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Top 5 Thai Phrases You Need to Know

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อยู่ไหนเนี่ย

Top 5 Thai Phrases

If I were to start learning Thai from the beginning all over again, these are the most useful 5 Thai phrases that I wish my first phrase book taught me. You can use all 5 of these phrases every single day and you’ll hear Thai people say them all the time.  Start with these super useful Thai phrases.

How to Say Hello in Thai

You probably have heard of sawasdee (สวัสดี), but in real life you don’t usually use this word with you friends. It’s much more common to ask them if they’ve eaten yet. If you see them out, you’d ask them where they are going or where they are coming back from. So the next time you run into one of your Thai friends, try one of these:

ไปไหน ppai nai Where are you going?
ไปไหนมา ppai nai maa Where are you coming (back) from?
กินข้าวรึยัง gin khaao ru yang Did you eat yet?

 

How to Say “What are you doing?” in Thai

This is another short, simple and super useful Thai phrase that you should learn right away.

ทำอะไรอยู่ (thum a-rai yuu) – What are you doing?

**Notes:

  • You can add a อยู่ (yuu) after any VERB in Thai to make it function like the -ing ending in English. We don’t need to use any pronouns when it’s obvious that the speaker is talking about themselves.

How to Say “Where are you?” in Thai

Whether or not you are planning to meet up with someone, it’s pretty common to ask where people are in any language. In Thai, you’ll hear it all the time and it’s a super easy phrase.

If you are speaking to a friend online/phone you just say:

อยู่ไหน (yuu nai) – where are you? / Where is it?

If you need to be more polite, such as if you are speaking to someone older or someone you don’t know well, you should add the polite gender particle at the end.

If you want to ask where something is or in cases where you need to specify a person, you put it/them before the phrase above:

How to Say OK in Thai

There are a few options in Thai for saying ok. You can always just say OK like we do in English, but using Thai pronunciation โอเค (ohh-kay), the main difference being that the Ohh sound tends to be longer than how you might say it in English. While this works fine in many situations, there’s a special phrase you should definitely learn.

ก็ได้ (gaw dai) – ok; I’m ok with that; that works; sounds good to me

A: วันนี้กินอะไรดี (wan nee gin a-rai dee) – What should we eat today?
B:

อยากกินพิซซ่า (not found)
(yaak gin pit-saa) – I want to eat pizza.
A:
พิซซ่าเหรอ กินก็ได้ (not found)
(pit-saa raw … gin gaw dai) – Pizza huh? Yea, I could eat (pizza) / that works

It doesn’t always translate exactly as “ok,” but it express that you are satisfied with or accepting of whatever is being talked about.

How to Say “I don’t understand” in Thai

You may have heard of mai khao jai ไม่เข้าใจ which means “I don’t understand,” but I’m going to give you a more fun phrase that you can use when you REALLY have no idea what’s happening. If you can pronounce that เอือ vowel correctly, you can get some good laughs with this one.

Thai Pronunciation Tip:

The secret to being able to say เอือ is to first conquer the อือ vowel.  

How to Say “I have no idea” or “I don’t understand at all”

ไม่รู้เรื่อง (mai ruu rueang) – I have no idea what you are talking about / I have no clue / I don’t understand at all

You use this phrase when you didn’t understand a word of what was just said, or in cases where you have no idea what someone is going on about.

Now get out there and practice these phrases. You can use them all the time forever.