How to Say Thank You in Thai - Learn Thai From A White Guy - Learn Thai Online

How to Say Thank You in Thai

How to say ‘thank you’ in Thai depends on a number of factors that you aren’t likely to be aware of as a beginner.  While this post is not exhaustive, it will tell you all the basics you need to know to handle the majority of situations you are bound to encounter either in Thailand or just being around Thai people.

The Basic way to say Thank You in Thai

The normal phrase that can be used in any situation (though it may not always be the most natural choice) is:

How to Say Thank You Among Friends (and people younger than you):

These are the three main “thank you”s to use with your friends.

  1. ขอบคุณ [khawp khun] – It’s the same as above, but we can drop the polite particle.
  2. ขอบใจ [khawp jai] – thanks **

**ขอบใจ is a bit informal and shouldn’t be used with people older than you or with higher “status” (eg; your boss, your girlfriend’s parents).

This word can come across as a bit abrupt so it’s pretty common to throw a นะ (na) at the end. The นะ (na) is often used as a softener to make things sound nicer.

ขอบใจนะ– Thanks.

ขอบใจน้า [khawp jai naa] – When typing this word, the short vowel นะ  may be written with the long vowel น้า and it’s often pronounced this way for emphasis and/or niceness.

ขอบใจจ้า – [khawp jai jaa] – As above, when typed this may be written with the longer vowel and is often pronounced this way.

  • แต้งกิ้ว – [tang kiw] – This is just a transliteration of “thank you” and is used ALL THE TIME so don’t feel bad or weird about using it.

**There’s a mini-joke/pun associated with it the word above.  If you pronounce the word as แทงคิ้ว [tang khiw] (or someone else says it) and then poke yourself in the eyebrow. Do it to a friend (or almost anyone really) and I promise you’ll get a laugh. You’re basically saying “stab (my) eyebrow.”

Close friends using the intimate (and rude if not intimate) particles กู (goo) / มึง (mueng) can be used with any of the above. So you will definitely hear things like:

*Sometimes แต้ง (falling tone) may be spelled/pronouncedแต๊ง (high tone)

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How to Say Thank You to Acquaintances and Older People:

The particle word used at the end of a phrase is very important both in terms of applying the appropriate level of politeness as well as “coloring” the feeling behind the sentence.  The first level of politeness, is just adding the polite gender particle ครับ /ค่ะ [khap / kha] for male/female respectively.

  • ขอบคุณครับ/ค่ะ – [khawp khun (khap /kha)] – Thank you. You can use this with older relatives or people at the office that you don’t feel you are close enough to drop the polite particle.

If someone is much older than you (grandparents age for example) or if someone goes out of their way to help you or do something for you, or is being celebrated for some reason (eg; retirement/wedding/etc) then you probably want toไหว้ [wai] them.

  • ไหว้ [wai] – the wai is when you put your hands together in prayer-like position and it may or may not include a slight bow. The position of the hands in relation to the face/head as well as the deepness of the bow convey differing levels of respect. Thai kids have to wai their teachers everyday. Most Thai people will wai a monk on sight. Young people wai their elders. Employees wai their bosses. Learning when to do this is a very valuable skill in Thailand and it will endear you to just about everybody except for angry farang.

Example Situation: You get a flat tire on your motorbike and someone with a pickup truck stops to help you load up your bike onto their truck and drive you to a shop. Even if that person is the same age or a bit younger than you, this is the type of situation where a wai along with “ขอบคุณมากครับ /ค่ะ [khawp khun maak (khap / kha)] – Thank you so much” is appropriate.

Additional Notes:

  • มาก [maak] – very (falling tone) *Can be added at the end of any phrase to mean “very much” but place it before polite particle.
  • ขอบคุณมากครับ [khawp khun maak khrap] Thank you very much (polite)!
  • ครับ [khrap] – male polite particle (high tone, can drop the ร/r sound)
  • ค่ะ [kha] – female polite particle (falling tone)
  • ขอบคุณ
    ขอบคุณ
    thank you
  • ขอบใจ
    ขอบใจ
    thanks (inf)
  • มาก
    มาก
    very; a lot
  • ไหว้
    ไหว้
    to wai
  • แต้งกิ้ว
    แต้งกิ้ว
    thank you (eng)
  • มึง
    มึง
    you (inf;rude)
  • กู
    กู
    I (inf;rude)
  • All Done!

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