Monday, January 7, 2008

English terms for Thai administrative entities

Already mentioned earlier, the Department of Provincial Administration (DOPA) has published some recommended translations, but only for the central administrative entities (Changwat, Amphoe, Tambon and Muban). However the local administrative entities - the three thesaban levels, or the Tambon administrative organizations are not mentioned.

By some random googeling, I came across a list of Thai terms with their English translation at the Prince Damrongrajanubhab Institute of Research and Development. I don't know if this list is officially endorsed, but at least it's a first source which gives translations for the local administrative entities. The translation of thesaban nakhon as city and thesaban mueang as town is rather logical, and the one for thesaban tambon as subdistrict municipality fits the DOPA recommendation to translate tambon as subdistrict. Accordingly the องค์การบริหารส่วนตำบล are translated as subdistrict administrative organizations, abbreviated SAO. However I usually found those referred as Tambon administrative organizations (TAO), which I also used in the district articles on Wikipedia. And I also choosed township instead of subdistrict municipality, so if I can confirm these translation I'd have to edit nearly 1000 Wikipedia articles again. Maybe I should finally look into how to use a bot for such mass-changes.


Rikker said...

Any developments on the
เทศบาลตำบล thesaban tambon translation issue? I don't really care for "subdistrict municipality". I think "township" is a decent substitute.

And if we have to edit all the Wikipedia articles, I'll help (using AWB, of course). :)

Andy said...

I haven't seen anything new on this yet. It is a pity I have no contact within DOPA to ask or suggest such things. My Email on the mistakes in the Tambon romanizations was apparently ignored...

Right now I change township to subdistrict municipality by hand whenever I edit something in a Amphoe article, and since I have to update many anyway with all the new thesaban tambon in the last two years I would have to work them anyway.

At least the German Wikipedia has an easier solution - one can say "Grossstadt, Stadt und Kleinstadt", which perfectly fits the three thesaban levels.