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How to Say I Love You in Thai

 

 

how-to-say-i-love-you-in-thai

รักต้นไม้บ้างมั้ย

Whether you are studying Thai or just have a significant other that you are trying to impress,  you may be interested in learning how to say I love you in Thai. 

Even if you don’t go very deep into Thai language, learning short phrases like this can really win you some bonus points with your partner.

Aside from just knowing how to use and pronounce these Thai phrases correctly, you’ll also hear many of them in Thai songs, Thai soaps and Thai movies.  

In addition to learning the different Thai phrases for “I love you,” we’ll also introduce some of the more common expressions and useful sentences that use the word “love.”

Words for ‘I Love You’ in Thai

how-to-say-i-love-you-in-thai2

หมีมีความรักด้วย

 

The most common expression you’ll probably encounter for “I love you” in Thai in all forms of media is ฉันรักเธอ (chan rak ter).  ฉัน (chan) is generally used as the primary female pronoun, but guys use it in love songs and sometimes on Thai tv and movies. I don’t recommend using this in real life, however if you are male as it can sound a little silly.  You can either drop the pronoun entirely, or use one of the other choices below.  

One thing you will notice pretty quickly in Thai is that the pronouns (like ‘I’ and ‘you’) is often dropped.

When in doubt, just pay attention to how Thai people talk to each other (in real life as opposed to on tv) and copy what they do.  It may take a while sometimes before you can find the answer, but it’s worth the effort.

ฉันรักเธอ (chan rak ter) – I love you.  

ฉัน chan I (primarily used by females)
รัก rak love
เธอ ter you (intimate); she

 

Basic Phrases for “I Love You” in Thai

Choosing the best phrase isn’t always easy.  You’ll probably come across these phrases in textbooks, phrasebooks and other web sites.  I don’t really recommend using them, but they won’t do you any harm.

ผมรักคุณ phom rak khun I love you.  (male speaker)
ฉันรักคุณ chan rak khun I love you.  (female speaker)

 

Thai Sentence Pattern: A รัก B

Here’s the basic sentence pattern saying ‘I love you’ in Thai.

“A loves B,” is what you want to start with, but choosing the correct pronouns to use in Thai can be a little complicated.  Gender, status, age and relationship all have an affect on the words that you should use to refer to both yourself and to whom you are speaking to.

As a learner of the language, you are expected to make mistakes so don’t worry about it too much.  It’s a pretty soft minefield so you won’t lose any limbs. Just keep in mind that the more familiar/intimate/close you are with a person, the more freedom you’ll have to use the informal expressions.

In Thai, it’s very common to drop pronouns when it’s obvious who the target is.  We’ll look at this more in the next section.

Informal ‘I Love You’ in Thai

Since declaring your love for someone tends to be a pretty informal situation to begin with, I’d really recommend becoming familiar with the more informal Thai love phrases you can use with your partner.  You can almost always drop one or both pronouns if it’s clear who is saying what to who.  You can also do this if you just aren’t sure which pronoun to use.

  • รักเธอนะ (rak ter na)
    • รักนะ (rak na)
  • พี่รักเธอ (pee rak ter)
    • รักเธอนะ (rak ter na
  • พี่รัก [name] นะ (pee rak NAME na) 
  • รักกันนะ (rak gan na)

Which Thai pronoun to use?

  • Are you male?
    • ผม (phom) → รัก (rak) GirlsName
    • YourName → YourName รัก (rak) GirlsName
    • พี่ (not found)
      (phee) → รัก (rak) + GirlsName (Only use if you are older than partner)
  • Are you female?

How to Refer to Your Partner in Thai

Informal;
ผัว poo-ah husband (often used even if not married)
เมีย mia wife (often used even if not married)
Formal:
สามี (not found)
saa-mee husband
ภรรยา pha-ra-yaa wife

 

General:
แฟน fan boyfriend/girlfriend/partner
ที่รัก thee-rak dear/lover/babe/sweetie

Bonus Thai Love Phrases

รักผมรึยัง rak phom rue yang Do you love me yet? (male speaker)
รักฉันรึยัง rak chan rue yang Do you love me yet? (female speaker)
รักไม่เป็น rak mai ppen I don’t know how to love.
ตกหลุมรัก tok lum rak Fall in love (fall-hole-love)
แสดงความรัก sa-dang kwaam rak to show or express love

 

 

Noun vs Verbs in Thai

The word รัก (rak) that we looked at above is going to act as a verb in most cases.  In order to form the noun version of “love” in Thai, you just add the word ความ (kwaam) in front of รัก (rak).  You’ll use the noun form in sentences where you are talking about the concept or idea of love.

