Friday, May 2, 2008

Book excerpt: Thailand - Das neue Siam (translated)

Cover of the bookAs there was some interest in the English version of the book excerpt I posted earlier here, below I add the translated text. While the machine translators like Babelfish or Google Translate are fine to get an overview over a text, they usually add so many wrong translations - broken grammar, wrong words when it has more than one possible translation and so on, so for any real usage a manual translation is still mandatory. Sometimes a machine translation creates simply hilarious texts, like this commercial leaflet where they translated technical terms or brand names as well, creating things like "software in 32 pieces" instead of "32 bit software". However, I really hope either Babelfish or Google Translate will add a Thai to English translation, it'd help me a lot searching for the right information in Thai.
... Till then Thailand was subdivided into muang (provinces). These were led by hereditary sovereign, former commendable military or civil cofficers. They were nearly independent in their decisions, like the taxation or the jurisdiction, so they were independent from the central governance and the real rulers of the muang under their leadership. To break the despotic rule of these province leaders called chao muang and to get the under the central governance the top level administrative entity monton (circle) was created. Each monton consisted of several changvat (provinces). Placed on top of a monton was a person close to the royal house, usually a prince. The leaders of the respective changvat had to subordinate the monton leader. The changvat split down into several amphör (districts), which had a nai amphör (district officer) sent by the government installed as the leader. Each amphör consisted of several tambun (communes), with a kamman (commune headman) at its top. The tambun constisted of several muban (villages), which was administrated by a puyaiban (village headman). In this lowest administrative entity the local administration was already realized, as the puyaiban were elected in a general election by all men and women above 20 years old living in the respective muban. These in turn elected the kamnan.


Anonymous said...

Bin gerade dabei, Artikel zu Buch-Autoren über siamesisch-thailändische Themen vorzubereiten. Hast du mehr Infos zu Gordon, der eigentlich Wilhelm Robert Friedrich Kiewitt heißt?


Andy said...

Leider nein, daß der Name Gordon ein Pseudonym war höre ich jetzt gerade zum erstenmal. Daß einzige was ich habe ist das Buch, und das hat leider keinen Klappentext mit Kurzbiographie des Autors oder ähnliches.