Thai Language Blog

Thai Valentines, part 2 Posted by on Feb 20, 2013 in Beginner, Culture


In the previous post I listed Valentine’s Day related vocabulary, but I didn’t talk about it or show you how to use it. Some of those words don’t quite carry the same meaning as in English and so are worth elaboration.

There are two major ways to say ‘I love you’ in Thai. The first one I list can be either romantic or non-romantic. For example, a mother loving her son, or a guy loving his girl:

I love you

Pom5 rak4 khun1



But this next one only has romantic conotation. Look into her eyes and say this directly for best effect:

I love you

Rak4 ter1



And don’t forget this important one for Mother’s Day: 

I love mom


Rak4 mae3


Another word that isn’t the same as in English is faen1 แฟน. It can mean either ‘girlfriend’ or ‘boyfriend’. In more recent times it can also confusingly refer to a husband or wife. And if you’re secretly gay, the word ‘แฟน’ is usefully gender ambiguous. It’s basically a catch all word. 

Perhaps one of the most common words in Thai is ใจ jai1, which means ‘heart’. It is used in thousands of compound words to describe a feeling, emotion, or particular state of mind. In fact, some guy even wrote an entire book just about the word ใจ. And by ‘wrote’, I mean he copied/pasted the ใจ section of a dictionary and then added wordy definitions.
It’s a top selling book, too. Wish I thought of that . . . 

Another word that needs better explanation is jeeb2 จีบ. A quick translation would be ‘flirt’, but that’s not entirely correct. A much better translation would be to ‘woo’. Flirting is just the stupid things people say when they are hitting on each other. But จีบ’ing is more than that. It’s buying flowers for her, asking her out, carrying her shopping bags, fixing your hair to look good, and doing all the other things you do to ‘woo’ her.

Flirt with a girl

Jeeb2 saow5



A boy is ‘wooing’ me. (this sounds odd in English, but didn’t know how else to translate it)

Mee1 puu3chai1 maa1 jeeb2



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