  • รัก – (rak) to love (verb)
    • Jane รักสัตว์ (Jane rak sat) – Janes loves animals.
    • หมารักแมว (maa rak maew) – Dog loves cat.
  • ความรัก (kwaam rak) – love (noun)
    • ความรักคืออะไร (kwaam rak keu a-rai) – What is love?
    • ความรักมีจริงไหม (kwaam rak mee jing mai) – Is love real? / Does love exist?  

Final Thoughts

There are plenty of ways to say “I love you” in Thai and this list is not exhaustive, but hopefully we’ve given you enough to get started with.  Remember, that part of learning a language (or any skill!) involves making mistakes and embracing this early on will make the journey go much smoother.

Want to Learn to Read Thai?

Perhaps, the most important part of learning Thai is mastering the script, sounds and tone rules.   It’s very difficult to learn the correct pronunciation using any type of English transliteration and the sooner you get away from it, the faster your Thai will improve.

Try a couple free lessons from my Thai foundation course which teaches everything you need to know about the script, sound system and tone rules of Thai.

Winter is Coming

A large Christmas tree

 

Download: Winter is Coming

Read/Download/Edit as a Google Doc

 

หน้าหนาวของทุกปีก็จะลุ้นให้อากาศเย็นขึ้นจะได้เอาเสื้อกันหนาวออกมาใส่ เมื่อสองอาทิตย์ก่อนมีข่าวว่าอากาศที่กรุงเทพจะเย็นขึ้นแต่จนถึงวันนี้ก็ยังร้อนอยู่เหมือนเดิม ผิดหวังนิดหน่อยแต่ก็ชินแล้วเพราะเป็นอย่างนี้เกือบทุกปี

บรรยากาศตามห้างก็จะสนุกกว่าปกติ ชอบตรงที่มีต้นคริสต์มาสและโซนให้ถ่ายรูปเยอะมาก ตอนกลางคืนก็ไปดื่มเบียร์กับเพื่อนๆที่ลานเบียร์ได้ ถ้าวงดนตรีที่ลานเบียร์เล่นเพลงถูกใจก็จะยิ่งสนุก บางที่คนอาจจะเยอะมากควรไปเร็วหน่อยหรือจองโต๊ะไว้ล่วงหน้า

 

  • หน้าหนาว – the “cold” season
  • อากาศ – weather; climate
  • เสื้อกันหนาว – sweater; long-sleeved shirt (shirt + protect-against + cold)
  • เหมือนเดิม – same as usual; same as previously
  • ผิดหวัง – disappointed
  • ชิน – to get used to; to become accustomed to
  • เกือบ – almost
  • บรรยากาศ – atmosphere (both for SPACE and a place like a restaurant or a mall)
  • ห้าง – shopping mall
  • ปกติ – usual; normal
  • ต้นคริสต์มาส – Christmas tree
  • วงดนตรี band; music group (circle + music)
  • กลางคืน – night (time)
  • จอง – to reserve
  • ล่วงหน้า – in advance

 

Examples:

  • ช่วงนี้อากาศกำลังจะร้อน – It’s getting pretty hot these days.
  • ตอนที่ไปกรุงเทพ ไปกินข้าวที่ห้างเกือบทุกวัน – When I’m in Bkk, I eat at the mall almost every day.  
  • ถ้าจะไปเที่ยวคืนนี้ควรจะโทรไปจองโต๊ะก่อน – If you are going to go out tonight, you should probably call and reserve a table.

 

Mike Learned to Speak Thai

Today’s guest post is from Mike of Portland, Oregon.

Update: Oct, 2016 – Mike has been in Thailand for about 2 years now.  Here’s a video of him speaking Thai.

