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Talk:Thai phrasebook

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Nice start! It might be worthwhile to look at the Wikitravel:Phrasebook template to fill out the rest of the page. --Evan 15:05, 12 Aug 2004 (EDT)

Khop khun maak khrap for the additions,, but could you also document the system of tones you are using? The romanizations you are using also appear to be a little non-standard, Wikitravel prefers RTGS (with long vowels marked). Jpatokal 22:12, 12 Feb 2005 (EST)

Alignment to RTGS[edit]

This article was quite inconsistent in style and method of romanisation.

I have aligned it to RTGS, the Royal Thai General System of Transcription. However I have kept a few deviations to avoid known drawbacks:

  • use j for จ (instead of ch)
  • use double aa, ii, uu for long vowels (but not ee, oo, because too confusing for English speakers)
  • no measure for อ versus โ (article intro said ou for โ, but it was not used; too late I saw that the majority of โ had oh)

For style I used the convention (was a slight majority already):

  • no initial capital in pronunciation
  • no dot after pronunciation

I have corrected a few errors as well, but have not filled in the gaps. I did not double check all yet, so minor flaws may still exist.

−Woodstone 17:11, 4 Aug 2005 (EDT)

Excellent work! I was hoping somebody would do this. Please keep plunging forward, and just document your 'standard' both on the phrasebook page and Wikitravel:Romanization. Jpatokal 21:16, 4 Aug 2005 (EDT)

Opening Paragraphs[edit]

These appear to be locked. There is a minor point of English to correct in paragraph 2: 'There are dialects are spoken ...' Perhaps: different dialects are spoken in the distinct regions ... --Stevebkk (talk) 18:48, 13 June 2013 (EDT)


I'm a Thai and speak Thai as the main language. I've translated some of them and fixed some transliteration. Also, I fixed something to fit Thai culture. Thank you for your translation, they're 90%+ correct. That's cool if you aren't a Thai. Excellent for you all --Wap 07:03, 13 Oct 2005 (EDT)

Thank you for your help! Please help us fix more, we want to be 100% correct. =) Jpatokal 07:27, 13 Oct 2005 (EDT)

Tsunami phrasebook[edit]

It's been a year now and I think this stuff is becoming rather less useful for the average traveller -- I'll archive it here for posterity until somebody figures out something better to do. Jpatokal 23:43, 22 Jan 2006 (EST)

Tsunami Relief Work[edit]

NGO, private organization, private institution 
องค์กรเอกชน (ong-kòn ekkachon)
สึนามิ (suenaami)
missing person 
คน หาย (khon hăai)
victim, casualty 
ผู้ประสบภัย (phuu prà-sòp phai)
injured [V] 
บาดเจ็บ (bàat jèp)
seriously injured [V] 
บาดเจ็บสาหัส (bàat jèp săa-hàt)
injured persons 
ผู้เสียหาย (phuu sĭa hăai)
อาสาสมัคร (aa-săa sà-màk)
rehabilitate, restore 
ฟื้นฟูสภาพ (fuen fuu sà-phàap)
help, aid, assist 
ช่วย (chûai)
translator, interpreter 
ผู้แปล (phuu plae)
คุณครู (khun khru)
หมอ (mo)
พยาบาล (phá-yaa-baan)
นายช่าง (nai châang)
นายจ้าง (naai jaang)
Help Thai People 
ช่วย คนไทย (chûai khon Thai)
หลงทาง (löng' thaang )
นักข่าว (nak khao)
“Can I take your photo?” 
ขอ ถ่ายรูป คุณ ได้ไหม ครับ (kho tàai-ruup [khun'] dâi' mäi', khráp' (males))
Photograph, take photograph 
ถ่ายรูป (thàai-ruup)


do, make, build, work, create 
ทำ (tham)
create, produce, build, make 
สร้าง (sâang)
technician, mechanic, engineer, craftsman 
ช่าง (châang)
เครื่อง (khrueang)
ค้อน (khón)
hammer, nail, pound, drive, knock [V] 
ตอก (tòk)
cut, cut off, cut out, break off [V] 
ตัด (tàt)
nail [N] 
ตะปู (tà-puu)
measuring tools 
เครื่องมือวัด (khrueang mue wát )
ladder, stepladder, stair 
กระได (kràdai)
ประตู (prà-tuu)
หน้าต่าง (nâa tàang)
bolt, latch, lock [N] 
กลอน (klon)
building, house 
โรง (rong)

Growing "Learning more" section[edit]

Does anyone agree with me that this is a Wikitravel:External links section that needs to be removed. -- Tom Holland (xltel)

I think some of those links are genuinely useful (eg. Lexitron), but I agree that most of them are dross. I think we should just list down the criteria for all phrasebooks and pare 'em with a heavy hand. Jpatokal 02:22, 24 November 2006 (EST)
I recently posed the question should (all) the "Learning more" sections be removed? here: Wikitravel talk:Phrasebook template#"Learning more" section ~ 04:14, 31 January 2007 (EST)

External links[edit]

"G" and "K"[edit]

I note in the Thai phrasebook pages, that "G" and "K" are both supposedly pronounced as "K". This is not what Thai people have told me to be correct, and that in fact, both letters are pronounced the same as in English. In Thai the words for "egg"and "chicken" are "ไข่" (kai) and "ไก่" (gai) respectively. So pronouncing them both "kai" would make it difficult to know whether the chicken or the egg came first, so to speak!

