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Thai Fruit Vocabulary Posted by on Sep 28, 2015 in Culture, Travel

Thailand is a country with abundant and delicious fruit (ผลไม้ – pŏn-lá-máai). Whether you’re having a fresh fruit shake for breakfast, sipping out of a coconut on a beach, or enjoying mango and sticky rice as a dessert, fruit lovers will certainly be in paradise in Thailand. Hit a local market early in the morning just about anywhere in Thailand, and you’ll be able to stock up on tons of fresh fruit without breaking the bank. Rather than try to use English or just pointing, why not learn the Thai words for the various fruits on offer? Here are some of the most common fruits you’ll find across the country in Thai:

Bangkok market, by Andrea Schaffer from flickr.com.

Bangkok market, by Andrea Schaffer from flickr.com.

  • mango (มะม่วงสุก – má-mûang)

  • young coconut (มะพร้าวอ่อน – má-práao-òn)

  • pineapple (สับปะรด – sàp-bpà-rót)

  • banana (กล้วย – glûay)

  • papaya (มะละกอ – má lá gor)

  • durian (ทุเรียน – tú rian)

  • mangosteen (มังคุด – mang kút)

  • rambutan (เงาะ – ngór)

  • longan (ลำไย – lam-yai)

  • rose apple (ชมพู่ – chom-pôo)

  • guava (ฝรั่ง – fà-ràng)

  • dragonfruit (แก้วมังกร – gâew mang-gon)

  • pomelo (ส้มโอ – sôm oh)

  • tamarind (มะขาม – má kăam)

  • jackfruit (ขนุน – ka-nŭn)

  • strawberry (สตรอว์เบอร์รี่ – sà-dtror-ber-rêe)

  • lychee (ลิ้นจี่ – lín jèe)

  • watermelon (แตงโม – dtaeng moh)

  • starfruit (มะ เฟือง – má feuang)

  • persimmon (ลูกพลับ – lôok-pláp)

Durian by Hafiz Issadeen from flickr.com.

Durian by Hafiz Issadeen from flickr.com.

If you’ve never heard of a lot of these fruits, don’t worry – many of them are unique to this part of the world. I never knew what durian was until my first trip to Thailand, but it’s one fruit I’ll never forget now. Durian is known for its rather pungent and offensive odor, which is so strong it’s even banned on public transportation! If you want to learn more about Thai fruits, this is a great guide for beginners.

For a little pronunciation practice, follow along with this short video from Thai Language Hut School:

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About the Author:sasha

Sasha is an English teacher, writer, photographer, and videographer from the great state of Michigan. Upon graduating from Michigan State University, he moved to China and spent 5+ years living, working, studying, and traveling there. He also studied Indonesian Language & Culture in Bali for a year. He and his wife run the travel blog Grateful Gypsies, and they're currently trying the digital nomad lifestyle across Latin America.


Comments:

  1. Tony:

    Not too often considered, but fairly common.

    pomegranate (ทับทิม – tháp thim)

  2. Jan:

    You could never get enough of sapodilla, better known as ละมุด (Lamút).