Thai Language Blog

The Many Sub-Languages of Thai Posted by on Feb 10, 2014 in Beginner

Thai is not just one language universally spoken in Thailand, but in fact there are many regional and local dialects, and yet more special manners of speaking given the situation. This article will list all the forms of Thai that you can run across on a daily basis, each with their own accents and vocabulary.

We’ve already covered some of the language styles in previous articles, ภาษาสวย, ภาษาเขียน, and ภาษาพูด.


And for regional dialects, refer to these articles for a good summary:


Below is a list of all the ‘languages’ ภาษา paaMsaaR of Thailand for quick reference.

ภาษา Karaoke English (note: each is a type of language)
ภาษาไทย paaMsaaR thaiM Thai
ภาษาเขียน paaMsaaR kienR Written (formal, drawn out)
ภาษาพูด paaMsaaR puudF Spoken (can use slang, abbreviated)
ภาษากลาง paaMsaaR glaangM Central Thai (considered the ‘correct’ Thai)
ภาษาใต้ paaMsaaR dtaiF Southern Thai (known for being fast/abbreviated)
ภาษาอีสาน paaMsaaR eeMsaanR Isaan Thai (north eastern; similar to a US southern drawl)
ภาษาเหนือ paaMsaaR neuaR Northern Thai
ภาษาราชการ paaMsaaR raatFchaHgaanM Official/government business
ภาษาทางการ paaMsaaR taangM gaanM Official/government business; formal
ภาษาราชาศัพท์ paaMsaaR raatMchaaMsapL Royal (spoken only by the monarchy)
ภาษาพระ paaMsaaR praH Monk (both how monks speak, but also how to speak to monks)
ภาษาวัยรุ่น paaMsaaR waiM runF Teenager (slang, intentionally mutilating the language, etc.)
ภาษาสวย paaMsaaR suayR “Beautiful language,” used in poetry and prose


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  1. Patrick:


    I’ve never actually heard Northern Thai called: ภาษาเหนือ

    Instead, I’ve always heard it refered to as: “Kham Muang” (คำเมือง)