The three most popular Thai beer brands that you will come across in Thailand are: Chang, Singha, and Leo. The latter is rarely mispronounced, since Leo sounds just like it does in the West. However, the first two Thai beer brands are regularly pronounced incorrectly — even among long term expats in Thailand (which is always somewhat surprising).
If you are pronouncing Chang beer as though it rhymes with the English word bang, then you’ve got it wrong. If you are pronouncing Singha beer as though it has two syllables, you’ve got that Thai beer brand wrong. And for Federbrau, let’s just say that we are sure you are pronouncing it wrong too. In addition, if you are ordering any brand of Thai beer by putting the word beer after the brand name (e.g. I’d like a Chang beer), then you’ve also got that wrong — as far as Thai language is concerned.
The Thai beer brand Chang has a soft “ah” sound in the middle, not a hard “ae” sound. The Thai beer brand Singha is only one syllable and sounds just like the English word sing. The Thai pilsner beer Federbrau is pronounced as “feh-duh-boy”. Lastly, when ordering any Thai beer brands, the word beer should be put before the brand name, not after it.
Of course, when at a Sakon Nakhon restaurant you can still get the Thai beer you want even if you insist on mispronouncing the Thai beer brands or misplacing the word beer when ordering. But ordering beer properly when in a foreign country is something that every gentleman and lady should master.
So, let’s start today’s learn Thai language lesson and teach you how to order beer in Thailand like a local would.
ขอ เบียร์ ครับ เบียร์ ช้าง สอง ขวด และ เบียร์ สิงห์ ขวด หนึ่ง นะ
Khăw bia khráp. Bia cháhng săwng khùat láe bia sĭng khùat nèung ná.
Request beer (polite). Beer Chang two bottles and beer Singha bottle one (soften).
We’d like some beer please. Two bottles of Chang and a bottle of Singha.
Learn Thai Language Tip: You’ll notice in today’s online Thai language lesson that we used the number two before the word bottles and the word one after the word bottle. Numbers always come before the object/classifier in Thai, except in the instance of number one, which can be put either before or after the object/classifier that it is counting.
Beer drinkers in Thailand should note that Thai beer brands are generally stronger than many Western beers and are closer to the malt liquor category. To learn which one is the strongest, check out our post: What is the strongest beer in Thailand?