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Thai Translation Service

Thai is the national and official language of Thailand and the mother tongue of the Thai people, Thailand's dominant ethnic group. Thai is a member of the Tai group of the Kradai language family. The Kradai languages are thought to have originated in what is now southern China, and some linguists have proposed links to the Austroasiatic, Austronesian, or Sino-Tibetan language families. It is a tonal and analytic language. Thai also has a complex orthography and relational markers. Thai is mutually intelligible with Lao.

Standard Thai, also known as Central Thai or Siamese, is the official language of Thailand, spoken by about 65 million people (1990) including speakers of Bangkok Thai (although the latter is sometimes considered as a separate dialect). Khorat Thai is spoken by about 400,000 (1984) in Nakhon Ratchasima; it occupies a linguistic position somewhere between Central Thai and the Isan on a dialect continuum, and may be considered a variant or dialect of either. A majority of the people in the Isan region of Thailand speak a dialect of the Lao language, which has influenced the Central Thai dialect.

In addition to Standard Thai, Thailand is home to other related Tai languages, including:

Isan (Northeastern Thai), the language of the Isan region of Thailand, considered by some to be a dialect of the Lao language, which it very closely resembles (although it is written in the Thai alphabet). It is spoken by about 15 million people (1983).

Nyaw language, spoken mostly in Nakhon Phanom Province, Sakhon Nakhon Province, Udon Thani Province of Northeast Thailand.

Galung language, spoken in Nakhon Phanom Province of Northeast Thailand.

Lü (Tai Lue, Dai), spoken by about 78,000 (1993) in northern Thailand.

Northern Thai (Phasa Nuea, Lanna, Kam Mueang, or Thai Yuan), spoken by about 6 million (1983) in the formerly independent kingdom of Lanna (Chiang Mai).

Phuan, spoken by an unknown number of people in central Thailand, Isan and Northern Laos.

Phu Thai, spoken by about 156,000 around Nakhon Phanom Province (1993).

Shan (Thai Luang, Tai Long, Thai Yai), spoken by about 56,000 in north-west Thailand along the border with the Shan States of Burma (1993).

Song, spoken by about 20,000 to 30,000 in central and northern Thailand (1982).

Southern Thai (Phasa Tai), spoken about 5 million (1990).

Thai Dam, spoken by about 20,000 (1991) in Isan and Saraburi Province.

Statistics are from Ethnologue 2003-10-4.

Many of these languages are spoken by larger numbers outside of Thailand. Most speakers of dialects and minority languages speak Central Thai as well, since it is the language used in schools and universities all across the kingdom.

Numerous languages not related to Thai are spoken within Thailand by ethnic minority hill tribespeople. These languages include Hmong-Mien (Yao), Karen, Lisu, and others.

Standard Thai is composed of several distinct registers, forms for different social contexts:

Street Thai : informal, without polite terms of address, as used between close relatives and friends.

Elegant Thai: official and written version, includes respectful terms of address; used in simplified form in newspapers.

Rhetorical Thai: used for public speaking.

Religious Thai: (heavily influenced by Sanskrit and Pali) used when discussing Buddhism or addressing monks.

Royal Thai : (influenced by Khmer) used when addressing members of the royal family or describing their activities.

Most of the Thais can speak and understand all of these contexts. Street and Elegant are the basis of all conversations; rhetorical, religious and royal Thai are taught in schools as the national curriculum.

Accurate Thai translation the first time around

Trust in your translation provider is the key to receiving the quality translation you are looking for. At WorldAccess we pride ourselves on delivering your Thai translation project that is backed up with a guarantee.

Your Thai translation will only be done by in-country translators with proven experience in the subject of your original document. A Project Manager, who is also an experienced linguist, will be dedicated to your translation project.

We'll provide your Thai translated document in exactly the same format as your original unless specified different. This means you'll have an accurate Thai translation you can use straight away.

Things to consider when translating between Thai and other Languages

Layout designs - Text typically expands or contracts when translating one language to another. English to Thai translations and Thai to English translations, will contract or expand depending on the subject matter.

Which Thai do you need for your translation?

Getting the Thai translation of your documents right can be very tricky. Clearly there's only one Thai language but as in most countries different sections of the population will have different ways of saying things. Your Account Manager will discuss the target market of your document with you. Clearly if your Thai translation is aimed at teenagers it will need to use their phrases and maybe even slang. Missing these small issues can be the difference between a successful translation and a bad one.

Specialist industry Thai translators

With a large network of in-country, bilingual Thai translator, WorldAccess Translations can respond quickly and effectively to your Thai language translation needs. Our translation teams are professional linguists performing translation from English to Thai and Thai to English for a range of documents in various industries.

Thai Translation Quality Procedures

We work within documented quality procedures and will adopt additional quality controls in order to align with client-side process. Each Thai translator is selected based on their experience and special areas of expertise.

Translation Confidentiality

All translators are bound by a commercial confidentiality and corporate nondisclosure agreement.
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