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Vegetarian Phrases in World Languages
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  • NGall Tsi Sik Sul (I only eat vegetarian)
The G, beginning N , k, beginning T all have a very light influence in how they are pronounced...And Tsi is close to 'see'

Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia)

(See also Malay: Indonesian and Malaysian are 90% the same)
  • Saya tidak makan daging - I don't eat meat
  • Saya tidak bisa makan daging - I can't eat meat -- sometimes more useful than the above
  • Janganlah pakai daging - please don't use meat
  • Minta jangan pakai MSG/Ajinomoto/Bijin - Please don't put on MSG
  • Minta tidak pakai es - please no ice
  • Minta tidak pakai gula - please no sugar
  • Saya suka sayur campur dengan tempe, tahu, dan kecap kacang. - I like mixed vegetables with tempe, tofu and peanut sauce.
  • Dan nasi - putih/coklat/merah/hitam - And rice - white/brown/red/black
  • Dan minum: es teh, jus: jeruk, mangga, papaya, - And drink: ice tea, orange juice, mango juice, papaya juice
  • Saya mau beli buah, sayur, nasi, tempe, tahu, roti, mie - I want to buy fruit, veggies, rice, tempe, tofu, bread, noodles


(.wav files by Masahide Sakyu, Japan)
  • Buta niku - pork
  • Gyu niku - beef
  • Tori niku - chicken
These literally mean "pig meat", "cow meat" and "chicken meat", respectively. Nashi means without. So no meat would be Niku nashi; Buta niku nashi; Gyu niku nashi; Tori niku nashi

NOTE: for many people the English word "vegetarian" is already a familiar, well-known word; but in the rural areas or if you talk to an old person, please use the word "Saishoku shugisha" [sigh-shoh-koo shoo-gee-sha], a Japanese word for vegetarian. (Don't worry about this word if you are just visiting Tokyo -- just say "vegetarian".)


  • Chae sheek joowee imm nee da - I am vegetarian.
  • Gogi - (Pronounced with hard "g"'s and long "o"): Beef / Meat.
  • Gogi han mogoyo - I don't eat meat.
  • Gogi han droguh-nun mo issoyo? - What is there that doesn't have meat?
  • Gogi no chi maseyo - Don't put in any meat
  • Tway jee gogi: Pork
  • Sang song / Mool gogi: Fish
  • Cho gae - Shellfish, many times put in soup (like in a miso type soup)
  • Anny yo -no. ("Anny" is pronounced more like "on ny." "yo" is a polite way of saying something)
  • Upp so yo- Leave out, none, finished, etc.
  • Chu say yo - "I want, please" said after the statement.
  • Gogi anny yo - no meat or Gogi upp so yo - meat none / leave outetc though Koreans may think "meat" means "beef" only.

A safe dish (that gets tiring after a long time of it exclusively) is ("Ya chae) bib im bap" a large bowl of rice with finely sliced vegetables and maybe seaweed on top.

Malay (Bahasa Malaysia)

(See also Indonesian: Malaysian and Indonesian are 90% the same)
  • Saya seorang vegetarian - I am a vegetarian -- nb: rural areas may not be familiar with the phrase.
  • Saya tidak makan daging, ayam atau makanan laut - I dont eat meat, chicken nor seafood
  • Saya tidak makan telur - I dont eat eggs)
  • Tolong jangan bubuh kichap tiram, udang kering, sotong atau apa-apa jenis makanan yang ada daging/ayam/makanan laut/telur - please do not cook with any oyster sauce, dried prawns, squid or any foods with meat/chicken/seafood/eggs.
  • Adakah makanan ini mengandungi daging/ayam/makanan laut/telur ? - does this dish contain any meat/chicken/seafood/eggs?
  • Sayur - vegetables; Nasi - rice; Banyak sayur-sayuran - lots of vegetables; Terima kasih - thank you


(.wav files Chisen Lee, Singapore)
[written in pinyin]
  • wo chi su. - I am a vegetarian
  • wo bu chi rou, wo chi shu cai. - I don't eat meat, I eat vegetable
  • wo bu xihuan chi rou - I don't like to eat meat
  • wo bu chi yu - I don't eat fish
  • wo bu chi ji - I don't eat chicken
  • wo bu chi dan - I don't eat egg
  • wo bu chi niunai - I don't drink milk
  • wo he nai - I drink milk
  • Wo bu chi su liao - I do not eat meat analogs
  • zhe li you mai su shi ma - Do you sell vegetarian food?
  • Wo3 ai4 dong4 wu4, suo2 yi3 wo3 bu4 chi1 ta1 men [Wau AYE DONG-oo, SWAU-ee wau BOO CHR tah-men] - I love animals, so I don't eat them


  • Bi mahgui hool iddeg (I'm a vegetarian)
  • Ta nadad mahgui hool bolon zagasnii mahgui hool hiij ogooch? (Could you prepare a meal without meat or fish?)


