If you want to say sorry in the Thai Language, the most common way is saying ขอโทษ (kŏr tôht).
You can use kŏr tôht to mean “excuse me”, “sorry”, “apologies”.
Please note that kŏr tôht is NOT used to say sorry when offering sympathy (like the death of a loved one). The word for that is เสียใจด้วย (sĭa jai dûay)
Keep in mind, that if you are a female add Ka at the end of sentences, and if you are a guy add krap at the end of the sentence.
Keep reading to learn about other ways to say Sorry in Thai.
You can watch the video version of this below and download the transcript for the video here.
ขอโทษ (kŏr tôht)
As explained above, kŏr tôht is the general-purpose way to say “sorry”.
ขอ (kŏr) means to ask for / request something and โทษ (tôht) means punishment/to blame. So if you translate kŏr tôht literally it is “to request punishment”.
Let’s see some examples:
- *bump into someone* Sorry!
- Sorry, can you say that again?
kŏr tôht pôot èek kráng dâai măi
- Sorry for forgetting your birthday
kŏr tôht têe leum wan gèrt
A common phrase following I’m sorry is “I didn’t mean it, I didn’t mean to do it“. In Thai, you would say ฉันไม่ได้ตั้งใจ chăn mâi dâai dtâng jai (or ผมไม่ได้ตั้งใจ pŏm mâi dâai dtâng jai if you are a guy).
mâi dâai is “didn’t” and dtâng jai is to intend to do something/ do it on purpose. chăn and pŏm are the female and male pronouns respectively.
tôht-tee is another way to say “sorry”. โทดที (tôht-tee) is the slang form of ขอโทษ (kŏr tôht).
You can use tôht-tee with friends or people who you are close to.
You can even shorten โทดที tôht-tee to just โทด tôht. It is a very common informal way of saying sorry.
ขออภัย kŏr à-pai
kŏr à-pai means to ask for forgiveness / to apologize. However, this is super formal and you don’t really hear it in everyday life.
It is mostly used in formal writing or when speaking to someone with high status.
- We apologize to the audience for the inconvenience.
kŏr à-pai pôo chom túk tân nai kwaam mâi sà-dùak
Condolences / offering sympathy
If you want to say sorry to express condolences or you want to say sorry in order to offer sympathy in Thai you would say เสียใจด้วย (sĭa jai dûay).
- I am sorry for your friend’s death
sĭa jai dûay gàp gaan jàak bpai kŏng pêuan kun
To summarize, in order to say sorry in Thai use ขอโทษ (kŏr tôht) and to ask for condolences use เสียใจด้วย (sĭa jai dûay).
One more thing to note is that In Thailand, after saying sorry you can/might perform a wai depending on the status of the person you are apologizing to.