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How to Say I Love You in Thai

 

 

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

รักต้นไม้บ้างมั้ย

One of those beginner phrases that almost everybody wants to learn when studying a new language is how to say ‘I love you’  

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 significant other.

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 ()
    • รักนะ
  • พี่รักเธอ
    • รักเธอนะ
  • พี่รัก [name] นะ 
  • รักกันนะ

Which Thai pronoun to use?

  • Are you male?
    • ผม → ผมรัก GirlsName
    • YourName → YourName รัก GirlsName
    • พี่ → พี่ รัก GirlsName (Only use if you are older than partner)
  • Are you female?
    • ฉัน ฉันรัก BoysName
    • YourName YourName รัก BoysName

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 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</h1

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.