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Survey Call: How English Speakers are Learning Thai with HelloTalk

Survey

Using Language Exchanges to study from afar…

A growing number of students are using HelloTalk (language exchange app) to learn Thai. In 2014 when I was contacted by Zackery Ngai (the brains behind HelloTalk) there were only a handful of Thais and students of Thai signed up. And now a mere two years later, the numbers have exploded.

Thai native speakers:100,359
Active on a monthly basis:13,427

Thai learners:12,940
Active on a monthly basis: 3,500

Wow. That’s an impressive leap.

There’s no doubt in my mind that chatting with online language partners can be an inexpensive way (in both time and money) to get up to speed without having to live in-country. And if done right, language exchanges can also come in handy for meeting new friends in a target language.

Marc Belley recently wrote an excellent article – Finding Thai Language Partners – where he reviewed the latest language exchange websites and apps, as well as shared tips on how to use them. When reading the comments seems not everyone has been successful with online language exchange, so to understand how students of Thai are getting HelloTalk to work well (as it does with Marc and others), I decided do a survey.

–>> If you are an English speaker (doesn’t matter if English is not your first language) and are learning Thai with HelloTalk, please fill out the below survey. I’ll leave it open for a month and then share the results.

Note: It’s been years since I’ve used SurveyMonkey so fingers crossed the survey will be glitch free.

WLT’s HelloTalk Thai Survey…

Create your own user feedback survey

How James McGregor uses HelloTalk…

James McGregor (from the FCLT Facebook group) is another student of Thai who has been successful with HelloTalk. Using the questions from the survey (I actually ran the questions across both James and Zackery first) James agreed to share his experiences with the app. Expanded, of course.

1) Why did you choose HelloTalk?

I initially choose HelloTalk because it was set up as a smart phone application. At the time I discovered HelloTalk I only knew about web-based language exchange services. Compared to HelloTalk, they were outdated and not as simple and easy to use.

2) Please list other language exchange websites and apps you’ve used, if any.


1) My Language Exchange: Before stumbling upon HelloTalk I was initially using mylanguageexchange.com to find Thai language partners. But as I mentioned before, it was an extremely outdated website and I didn’t really like the design and layout of the site. I haven’t revisited MLE since finding HelloTalk over a year ago and would not recommend it to anyone.



2) Thai Friendly: I have used and continue to use thaifriendly.com to practice my Thai with Thai people. I have had nothing but very positive experiences using this website for language exchange. But, I must warn people that TF is mainly a dating website purely for Thai females/ladyboys to find foreign friends or boyfriends. So use it to practice Thai at your own discretion. Some men who don’t have much experience living with Thai people in Thailand, and/or who aren’t yet speaking Thai above a beginners level, may run into problems when weeding out some of the undesirables who try to contact you.

3) What is your present Thai level? – beginner, low intermediate, intermediate, high intermediate, advanced.


I would say at least low intermediate, pushing into intermediate.

4) At what stage of studying Thai did you start using HelloTalk? – beginner, low intermediate, intermediate, high intermediate, advanced.


I started using HelloTalk when I was at the upper beginner level (being able to go to restaurants and coffee shops or taking a taxi comfortably without having to use English) but I felt that this level is still too low to fully connect and have a real conversation with a Thai person about everyday life and interesting topics. I could read Thai but there was a lot of vocabulary I didn’t know, so conversations ran out of steam, going absolutely nowhere after a very short while. When feeling frustrated and realizing that it was me who was the problem (not Thai people), I stopped using HelloTalk. After about six-seven additional months of study and having improved dramatically in Thai (learning a lot more vocabulary), I decided to give it another try. I went back to HelloTalk and found that my experience was a lot better, hence more exciting.

5) How do you choose your Thai language exchange partners?

I tend to check out the person’s profile and will contact them if they have an interesting audio introduction, written introduction, or if they’ve posted interesting photos or statuses on their wall. I tend to ignore or not really pay much attention to people who just send an initial message of “Hi” but I will usually reply to those who have read my profile then sends a message that is longer and more eye-catching than just a one word.

6) What problems have you run into when chatting with Thai language partners?

To be completely honest I haven’t really run into any problems when chatting with Thai language partners. I guess the only problem I had with HelloTalk would be when I first started and was still a “beginner”. This made it hard for the conversations to go anywhere (in Thai) as my vocabulary was extremely limited at the time.

7) How often do you chat on HelloTalk? – daily, a couple times a week, a couple times a month.


I have really cut down on using HelloTalk because after finding a few really decent Thai partners there I started to chat with them exclusively on Line. But when I was at my peak of using the app I was chatting every single day.

8) How has your Thai improved since you started using HelloTalk?

My Thai has improved a lot since I started (reading, writing, speaking and listening). But you really do need to put in the effort to see these improvements. You need to be able to hold the interest of the person you’re talking to, and that person also needs to be interesting enough for you to want to put in the time and effort to constantly exchange Thai/English with them as well.

The “correction” feature especially helped to improve my Thai. This feature enables Thai native speakers to correct your sentences in your messages and status. I have found that if you are able to form a close enough connection, Thai people will not hesitate to help out by correcting your mistakes. It’s a bit daunting at first when almost every single message you write is corrected, but eventually you’ll come to realise that it’s effective in helping to improve the grammar, sentence structure and even the words you choose.

9) What advice can you share about learning Thai via HelloTalk?

I don’t believe HelloTalk should be the only tool to use when trying to learn a language. I’ve found it effective when combined with watching Thai TV, listening to Thai music and reading Thai daily.

First get past the very beginner stages in learning Thai, and then you will find many Thais wanting to talk to you. From my experience they are appreciative and show much more interest if you have at least a little bit of genuine cultural knowledge of Thailand – if you show genuine interest in Thailand and all things Thai. Don’t be rude, and if someone stops talking to you, just move onto the next person. There are thousands of Thai people who are online everyday who would like to make friends with a foreigner.

I have come to realise after talking with hundreds of people through HelloTalk that Thai people are some of the most talkative and social group of people I’ve ever met (hint: they are the perfect group to help you learn your target language!)

Thanks James! Having a passion for resources, I always find it interesting to hear how other language students are using different tools to improve in their target language.

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Cat Cartoons Episode Forty Five: Learn and Love the Thai Language

รู้รักภาษาไทย: Cat Cartoons: Episode Forty Five…

เสียงเด็ก ๆ ร้องเพลง: รู้รักภาษาไทย
Sound of children singing: Learn and Love the Thai Language.

ผู้บรรยาย: ตอน รดน้ำสังข์
Narrator: Episode – ‘Rot-nam-sang’

สีสวาด: วันนี้คุณพ่อคุณแม่พี่เก่งบอกลูก ๆ ว่าจะไปงานแต่งงาน มีพิธีรดน้ำสังข์คู่บ่าวสาวตอนห้าโมงเย็น
Si Sawat: Today, Pee Geng’s mum and dad told his children that they’re going to a wedding where there will be a ‘Rot-nam-sang’ the bride and groom ceremony at five in the evening.

วิเชียรมาศ: รดน้ำสังข์ทำยังไง(อย่างไร) เอาน้ำมารดหอยสังข์หรอ
Wi-chian maat: How do you ‘Rot-nam-sang’? Do you ‘rot’ water on a ‘hoi sang?

