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Thai Language

Thai Language and Where to Learn More

(See links below for free online audio lessons)

Thai is the main language of Thailand. Several different dialects are spoken in the various parts of the country, namely Central (Bangkok), Northern, Northeastern, and Southern. Lao is also closely related to Thai.

[edit] Pronunciation Thai is a tonal language with five tones: Mid, Low, Falling, High, and Rising. Meanings can change critically based on the tone, but Thais are fairly used to hearing foreigners mangle their language and can often work out the correct tone based on context. Try not to inflect your sentences; in particular, any questions should be pronounced as flat statements, without the rising intonation ("...yes?") typical to English questions.

The Thai written language is essentially alphabetic, but notoriously difficult to read due to a profusion of 44 consonants (many redundant), complicated tone and vowel signage around consonants and a complete lack of spaces between words.

Fast functional use of Thai language is not easy - but it is quite possible to learn some simple phrases and words that you will enjoy using - and your hosts will also enjoy your efforts.

Learn how to say - using polite terminology - on the links below:

Hello / Good bye - Thank you - You're welcome - No problem - Very good - I want/don't want - Delicious

You'll find Thais amazingly tolerant of your efforts and quite pleased that you made the effort.

All of the following links have audio - and most are oriented for beginning level learners.


As Thai is a tonal language - you might find it useful to listen to tapes or CDs to help you get the pronunciation right.

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