Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Thailand-related articles

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Here's my first attempt at a Manual of Style for the Thai language and Thailand. Some major points to be hammered out:

  • a standard system of transcription (this is the biggie)
    • consonants I think we can agree on for most part, but vowels are a ridiculous mess
  • a standard system for spacing between words (is it Hualamphong, Hua Lamphong or Hua Lam Phong?)

Also note that the capitalization of many places currently differs from what I proposed (which is based on the Manual of Style:Japan).

Any comments more than welcome. I don't know much about Thai or Thailand, I just live here <grin> Jpatokal 07:22, 17 Sep 2004 (UTC)

It's a great pleasure that many people interested in Thai and Thailand. I have a web-site you might be interested in. It's The Royal Institute of Thailand there is a manual for Romanizing Thai words. And there is a complete list of Romanized Changwat, Khet, Amphoe and KingAmphoe names. But all those are in Thai. It maybe useful sometime. --Mreult 10:17, 11 Feb 2005 (UTC)

General Comments[edit]

I have reservations. Given that there is no generally, or even widely, accepted system for transcription in general use, it seems a bit quixotic to attempt one here. For example, using h to denote aspirated consonants is great in theory, but I get the feeling it's less common than using the bare consonant; similarly for doubling long vowels. If the concern is to avoid confusing words, that should be solved by giving the word in Thai script once.
Also, in Chiang Mai province etc. I would tend not to class province as part of the name- it's just there to distinguish the name from other uses of the words Chiang Mai. Markalexander100 07:42, 17 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Generally I like it. The biggest problem that I have with the standard transliteration is that it seems to have been created by French speakers. Whilst fine in principle, it leads to the aspirated 'th' and 'ph' which causes all sorts of confusion (most notably in 'Phuket'). I wonder if it wouldn't have been better to double up the consonants concerned, but I guess we're left with it now and shouldn't make any large changes.
One thing that I would do though is to standardise the use of 'G' for the first letter of the alphabet rather than the official 'K'. I find that leads to a much greater chance of English speakers getting it more correct (much less confusion between chickens and eggs). Of course don't do this where the 'K' form is well known in English.
Even in Thailand it seems that the transliterations are a mess and you will see all sorts for the same place (road signs don't even all agree). I agree that we should always give the proper Thai spelling to make it clearer.
--KayEss 08:52, 17 Sep 2004 (UTC)

The main point of agreeing on a Wikipedia standard would be stop articles from being duplicated at (say) Khaosan Road, Khao San Road, Kao Sarn Road, Kao Saan Road, Koh Sarn Road, Thanon Khao Saan...

Royal Thai Institute guideline[edit]

Note that there is one official romanization scheme, proposed by The Royal Institute (1982), only it isn't in much wide use. On [1] there is a online "translator", as well as a little windows software which can be used for batch transcriptions - I used it to get the romanized names of all tambon. I am using that one for all the new articles, and it would make a good standard base - of course we still need the redirects from the other popular spellings. andy 07:52, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I agree that the RTGS system is far from ideal, but I think it's still most commonly used and thus best for Wikipedia. Yes, the spelling "Phuket" may get mispronounced as "fuck-it", but will anybody find the article if it's under "Pooket"? For cases where the RTGS and the most common name are noticeably different, we can go for the "Common name (Thai letters RTGS transcription)" style. Jpatokal 09:09, 17 Sep 2004 (UTC)

If RTGS were anything like a standard, and if the proposal were to use RTGS on Wikipedia, then you might be right. But in practice most systems in use, and the one proposed here, are more or less heavily modified versions, so the "standard" argument doesn't work.
Also, a standard transcription system won't help to eliminate duplicate articles. Any Thai word or name which is in common enough use in English to merit an article is already going to have several transcriptions in use in English, so the creator of the article is going to choose whichever he thinks is the best or most common (and my idea of the best or most common may be someone else's abomination). And anyone who knows about the Manual of Style and so uses it is also going to be someone who knows to check for alternative transcriptions before creating articles.
I would suggest leaving aside a transcription system and concentrating on style guidelines for where and how to include Thai script and transliterations, which I can see the use of. Markalexander100 07:00, 19 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Application of the RTGS is reasonably consistent in Bangkok and highway roadsigns as well as in names on monuments and parks. It is the only standard available that is publicly and officially codified. Nevertheless an attempty could be made to repair one or more of the most obvious shortcomings:

  1. Lack of distinction between on one side "cho chan" and on the other side "cho ching", "cho chang", "cho kachoe" (forgive me for not inserting the Thai characters here now); easy and very common solution is to change "cho chan" into "jo jan" (alternative seen often, but less intuitive) "co can"
  2. Lack of distinction between short and long vowels (see discussion below)
  3. Lack of distinction between tones (see discussion below)
  4. Lack of distinction between two types of "o" (any proposals? perhaps "o" and "oh"?)