สีสวาด: รดน้ำสังข์ ก็คือ ใส่น้ำมนต์ลงในหอยสังข์แล้วเทน้ำมนต์รดที่ศีรษะหรือที่มือคู่บ่าวสาว ที่บ้านเราก็มีสังข์ พี่เก่งเคยเอาใส่น้ำแล้วเอามาเทเล่น
Si Sawat: ‘Rot-nam-sang’ involves filling a ‘hoi sang’ with holy water and then pouring a trickle of it on the head or hands of the bride and groom. We have ‘sang’-s in our house. Pee Geng had filled one up with water before and then poured it out in a trickle just for fun.

วิเชียรมาศ: เวลาพี่เก่งเทน้ำในหอยสังข์เล่น เรียกว่ารดน้ำสังข์มั๊ย(ไหม)
Wi-chian maat: When Pee Geng poured out the water from the ‘hoi sang’, would that be called ‘Rot-nam-sang’?

สีสวาด: ไม่เรียกจ้ะ
Si Sawat: No, it would not.

ผู้บรรยาย: การใช้น้ำมนต์ที่ออกมาจากสังข์รดให้เจ้าบ่าวเจ้าสาวในพิธีแต่งงานเรียกว่า รดน้ำสังข์
Narrator: Using the holy water that comes out of the ‘sang’ to trickle onto the bride and groom in a wedding ceremony, is called ‘Rot-nam-sang’.

แมวทั้งสามตัว: แล้วพบกันใหม่นะครับบบ (ครับ)
All Three Cats: See you again next time!

เสียงเด็ก ๆ ร้องเพลง: รู้รักภาษาไทย
Sound of children singing: Learn and Love the Thai Language.

Comments…

The words in ‘Rot-nam-sang’ (รดน้ำสังข์) individually have the following meanings:

‘Rot’ (รด) means ‘(to) water, pour, or sprinkle’.

‘Nam’ (น้ำ) means ‘water’.

‘Sang’ (สังข์) means ‘conch shell’.

‘Rot-nam-sang’ (รดน้ำสังข์) as a compound noun however basically means ‘water pouring ceremony’ as explained above in the dialogue. According to Thai tradition, the pouring of water is the most important part of the Thai wedding ceremony as it signifies the couple officially becoming husband and wife. Traditionally, this was all that was required to validate the marriage. Nowadays a couple is required to register their marriage at a local registration office and obtain a marriage certificate.

During the ceremony, the bride and groom will kneel together at traditional water pouring tables, and a ceremonial headdress consisting of a cotton string (which has been blessed by Buddhist monks) is draped from one head to the other, forming a circle and connecting the couple. This symbolizes their spiritual union. They then clasp their palms together and let them hang down from the tables. One by one, the guests then walk up and pour a conch shell full of sacred water over the couple’s hands while offering a blessing or marital advice. The water ceremony is usually performed by all guests older than the couple, with the grandparents and parents proceeding first, followed by relatives and friends of the family. (Adapted from: The Thai Water Ceremony).

น้ำมนต์ means ‘holy / blessed / sacred / lustral water’.

The water ceremony

Photo Credit: pixabay.com

It is interesting to note that the notion of ‘ladies first’ in Western culture spills over into the English language for e.g. ‘mum and dad’ and ‘bride and groom’ whereas in Thai it is normally ‘gentlemen first’ as in คุณพ่อคุณแม่ (literally: dad and mum) and เจ้าบ่าวเจ้าสาว (literally: groom and bride) respectively.

PDF Downloads…

Below is a pdf download (created by Catherine) to help with your studies. It has Thai script, transliteration, and English.

Download: Cat Cartoons Episode Forty Five: Conversation

The Cat Cartoon Series…

Original transcript and translation provided by Sean Harley. Transliterations via T2E (thai2english.com).

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The Challenge: Two Weeks to Learn Thai in Bangkok!

Olly and Jay's Learn Thai Challenge

Going Head to Head in Bangkok..

This is exciting stuff. Lately I’ve been tweeting from @ThaiLanguageRes about a Learn Thai Challenge driven by Olly Richards (I Will Teach You A Language) and Jan Van Der Aa (Language Boost).

When chatting with Olly about the different study methods he’s using, he kindly offered to explain in a video created especially for readers of WLT. Fabulous.

Thanks Ollie! I couldn’t help smiling when I noticed a taste of Hugh Grant charm coming through (I’m a fan).

At a little over a week into studying Thai Olly and Jan are making quite a go of it. And to help them along, on Day six they were treated to a Thai Masterclass by our very own Stu Jay Ray. Lucky them!

To follow their Two Week Thai Challenge go to Olly’s YouTube: Olly Richards and/or his Instagram: iwillteachyoualanguage.

Jan (who will continue for 21 days) is documenting the journey as well on YouTube: Language Boost and Instagram: janvanderaa1.

To get quick updates via twitter, Olly’s account is @Olly_IWTYAL and mine is @ThaiLanguageRes.

See you there!

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Cat Cartoons Episode Forty Four: Learn and Love the Thai Language

รู้รักภาษาไทย: Cat Cartoons: Episode Forty Four…

เสียงเด็ก ๆ ร้องเพลง: รู้รักภาษาไทย
Sound of children singing: Learn and Love the Thai Language.

ผู้บรรยาย: ตอน กลัวจนหัวหด หดหัวอยู่ในกระดอง
Narrator: Episode – ‘Glua jon hua hod’ ‘Hod hua yoo nai gra-dong’.

สีสวาด: ดูเก้าแต้มสิ ไปแหย่เต่าทำไมก็ไม่รู้
Si Sawat: Just look at Kao Taem. I have no idea why he’s harassing that turtle.

วิเชียรมาศ: คงอยากจะเล่นกับเต่ามั้ง เต่าตัวเนี้ย(นี้อะ)แปลกนะไม่มีหัว
Wi-chian maat: He probably wants to play with the turtle, I guess. This turtle is strange: it does not have a head.

สีสวาด: เต่าต้องมีหัวทุกตัวนั่นแหละ เต่าตัวนี้ก็มีหัวแต่หดหัวอยู่ในกระดอง คงจะกลัวเก้าแต้มมาก กลัวจนหัวหดเลย
Si Sawat: Every turtle has a head. This turtle has one too however it has pulled its head into its shell. It’s probably very scared of Kao Taem, as in ‘Glua jon hua hod’.

วิเชียรมาศ: ทำไมมันกลัวแล้วหัวหดล่ะ
Wi-chian maat: Why does it pull its head in when it gets scared?

สีสวาด: ชั้น(ฉัน)เคยได้ยินคุณแม่พี่เก่งพูดว่า เต่าน่าสงสาร มันไม่มีเขี้ยวเล็บ มีแต่กระดองแข็งๆ เวลาศัตรูจะมาทำร้าย มันก็ได้แต่หดหัวหดขาอยู่ใต้กระดอง ใครกลัวมาก ๆ เค้า(เขา)จึงว่า “กลัวจนหัวหด” ใครขี้ขลาด ขี้อาย ไม่กล้าแสดงตัวก็ว่า “หดหัวอยู่ในกระดอง”
Si Sawat: I’ve heard Pee Geng’s mum say that the poor turtle does not have fangs nor claws. It only has a very hard shell. When an enemy comes to harm it, all it can do is to pull its head and legs into its shell. So anyone who is overwhelmed by fear is described as ‘Glua jon hua hod’, and those who are fainthearted and timid and do not dare to express oneself, as ‘Hod hua yoo nai gra-dong’.

