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  • Spencer Low

Thai words of Portuguese origin

Updated: Mar 5, 2023

The Church of Santa Cruz in the historical Portuguese neighbourhood of Kudi Jeen in Bangkok.

The Portuguese were the first Europeans to make contact with the Kingdom of Siam more than 500 years ago in 1511. In 1518 was signed the Treaty of Friendship and Commerce between Siam and Portugal. Not surprisingly the Thai language absorbed a few terms from the Portuguese.

  • กะละแม (kalamae): a kind of Thai toffee, from caramelo

  • คริสตัง (khritsatang): Roman Catholic, from cristão

  • ปัง (pang, commonly ขนมปัง or khanompang): bread, from pão

  • สบู่ (sabu): soap, from sabão

  • สันตะปาปา (santapapa): pope, from santo papa

  • เหรียญ (rian): coin, medal, from real

Do let me know @PortugueseAsia if you know of other words to be added to the list.

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