--Woodstone 22:02, 2004 Dec 7 (UTC)

The last question is hard. Table time:
เกาะ กอ โกะ โก
Thai alphabet kor korh ko koh
Lonely Planet kaw kaw koh ko
IPA ko ko: koʊ koʊ:
User:Jpatokal ko koo kou ??

The last being what my European-tuned ear tells me: กอ is a simple vowel, so it should be "ko", and โก "kou", since it's a diphthong of "o" and "u". Jpatokal 14:17, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Your table confuses me a lot. You seem to have long and short reversed; the vowels containing "ะ" are always short. Also I would say that both types of "o" are simple in Thai, not diphthongs. So "อ" is /ɔ/ and "โ" is /o/. −Woodstone 16:38, 2005 Mar 8 (UTC)
Right you are about long/short, got confused by the Thai alphabet article's idiosyncrasies... and as I'm neither linguist nor native Thai speaker, maybe I'd better shut up now and let the experts do the talking. Jpatokal 17:03, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)

So we get:

เกาะ กอ โกะ โก
Thai alphabet article korh kor koh ko
Lonely Planet ?? kaw ko koh
IPA kɔ: ko ko:
User:Jpatokal ko koo kou ??

The current situation in the Thai alphabet article is:

  • for vowels transcribed with single letter: double for the long one
  • for vowels transcribed as compound: add h for the short one
  • but in case of o:
    • add r for the more open one
    • add h for each of the short ones

Using "or" to stand for a short vowel is at least very unusual (many other systems use "r" to lengthen vowels). Using "h" for shortening is very unusual. Why wasn't "oo" used for long "o"? (as with aa, ee, ii, uu). In my view we should get rid of this ideosyncratic system.

Probably the least controversial would be to just go for the completely unmodified RTGS with optional addition of tones and ":" to lengthen vowels. That way the only difference with RTGS would be in the added diacritics.

P.S. doesn't "อ" look a bit like "ɔ"? Wouldn't it be nice if we could use "c" to stand for it? −Woodstone 21:50, 2005 Mar 8 (UTC)

Are you suggesting using RTGS in the Thai alphabet article, or using it as a romanisation standard for Wikipedia? If the former, that article already includes RTGS in the vowel table, and it could be added to the consonant table where necessary. There's no harm in presenting more than one romanisation: indeed, given the irregularities of English spelling that's probably the best way of helping people figure out which pronunciation we mean. If the latter, I still think we shouldn't have a standard for Wikipedia, for all the reasons I gave above. Mark1 01:38, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I am proposing to use it as romanisation standard for Wikipedia. Of course the Thai Alphabet article should reflect that, and show no other romanisation as the "preferred" one (alternatives can still be mentioned). I fail to see how giving several romanisations will help the reader know the pronunciation. Indeed since English spelling is so irregular, one never knows how the reader will pronounce English spelling nor non-English words. The problem is that the same letter denotes many different sounds in various romanisation methods. For example "u" may stand for RTGS "a", "ae", "u", "ue" and "oe". How is the reader to know which one is meant this time? That is the purpose of a method choice. There is a reference where readers can find the meaning of the symbols used. RTGS is officially codified and reasonably close to a true phonetic spelling. Indicating other romanisations as explicit alternatives, may be useful to help the reader recognise that a word may be the same as found in other publications. As said in many places before, this standard form is primarily meant for mention with the Thai script. Where de facto other romanisations exist they may be used in article names and further text. −Woodstone 03:53, 2005 Mar 9 (UTC)

Ah, in that case I still disagree. Incidentally, giving several romanisations helps by reducing the ambiguity of English spelling: "o" and "ow" can each have different pronunciations in English, but if you see them both, you know that it's the vowel in "know" that is meant. Mark1 04:48, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)

How would you know it's not the vowel in "cow"? Even if some examples might work, in general it only adds to the confusion. The essence is the existence and accessibility of a reference. Interpretation of a word in a certain romanisation system without knowing its rules gives uncertain results. It would still be possible to add other romanisations, but the preferred one would identifyable and according to a fixed rule set throughout. The interested reader would be able to derive an understandable pronunciation with certainty. −Woodstone 10:16, 2005 Mar 9 (UTC)

