Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
ก. ข. ค. ง. จ. ฯลฯ used with document numbers
Thread poster: Dylan Jan Hartmann

Dylan Jan Hartmann  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2014)
Thai to English
+ ...

Moderator of this forum
Apr 14

We often see the Thai letters used along with document numbers when translating.

When the Thai letters are an abbreviation for a place name, and the abbreviation of that place name in English is well-known, I assert that the English abbreviation is to be used. Eg. อย. - FDA and not OrYor.

We often see these characters transcribed phonetically using RTGS or another form of transcription but writing in this phoneticised manner seems inappropriate for audiences outside of Thailand, as it leads to more questions and confusion rather than understanding, or claims that terms have been left untranslated. For example, if a Thai translator transcribes ศธ as SorThor, the client might ask, "Why have you left the word SorThor untranslated at the top of the page?"

I asked this to Professor Sandra Hale, National President of the Australian Institute of Interpreters and Translators, Professor of Interpreting and Translation from the University of New South Wales:


As a Thai-English translator, I have a common accuracy issue that I would like to raise.

Many document codes, or reference numbers in Thai use Thai letters as part of the code eg: ส.123

The local Thai transcription standard is to transcribe these letters into roman characters as they would sound, eg. ส = Sor, ด = Dor, ว = Wor. The source has used abbreviations but the standard local practice is to write these abbreviations out phonetically when translating into English.

For English translations, with an international audience (rather than for local use in Thailand), I have thought this would cause confusion seeing a document code สดว171 = SorDorWor171 etc. so have used roman letters instead SDW171.

While this doesn’t meet the locally acceptable standards in Thailand, would this be acceptable (preferred?) for foreign audiences?

I was reminded of this after your mention of domestication/foreignisation.

As another example, we have a document code ศธ. 1002.05/

You can see the two Thai letters ศ and ธ.

Local Thai-based translators would phoneticise the two Thai letters when transcribing: SorThor 1002.05/

To domesticate this, I have preferred to use abbreviations (as the source has): ST 1002.05/

This is so the audience reads these as 'document codes' rather than as an untranslated word, to avoid them having to wonder “what does SorThor mean?”


Professor Sandra's response was short and simple:


I agree with you that on this case it would be better to use the domestication approach and use Roman alphabet letters. It wouldn't make sense otherwise.


So, with the ศธ. example, I deduce there can only be two options: Finding the meaning of ศธ. (กระทรวงศึกษาธิการ) and using the equivalent abbreviation in English: MOE (Ministry of Education); or, simply transcribing the Thai letters with Roman alphabet letters: ST. This is because to anyone outside of Thailand, "SorThor" makes no sense.

There are various examples with other Thai agencies using the single letter transcriptions but the phoneticisation approach seems all too common. I'd like to open the forum up for discussion on this.

Secondly, if the Thai letter จ is transcribed, for example, how does one differentiate between ช if you insist on using the RTGS method? ก ข ค all have the same problem.

I understand there is already much disagreement and criticism of the RTGS and ISO transcription methods, possibly leading to much of the inconsistencies in Thai transcription. So what should we as translators use?

Looking forward to hearing everyone's thoughts on this matter.


 

Thanyarat Bhalakula
Thailand
Local time: 02:23
English to Thai
+ ...
Use the official abbreviations in the document filling numbers Apr 14

Normally the Thai alphabets used in document numbers are mostly the abbreviations of the official names of the government organizations which also offered in Thai and English languages. For example, อย. OrYor. from สำนักงานคณะกรรมการอาหารและยา) is officially named Food and Drug Administration and FDA as its abbreviation. Therefore, whenever there are official English names and abbreviations, we should use them accordingly.

Here is the link to Thai government organizations and their abbreviations.

https://everydayenglish.pwa.co.th/tags/หน่วยงานราชการและรัฐวิสาหกิจ


 

Dylan Jan Hartmann  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2014)
Thai to English
+ ...

