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Talking Thai to Sakon Nakhon Locals

In Sakon Nakhon there are many Thais who like to talk with foreigners, especially students attending Sakon Nakhon Rajabhat University. But they are a bit nervous about speaking English. They might even come over and ask if they can talk to you. Rather than speaking with your new Thai friend immediately in English, you can put them at ease by answering them back with a little Thai.

The Thai phrase for “I’m not arrogant” is a common one and a phrase that will not only put the Thai person at ease but bring a smile to their face, as they realize you have taken the time to learn a little more Thai language than the obligatory “Sawat dee khrap!” and “Mai bpen rai” of Thailand guidebooks.

So, let’s get started with our learn Thai language lesson for how to say that your not arrogant in Thai while beginning a friendly conversation in Sakon Nakhon.

Arrogant – yìng – ยิ่ง

คุย กัน ได้ ผม ไม่ หยิ่ง นะ ครับ

Khui gan dâi. Phŏm mâi yìng ná khráp.

Speak together can. I not arrogant (soften) (polite).

Sure, we can talk. I’m not arrogant.


Thai Culture Tip: One thing to remember when talking with Thais in English is not to correct their English. You might think you are doing them a favor by teaching them how to speak correctly. But what you are really doing is making them feel embarrassed and lose face — making it more unlikely that they’ll continue to approach foreigners and try to speak English.

If you want to really help the Thai who has approached you, simply speak a little slower than you usually do, clearly pronounce your words, and try to avoid any slang or colloquialisms. You want to help build their confidence in speaking English not fine tune their grammar and pronunciation skills.

David Alan