How would you know it's not the vowel in "cow"? I don't know of any English words in which "o" is pronounced as in "cow", but that may be due to my limited vocabulary. (how about the word "cow"? −Woodstone) I think that our basic difference is that I'd prefer transcriptions which, on a case by case basis, give the most possible help to a reader unfamiliar with Wikipedia and its style guidelines, whereas you want a system which works for the habitual Wikipedia-reader. Mark1 02:24, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)
My view is that the article name should follow the most common name, defaulting to pure RTGS if none exists, but the pronunciation guide after the Thai script should be as exact as possible — and if it requires familiarity with IPA or Wikipedia, then so be it. Chinese pronunciations require knowledge of pinyin, Japanese ones Hepburn, but the upside is that both allow you to pronounce the name correctly -- instead of having to rely on written ad-hoc guesses. Jpatokal 02:49, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Seconded. And IMHO we should use IPA, as it's the most standard way to encode pronunciation, and it'd avoid lengthy descriptions like "o like in cow". Does IPA allow to add the tone heights as well - those are important as well. andy 08:46, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Quote from Markalexander above "I'd prefer transcriptions which, on a case by case basis, give the most possible help to a reader unfamiliar with Wikipedia and its style guidelines, whereas you want a system which works for the habitual Wikipedia-reader." This is an opportunity for agreement, because it can both be satisfied. When giving information on pronunciation of a Thai word, first only the "standardised" form is given, so that regular readers have unambiguous information (as befits and encyclopedia.) After that more variants can be added following case by case preferences, to support the incidental reader. −Woodstone 20:32, 2005 Mar 10 (UTC)

RTGS's limitations mean that it doesn't give unambiguous information, but I'd be interested in using IPA. Does IPA Thai involve weird and wonderful symbols? Can someone give us some examples? Mark1 02:15, 11 Mar 2005 (UTC)
You may have heard about this weird and wonderful site called Wikipedia, their International Phonetic Alphabet page has good info on IPA. ;) This is also a pretty good overview, although it doesn't appear to conform to IPA 100% — long vowels at least appear doubled instead of marked with the triangle-colon, but in my personal opinion this is just a good thing. So for example ข้าว would, as far as I understand it (which isn't much), be rendered /kʰâaw/ in IPA. Jpatokal 02:43, 11 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Non-pulmonic ejectives qualify as weird for me, but the other site is less frightening. I could warm to IPA, with links to an IPA for Thai page. Mark1 02:30, 14 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I will try to make a chart comparable to the one for initials in the "Pinyin" article, which enhances the standard IPA chart with symbols used to represent the sound in Pinyin. The one for Thai is going to look scary for the average reader, because it will compare two unfamiliar scripts: Thai and IPA, both with weird looking symbols. It may take a while to get done. −Woodstone 11:17, 2005 Mar 14 (UTC)
How about just putting the IPA (and RTGS) into the Thai alphabet article for starters? Jpatokal 15:42, 14 Mar 2005 (UTC)
RTGS is already there, adding IPA is doable. We have too many overlapping articles already. There are alphabets in Thai language, Thai alphabet and Royal Thai General System of Transcription (at least). Perhaps we should attempt some merging. I will make a start to add IPA in Thai alphabet, from my own ears (I have not found a good reference yet). This talk page also needs some clean up. −Woodstone 15:56, 2005 Mar 14 (UTC)
Consonants and vowels done: please have a look. There is no table for diphthongs there. Also some details have no place yet, such as the difference between /i/ and /u/ with or without final. Before continuing the work I would appreciate your comments. −Woodstone 20:16, 2005 Mar 14 (UTC)
That looks good! Whether we use IPA as a standard or not, it's very useful to have the info somewhere. The reason we have separate charts at Thai language and Thai alphabet is because the script and pronunciation don't always go hand in hand (ะ has two different pronunciations, for example). The organisation by sound and script respectively is also, I think, usefully different. Royal Thai General System of Transcription should in theory include more information on the system than just the letter-by-letter transcriptions, which would mean it no longer duplicated Thai alphabet. I just never felt confident enough in my Thai to attempt the translation. ;) Mark1 02:19, 15 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Excellent! But could I propose using either "x" or "ก" as the vowel placeholder, instead of the dash? Jpatokal 02:40, 15 Mar 2005 (UTC)