ผู้บรรยาย: กลัวจนหัวหด และ หดหัวอยู่ในกระดอง เป็นกิริยาของเต่า เรานำมาใช้เปรียบกับคนที่กลัวมากว่า กลัวจนหัวหด และคนที่ขี้ขลาด ขี้อาย ไม่กล้าแสดงตัวว่า หดหัวอยู่ในกระดอง
Narrator: ‘Glua jon hua hod’ and ‘Hod hua yoo nai gra-dong’ are the actions of a turtle. We use them comparatively to describe people who are overwhelmed by fear as ‘Glua jon hua hod’, and those who are fainthearted and timid and do not dare to express oneself, as ‘Hod hua yoo nai gra-dong’.

แมวทั้งสามตัว: แล้วพบกันใหม่นะครับบบ (ครับ)
All Three Cats: See you again next time!

เสียงเด็ก ๆ ร้องเพลง: รู้รักภาษาไทย
Sound of children singing: Learn and Love the Thai Language.

Comments…

‘Glua jon hua hod’ can literally be translated as ‘(being) so scared that one’s head is retracted’, in reference to a turtle pulling its head into its shell when it is scared. It is an idiomatic expression meaning ‘(to) be overwhelmed by fear’.

‘Hod hua yoo nai gra-dong’ can literally be translated as ‘hiding in a shell with one’s head pulled in’, in reference to a turtle hiding in its shell with its head pulled in when it is scared. It is an idiomatic expression meaning ‘(to) be fainthearted, timid and afraid to express oneself’.

PDF Downloads…

Below is a pdf download (created by Catherine) to help with your studies. It has Thai script, transliteration, and English.

Download: Cat Cartoons Episode Forty Four: Conversation

The Cat Cartoon Series…

Original transcript and translation provided by Sean Harley. Transliterations via T2E (thai2english.com).

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Ten Essentials of Thai Conversation: Please and Thank You and Excuse Me: Part 2

The Ten Essentials of Thai Conversation

Ten Essentials of Thai Conversation…

You’re my love, your my angel, you’re the girl of my dreams
I’d like to thank you, for waiting patiently
– Daddy’s Home Shep and the Limelites

Please and Thank You and Excuse Me…

I say “Thank You” to almost everybody for almost everything. It works for me.

Almost all Thai words for thank you have the root word ขอบ /kòp/. It has a few other meanings but ขอบ /kòp/ as a word-fragment cannot really be define other than it is used with a Thai Thank You.

A Thai thank you is expressed in much the same way as we would in English with an exception or two.

Interestingly enough, I do not often hear a thank you expressed by the customer when one buys something from a vendor or shopkeeper. In English we usually will offer a thank you as the shopkeeper hands you the thing you are buying, or when they return your change, but I rarely hear this from a Thai shopper. On the other hand, vendors will almost always offer a thank you to their customer.

It doesn’t matter to me though, I give a thanks anyway, as will most Thais who have empathy for those serving them. It just feels right.

ขอบคุณ /kòp kun/

Example of a simple thank you exchange.

You: ขอบคุณ /kòp kun/
Answer: ไม่เป็นไร /mâi bpen rai/

ขอบคุณ /kòp kun/ has the word คุณ /kun/ embedded in it, which makes up the “you” of thank you. We might say this simply, with no ending particle, possibly to a waitress as she places your order on the table, or the postman as he hands you a package.

The answer ไม่เป็นไร /mâi bpen rai/ is sometimes translated as It’s nothing” which is the literal meaning, or “Never mind” which was made famous (although only partly accurate) in a popular book written by an American in the 1960s, Mai Pen Rai Means Never Mind, Carol Hollinger (subtitled, an American Housewife’s Honest Love Affair with the Irrepressible People of Thailand), Asia Books, an early attempt to try and understand the Thai culture. But as a response to ขอบคุณ /kòp kun/, ไม่เป็นไร /mâi bpen rai/ should be interpreted as “You’re welcome”.

We can give a thanks with a little more politeness, and a little more gratefulness.

ขอบคุณ ครับ/ค่ะ /kòp kun kráp/ká/

Adding the polite particle at the end is always a good idea, especially if someone has given us something or done something for us.

Even more:

ขอบคุณ มาก ครับ/ค่ะ /kòp kun mâak kráp/ká/

The word มาก /mâak/ adds a “very much” to our thank you, but don’t worry, you won’t sound too much like Elvis’ “Thank you very much.”

More still:

ขอ ขอบคุณ ครับ/ค่ะ /kŏr kòp kun kráp/ká/

The ขอ /kŏr/ as we remember adds a “please” to your thank you. And since it is a bit formal could be interpreted as something like “Allow me to offer you my thanks.”

ขอบใจ /kòp jai/

This is not a term we would use with adults, even close ones. It is more reserved to be used with children, although some people will use it with someone serving them, especially if they are much younger. It doesn’t mean one is looking down on the person being spoken to and in many cases can be a term of endearment, especially if one uses the Thai ending particle จ้ะ /jâ/.

ขอบใจ จ้ะ /kòp jai jâ/

Thank you in context.

Thank you when someone gives you something:

A friend gives you a birthday present
ขอบคุณ สำหรับ ของขวัญ วันเกิด /kòp kun săm-ràp kŏng kwăn wan gèrt/

Thank you for the birthday present.

You ask someone for a pen and she gives it to you
ขอ ปากกา หน่อย /kŏr bpàak gaa nòi/
(She gives you a pen)
ขอบคุณ ครับ/ค่ะ /kòp kun kráp/ká/

May I have a pen please? Thanks.

You borrow some money from your father-in-law.
ขอขอบคุณ มาก ครับ/ค่ะ ที่ ให้ ผม ยืม เงิน
/kŏr kòp kun mâak kráp/ká têe hâi pŏm yeum ngern/

Thank you so much for lending me the money.

Your daughter hands you a plate for dinner.
ขอบใจ หนูจ้ะ /kòp jai nŏo jà/
Thank you dear.

When a guard at a gate hands you a card you will need to present when exiting. As he hands you the card you can say thank you using a contraction.

คุณ ครับ/ค่ะ /kun kráp/ká/
Thanks.

Thank you when someone does something for you:

Your daughter visits you in the hospital
ขอบใจ ที่ มา เยี่ยม พ่อ /kòp jai têe maa yîam pôr/
Thanks for visiting Dad (me). Thanks for coming.

Thank you when someone helps you:
ขอบคุณ ที่ ช่วย /kòp kun têe chûay/
Thanks for the help (for helping).

ขอบพระคุณ – /kòp prá-kun/ A very formal way to say thank you. Your mother-in-law gives you a new motorcycle. The in-fix of พระ, a word often used for monks and clergy, makes it special.

ขอบพระคุณ ครับ/ค่ะ /kòp prá-kun kráp/ká/
Thank you sooo much.

Honorable Mentions…

ยินดี /yin dee/ (Lanna Thai for thank you)

The word ยินดี in Central Thai means to be “happy” to do something, “to be pleased”. (Ex. ยินดี ที่ รู้จัก /yin dee têe róo jàk/ – Good to know you, Glad to meet you). But in the Lanna dialect of Chiang Mai and the north it means thank you.

If you want to throw in a polite particle as a male you could say it the way northern Thais say it, without the initial consonant cluster. It is pronounced คับ /káp/. The northern Thai woman say the lyrical เจ้า /jâo/.

ยินดี คับ/เจ้า /yin dee káp/jâo/

Then there is Issan Thai. This is a term that lots of Bangkokians use to sound humerous.

ขอบใจหลาย ๆ เด้อ /kòp jai lăai lăai dêr/
Issan for Thanks a lot.

