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Thai to English & English to Thai Translation

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The Thai Language

The Thai Language, also known as Siamese or Central Thai, is the official language of Thailand and is spoken by many people both within the country and around the world. 

Brief History of Origins:

  • The Thai Language belongs to the Tai-Kadai language family, which is part of the more prominent Kra-Dai language family.
  • Its roots can be traced back to the 13th century when Thai-speaking people migrated from southern China to what is now modern-day Thailand.
  • Over time, Thai absorbed influences from Pali, Sanskrit, Khmer, and other neighbouring languages, developing its unique script and vocabulary.

Number of Speakers:

  • Thai is predominantly spoken by approximately 65 million people in Thailand, making it the country’s most widely spoken language.
  • Thai-speaking communities can be found outside Thailand in neighbouring countries like Laos, Cambodia, and Myanmar.

Official language:

Thai is the official language of Thailand and is used extensively in government, education, media, and other official domains.

Example of Text:

(Translation: “Previously, opportunities like this have been experienced before.”)

Usage and Context:

  • Thai is used for everyday communication among Thai people, regardless of social status or background.
  • In addition to its widespread use in Thailand, Thai is also utilized in Thai-speaking communities abroad and by Thai expatriates.
  • It plays a crucial role in preserving the country’s rich cultural heritage and promoting national unity.

Influence on English:

Some Thai words have been absorbed into English due to cultural exchange and tourism. For example:

  • “Buddha” – derived from Thai “พุทธ” (Phut-tha), refers to the enlightened one, Siddhartha Gautama, the founder of Buddhism.
  • “Tuk-tuk” – originated from the Thai term “ตุ๊กๆ” (Dtúk-dtúk), used to describe the small, three-wheeled motorized vehicles commonly seen in Thai cities.

English Words in Thai:

Due to globalization and international influence, English words have been incorporated into modern Thai vocabulary. Some examples include:

  • “โทรศัพท์” (toh-ro-sàp) – telephone.
  • “อินเตอร์เน็ต” (in-tŏn-net) – internet.
  • “เมนู” (menú) – menu.

Where Thai is Used and How:

  • Education: Thai is the primary language used in schools and universities throughout Thailand.
  • Media: It is the language of choice in newspapers, magazines, TV shows, and radio programs.
  • Business: Thai is commonly used for internal communication and international clients in business settings.
  • Tourism: As a popular tourist destination, Thai is essential for communication between locals and visitors.


The Thai Language is a means of communication for millions of people and an integral part of Thailand’s identity and cultural heritage. With a rich history and widespread usage, Thai plays a vital role in shaping the nation’s future while influencing and being influenced by languages worldwide.

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Our translation services - FAQ

Do you use native translators?

Yes, always. All our translators are native speakers and most are still resident in their native country. We pride ourselves on ensuring that all Brightlines’ translators are native. We do not accept applications from non-native candidates or allow them to register on our online recruitment database. All our translators are rigorously tested.

How long will the translations take?

The turnaround for the translation will depend on the word count. As a rough guide, assume that the translators can comfortably process about 2500 words of non-specialised text per day. Proofreading can effectively be completed on a basis of 4000-6000 words a day. Our minimum turnaround time is usually about three days, although it is possible to shorten this if you are in a rush for the final files and we will always be happy to discuss this with you.

What is the variation in your translators’ experience and qualifications? Are they native speakers? Will the cost increase if we use a more experienced translator?

All our translators have to go through a series of tests to make sure they are as good as they say they are, and only if they pass are they allowed to work for Brightlines. There is quite a range of experience and qualifications, but all translators have a minimum of five years’ experience. All translators translate into their mother-tongue without exception and are generally based in-country so they are up-to-date with the local language. We match translators with projects/clients depending on the subject matter, and most of our translators have industry experience in their speciality – there is no better experience than being immersed professionally in the industry they specialise in. Our costs are based on translator experience, speciality (i.e. medical, creative, scientific) and the language choice.

Which languages can you translate into?

We have an extensive database with hundreds of trusted and tested translators covering all commercial languages. If you cannot see the language or dialect you need please ask.

I don’t know the word count; can you base the quote on the number of pages?

Our pricing structure is based on a rate-per-word, but we can estimate from a page count. If we can’t see the source document then we would usually estimate between 300 – 500 words a page depending on the density of the text and the presence of photos and images.

Does the translation need to be proofread?

Brightlines is an ISO 9001:2015 certified company. This means that quality is safeguarded. We adhere to the “four-eyes principle” and translations are always checked by a second professional proofreader (who is not the translator). If the translation is for internal use and reference purposes only (i.e. not to be published, distributed or used in a court of law), or you simply don’t wish to have proofreading, we can remove the proofreading stage.

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If you need Thai translations, get in touch with our team, or get a quick quote.