Moderator of this forum
TOPIC STARTER
Some reading Apr 15

There are some very good points made here that are worth discussing:

http://www.aclweb.org/anthology/Y04-1021


 

Dylan Jan Hartmann  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2014)
Thai to English
+ ...

Moderator of this forum
TOPIC STARTER
Examples in use Apr 15

Not written as "TorMor.6" here!

upi3x6vhqfmhx1osdqxr.jpg


 

Patrick Fitzsimons  Identity Verified
United States
Member (2015)
Thai to English
Distinguishing Translations from Transliterations May 1

In my opinion the use of roman alphabet abbreviations in all cases is complicated by the need to distinguish translations from transliterations. Although I agree that using the translated English abbreviation is always preferable, since this isn't always possible a system is needed for abbreviations that can't be translated. When one abbreviation is translated but another is transliterated, this needs to be made clear.

For example, let's say you have อย., know what it means, and translate it as FDA. And then in the same document you have "ฟดอ.", and don't know what it means or it is untranslatable. If this is transliterated as FDO, without an explanation, I think it is misleading.

If you want to use FDO but are concerned about misleading, you could include a note that this is a transliteration, not an English translation. If you want to use ForDorOr. but are concerned about confusing, you could include a note that this is a standard (if unattractive) method of transliteration. An advantage of the ForDorOr system is that it only requires one explanation for a reader to understand it in all instances. FDO etc. needs to be distinguished in every case, as it's identical to a translation.

Secondly, if the Thai letter จ is transcribed, for example, how does one differentiate between ช if you insist on using the RTGS method? ก ข ค all have the same problem.


First, I'm not sure SorThor is the "RTGS" method—which would direct us to use SoTho, or sotho (see page 15: http://www.ratchakitcha.soc.go.th/DATA/PDF/2542/D/037/11.PDF ) Or am I wrong about that? If anyone knows the origin of this SorThor standard, I'd love to know more.

Second, this isn't a problem unique to any method: the Thai alphabet simply has far more letters than English and so can't be fully reproduced with our alphabet. If you use J for จ you're not solving the problem, as how do you distinguish ช from ฉ etc. In fact, the SorThor method is more versatile, as the second letter can distinguish more letters: Kor from Khor, etc.

There are some very good points made here that are worth discussing:

http://www.aclweb.org/anthology/Y04-1021


I had a look at this article but wasn't sure which points you meant. What did you have in mind?

[Edited at 2018-05-01 02:44 GMT]


 

Dylan Jan Hartmann  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2014)
Thai to English
+ ...

Moderator of this forum
TOPIC STARTER
Only for well-known abbreviations May 1

Patrick Fitzsimons wrote:

For example, let's say you have อย., know what it means, and translate it as FDA. And then in the same document you have "ฟดอ.", and don't know what it means or it is untranslatable. If this is transliterated as FDO, without an explanation, I think it is misleading.


Please refer to my opening statement:

When the Thai letters are an abbreviation for a place name, and the abbreviation of that place name in English is well-known, I assert that the English abbreviation is to be used. Eg. อย. - FDA and not OrYor.


 

Patrick Fitzsimons  Identity Verified
United States
Member (2015)
Thai to English
... May 1

I'm not sure I understand your point. Regardless of whether they are well-known or not (and what is well-known in the Thai context (e.g. DPIM) is not always well known outside of it), if one of your abbreviations is a translation and the rest are transliterations, and this isn't indicated, it is problematic. It could be as simple as pointing out that your transliterations retain the period from the Thai version (FDO.), if you thought this was clear and wouldn't lead to misunderstandings.

But maybe I'm misunderstanding you—to clarify, and to use this example, how would you handle the unknown ฟดอ. in English in a body of text?


 

Dylan Jan Hartmann  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2014)
Thai to English
+ ...

Moderator of this forum
TOPIC STARTER
Please refer to the post title May 3

The point is that this forum post is in reference to "Document numbers" not abbreviations or acronyms within the document, which unless well-known should always be translated in full.

