30 May 2007

The Real Democrat Party

Submitted by Karl Hagen
In contrast to the somewhat pejorative use of "Democrat Party" by some U.S. Republicans to refer to the Democratic Party, "Democrat Party" appears to be the official English translation of Phak Prachathipat (????????????????). All I know about Thai is what I've read in Bernard Comrie's The World's Major Languages, but noun modifiers appear to be as common in Thai as they are in English, although in Thai, the head comes before the modifier. In this case, phak (????) means 'party'. The online dictionary thai-language.com translates prachathipat (????????????) as democracy or republic. It's hazardous to rely to much on dictionaries, especially when you don't know the language at all, but that definition does makes me wonder about the choice of "Democrat Party" as a translation, since democrat should refer to a person rather than a political institution. Why would not The Democracy Party be a better translation? Anyone out there know enough Thai to enlighten me?