In Thai alphabet I have added a few vowels and diphthongs that were missing, with their RTGS and IPA equivalents. I left out most of the diphthongs ending in ว or ย since they can be derived in a very regular way. The English pronunciation column still needs some work. I also tried "x" and many other symbols as placeholders for consonants, but came back to dash "–" as the best choice. −Woodstone 22:08, 2005 Mar 17 (UTC)


Then could we at least agree on a standard for representing transliterations, and push the article naming issue to the side? It's not really enough to include the Thai characters, as the spelling can be quite irregular (especially for tones). Jpatokal 08:55, 27 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Is there any sort of standard for denoting tones in Thai? Jpatokal 03:40, 13 Feb 2005 (UTC)

as the spelling can be quite irregular (especially for tones). Are you proposing a romanisation system that includes tone marks? That would be unusual. If we're not going to indicate tones, then any romanisation will only give the reader a rough idea of how to pronounce the word, and one romanisation is as good as any other. Romanising Thai with tones just isn't as simple as romanising Chinese or Japanese; that's why there's no standard, and that's why I think a standard system is appropriate for those languages but not for Thai. Markalexander100 01:04, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Yes, I am proposing romanization with tones. This is not exactly rocket science: standard central/Bangkok Thai has 5 tones, and just about every dictionary I've seen has a fairly standard set of tone marks, namely mid tone (a), low tone (à), falling tone (â), high tone (á) and rising tone (ă or ã). Again, I'm not proposing that these be used throughout the article, just in the intro gloss after the Thai script.

And for what it's worth, romanizing Chinese (Mandarin) tones is equally if not more complex, but pinyin still does a pretty good job, as does quoc ngu for Vietnamese. Japanese is not tonal (at least not on any particularly significant level). Jpatokal 04:33, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I don't think romanising with tones is a good idea. I've seen several different systems for indicating them, but none of them are intuitive: you can't use the system without already knowing the system. The diacritics for pinyin, by comparison, are intuitive: each one is a graphical representation of that tone. Non-intuitive diacritics are very off-putting for readers. Markalexander100 07:53, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I don't know if it's a standard approved by anybody in particular, but the only system I've ever seen for showing tones is the one described above: mid tone - no accent, low tone - grave (à), falling tone - circumflex (â), high tone - acute (á) and rising tone - caron (ǎ). Note that this is a caron like pinyin third tone, not a breve.
Higbie's Thai Reference Grammar uses a system involving lines above and below the words, but I suspect that one's too typographically exotic for your purposes. Mark1 12:20, 27 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I agree the one seen most often by far is as described above (a: mid, à: low, á: high, â: falling, ǎ: rising). It is not easy to type, but after a while it becomes intuitive. An easier system (used in "Dictionnaire phonétique Thaï-Français" by Charles Degnaux) is put before the syllable (not the vowel) nothing (ka): mid, underscore (_ka): low, macron (¯ka): high, slash (/ka) rising, backslash (\ka): falling. It is reasonably intuitive, typgraphically simple and helps at the same time splitting syllables in compound words. Since it's nowhere near a standard, I hesitate to propose it, but what do you think? −Woodstone 13:30, 2005 Feb 27 (UTC)
That looks horrible and is nonstandard to boot. We're not using typewriters here, Wikipedia supports Unicode so let's use it.
I'm not much of a fan of the 'standard' system either — the fact that the same symbols mean different tones than in pinyin confuses the hell out of me — but, as with the RTGS, choosing any standard is better than not choosing one at all. Jpatokal 02:39, 28 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I accidentally found that the system using (a, à, á, ǎ, â) for (mid, low, high, rising, falling) is actually part of the IPA, where it is given as one alternative for indicating tones. −Woodstone 08:39, 2005 Mar 8 (UTC)

So I think we have some sort of consensus? Amazing! I'll write this up on the MoS page, now we just have the easy job of adding tones to every Thai romanization in Wikipedia... Jpatokal 11:48, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Hmmm, but how to apply those for the more complex vocals, like in "Khao" (เขา), or the sounds like "เออ" (usually written oe in English, in German it'd be a ö)? The mark should be over both vocals together, indicating that they are pronounced as one sound. andy 12:19, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Same as pinyin: put it on the first vowel, so ข้าว is khâo. In the unlikely event of a following mid-tone syllable that starts with a vowel, disambiguate with a dash: khâ-o.
Now the next thing we could debate is how Thai words/syllables should be split up... Jpatokal 13:59, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Long vowels[edit]

