L4 - Words and Phrases

Okay - let's increase our vocabulary with a few popular Thai words and phrases that you will hear often.

kor tort krup/ka excuse me
mai bpen rai nevermind / no problem
sanook fun
ahroy tasty / delicious
dee good
chok dee krup/ka good luck
farang westerner
baht baht (Thai currency)
dtung money
nee this / here
nun that / there

kor tort - Used almost identically to the way we use 'excuse me' to apologise or to ask for someone's attention.

mai bpen rai - This is the Thai answer to a whole multitude of problems - nevermind. This word is often said to encapsulate the Thai attitude to life. Things should not be taken too seriously. They use it in a variety of ways:

It can be used to accept an apology. If someone bumps into you they apologise by saying 'kor tort.' You accept the apology with 'mai bpen rai'.

It can be used like 'nevermind'.

It can be used like 'no problem'.

It can be used like 'don't worry about it'.

sanook - Another important word. Sanook is an important part of Thai culture. Life should be fun.

ahroy (ah-roy) - You will hear this word whenever Thais are eating (remember they often change the 'r' to 'l' so you may hear 'ah-loy'). Good food is very important to Thai people and whenever they eat they will discuss whether the food is ah-roy or not (we will come to negatives in our next lesson).

chok dee - This is the Thai term for good luck. They also use it as a drinking greeting in the same way as 'cheers'.

farang - This is the Thai word for westerner. It is specifically westerner and not foreigner. The Thais have other words for other national or ethnic groups. You will hear Thais who do not know your name refer to you as the 'farang'. There is a common myth that this word is insulting. It is not in itself insulting although it may occassionally be used in a derogatory manner.





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