Note: Just yesterday I heard a Bangkokian say “thank you หลาย ๆ” /thank you lăai lăai/, mixing the two languages in a humorous way, when I gave him a glass of beer. I think maybe the beer helped his creativity.

ขอบคุณ ที่ อ่าน /kòp kun têe àan/
Thanks for reading.

Vocabulary used in this chapter…

ของขวัญ /kŏng kwăn/ present
ช่วย /chûay/ to help
ปากกา /bpàak gaa/ pen
พ่อ /pôr/ father
มา เยี่ยม /maa yîam/ to come for a visit
ไม่เป็นไร /mâi bpen rai/ Never mind, Don’t mention it, You’re welcome
ให้ ยืม เงิน /hâi yeum ngern/ to lend
รู้จัก /róo jàk/ to know
วันเกิด /wan gèrt/ birthday
สำหรับ /săm-ràp/ for

Examples of Thai Thank You sentences…

ขอบคุณ /kòp kun/

ขอบคุณ ครับ/ค่ะ /kòp kun kráp/ká/

ขอบคุณ มาก ครับ/ค่ะ /kòp kun mâak kráp/ká/

ขอ ขอบคุณ ครับ/ค่ะ /kŏr kòp kun kráp/ká/

ขอบใจ จ้ะ /kòp jai jâ/

ขอบคุณ สำหรับ ของขวัญ วันเกิด
kòp kun săm-ràp kŏng kwăn wan gèrt

ขอขอบคุณ มาก ครับ/ค่ะ ที่ให้ผมยืมเงิน
kòp kun mâak kráp/ká têe hâi pŏm yeum ngern

คุณ ครับ/ค่ะ /kun kráp/ká/

ขอบใจ ที่ มา เยี่ยม พ่อ /kòp jai têe maa yîam pôr/

ขอบคุณ ที่ ช่วย /kòp kun têe chûay/

ขอบพระคุณ ครับ/ค่ะ /kòp prá-kun kráp/ká/

ยินดี คับ/เจ้า /yin dee káp/jâo/

ขอบใจหลาย ๆ เด้อ /kòp jai lăai lăai dêr/

ขอบคุณ ที่ อ่าน /kòp kun têe àan/

Audio and Pdf Downloads…

Pdf download (with transliteration): Ten Essentials of Thai Conversation: Please – Part 2
Pdf download (sans transliteration): Ten Essentials of Thai Conversation: Please – Part 2
Audio download: Ten Essentials of Thai Conversation: Please 2 Audio

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65 Useful Thai Phrases You Won’t Find in a Travel Phrasebook: Part Three

Learn Thai With Porn

By popular demand, here’s part three of 65 Useful Phrases You Won’t Find in a Travel Phrasebook (close enough anyway).

Note: To help those learning to read Thai script, the below phrases have Thai only, no transliteration. A pdf combo of transliteration/Thai/English can be downloaded at the end of this post.

131. ไปมิเตอร์นะครับ/คะ

Please use the meter.


132. แบงค์พันมีทอนไหม

Do you have change for a 1,000?


133. แบงค์ห้าร้อยมีทอนไหม
Do you have change for a 500?


134. ขึ้นทางด่วนนะ
Please take the expressway.


135. ไม่ต้องขึ้นทางด่วนนะ
Please don’t take the expressway.


136. ช่วยเปิดแอร์แรงอีกนิดได้ไหม
Can you turn the AC up a bit, please?


137. ช่วยหรี่/เบาแอร์หน่อยได้ไหม
Can you turn the AC down a bit, please?


138. ช่วยเปิดวิทยุดังๆหน่อยได้ไหม
Can you turn the radio up, please?


139. ช่วยหรี่เสียงวิทยุหน่อยได้ไหม
Can you turn the radio down, please?


140. ขับเร็วอีกนิดได้ไหม

Can you go a little faster, please?


141. ขับช้าๆก็ได้ครับ ฉัน/ผม ไม่รีบ
You don’t have to drive fast, I am not in a hurry.

142. จอดตรงนี้ครับ/ค่ะ
Please pull over right here.


143. ไม่ต้องทอนครับ/ค่ะ
Keep the change. 


144. เวลาว่างชอบทำอะไร

What do you like to do in your free time?


144a. ชอบปลูกต้นไม้ / ชอบดูแลต้นไม้
 – I like gardening.

144b. ชอบทำอาหาร – I like cooking
.

144c. อ่านหนังสือ – Reading


144d. ดูทีวี
 – Watching TV

144f. ออกกำลังกาย – Exercising

144g. เล่นเฟซบุ๊ก – Spending time on Facebook

145. กลัวอะไรมากที่สุด


What are you most afraid of?

145a. งู – snakes


145b. ความสูง – heights

145c. ความตาย – death

145d. เมีย – wife

145e. การอยู่ในที่แคบ being in a confined space

146. เกลียดอะไรมากที่สุด

What do you hate most?


146a. คนโกหก – liars 

146b. ตัวเอง – myself


146c. เจ้านาย – the boss

146d. แมงมุม spiders

147. นับถือศาสนาอะไร
What is your religion?


148. สนใจเรื่องการเมืองไหม
Are you interested in politics?


149. ชอบนักร้องคนไหนมากที่สุด
Who is your most favorite singer?


150. เป็นแฟนกันไหม

Do you want to be my gf/bf?


151. ขอคิดดูก่อนนะ
Let me think about it.


152. ขอไปถามสามีก่อนนะ

Let me ask my husband first.


153. อย่าเล่นกับไฟ
Don’t play with fire.


154. วันนี้วันที่เท่าไหร่

What is the date today?

154a. 

สิบ – The 10th.

155. วันนี้วันอะไร

What day is it today? 


155a. วันอังคาร Tuesday


156. เดือนนี้เดือนอะไร

What month is it now?

156a. 
พฤษภาคม
 – May


157. คุณเกิดเดือนอะไร

What month were you born in?

157a. ธันวาคม – December

158. ปีนี้พ.ศ.อะไร

What year is it according to the Buddhist calendar? 


158a. สอง ห้า ห้า เก้า – 2559


159. กี่โมงแล้ว

What time is it? 


160. ดูนาฬิกาเป็นไหม

Do you know how to read a watch/clock?


161. คุณมีนาฬิกาทั้งหมดกี่เรือน

How many watches do you own?


162. ไม่อยากจะเชื่อเลย

I can’t believe it.


163. ทำอย่างนี้ได้ยังไง (ทำงี้ได้ไง)
How could you do this?


164. คุณคิดว่าตัวเองเป็นใคร

Who do you think you are?


165.ให้นอนกับผู้หญิงคนนั้น ผมยอมกินขี้ดีกว่า
I’d rather eat shit than sleep with that woman.

166. เอาไว้คราวหน้าได้ไหม


Can I take a rain check? / Maybe some other time.


[Something that you say when you cannot accept someone’s invitation to do something but you would like to do it another time].

167. ชอบดูบอลไหม

Do you like watching football?


167. ชอบ – Yes, I do. 


167. ไม่ชอบ – No, I don’t.

168. ว่ายน้ำเป็นไหม

Do you know how to swim?


168a. เป็น – Yes, I do.


168b. ไม่เป็น – No, I don’t.

169. ทำกับข้าวเป็นไหม

Do you know how to cook? 


170. เลี้ยงเด็กเป็นไหม

Do you know how to take care of children?

171. ขับรถเป็นไหม

Do you know how to drive?


