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How can I convert an address in Thailand from English to Thai?

Motivations:

  • give taxi drivers in Thailand the address in Thai
  • send letters to an address in Thailand

E.g from:

25 Condo SPN Place, 7th Floor,

Room 708,

Soi Ladprao 80, Intersection 22 Ladprao Road,

Wangthonglang, Subdistrict, Wangthonglang District

Bangkok 10310

to:

25 คอนโด แส พี แอน เพลส ขั้น 7

ห้อง 708

ซอยลาดพร้าว 80 แยก 22

ถ. ลากพร้าว แชวง วังทองหลาง เขค วังทองหลาง

กรุงเทพ 10310

(Example taken from https://forum.thaivisa.com/topic/1019601-need-help-translating-thai-address-to-english-please/ (mirror), which I found when researching the question and according to https://redd.it/hhi4f9 is imperfect.)

I tried Google Translate but the translation was far from perfect.

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    Are these addresses that are likely to be listed on internet? If so, can you use a Thai version of the site to catch the address? – Willeke Jun 28 at 17:50
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    @Willeke thanks for the suggestion, good point, quite often this trick won't work though (e.g. because I got the address somewhere else such as text message, or that the website isn't available in both languages). – Franck Dernoncourt Jun 28 at 20:30
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    Google maps + changing you default language to Thai will get you pretty far. – Ashley Jun 28 at 23:31
  • typo: แส reads "se". If you want "es" as in "SPN", it must be แอส – bb says Curb russian Trolls Jun 29 at 1:31
  • That "Intersection 22 Ladprao Road" part doesn't really make sense, it's either soi 80 or soi 22 (and Thanon Ladprao isn't itself a soi of anything, is it?) Did you make that up or is that a real address? – AndreKR Jun 29 at 19:57
27

If you're looking for a fully automated way, you can't. Thai romanization is nonstandard and lossy, and Thai script has many redundant letters, so you can't tell if a "kh" is supposed to be ข kho khai or ค kho khwai, much less get the vital tone markings right.

However! If you punch in a romanized Thai address into Google Maps (in the mobile app), and it can work it out, it will offer you the Thai script version as well, complete with a handy speaker button for reading it out loud:

enter image description here

That said, while this works well for major landmarks, for some addresses like your example it doesn't recognize the building itself. It'll still get you in the vicinity though. You will also often need to manually strip all extra info like floor/unit so it doesn't mistakenly latch onto those.

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    As well echoing that advice, I'll add another possible complication which is that sometimes the English name is a translation rather than transliteration of the Thai name or vice versa. And yet another complication is that the name occasionally comes from another language. You need some look up procedure. – badjohn Jun 29 at 14:21
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    The funny-looking QG2R+92 thingy is a unique identifier for that address. If you look this code up in advance, it makes it a lot more likely that you'll be able to find what you want later. – Kevin Jun 30 at 2:25
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Here's what I do:

  • Keep the building name in latin characters
  • Learn to write "floor", "room", "house" and "soi"
  • Translate the Thanon using Wikipedia or Google Maps (for smaller streets)
  • Translate the Tambon, Amphoe and Changwat using Wikipedia
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  • Thanks for sharing the translation strategy. That sounds like fully / almost automatable :) – Franck Dernoncourt Jun 29 at 22:17
2

One solution from Reddit (mirror) posted by users cranialmatters and bingy_bongy_bangy, also based on Google Maps:

If you find the address on google maps in English, then change the language to Thai (to do this, paste ?hl=th onto the end of the URL) while you have the address pinned you may then get the Thai address.

Example with the address "847 Phetchaburi Rd, Thanon Phaya Thai, Ratchathewi, Bangkok 10400":

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  • This information was already given in an other answer. – Willeke Jun 30 at 4:23
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    @Willeke the other answer doesn't mention we can switch the Google maps language setting. They use a different trick. – Franck Dernoncourt Jun 30 at 4:31

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