Thai Phrases – Saying No! Rss feed Twitter button Facebook button

Knowing how to say no in Thai sure is handy. It's probably a good idea to learn these phrases by heart before traveling to any touristy place. There, you will have lots of opportunities to practice and perfect your skills.

Vendors are unavoidable in most tourist hangouts, especially on popular beaches in Phuket and Koh Samui. Here are two short phrases you can use to say no when approached by a hawker.

Mai Ao Kha/Krap

Mai ao kha/krap = I'm not taking it or I'm not interested.

Mai rhymes with "hi". Pronounce the word with a short sound. The meaning of mai is no or not.

Ao rhymes with "how". The word means to take.

In order to be polite in Thai, you have to use the right words and speak with a soft voice.

For female speakers, add the word kha, which rhymes with "pa" in "papa", at the end of the phrase.

Similarly, male speakers substitute the word kha with krap, which rhymes with "cup". In general, Thais don't articulate the "r" sound clearly. As a result, krap is usually pronounced kap.

Kha and krap don't have any meaning but they make whatever you say more polite and friendly.

If a hawker approaches you, and you don't want his products or services, just say mai ao kha/krap.

Be sympathetic when using these phrases. If you look really serious, it may come across as rude and the vendor may take it personally.

Sometimes you'll meet pushy vendors. Just keep repeating the phrase mai ao kha/krap. After a while, he will leave you alone.

Mai Kha/Krap

If you find the three words too long and complicated to remember, simply say mai kha (for female speakers) or mai krap (for male speakers). That is a polite way to say no.

These two phrases can be applied to many situations. You can also use them to say no to taxi drivers. Even when you walk past tailor shops or massage places, mai kha or mai krap are very useful phrases to make vendors leave you alone.

Enjoy practicing these magic phrases!

Suggested Reading:   Language Barriers   Thai Shopping Phrases

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