Best Ways To Say Hello In Thai

Straight To The Point

There are several ways to say 'Hello' in Thai for different situations:

  1. sà-wàt-dii kráp สวัสดี ครับ
  1. sà-wàt-dii kâ สวัสดี ค่ะ
  1. wàt-dii หวัดดี

Use 'How are you?' to initiate a hello.

  1. sà-wàt-dii kráp เป็นยังไงบ้าง
  1. sà-wàt-dii kâ เป็นไงมั่ง
  1. wàt-dii มาไงเนี่ย
  1. wàt-dii มายังไงเนี่ย

Where have you been?

Is target person moving? Ask them where they are going or coming from.
Yes —-> Past or away from you? — > ไปไหน (ppai nai)
Towards you? —> ไปไหนมา (ppai nai maa)

Are you hungry?

Are they stationary? Ask them if they’ve eaten yet.
No —-> กินข้าวรึยัง (kin khaao rue yang)

What are you doing here?

มาทำอะไรที่นี่ (maa tham a-rai thee nee) – What are you doing here?
มาทำอะไร (maa tham a-rai) – What’d you come here for?

On the Phone

Formal: สวัสดี (sawasdee) ครับ/ค่ะ (khrap / kha) – Use at first if you don’t know who you are talking to or if you are calling someone with higher status/age

Informal: ฮัลโหล / ฮาโหล / โหล (ha-loh / haa loh / loh) – *From English “hello”Be sure to use rising tone on the “loh” part.

Online

ฮัลโหล/โหล/โหลๆ (ha-loh / haa loh / loh-loh) – These are coming from “hello” in English.
ว่าไง (waa ngai) – what’s up?
ว่าจะใด (waa ja dai)- what’s up? *Northern dialect
ว่าใด (not found)
(waa dai) – sup? *Northern dialect
ไง + สบายดีมั้ย (ngai + sabai dee mai) – how’s it goin? all good?
(ไง) สบายดีรึป่าว (ngai + sabai dee iue ppaao) – How ya doing?
(ไง) บายดีมะ (ngai + baai dee ma) – You good?
เฮ้ (hey) – hey
โย่ว (yo) – yo


Recommended: Thai Made Simple - Day 1 Polite Particles

Discussion

Use kàawp kun kráp/ kàawp kun kâ (ขอบคุณครับ/ ขอบคุณค่ะ) for everything! By just remembering this, you can save time and move on to the next lesson.

The normal polite particle to use at the end of kàawp kun (ขอบคุณ) is kâ ค่ะ (for females) or kráp ครับ (for males). These are used all the time and if they are not used at the end of a phrase or sentence, it may sound rude.

Using this means that you always sound polite 🙂

But if you are like me and curious as to how you can use the other two words with different forms of politeness, keep reading!

kàawp jai (ขอบใจ) is used when speaking with someone younger than you or who has the same status.

dtâaeng-gîu (แต้งกิ้ว) is borrowed from the English word 'Thank you' and is used with your close friends but is not really Thai and is not often heard in casual conversation. So my recommendation is to stick with kàawp kun kráp/ kàawp kun kâ (ขอบคุณครับ/ ขอบคุณค่ะ) and know that Thai people do say 'Thank you' at times, especially with foreigners!

Listen to the Thai words by clicking on the highlighted text.

kàawp jai (ขอบใจ) is often used when speaking to children or someone younger but to make doubly sure there is a sense of gentleness in the word นะ (ná) is placed at the end. kàawp jai ná ขอบใจนะ

jâ (จ้ะ) is used instead of ná (นะ) when speaking with close friends/ acquaintances to make it sound very kind and friendly.

กู (guu) meaning 'I' / มึง (mèung) meaning 'You' can be used at the end of all the above phrases but can only be used with close friends and as a foreigner, I never really use just to be careful that no one gets offended.

kàawp jai ná mèung ขอบใจนะมึง which means 'Thanks' with a close friend.

A Waai

A wâi (ไหว้) can be used in addition to saying 'Thank you' to give the highest of respects.

You can Waai by placing your hands together (similar to a pray). The higher the position of the hands the bigger the respect. For example, the below picture of a Waai can be used with children but a higher Waai to the nose is often used when greeting or saying Thank you.

Thai Waai

A Waai is apart of the Thai culture and is used everyday in Thai society.

Summary

And there you have it. These are the best ways to say 'Thank you' in Thai. If you are a beginner, just make it simple and say ขอบคุณครับ / ขอบคุณค่ะ (kàawp kun kráp/ kàawp kun kâ) for every 'Thank you' situation and that is enough.

For the intricate details in the Thai language you can go further by knowing the age and status of who you are talking to and adjusting your vocabulary to suit!

Founder
Learning Thai is one of the most challenging and best things I ever did when living in Thailand. There is so much to learn and so many things that are different from Thai to English. 99% of Thais just use the basics when having a conversation so why can't you! Start Thai makes life easier for anyone learning Thai by highlighting what you should learn now and what you can excel at later in order to get you speaking Thai as fact as possible.
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Founder
Learning Thai is one of the most challenging and best things I ever did when living in Thailand. There is so much to learn and so many things that are different from Thai to English. 99% of Thais just use the basics when having a conversation so why can't you! Start Thai makes life easier for anyone learning Thai by highlighting what you should learn now and what you can excel at later in order to get you speaking Thai as fact as possible.
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