  • The word for "I" in Thai is phom (for men) or chan (for women)
  • The Thai language has basically two words for vegetarian food:
    1. ahaan mangsawirat - no beef/chicken/pork/fish/seafood but can contain eggs. Milk is not commonly used in Thai cooking
    2. ahaan jay - strict vegetarian/vegan, nothing of animal origin but also no garlic, onions, strong spices etc
  • phom/chan thaan mangsawirat/jay thawnan - I only eat vegetarian food
  • phom/chan pen mangsawirat/jay I am a vegetarian
  • phom/chan mai (pronounced like "I" with an m in front and with a falling tone) thaan nua/muu/gai/khai/plaa/kung/puu/ahaan talay - I don't eat beef/pork/chicken/eggs/fish/prawn/crab/seafood
  • phom/chan choop thaan ahaan mangsawirat/jay maak kwaa I prefer to eat vegetarian food
  • Choop thaan kaaw krong kap kaeng panaeng tawhu/jay I like to eat vegetarian panaeng curry
  • Khaaw - means rice provided you pronounce is pronounced with a falling tone. Otherwise is may mean nine, white or news or .....
  • Khaaw (falling tone) khaaw (rising tone), white rice
  • Khaaw krong brown rice
  • Khaaw daeng/khaaw man puu red rice
  • Khaaw niaow dam black sticky rice
  • Mai (falling tone) phet - not hot
  • Phet - hot
  • Phet maak - very hot
  • Mai sai (pronounced lke "I" with s in front) naam plaa - don't put fish sauce
  • Mai sai phong churot - don't put MSG
  • Mai sai naam kaduuk tii tom jaak nua/muu/gai/khai/plaa - pleased don't put broth made from beef/pork/chicken/eggs/fish
  • Phom/chan choop thaan mansawirat/jay chen phat, polamay, kaaw, tawhu like to eat vegetarian food e.g. vegetables, fruits, rice, tofu
  • Phom/chan yaak suu phat, tawhu, kwaytiaw, polamay, kanom phang I would like to buy vegetables, tahu, noodles, fruiits, bread
  • Khray khaay khai gai who sells chicken eggs


  • Do Chay /Dou Chai Vegetarian Food.; Thuc An Chay - Vegetarian Food
  • Co Do Chay Khong A? /Koo Dou Chai Khoong Aa? Do you have Vegetarian Food.
  • Toi Khong An Thit, Tom, Ca /Toi khoong aang theet, tom, kaa I do not eat meat, shrimp and fish (Note: Because, in Vietnam, sometimes, meat exclude fish and shrimp.)
  • Khong Thit / Khoong Theet No Meat.
  • Khong Tom / Khoong tom No Shrimp
  • Khong Ca: /Khoong Ka No Fish
  • Khong An /Khoong Ang No .... (Fish, crab...)
  • Khong Da / Khoong Daa No Ice
  • Khong Duong: /Khoong Duoong No Sugar
  • Cam on (Come on like in English but pronounced slowly) Thank you.
  • Dau - Soy; Sua Dau Nanh /Sua Dau Naanh Soya Milk; Dau Hu tofu
  • An man = Khong An Chay - Non-Vegetarian; Thit Bo /Theet Boo Beef (Like the "o" of shore); Thit Heo / Theet Heo Pork (Like "Fail"); Ca /Kaa Fish ; Tom /Tom Shrimp; Ga /Ga Chicken (Like "car"); Cua / Kua Crab (Like "Sure"); Do An Bieng seafood
  • Trung / Truung Egg (Like the "U" in French); Sua Bo /Sua Boo Cow Milk. ; Sua Trau /Sua Trau Buffalo Milk (Like "Cow"); Sua De /Sua llae She-goat milk.
  • Sach Se khong? /Saach Se khoong? Is it clean?
  • Toi Khong An ...(Toi khoong ang I do not eat ...
  • Trai Cay / Trai Kai Fruit.; Tao - Apple; Chuoi - Banana; Quyt - Mandarine = Tangerine; Soai - Mango; Cam - Orange, Du Du - Papaya; Thom / Khom - Pineapple; Dau Da Lat - Strawberry;
  • Toi Muon Mua trai cay /Toi Muon Mua Trai Cai I like to buy fruits.
  • Sinh To (sounds like oh?) fruit mixed drink
  • Tra - Tea; Ca Fe - Coffee; Nuoc Suoi - Mineral water; Nuoc nau soi = Nuoc dun soi - Boiled water; Nuoc Da - Ice cube
  • Rau /Rau Vegetable (Like "Cow"); Rau Song /Rau Soong Raw Vegetables; Rau Luot /Rau Luot Boiled Vegetables (Like "quote")
  • Kho Qua - Bitter Gourd; Ca Rot - Carrot; Bong Cai - Cauliflower; Dua Leo - Cucumber; Hanh La - Fine herbs; Toi - Garlic; Bi - Gourd; Dau O Ve - Green beans; Dau Bap - Lady finger; Cai xa Lach - Lettuce = Salad; Nam - Mushroom; Cu Hanh - Onion; Dau Po Ti Poa - Petit Pois; Khoai Tay - Potato; Rong Bien - Sea Weeds; Rau den - Spinach; Khoai Lang - Sweet Potato; Ca To Mat - Tomato; Hot Dieu - Cashew Nut; Dua - Coconut; Mang Cau xiem - Sour Soup; Mang Cau ta - Sweet Soup; Me - Tamarind; Dua Hau - Water Melon; Ngu Coc - Cereals; Com - Rice; Me = Vung - Sesame
  • Just put "Aa!" at the end of an expression to show the idea of ordering something like "Please" in English. Please pitch down when you say so.

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