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”.

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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)
OR
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.

Good Luck!

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