Imagine you are visiting the house of a Thai friend. You are hanging out in their living room and talking but then you need to use the toilet. Then you realize you don’t know how to ask where the toilet is in Thai, and your friend doesn’t speak English particularly well. I found myself in this awkward situation before and so as soon as I got home that evening, I started studying the names for rooms in Thai. To make sure that this doesn’t happen to you, we will be looking at the names of rooms in Thai.
Before looking at the rooms of a house in Thai, we need to know what a house is called. A house is known as ‘baan’ (บ้าน) in Thai. You will likely have seen this word used in names of hotels as they try to make the place feel homely. If you live in an apartment, this is known as ‘hong choot’ (ห้องชุด). Individual rooms are known as ‘hong’ (ห้อง). You will see soon how these are used in the name of the rooms, much like in English. However, in Thai, it goes first.
Starting with the living room, this is called ‘hong nang len’ (ห้องนั่งเล่น) in Thai. This one has an interesting translation when you break down the meaning of each word individually. For example, ‘nang’ (นั่ง) means ‘to sit’, while ‘len’ (เล่น) means to have fun or enjoyment. When you think of what a living room is used for, it makes a lot of sense.
The dining room has a very literal name when translated into Thai. It is called ‘hong rab phra than ahaan’ (ห้องรับประทานอาหาร), which literally translates to ‘room to eat food’. While it is pretty long, the literal name makes it a bit easier to recall. Also, I think the word flows quite nicely, but maybe that is just me.
The word for bedroom is also quite literal when translated. To say bedroom in Thai, you use ‘hong non’ (ห้องนอน). In English, this would be ‘room sleep’ which arguably makes more sense than the bedroom.
Finally, we have a kitchen, which not every apartment in Thailand has due to the many affordable food stalls. Kitchens are called ‘hong krua’ (ห้องครัว) in Thai.
This one is important whether you are visiting a friend’s house or at a restaurant. To start off, the name for the toilet or bathroom is ‘hong nam’ (ห้องน้ำ). This literally translates to room water, which I thought was interesting. The actual toilet itself is referred to as a ‘chack khrok’ (ชักโครก). In Thailand, you can find both squat style toilets and Western-style ones.
Then, to ask where the toilet is, you would say ‘hong nam yoo tee nai?’ (ห้องน้ำอยู่ ที่ไหน). You should probably add the polite particle at the end to make it a bit nicer too. They should then point you in the direction of the toilet and you can be on your way.
Naming rooms of the house in Thai may not seem like an exciting topic, but it is interesting to see how the Thai words describe the room. Like you can see with the living room, it describes what it is used for. It is always good to increase your vocabulary with a range of topics that you may face often. Keep up the learning then you will be able to show your friends around your house in Thai. Oh, and ask where the toilet is.
For more topics and vocabulary, try the Ling Thai app to practice your skills. It is a great way to improve your learning in a more fun and engaging way.