Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences - Institute of Asian and African Studies





Martin Schalbruch

Invalidenstraße 118, Room 101
Telephone: +49 (0)30 2093-66029
Email: martin.schalbruch (at)



Modern standard Thai is the official and working language in the Kingdom of Thailand. Thai, formerly Siamese, belongs to the Tai family of languages like the Lao and the Shan languages. Modern standard Thai distinguishes between five tones, which are marked using a unique, complex writing system. Thai has borrowed many words from Sanskrit, Mon, Khmer, Chinese and more recently English, adapting them to its own phonetic inventory. As the vocabulary reflects traditional culture and the complex social relationships in Thai society, knowledge of the Thai language is essential to an understanding of cultural and social phenomena.


Course Overview

Thai 1

  • 4 SWS, winter term
  • Written exam

Thai 2

  • 4 SWS, summer term
  • Written and oral exam

Thai 3

  • 4 SWS, winter term
  • Written exam

Thai 4

  • 4 SWS, summer term
  • Oral exam

Reading Courses (“Lektürekurse”)

  • 2 SWS
  • Written or oral exam (M.A. only)