23 Feb 2016
It’s a known fact that mai pen rai is one of the most-used responses in the Thai language. The three syllables roughly translate to “it’s okay” or “don’t worry” — but what does this simple phrase actually mean? After asking not only foreigners, but also native Thais, what their definition ofmai pen rai is, I received a surprising variety of responses. Just some of the many interpretations were as follows: “Yeah, I know what it means — ‘whatever,’ right?”; “It’s like never mind,”; “Oh — don’t worry,” and so on.