How to Say “Food” in Thai?

Thai Food by Kenneth

Thai Food by Kenneth

The word for food in Thai language is “ahan”. So if you wanted to say Thai food, you would say “ahan Thai”.   That’s pretty straightforward, but there is an interesting quirk in the Thai language.

The word for “eat” in Thai is “gin”. But Thai people don’t say “gin ahan”, or “eat food”. Instead, they say “gin khao” which literally means “eat rice”.

So when they ask you, “did you eat yet today?”, it literally translates into “did you eat rice today?” This makes sense because the staple of the Thai diet is rice. That shows how just how ingrained the word rice is in the Thai language and culture.

So in Thailand if someone asks you if you have eaten rice, don’t respond by saying “no, but I did eat pasta!” No matter what you have eaten, just say “yes, I’ve eaten rice.” or in Thai, “Shy, pom gin kaho leo.”

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