Here’s the short answer: yes, English is a commonly spoken language in Bangkok and other tourist destinations, especially by younger people.
You’ll have no problem using only English in Bangkok, especially more international and touristy areas. While many Thais may not be fluent in English, you can still have practical exchanges with them.
English is a mandatory subject in Thai schools, so many younger people are able to speak the language at a basic level.
Outside of Bangkok
In tourist areas like Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Phuket, it is very easy to find people who speak English.
In more rural areas or small towns, you might not be able to find anyone who speaks English.
If you’re planning to travel to Thailand and want to communicate with locals, it’s a good idea to learn some basic Thai phrases. This will show respect for the culture and make it easier for locals to communicate with you. You can also carry a phrasebook or download a translation app to help you communicate.
Overall, while not everyone in Thailand may speak English, it is a commonly used language in the country and it is possible to communicate with locals using English, especially in major cities and tourist areas.
Thai Government’s Efforts on English Education
In Thailand, English is a mandatory subject in schools. This means that all students are required to study English as part of their curriculum. English is typically introduced in primary schools, and students continue to study the language throughout their secondary education.
The Thai government places a strong emphasis on English language education, recognizing its importance as a global language and its potential to open up opportunities for Thai students in the global job market, and its overall benefits for the Thai economy.
In addition to traditional classroom instruction, many schools in Thailand also offer extracurricular English language programs, such as English camps and language exchanges. These programs provide students with additional opportunities to practice their English skills and improve their proficiency.
Overall, the requirement for students to study English in Thailand has helped to make the language more widely spoken in the country. While not everyone may be fluent, many Thais are able to hold basic conversations in English.