At present, many people are planning their trips to Thailand. This is because tourism in Thailand is cheaper than other countries. Moreover, Thailand is well-known all around the world because it has many temples, beautiful sights from top to bottom, and shiny beaches with tall rocky islands. These special views make Thailand famous.
Languages Spoken in Thailand
To get the best out of the trip, you must know the languages spoken in Thailand.
The official language of Thailand is Thai. Therefore, 88% of Thailand’s population speaks Thai. If you don’t know the Thai language then no worries, you can get assistance from professional Thai translation services on your arrival to this beautiful country. The other historical name of this language is Siamese.
The Thai language is famous for its long words. For instance, its capital city, Bangkok, has an official name: Krungthepmahanakhon Amonrattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilokphop Noppharatratchathaniburirom Udomratchaniwetmahasathan Amonphimanawatansathit Sakkathattiyawitsanukamprasit. This name has 167 letters and 40 parts and holds the record for the longest city name in the Guinness Book of Records. It means Big City, Home of the Green Buddha, Super Important Capital with Nine Special Gems, Very Joyful City. The Thai language began writing in 1283, and the main language is still much like the first one. However, both written and spoken Thai have many aspects that can make it hard for learners or tourists to understand. Here is where you can take assistance from professional Thai translation services.
That has its script, but it’s often turned into the Roman alphabet for easier communication with those who speak Western languages. The issue with this is that the Romanized spellings can vary and lead to misunderstandings. A good idea while traveling in Thailand is to ask a Thai speaker to write down your destination, so there’s no confusion when talking to taxi or tuk-tuk drivers.
Different Dialects of the Thai Language
People speak the Thai language in different dialects. To differentiate between these dialects, professional Thai translation can be of great help.
- Central Thai: The main language in Thailand is also called Central Thai. It is used in schools, on TV, and in the media. Learning this dialect is very useful.
- Isaan: This name is for all the Lao language dialects. People in the Northeast speak it.
- Southern Thai: In the South of Thailand, people use the Southern Thai way of speaking.
- Northern Thai: In the North of Thailand, people use this dialect. There are many other ways of speaking in the country, but these are the most common ones that people use.
Chinese is widely spoken in Thailand (8.5%) because there are many Thai Chinese people in the country. They are the biggest group of people who are not originally from Thailand, and they make up 11-14% of the total population.
For about 200 years, Thai Chinese people have become an important part of Thai society. Even the Thai royal family, known as the Chakri Dynasty, was started by King Rama I, who had some Chinese ancestry.
Lots of Thai Chinese people today have ancestors from both Chinese and Thai backgrounds. Many of their descendants are now part of Thai society and only consider themselves as Thai.
The main Chinese language spoken in Thailand is Mandarin, and after that comes Cantonese and Hokkien.
The second most spoken language in Thailand is English at 44%. If you’ve been to places like Bangkok, Phuket, or Koh Samui, you’d know this already. English is used a lot in Thai tourism and business. It’s common to hear English in cities too.
Many Thai students learn English in school from a young age. Younger people tend to be better at speaking English.
The language spoken by Muslims in the south of Thailand is mostly Malay. This is because Islam is the main religion there. The way Malaysians talk in southern Thailand is a mix of regular Malay and local Thai ways of speaking. This creates a special type of language called Jawi Malay or Pattani Malay, depending on where you are in southern Thailand.
A few Thais who have family from Myanmar speak Burmese. Most of these Burmese speakers live close to the border, like in Mae Sot district in Tak province. The type of Burmese spoken there is like the Shan Language, which is used in Myanmar and northern Thailand too. Because of the Civil War in Myanmar after the 2021 takeover, many Burmese people have come to Thailand and nearby countries to find safety.
Minority Languages Spoken in Thailand
Thailand has many different groups of people. Some are Teochew and Yawi communities. Teochew is linked to old Chinese, while Yawi is connected to Malay. Korean is also spoken in Thailand as an immigrant language. If you have to interact with Korean immigrants in Thailand, then you will find English to Korean translation services very useful for your trip.
Moreover, people in Thailand speak 51 native languages. These come from families like Sino-Tibetan, Mon-Khmer, Thai, Hmong-Mien, and Austronesian. The languages people speak in Thailand depend on the native groups across the country. The culture and region are big factors in the languages spoken there.
Which of the languages that are spoken in Thailand are you aware of? Don’t get confused in all these languages. Thai is the official language of Thailand. Therefore, professional Thai translation services are of great use to you on your trip to Thailand.