Why Speaking Thai is So Beneficial in the Workplace


Thailand is a beautiful country, and many visitors fall in love with the people and the culture. As a result, a small but still significant percentage of those visitors decide to make Thailand their home. Some are retirees while others are still of working age and need to find jobs locally to support themselves during their stay.

In terms of 'farang', a European in Bangkok (photo credit: Siwaphong Pakdeetawan, Instagram@knack66)

In terms of ‘farang’, a European in Bangkok (photo credit: Siwaphong Pakdeetawan, Instagram@knack66)

Finding a job in Thailand for a foreigner (often called a farang or falang) is not always as straightforward as you may imagine. It is best to use a recruitment agency such as Job Worker Service who bring business and workers together. You do not need to be able to speak Thai to obtain a work permit, but it certainly has many benefits. Here are just five:

  1. Gain Respect

Respect is a hugely important part of Thai culture, and if you aren’t respected, it can be a significant barrier – something that is a severe problem in the workplace. Whatever your role, it is likely that you will have people working for you or you will be in a teaching role. Being a teacher or leader requires respect for you to succeed. Many of your team will probably only speak a smattering of English at best. If you can’t speak their language you will lose their respect and subordination is common and extremely hard to stop once it has started.

  1. Better Communication

Being able to communicate with your team is vital in any organisation, and this can only be done by talking directly to those concerned. It will mean that you can relay the message that you want to convey and not be obstructed by needing it to be passed through various chains of command. When this happens, are you totally confident that the correct message has been delivered to the relevant person? Of course, communication works both ways, and your team will feel more confident being open with you if they can talk Thai.

Learning Thai is fun at Asoke Language Association

Learning Thai for the workplace

  1. Can Join in Team Activities

Team building and social events are viewed as being important in modern business. They build morale, increase loyalty and make the workforce happier in their work. There are benefits for both the individual and the organisation. However, it should be apparent that to build a team; you will need to work closely with those around you and being able to talk to one another is a critical factor.

  1. Greater Productivity

Greater respect, better communication, and being able to join in with your team will all combine to help increase productivity within the business. While having a happy workforce is one thing, but they must be motivated to achieve the desired results and meet the objectives of the organisation. Inevitably, an increase in productivity will produce better results, your goal as a business leader, manager or teacher.

  1. It’s Polite!

Finally, being able to speak Thai within the workplace is simply more polite. We are guests in the country and should respect the Kingdom’s culture, values and language. Even if you can only speak a small amount of Thai, it will show that you are making an effort and this will be appreciated.


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