Valentine’s Day (Wan Valentine in Thai) is a day when couples can be expected to be ro-man-tik mak ma (very romantic). Those who are bpakwaan (sweet mouth) can woo their other half by telling them they are mao rak (drunk on love). To hai dokmai (give flowers) to your waan jai (sweet heart) is always appreciated. If you do call your boyfriend or girlfriend tilak (darling) or waan jai, add the word ja after it to make it extra endearing e.g. tilak ja or waan jai ja.
How to say “I love you” in Thai
The phrase ‘I love you’ when spoken by a male to a female is ‘phom rak khun’. Spoken by a female to a male it is ‘chan rak khun’. However, when speaking about love, these terms are quite formal or traditional and aren’t always used. Instead, if John wanted to say he loved Noy, it would be more likely to be expressed as ‘John rak Noy’ just as Noy could say ‘Noy rak John’.
As there is no fixed method of transliteration for Thai script, you may see different spellings of the same word depending on which books or websites you read. In particular the letter ‘R’ often becomes an ‘L’ in Thai speech so that ‘rak’ (love) is often pronounced as ‘lak’. Below is a list of a words that should come in useful.
wan = day (e.g. Wan Valentine)
waan = sweet
jai = heart
pak or bpak = mouth
waan jai = sweetheart
bpakwaan = sweet mouth/sweet talker
faen = loved one (boyfriend or girlfriend)
phom = my, me, I (when spoken by a man)
dichan or chan = my, me, I (when spoken by a woman)
faen phom = my girlfriend (spoken by a man)
ok hak = broken-hearted
ja = term of endearment which equates to ‘dear’ in English. So, if your girlfriend is called Lek, call her ‘Lek ja’ from time to time. She may call you bpakwaan but it will get you a smile.
phlawt rak = in love
khwaam rak = love (noun)
kit theung = to miss