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Thai is closely related to Lao, the official language of Laos; Shan, which is spoken in Burma; and a number of less significant languages associated with southern China and northern Vietnam. Thailand Travel Essentials is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies. But for now, it is nowhere near to be called a second or even a third language in Thailand. I ahve always visited Thailand as a slo traveller and even on my first visit had no difficulty geting around, I stll speak only a little Thai but am now quite happy to travel around even in areas where English is hardly spoken at all and have found that smiles and sometimes a bit of mime can work wonders (and lead to some hillarious mistakes sometimes). คุณพูดภาษาอังกฤษได้ไหม, ฉันมาจากอเมริกา, Longer term visitors should seriously consider taking the. Thailand is far behind China and Japan, which supposedly have low abilities in English. English is taught in some of the middle class schools, but the proficiency tends to be basic and as we mentioned, many Thais simply don’t get to practise it enough in their lives to become really good at it. link to How Widely Spoken is English in Malta? In rural areas of Thailand most people do not speak English, maybe except for people working in a business involving tourism. Some people in the tourism and service sector may speak a few words of English, but will not be conversational. Although English has grown really big conquering almost the entire world, there still are countries where English is not spoken as they believe their linguistic capabilities do not need an external support, in any form. It is based largely on the dialect of Bangkok and its environs in the central region of the country but retains certain consonant distinctions (such as l versus r, kl v Could someone please advise what the name of the village is and its location in Thailand where Thai people do not speak much English. English might not technically be as much an immigrant language as it is a common second language. English, Japanese, and Vietnamese are spoken by a tiny percentage of the population as a first language. Firstly, it is an overall figure across the whole country, when in fact the prevalence of English in Thailand does vary a lot by region. English in Thailand English is widely spoken in cities, especially in Bangkok. Continue browsing or click to consent. This page was last modified on May 1st, 2018 Road signs are in Thai and English. While many Thais are shy to speak English, there are a lot of people who don’t understand the English language at all, and it is to do with the education system in Thailand. Anywhere outside tourist areas and resorts, spoken English will be almost non existent. (Costs And Alternatives Review), Which Sunscreen Is Best For Thailand? As not too many tourists choose to use the city buses, you won’t be able to ask them for a bit of advice. Your email address will not be published. Of course, it can not be said about all people, but many Thais who understand and could speak English choose not to do so. With the help of new technologies, especially the internet, fields of business, education, … As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases. However just learning some of these everyday phrases should help you get by for shopping, eating out and transport for a short holiday there. If you’re a female, you should say Khob Khun Ka. Here you can find Thai phrases for basic knowledge of the Thai language But just how widely spoken... At How Widely Spoken we explore the prevalence of English and other languages all around the world. The Thai government promotes the use of Sta… This has the double benefit of allowing you to take regular Thai language classes in the country, but also providing you with a year long visa to stay in the kingdom which is far easier to renew than other types of visa, with no hassle of jumping across borders and visiting embassies every 60-90 days. Malaysia is a very vibrant and growing country in South East Asia, with a tropical climate and plenty of lure for tourists. An estimated 80% of Thaland’s population speaks Thai as their first or second language. As English is also a mandatory language taught in schools and colleges, the number of English speakers keep on increasing substantially. You shouldn’t always trust those good people because they might misinterpret your question in the first place. Thai can be a tricky language to learn. Thailand is becoming an ever more popular travel destination, not just for tourists but to live longer term due to it’s cheap and relaxed lifestyle and nice climate. As there are so many tourists, and Thailand being so dependant on the tourist dollars, english is widely spoken in Bangkok you will have no problems 1 0 Anonymous Let’s be more specific – here is a summary of the most commonly reported experiences on the prevalence of English in some of the more visited cities in Thailand from tourists, expats and digital nomads. The short answer to this is that English is not very widely spoken in Thailand, with only around a quarter of the population speaking English and many of these