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The purpose of this research is to study about how Thai students learning Japanese understand the differences between loanwords and their Japanese synonyms. Also, to examine the important factors for Thai students learning Japanese to use those words correctly. A sample was selected by using a simple random sampling method from 3rd and 4th year Japanese major students (64 peoples) who passed JLPT N2 and N3. This research
was surveyed by using a questionnaire. The first part of questionnaire has 30 questions consisting of 10 pairs of synonyms. The samples choose the suitable words and fill in the blank of sentences. The second part has 10 questions and the samples explain the differences between 10 pairs of synonyms. The results of this research are as follows: (1) Most of students understand the differences between Gairaigo and their Japanese synonyms, and chose the suitable words in the blank of sentences. (2) The most important factor in understanding the different nuances depends on the result of Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLTP). The examinees who passed JLPT N2 could understand the differences and chose the suitable words more than the examinees that passed JLPT N3. Lastly (3) The cause of problem, that the examinees cannot understand the different nuances and cannot choose suitable words, was from the influence of English.