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Thai Culture

ยิ้มสยาม | Thai Smiles | Learn Thai Culture

ยิ้มสยาม | Thai Smiles | Learn Thai CultureLearn Thai smile, ยิ้มแบบไทย

Thailand is a ‘Land of Smiles’ or ยิ้มสยาม (yím sa-yǎam). I think many foreigners might hear this phrase before. You can see ‘Thai Smiles’ everywhere and almost in every situation but ‘Thai Smiles’ is not only shown up when they are happy, but there are many kinds of smile for Thai people. Let’s have a look together.

1. Greeting Smile ยิ้มทักทาย  (yím ták-taai)

Thais will have a polite smile at you when they want to greet you instead of saying hello. When you see a pretty girl smile at you, it does not always mean that she is interested in you but sometimes she just wants to greet you!

2. Nervous Smile ยิ้มของความกังวล (yím kɔ̌ɔng kwaam gang-won)

When Thais are nervous, they smile to make themselves feel better.

3. Guilty Smile ยิ้มกลบเกลื่อนความผิด (yím glòp-glʉ̀an kwaam pìt)

Thais use this kind of smile to apologize or try to take the heat out of the shameful situation. When you see Thai people smile when they do something wrong or when they make you upset, it does not mean they are impenitent but they want you to be calm and forgive them.

4. Being Forced Smile แกล้งยิ้ม (glɛ̂ɛng yím)

They need to smile even though they do not want to smile at all, in order to keep the manner or keep the situation calm.

5. Encouraging Smile ยิ้มให้กำลังใจ (yím hâi gam-lang-jai)

When you did something silly or made a mistake and you see Thai people smile or even laugh, don’t be angry! Sometimes they did not mean to make fun at you, they just try to make you feel better or encourage you to forget that embarrassing situation!

6. “No idea” Smile ยิ้มไว้ก่อน (yím wái gɔ̀ɔn)

When you ask Thai people something, maybe the only answer you get is a smile or laugh!. Don’t be upset or think that “This is a serious question! Nothing funny at all, why you smile!?”. They just want to tell you that “I have no idea”, “I don’t know”, “I don’t understand”.


Thai Smile practise

เขาชอบผู้หญิงยิ้มเก่ง (káo chɔ̂ɔp pûu-yǐng yím gɛ̀ng)                                                                                                               He likes a woman that have a beautiful smile.

น้องชายฉันไม่ชอบยิ้มเวลาถ่ายรูป (nɔ́ɔng chaai chán mâI chɔ̂ɔp yím we-laa tàai rûup)                                                            My younger brother doesn’t like to smile when taking photographs.

เขาชอบยิ้มให้ฉันเวลาเจอกัน (káo chɔ̂ɔp yím hâI chɔ̂ɔp chán we-laa jəə gan)                                                                           He likes to smile to me when we met.

New Vocabulary

ยิ้ม (yím) = to smile

ทักทาย (ták-taai) = to greet

ของ (kɔ̌ɔng) = of/belong to….

ความกังวล (kwaam gang-won) = nervous

กลบเกลื่อน (glòp-glʉ̀an) =  to minimize

ความผิด (kwaam pìt) = guilty

แกล้ง (glɛ̂ɛng) = to  pretend

ให้ (hâi) = to give

กำลังใจ (gam-lang-jai) = encouragement

เก่ง (gɛ̀ng) = good at

น้องชาย (nɔ́ɔng chaai) = younger brother

ไม่…. (mâI) = not…..

เวลา (we-laa) = when (conjunction)

ถ่ายรูป (tàai rûup) = to take photograph

เจอกัน ( jəə gan) = to meet

Hope you understand Thai people more and will not misunderstand when you see “Thai smiles”.


Thai Language Teacher