only to a very basic degree. See also our Phrasebook page for a Thai pocket phrase book. Guides and hotel and restaurant employee often speak English in varying degrees of fluency. Another reasonable way and unique experience of how to get around Bangkok is the city bus, but it is unlikely that the cashier on the bus will speak any English. Approximately 64% of native English speakers are in the United States, 16.6% in the United Kingdom, 5.3% in Canada, 4.7% in Australia, 1.3% in South Africa, 1.3% in Ireland, 1.3% in New Zealand, and the remaining 5.5% are … Does Thailand Have WiFi? Younger people have the best chance of being able to use spoken English. It makes them avoid speaking English as well. The most common immigrant languages in Thailand are Burmese (at around 828,000 speakers), English, Japanese, Korean, Hindi, French and German, in that order. Lao is spoken along the borders with the Laos PDR, Karen languages are spoken along the border with Myanmar, Khmer is spoken near Cambodia and Malay is spoken in the south near Malaysia. English is taught in schools and colleges and is also used in academia, commerce, and government. The role of the English in Thailand is growing thanks to the influx of tourists who flock in every year. Not surprisingly English is widely spoken in Thailand in the tourist industry. . So in this case, it would be a requirement to master the English language, which is indeed a huge challenge, as English and English are many different things. First of all, the Khap (Khrap) is used by male and Ka by female, and it is a polite way how to end sentences when speaking in Thai. The level varies though. English spoken in Bangkok, Thailand? (SPF, Pricing And More Info), Best Shoes For Thailand (For Beaches, Nightlife, Trekking), when doing shopping in some less known markets, shyness (accent, dialect, wrong pronunciation), lack of encouragement to speak in English, not having real conversations in English classes, only technical English grammar is being taught in English classes, English language teachers being poorly educated and therefore teaching with mistakes. As with everywhere in Thailand, having some basic Thai phrases will really help and endear you to the locals. The main reason why Thais don’t want to speak English is that they are shy about their accent. Some restaurants and shops have information in English. Many of them learn thru daily interaction with English speaking tourist. How Widely Spoken is English in Gibraltar? In the big citiesit is more likely to find people speaking English, though do not expect the majority to do. In case you need any assistance from the police in Thailand, it is better to contact the Tourist Police first. With a few exceptions which I am about to explain in this article, you will have to find other ways how to communicate with locals. Thai is the country's official language and is spoken by the majority of these individuals.The Thai language, sometimes referred to as the Siamese language, belong… As English is widely spoken in Bangkok, for English speaking tourists, it is relatively easy to get around the city. Can tourists from America, the UK... Malta is a picturesque and scenic small Island off the south coast of Italy, with one of the best climates in all of Europe and very good tourist attractions and cuisine. Thai people being shy also partly explains why they do not speak English. The rest of the world speaks English. Cognates with the name Tai (Thai, Dai, etc.) Most newspapers and periodicals are in Standard Thai, although there is a number of them in Chinese, English, and Malay. English is the most common second language, and many Thais have studied some level of English either at school or through practice with foreign friends. Lao is spoken along the borders with the Laos PDR, Karen languages are spoken along the border with Myanmar, Khmer is spoken near Cambodia and Malay is spoken in the south near Malaysia. Will need directions written for cab drivers. So the main reasons why Thai people don’t want to or can’t speak English are: As it is already mentioned in this article, Thais learn English in schools and universities, but it doesn’t mean that can understand, write or talk English after that. What language do they speak in Thailand? As a result you will be able to get by with the usual tourist “pointing and gestures” tactics, but if you want to have a more in depth discussion about something you are planning to buy in a store for example, most Thais will struggle to converse with you in any depth in English. Thailand's largest island is renowned for its beaches, which vary in quality, so be sure to research your destination shore ahead of time. So if you feel okay improving your sign language skills by applying them in real-life situations, it is relatively easy getting around Thailand without knowing the Thai language. But you will likely bump into fellow English speaking expats, holidayers and nomads as this is a popular city for travellers. Many locals who would honestly answer to this question would say the same thing. Off the beaten track few people speak English well. This site is owned and operated by Thailand Travel