If you are an American reading this article, you will notice a lot of differences between the units Thai use to measure things vs Americans.
People from other countries might not have as many differences.
Difference between Thai units of measurements and American Units of measurements
- In Thailand, to tell the temperature we use Celsius (เซลเซียส sell-sîat). 🌡
- To measure weight we use kilograms (กิโล gì-loh). ⚖️
- To measure distance while driving we use kilometers (กิโลเมตร gì-loh máyt). Kilometers per hour is กิโลเมตรต่อชั่วโมง (gì-loh máyt dtòr chûa mohng). 🚗
- Thais drive on the left side of the road and hence the driver side is on the right side of the car. 𐃏
- To talk about height, Thais use centimeters (เซนติเมตร sayn dtì máyt). 🧍♂️
- To talk about the area of land Thais use something called rai (ไร่ râi). 1 Rai = 0.3954 acres.
- The Thai currency is called Baht (บาท bàat). Currently, 1 dollar is around 30 baht. 💰
Some other interesting Thai unit of measurements not found in the USA are:
- A ศอก (sòk) which means elbow. Literally, the measurement is from your elbow to the tip of your middle finger which is around 50cm.
- A คืบ (kêup) is half of a ศอก (sòk). So 25cm.
A common saying in Thai is ได้คืบจะเอาศอก (dâai kêup jà ao sòk). This is the Thai equivalent of the saying “give someone an inch and they’ll take a mile”.
Units of measurements in Thai
Now that you know the differences, let me tell you the other unit of measurement that are the same or just the ways Thai say them
- Miles per hour
mai dtòr chûa mohng
- Square meters
If you want to learn about other units of measurement, check out this Wikipedia article. I didn’t include the units I don’t see in use in everyday life.
It’s always cool to learn about the unit of measurements in other countries. I hope you found some of the Thai units of measurements interesting!
If you want to learn about all the vocabulary for time and telling time in Thai, check out my article.