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?
#1 erinj has been a member since 3/8/2007. Posts: 12
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 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,737
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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.
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 ...
#5 erinj has been a member since 3/8/2007. Posts: 12
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 khunwilko has been a member since 27/1/2007. Posts: 560
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.
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 Guernseystu has been a member since 10/7/2007. Posts: 108