172. มีใบขับขี่ไหม

Do you have a driver’s licence?


173. หุบปากเป็นไหม

Do you know how to shut up?


174. มาเมืองไทยบ่อยไหม

Do you come to Thailand often?


175. เคยแต่งงานมาหรือยัง

Have you ever been married? 


176. ทำไมถึงเลิกกัน

Why did you break up (with your last significant other)?


177. มีลูกไหม
Do you have any children?


178. มีลูกกี่คน

How many children do you have?


179. มีพี่น้องกี่คน

How many siblings do you have?


180. เงินเดือนเท่าไหร่

What’s your salary?


181. ขับรถอะไร

What sort of car do you drive?


182. จะเกษียณเมื่อไหร่

When are you going to retire?


183. กินเหล้าสูบบุหรี่ไหม

Do you drink / do you smoke?


184. ทำพินัยกรรมหรือยัง

Have you made a will?


185. พรุ่งนี้คุณต้องทำงานไหม
Do you have to work tomorrow?


186. พรุ่งนี้ผมต้องทำงาน

I have to work tomorrow.


187. พรุ่งนี้ผมมีงานต้องทำ

I have some work to do tomorrow.


188. พรุ่งนี้ผมไม่ต้องทำงาน

I don’t have to work tomorrow.


189. ผมต้องบอกคุณทุกเรื่องใช่ไหม

Do I have to tell you everything? (being sarcastic)


190. ทำไมผมต้องบอกคุณด้วย

Why do I have to tell you?

191. คุณไม่ต้องบอกฉันก็ได้ แต่คืนนี้คุณไปนอนที่โซฟานะ

You don’t have to tell me but tonight you are sleeping on the sofa. 


192. ต้องให้ผมบอกกี่ครั้ง
How many times do I have to tell you?


193. ขนาดร้องไห้ (คุณ)ยังสวยเลย
You look beautiful even when you’re crying.


194. ผมต้องทำอะไรบ้าง

What do I have to do?  


[used to ask for a list of things you have to do]

195. ผมว่าเราต้องคุยกันนะ

I think we need to talk.


196. คุณต้องเลิกสูบบุหรี่
You have to/must stop smoking.

If you missed the first two here they are…

The first 65: 65 Useful Thai Phrases You Won’t Find in a Travel Phrasebook: Part Two.

The second 65: 65 Useful Thai Phrases You Won’t Find in a Travel Phrasebook: Part One.

Downloads…

The pdf below has Thai script, transliteration, and English. The zip has numbered audio files.

PDF (236kb): 65 Useful Thai Phrases You Won’t Find in a Phrasebook: Part Three
ZIP (3.3mb): Audio: 65 Useful Thai Phrases: Part Three

There’s even more phrases being created at Learn Thai with พร.

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Cat Cartoons Episode Forty Three: Learn and Love the Thai Language

รู้รักภาษาไทย: Cat Cartoons: Episode Forty Three…

เสียงเด็ก ๆ ร้องเพลง: รู้รักภาษาไทย
Sound of children singing: Learn and Love the Thai Language.

ผู้บรรยาย: ตอน สีกา – อุบาสิกา
Narrator: Episode – ‘See-gaa’ – ‘U-baa-si-gaa’.

วิเชียรมาศ: สีอะไรเอ่ย ชื่อเป็นสัตว์ แต่ตัวเป็นคน
Wi-chian maat: What kind of ‘See’ has the name of an animal but the body of a human?

เก้าแต้ม: สีกา
Kao Taem: ‘See-gaa’

วิเชียรมาศ: ถูกต้อง เดาเก่งนี่
Wi-chian maat: Correct. You guessed it!

เก้าแต้ม: ชั้น(ฉัน)จำคำตอบเค้า(เขา)มาน่ะ แต่ชั้น(ฉัน)สงสัยว่า สีกา เป็นคน ทำไมชื่อเป็นกาล่ะ
Kao Taem: I recalled it as an answer given before. There’s something that’s been on my mind though, ‘See-gaa’ is used for people but why does it have ‘Gaa’ in it?

สีสวาด: ชั้น(ฉัน)ได้ยินคุณแม่บอกพี่เก่งว่า คำว่า สีกา ตัดมาจากคำว่า อุบาสิกา ซึ่งหมายถึง ผู้หญิงที่นับถือพระพุทธศาสนาอย่างมั่นคง
Si Sawat: I heard Mum telling Pee Geng that the word ‘See-gaa’ is shortened from ‘U-baa-si-gaa’ which means a woman who is a devout Buddhist.

วิเชียรมาศ: คุณยายพี่เก่งก็คงจะเป็นสีกา เพราะไปทำบุญที่วัดบ่อย ๆ
Wi-chian maat: Pee Geng’s granny is probably a ‘See-gaa’ as she goes to the temple to make merit very often.

สีสวาด: ได้ยินใคร ๆ เรียกคุณยายว่า อุบาสิกา แต่ไม่ได้เรียกว่า สีกา
Si Sawat: I’ve heard everyone call granny an ‘U-baa-si-gaa’, not a ‘See-gaa’.

เก้าแต้ม: ทำไมล่ะ
Kao Taem: Why is that?

สีสวาด: คำว่า สีกา เป็นคำที่พระภิกษุมักจะใช้เรียกผู้หญิงสาว ๆ ทั่ว ๆ ไป แต่คนที่มีอายุแล้วอย่างคุณยาย เรียกว่า อุบาสิกา
Si Sawat: ‘See-gaa’ is the word used by monks to refer to women in general however someone elderly like granny is called an ‘U-baa-si-gaa’.

ผู้บรรยาย: อุบาสิกา หมายถึง ผู้หญิงที่นับถือพระพุทธศาสนาและปฏิบัติธรรม พูดตัดสั้นเป็น สีกา มักใช้เรียกผู้หญิงทั่วไปที่เข้าวัด แต่คนที่มีอายุแล้วอย่างคุณยายหรือแม่ชี เรียกว่า อุบาสิกา
Narrator: ‘U-baa-si-gaa’ means a woman who is a devout Buddhist and practices the dharma. When shortened, it is used to refer to women in general who go to the temple however elderly women like granny or ‘Mae chee’-s are called ‘U-baa-si-gaa’-s.

แมวทั้งสามตัว: แล้วพบกันใหม่นะครับบบ (ครับ)
All Three Cats: See you again next time!

เสียงเด็ก ๆ ร้องเพลง: รู้รักภาษาไทย
Sound of children singing: Learn and Love the Thai Language.

Comments…

An ‘U-baa-sok’ (อุบาสก) is the male equivalent of an ‘U-baa-si-gaa’ (อุบาสิกา).

A ‘Mae chee’ (แม่ชี) is a Buddhist laywoman who has dedicated her life to religion, vowing celibacy, living an ascetic life and holding eight or even ten precepts (instead of lay Buddhists’ five) (Source: wiki: Maechi).

PDF Downloads…

Below is a pdf download (created by Catherine) to help with your studies. It has Thai script, transliteration, and English.

Download: Cat Cartoons Episode Forty Three: Conversation

The Cat Cartoon Series…

Original transcript and translation provided by Sean Harley. Transliterations via T2E (thai2english.com).

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Finding Thai Language Partners

Finding Thai Language Partners

One thing is for certain:

If you want to learn to speak Thai, finding native Thai speakers is a must.

And they’re quite easy to find, if you know where to look.

In this post, I’ll share with you the absolute best places to find Thai language partners. As a bonus, I’ll even throw in a strategy that will allow to get more practice time out of your partners.