This is clearly mentioned in item 15 of the AUSIT Best Practices Guidelines: https://ausit.org/AUSIT/Documents/Best_Practices_2014.pdf

15. Abbreviations
Abbreviations should be deciphered and translated in full. If this is not possible,
a note should be inserted to this effect.
Very common and known abbreviations may be translated using equally known
abbreviations in the target language (for example “e. g.”, “et al.” etc.).


For your example DPIM, as with all abbreviations or acronyms, the first instance of the acronym should be translated in full, Department of Primary Industry and Mines and the abbreviation should be placed in brackets behind this first full-instance Department of Primary Industry and Mines (DPIM).

This is pretty standard for all formal writing.

See the American Psychological Association's guide here: http://blog.apastyle.org/apastyle/abbreviations/

"How do I introduce an abbreviation in the text?
The first time you use an abbreviation in the text, present both the spelled-out version and the short form."


If you can't find the meaning of an abbreviation, then either look harder or insert a note.

Document numbers, however, are not so suited to including full-translations or adding any additional meaning because they have no inherent meaning other than being document numbers or codes, such as the TM.6 example I showed. Consistency is more of a priority as is avoiding causing possible confusion, like "SorThor" does.

[Edited at 2018-05-03 00:58 GMT]


 

Dylan Jan Hartmann  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2014)
Thai to English
+ ...

Moderator of this forum
TOPIC STARTER
J May 3

Patrick Fitzsimons wrote:

If you use J for จ you're not solving the problem.


I've known a few people called Joy who really wouldn't appreciate being called Choy.


 

Patrick Fitzsimons  Identity Verified
United States
Member (2015)
Thai to English
Yes, document numbers... May 3

I understand, but I was trying to say that distinguishing translations from transliterations is relevant for document numbers. You asserted that you would use the English translation if it is an abbreviation for a well-known entity, such as the FDA, and implied that you would transliterate with straight roman numerals otherwise. This led to my concern that you might need to distinguish between the two. Let me be more clear with my previous example:

For example, let's say you have the document number อย. 123 and translate it as FDA 123. And then you have another document number beginning "ฟดอ. 123", and ฟดอ. is untranslatable. If this is transliterated as FDO 123, without an explanation, it may be misleading. If one was FDA 123 and the other ForDorOr 123, this is one way to show the difference. —Does that make sense?

Further, a text will often contain document codes in both English and Thai, and in my opinion it is worth distinguishing what is an official English code (such as a protocol code for a clinical trial, containing letters and numbers) and what is a transliteration of a Thai document code. Having a system that makes transliterations obvious is one useful way of distinguishing between the two.


 

Dylan Jan Hartmann  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2014)
Thai to English
+ ...

Moderator of this forum
TOPIC STARTER
Our role as translators: Who is your audience? May 6

Patrick Fitzsimons wrote:

If one was FDA 123 and the other ForDorOr 123, this is one way to show the difference. —Does that make sense?



If you want to show the difference, why not just leave it in the source text? The phoneticisation of Thai characters "ForDorOr" makes no sense to those without knowledge of Thai language. It would be interesting if translators from French-English (or other languages) shared your opinion.

An obvious example here is CV. Should we now write this as "CeeVee" so readers know the difference? https://www.talkinfrench.com/french-acronyms/

Patrick Fitzsimons wrote:
Further, a text will often contain document codes in both English and Thai, and in my opinion it is worth distinguishing what is an official English code (such as a protocol code for a clinical trial, containing letters and numbers) and what is a transliteration of a Thai document code. Having a system that makes transliterations obvious is one useful way of distinguishing between the two.


In this situation we need to seriously consider our role as translators. If, for example, you are working for a local university and there is a need to go back and forth between the document codes, or search the university's databases in Thai using the translated text etc. there may be a need to clearly distinguish which ones are from Thai/EN. Honestly, in most intellectual fields the readers would have suitable knowledge to be able to determine this for themselves, so I still question the need. Nevertheless, if the above case is true, it would certainly be better to leave it in the source and deliver a bilingual document.

