About the Program
Thai language courses at University of Hawai’i at Manoa are offered by the Department of Indo-Pacific Languages and Literatures, College of Languages, Linguistics and Literatures. Courses relating to various aspects of Thailand such as History, Anthropology, Economics are offered in various departments at the university, and are coordinated by the Center of Southeast Asian Studies, School of Pacific and Asian Studies.
First-Level and Second-Level Thai courses may be used to fulfill the foreign language requirement for all bachelor’s degrees on the Manoa campus.
Thai 201-202 and 301-302 are designated as “Writing Intensive” courses and satisfy “Writing Intensive” Focus Requirement of UH-Manoa.
About Thai Language
About the language
Thai, also known as Siamese or Standard Thai, is the official national language of Thailand, a country located in the center of South East Asia sharing common borders with Malaysia, Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia. It is spoken by about 60 million people in Thailand.
Thai is a tone language belonging to the Southwestern branch of the Tai language family, which includes languages spoken in Assam, northern Burma, all of Thailand including the peninsula, Laos, Northern Vietnam and the Chinese provinces of Yunnan, Guizhou(Kweichow) and Guangxi(Kwangsi).
The typical structure of a Thai sentence contains subject, verb and object, similar to English. Thai does not make use of inflections or verb conjugations.
Tense distinctions in the sentences are either determined by context or by adverbs and expressions of time.
Thai has its own script, which is basically alphabetic in nature, i.e., the script corresponds with pronunciation.
For a sample of Thai script and pronunciation and other information relating to Thai Language, please visit The Thai Language Page
Why study Thai?
Start a new adventure and fulfill UH Foreign Language requirement or get a Language Certificate.
If you want to better understand the beauty of Thailand- the outstanding architecture of its Buddhist temples, the amazing history of the ancient and modern cultures and to broaden your career opportunities, take Thai and enter an exciting world of fascinating contrasts.
For Professionals, Scholars or Enterpreneurs:
Currently, there is still a need for U.S. professionals and scholars with expertise and knowledge in the Thai language and the country. The following are some reasons:
- Thailand is considered a crossroads of mainland Southeast Asian countries, has long been and still remain significant to U.S. national interests, politically and economically.
- Thailand currently has political stability and has taken an increasingly active role in the international stage, regionally in ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) and also in World Trade Organization where a former Thai minister of Commerce assumes the position of Secretary General in 2002.
- Economically, the U.S. is Thailand’s largest trading partner and is among Thailand’s largest foreign investors.
So, if you are interested in Southeast Asia, especially mainland Southeast Asia, Thailand can be your “gateway” to Southeast Asia and you need Thai (the language) to truly understand the country and the people.
Come visit Thailand, a land of smiles—land of golden temples, superb cuisine, pristine beaches, world famous fabrics and gems and more. Knowing Thai will enable you to better understand and experience Thailand.