Top 5 Thai Phrases | Learn Thai from a White Guy | Get Fluent in Thai

Top 5 Most Useful Thai Phrases

Bangkok

อยู่ไหนเนี่ย

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.

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.
    • ทำงานอยู่ (tum ngaan yuu) – I’m working
    • กินข้าวอยู่ (gin khaao yuu) – I’m eating
    • ดูหนังอยู่ (duu nang yuu) – I’m watching a movie.
    • นั่งกินกาแฟอยู่ (nang gin gaa-fae yuu) – I’m sitting having a coffee. *The word “eat” is used informally for both eating and drinking.

How to Say “Where are you?” in Thai

Whether or not you are planning to meetup 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 want to ask where something is or in cases where you need to specify a person, you put it/them before the phrase above:

  • แม่อยู่ไหน ​(mae yuu nai) – Where is mom?
  • กุญแจอยู่ไหน (kun-jae yuu nai) – Where is the key? / Where are the keys?​

 

 

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 (yaak gin pit-saa) – I want to eat pizza.
A: พิซซ่าเหรอ กินก็ได้ (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.

  • ไปคนเดียวก็ได้ (ppai khon diaw gaw dai) – I’m fine with going (there) by myself
  • ซื้อให้ก็ได้ (sue hai gaw dai) – I can buy it for you (I’m ok to buy it for you)
  • ไม่ไปก็ได้ (mai ppai gaw dai) – It’s ok if I/we don’t go.

 

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.

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.