How to Switch between English and Thai on Google Maps

I love using the google maps, both for exploring from the comfort of my own home and for when I am out and about in my car or on my bicycle. However, the problem with maps in Thailand these days for foreign tourists is that it is in the Thai language by default. Many people keep asking me how to change it. At first I thought that it was looking at your IP address, and seeing that you are in Thailand changed the language to Thai. But, apparently, there is an easy setting that you can change to get English.

All you have to do is select “English” in the drop down list in the top right-hand corner where you can see the links for “Earth” and “Satellite”. It’s that simple. I am not sure how long that has been there. I only found out last night from @bm_ about this. It’s good that they do this now but it doesn’t seemed to work when you link to a map. So, if I tweet a link to a google map you will need to make sure that you have selected “English” in the preferences otherwise it will be in Thai. If you have any other useful tips like this, then please let me know in the comments.

16 thoughts on “How to Switch between English and Thai on Google Maps

  • September 18, 2012 at 10:52 am
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    Thanks for this tip.
    I also found Street View to be extremely useful, especially when navigating to places which I’ve not been to. One can easily do screen-capture, and store them into your mobile device for quick easy and accurate reference when on the road. This would be extra helpful for those without a mobile internet plan, as the image can be shown to the taxi driver as well.

    As a bonus, one can also decide to view Street View in 3D, with a simple pair of red & blue 3D glasses. They cost a mere 150Baht at Panthip Mall.

    Another use for Google Maps, is the ability right-click, and “drop Lat Ling Marker”. That way, you’ll have the GPS coordinates of the place which you intend to get to. Which you can also copy-paste into your favourite GPS Mobile software.

    Hope this helps

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    • September 18, 2012 at 11:34 am
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      You seem to have English already on the map and so it is not really an issue for you 🙂

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      • September 18, 2012 at 1:17 pm
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        So I cannot switch back to Thai if I wish?

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        • September 18, 2012 at 2:38 pm
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          Are you using google.co.th? Or maybe is your IP showing that you are outside of Thailand?

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  • September 18, 2012 at 4:23 pm
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    Yes, that’s it! I was using google.com and I guess it didn’t check my IP. Thanks as always.

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  • September 18, 2012 at 8:17 pm
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    Great tip. Thanks!

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  • September 20, 2012 at 2:18 pm
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    Not for maps but I have a way to stop Google annoyingly redirecting to the local version of it’s search results.

    Just type /ncr at the end of the google url ie. http://www.google.com/ncr
    This stands for “No Country Redirect” and gives you the standard Google results without the localized version of results including local language sites.

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  • March 26, 2013 at 6:38 am
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    What about iPad that do not have this drop down menu?

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  • July 28, 2013 at 7:40 pm
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    Good tip, but it doesn’t appear on my phone with the new google maps…

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  • August 19, 2013 at 10:16 pm
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    Thanks, but Google Maps is still partly in Thai for me.

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  • January 9, 2014 at 5:33 pm
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    This is not specifically about goole maps, but the ‘automatic language change’ in google that has everybody annoyed…myself included. My case mite vary a little. Every week or so google search switches back to thai from english, and I found a solution for me. I have an iPad, and a macbook….I gave my iPad to the little thai wife to use in her shop. I asked her if she had the same problem ….switching to english.
    Somewhere along the line I synced my iPad with my mb, and iMac…big mistake. Now whoever uses the search switches it on the other cmptr. I just switched her iPad to Yahoo search, and everything is ok. Hope you find this info helpful.

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  • April 22, 2014 at 9:53 am
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    Is there a way to do this now that Google maps has updated?

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  • May 18, 2014 at 4:35 pm
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    Hello Richard,
    Like you I am in Thailand, about a couple of years ago when using Google Maps, I was able to get directions entirely in English. Now I find there is a mixture of Thai and English. The directions will say turn left or right as the case may be, or take road number whatever, but if it wants you to take a turn or follow a direction where it is going to give a place name/town or otherwise, it gives it in Thai. It never used to do this, and some time ago I complained to Google who said they were aware of the problem but unable to do anything about it at present. Do you have the same problem? or can you get round it. I know you can copy and paste the directions to have them translated but this is a pain in the butt and it doesn’t always give a correct translation

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    • September 21, 2016 at 7:33 pm
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      2 years later and this issue still exists! Help! Anyone? Sick of hearing “I love Google Maps. ” Also G-maps does not give enough voice directions to be useful. Any way to help BOTH issues? Thx.

      Reply

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