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The ability to speak Thai will allow you to communicate with the Thai people (Thailand currently has a population of over 60 million), about 14 percent of whom are ethnic Chinese. Thai is the national language of the Kingdom of Thailand. It is the largest and best known member of the Tai language family. There are a large number of speakers of Tai languages and dialects in South Western China, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Vietnam. Thai is a tonal language like Chinese. There are five tones in Standard Thai.

Thai at The University of Hong Kong was established in 1997 with the support of the Royal Thai Consulate in Hong Kong. The University of Hong Kong is the only university in the territory where students can minor in Thai.

Students gain first-hand experience of the Thai language as well as of Thai culture through our courses and through occasional trips to Thai temples, markets, and festivals. We also strongly encourage our students to travel to Thailand during the course of their studies and participate in summer language courses at our partner institutions.

Boat Market



THAI Programme



(12 Credits)

THAI1001. Thai I.1

THAI1002. Thai I.2

Core Courses

(24 Credits)

THAI2001.Thai II.1

THAI2002.Thai II.2

THAI3001.Thai III.1

THAI3002.Thai III.2

The objective of the Thai programme is to bring participants to a high level of proficiency in the language and to acquire a sound knowledge of Thai society and culture as well as of the Thai-speaking part of the world. The Thai programme will also offer a minor in Thai which will provide students with a good command of the four different language skills: speaking, listening, reading, and writing. A language minor will also allow students to gain a deeper insight into the contemporary life and culture of the respective country. Languages combine well with all major programmes offered within the Arts Faculty and they also provide students with additional opportunities to pursue further studies overseas.

In order to qualify for a minor in Thai, students must complete a total of 24 credits in their second (12 credits) and third (12 credits) years of studies in one of the languages listed below. In addition, students will be strongly encouraged to participate in a 3 to 4-week linguistic stay in Thailand during the summer or winter between their second and third year.

Learning Outcomes

Students who have completed a BA programme in Thai should be able to:

  •  Understand and use the Thai language effectively in most informal and formal contexts

  • Discuss and think critically about topics related to everyday life in Thailand, including social, political, cultural, and economic issues

  • Understand issues in contemporary Thai society

  •  Use my language skills to present and debate on various topics

  • Understand and demonstrate awareness of the similarities and differences between Thai culture and my own

  •  Appreciate diversity and be able to work in a multi-cultural environment

  • Recognize linguistic and cultural skills as significant advantages in the global workspace

  •  Use their language skills and understanding of another culture to communicate effectively in both work and social settings

  • Converse and write narratives and summaries on various topics, experiences and events

  • Use their understanding of Thailand’s position, characteristics, and influence as a nation, regionally, and globally to take up a leadership role



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Ms. Kanokwal Ratana-U-Bol

Programme Director
Assistant Lecturer


Ms. Kanokwal Ratana-u-bol is the Thai Programme Director and teaching all Thai language courses at all levels as well as all Thai content course. She graduated from Chulalongkorn Univeroidsty in 1981 with Bachelor of Arts. She has been teaching Thai in The University of Hong Kong since 2001.

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About Thai


Useful Links

Deep jungles of North Thailand
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