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Thailand is a Southeast Asian country known for its tropical beaches, opulent royal palaces, ancient ruins and ornate temples displaying figures of Buddha. Discover what Thailand has to offer with onestopthai!

Languages of Thailand – Thai Dialects, Phrases, and Meanings

Languages of Thailand – Thai Dialects, Phrases, and Meanings

Thai, more specifically Siamese Thai, is the official language of Thailand and is spoken by more than eighty percent of the country’s more than seventy million people. The official language of Thailand, which borders neighboring Laos, is closely related to the official language of Laos, also known as Lao, which is also spoken in Myanmar. That is also said to have connections with numerous languages ​​spoken in small regions of northern Vietnam and southern China. That is used in all office work, media, and schools in Thailand. The language standard is based on the Bangkok dialect and is written in the Thai alphabet, derived from the Khmer script. Thailand is home to 71 languages and 62 officially recognized national languages.

Regional Dialects of Thai Language

There are four main regional dialects of the Thai language. There is Southern Thai, which, as the name suggests, is spoken in the country’s south. Yuan, better known as Northern Thai, is expressed in the northern part of the country. Similarly, there is Northeast Thai, said in the Northeast region, and Siamese Thai, the national and most common language of all, used primarily in schools, media, and for entertainment purposes, and is widely spoken and understood by the population of the country. In addition to the four significant dialects, there are minor dialects spoken by a minimal but notable population size.

Some of them are mentioned below:

Royal Thai: Royal Thai is used to addressing members of the royal family of Thailand and is mainly influenced by the Khmer language. 

Religious Thai: Monks and other religious people, such as Religious leaders, use religious Thai when talking about Buddhism. 

Formal Thai: Formal Thai is used in official forms and letters. The country’s media and newspapers mainly use it. The dialect is also known as elegant Thai.

Rhetorical Thai: Rhetorical Thai is seen in public speeches. 

Standard Thai: Common Thai, also known as Street Thai, is the informal dialect used in casual conversations between friends and family and conversations with tourists.

Other Languages in Thailand

Although Thai is the most widely spoken language in Thailand, it is not the only language spoken by the people of Thailand. There are several minority languages ​​that you will encounter when visiting this beautiful Southeast Asian nation. The Isan dialect of Laos is the most widely spoken minority language in the northeastern region of Thailand. Yawi, a dialect of the Malay language, is the first and foremost language spoken by Malay Muslims living in the southernmost part of Thailand. A significant ethnic Chinese population also resides in Thailand. 

As a result, various Chinese languages ​​are spoken throughout the country. Varieties such as Cantonese, Mandarin, and Teochew, among which Teochew is the most widespread Chinese dialect in Thailand. There are also tribal languages ​​within the borders of Thailand, most of which belong to the Khmer or Mon-Khmer family.

English in Thailand

English is widely spoken in cities, especially in Bangkok. English is also a compulsory language taught in schools and universities, so the number of English speakers continues to rise sharply. The role of English in Thailand is growing thanks to the influx. Of tourists who come every year. With the help of new technologies, especially the Internet, business, education, and science require a high English language proficiency level.

Tips For Tourists

You don’t need to be fluent in Thai to visit Thailand, but it always helps when you converse with locals who need to speak English. The person or tuk-tuk driver when buying train or bus tickets, it is advisable to write down the instructions on a piece of paper and hand them over. You can ask other people on the street for help or copy sentences from a Thai dictionary.

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