Would it be possible for you to put this question to your excellent contributor to the phrasebook section, as I would like to know their point of view? There may be something I can learn here. —The preceding comment was added as requested by Avemario (talkcontribs)

Thai Phrasebook talk from Travellers Pub[edit]

Thai Phrasebook

Hi yet again!

As much as I hate to be a total pain in the arse, I really do need to comment on the Thai phrasebook.

I did send a message to the person who wrote it, but did not get an answer.

Problem with the phrasebook, is that it tells how the Thai - English transliteration system works, and not how Thai is correctly pronounced. So if you use this phrasebook in Thailand, I am certain that you will get blank stares!!

As an example - ก is definitely pronounced G, as in English, and not K as quoted in the article. I can guarantee this from my own knowledge of the language, from what friends of mine in Thailand (who also speak good English) tell me, and from how I hear Thai people speaking. As an example - ไก่ is pronounced Gai and means chicken. ไข่ means egg and is pronounced Kai. Both have the same low tone. So does the chicken or the egg come first??

If you see signs there written in English, the transliterations are totally inaccurate - for example - Phuket is really Pooget; Krabi is Grabee, Kanchanaburi is Garnjanaburee etc etc etc!

Sure, some of the problem is caused by a couple of Thai consonants we do not have in our language (in particular BP ป (as the P in spit), and DT ต (as the T in stop)), as well as the fact that only 8 consonant sounds can end a syllable (so if it ends in G it must revert to K, in D it reverts to T etc etc) - confused?? Especially when at the start of a syllable they are pronounced G and D respectively. In addition, there are many vowels in the language which we do not have.

So what do we do?

Leave something totally inaccurate and useless to travellers there? Or fix it?

I am no professor of languages, although I am lucky enough to have a head for them (thanks to my Father)and I do speak Thai well enough to get around non English speaking areas easily, although at age 72, learning is not quite the same as at age 16!!

I have no idea how to rewrite it, and I have no idea how to insert the tone marks your Writer has used (and I add that many of those are inaccurate, with many of the words with a tone not recorded as such.) The best I can think of is to do a brief write on just how the language is actually spoken, at the start of the article, and comment that what is there is merely a transliteration which is not accurate if speaking Thai.

You can get further information online - try "Thai Language.Com" which says the same thing as I have above.

Your call...................

Avemario (talk) 04:24, 13 May 2015 (EDT)

   ttcf What will help a traveler most? Koavf (talk) 23:56, 13 May 2015 (EDT) 

To be honest, I don't think that the phrasebook will help very many travellers at all! The overwhelming majority are only over there a month at the most, as you have to pay for a visa to stay longer. Also, most people are only there for a brief enough holiday, so there is little point in them learning the language at all, and if they want to, a far better option is with a book and CD, which can be obtained cheaply enough. Sure, it helps to learn to say "hello, how are you?" and similar simple phrases even if the majority of visitors go to the usual tourist ares where there are plenty of English speaking Thai people. Even in the out of the way places there is always someone who speaks some English - it is a compulsory subject at all schools there. Since most people have access to the internet, and carry an phone or laptop, they can access the far more accurate "Thai" website which gives a full range of words and phrases in Thai.

So my opinion would be to delete the phrasebook altogether (in the other languages also - the French one is even worse than the English one). Maybe a simple article helping people to read the English signs over there would be far more useful, in addition to a few short phrases as above. Also how to pronounce the Thai vowels and consonants, without too much detail, as there are 44 consonants and 32 vowels in the language!