I’ve been living in Bangkok for about 11 months now. I’ve seen lots of expats who spend way too much (sometimes all!) of their time inside the farang bubble. Anticipating this dilemma before I arrived in Thailand, I decided that I’d seek out a neighborhood with a more “local” flavor – I didn’t want to be just another dude whose Bangkok life was limited to a 2 block radius of the nearest BTS station. This decision has had a significant effect on my continuing progress with the Thai language. Everyday I’m forced to ask questions to the people who live on or near my soi – and these questions often lead into smaller conversations that challenge me and force me to seek out new vocabulary so I can keep up. This is how to learn Thai.

The day I moved into my apartment, I told myself that I needed to get right out there into my surroundings and start using my limited Thai skills. I would practice saying a phrase out loud many times before I went out to use it. One of the early ones being: “I don’t want milk in my coffee, please.”

The first time I got in line to get a coffee at the stand near my local 7-11, I kept saying the phrase over and over in my head. I was so sure I had it down perfect.
When it came time to place my order: “hot coffee please.” Then a slight pause as the smiling server grabbed a cup, at which point I added “and I don’t want milk in my coffee, please.” He glanced at me sideways with a slightly confused smile. I beamed back with confidence – he had understood me! Then, in utter disbelief, I watched him add not one, but two types of milk to my coffee. Too bewildered to utter another word, I handed him 20 baht and stared down at my cup filled with a liquid that made it the exact opposite of black coffee.

A couple weeks later, after many failed attempts to get a coffee with no milk, someone finally pointed out what I was doing wrong. I had been screwing up the vowel on the word for milk (นม) and saying it too much like an (อะ) so they thought I might be trying to say “water” (น้ำ). One simple vowel had derailed my quest for the perfect cup of joe. It may have been slightly defeating watching all those milky coffees being poured day after day, but in the end, it was an experience that solidified my efforts to be precise with this new language. It may seem like a small victory, but my mornings are now complete with endless cups of black coffee just the way I like it.

That first cup of coffee was just the beginning of my quest to improve my Thai.
Everyday I go out and speak Thai. If I make a mistake (and I’m aware of it), I try to find out what I did wrong and give it another try next time. Eventually, I know I’ll get it right and I move on to the next thing.

Whether it’s talking with 80 year old men who hang out near the coffee stand next to the 7-11, or fumbling my way through the open air market asking what every vegetable is called (over and over again because sometimes I forget), my use of Thai is constantly being nudged in the right direction with each brief encounter with the people in my ‘hood. Bangkok can either be a blockade or a boon to your Thai language skills – the choice is yours! If you want to improve though, you really gotta get out there and talk to people.

Mike learned to read Thai in less than 3 weeks* using my online course. You can hear him talk about it here: Mike’s Video

*Your own results on time of completion for the course may vary. If you spend at least 30 minutes a day on the lessons, you can reasonably expect to get through everything in about 2 weeks.

Italki Review: Learning to Speak a Language Anywhere

Italki

Italki: Find language teachers online.

What is italki?

Italki is an online language learning service which allows you to browse, meet and hire teachers from around the world. It also has a journal section so you can practice writing and get corrections from native speakers for free.

Before I ramble on about all the deals, here’s the bottom line:

The Good

  • It’s on the internet! – Technology is great!
  • Access to native speakers no matter where you are.
  • It’s easy to “speed-date” through teachers and this has multiple benefits.

The Less Good

  • It’s on the internet! – Not everyone has fast internet. Maybe you! Stuff will go wrong. The internet is slow in Thailand when it rains….
  • Access to native speakers. – Just because someone is a native speaker doesn’t mean they have any idea what they are doing in regards to teaching. Love ‘em and leave ‘em until you find a good one.
  • Talking on technology like Skype isn’t quite the same as meeting someone in person, but it’s a step or 2 up from talking to yourself.

How much time have I logged in italki?

In total, I’ve done 75 sessions over the past 2 years. Last year, there was a while where I was trying to be more active in Chinese, Korean and Japanese. Alas, I have discovered that running a business does not necessarily mean you get to stop working and practice languages all day by the pool.

I did 28 sessions in August for Russian. Almost all of those were 45 minutes long.

How much does it cost?