Let’s dive right in.

We’re going to see two types of resources for finding Thai language partners: Online and offline resources. We’ll focus on the former since they are generally more accessible.

These online resources are language exchange websites/apps, dating websites and games, among other things.

Language Exchange Websites and Apps…

Language exchange websites and apps are probably the most obvious places to find language partners, if you don’t live in Thailand. There are a few language exchange platforms which offer a wealth of native Thai speakers who will willingly teach you Thai as long as you agree to teach them English in return.

I recently tested several websites and apps and there were only a handful that I found worth using. And note that these are more than sufficient for finding Thai language partners.

Here they are:

HelloTalk

HelloTalk is by far the best of all language exchange platforms. It has a great number of Thai speaking members who want to learn English, which makes it really easy to find partners.

Finding Thai Language Partners

This app is available to both iOS and android devices. The chat platform looks a lot like the one on Viber and Whatsapp, if you know what these here.

On HelloTalk, you’re limited to sending messages to no more than 15 people per day. Trust me, though, 15 persons per day is enough.

At least in my case, most of them replied to a simple “Hi, how are you?”. You also have the option to write a detailed description of yourself, so don’t miss out on doing so to increase your success rate.

Italki

As far as websites are concerned, I found no other that matched Italki in terms of the quantity of members who speak Thai. Here’s the result I got, a day after I sent about 15 messages:

Finding Thai Language Partners

I have sent messages to about 40 different people in 5 minutes on Italki and I have not been limited.

Conversation Exchange

A third language exchange resource should not be needed, but if you’re looking for an extra one, Conversation Exchange fares decently.

Finding Thai Language Partners

Conversation Exchange’s limit is around 10 people per day, which is largely sufficient. As with HelloTalk and Italki, most replied to my initial message. You can also put a description of yourself in your profile.

The downside of Conversation Exchange, though, is that you cannot upload a profile picture (you can only use one of the avatars they offer), so it’s not as personal. Also, the website looks old, which makes it less appealing to use. I was surprised to see that several Thais still used it despite its looks.

Dating Websites…

Before I go into my review of dating websites, know this: Dating websites do not have to be used to find love. A lot of their members are open to friendship. Do you see where I’m getting at with this?

That’s right, dating websites are a gold mine for finding Thai language partners. And the big upside is that they won’t necessarily want to practice English with you. So you can end up practicing Thai 100% of the times, which is awesome.

Here they are:

ThaiFriendly

One of the best free dating websites out there to find Thai partners is ThaiFriendly. It has a huge number of people you can talk with, and of course, you can do so in Thai.

Finding Thai Language Partners

Badoo

ThaiFriendly is all you should need, but if you’re looking to try a different dating site, Badoo isn’t too bad. The big downside is that you’re limited in terms of the number of people you can message every day, unless you purchase “Super Powers”. Despite the limitations, I’ve had great success with it in the past, especially playing the “Encounters”.

Finding Thai Language Partners

Regardless of the dating website you choose to use, make sure you state it in your profile that you’re looking for friendship (if that’s all you’re looking for), so that you don’t lead anyone on.

Here’s a sample profile that you can adapt to your own needs:

Hi everyone, I’m Marc, a 30 year old Canadian man who loves to travel. I’ve been to Thailand a few times, also to Europe and South America. Traveling is my passion and the only thing in life that truly gives me happiness. I’m currently working as an English teacher, which allows me to travel a lot. I love to talk with Thai ladies, which is the main reason why I joined this website. I’m very much open to friendship and I would like to meet new people.Feel free to send me a message and we can go from there.

If you can write it in Thai, that’s even better.

Games…

Nowadays, there’s a great range of games that have chat and/or microphone features. In some of these games, you can play on a server located in Thailand, where you’ll have the chance to practice with countless potential practice partners.

Here are a couple of games where you can play on a Thai server, but note that there are way more such games that exist:

Counter-Strike Go

Thai servers

Minecraft

Thai servers

Maybe you prefer a more “in-person” approach?

If that’s the case, I may have you covered. If you live outside of Thailand, you still might be able to find Thais with whom to practice in person.

Where can you do this might you ask?

By getting involved in the Thai communities outside of Thailand.

As it turns out, in some large urban areas, there are established communities of Thais. An easy way to find them is to do a search on Facebook. Type the word “Thai community” and then type the name of the city where you live.

Let me give you an example. If you live in Dallas, you’d proceed as follows:

Finding Thai Language Partners

In this case, it’s quite obvious, there’s only one result worth noting, the Thai Community Center of North Texas.

Upon browsing through their page, you can see that they’re involved in various events which you could take part of, like this bowling tournament:

Finding Thai Language Partners

Here are a few communities of Thais in other cities that I found by doing a quick search:

Los Angeles

Vancouver

Prague

Perth

Now that you know where to find Thai language partners, let me give you some useful information about practicing with them.

Useful Info about Practicing with Thai People…

Time Difference

When you practice with Thais, be mindful of their time zone. If you sleep at night, here are the best times to get a hold of them:

  • On the USA’s east coast: early morning and possibly late in the evening.
  • Europe: Morning and afternoon.
  • Australia: Afternoon and evening.

The Line App

Finding Thai Language Partners

Line is very popular in Thailand. It’s an app/program that serves as a platform that can be used to communicate by chat, audio and video. You might be asked for your Line ID when talking to Thai partners, so I suggest you make one.

A Quick Word about Thai People

There’s one thing that stands out about Thais and it’s that they’re an extremely humble and polite people, which, to experience it for me in person was simply priceless, such a contrast to the people I’m used to in my home country. IF you do get the chance to experience the land of smiles one day, you’ll see what I mean.

Strategy for Maximizing Your Practice Time with Language Partners…

Over the years, I’ve had countless language partners and still today, I have a handful of them that are highly reliable. I can practice with them and get explanations about grammar, whenever I need it.

I’m now going to show you how you can get this level of reliability in some partners as well.

First, as I quickly mentioned earlier, start by making a neat profile on the app/website. If possible, write your description in Thai as this will entice more people to reply or even send you a message on their own.

Secondly, send a very short message such as “Hi, how are you?” to as many potential partners as you can, whether on language exchange or dating platforms.

Then, DO NOT jump to language exchange right away. That is a common mistake that people often make. When I did that, I noticed that the language exchange took place for a week at most, and then died down tremendously.

Why does this happen?

Well, it’s hard to say, but my best guess is that teaching someone else a language or learning it can feel like work, and some of us already have our hands full with that.

Fortunately, there is a better approach.

The trick I found is to focus on friendship. That’s right, make this person your friend by having interesting conversations on common interests and you’ll gain someone who is more dependable and who’ll genuinely want to help you with your Thai.

Also, try to take the conversation elsewhere, like on Skype or on Line, as early in the process as possible. You’ll have more freedom like sharing files, making audio/video calls, which you may not get on language exchange and dating websites/apps.

This is what concludes this guide on finding Thai language partners. Follow it and you’ll surely succeed in the same way that I did.

Good luck!

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Cat Cartoons Episode Forty Two: Learn and Love the Thai Language

รู้รักภาษาไทย: Cat Cartoons: Episode Forty Two…

เสียงเด็ก ๆ ร้องเพลง: รู้รักภาษาไทย
Sound of children singing: Learn and Love the Thai Language.

ผู้บรรยาย: ตอน กระเป๋า
Narrator: Episode – ‘Gra-bpao’.

