If you are planning to move to Thailand soon and live there for the long-term, then it is strongly recommended that you learn to speak Thai. Or better yet, learn to read and write Thai as well because that is their official and national language. For Westerners, Thai can be a really difficult language to learn because it’s a tonal language that we are not used to. This is the reason why a lot of English-speaking Westerners that move to Thailand don’t bother to learn the language. In fact, one of the biggest phenomena in Thailand is that the majority of foreigners that live here are not Thai language proficient.
Foreigners who decide to not learn Thai have a lot of different excuses such as the tones are so difficult, Thai people speak so fast, and life in Thailand is fun even if you don’t speak Thai. Even though these reasons can be true, it is still better to learn the language if you want to live well in that country. That’s why today, we are going to give you 10 reasons why you should learn the Thai language.
1. To Understand Thai People and The Culture Better
Learning to speak Thai can help you better understand their culture since its different from back home. You will be able to learn the way they talk to each other, the colloquialisms they use, and the way people are addressed. And learning basic Thai phrases can also help you understand the basic aspects of their culture. When you learn to speak Thai, you will understand minor things that make a big difference and it will be easier for you to integrate into a community.
2. To Make Friends More Easily
This is a wonderful reason to learn Thai. Because in Thailand, not many people can speak English, especially outside the main cities. It means that if you can’t speak any Thai, you will have a limited circle of friends only. You will only be able to hang out with other expats or with a few Thai people who can speak English. And if you will be living in a more remote Thai town or village, it’s possible that you won’t have any friends at all because no-one may be able to speak English.Therefore, if you want to earn a lot of friends when you move to Thailand, you should learn their language.
3. To Know What Thai People Are Saying About You
We sometimes feel paranoid when people are speaking foreign around us because it may feel like they are talking about us but we don’t really have any idea what they are saying. Well, this will be the case when you live in Thailand and you don’t know how to speak their language. The only remedy to avoid this situation is to learn Thai. That way, you will be able to know what people around you are talking about and at the same time, it will also help you get to understand Thai people a little better.
4. To Gain Respect
Since not all foreigners that live in Thailand make the effort to learn Thai, you will definitely stand out if you do. Thai people will give you a huge amount of respect and will also make much more effort to get to know you as well and to involve you in their lives. In fact, you can impress them just by speaking a little Thai and they will be willing to help you out with all sorts of things.
5. To Easily Find a Job
There are a lot of people who come to Thailand to find a job. However, finding a job here can be difficult if you do not know how to speak the language unless you plan on teaching English. But if you want to find other jobs, then you have to learn at least a little Thai. Also, the effort you’ve made in learning Thai will go down well with prospective employers.
6. To Easily Find a Girlfriend or Boyfriend
There is probably less than 10 percent of Thai people who can speak English. Meaning, out of every ten cure Thai girls or boys that you meet, you won’t be able to communicate at all with nine of them. And the other one who knows how to speak English might not be able to speak a reasonable level of English as well which is kind of sad. Therefore, if you are also aiming to find a partner when you live in Thailand, it’s important that you learn to speak Thai.
7. To Find Your Way Around Easily
Majority of the signs you will see in Thailand are written in Thai and are not translated in English. Therefore, if you know how to read, write, and speak Thai, you will be able to find your way around easier. Aside from that, you can also ask people for directions effortlessly if ever you get lost.
8. To Avoid Being Scammed
There are some local Thais that approach foreigners who don’t know how to speak Thai. They may offer a service that may cost higher than the original price. But if you answer these people in Thai, they will think or assume that you know their game and go over to the next guy instead.
9. To Bargain Easier
Thailand is a popular place to shop, especially in Bangkok because their items are really cheap. However, Thai people think that they can get the most money out of foreigners and tourists and they would think that you don’t know about the fair prices of goods and services. But if you speak Thai, the locals will be able to know that you have spent a significant amount of time in Thailand and that you’re experienced enough to not accept an unreasonable price offer.
10. To Have More Fun
Learning the Thai language is really fun. When you take a Thai language course here, you will be able to meet lots of people who are also learning like you. You will be able to make friends with many Thai people that are willing to help you with your Thai in exchange for you helping them with their English.
These are some of the best reasons we can give on why you should learn the Thai language. Before you move to Thailand and enroll in a Thai language class, you can start learning by reading a Thai language book or by watching Thai movies in your home country. It may be challenging, but once you get the hang of it, you will be able to live in Thailand like a local. If you want to know more about living in Thailand, you can also check out our post about Understanding the Thai Culture.