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Colloquial thai
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Thread: Colloquial thai

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Thanked 20 Times in 13 Posts
    I thought it might be useful to have a section of any useful phrases you know that aren't usually in dictionaries or phrasebooks. This is some I know, I'd be interested in hearing others anyone else has picked up.

    เย็นชา 'yen chaa' - unfriendly

    ยิ่งใหญ่ยิ่งดี 'ying yai ying dee' - the bigger, the better.
    This ยิ่ง...ยิ่ง... construction is quite useful, you can use it for other phrases like ยิ่งเร็วยิ่งดี - the faster, the better, ยิ่งเงินยิ่งดี - the more money, the better.
    ยิ่งว่าเธอมองมาก็ยิ่งไหวหวั่น 'ying wah ter mong mah gor ying wai wan' - the more you look back at me, the more worried I get (from the song อยากรู้ใจ)

    ไม่กระติกหู 'mai gra-dtik hoo' - to not know anything about (a subject)
    Literally translates as 'to not move your ears'!

    เดือดร้อน 'deuat rorn', หงุดหงิด 'ngut ngit' - irritated, annoyed

    เอาจริงเอาจัง 'ao jing ao jang' - serious

    ใจร้อนใจเร็ว 'jai rorn jai reo' - impatient

    พิกล 'pik' - strange, unusual
    Similar to แปลก 'bplaek' which is more common

    แค่ไหน 'kae nai' / เพียงไร 'piang rai' - can be used instead of เท่าไร 'tao rai'
    e.g. หัวใจเจ็บปวดแค่ไหนไม่มีใครรู้ 'hua jai jep bpuat kae nai mai mee krai roo' - 'However much my heart aches, no one will know' (From Loso's song เคยรักฉันบ้างไหม)

    มีแต่ 'mee dtae' - to have only, เอาแต่ 'ao dtae' - to want only, ได้แต่ 'dai dtae' - to be only able to
    e.g. มีแต่ร้อยเดียว 'mee dtae roi dieow' - I've only got a 100B note
    ได้แต่ไป - What could I do but go

    งู ๆ ปลา ๆ 'ngoo ngoo bplaa bplaa' - a little bit
    Lit. 'snake snake fish fish'

    เท่ 'tay' - smart looking, stylish
    เจ๋ง 'jeng' / จ๊าบ 'jaap' - great, "cool" etc
    I don't really use these personally as when foreigners use words like cool or awesome when talking English it can just sound laughable and out of place (unless they're basically fluent). I'm not sure if foreigners trying to say these in Thai would be the same thing.

    อย่างน้อย 'yaang noi' - at (the very) least
    e.g. อย่างน้อยก็เพื่อนกัน 'at least we are still friends'

    ระอากับ 'ra-aah gap' - fed up with

    ซวย 'suay' - unlucky
    I usually heard this when playing pool, quite often when a shot narrowly missed the pocket they'd say 'ซวยล่ะ' 'suay la'.

    ...ได 'dai' - any (as in anytime, anywhere etc)
    eg. พรุ่งนี้หรือว่าเมื่อไหร่ หรือว่าวันใด เธอยังคงเหมือนเดิม - 'tomorrow or whenever, on any day you will still be the same' (From the song อุ่นใจ). ...ก็ได้ can have a similar meaning like ใครก็ได้ 'krai gor dai' - anyone.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Sukhumwit, Bangkok
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Thanks Mike for taking the time to do that. I think there are some useful phrases there. I'll try and think of some myself - the only problem is working out how to spell them!!

  3. #3
    arsira Guest
    แจ๋ว- EXCELLENT,NOT BAD(use when speaking)
    -keeping easy,giving no attention,do not care much(rak choi choi)
    -a chinese dialet means talkative(use when speaking)
    - a chinese dialect means messy
    ( use when speaking)
    - (adj/adverb) complicated,mixed up.
    (verb) bother,disturb
    - totally lost,confuse another word similar is ngong

    ˧ԡ - at one's wit,helpless(when speaking)
    ͹ - be petulant, angry with or not talking to somesome (when speaking)
    exp: yang ngorn na (you still upset with me?)

    - as mike mention it from chinese dialect similar as chok rai
    ok that all for today thanks for sharing mike.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Thanked 20 Times in 13 Posts
    Thanks for them arsira, they look pretty useful. This is a few more that I've remembered....