วิเชียรมาศ: ผู้หญิงคนนั้นมาหาคุณแม่พี่เก่งทำไมนะ
Wi-chian maat: Why has that woman come to look for Pee Geng’s mum?

สีสวาด: เค้า(เขา)มาขอยืมเงิน จะต้องเอาไปเสียค่าเล่าเรียนให้ลูก
Si Sawat: She’s come to borrow some money, to pay for her children’s school fees.

วิเชียรมาศ: ทำไมเค้า(เขา)ไม่มีเงินล่ะ เค้า(เขา)ไม่ได้ทำงานหรอ
Wi-chian maat: Why doesn’t she have any money? Is it because she’s not working?

สีสวาด: ทำ เค้า(เขา)เป็นกระเป๋า
Si Sawat: She is. She’s a ‘gra-bpao’.

วิเชียรมาศ: อะไรนะ
Wi-chian maat: What’s that again?

สีสวาด: เป็นกระเป๋า กระเป๋ารถเมล์น่ะไม่รู้จักหรอ คนเก็บค่าโดยสารรถเมล์น่ะ
Si Sawat: She’s a ‘gra-bpao’. A bus ‘gra-bpao’. Don’t you know what that is? It’s a person who collects bus passenger fares, you know?!

วิเชียรมาศ: เค้า(เขา)เป็นคน ทำไมเรียกเค้า(เขา)ว่า “กระเป๋า” ล่ะ
Wi-chian maat: She’s a person. Why call her a ‘gra-bpao’?

สีสวาด: คุณพ่อเคยเล่าให้พี่เก่งฟังว่า สมัยก่อน คนเก็บค่าโดยสารรถรางหรือรถเมล์ต้องสะพายกระเป๋า คงเป็นเพราะว่าเค้า(เขา)สะพายกระเป๋าจึงเรียกกันว่า “กระเป๋ารถเมล์”
Si Sawat: Dad explained this before to Pee Geng. In the past, the people who collected passenger fares on trams or buses had to sling bags over their shoulders, so they were called bus ‘gra-bpao’-s.

ผู้บรรยาย: คำว่า กระเป๋า นอกจากจะใช้เรียกสิ่งที่ใส่เงินหรือของต่าง ๆ แล้ว ยังใช้หมายถึง พนักงานเก็บค่าโดยสารรถเมล์หรือรถประจำทางอีกด้วย
Narrator: The word ‘gra-bpao’, apart from being used to call something for carrying money or various things, is also used to mean a worker who collects passenger fares on buses or other fixed route public transport vehicles.

แมวทั้งสามตัว: แล้วพบกันใหม่นะครับบบ (ครับ)
All Three Cats: See you again next time!

เสียงเด็ก ๆ ร้องเพลง: รู้รักภาษาไทย
Sound of children singing: Learn and Love the Thai Language.

Comments…

‘Gra-bpao’ (กระเป๋า) can mean ‘bag’ or ‘conductor’ (whose job is to sell tickets on a bus or other public transport vehicles).

PDF Downloads…

Below is a pdf download (created by Catherine) to help with your studies. It has Thai script, transliteration, and English.

Download: Cat Cartoons Episode Forty Two: Conversation

The Cat Cartoon Series…

Original transcript and translation provided by Sean Harley. Transliterations via T2E (thai2english.com).

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Ten Essentials of Thai Conversation: Please and Thank You and Excuse Me: Part 1

The Ten Essentials of Thai Conversation

Ten Essentials of Thai Conversation…

Oh, won’t you stay…just a little bit longer.
Please, please, please, please, please.
Tell me you’re going to.
– Maurice Williams and The Zodiacs

Please and Thank You and Excuse Me…

One of the nicest things a Thai will say about you, besides how good looking you are and how well you speak Thai (which should always be taken with a grain of salt) is that you are such a polite person; that you are สุภาพ /sù-pâap/.

Nothing will tell a Thai listener how สุภาพ /sù-pâap/ you are better than your correct usage of the many Thai expressions for Please, Thank You, and Excuse Me. Like we tell our children, they are magic words, and because of that they are part of the Ten Essentials of Thai Conversation.

Just like in most languages Thai has many ways to say each. It is important to know the different phrases in Thai because they can indicate how much we feel the emotion expressed, how respectful we want to be, and to whom we are speaking.

For this post we’ll concentrate on ‘please’.

Please…

“Please” is a big word. We can use it when we are asking for something, when we are asking for someone to do something, or when we are pleading for one of them. When using “please” in Thai we need to consider the above as well as to whom we are speaking.

The following are some of the ways to say “please” in Thai. We’ll give situations and examples of usage. As with all Thai patterns you can always use the Thai polite ending particles depending on to whom you are asking.

ขอ /kŏr/…

This is “please” when we ask for, or when we request something, or for someone to do something (for us).

Aside: The Thai word เอา /ao/ can mean “give me”. It is asking for something without the “please”. In the following examples the word ขอ /kŏr/ can be replaced with เอา /ao/ changing it from a request “please can I have …” to an order “give me …”. But we’ll stick with requests for now.

Usage examples:

You ask a vendor for something:
ขอ กาแฟเย็น /kŏr gaa-fae yen/ – Ice coffee please.
ขอ กาแฟเย็น สอง แก้ว /kŏr gaa-fae yen song gâew/ – Two glasses of ice coffee please.
ขอ ข้าวผัด หมู /kŏr kâao pàt mŏo/ – I’ll have some pork fried rice please.
ขอ ข้าวผัด หมูร้อนๆ /kŏr kâao pàt mŏo rón rón/ – Pork fried rice, hot please.

You ask your gardener to do something for you:
ขอ เล็ม ต้นไม้ /kŏr lem dtôn máai/ – Please prune the tree.
ขอ กวาด พื้น /kŏr gwàat péun/ – Please sweep the floor.

ขอ… หน่อย /kŏr… nòi/…

The same use of “please” as above but the use of หน่อย /nòi/ (literally “…a bit”, “…somewhat”, “…to some extent”) softens it. The meaning of the two patterns is basically the same but this pattern makes it more of a heart-felt request.

Usage examples:

You ask a vendor for something:
ขอ กาแฟเย็น หน่อย /kŏr gaa-fae yen nòi/ – May I have some ice coffee please.
ขอ กาแฟเย็น สอง แก้ว หน่อย /kŏr gaa-fae yen song gâew nòi/ – Can I have two glasses of ice coffee please.
ขอ ข้าวผัด หมูหน่อย /kŏr kâao pàt mŏo nòi/ – I’d would like some pork fried rice please.
ขอ ข้าวผัด หมูร้อนๆ หน่อย /kŏr kâao pàt mŏo rón rón nòi/ – Some nice and hot pork fried rice please.

You ask your gardener to do something for you:
ขอ เล็ม ต้นไม้ หน่อย / kŏr lem dtôn máai nòi / – Can you please prune the tree.
ขอ กวาด พื้น หน่อย / kŏr gwàat péun nòi / – Please sweep the floor (for me).

Adding the Thai polite particle…

You are asking your wife (very nicely) to do something for you.

Usage examples:

ขอ ทำไข่ เจียว หน่อย ครับ /kŏr tam kài jieow nòi kráp/ – Can you please make some scrambled eggs (for me).
Tip: Said with a sweet sing-songy voice works best.

ช่วย /chûay/…

The word ช่วย /chûay/ literally means “help”. We can use it to replace the “please” word ขอ /kŏr/ above when we are asking someone to do something. The meaning of the sentences would be exactly the same.