The second example, which is true for most of our cases here on ProZ.com, is that the audience is part of a multinational corporation and the documents will never see the light of day in Thailand. The readers will have very limited understanding or interest in Thai language (or Thai coding systems) and our role as translators, as facilitators of communication through message transfer (AUSIT), is to not cause confusion by adding unnecessary additions and complexities to document codes/numbers! In this situation, consistency is key. If document numbers are written as FDO123 FDO124 FDO125 etc. throughout the document, it has as much inherent meaning as XON123 XON124 XON125. Start phoneticising document numbers and this will lead to questions, like "what does ForDorAor mean?" "I've never seen that before" "the translator left an untranslated word".


 

Dylan Jan Hartmann  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2014)
Thai to English
+ ...

Moderator of this forum
TOPIC STARTER
A real-world example May 6

For university documents, looking at documents from my former workplace, the ศธ had been taken out completely:

clsweqk82ydyo8szcwqz.pngf8k3ao26oelarhkryldd.png


 

Mont Redmond  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 14:23
Member (2011)
Indonesian to English
+ ...
Maximum Meaning and Optimum Accuracy May 6

As Dylan has pointed out, the main purpose of our translation work is to render a foreign document as intelligible as possible to the reader without unduly changing the meaning from the original. The use of transliterated terms like KorNorRor for กนร, for example, entails three types of confusion in readers not familiar with Thai-language conventions:
1) These terms fail to convey the correct pronunciation of the letters as Thais would say them. (The 'r' is a well-meaning but misleading attempt to gently modify the sound of the 'o' for a few English readers. Many will, as I would if I didn't know better, pronounce the 'r' as well.)
2) English readers of a sequence of unfamiliar capital letters rightly identify them as document codes or foreign acronyms, and realize that each letter stands on its own, either as a letter in its own right or an abbreviation of a word. With KorNorRor, that inference is lost. The uninformed English reader thinks that he/she is looking at a word, not a mere sequence of letters. And so the question arises, 'Why didn't you translate this strange foreign word?'
3) Acronyms in English are written without spelling out the sounds of each letter, e.g. USA, not YuEsAy. For consistency's sake, transliterated letters in other languages should follow the same convention. As for which English letter should represent which foreign letter (e.g. does ก = g or k?), that's another matter altogether.

These observations do not, of course, apply to acronyms that can be converted into meaningful words or titles, such as Sep. for ก.ย.


 

Peter Ross  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 05:23
Member (2014)
Thai to English
+ ...
Functionality May 6

Abbreviations are supposed to be translated in full. Not knowing an abbreviation is a failure in ability, not method.

If “translation” of any document code renders it unusable, surely it has failed the functionality test.

The RTGS was not designed to be phonetic and has been widely used among Thai Studies academics worldwide.

In terms of what system to use, one could similarly ask, What saw should a carpenter use?

[Edited at 2018-05-06 08:04 GMT]


 

Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 02:23
Member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
Domestic or local version May 6

I also suffer with this issue for many decades when Imternet was not in existence. Now I can search many versions of document code translation. Readers in Thailand want to trace back to source texts but oversea readers want translation that makes sense.

I sum up with what the readers prefer.

Most acronyms e.g. public organization names are searchable and translatable now including notorious Thai military jargons.

Soonthon L.


 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

ก. ข. ค. ง. จ. ฯลฯ used with document numbers

Advanced search







memoQ translator pro
Kilgray's memoQ is the world's fastest developing integrated localization & translation environment rendering you more productive and efficient.

With our advanced file filters, unlimited language and advanced file support, memoQ translator pro has been designed for translators and reviewers who work on their own, with other translators or in team-based translation projects.

More info »
TM-Town
Manage your TMs and Terms ... and boost your translation business

Are you ready for something fresh in the industry? TM-Town is a unique new site for you -- the freelance translator -- to store, manage and share translation memories (TMs) and glossaries...and potentially meet new clients on the basis of your prior work.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search