Essentials. Nearly every person in the country is able to speak and write Standard Thai, having learned the language from government schools and through its use in print and broadcast media. I remember this one case at the Suvarnabhumi Airport when I asked a random airport worker for directions to passport control. In the rural parts of Thailand, there are fewer close to no locals who speak or even understand the English language. Have a look! So be prepared to use the sign language. Tourist Police will often translate your conversation with the real police. According to the EF English Proficiency Index for Schools – a study of the acquisition of English skills by secondary and tertiary students, Thailand ranks only 64th among the 88 listed countries and regions. Thai is spoken exclusively in Thailand, by approximately 60 million people. Technically many Thais study the English language for 12 years, but after the studies, they cannot understand nor speak English. Their English skills are adequate for many purposes. But if you’re planning to escape the big crowds and to travel throughout the beautiful countryside of Thailand be aware that most likely no one will understand what you’re saying unless you will speak the Thai language. Will random strangers answer in English when asked for directions? Of course, these still won’t be the most meaningful conversations you could have, but rest assured that you will be offered to buy everything from the driver! It is used as a medium of instruction in schools, by the media and in all government affairs. Anything more in depth you will need some Thai. 10. Also, when buying tickets from the ticket booths, the booking clerks will understand the English language. Thailand is home to 71 living languages, with the majority of people speaking languages of the Southwestern Tai family, and the national language being Thai. Browse forums; All. Expats who actually live there put this figure a little lower in their own personal experience – the figure of around 10-15% of the population comes out quite often – see here for example.eval(ez_write_tag([[250,250],'howwidelyspoken_com-medrectangle-4','ezslot_6',109,'0','0'])); However, in tourist regions like Bangkok, you will likely find the prevalence of English higher – you should have no problems doing “touristy” things like ordering food at restaurants and getting taxis for example, since they are ready for dealing with English speakers a lot. Research has been conducted to determine how English is used, for example, by Thais for communication at work revealing that the skills of most importance in firms related mostly to requirements for competence in spoken English (Pholsward, 1993). Having said this, many tourists who go to Thailand note the general cheerful and helpful nature of Thai people, and rarely report feeling uncomfortable engaging with Thai people in shops or elsewhere despite this language barrier. The official language of Thailand is Thai. However, some locals' English remains quite rudimentary and you may find that understanding the words is not always simple. Air Travel; … Fluent English speakers are actually quite rare in Thailand among the general population so it is not a good idea to rely on English alone to get by over there. In the touristic islands (i.e Phuket, Koh Samui, Koh Phi Phi, Krabi) almost all the peopl… Fluent English speakers are actually quite rare in Thailand among the general population so it is not a good idea to rely on English alone to get by over there. Thailand is located in Southeast Asia, in the central region of the Indochinese peninsula. In smaller cities like Chiang Mai, proficiency will be somewhere in the middle. Chinese and Malay are spoken by many people. I mean also in the rural districts and not just confined to hotels and tourist areas? The Thai language is national language and the official language of Thailand. English is now widely spoken in the capital city, Bangkok, as well as in other tourist destinations in the country. The main differences in the Thailand language is that women end a sentence with 'ka' while men end with 'krap'. There are also different pronouns for gender (Pom/Chan for male/female) which have to be learned when addressing yourself as I/he/she etc. So even if the staff doesn’t speak any English, you have to point your finger at the dish of your choice from the menu. In rural areas however, English proficiency can drop to near zero, so it depends greatly on where you are visiting. Thai is spoken by more than 65 million people and its roots can be traced to the south of China. The English language is widely understood, spoken, and written in the biggest cities of Thailand as well as in the major tourist destinations. Is English widely spoken? I know Japanese and some Hawaiian but that probably wont help me since its not either of those places. In Thailand, the Thai language is used in government, and as the principal language for education. However, since English is not our first language, many of us are not fluent in English, and do not speak it very well. We use cookies on this site to improve the user experience. For example, if you would like to say thank you in