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Not to be confused with Tanglish or Tenglish, interlanguages of English with Tamil and Telugu, respectively.
Tinglish is even widespread on official signs in Thailand.

Tinglish (US and Thailand[1] ) or Thaiglish (UK) (also Thenglish, Thailish or Thainglish) is the imperfect form of English produced by native Thai speakers due to language interference from the first language[citation needed]. Differences from 'native' English include different pronunciation, unusual word choices, and grammatical anomalies, as well as innovative vocabulary items[original research?].

Characteristics and examples[edit]

Characteristics and examples (direct translation) include[dubious ]:

  • omission of pronouns and of the verb be;
  • use of present tense + "already" instead of past tense
  • non-use or incorrect use of articles, declension and conjugation.
  • addition of Thai final particles, e.g. I don't know na
  • Frequent confusion between any and every.
  • General misunderstanding of conditional constructions
  • pronunciation of silent letters in a word
  • Inability to speak consecutive consonants. E.g. "Sprite" pronounced "Sa-pa-rite"
  • No understanding of double negatives
  • lallation of the H and S pronunciation
  • Using 'L' to replace an 'R' sound
  • TH sound pronounced as the two letters, not as English 'th'
  • Using 'N' to replace an 'L' sound at the end of the word, e.g. "particle" pronounced "particon" or 'football' pronounced 'futbon'
  • Moving 'S' on singular verbs to the subject, e.g. "He's talk too much" instead of "He talks too much"

Examples of words and phrases[edit]

Examples (direct translation) include:

  • same same (similar, as usual) and same same but different (seems similar but different in some ways);
  • I li' you welly welly mutt (I like you very much)
  • My frien' you (You are my friend)
  • Watafron restaron (Waterfront restaurant)
  • My friend you (your friend -- this construction is mostly correct in Thai)
  • My name <name> (My name is <name>)
  • Him boxing you (He will punch you)
  • Up to you (It's your decision) [this is also perfectly good English]
  • open/close the light (means "To turn on/off the light");
  • no have ... (means "there is no ..." or "I do not have a ...");
  • I send you to airport (means "I will take you to the airport");
  • I love you too much; (indicating confusion between "too" and "very") ที่สุด = tii sud = 'too much', but in Thai its more like 'the most'
  • I'm not pretty sure (means "I don't know");
  • This trousers are fit (means "this trousers are a little too small to wear");
  • I have ever been to London; I have been to London.
  • I'm interesting in football (means "I am interested in watching/playing football");
  • wash the film (means "develop the film");
  • I very like it (means "I really like it");
  • I'm sad when my mother angry me (means is angry with me);
  • I used to go Phuket (means "I have been to Phuket before");
  • take a bath referring to taking a shower;
  • Are you spicy? (means "Does your food taste spicy?")
  • Are you boring? ­— Do you feel bored?
  • I telephone for you ­— I called you
  • Do you know how to eat this? referring to food with taste that may be unfamiliar, or food requiring special eating method (such as wrapping it in lettuce) that may not be known to the listener;
  • I play internet (I go on/use the internet);
  • Check bill (means I want to get a check in a restaurant); All words ending in 'L' in Thai are changed to 'N' .. So you will hear 'check Bin'
  • This is suck! means "This sucks!";
  • I very enjoy! means "I'm enjoying myself/I enjoyed myself";
  • Linkkey (erroneous pronunciation of Linksys)
  • Fill up the oil (fill up the gas/petrol)
  • Piki Wiki or Picky Wicky (erroneous pronunciation of the USA grocery chain Piggly Wiggly)
  • Run me nut (meaning "drive me nuts")
  • Kids go bad Burger King (meaning "The kids were misbehaving at Burger King")
  • Cup-a-hole (erroneous pronunciation of Cul-de-sac)
  • You sahtoopid by yourself (meaning you made an error that was completely your fault)
  • "I cook at here sticky rice" (meaning, "I plan to cook some sticky rice here")
  • Browfeel (erroneous pronunciation of New Braunfels, Texas)


The words of Thai prefix particles and their implied meanings:

  • khun (literally mister, miss, or mrs.) or k. = mister or miss (e.g. Khun Somchai will have a meeting on Friday.)

