Your dose of ASEAN information

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Say "Thank you" in 10 different ASEAN languages

"Thank you" is one of the many English words even non-native English speakers utter to show their appreciation to someone. In fact, even those who don't speak or understand English well know what it means.

If you speak a language different from the people you're talking to and you say "Thank you" in their native language, it can certainly work wonders. Why's that? For one, there's a tone of sincerity to it. Your hosts can feel how appreciative you are. They may also find your accent cute.

So let's get to know more of our people saying "Thank you" in their respective languages.

Say the easiest expression "Terima Kasih" if you're having a chat with the people from Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei. These four countries understood it perfectly well. If you want to thank them a lot, you may add "banyak-banyak."

"Xie xie", "Toa xie", "Doh je". Sound Chinese? That's correct. Use them especially when you're in Singapore. If you see our Tamil brothers and you expect to receive a pat on the back, say "Nandri."

In the Philippines, people say "Salamat." If you want to thank them a lot, add "Maraming" before it. "Maraming" means, well, a lot. Add "po" after it if you want to sound polite and respectful.

Thai people say "Kop Khun Khrap." That is if you're a male. If you're a woman or feels like one, you may want to change "Khrap" to "Kha." Add "mak" after the Khun to thank someone a lot.

Say "Khowp jai lai lai or simply "Khowp jai"  if you are in Laos. "Aw kun" if you are in Cambodia. In Vietnam they say “Gam uhn”. Whereas in Myanmar, people say “Jeesuu ba” or “Amyaji jeesuutin baadae” for lotsa thanks!

There you are! Thank you everyone (in all ten languages)!


  1. I'm familiar with the chinese one and of course english and filipino. I should use the cambodian one when I go there for a plant visit.

  2. There are many languages to say thanks but I think it's not only vocally expressing gratitude that's important. Body language is also an important factor that should be incorporated. We say "xie xie" or "to xia" all the time in the family. :)

  3. Jonas Ignatius LabagalaJanuary 29, 2015 at 10:41 PM

    These greetings are so perfect and timely as this year marks the beginning of ASEAN Integration and we should learn these languages as we have to think not just the 10 ASEAN Countries but as one ASEAN. Again, Terimah Kasih for this! (See, I've used another language for this!) :D

  4. Cute! Terimah Kasih Banyak for this. :D Now I can say thank you in more languages.

  5. I am veryfamiliar with Xie xie since my former colleagues are chinese... butsad we were now departed ... Xie xie my friends

  6. That was a very helpful post. Sometimes the word thank you is taken
    for granted, but we should always say it regardless of the language.

  7. Thanks for letting us know about this. Very much useful when going outside the Philippines :)

  8. "madamo nga salamat" for posting. I recalled the first I went to Thailand, I was sometimes confuse on my greetings for males and females.


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