Thai language and you’re a male, you should say Khob Khun Khap. There have been many different influences on … It has 5 lessons and 2.5 hours of solid learning material and will teach you all the basics you need to get started and converse in Thai as a tourist. For instance, there are villages in Thailand where you’ll hear more Chinesethan Thai. The country shares borders with Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Malaysia. In Bangkok, it is possible to meet Thai people who communicate with each other in fluent English. Thais are shy, and they won’t approach you for no particular reason. There are people that are fluent in both English and Thai. Browse by destination. Beyond destination forums. English is widely spoken in all mayor cities, but not so much in the more rural areas. Many Thai people study English in school or independently, and thi… Not surprisingly English is widely spoken in Thailand in the tourist industry. For some, Thai should instead be considered a member of the Lao language family. In his book The Tai-Kadai Languages Anthony Diller claims that Lao scholars he has met are not pleased with Lao being regarded as a Tai language. So, do people speak English in Thailand? I will also share some basic phrases in the Thai language for you to write down. Anything else can usually be covered in the typical tourist way by gestures and pointing!eval(ez_write_tag([[336,280],'howwidelyspoken_com-large-leaderboard-2','ezslot_13',112,'0','0'])); If you want to get a headstart in learning some Thai ahead of your visit then check out this Pimsleur Thai language audiobook, available for free on Amazon with a 30 day Audible trial. How Widely Spoken is English in Malaysia? In Bangkok, where the major business and commercial transactions are held, English is widely spoken, written and understood. Also within Thailand, small ethnic minority groups (including so-called “hill tribes”) account for around sixty languages which are not considered related to Thai. Considering the large body of opinion agreeing that spoken English is poor in Thailand. Despite this, the number of fluent English speakers in Thailand is low, particularly once you get outside the main cities. From a linguistic standpoint, Thai is related closely to the languages o… Nowadays, English is also taught in all public schools. since it is a tonal language for a start – the meaning of a word depends on how it is said and certain inflections or accents. For many Thais, the actual way how they truly learn the English language is by having real-life conversations with foreigners. Summary – There are a limited amount of people in Thailand who can speak very basic English, amounting to a few words. Secondly, this figure only captures the percentage of Thais who can speak some English – the level of fluency does vary and some may be limited to a few basic words. New here and not well informed about Thailand. This article is written by Thailandtravelessentials.com. (https://youtu.be/pbyhjgPOLYQ). Of course, nowadays the access to the internet in Thailand plays a vital role in learning the English language as well. Learn some of these basic Thai phrases, and you will surely see some big and honest smiles towards you. About 372 million natives and about a billion non-native speakers are conversant. Do not expect the Thai market sellers to speak fluent English and especially in the rural areas of Thailand. (For Families, Solo Travelers And Others), Are Trains In Thailand Safe? The spoken variety of Thai is thought to have originated in the region which now comprises the border between Vietnam and China, an idea which provides clues to the origin of the Thai people, an area of continued scholarly debate. Interestingly many Thais would like to have an American or English accent. Calling to a fancy rooftop bar and ordering a table will be no problem as well. Please be aware of those Thai people who will approach you and speak fluent English because it is a sign that you’re about to be scammed. Thailand - Thailand - Tai: The national language of Thailand, known as Standard Thai, is based on the language spoken in central Thailand. English is the second most-spoken language in the world after the Chinese language. Languages in Thailand. In poorer or more rural areas it is not taught at all and so shop owners for example will often simply point to prices or type them into a calculator to show you. So here is the list of random situations you could potentially face in Thailand with no one being around who could speak English with you: I’ll briefly explain each of those situations, so you know what to expect when in Thailand. Fluent English speakers can be harder to come by. Often they will say that those attractions are closed because of the national holiday or for some reason another. When comparing the regions, the highest English proficiency is in central Thailand, but the lowest English proficiency is in the northeast. Thailand has a population size of approximately 66 million, which consists of a number of diverse ethnic groups. Bangkok – The most likely place you will be able to converse in English, though overall proficiency is still low as with all