Curious What Are The Dialects Of Thai? Look At 4 Major Dialects Here

What Are The Dialects Of Thai-ling-app-chaophraya river

Traveling across the regions in Thailand and wondering what are the dialects of Thai? Read on to learn the four most widely spoken varieties in terms of vocabulary!

As you explore different parts of Thailand, you may be curious about the various Thai dialects spoken there. Interestingly, there are four regions in Thailand where Thai people use vastly distinct vocabularies, down to the word like “speak”: standard Thai พูด (pûut), Northern Thai อู้ (ûu), Northeastern Thai เว้า (wáao), and Southern Thai แหลง (lɛ̌ɛng) all use a distinct lexicon.

See? How unbelievable that they are distinct terms with no shared consonants or vowels!

So, if you’re curious, “what are the dialects of Thai?” then keep reading to gather knowledge that will come in handy on your upcoming trip!


What Are The Dialects Of Thai?

Does the Tai language family ring any bells with you?

It’s a language belonging to the Kra-Dai group. Standard Thai (ภาษาไทย, paa sǎa tai) of Thailand, the Shan language of Myanmar, Lao or Laotian of Laos, and Zhuang of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in southwestern China are all Tai languages.

The languages of neighboring nations and regions can affect the Thai language, sometimes causing significant changes. Here we’ve listed the four major regional dialects:

  1. Standard Thai language (official language)
  2. Northern Thai Dialect
  3. Northeastern Thai Dialect (Isan)
  4. Southern Thai Dialect

Although there are four primary dialects in Thailand, there are several minor ones that are interesting to know, such as Thai Puan, Phu Thai, Thai Malay language, Thai Korat, Thai Loei, and many more.

Let’s dive into this article and learn the four major dialects spoken in Thailand.

What Are The Dialects Of Thai-bangkok

1. Standard Thai – ภาษากลาง (Paa Sǎa Glaang)

Let’s start with the national language, Thailand’s most spoken language. You can also playfully call it the Bangkok dialect. It’s called the central Thai language, widely used in provinces like Lopburi, Ayutthaya, and Chonburi (Pattaya), for example. If you’re learning Thai, you’ll encounter this kind of Thai official language in textbooks, government documents, TV broadcasts, social media, and general conversations with locals.

In other dialects, they only use distinct vocabulary on some familiar terms, but they all use the same Thai alphabet, so if you’re intrigued but worried about relearning the alphabet, you don’t have to!

In light of this, it would be fun to compare standard Thai with regional varieties of the language word for word. So, let’s look at examples of Thai words in different dialects!

What Are The Dialects Of Thai-rice field

2. Northern Thai Dialect – ภาษาเหนือ (Paa Sǎa Nʉ̌a)

Are you familiar with world-famous destinations like Chiang Mai, which attract millions of tourists annually? This major city, along with many others like Chiang Rai, Mae Hong Son, Prae, and many more, speak the northern Thai tongue.

Let’s look at examples of Northern Thai vocabulary below!