We can consider four basic options for long vowels:

  1. Write as short (Ban)
  2. Write as doubled (Baan)
  3. Write in phonetic pseudo-English (Barn)
  4. Write with colon (Ba:n)

I don't like option 3 (nonstandard and very confusing for non-English speakers), but could be argued into either 1 or 2. The RTGS isn't much help here as it doesn't distinguish between long and short vowels at all. I'd be tempted to suggest an approach similar to that used in Japanese: omit long vowels in article titles, but indicate them in the content with doubling. Jpatokal 09:18, 17 Sep 2004 (UTC)

For my money it has to be 2, again with the old caveat about well known words. --KayEss 06:38, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Option 2 (doubling) works ok for (a e i o u), even "ao" into "aao" looks ok, but how to do it for (ae, oe, ue) from the RTGS? Would it be "aae" or "aee" etc? Neither are readable to me. One other option (inserted by me above) would be to borrow the ":" from IPA for lengthening vowels which is available in any character set. It would be wise to do this only inside articles, not in the article names. --Woodstone 22:02, 2004 Dec 7 (UTC)
If we were at the German wikipedia, those "ae", "oe" and "ue" would be easy, as there are the German umlauts exactly for these sounds. Thus it'd be ää, öö or üü. However apart from German books on teaching Thai I haven't seen this transcription used anywhere - for Mueang (เมือง) the second most common is Muang, but never Müang (or Müüang). andy 08:38, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Situation of ก[edit]

I still think that the romanization for ก should be 'g' and not 'k'. Certainly for Central Thai/Bangkok the letter is always pronounced as a hard 'g'. The romanization of songkran provides a good example. With a 'k' sound the word means war, with a 'g' it is the water festival.

Equally, anybody who sees the romanization 'kai' and uses it is going to end up with egg rather than chicken. It is almost impossible for speakers unaquainted with un-aspirated consonants to get them right and this one is so simple to correct for them. I don't see that it will cause a problem for anybody who already knows a bit of the language either. --KayEss 16:23, 26 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Yes, you're right that the romanization scheme isn't a good guide to the pronounciation. However as we don't write to teach the Thai language I still vote to stay with the standard romanization. To add pronounciation IPA would be better than any attemps to create something which an english-speaking would read correctly. And I am quite sure we'd alienate the normal reader if we'd write Goh Samui or Grabi, even though it's closer to the correct pronounciation. Thus IMHO the g vs. k belongs only in the article on Thai alphabet and/or Thai language, but otherwise we should follow the standard policy of wikipedia to use the most common english names. andy 22:55, 28 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I certainly wouldn't advocate changing any word that is well known in English already, but there are many cases where the transliteration would be rare. The article Cuisine of Thailand links to many uses of 'g' in exactly the same way I would advocate --KayEss 00:33, 29 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I agree with andy. The problem is that almost any word which we are transliterating will already have one or more pre-existing transliterations. Our job is then to find the one which is the most common (obviously not an exact science, but it's better than pursuing our own crusade for accurate phonology). I don't think there's any point in deciding whether g or k is "better", or changing existing entries. Mark1 00:50, 29 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I never said that we should change any article name, nor that we should use any spelling other than what is already known. As the Thai articles fill up though there are going to be more and more transliterations where we do have a choice and no accepted standard english spelling - it is only for those that I'm speaking --KayEss 01:09, 29 Nov 2004 (UTC)

The main problem with "g" instead of "k" is that it breaks the pattern with "p" and "t". Phonologically there are parallel sets as in the following table:

type voiced unvoiced aspirated
dental d t th
labial b p ph
guttural g k kh

The voiced guttural does not occur in Thai. The Thai letter ก is pronounced unvoiced and is thus systematically best represented by "k". Furthermore this is also consistent with both IPA and the Royal Thai Institute guideline. --Woodstone 22:02, 2004 Dec 7 (UTC)

Request for help: Wikitravel Thai phrasebook[edit]

A little offtopic but mai pen rai: there is a Thai phrasebook under construction on Wikitravel, and somebody just added a lot of phrases — all in a bizarre, non-RTGS transcription. I've gone through and attempted to fix some of the most obvious issues, but my Thai is very limited, so I would appreciate if somebody could take a quick look to verify my edits & fix any remaining problems. Jpatokal 03:40, 13 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Note: remarks on tones moved to appropriate section.