of Thailand. Most hotel staff and street vendors in the central parts will have very basic English, enough to buy things and get by. Thai textbookAccording to linguists, Thai is an “uninflected, primarily monosyllabic, tonal language” in the Tai-Kadai family of languages. The people of Thailand don’t have strong command over English and it becomes difficult to understand them. I ahve always visited Thailand as a slo traveller and even on my first visit had no difficulty geting around, I stll speak only a little Thai but am now quite happy to travel around even in areas where English is hardly spoken at all and have found that smiles and sometimes a bit of mime can work wonders (and lead to some hillarious mistakes sometimes). English remains a foreign language spoken by the educated elite in Thailand, but it has also grown to be a Lingua Franca for International commerce and communication. Thai, or more specifically, Siamese Thai, is the lone official language of Thailand, spoken by over eighty percent of the country’s sixty million people. If you do converse in English, it helps to speak clearly and slowly to make it easier for them to understand you. Thailand is also home to enclaves of foreign language speakers from other parts of the world. Longer term visitors to Thailand should definitely consider enrolling for a Thai Language Visa to learn the language more thoroughly. But they will gladly help you by gesturing with hands while speaking Thai . Because of this reason many guys have started learning Thai for their girlfriend so that they can understand them better. Thanks for any replies Tony Thailand is home to 71 living languages, with the majority of people speaking languages of the Southwestern Tai family, and the national language being Thai. English is the most widely spoken foreign language in Thailand, but you're only likely to find fluent English speakers in Bangkok and tourist areas. Thailand Travel Essentials also participates in affiliate programs with World Nomads, Klook, and other sites. There are a few minor Thai dialects such as Phuan and Lue, spoken by small populations. How Much Is Coffee In Thailand (Unique Coffee Experiences), Can I Take Coral Home From Thailand (A Very Bad Idea), Is Bangkok Safe To Visit? Thai is a tonal language, meaning that a given syllable can have different meanings depending on the inflection with which it is pronounced. The sad part about it is that quite often those are also the English language teachers in Thailand who don’t feel confident about their English skills. English proficiency is low among the local population, and English will only get you by for the very bare day to day essentials. In this article, I will explain why so many Thais don’t speak the English language. As the most often used English language words or phrases in Thai markets, you will hear – ten, twenty, thirty, forty, one hundred, two hundred, and so on. United States Forums; Europe Forums; Canada Forums; Asia Forums; Central America Forums; Africa Forums; Caribbean Forums; Mexico Forums; South Pacific Forums; South America Forums; Middle East Forums; Go to forums home . It will happen near the most popular tourist attractions in Thailand. link to How Widely Spoken is English in Malaysia? Sometimes they don’t try because of fear that others might look down on them. English is also spoken throughout Thailand is actually a mandatory study at school. You might have heard that people from the United States, Europe and other parts of the world move to Thailand to live there and often they earn for a living by teaching the English language. The first requirement is mastery of the subject. The main language spoken in Thailand is Thai and is the official language of the country. Here are some of the more common ones you will need day to day. Different parts of Thailand have different dialects and different ways of speaking. It is spoken by over 20 million people in Thailand, and 60 million people worldwide, including Northern Malaysia, Cambodia, Canada, Myanmar, Laos, the U.S., France and England. English is the most widely spoken foreign language in Thailand, but you're only likely to find fluent English speakers in Bangkok and tourist areas. Thai is the official national language of Thailand. You will often get very broken English at best or sometimes no English. Often taxi drivers, speedboat and long-tail boat drivers, street vendors, and other people who have the chance to communicate with tourists are the ones to learn the English language quicker than others. Using the English language when buying tickets for public transport in Thailand, The use of the English language in Thai markets. Making a basic effort with some everyday phrases goes a long way in Thailand. If a Thai person is fluent in English, and the would fulfil the second requirement, they certainly can teach English. Thai people will speak English in all major tourist attractions. Generally, people in the tourism industry do speak to a certain level of English. With so many tourists visiting Thailand, which helps businesses to develop the English language has to become more popular. Some bigger supermarkets and stores also have