Examples of ขอ = ช่วย:
ขอ กวาด พื้น หน่อย /kŏr gwàat péun nòi/ – Please sweep the floor (for me).
ช่วย กวาด พื้น หน่อย /chûay gwàat péun nòi/ – Please sweep the floor (for me).
ขอ ทำไข่ เจียว หน่อย ครับ /kŏr tam kài jieow nòi kráp/ – Can you please make some scrambled eggs (for me).
ช่วย ทำไข่ เจียว หน่อย ครับ /chûay tam kài jieow nòi kráp/ – Can you please make some scrambled eggs (for me).

Usage examples:

ช่วย เรียก แคดดี้ สอง คน /chûay rîak kâet-dêe sŏng kon/ – Please call for two caddies (said every time I am at the golf course)
ช่วย เปิด สเตอริโอ เบาๆ หน่อย /chûay bpèrt STEREO bao bao nòi/ – Please turn down the stereo.
ช่วย ผม แปล เป็น ภาษาไทย /chûay pŏm bplae bpen paa-săa tai/ – Please help me translate this into Thai.

Adding the Thai polite particle…

You are asking your significant other (very nicely) to do something for you.

Usage examples:

ช่วย ทิ้ง ขยะ หน่อย คะ /chûay tíng kà-yà nòi ká/ – Please throw out the garbage.
Tip: Said with a sweet sing-songy voice works best.

Important…

An important use of the word ช่วย /chûay/ is if we ever find ourselves in trouble and we need to call for help, as in “HELP!!!!” we use the Thai exclamation.

ช่วย ด้วย! /chûay dûay/ – Please Help me!
Tip: Best said at the top of your lungs.

ช่วย ด้วยยยยยยย! /chûay dûaaaaaaaaay/ – Heeeeeeeeeelp!

Please words…

The following are four “please” words we use in formal or written language. They are not often heard, except maybe in a formal TV interview. You won’t have to say them to anybody, but you’ll see them written frequently, especially on signs requesting the public to do one thing or another.

โปรด /bpròht/
You’ll see this sign in most buildings and offices today.

โปรด งด สูบ บุหรี่ /bpròht ngót sòop bù rèe/ – Please refrain from smoking, No smoking please.

The meaning of โปรด /bpròht/ is “please” but it is a strong “please” like when Mom used to tell you “Please come home before midnight.” Not really asking, but telling.

Another meaning of โปรด /bpròht/ is “favorite”. You can say something like:
ข้าวผัด เป็น ของ โปรด /kâao pàt bpen kŏng bpròht/ – Fried rice is my favorite.

กรุณา /gà-rú-naa/
You may see this sign on the steps of a temple building.

กรุณา ถอด รองเท้า /gà-rú-naa tòt rong táo/ – Please take off your shoes.

The word กรุณา /gà-rú-naa/ also means “compassion” or “mercy”, especially in religious and Buddhist discussions. A pneumonic to help to remember is กรุณา ถอด รองเท้า – is like saying “please have mercy on us (have compassion, empathize with us) and take off your shoes.”

ขอความกรุณา /kŏr kwaam gà-rú-naa/

It has both ขอ and กรุณา making it a heavy duty “please”. More like “I beseech you.’ or “I beg you.’

ขอความกรุณา ยืม เงิน ให้ ผม /kŏr kwaam gà-rú-naa yeum ngern hâi pŏm/ – Please, I beseech you, lend me some money.

ขอร้อง /kŏr róng/
You might see this sign in a library.

ขอร้อง ไม่ ทำเสียง ดัง /kŏr róng mâi tam sĭang dang/ – Quiet please!

ขอร้อง /kŏr róng/ is sort of an appeal to your better angels.

Vocabulary used in this post…

กรุณา /gà-rú-naa/ please, compassion, mercy
กวาด /gwàat/ to sweep
กาแฟ /gaa-fae/ coffee
แก้ว /gâew/ glass, classifier for glass of something
ขยะ /kà-yà/ garbage
ของ โปรด /kŏng bpròht/ favorite (thing)
ข้าวผัด /kâao pàt/ fried rice
ไข่ /kài/ egg
ไข่ เจียว /kài jieow/ scrambled egg
คน /kon/ person, classifier for a person
แคดดี้ /kâet-dêe/ caddie (loan word)
งด /ngót/ to refrain from
เงิน /ngern/ money
เจียว /jieow/ to mix
ช่วย /chûay/ to help
ช่วย ด้วย /chûay dûay/ help!
ดัง /dang/ loud
ต้นไม้ /dtôn máai/ tree, plant
ถอด /tòt/ to take off
ทำ /tam/ to do, to make
ทิ้ง /tíng/ to throw away, throw out
หน่อย /nòi/ “…a bit”, “…somewhat”, “…to some extent”
บุหรี่ /bù rèe/ cigarette
เบาๆ /bao bao/ softly
เปิด /bpèrt/ to open, to turn on
แปล /bplae/ to translate
พื้น /péun/ floor
ภาษาไทย /paa-săa tai/ Thai (language)
ยืม /yeum/ to borrow
เย็น /yen/ cool
รองเท้า /rong táo/ shoes
ร้อน /rón/ hot
เรียก /rîak/ to call
เล็ม /lem/ to trim
สเตอริโอ /STEREO/ stereo (loan word)
สุภาพ /sù-pâap/ polite
สูบ /sòop/ to pump, to smoke
สูบ บุหรี่ /sòop bù rèe/ to smoke cigarettes
เสียง /sĭang/ sound
เสียง ดัง /sĭang dang/ loud sound, noisy
หมู /mŏo/ pork, pig
ให้ ยืม /hâi yeum/ to lend
เอา /ao/ to take

Examples of Thai “please” sentences…

ขอ กาแฟเย็น หน่อย /kŏr gaa-fae yen nòi/

ขอ กาแฟเย็น สอง แก้ว หน่อย /kŏr gaa-fae yen song gâew nòi/

ขอ ข้าวผัด หมู หน่อย /kŏr kâao pàt mŏo nòi/

ขอ ข้าวผัด หมูร้อนๆ หน่อย /kŏr kâao pàt mŏo rón rón nòi/

ขอ เล็ม ต้นไม้ หน่อย /kŏr lem dtôn máai nòi/

ขอ กวาด พื้น หน่อย /kŏr gwàat péun nòi/

ขอ ทำไข่ เจียว หน่อย ครับ /kŏr tam kài jieow nòi kráp/

ช่วย เปิด สเตอริโอ เบาๆ หน่อย /chûay bpèrt STEREO bao bao nòi/

ช่วย ผม แปล เป็น ภาษาไทย /chûay pŏm bplae bpen paa-săa tai/

ช่วย ทิ้ง ขยะ หน่อย คะ /chûay tíng kà-yà nòi ká/

ช่วย ด้วย! /chûay dûay/

โปรด งด สูบ บุหรี่ /bpròht ngót sòop bù rèe/

กรุณา ถอด รองเท้า /gà-rú-naa tòt rong táo/

ขอความกรุณา ยืม เงิน ให้ ผม /kŏr kwaam gà-rú-naa yeum ngern hâi pŏm/

ขอร้อง ไม่ ทำเสียง ดัง /kŏr róng mâi tam sĭang dang/

Audio and Pdf Downloads…

Pdf download (with transliteration): Ten Essentials of Thai Conversation: Please
Pdf download (sans transliteration): Ten Essentials of Thai Conversation: Please

Audio download: Ten Essentials of Thai Conversation: Please Audio

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