The teacher sets the rate per time unit so the price can vary quite a bit depending on the language chosen.

The teacher chooses:

  • What lesson time lengths they are willing do: 30/45/60/90 minutes
  • The price per each lesson block (e.g. 50 ITC)
  • Whether or not they want offer a bulk discount. E.g. A block of 5 lessons for 10-20% off.

Italki uses their own “currency” which they call ITC or iTalki credits. 10 ITC = $1 USD so just move over one decimal place to convert ITC to USD.

For Russian, I have been paying on average, $8 (80 ITC) per 45 minute session.

Total Cost for August 2015: $225 USD for 28 sessions.

How do I choose the right tutors?

This is the tricky part. What follows is my own personal opinion and feel free to place value on or disregard anything I say. I’ve spent 13 years learning languages and

Italki has 2 categories tutors: Professional and Informal

I don’t know what the criteria is for someone to be a “professional” teacher on italki. I also don’t care. I only choose informal lessons. I generally find people who don’t have years of experience teaching in schools more malleable to my own particular methodology. Oh yea, and informal lessons are cheaper. If anybody finds an awesome “professional” tutor of Russian, please let me know and I’ll be happy to try them out for a couple lessons.

Free language exchanges are also an option with italki. If you are short on cash and are willing to trade your time, then this may be a good option for you.

And there’s a review system….

Do reviews even matter anymore? Did they ever? I may skim reviews when looking for new teachers to try out, but I’m always looking for a few specific things:

    • How many total sessions have they done?

I’d always pick a 3-4 star rating with 400 sessions over somebody with a 5 star rating with 30 sessions. *Note: It seems like everyone has a score of 4.9-5.0 anyways so this number shouldn’t really affect your decision.

    • Is the description good? Do they have an awesome or funny vid?

Not hugely important, but if somebody’s video or description makes me laugh, I’m more likely to give them a try. I want to feel comfortable in a lesson and it shows, they have put forth some effort.

How long should a study session be?

This will depend on a few factors, so if you don’t know what an ideal session length is, I’d recommend 45 minutes and I would never go over 90. My brain is a usually a wreck after 45 minutes and I need a rest to process any of the new information otherwise I’m just going to be wasting time, money and stressing myself out. Overworking yourself is a good way to fall off the wagon and give up.

How often should I study?

This will be influenced by your budget and free time, but I’d recommend doing at least 3 sessions a week or more. Time spent trying to talk to people is far more important than studying grammar or doing flashcards.

How much progress can I expect to make?

See previous question. That’s up to you. Nobody likes to hear it, but it ultimately comes down to you. It doesn’t matter how many years you studied a language. The only 2 things that matter in regards to actual studying, are how much time you put in every single day and how you spend that time. Can you stay motivated long enough to succeed? Of course you can, just stop looking at the end goal and look a few steps ahead. Know that you will probably want to give up sometimes and that sometimes it will be hard. Take a break, do something else and get back on the language learning bus.

Additional Italki Tips:

  • Avoid buying blocks until you’ve done 2-3 lessons with a teacher. There have been a number of times where the first session went exactly how I wanted and in the next session they started dumping complex grammar explanations on me or they froze up and started saying “Ok, what should we do now?”
  • Use multiple teachers:
    Find at least 2-3 teachers and use them all regularly.
    You should make an effort to practice things with multiple people.
    Learn a sentence pattern with one teacher, then go try and use it on another who doesn’t know you’ve learned it. Impressing your teachers brings compliments which makes us feel good, which makes us push past the tough times. Oh yea, and any sentence you say to 3 different speakers over 2-3 days will be probably stay in your head forever.*
    *Google has forced me to add disclaimers anywhere I make strong statements like “probably forever” even in cases such as this where I am reviewing a site and recommending a particular style of study. I obviously can’t guarantee that you will remember anything forever no matter what you do, but this is exactly what happens when I learn a language. I don’t make any of this stuff up and I strongly believe that this method will work for anyone.Try to steer the lessons towards practice of sentence pattern that you studied on your own beforehand, or learned with another teacher.
    Why don’t you just give it a try and see for yourself? It’ll take a bit to find the right teacher(s), but it’s worth it if you don’t have any other access to native speakers.

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