Article names for Thai royals/Thai with honorary titles[edit]

Where should the articles reside. So far they were usually always places at just the plain common english name, e.g. Mongkut. If it were consistent with e.g. English royals it should be at King Mongkut of Thailand. IMHO the "of Thailand" is superfluous, as there is no confusion of the country (and actually it better should be Siam) as the names of Thai kings are unique to Thailand. Another possible location would be Rama V (or Rama V of Thailand), however in Talk:Bhumibol Adulyadej it was already stated that this naming is very informal. I personally prefer the simplest possible page title, thus without the "King" in front.

This appears to be a confusion. Consider Henry IV of France, Henry IV of England and Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden. No "King" in any of them. I argued against "Sweden" in the last and lost, on grounds of consistency of Swedish monarchs; but I see no reason why a consensus could not impose Mongkut over the unnecessary Mongkut of Thailand. Septentrionalis 22:42, 9 August 2005 (UTC)

What about the lesser royals (princes) - should their royal title be included? Thus Prince Damrong or maybe even Prince Disuankumaan as that was his name at borth - yet Damrong Rajanubhab is the IMHO the most common name of him.

Another case are the titles like "Luang" - should it be Luang Phibunsongkhram, or just Phibun Songkhram? How about names which are actually more like position - e.g. Si Suriyawongse, which was the "name" of several Kalahom ministers. They are often disambiguated with the birthname, thus Si Suriyawongse (Chuang Bunnag).

You may wish to consider a survey article, like Duke of York, with links to the different individual title-holders. Was this a change of name, or an addition; i.e., would Chuang Bunnag, Si Suriyawongse be correct? Septentrionalis 17:26, 10 August 2005 (UTC)

Especially for the more famous people I would suggest to use the spelling in Wyatt's History of Thailand as the guideline. andy 11:45, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Comment by User:Adam Carr placed at Talk:Prajadhipok (and others):
Thai names are indeed a swamp of confusion for ignorant farangs. The problem here is that "Rama" is not a name, it is a description. As I understand it is a contraction of "Raja Maha," which means "great king" in Sanscrit. Thus, the current king's name is Bhumipol Adulyadej, and he is the ninth Great King (Rama) of the Chakri dynasty. Thus although he is conventionally called "King Rama IX" this is not cognate with "King Louis IX." My prefered article title would be Bhumipol Adulyadej, King of Thailand. Adam 11:59, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)
i agree with the solution proposed by User:Adam. a name cannot simply stand like that, as it is disrespectful to say the least to the royal family. we either use a similar format to the european monarchs. so either something like "Queen Sirikit of Thailand" or Sirikit, Queen of Thailand, or "Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn" maybe plus of Thailand, although it is true that there is only one Princess Maha Chakri.

however the royal titles need to be reflected in the naming of the articles, anything less than that is a slight and unacceptable. and even for lay person, what is "Vajravudh" supposed to mean? a prince? a car? the gardner? the name alone doesn´t say anything. Antares911 19:23, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Yet Queen Elizabeth II is at Elizabeth II of England, and Sir Winston Churchill does not include his title either. Just because Vajravudh is a strange name for western, it doesn't mean we have to explain the name in the article title already - we normally only use disambiguated article titles if there is more than one meaning for the article title. andy 20:16, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)
A side note - Britannica has him at the plain Vajiravudh as well [2], as well as Encarta has King Chulalongkorn at the plain title [3]. andy 07:52, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Since there's unlikely to be another article about a Vajuravudh, there isn't the need to disambiguate that there is with the Elizabeths and Henrys of western Europe. Plain common names seem the most reasonable to me. Wikipedia:Naming conventions (names and titles) says These conventions do not apply to eastern civilizations. Mark1 08:09, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)
sorry people, but that cannot be. apart from being disrespectful to the king and the family, what is a normal average user supposed to start with an article that is called Vajiravudh? what is it, a bird, a plane? superman? a new strand of E.coli bacteria? man or woman? the Thais don´t call them that way, so why should we take this liberty? i think more cultural sensitivity is critical here.

we can either conform to naming conventions of monarchs (name plus country) or something else.. but this current situation cannot be. there was also only one Emperor Matthias, nevertheless he is still listed as Matthias, Holy Roman Emperor.Antares911 29 June 2005 13:49 (UTC)

Yes, but there were others with name Matthias. Another monarch, for example: Matthias of Hungary. That is apparently the main reason emperor M was given HRE in the article title. (HRE there is equivalent to "of country" in another's article) 29 June 2005 15:44 (UTC)

