When starting out learning a foreign language, one of the first words that people often seek out is the word for please. After all, most people like to be polite. And foreign tourists learning Thai often quickly seek out how to say please in Thai because they have heard that the Thai people place a high value on being polite. Thailand guidebooks are filled with warnings about things you better not do with your feet, how you shouldn’t pat a Thai child on the head, and other “don’ts” else you may cause offense.
There are two ways to literally say please in Thai. The word gà-rú-nah (กรุณา) is the formal word for please in the Thai language. The word bpròt (โปรด) is the informal word for please in Thai. However, neither of these Thai words for please is used as commonly as we use the word please in English.
Instead of literally saying please in Thai, the Thai people use other words to indicate politeness. For example, the Thai particle khâ (for women) and khráp (for men) is placed at the end of sentences to indicate politeness. The word chûay (meaning help/aid) is also often added to a sentence to soften a request and make it more polite — such as in Chûay hâi bia dâi măi? meaning “Would you please give me a beer?”
However, since our learn Thai lesson is how to say please in Thai we will stick to the literal Thai word for please in today’s sample sentence below.
ทุกคน ครับ โปรด ช่วยเหลือ ตัวเอง นะ
Thúk-khon khráp. Bpròt chûay-lĕua dtua-ayng ná.
Every-person (polite). Please help yourself (soften).
Everybody, please help yourselves.
Learn Thai Language Tip: Note that there is another variation of the informal word for please in Thai. This is formed by place the Thai word dâi (which means to receive or obtain) before the word bpròt. Thai people will often use dâi-bpròt (ได้โปรด) for please in those instances when there is a sense of urgency or importance surrounding the request.
Now, remember, just because you have learned how to say please in Thai, that does not mean you will always get what you ask for. Check out our post on how to say You Can’t Always Get What You Want in Thai to understand more.