When you go to a Thai restaurant, is your head swimming with foreign words, and you don’t even know what to order? This quick glossary provides translations to Thai words for dishes, and what they mean in English. Spelling for Thai words using the Western alphabet varies greatly, which is why there are many options.

Rice: Kow, kowl, cow, cowl
Sticky Rice: Kow Niao, kowl niao, kow neeow, kowl neow
Steamed Rice: Kow niao nung, kowl neow neung
Black Sticky RiceKow niao dum, kowl neeow dum

Thin glass (clear) Rice Noodles: Sen mee, sen me
Thick Rice Noodles: Sen yai, sen yi, sen yay

Pork: Moo, mu, muu, mew
Beef: New-uh, neu-uh, noo-uh, noouh
Chicken: Gai, gy, guy, kai, ky, kuy, gi
Squid: Pla Meuk, bpla meuk, bpla muk, pla muk, pla muhk, bpla muhk
Shrimp: Goong, gung, guung, koong, kung, kuung
Fish: Pla, bla, bpla, blah


Salad: Salad, salat
Spicy Salad: Yum
Fermented Fish Sauce (not sure you’ll find this in USA): Bla rah, pla ra, bpla ra, bla la, blah lah, bpla rah
Curry: Gang, gaeng, geng, gehng

Milk: Nam nom, nom, nome, noam
Coconut Milk: Gati, gadi, gadhi
Coconut: Mapraw, ma prow, mah praw
Ginger: King
Egg: Ky, kai, gy, kye
Morning Glory: Boong, bung, boohng, buung
Chili Peppers: Prig, prik, prihg, prigk
Bean sprouts: Tua ngoh, dtua ngaw, too-uh goh
Mushroom: Hed, head, het
Onion: Hom, hawm
Corn: Kowl pod, kow pod, pood
Mango: Mamuang, ma muang, ma mooung, ma moouhng
Orange: Som, Sawm
Apple: Appun, Apun, Apon
Banana: Gluay, glooay, glooai
Papaya: Ma lagaw, malaga
Pineapple: Sapparad, sapparat
Lemon/Lime: Minao, minow