I support the simple solution. As long as there are no possibilities for exactly same name, even the first name suffices. Such as Bhumibol Adulyadej, Sirikit, Genghis. All royal titles are then explained in the text of the article. 29 June 2005 15:44 (UTC)

If someone has a generic first name, such as (in Japan) Kikuko or Nagako, for pre-emptive disambiguation, a title is acceptable to be used. E.g Kikuko, Princess Takamatsu. Nagako, Empress of Japan. 29 June 2005 15:48 (UTC)

Royal and other titles shall not be used in article names out of respect. There must be important disambiguation need. Better to respect the simplicity and the seeker of information, than to load unnecessary burdens in article names out of "respect" (in other words, of sycophancy). 29 June 2005 15:48 (UTC)

Remember the "novice" user: that person wants to know what means a simple word or name. He seeks that. And finds the article, where the TEXT explains whether it is fish or fowl, living or concept, human or stone. Unnecessary (or even damaging) to burden the seeker with need to know in advance whether the word means a bird or a king. 29 June 2005 15:44 (UTC)

Yes! Septentrionalis 22:42, 9 August 2005 (UTC)

Working towards a multi vote for non-reigning royals (recent victims of moves)[edit]

It seems that recently, a war has started to waged upon the naming of non-reigning royals of Thailand: living and dead. Approval vote between multiple alternatives is usually the recommended means, and it need the formulation of propositions. Following my idea of such a list. Feel free to add alternatives. Do not yet discuss the vote, only the relevant alternatives (and is the formulation sufficient). Begin a new alternative with "#". Do not damage or erase work of others. I will possibly rearrange the order to a more logical one, if alternatives begin to drop into disorderly manner. No relevant alternatives will be erased from this, but in the final vote we may curb unrealistic ones away (thus, be prepared to give reasons why an alternative would be viable). I expect all alternatives be proposed within 48 hours. 20:58, 25 July 2005 (UTC)

  1. First name (e.g Tipangkorn)
  2. First name + Additional name (Tipangkorn Rasmichoti)
  3. First name + Additional name + Surname (Tipangkorn Rasmichoti Mahidol)
  4. First name + Territorial designation, always "of Thailand" (Tipangkorn of Thailand)
  5. Royal title (usually prince/ss) + first name (Prince Tipangkorn)
  6. Royal title + First name + Territorial designation "of Thailand" (Prince Tipangkorn of Thailand)
  7. First name + Royal title + Territorial designation "of Thailand" (Tipangkorn, Prince of Thailand)
  8. First name + Additional name + Royal title + Territorial designation "of Thailand" (Tipangkorn Rasmichoti, Prince of Thailand)

Additional name does NOT mean surname. Also, no guideline should be drawn from this framework how to name such Thai royals who held a substantial title, such as Prince of Songkla. This framework addresses those non-reigning royals who are "orinary members" of the royal house.

Discussion about viability of alternatives (comments below):

I think we must accept that alternatives Tipangkorn, Tipangkorn Rasmichoti, Tipangkorn of Thailand, Prince Tipangkorn, Prince Tipangkorn of Thailand, and "Tipangkorn, Prince of Thailand" are viable, at least some support has earlier been given to each of such. This is not to say that I would approve many of those, actually I oppose most of the said alternatives. This at the present stage however is a viability test, not yet approval test. 21:05, 25 July 2005 (UTC)

Voting is evil.;) Please try to reach a consensus instead. Mark1 00:27, 26 July 2005 (UTC)

I have been asked to comment on this, which is appropriate since I have just got home from a week in lovely Krung Thep (as spelled) or Grung Dairp (as pronounced). My view on this is that articles about non-European cultures should be:

  • Titled in a way which is not confusing to readers. That means that we have to use standard well known English names where these exist, regardless of their correctness: thus Patpong, not Phat Phong. I am opposed to using a fancy "correct" system of transliteration which will look foreign and unfamiliar to readers. (I hate IPA for the same reason.)
  • Respectful of local sensitivities (within reason). Nearly all Thais would regard using the unardorned personal names of the Thai royal family as disrespectful if not downright insulting, and I don't see any reason why Wikipedia should not respect that. How we name other countries' monarchs isn't really relevant. There's nothing wrong with inconsistency provided readers are not confused.

