How to Say Similar in Thai - Learn Thai from a White Guy

How to Say Similar in Thai

If you’ve been to Thailand before you might have heard the phrase “same same” and “same same but different” (maybe you even bought the t-shirt!).  

In this post we’re going to learn how to say “similar” and “the same” in Thai.  These words can come in handy in everyday conversations if you want to say something like “we’re wearing similar shirts” or “I feel the same”. 

how to say similar or same in thai

เหมือนมั้ย

Similar in Thai – The Quick Answer

If you’re looking for a quick answer, the way to say similar in Thaiซ

  • ๆ- is a Thai symbol which indicates that the preceding word should be repeated (some Thai words can be repeated to add emphasis or to intensify the meaning).  
  • กัน (kkan) – means “together” or “each other”

Example sentence:

Doubled Up Thai Words

In Thai, some adjectives can be repeated in order to emphasize, or intensify the meaning. Here are some examples:

Different Ways to Say Similar in Thai

Although in many situations คล้ายๆ กัน (klaai klaai kkan) will be the best way to say similar in Thai, you may hear a number of different variations of this:

All of these variations can be used interchangeably to mean “similar to”.

The word กับ (kkap) means “with” – though when it is combined with คล้าย (klaai), it just means “similar to”.

Examples Sentences:

All 4 of these sentences mean “Thai language is similar to Lao language.”

*กับ functions like “with” in these patterns.

Vocabulary:

How to Say The Same in Thai

Now that we know the Thai word for “similar” let’s look at how to say “the same” in Thai.  The word เหมือน (muean) can also mean similar, but it tends to be stronger (and closer to being the same) then saying คล้าย (khlaai).   

So it’s important to remember that เหมือน while technically meaning “same” is often used as “very similar to” or “like”

The Thai word for “the same,” but it has a couple forms depending on what you want to say. 

Example sentence:

Just like the Thai word for “similar”, you may also hear a couple of different variations of the Thai word for “the same”.

Here the English sentence is:

“He has the same shoes as his older brother”

How to Say “The Usual Please” 

If you go to the same coffee shop every day and order the same drink, after a while the staff will know you well enough to remember your order.  So you can just tell them “I’ll have the usual please”.

The way to say this in Thai is:

เอา เหมือนเดิม ครับ / ค่ะ (ao muean duem khrap / kha) – I’ll have the usual please (+ polite particle)

We use the phrase เหมือนเดิม (muean duem) when we are referring to something that is the same as before.  

Here are some other examples:

 

Same Same But Different

There doesn’t seem to be a consensus on where the phrase “same same but different” came from.  While this phrase can be heard in tourist areas all across Thailand, it’s by no means exclusive to this country – it can also be heard in a number of other South East Asian countries.  

However, since this is a Thai language blog, we’re going to throw in our two baht on how this phrase could have originated in Thailand.

Here goes…

In Thai language, there is a phrase that is used when things are similar but not exactly the same:

Same same but different could be a rough translation of this Thai phrase.  Although, in the original Thai, the word “similar” (คล้ายๆ – klaai klaai) is used, but in the English version the word “same same” is used.  This could be because when Thai words are repeated for emphasis, they tend to be short, one or two syllable words. 

So “same same” is simply easier and faster for Thai people to say than “similar similar”. 

While “same same but different” sounds funny to us in English, the original Thai version actually makes a lot more sense. 

What do you think?  Are we on the right lines or do you have a different theory on where this phrase originated?

Conclusion

Hopefully you know how to say the same and similar in Thai now.  So you can get out there and start practicing what you’ve learned!