The German Thai Link



Thai is a tonal monosyllabio language.

The same word can be said in five different ways - normal or middle tone, low, high, rising and falling.

mai high wood
(tam) mai normal why
mai low new
mai rising question
mai falling burn

Like English it is read form left to right, but that's where the similarities end. Thai sounds are not commonly used in English or German either. There are no plurals in Thai, nor are there tenses as such.

A word or two is usually added to determine the past, present or future. If you run into difficulties, remember to speak slowly and clearly, stick to the simple present tense and don't use slang or idioms.

In Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket and Pattaya the level of English is quite good, but outside the city will find that the Thais' ability to speak English diminish as one moves further away.

In Thai there is a "politening" word attached to the end of anything you say. For men it is "Khrap", for women it is "kha". The words have little if any direct translation but a Thai will think very highly of you if you use it.

Hello : sawat-dee (khrap/kha)

Thank you (very much) : khob khun (mahk)

Never mind/that's alright : mai pen rai

Excuse me : Khor thod

Yes : chai

No : Mai chai

My name is ... : Pom/chun cheu...

What 's your name ? : Khun cheu a-rai

Pleased to meet you : Yin dee tee dai roo-juk

Where is the toilet? : hong nam yoo tee nai


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