9 Chinese New Year Taboos

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xīn nián kuài lè  (新年快乐)
Happy Chinese New Year, everyone!

If you look around, all shopping malls or even local markets are full of deals and promotions to welcome Chinese New Year. Chinese-Thais seem to be very excited about this pleasant time. I am also looking forward to going to China Town or เยาวราช (Yao-wa-rat) for some shopping and Chinese street food.


[Farangs speak Thai Podcast #1] Henning Leuckert Interview

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My first Banana Talks Thai Podcast is finally released to help you learn Thai, and enjoy listening to intersting topics around Thailand. This podcast is an interview of a non-Thai speaker whose story is worth sharing.

Interview: Henning Leuckert

From Germany to a small city in Isan, khuh Henning Leuckert impressively made it to a sabay-sabay life in Chaiyaphum. In this podcast, you will learn about him, how he managed to speak Thai in 15 months and how he enjoyed his Isan life with Thai people.

Learn Thai from podcast

Introduction to the special guest

Khun Henning comes from Germany, but moved to Thailand a year ago and now living in Chaiyaphum, a small province in northeastern region. He has been studying Thai on his own for a year already, and his Thai is just impressively.

0.51 เขียน /khian/ = to write
1.:12 คุณมาจากประเทศอะไร /khun maa-jàak pra-theed a-ray/ = Where do you come from?
1:15 คนเยอรมัน /khon yer-ra-man/ = a German person
1.18 เมือง /mueng/ = city
1:24 ภาคเหนือ /phâak nuea/ = Northen region 
1:27 เคย /khuey/ = used to
1:47 จังหวัด /jang-wàd/ = province
1:51 ภาค /phâak/ = region
2:08 กี่ปี /kii-pii/ = how many years
2.17 เรียนเอง /rian eng/ = learn on one’s own
2.25 ส่วนใหญ่ /sùan-yài/ = mostly
2.32 ทุกคน /thúk-khon/ = everyone
2.39 ไม่อย่างนั้น /mây-yàang-nan/ = otherwise
2.42 ต่อไป /tòr-pai/ = next

What is his inspiration to speak Thai?

His inspiration to learn to speak Thai is living in Thailand and be able to engage with local people as he think Thai people are kind, easy and chill. He even wants to live there forever.

2.48 แรงบันดาลใจ /raeng-ban-daan-jai/ = inspiration
3.00 ที่แรก /thii-râek/ = first time
3.05 มาเที่ยว /maa thîaw/ = come to travel
3.16 ปีที่แล้ว /pii thîi-láew/ = last year
2.18 สอนภาษาอังกฤษ /soorn phaa-sãa ang-krìd/ = to teach English language
3:20 เพราะว่า /phrór-wâa/ = because
3:32 ใจดี /jai-dii/ = kind / have a good heart
3.36 ง่าย /ngâay/ = easy
3.42 นาน /naan/ = long time
3:46 ตลอดไป /ta-lòod-pai/ = forever

His Isan life in Chaiyaphum

Khun Henning doesn’t live in the main town, instead he lives in a small village where people know, help and cooperate with each other. There is nothing much, no shopping malls, just small 7/11s, but he loves it.

4:00 อีสาน /Ii-sãan/ = north-east
4:03 ชึวิต /chii-víd/ = life
4:14 อำเภอเมือง /am-phoer-mueang/ = main district / town
4:22 อย่างเดียว /yàang-diaw/ = only
2:26 ที่สุด /thîi-sud/ = the most
4:29 รู้จักกัน /rúu-jàk kan/ = to know each other
4:32 ช่วยกัน /chûay-kan/ = to help each other
4:34 ด้วยกัน /dûay-kan/ = together

Kru Smuk learned Isan Language

He cannot speak Isan well yet, but can understand and catch some meanings. I wanted to learn couple sentences in Isan dialect, so khun Henning taught me the sentence ‘Is it dilicious?’ And ‘It’s very delicious’.

4:51 ภาษาอีสาน /phaa-sãa ii-sãan/ = Isan dialect
4:59 รู้เรื่อง /rúu-rûeang/ = to understand
5:05 แตกต่าง /tàek-tàang/ = different
5:08 สำเนียง /sãm-niang/ = dialect / accent
5:24 สอน /sõorn/ = to teach
5:27 ประโยค /prà-yòok/ = sentence
5:35 สำคัญ /sãm-khan/ = important
5:39 คำถาม /kham-thãam/ = question
5:45 แซ่บบ่ /saeb-boh/ = delicious right? (Isan dialect)
6:49 แซ่บหลายเด้อ /sâeb lãay der/ = very delicious (Isan dialect)
6:51 แซ่บอิหลีเด้อ /sâeb i-líi der/ = really delicious (Isan dialect)

How to learn Thai effectively

He sees the important of engaging in the Thai society. It’s important to learn Thai language to be able to understand and interact with local people who live around. Just practice all the time, listen a lot, and do not be afraid of not being able to understand Thai. Speaking Thai is easy and possible when it comes with practice.

