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All You Need To Know About Thai Document Translation

Posted by Ethan N. on December 23, 2022.

Thailand now becomes one of the preferred markets for business investors. However, there are always challenges and difficulties for new entrants. One such challenge is the language barrier. It leads us to many questions such as: how to translate English into a Thai document? Is Google Translate accurate for Thai documents?

Therefore, Thai document translation services are a vital key for businesses to expose an enriched market with 70 million affluent and sophisticated consumers. Let’s explore Thai document translation in further detail!

1. The difference in the Thai Language


Thailand has its own unique alphabet and writing system based on the Pali language. The written system is different from other languages since it uses a combination of consonants and vowels to represent different sounds. 

The Thai alphabet consists of 72 letters which are 44 consonants and 28 vowels. This can then be split further into 3 consonant classes, 12 long vowels, and 16 short vowels. 

Here are examples of the alphabet:

Thai consonant Word Pronunciation English sound English translation
ก ไก่ gɔɔ-gài g chicken
ข ไข่  kɔ̌ɔ-kài k egg
ค ควาย kɔɔ-kwaai k buffalo
ฌ เฌอ  chɔɔ-chəə ch tree
ญ หญิง  yɔɔ-yǐng y woman
ฎ ชฎา  dɔɔ-chá-daa d headdress
น หนู  nɔɔ-nǔu n mouse
บ ใบไม้  bɔɔ-bai-mái b leaf
ป ปลา  bpɔɔ-bplaa bp fish
ผ ผึ้ง pɔ̌ɔ-pʉ̂ng p bee

Additionally, there are no upper and lower-case versions of letters. Thai writing is often used for religious texts, as well as for government documents, newspapers, and business authorities. Thus, Thai document translation services are necessary for business while registering a business in the Thai market.


The basic word structure in sentences is simple as in English: subject + verb (+ object). For example

Thai English Translation Thai sentences structure
ผม อยู่ กรุงเทพ  I live in Bangkok I – LIVE – BANGKOK
กรุงเทพ เป็น เมืองหลวง ของ ประเทศไทย Bangkok is the capital of Thailand BANGKOK – IS – CAPITAL CITY – OF – THAILAND

However, there is some common difference in Thai grammar that the noun will be placed in the first of the sentence and then followed by their pronoun:

Thai English Translation Thai sentences structure
ราคา มัน แพง The price is expensive PRICE – IT – EXPENSIVE
ภาษาไทย มัน ไม่ ค่อย เหมือน ภาษาอังกฤษ เท่าไหร่ The Thai language is not so similar to English. THAI LANGUAGE – IT – NOT – SO – SAME – ENGLISH LANGUAGE – HOWEVER MUCH

It can potentially cause confusion for businesses that are new entrants in the Thai market. Therefore, utilize the Thai document translation services to make sure the localization process is seamless and accurate. 


Verbs are one of the most difficult things in Thai grammar. One such tough thing is putting three or more consecutive verbs in the right place to create a meaningful sentence.

It is achieved by using resultative and directional verbs and dropping nouns and pronouns to make the context clear. Notably, Thai verbs don’t change for tense, instead, tenses are indicated mostly by context or with the use of words like จะ jà “will” and แล้ว láew “already”.

Thai English Translation Thai sentences structure
ฉัน อยาก รีบ กลับ ไป นอน  I want to hurry back and sleep. I – WANT – HURRY – RETURN – GO – SLEEP

The example above is the common Thai sentence that the locals normally use in daily life. It contains five consecutive verbs. Thai document translation services are available to save resources and budget for small and medium businesses that might not want to hire an in-house translator.


Nouns in Thai also have two forms: plural and singular. It might be difficult because nouns must be used with its classifier. However, the classifier concept is not actually an unfamiliar term in English, it is an equivalent in the way English speakers use “measure words” for nouns. 

For example,  these are nouns “paint” or “water”, and to quantify them an extra measure word such as “two tins of paint” and “several buckets of water”.

The measure word here works in exactly the same way as a Thai classifier, but the key difference is that in Thai even directly countable nouns like “house” or “car” also need a classifier when being quantified. 

The classifier for a house, for instance, is หลัง lăng and so the direct translation for “many houses” in Thai is “houses – many – lăng”.

Therefore, proficient Thai document translation services will effectively curb the language barrier by being able to easily communicate the intended meaning of any document from marketing materials to legal contractions.


