Thai Phrases - Spicy Rss feed Twitter button Facebook button

You may already know that most Thais like their food spicy, thus they usually add a lot of chili. If you enjoy spicy dishes, you will love Thailand. However, it's a good idea to learn some basic phrases, so that you are able to tell the cook how spicy you want the food.

In this post, you will learn some useful words and phrases related to spiciness. In addition, you can listen to the audio and practice your pronunciation.

Before we get started, it’s good to know that the Thai word for spicy, which is pet, sounds quite similar to the Thai word for duck, or bpet.

Here are some tips to help you pronounce pet and bpet. The word pet sounds almost like the English word pet, but with a soft d-sound at the end. The only difference in pronunciation with the word bpet is that it starts with an explosive bp-sound.

How Spicy Do You Prefer?

Here are a few basic phrases you can use to say how spicy you want your food:

Not spicy = mai pet

A little bit spicy = pet nit noi or pet noi

Very spicy = pet mak

Even though you know these phrases, it can still be a challenge to get the level of spiciness you want, since flavor is subjective. Thus, some Thais simply say how many chilis they want in the food, when they order. Normally two chilis give a mild spicy flavor. For example, to order papaya salad with two chilis is very common.

Add two chilis = sai prik song met

sai means to add

prik is chili

song means two

met means pieces

If you want your food without any chili, remember this phrase:

Don’t add chili = mai sai prik

To ask if the food is spicy: Is it spicy? = pet mai?

Note that the word mai in the last two phrases have different meanings and are pronounced with different tones. The word mai at the end of a sentence indicates that it's a question and is pronounced with a high tone. While mai means "no" or "not" when it is elsewhere in the sentence and is pronounced with a falling tone.

Here you can listen to the words and phrases in this article:

When Thai food vendors tell you it's is not spicy or mai pet, don't take their word for it. Because what a Thai considers not spicy may be too spicy for you. If you have eaten something that is really spicy, you can cool down your tongue by putting some salt or sugar on it.

Suggested Reading:   Excuse Me   Thai Greetings

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