อีสาน /i-săan/ the nickname for Northeastern Thailand is the largest region in the country. Isan food is available in almost every corner especially “ส้มตำ Som Tam” (green papaya spicy salad) which is popularly consumed across the whole country, not just in the Northeast. When you travel to Bangkok you will likely come across a local from Isan, majority of taxi drivers are Northeastern and you will probably hear Isan pop music from their radio.
The differences between Isan dialect and the central dialect is only some words, the structure of the language is exactly the same. If you have basic knowledge of central Thai language already, learning to speak Isan should not be very tricky. As what you will learn from this video – the word “บ่ bàw” which means ‘not’ is the main Isan word that are used throughout the conversation however other vocabulary are the same as central Thai.
Dialogue from the role play in the video:
Pear: สำบายดีบ่ săm-baai-dii bàw? (How are you doing?)
Friend: บ่ bàw (No, I am not.)
Pear: เป็นอิหยัง bpen ì yang? (What’s wrong?)
Friend: ผู้บ่าวมีกิ๊กจ้ะ pûu-bàao mii gík jâ (My boyfriend has a secret lover.)
Pear: ไผ păi? (Who?)
Friend: บ่ฮู้ bàw húu, แต่บ่ตาฮักดอก dtàe bàw dta-hák dàwk (I don’t know, but I don’t think she is pretty.)
Pear: บ่เป็นหยัง bàw bpen yăng (It is alright.) , หิวบ่ hĭu bàw? (Are you hungry?)
Friend: จักหน่อยจ้ะ jàk nòi à jâ (Alittle bit.)
Pear: เอากาแฟบ่ ao gaa-fae bàw? (Would you like a coffee?)
Friend: ก็ดีจ้ะ gâw-dii jâ (That would be good.)
Pear: เอิ้อย เอื้อย ûeai ûeai (Excuse me, sister.)
(“เอื้อย ûeai” litearally means ‘older sister. It is also used to call a female server similar to the word พี่ /pîi/ that we use in central Thai dialect.)
Waitress: รับอิหยังบ่จ้ะ ráp ì yăng bàw jâ (Would you like to order something?)
รับ ráp means “to take”, it is a polite word to use when a server ask a customer if they want to order
อิหยัง ì yăng means “what?” or “something”
Pear: เอากาแฟดำ บ่ใส่น้ำตาลหนึ่งแก้วจ้ะ ao gaa-fae dam bàw sài náam-dtaan nùeng gâew jâ (I would like a cup of black coffee, not adding sugar please.)
เอา/ao/ is used to place order as you would say “I would like to have” in English
กาแฟ /gaa-fae/ = coffee
ดำ /dam/ = black
น้ำตาล /náam-dtaan/ = sugar
แก้ว /gâew/ = cup
Friend: เอาช็อกโกแลตเย็นบ่หวานจ้ะ ao chocolate yen bàw wăan jâ (I would like iced chocolate, not sweet please.)
เย็น /yen/ = cool , putting the word เย็น/yen/ after a beverage and you get “iced drink”
หวาน /wăan/ = sweet
เอาโกโก้เย็นบ่ใส่น้ำตาลคือกันจ้ะ ao goo-gôo yen bàw sài náam-dtaan kue gan jâ (I would like iced cacao, not adding sugar either)
คือกัน /kue-gan/ means เหมือนกัน /mŭean-gan/ which is “the same” or “as well”
แล้วก็ชาบักนาว láew-gâw chaa-bàk-naao (and iced lime tea)
บักนาวบ่ต้องใส่ก็ได้จ้ะ bàk-naao bàw dtâwng sài gâw-dâi jâ (lime is not need to be added.)
บักนาว /bàk-naao/ is lime (in central Thai is มะนาว /má-naao/)
เอาซำนั้นหล่ะจ้ะ ao sam-nán là jâ (that would be all.)
ซำนั้น /sam-nán/ is แค่นั้น /kâe-nán/ in central Thai which means “that’s all”
(The phone rings…..)
Friend: พี่แพร มันโทรมาแล้ว pîi prae, man toe-maa láew (Pear, he is calling me now.)
ไปก่อนเด้อสั่นหน่ะ bpai gàwn dêr sàn-nà (I have to go.)
สั่นหน่ะ /sàn-nà/ is ถ้างั้น /tâa ngán/ in central Thai which means “in that case”.
We hope you enjoyed the lesson. Keep practicing. 🙂
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE:
VIDEO: Isan 101
VIDEO: How to order food in Thai
VIDEO: Customizing Food Order
VIDEO: Classifiers is Essential to Speak Like a Thai
Is there any more of these Issan conversations ?
Kao yaak passa Issan
Sawatdii ka Khun Roy,
We will make more Isaan lessons in the future. If you would like to be able to speak Isan dialect properly, we are happy to help you. We offer online one-on-one lessons, We use tailor made materials that is range from beginners to advance level to apply to the level of the students and their needs.
Regarding the packages and rates, please find further details via the link below:
We always prefer talking to the student for a complimentary lesson to find out what the student wishes to achieve and how we can best work together.
Please let me know if this is convenient for you and I can schedule a free trial appoint with you. Please let me know where you are based and your ideal time for the session. Perhaps we can discuss together to find the most suitable timing both ways.
We look forward to hearing from you.
Great to see someone teaching Isaan, I have picked up a lot living in Khon kaen. its a cute language. Thank you, I can read and write Thai now (slowly). You are a good Teacher. God Bless
hoping for several posts about learning Isaan, likes strong. I stay the most there want to learn more?⚘⚘
And Thank you!!
Great Lesson! Thank you !!!
Thank you for your kind comment. 🙂