Language Corner (3)

Welcome to the third edition of Language Corner, your monthly guide to speaking Thai, brought to you by Insight English Cha-Am and

Food plays an important part in Thai culture and this is reflected in the way Thai’s use questions about food in small talk.  There are two words for eat, the formal “tarn” and the informal “kin”.  You are most likely going to hear “kin” used in general everyday conversation but you should use “tarn” to show respect and general politeness.

“Kin khow rue yang?” translated literally as “Eat rice yet?” is used in Thai often in place of “How are you?”  The correct response to this is “Kin laew” or “Yang mai kin” which mean “Eat already” and “Not yet eat” respectively.


Practice the following dialogue between Parichat and David:

Parichat: Sa-was-dee kha khun David. Tarn khow rue yang ka? (Hello. Have you eaten yet?)
David: Tarn laew khap. (Yes already.)
Parichat: Tarn a-rai kha? (What did you eat?)
David: Phad ga-pow gai khap. (Stir-fried chicken with basil leaves.)
Parichat: A-roi mai kha? (Was it delicious?)
David: A-roi mak khap. (Very delicious.)

Tarn = Eat
Khow = Rice
Rue = Or
Yang = Not yet
Laew = Already
Gai = Chicken
Ga-pow = Basil leaves
A-roi = Delicious/tasty
Mak = Very

Language Corner is brought to you by Insight English Cha-am.

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