EnglishNorthern ThaiTranscriptionPronunciationStandard ThaiTranscriptionPronunciation
Iเปิ้นBpə̂ən[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]เปิ้น[/Speechword]ฉันChǎn[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]ฉัน[/Speechword]
Youตั๋วDtǔa[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]ตั๋ว[/Speechword]เธอTəə[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]เธอ[/Speechword]
He (3rd person)เปิ้นBpə̂ən[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]เปิ้น[/Speechword]เขาKǎo[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]อ[/Speechword]
Theyหมู่เขาMùu kǎo[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]หมู่เขา[/Speechword]พวกเขาPûak kǎo[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]พวกเขา[/Speechword]
Weหมู่เฮาMùu hao[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]หมู่เฮา[/Speechword]พวกเราPûak rao[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]พวกเรา[/Speechword]
Thai particle “na”เน้อNə́ə[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]เน้อ[/Speechword]นะ[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]นะ[/Speechword]
Manป้อจายBpɔ̂ɔ jaai[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]ป้อจาย[/Speechword]ผู้ชายPûu chaai[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]ผู้ชาย[/Speechword]
Womanแม่ญิงMɛ̂ɛ ying[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]แม่ญิง[/Speechword]ผู้หญิงPûu yǐng[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]ผู้หญิง[/Speechword]
Childrenละอ่อนLá ɔ̀ɔn[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]ละอ่อน[/Speechword]เด็กDèk[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]เด็ก[/Speechword]
Brother (or males who are older)อ้ายâai[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]อ้าย[/Speechword]พี่ชายPîi chaai[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]พี่ชาย[/Speechword]
Sister (or females who are older)ปี้Bpîi[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]ปี้[/Speechword]พี่สาวPîi sǎao[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]พี่สาว[/Speechword]
Speakอู้ûu[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]อู้[/Speechword]พูดPûut[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]พูด[/Speechword]
Lookผ่อPɔ̀ɔ[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]ผ่อ[/Speechword]ดูDuu[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]ดู[/Speechword]
Doยะ[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]ยะ[/Speechword]ทำTam[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]ทำ[/Speechword]
SeeหันHǎn[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]หัน[/Speechword]เห็นHěn[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]เห็น[/Speechword]
Giveหื้อHʉ̂ʉ[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]หื้อ[/Speechword]ให้Hâi[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]ให้[/Speechword]
Thinkกึ๊ดGʉ́t[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]กึ๊ด[/Speechword]คิดKít[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]คิด[/Speechword]
LoveฮักHák[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]ฮัก[/Speechword]รักRák[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]รัก[/Speechword]
Stupidง่าวNgâao[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]ง่าว[/Speechword]โง่Ngôo[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]โง่[/Speechword]
Lieขี้จุ๊Kîi jú[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]ขี้จุ๊[/Speechword]โกหกGoo hòk[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]โกหก[/Speechword]
AngryโขดKòot[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]โขด[/Speechword]โกรธGròot[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]โกรธ[/Speechword]
Upsetใจ๋ขึ้นJǎi kʉ̂n[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]ใจ๋ขึ้น[/Speechword]อารมณ์เสียAa rom sǐa[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]อารมณ์เสีย[/Speechword]
DeliciousลำLam[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]ลำ[/Speechword]อร่อยà rɔ̂ɔi[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]อร่อย[/Speechword]
HouseเฮือนHʉan[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]เฮือน[/Speechword]บ้านBâan[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]บ้าน[/Speechword]
SchoolโฮงเฮียนHoong hian[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]โฮงเฮียน[/Speechword]โรงเรียนRoong rian[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]โรงเรียน[/Speechword]
HospitalโฮงบาลHoong baan[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]โฮงบาล[/Speechword]โรงพยาบาลRoong pá yaa baan[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]โรงพยาบาล[/Speechword]
HowจะไดJà dai[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]จะได[/Speechword]อย่างไรYâang rai[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]อย่างไร[/Speechword]
Whatอะหยังà yǎng[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]อะหยัง[/Speechword]อะไรà rai[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]อะไร[/Speechword]
What Are The Dialects Of Thai-Isaan

3. Northeastern Thai Dialect – ภาษาอีสาน (Paa Sǎa Ii Sǎan)

Tourists frequently use Thailand as a jumping-off point to explore nearby countries like Laos. In this section, you’ll learn some Northeastern Thai or the Isaan dialect, a language that shares many similarities with the Lao language but also has its unique nuances.

Let’s look at examples of Northeastern Thai vocabulary below!

EnglishNortheastern ThaiTranscriptionPronunciationStandard ThaiTranscriptionPronunciation
Iข่อยKɔ̀ɔi[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]ข่อย[/Speechword]ฉันChǎn[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]ฉัน[/Speechword]
Youเจ้าJâo[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]เจ้า[/Speechword]คุณKun[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]คุณ[/Speechword]
WeเฮาHao[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]เฮา[/Speechword]พวกเราPûak rao[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]พวกเรา[/Speechword]
Brother (or call males who are older)อ้ายâai[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]อ้าย[/Speechword]พี่ชายPîi chaai[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]พี่ชาย[/Speechword]
Thai particle “na”เด้อDə̂ə[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]เด้อ[/Speechword]นะ[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]นะ[/Speechword]
Breakfastข้าวแลงKâao lɛɛng[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]ข้าวแลง[/Speechword]ข้าวเช้าKâao cháao[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]ข้าวเช้า[/Speechword]
Lunchข้าวงายKâao ngaai[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]ข้าวงาย[/Speechword]ข้าวกลางวันKâao glaang wan[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]ข้าวกลางวัน[/Speechword]
Dinnerข้าวสวยKâao sǔai[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]ข้าวสวย[/Speechword]ข้าวเย็นKâao yen[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]ข้าวเย็น[/Speechword]
Doเฮ็ดHét[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]เฮ็ด[/Speechword]ทำTam[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]ทำ[/Speechword]
Lookเบิ่งBə̀əng[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]เบิ่ง[/Speechword]ดูDuu[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]ดู[/Speechword]
Speakเว้าWáo[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]เว้า[/Speechword]พูดPûut[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]พูด[/Speechword]
MissคึดฮอดKʉ́t hɔ̂ɔt[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]คึดฮอด[/Speechword]คิดถึงKít tʉ̌ng[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]คิดถึง[/Speechword]
LikeมักMák[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]มัก[/Speechword]ชอบChɔ̂ɔp[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]ชอบ[/Speechword]
StupidปึกBpʉ̀k[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]ปึก[/Speechword]โง่Ngôo[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]โง่[/Speechword]
HateซังSang[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]ซัง[/Speechword]เกลียดGlìat[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]เกลียด[/Speechword]
Rushฟ้าวFáao[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]ฟ้าว[/Speechword]รีบRîip[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]รีบ[/Speechword]
AngryสูนSǔun[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]สูน[/Speechword]โกรธGròot[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]โกรธ[/Speechword]
Deliciousแซ่บSɛ̂ɛp[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]แซ่บ[/Speechword]อร่อยà rɔ̂ɔi[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]อร่อย[/Speechword]
Funม่วนMûan[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]ม่วน[/Speechword]สนุกSà núk[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]สนุก[/Speechword]
Scaredย่านYâan[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]ย่าน[/Speechword]กลัวGlua[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]กลัว[/Speechword]
Toothแข่วKɛ̀ɛo[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]แข่ว[/Speechword]ฟันFan[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]ฟัน[/Speechword]
HouseเฮือนHʉan[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]เฮือน[/Speechword]บ้านBâan[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]บ้าน[/Speechword]
Howจังได๋Jang dǎi[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]จังได๋[/Speechword]อย่างไรYâang rai[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]อย่างไร[/Speechword]
WhatอีหยังLi yǎng[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]อีหยัง[/Speechword]อะไรà rai[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]อะไร[/Speechword]
What Are The Dialects Of Thai-beautiful beach

