the words involved. It is still just a string of sounds which one can’t distinguish between or repeat with any accuracy, but somehow by having heard it over and over, you know what they are asking you.
  2. Able to understand the entire meaning and can now pick up most of the words in the sentence and answer properly, but still unlikely to be able to produce the actual question correctly.
  3. After having heard the sentence countless times, with varied repetition, we reach a stage where we can completely understand the question in most if not all of its forms and can now reproduce it naturally (or close to it) as we have heard it used naturally repeatedly for some time now.

Tone Up

Being able to say the correct tone is great and all, but ultimately if you want to speak ชัด-ly, it all comes down to rhythm.  Reading stuff out loud helps.  Having a native speaker correct you is good also.  If this isn’t convienent, then just having the original audio for a body of text is fine as well.   Start easy.  Look for interesting content.   Listen to it a lot.  If you need help finding interesting content, just ask.  

Here are some easy common examples:  

ไป ไหน มา      common-rising-common

ว่า จะ ใด         falling-low-common

ไม่ ว่าง             f – f

ไ ม่ ได้ ไป     f – f- c

วัน นี้  เหรอ   c-high-r

Learning to Read – Again

Reading in a new language can seem rather daunting, even painful at times. Some people preach that there are ways around this, but after a year and a half of trying to become fluent in Japanese by reading stuff that would be considered difficult, I haven’t found it yet. The truth is that I don’t read much these days. Getting new English books here always seems to be too much of a hassle. And here I’ve been trying to read whatever Japanese books I could get my hands on. Manga, language learning theories, fiction, old literature, etc. What I’ve discovered is that it was a mistake to read manga or old literature or whatever solely because it was manga (or something) and it was in Japanese. I just wasn’t getting into it. So, what the hell can I read?

Because of the enormous amount of time and exposure required, the last thing we want to spend as little time as possible being bored, frustrated, angry or what not.

I started by asking myself a very important question – “What did I used to read back in the day?”
Lots of Stephen King. So, I went to amazon.jp and ja.wikipedia.org and started to read about Stephen King books that I’ve read in the past and know pretty well. Reviews, summaries, character descriptions, etc. And its been great. Even though every single page has plenty of words that I don’t know, I know enough that can skip as many of those words as I want. I mine everything for sentences of things that I want to see again in my SRS. But the two most important things going on here are that I’m enjoying reading, and I am READING. I only read as long as it stays interesting. If I start spacing out or getting bored or frustrated…I do something else, or go look for something else to read. I can always come back to the current one if I feel like it.

So anyways, I’ve devoured a lot of Stephen King stuff in the past few days and tonight I’m poking around summaries of Star Wars and Robocop. I also really wanna get my hands on some of the Jp translations of SK’s books.

Anyways, how does this help you? Well, I’d say Thai is more limited than Japanese as far as I know in regards to translations from English when it comes to books. However, there are loads of movies and tv series to work with. So as I’m writing this, Lost is on tv so I figured that was good enough to start with. If you watch that, or Prison Break, Heroes or what not, we might have some material to work with.

So again, how do we go about reading this stuff when we still suck? And don’t forget we are mining SRS material as we go. Let’s do some a couple quick lines…

First sentence from the Prison Break Wiki
Prison Break เป็นซีรีส์แอ็กชัน ดราม่า ทางโทรทัศน์ ออกอากาศครั้งแรกทางช่องฟ็อกซ์
This one is full of SRS goodness. What have we got?

Prison Break เป็นซีรีส์  – PB is a series

Prison Break เป็นซีรีส์แอ็กชัน PB is an action series

Prison Break เป็นซีรีส์ดราม่า PB is a drama series

Prison Break เป็นซีรีส์ ทางโทรทัศน์  PB is a tv series

PB เป็นซีรีส์ออกอากาศครั้งแรกทางช่องฟ็อกซ์ – PB is a tv series that was first broadcast on/by Fox.  

Get the idea yet?  Let’s look at the the first line from the Lost Wiki.  A bit longer you may notice.  

Lost เป็นดราม่าซีรีส์ที่อเมริกา ที่มีเนื้อหากล่าวถึงผู้รอดชีวิตจากอุบัติเหตุเครื่องบินตก บนเกาะลึกลับ 

See anything from the Prison Break sentence in this one?

Lost เป็นดราม่าซีรีส์ – Lost is a drama series

Lost เป็นดราม่าซีรีส์ที่อเมริกา – Lost is a drama series in America

Lost เป็นซีรีส์ ที่มีผู้รอดชีวิตจากอุบัติเหตุเครื่องบินตก = Lost is a series about survivors of a plane crash

Lost เป็นซีรีส์ ที่มีผู้รอด เครื่องบินตก บนเกาะ – Lost is a series of plane crash survivors on an island

บนเกาะลึกลับ – on a mysterious island 

Tear apart the sentence until its only got 1 thing it in you don’t know.  And if you are still trying to practice reading at a basic level then keep the phrases really short, but don’t waste time with single words.  Words out of context are forgotten too easily.   There isn’t anything wrong with having a few of the same sentence with only one word changed.

Now, go try and skim through a few of those.  Set goals.  Mine 3-5 flashcards/day.  You don’t need to SRS everything and there isn’t much point to try to do too much at once anyways.  Just SRS stuff that you see a lot of and want to remember or anything that jumps out at you. Its always ok to delete sentences later.  And when you get up into the thousands – you will, often.