labels in English. Tinglish and English in Thailand . Around a quarter of Thai residents speak English. In most cases, no! Tourist Police phone number in Thailand is 1155. Thai language, the standard spoken and literary language of Thailand, belonging to the Tai language family of Southeast Asia. Research shows that English is the official language of 53 countries and is spoken as a first language by approximately 400 million people. With more than 30 million tourists visiting Thailand each year for locals who know the English language it is a real opportunity for them to develop their business. Further, in most hotels, shops and restaurants of major tourist destinations, English and some … And not for the reason that your pronunciation was wrong, but because you tried your best to show some respect and interest in their country. In the rural parts of Thailand, there are fewer close to no locals who speak or even understand … English is the most widely spoken foreign language in Thailand, but you're only likely to find fluent English speakers in Bangkok and tourist areas. To purchase tickets for the metro or the Skytrain is easy because you can change the language to English in the ticket issuing machines. It wouldn’t be correct to mix up the answers to this and previous question together. English in Thailand is more common in such big cities as in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Phuket, but in the countryside, there is hardly anybody who speaks English good enough to have a real conversation even about a basic topic. In Thailand, English is … Pattaya – Some people in the most central and tourist areas will speak at least some basic broken English. Can anyone tell me how widely spoken English is in Thailand. (Must-read Travel Tips Included). You probably won’t be able to hold any meaningful conversations with them in English, although some taxi drivers could be very talkative and fluent in English. But how widely spoken is English there? English proficiency is improving in Bangkok and probably the highest in Thailand, but still not great.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'howwidelyspoken_com-box-4','ezslot_10',110,'0','0'])); Chiang Mai – Popular spot in the north for digital nomads especially. For those students who have the opportunity to learn from a native English speaker, it is another way how to learn the English language. So Khap Khun Ka for reading this article and have a safe trip to Thailand! On the other hand, for many Thais and especially in Bangkok, the ability to speak the English language is a sign of higher social class. First time in Phuket Thailand and i only speak english Watch this Topic. Watching English movies and listening to English songs helps, but often those are Thai youngsters who learn by using technology. In such cities as in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Phuket the importance of the English language is huge for another reason as well – knowing the English language is a sign of higher social class. So I'm moving to Bangkok in a few months and I was wondering if the english speaking population is high or not. As a bonus, many of the road signs as well as some hotel name signs will be in English as well as Thai in the built up areas especially, to help you navigate around a little easier. English in Thailand today is a product of economic vitality rather than a culture imprint from previous colonization. While it might sound silly, it is what it is. For those entrepreneurs in Thailand who don’t want to or they can’t speak English, but they have to deal with tourists they have thought about workarounds to solve communication issues. In Thai … The English language is widely understood, spoken, and written in the biggest cities of Thailand as well as in the major tourist destinations. As this force consists of locals, who speak good English and volunteers from other countries, it makes it an easier communication with a group of people who are willing to help you. 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Basic effort with some everyday phrases goes a long way in Thailand English is in the central region of world... Rooftop bar and ordering a table will be no problem at all or fluent English is somewhat common! Affiliate programs with world nomads, Klook, and the official language of Thailand to do understand... Overall average of around 27 % or just over a quarter keep calm and to ignore them by walking.! Want to speak clearly and slowly to make it an easy process for both yourself and the official of... Parts will have very basic English, maybe except for people working in business... Police first in depth you will likely bump into fellow English speaking tourists, it is the native of... Find that understanding the words is not always simple working in a few words of economic vitality than... Develop the English language possible to meet Thai people do not speak English term visitors to!... In academia, commerce, and you may find that understanding the words not... Issuing machines flock in every year, they certainly can teach English families, Solo Travelers others...

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