4. Southern Thai Dialect – ภาษาใต้ (Paa Sǎa Dtâai)

Is a trip to Phuket’s five-star hotels and Krabi’s white sandy beaches in your near future?

At this point, we’ve reached the region of Thailand most frequently visited by tourists and the home of the Southern Thai language. Even for native Thai speakers, keeping up with the rapid speech of the natives in this dialect would be a big challenge.

Let’s look at examples of Southern Thai vocabulary below!

EnglishSouthern ThaiTranscriptionPronunciationStandard ThaiTranscriptionPronunciation
Theyโบ๋สูBǒo sǔu[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]โบ๋สู[/Speechword]พวกเขาPûak kǎo[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]พวกเขา[/Speechword]
Weโบ๋เราBǒo rao[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]โบ๋เรา[/Speechword]พวกเราPûak rao[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]พวกเรา[/Speechword]
SpeakแหลงLɛ̌ɛng[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]แหลง[/Speechword]พูดPûut[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]พูด[/Speechword]
Take/BringพาPaa[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]พา[/Speechword]นำมา/พาไป
(In Standard Thai, people use the verb พา (paa) with the object, not human. On the other hand, the Thai Southern people use the word พา (paa) with both.)
Nam maa/paa bpai[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]นำมา[/Speechword]
[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]พาไป[/Speechword]
Lieขี้หกKîi hòk[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]ขี้หก[/Speechword]โกหกGoo hòk[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]โกหก[/Speechword]
AngryหวิบWìp[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]หวิบ[/Speechword]โกรธGròot[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]โกรธ[/Speechword]
DeliciousหรอยRɔ̌ɔi[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]หรอย[/Speechword]อร่อยà rɔ̂ɔi[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]อร่อย[/Speechword]
HouseเรินRəən[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]เริน[/Speechword]บ้านBâan[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]บ้าน[/Speechword]
Neverไม่หอนMâi hɔ̌ɔn[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]ไม่หอน[/Speechword]ไม่เคย Mâi kəəi[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]ไม่เคย [/Speechword]
WhenตอใดDtɔɔ dai[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]ตอใด[/Speechword]เมื่อไหร่Mʉ̂a rài[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]เมื่อไหร่[/Speechword]

How are you?
พันพรือPan prʉʉ[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]พันพรือ[/Speechword]เป็นอย่างไรBpen yâang rai[Speechword voice=”Thai Female” isinline]เป็นอย่างไร[/Speechword]


So, Which Dialects Do You Like The Most?

Something is intriguing about the fact that some common words in Thai are completely distinct from what people in Thailand speak in different parts of the country.

There are a lot of terms to learn if you want to sound like a native Thai speaker, but don’t worry; most Thais can speak “standard Thai,” the official language in the country’s central region. But we swear that if you travel to those local areas and use some of these words we shared, the locals will be so impressed!

Do you wish you knew more Thai words? Then, we’ve got the top app for you!

Learn Thai With Ling App


Learn Thai With The Ling App

If you’re working on learning Thai and want access to a massive library of words that you can study and memorize, the Ling app is your best bet. So, if you decide to use Ling as your best resource throughout your time spent learning Thai, you will:

  • Master the Thai language and use it fluently in all of your conversations.
  • Playfully recall more vocabulary with a game-like memory aid.
  • Explore more grammatical topics to become a sentence-building pro.
  • Improve your listening and pronouncing abilities by listening to the natural voice of a native speaker.

Most Thai learners chose the Ling app to help them succeed, so why not join them? Download the Ling app from Google Play Store and Apple App Store now, and prepare to be fluent in Thai soon!

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