    แสน 'saen' the word for 'one hundred thousand' can be used to mean 'really, extremely, very'
    e.g from Loso's song "ฝนตกที่หน้าต่าง" เธออาจจะมีใครคนนั้นที่แสนดี 'ter aat ja mee krai kon nan tee saen dee' - 'maybe you already have someone, a really good person' or the children's book 'gai daeng saen ka-yan' - 'the very hard-working red chicken'

    หน้าตา 'naa dtaa' - appearance, looks (lit 'face eyes&#39 . (ท่าทาง has the same meaning).
    and the logical extensions to this-
    หน้าตาดี 'naa dtaa dee' - good looking
    หน้าตาไม่ดี 'naa dtaa mai dee' - ugly

    ห่วย 'huay' - terrible, no good at all, "it sucks" etc. This is what Thaksin used to describe Thai Airways!

    e.g. เอาแต่นักร้องหน้าตาดี ถึงแม้ว่าเสียงห่วย 'ao dtae nak rorng naa dtaa dee teung mae wah siang huay' - "(they) only want good-looking singers, even if they can't actually sing to save their life"

    ช่างเขาเถอะ 'chaang kao tuh' - hard to do an exact translation of this one but it means something like 'he can do what he likes (but...)', 'well that's up to him (but...)'. 'kao' can be swapped for 'man', 'khun' or whatever.

    ช่างคุณเถอะ ผมต้องไป 'chaang khun tuh pom dtorng bpai' - 'Up to you, you can do what you like but I have to go'

  5. #5
    arsira Guest
    another word i know similar to ช่างเขาเถอะ is tam jai ตามใจขอบ-as you like
    or laeow tae แล้วแต่เธอ- depand on you
    ขนแก้ว - cheers when drinking

    usually use when refering to chinese-thai

    เจ๊ - elder sister
    เจ็ก - uncle
    เจ๊ก - chinaman(offensive term) ꡵׹µ׹ -making a fuss ,fussy

    that all for today

  6. #6
    arsira Guest
    บ้า ๆ บอ ๆ - half-witted ,a bit crazy.(use for speech)
    short form become 'bah bor' from silly fool's songs.

    สะใจ - to be satisfied, be fulfill.may be going for a concert seeing your favourite artist.

    สุดยอด - the top ,climax, when you really feel like it the best in the moment in your life. maybe reaching on top of doi inthanon or looking at tee-lor-su water fall.

    ชินชา - get use to it.( when i face with problem , i may say mai pen rai 'chin laew ' /nevermind i'm use to it.

    enjoy your weekend guys
    kor hai sanook na.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Thanked 20 Times in 13 Posts
    ไม่เต็มบาท 'mai dtem baht' - another way of saying a bit crazy, lit. 'not a full baht'

    แววตา 'waew dtaa' - the look in someone's eyes.

    เขาบอกว่า... 'kao bork waa' - They say that... (without specifiying who 'they' is)

    หมายถึงว่า 'mai teung wah', คือว่า 'keu wah' - expanding or clarifying something you've just said like in English 'I mean...', 'that is to say...'

    พูดตรง ๆ 'poot dtrong dtrong' - to speak the harsh truth even if it's offensive. This is not really the same as พูดจริง ๆ 'poot jing jing'

    I think ช่างเธอเถอะ is a bit different to ตามใจ, as ตามใจ has a meaning of 'I don't mind, I'll do whatever you decide" whereas ช่างเธอเถอะ is more like "This is what I'm doing, what you do is up to you". I'm not sure which one แล้วแต่เธอ is closer to ?

  8. #8
    arsira Guest
    here are a few number of ways to use for telling lies from mild to serious :

    ตอแหล- telling a lie(less serious one)

    สับปรับ -when someone break promise(phit kam sanyar)

    ตลบแตลง - when someone cheating on you

    ปลิ้นปล้อน - a cunning or tricky speaker

    แหกตา - exaggerates

    โม้ - bullshit,bragging ,talk big

    ขาวลือ - rumours

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Thanked 20 Times in 13 Posts
    A few more to add to this list...

    ˹ 'som nam naa' - serves you right!

    е 'ja dtai' - so (much)
    e.g. Ǩе 'hiw ja dtai yoo laew' - I am so hungry

    ˹ء 'nuk' - a colloquial form of ʹء 'sanuk' -fun.
    'bpao' - colloquial form of () '(reu) bplao'.
    so 'was it fun ?' - ˹ء

    'tu-rayt' - Disgusting, distasteful

    ͡ 'yeuak' - Extremely cold, freezing. Useful for describing the weather here in the English winter

    ŧ 'lum long' - To be obsessed with (something/someone)

    'pler' - Forgetful, unaware

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Thanked 10 Times in 3 Posts

    Re: Colloquial thai

    Very old thread, but worth a BUMP.

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