Almost 100% of people in Thailand speak Thai, though many, if not most, also speak one any number of regional dialects or local languages like Isan, Nyaw, Galung, Phuan, Shan, Karen, Saek or Song. “Standard Thai,” also known as “Central Thai” or “Siamese,” is the
official version. It’s closely related to Lao, has a script that evolved from Khmer, and includes words from Pali, the classical language of Theravada Buddhism, and Sanskrit, the ancient language of Indian Hinduism.

Thai is a “tonal monosyllabic” language. According to, in Thai “the same word can be said in five different ways – normal or middle tone, high, low, rising and falling. In Thai the meaning of single syllable may be alter in five different tones.” Oy.

We’re going to mispronounce hello and goodbye in Thai:
Hello: Sawatdi
goodbye: Laagan

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