The word “sanuk“ (สนุก pronounced sanook as in “look”) in the Thai language, means to have a good time, to have fun, to enjoy oneself and to derive pleasure and joy from something. It is almost a rule of living for Thai people that whatever they do, it has to be sanuk. The concept of sanuk goes beyond having of a good laugh or a good time at a dance or a performance.
สนุก : Sà-nòok =
1. [modifier] fun ; enjoyable
2. [verb] be fun ; be enjoyable
3. [verb] to enjoy (something) ; to have a good time
a) used to indicate ‘something is fun or enjoyable’ e.g. หนังสนุก : Nŭng Sà-nòok (1&2) = fun movie/film ; enjoyable movie/film ; the movie/film is fun ; the movie/film is enjoyable [หนัง : Nŭng = movie ; film]
b) used to indicate ‘someone is fun or enjoyable to be with’ e.g. เขาเป็นคนสนุก : Kăo Bpe’n Ko’n Sà-nòok (1) = He/She is a fun person., เขาสนุก : Kăo Sà-nòok (2) = He/She is fun., คนสนุก : Ko’n Sà-nòok (1) = fun person/people
c) used with the word ‘กับ : Gùb = with’ to indicate ‘someone enjoys something’ e.g. เขาสนุกกับหนัง : Kăo Sà-nòok~Gùb (3) Nŭng = He/She enjoys the movie/film. / He/She is enjoying the movie/film.
More examples of Sanuk:
thamngan sanuk = to enjoy one’s work
khui sanuk = to enjoy talking; to be a good speaker
daa sanuk = to enjoy scolding other
thuuk daa sanuk = to enjoy being scolded
If you would like to learn more Thai words, please visit Thai Style’s facebook page.
Most guide books to Thailand will tell you about the Thai concept of sanuk which often gets translated as meaning ‘fun’. But sanuk is more than having fun; it’s about striving to achieve satisfaction and pleasure from whatever you do. Whether it’s the office, the karaoke bar or working in the rice fields, Thai people will try and make it sanuk. A sense of humour and a sense of fun are two of the most important things to pack when you visit Thailand. Thai people will try and inject a sense of enjoyment into their daily life and as a visitor if you do likewise, you will fit in very well.
When bartering for shopping bargains or negotiating with a tuk-tuk driver, always smile and be a bit cheeky if you want. If you do it in the right manner, the Thai person will usually play along with the game. This won’t come easily for all tourists, but I highly recommend you try it during your stay in Thailand.
And so, the main purpose of this blog is simply sanuk! I lived and worked in Thailand for a large part of my life as a social/cultural anthropologist and continue to return nearly every year. I now live in a beautiful region of Australia (Far North NSW) and enjoy photography, Asian culture and travelling in my spare time. In this blog, you will find many of my photo essays, some of my favourite recipes, places of interest, research topics and general travel information that I find it interesting as well as informative.
Mai Pen Rai aka Marti
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A note about 555. The equivalent of “hahaha” (or LOL) in English used by Thai people online is 555. In Thai “ha” means 5. Thus, hahaha = 555