Following is the list of Thai final particles and their implied meanings:

  • la = to give suggestion (e.g. Why don't you ask her la?), to inform the listener of something (e.g. I'm going to bed la.), or to ask if the subject would do something that the subject of the previous sentence does (e.g. I'm going to have dinner now, how about you la?)
  • na = to give a suggestion (e.g. You must do your homework first na.), to inform the listener of something (e.g. I'll be right back na.), or to soften a statement about something that the speaker thinks should have been done but have not yet been done (e.g. Why don't you ask her na?)
  • cha/ja = to add informality to the conversation (e.g. Hello ja.)
  • khrap/krab (or, alternatively, krub) (for male speaker only) = add at end of sentence to make the conversation polite/formal; also as confirmation (Yes!) (e.g. Hello krab.)
  • kha (or ka) (for female speaker only) = same as krab (e.g. Hello kha.)

Some less common particles:

  • mang/mung = a qualifier indicating uncertainty, sometimes translated as "maybe" (e.g. The shop already closed, mung. / I think he's 25 years old, mung.)
  • loei/leoy = totally or immediately (e.g. I don't understand leoy la. / See you there leoy na)
  • laeo/laew = already or done (e.g. I have to go laew la.)
  • na = to give suggestion (it's likely to be used with someone who's close to you and of equal status, such as your close friend, considered very rude otherwise) (e.g. I don't know at all na, why don't you come with me na?)


An advert for "tom yum chimp". In Thai it reads tom yam kung, meaning shrimp tom yum.

As some sounds in English just simply don't exist in Thai language, this affects the way native Thai speakers pronounce English words[citation needed]:

  • shifts the stress to the last syllable of the word
  • omits consonant clusters
  • final consonants are often omitted or converted according to the rules of Thai pronunciation: l and r become n, while s becomes t
  • "sh" and "ch" sounds can be indistinguishable as the Thai language does not have the "sh" sound, e.g. ship/chip, sheep/cheap
  • "v" sound is almost always replaced by "w" sound, e.g. vow -> wow, ville -> will
  • "g" and "z" sounds are usually devoiced, e.g. dog -> dock, zoo -> sue
  • "g" and "k" consonants are exchanged frequently. ก = G. ค = K. Mega = Meka, Yoga = Yoka for example
  • "th" sound is often replaced by "t" or "d" sound, e.g. thin -> tin, through -> true, then -> den. There is an H sound added at end, much like 'Tea' = Thee
  • ambiguity between the short "e", as in "bled", and a long "a", as in "blade"
  • "e(vowel) " such as cherry is pronounced shireri, error is pronounced err-rer

In Thai, consonants generally cannot be blended together (exceptions to this rule are /r/, /l/ and /w/.) A short "a" (ah) sound is automatically added between any other two consonants.

Even the exceptions are omitted in common speech. For example, Songkran has no R pronounced in the consonant cluster. ปลา - Bplaa - fish, but its always pron: Bpaa

Thai words commonly have no vowels at all. The short a (sometimes sounding like a very staccato O sound) is always inferred in Thai. ผม = Phom (me/male speaker)

  • start - sahtat
  • stupid - sahtupid
  • sleep - sahleep
  • speak - sahpeak
  • snore - sahnore
  • swim - sahwim
  • stay - sahtay
  • school - sahkoon
  • album - alabum
  • schedule - sahketdual
  • in trend- in train
  • excuse me - chewse me (pronunciation similar to Jamaican English)
  • gentleman - geltaman (pronunciation of the first syllables similar to the English word Delta)
  • universal - (the 'sal' syllable is pronounced 'Sal' - a common name used in the English speaking world as a truncation of Salvatore)


  1. ^ Kong Rithdee (2012-03-10). "Davos, Tokyo and clueless Tinglish". Bangkok Post (in English). p. 7. "Seriously, watching that clip, I rooted for her to pull it off, to show that Suvarnabhumi English, our Tinglish, is as good as any as long as what she meant to say came off." 

External links[edit]