Avemario (talk) 19:47, 14 May 2015 (EDT)

Anybody interested in my answer????????????????? Avemario (talk) 03:51, 20 May 2015 (EDT)

   I think that now Google is offering instant voice translations on smartphones, etc, the utility of phrasebooks is diminishing. I think it's good that you are discussing these issues here but, absent any pertinent replies, you have the usual facility to plunge forward and edit the phrasebooks as you feel fit. Personally, I wouldn't support deletion - it's entirely possible that someone may come along in the future and greatly improve them. 06:26, 20 May 2015 (EDT) 
       Deletion I am keenly interested but I wanted to see if anyone else responded. I have actually thought about your suggestion daily. I think it's still worthwhile to have a phrasebook for a variety of reasons: imagine that someone wants to go off the beaten path in Thailand, in which case he may encounter someone with low English proficiency. Alternately, it's simply pleasant and a sign of goodwill to speak (e.g.) Catalan with someone in Barcelona, even though everyone there knows Spanish. Plus, it might be useful for reading signs in the local language. I can easily imagine several reasonable and commonplace instances where having a (e.g.) Danish phrasebook would be useful even though virtually all Danes have a very high competency in English. Does that not seem fair? Do you still think that deletion is a good idea? I'm interested in discussing this further. Koavf (talk) 23:02, 23 May 2015 (EDT) 

           Hi Koavf! 
           Thanx for your opinion. 
           Problem with the phrasebook is that it will be of absolutely no use to read signs in the Thai language at all, let alone speak it! 
           I understand what you are saying about a Danish phrasebook, as I also speak French, German and Spanish (but again, not fluently). 
           But these are languages with the Latin alphabet (and I learned Latin at school and loved it!) Thai has 44 consonants and 32 vowels! And some of them are difficult to get your tongue around (trust me!) 
           The main problem with the Thai phrasebook is that it does not pronounce Thai at all correctly! As I said, the letter ก which the phrasebook says is pronounced "K", is in reality pronounced "G" - same as we pronounce this letter! I know where the mistransliterations come from because I know the Thai language. There are also other notable errors - ie the consonant ป (bp in the phrasebook, pronounced like the "p" in "spit")is not given a Thai letter, nor is ต (dt, pronounced like the "t" in "stop"). Both of these are VERY commonly used consonants. 
           There is no such thing as "KH", "PH" or "TH" in Thai - there is only "K". "P" and "T". 
           For instance in the phrasebook - "I'm sorry = "kho thot" (just pronounce that in English as written!). The correct pronunciation is "Kaw Tot" (which is as close in English as I can transliterate. In reality it is the "aw" as in the old American TV series " LA Law", and the "O" is extended to double the way we pronounce the letter - not like in "cool", but more like in "cold" (but longer). 
           Maybe we leave the phrasebook there, but I write an introduction explaining it has something to do with the transliteration system, which is the main way the Thai English signs are written. 
           A simple explanation to understand how to reasonably pronounce the signs will I think be far more useful than the phrasebook. 
           Maybe also a few easy phrases with a correct transliteration. 
           Your call.................. 
           Avemario (talk) 07:17, 24 May 2015 (EDT) 
               Thanks for bringing this up! I really like the idea of the introductory explanation. I feel like deleting it completely could create a "hole," by which I mean readers would see French, Italian, Mandarin, and other phrasebooks and then wonder where the Thai phrasebook is. And I agree with Koavf, these phrasebooks are(in their in own little way) additional pieces of goodwill towards different communities around the globe. 
               I digress, the introduction paragraph would be awesome! =] IBcaldera (talk) 15:06, 26 May 2015 (EDT) 

OK, thanx for the answer, but it will have to be more than a paragraph - more like a page or two, so people can more accurately read the English signs over there, and also understand how the Thai letters are correctly pronounced. Will this be OK? I won't get too detailed)

Avemario (talk) 03:51, 27 May 2015 (EDT)

OK, finally finished!

I did not want to be too lengthy, so what I have written should be enough to give people an idea how to read English signs accurately over there. Avemario (talk) 23:09, 11 July 2015 (EDT)

   Thanks so much Your hard work is what makes this site function. Thanks a lot! (Kun mun kaa!) Koavf (talk) 23:55, 11 July 2015 (EDT) 

Hi Koavf! You have me rather baffled here! "Kun mun kaa"? I assume it is a Thai transliteration, but I only can assume that the first word is "you", and the third may be "ka" (polite particle if you are female). The "mun" has me totally baffled.................. Avemario (talk) 06:56, 12 July 2015 (EDT)

   "Thai" I was trying to say "thanks" from memory—it looks like I need this phrasebook myself! Koavf (talk) 09:30, 12 July 2015 (EDT) 

Hi Koavf!

OK, I follow! ขอบ คุณ (ค่ะ) (ครับ) - is what you meant. "Kaup kun (ka) (krap) - the ka if you are female, and the krap if you are male. These are necessary polite particles used in Thai and are gender specific. If you pronounce the the way I have written you will be understood (the "au" as in "caught"). Now check out the Thai Phrasebook! It gives Khop Khun Kha (khrap). See what I mean? Regards

Avemario (talk) 20:17, 12 July 2015 (EDT)

       Congratulations Avemario! What an accomplishment. Many travelers will gain from your effort, my friend. IBobi (talk) 22:08, 13 July 2015 (EDT)