9:44 สำคัญ /sãm-khan/ = important
9:46 ต้อง /tôong/ = must / have to
9:50 ตลอดเวลา /ta-lòod we-laa/ = all the time
9:56 หลายคน /lãay khon/ = many people
10:25 ฟัง /fang/ = to listen to
10:31 ฝากถึง /fàng-thueng/ = send the message
10:38 กลัว /glua/ = be afraid
10:49 ก่อน /kòorn/ = …..first
11:18 สนุก /sa-nùk/ = fun

What about you? Share your story, how to set up your life in Thailand and how your Thai learning is going. 

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An Ultimate Guide to Drinking Thai Beer.

By | Thai Cultural Explained | No Comments


The time has come to explore your favorite topic. To all of you mighty beer drinkers (I know you are out there) listen up because this entry is made specifically for you to help you maximize your potential in Thai beer-drinking professional. 

1. Ask your friends out for a beer.

You’ll want to say “Let’s go drink beer” = /pay kin Beer kan!/ Where:

  • ไป /pay/ = to go
  • กินเบียร์ /kin beer/ = drink beer casually
  • กัน /kan/ =when at the end of the sentence it means let’s go

Note: ดื่ม “deum” is also sometimes used to say “drink.”

2. How to pronounce Thai beer correctly.

Singha เบียร์สิงห์

No one says SingHA! The only correct way to pronounce this beer brand is to simply say “Sing” and to cut out the “ha.” Simple.Thai beer singha

Chang เบียร์ช้าง

Second is the matter of Chang Beer. It is not pronounced “Cheng,” but rather “CHAAANG.” Bring out that “a” sound down and then up again to a cosmic level for the best results.

Leo เบียร์ลีโอ

Next is Leo Beer. This one is easy; instead of pronouncing it how it is spelled, just switch the “e” for an i” and pronounce it “LII – OOO.”

3. How to order drinks in Thai.

First off, you have to learn the units of beer or classifiers of beer.

  • Perhaps a glass of beer? In Thai “glass” = “kaew” แก้ว
  • Perhaps a bottle of beer? So “bottle” = “khuad” ขวด

Now let’s get to the fun part.

  • “I would like to have…”
    “chan/phom khoor…” 
    (ฉัน/ผม ขอ……)

“Beer + amount + unit”

  • “I would like to have 3 bottles of beer.” = “chan khoor beer sam khuad.”
  • “I would like to have two glasses of Singha beer.”  = “chan khoor beer Singha soorng kaew.”

Just a tip. If you hadn’t noticed already Thailand is pretty hot, so you will sometimes see beer being served with ice!

Horrendous you might think. In order to prevent this catastrophe from happening, all you have to do is say: “I don’t want ice.” = “may aw naam-khaeng.” ไม่เอาน้ำแข็ง

4. How to say “Cheers!” in Thai

There are several ways to call out cheers in Thai language, as it has also adopted several foreign words such as “cheers” itself or “kampai”, but the original Thai way to say cheers is:

  • “Chon – kaew!” ชนแก้ว which literally means hitting glasses!

Alternatively, you can say:

  • “Chai- yooo.” ไซโย in which it is a word used when celebrating and it is similar to ‘cheers’ in English.

There is honestly no limit to the amount of o’s you want to put there as it mostly progresses with the number of beers you’ve had.

4. How to say ‘Bottoms up!’ in Thai

There is an additional phrase people often say: “Mhod Kaew!” หมดแก้ว

More so than “cheers”, the meaning more aptly translates to “bottoms up”, however, it is often simply used in the same way.

And there it is, you are 100% initiated into the amazing world of thai beer drinking. Now get out there and drink like there is no tomorrow. Just kidding, be sure to:

เมาไม่ขับ “Mao may Khab.”


Drinking beer is a great way to socialize with friends, colleagues, and even strangers and locals.

As it is a common and enjoyable recreational activity, it is also one that can greatly help you exercise your skills in Thai. We, therefore, invite you to head out tonight to your favorite beer place in town, order and drink like a pro, because now you are one. 


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