Flag of Thailand

Thailand forum

Language issues

  • erinj

    Joined Travelfish
    3rd August, 2007
    Posts: 12

    Last question:

    My travel agent said I won't need to know any Thai and I won't even need a phrase book.

    I haven't had enough time to try to learn Thai but I would at least like to *try*, at least the simple things like yes, no, please, thank you etc, so I will certainly be getting a phrase book.

    But, is language really not an issue? Will I be fine? Or should I crash study some Thai?


    Thanks :)

    #1 Posted: 19/11/2007 - 08:27

  • Advertisement

  • somtam2000

    admin
    Click here to learn more about somtam2000
    Joined Travelfish
    21st January, 2004
    Location Indonesia
    Posts: 7061
    Total reviews: 24
    Places visited:
    At least 113

    Depends where you are going, but it is always a good idea to try and pick up the basics.

    If you're there for a fairly short trip, I'd say a phrase book and a couple of hours spent going through it on the plane are a good start.

    Despite what your travel agent says, Thais will appreciate (and encourage) you learning some of the local lingo.

    #2 Posted: 19/11/2007 - 11:45

  • exacto

    Joined Travelfish
    12th February, 2006
    Location United States
    Posts: 2407
    Total reviews: 47
    Places visited:
    At least 98

    You won't need to know any of the local language to get by on your trip, since most folks who work with western tourists speak English reasonably well. But learning a few basics like you plan to do will go a long way. The Thais will react very well to your efforts and it will add quite a bit of fun to your trip.

    #3 Posted: 19/11/2007 - 11:56

  • Tilapia

    Click here to learn more about Tilapia
    Joined Travelfish
    21st April, 2006
    Location Canada
    Posts: 1425
    Total reviews: 15
    Places visited:
    At least 113

    There are lots of online language courses that will help you with commonly used phrases and words. These even have audio so you can hear what they sound like. Here's one, for example ...

    http://www.tu.ac.th/host/thaiarc/thai/thphrase.htm

    #4 Posted: 20/11/2007 - 00:27

  • erinj

    Joined Travelfish
    3rd August, 2007
    Posts: 12

    Thanks :)

    #5 Posted: 29/11/2007 - 05:47

  • marie80

    Joined Travelfish
    21st November, 2007
    Posts: 2

    Yeah I never found a huge language barrier. But always safe to know the basics when traveling to a new country. Safe travels!

    #6 Posted: 30/11/2007 - 05:23

  • Jon_Mak_Mak

    Click here to learn more about Jon_Mak_Mak
    Joined Travelfish
    21st February, 2007
    Location United Kingdom
    Posts: 464
    Total reviews: 5

    Learn to say hello (sawadee Krap/Kha) and the phraze you will need the most is "No, I dont want any!" (Mai Ow Krap/Kha)

    You will do fine.

    #7 Posted: 5/12/2007 - 21:57

  • khunwilko

    Joined Travelfish
    27th January, 2007
    Posts: 560

    Lonely Planet phrase book is good.

    If you are getting a package deal, you won't have any problems.

    You might want to learn to count up to ten...think of a mnemonic....and say Sawat dee Khrap/kaa (Hello) and Khawp Khun Krap/Kaa = thank you.

    #8 Posted: 10/12/2007 - 10:28

  • goo_stewart

    Joined Travelfish
    10th October, 2007
    Posts: 69

    Before I learned to speak Thai I traveled to the remotest regions of the Kingdom on my bike, I had no trouble getting around, even in the non-touristy areas. When it came to more advanced stuff it was a problem, getting my bike fixed (describing the actual problem) and describing symptoms of illness. These issues only occurred in non-touristy areas, in touristy parts most speak a little English, some a great deal. I never had any problems in touristy areas.

    It is always nice to learn a bit of a language, and as above said, the locals really appreciate it. I think you will have no problems with anything as long as you don't venture into deepest, darkest Thailand.

    #9 Posted: 10/12/2007 - 11:51

  • Guernseystu

    Joined Travelfish
    10th July, 2007
    Posts: 108

    Hello Stewart, fancy seeing you over here! (LLL)

    Perhaps if 'erinj' is still around she could let us know how long she plans on staying here. This is a difficult question to answer as there's obviously a huge difference between learning a handful of words and subscribing to and on-line language course.

    #10 Posted: 18/12/2007 - 15:28

  • Advertisement

  • swag

    Click here to learn more about swag
    Joined Travelfish
    28th March, 2007
    Location Australia
    Posts: 329
    Total reviews: 6

    Tilapia thanks for the advice on the website.Very informative for basic thai to get you by
    swag

    #11 Posted: 19/12/2007 - 09:28

  • Tilapia

    Click here to learn more about Tilapia
    Joined Travelfish
    21st April, 2006
    Location Canada
    Posts: 1425
    Total reviews: 15
    Places visited:
    At least 113

    Hey, glad it's coming in handy.

    Cheers
    Til.

    #12 Posted: 20/12/2007 - 01:49

  • Tilapia

    Click here to learn more about Tilapia
    Joined Travelfish
    21st April, 2006
    Location Canada
    Posts: 1425
    Total reviews: 15
    Places visited:
    At least 113

    Hey, glad it's coming in handy.

    Cheers
    Til.

    #13 Posted: 20/12/2007 - 01:52

Have questions? Jump to our menu of forum quicklinks

Add your reply

Your reply

Check this box if you want to be notified of replies.

Please be familiar with our user guidelines before you post. Thanks!

Businesses planning on plugging their guesthouse / hotel / karaoke bar should read our "Addition guidelines" very carefully.

You need to be logged in to answer an existing post on the Travelfish forums. Please login via the prompts just above and refresh this screen -- before writing your post -- and you'll be in business.