English words that have a similar pronunciation in Thai language
During my trips to Thailand I was surprised due the similarity between some English and Thai words. Although these words are pronounced in similar or the same manner, they have completely different meanings.
If you travel to Thailand and notice that Thai people look at you in a peculiar way, perhaps you pronounced one of these “similar words” while speaking English. Anyway, Thai people are usually very forgiving of your language mistakes and happy of foreigners’ efforts to learn their language.
Here’s a list of 29 English words that mean something else in Thai language:
The word madam is used to address or refer to a woman in a polite or respectful way, however in Thailand ma dam means ‘black dog’ (ma: ‘dog’, dam: ‘black’). So avoid to call Thai women “madam”.
Pronounced Yaang almost like young, this word expresses the future tense, like the English word “will” do.
The word now doesn’t mean present time in Thai language, it has a totally different meaning. It means “cold weather”.
The word yet must be used carefully in Thailand. It means have sexual intercourse, the equivalent of the english word f*ck.
Adding the prefix “ta” the word door “ta door” means literally penis.
Altrogh pronounced slighly different, in Thailand the word May doesn’t mean the fifth month of the year but “no”.
In Thailand yay! is not a exclamation indicating approval, congratulation, or triumph. In Thai language “yay” means ‘grandmother’ (mae yay), ‘grandfather’ (po yay) or old woman.
In English men is the plural form of “man”, an adult person who is male. In Thai language this word means “menstruation”.
A fan is a device with rotating blades that creates a current of air, but in Thai means ‘boyfriend’ or ‘girlfriend’.
The equivalent of the word fun (amusement) in Thai is really funny. It means “tooth or teeth”.
The word pen (an instrument for writing or drawing with ink) has two meanings in Thai language. The first one is “it matters” and the second one brush (Pen fun: ‘tooth brushing’).
in Thai language the word can is not a cylinder that holds food or drinks but a word that means “itchy”. How to say “can” in Thai? just capong.
In English a lung is a organ which is the principal part of the respiratory system and essential in order to breath. In Thai “lung” means something slightly different: “uncle!”
Pronounced pretty similar than the Hebrew baby name Anny, it means literally “this”.
The American baby name Tony (pronounced tonee) means “here” and/or “belly” in Thai language.
In English a queue is a line of people or vehicles awaiting their turn to be attended, in Thai this word means “hungry”. Queue mai? (are you hungry?).
The word up used along with the word nam (water) mean “shower”. Up nam mai? (Did you take a shower?), Up leaw ( I’ve already taken a shower).
In Thai language put is not about to move to or place an object in a particular position, it means “speak” or “talk”.
In Thai language the word pee doesn’t mean what you think. In Thai this word means “older”, i.g: pee sao or pee chai (‘older sister’ and ‘older brother’ respectively).
In English A tooth (plural teeth) is a hard and calcified structure found in the jaws or mouths of vertebrates. This word in Thai language mean “ass” or “gay”.
Two is a number or one more than one, but in Thai this word followed by the word yen (cold) two yen means ‘refrigerator’!
In Thai “do” doesn’t mean to perform an act or duty but “to see” or “look”.
In Thai language “die” has a slightly different meaning than in English. This word mean “allowed” or “acceptable”.
A cat is a small carnivorous felid mammal. In Thai language this word means “bite” ig: yung cat (mosquito bite).
A song is a short musical composition of words and music, however in Thai the word “song” is the ‘number two’ (2).
“Some” or som means orange in Thai language. I.g.: nam som (orange juice).
The word “who?”, yes with question mark (as if you were asking), doesn’t mean ‘what person or persons’ but ears.
The word “what” has a complete different meaning than the English word. ‘Wat’ pronounced “what” means temple in Thai.
The word “dead” in Thai language doesn’t mean ‘no longer alive’ but the sun.
This is a small list of words that I’ve compiled during my eleven years of continued trips to The Land of Smiles. If I find any other word or you know some i can’t remember right now, I will include it to this post for sure.