Country Names And Languages In Thai

October 3, 2019

I enjoyed learning country names and languages in Thai. I am quite lucky to be in the situation of being a dual national, having citizenship of two countries. Beyond just the obvious benefits that provide, it makes me seem much more interesting. When I am meeting someone new, they usually ask where I am from. I tell them that I am actually from two places, which I guess is not the usual answer they receive to that question in Thailand.

Knowing the name of your own nationality and others in Thai can be useful in many different situations. There is the case of telling someone of your nationality of course, but other situations like explaining what types of cuisine you like or what language you can speak will also become possible. That is why we will be covering some nationalities in Thai today.

Saying The Nationality Vs Country Name In Thai

In Thai, to say the name of a country you are meant to use the word ‘bpra teht’ (ประเทศ) in front of the country name. This actually translates to nation or country, so you would essentially be saying country French or country Chinese for France and China respectively. However, in everyday informal speech, you can drop this first part and just say the name of the country by itself without any meaning being lost.

Now, if you want to say that you are a national of a country, you simply take the word for person, which is ‘kon’ (คน) and put it in front of the country name instead. So to say you are French, you would use the phrase ‘pom/chan bpen kon fa rang seht’ (ฉันเป็นคนฝรั่งเศส). This is of course slightly different than saying you are from somewhere, showing that you were born there or grew up there for most of your life.

This isn’t always the case, however. Sometimes the word for the nationals is different from the country name. Germany, for example, is called ‘yeh ra ma nii’ (เยอรมนี), while the nationals are referred to as ‘yeh ra man’ (เยอรมัน).

Germany (bpra teht yeh ra ma nii - ประเทศเยอรมนี)
German (yeh ra man - เยอรมัน)

How To Talk About Languages

For languages, there is a similar system. It involves placing the word for language in Thai ‘paasaa’ (ภาษา) in front of the word. German, for example, would be ‘paasaa yeh ran man’ (ภาษาเยอรมัน).

I am sure you are familiar with the phrase for asking whether someone speaks a certain language, as it is one of the top travel phrases you should know.

You would ask ‘khun puut paasaa ang grit dai mai?’ (คุณพูดภาษาอังกฤษได้ไหม), which means ‘do you speak English?’. However, if you want to say what language you can speak, you say ‘chan puut paasaa ang grit’ (ฉันพูดภาษาอังกฤษ).

Do you speak English?
คุณพูดภาษาอังกฤษได้ไหม
khun puut paasaa ang grit dai mai?
I speak English.
ฉันพูดภาษาอังกฤษ
chan puut paasaa ang grit

Vocabulary For Countries

England English People English Language
(bpra teht) ang grit kon ang grit paasaa ang grit
(ประเทศ) อังกฤษ คนอังกฤษ ภาษาอังกฤษ
France French People French Language
bpra teht fa rang seht kon fa rang seht paasaa fa rang seht
(ประเทศ)ฝรั่งเศส คนฝรั่งเศส ภาษาฝรั่งเศส
Germany German People German Language
bpra teht yeh ra ma nii kon yeh ra man paasaa yeh ra man
(ประเทศ)เยอรมนี คนเยอรมัน ภาษาเยอรมัน
Netherlands Dutch People Dutch Language
bpra teht dat kon dat paasaa dat
(ประเทศ)ดัตช์ คนดัตช์ ภาษาดัตช์
Spain Spanish People Spanish Language
bpra teht sa phaehn kon sa phaehn paasaa sa phaehn
(ประเทศ)สเปน คนสเปน ภาษาสเปน
China Chinese People Chinese Language
bpra teht jiin kon jiin paasaa jiin
(ประเทศ)จีน คนจีน ภาษาจีน
Japan Japanese People Japanese Language
bpra teht yii bpun kon yii bpun paasaa yii bpun
(ประเทศ)ญี่ปุ่น คนญี่ปุ่น ภาษาญี่ปุ่น
Korea Korean People Korean Language
bpra teht kao lii kon kao lii paasaa kao lii
(ประเทศ)เกาหลี คนเกาหลี ภาษาเกาหลี
Thailand Thai People Thai Language
bpra teht thai kon thai paasaa thai
(ประเทศ)ไทย คนไทย ภาษาไทย
Vietnam Vietnamese People Vietnamese Language
bpra teht wiat nam kon wiat nam paasaa wiat nam
(ประเทศ)เวียตนาม คนเวียดนาม ภาษาเวียตนาม

What Is Your Country Called In Thai?

Since everyone comes from somewhere, this subject makes for a great conversation starter. Likewise, it can be great for talking about what sort of food you like and any other situations you may find yourself needing to mention countries. Hopefully you have learned from this how to differentiate between the country name and the nationality and some new vocabulary. You will eventually have the confidence to use these when making introductions, if you haven’t already.

Looking to find more vocabulary for Thai? Try the Ling Thai app to get access to many different words and phrases with different tests to help you remember them effectively. 

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