2. Common types of Thai document translation

In this part, we will find out three common types of Thai document translation that businesses might also want to consider when they execute their expansion plan. 

Thai marketing document translation

According to Lloyds Bank, rising incomes lead to increasing consumer demand for a wide variety of products and services. Thai consumers are willing to pay more for their favorite brands, and rarely switch brands.

Due to the growth of e-commerce, online retail sales gained 51 million in 2021. Additionally, 90% of Thais chose convenience as a key shopping, more than budget. Therefore, digital marketing Thai document translation will be a smart plan for business in the first step of operating.

For instance, Bobbi Brown, an American cosmetics brand, did a great job in creating a localized campaign. This campaign shows their understanding of the local market and boosts online presence by translating their website and creating a new Instagram account in the Thai language.


These positive traits have gained the attention of numerous Thai beauty gurus and consumers, creating strong brand recognition.  Thus, when entering the Thai market, the more you can communicate in their language, the more you get support and engagement. 

In addition to the website and social media, Thai document translation services also support businesses in various types such as mobile apps, email marketing, client testimonials, etc. Choosing a reliable Thai translation services agency is important to conquer Thai hearts.

Thai legal document translation

Most government authorities and legal documents use the Thai language, so taking advantage of  Thai document translation is one the most important keys to helping businesses overcome language barriers and understand the rules.


There are two basic types of legal documents that your business need to get attention:

  • Foreign business license: The Foreign Business License (FBL) is a type of license given to foreign-majority-owned companies or foreign investors who wish to conduct restricted business activities. Under FBL, businesses must be required to apply for various documents such as certificates of a juristic person, financial statements of the past three years, certification of the status of the applicant or director, etc. All documents are in Thai translation. 
  • Work permit: Foreigners entering Thailand to work or run a business must secure a valid work permit before doing business activities. Similar to FBL, a work permit application requires various documents in Thai like VAT certificates and filings, social security payment forms, corporate income tax filings, the employment contract between the company and the foreign individual, etc.

Thai medical document translation

Thailand’s medical tourism market is expected to reach US$ 5,687 million in 2022. Due to the rapidly developing health infrastructure in Thailand and sufficient government support, the medical tourism industry will be assisted to grow efficiently.


Seeking a professional Thai medical document translation will help patients and doctors communicate easily. There are a large number of documents that doctors need to know before treatment such as medical history, doctor affirmative, medical certificate, etc.

Thai translation services provide not only native language translators but also technical medical experts to deliver the highest outcome and avoid even minor mistakes. 


3. Thai document translation rates

Thai document translation costs are normally charged per word or per page. On average, you can expect to pay from $0.1 per word, depending on services and factors. There are three attributes that might affect your Thai document translation rates

  • Types of services: Basically, the translation agencies have three-level packages for clients to choose from. For example, three major ones can be Translation Only (TO), Translation – Editing (TE), and Translation – Editing – Proofreading (TEP).
  • Language pairs: the common language pairs such as Thai – English will be charged more than the language that does that to have many translators such as Polish – Thai or Swedish – Thai. 
  • Volume and deadlines: A large number of words within short-time requirements get a higher cost of translation. According to Common Sense Advisory (CSA), 88% of language service providers charge an extra fee for urgent projects, ranging from 10 to 200% depending on how short the turnaround time is.

Here is an example of Thai document translation rates based on language pairs, types of services, and documents:

Thai document translation costs
Types of translation Language pairs Types of services
Standard Pro Premium
Marketing document English – Thai 0.08 0.1 0.12
Spanish – Thai 0.1 0.14 0.16
Legal document English – Thai 0.08 0.1 0.12
Spanish – Thai 0.1 0.14 0.16
Medical document English – Thai 0.09 0.11 0.13
Spanish – Thai 0.12 0.16 0.18


4. Partnering with GTE Localize to be offered the best-in-class Thai document translation services

With more than 5 years in Thai document translation services, GTE Localize works with a large network of native Thai-speaker translators and highly skillful experts in various fields to deliver the best quality that satisfies thousands of clients worldwide.

Our team embraces customer-centric as a core value to come up with the appropriate translation solution by which to tailor the strategic plan based on requirements such as language pairs, volume, and deadlines within cost-effectiveness.


Contact us now for more information and get a free test!