Being here for two months, I’ve obviously picked up a little Thai. Unlike French, I can understand more than I can speak, but I can have basic conversations with people on the street, which is really cool. So, that being said, here is an informal Thai lesson from someone who is not qualified what-so-ever to teach it:
If you’re a girl, you end every sentence with Ka. If you’re a guy, it’s Kap. It’s just the Thai way of being polite. It’s kind of like please, but you say it all the time.
If’ you’re a guy, when you say “I” it is “pom”, and for girls it’s “chan”.
Here are the most helpful phrases that I’ve found so far:
Khap Khun (Ka / Kap) – Thank you!
Pom/Chan Hiew – I’m Hungry
Sawatdee Kap/Ka – Hello!
Sa bai dee mai? – How are you?
Korr Toad Kap / Ka – I’m sorry!
Pom / Chan Oww – I want…
Arai – What?
You Tee Nai – Where is it?
Hong Nam – Washroom (Room, Water)
Mai is an interesting word, because it’s used at the end of a sentence to change the word into a question, but it’s also used to mean no. So, here’s a sample conversation:
Me: Hiew Mai? (Are you hungry?)
You: Hiew. (Yes I am)
You: Mai Hiew. (No, I’m not).
This is why I find the language really easy; there’s no conjugations, tenses, or any other little weird things to worry about. Oh, except for the tones, and the fact that Mai can mean 5 different words depending on how you say it. Near and far are the same word, one is just higher than the other. You’ll be good though.