For the royal family, I therefore suggest:

Adam 04:29, 26 July 2005 (UTC)

While I'm here, I have a question. The Thai expression for hello is commonly written "sawasdee krub". I listened very carefully to spoken Thai while I was there and I could only hear "sawadee kap." Is there really an s in sawasdee and an r in krub? Are they silent like tke k in knife, or are they just inaudible to the falang ear? Adam 04:29, 26 July 2005 (UTC)

In central Thailand (especially Bangkok) the 'r' in 'krap' is basically missing. This is a local pronounciation thing (like the substitution of 'l' for 'r' and occasional 'r' for 'l'. For 'sawasdee' the 's' at the end of the first syllable is pronounced as a 'd/t' and thus often merges with the 'dee'. This is because Thai never has an 's' sound at the end of a word/syllable. If you listen clearly to somebody who says it properly you will hear something more like 'sawatdee'.
As for the Royals' names, I agree that we should use the proper titles. There must be a government reference for how the names should be styled that we ought to copy. KayEss | talk 05:04, 26 July 2005 (UTC)

Kopkun krap Adam 05:14, 26 July 2005 (UTC)

Did I read correctly the above thoughts of Adam Carr, when I conclude that regarding the formulation of alternatives to multi-propose vote on non-reigning royals of Thailand, there is no new alternative, only a support to the already existing alternative "First name + Royal title + Territorial designation "of Thailand" (Tipangkorn, Prince of Thailand)"? Yep. I think I read it correctly. Thus, for the purposes of this discussion, the contribution of the above thoughts of Adam Carr is that the alternative in question has some strengthened viability for the later voting.
Whether the vote has any bearing re naming of Thai monarchs and queen consorts, it remains to be seen. It is not within the original proposal, which says this will be intended to apply to non-reigning royals. (This because I know that foreseeable and unforeseeable reasons may cause monarchs and queen consorts to be named otherwise than "ordinary members" of royal house.)
Please remember all to make your proposals of additional alternatives until 27 July 21 PM, which is tomorrow. 07:20, 26 July 2005 (UTC)

I appreciate your efforts at heavy-handed sarcasm (I get a lot of it here, so save your keystrokes for someone who cares). Unfortunately I have no idea what point you are trying to make. Adam 07:42, 26 July 2005 (UTC)
I can certainly believe that many Thais would be offended by seeing the king's name without sycophantic honorifics attached, but I doubt that they would attach much importance to whether or not his name is accompanied by his title. (I wish that we didn't use honorifics in articles , but that's another debate). In any case the fact that Thais have been subjected to effective brainwashing is irrelevant- there are many North Koreans who would be reduced to tears if they knew that we don't call Kim the "Dear Leader", but that's not a reason to change our policies for him.
I would appreciate it if someone less ignorant than me could clarify whether the names of Thai royals are unique, or whether there are other Bhumipons or Sirikits running around. I suspect the former, but if the latter then disambiguation of some kind may be appropriate. Mark1 07:37, 26 July 2005 (UTC)
Hi Mark. A couple of Thais, CW32 and Pudtipong, have checked those and they confirm that given names of royalty are unique, basically. This holds particularly well with all those royals born royal. So, there apparently are or have been no other Bhumibols and Sirikits running around. Meanwhile, it seems that Srirasmi, who is of commoner origin, shares her that given name with some other commoners, but this far, apparently no other Srirasmi is so notable as to have a presence in Wikipedia. Besides, other, commoner Srirasmis would probably have a surname attached were they ever appear to notability, whereas Srirasmi as a royal does not conventionally need a surname. If however such disambig need arises, we could, at latest resort, put her then under Srirasmi (princess). 07:46, 30 August 2005 (UTC)

I like this the most (and I'm Thai) First name + Royal title + Territorial designation "of Thailand" But name of the little prince is Tipangkorn Rasmichoti not only Tipangkorn. Other mistake is name of HRH Princess Chulabhon. Her name is Chulabhon Walailak not only Chulabhon. And other problem, how about Chao Fa with given feudal for example HRH Prince Mahidol Adulyadej of Songkla or HRH Prince Chakkrapongse Bhuwanata of Phitsanulok they also of city already will we add 'of Thailand' after their name. --Pudtipong Nawasornyuttana 09:12, 26 July 2005 (UTC)

Added a couple of new alternatives. And, we are not here now to discuss total overhaul of established translitteration. 19:09, 26 July 2005 (UTC)

One question to pose: does anyone feel that non-reigning living Thai royals need some other naming treatment than non-reigning dead Thai royals?? Or will the result, whatever it is, be as good to living as to dead? 19:09, 26 July 2005 (UTC)

I had a look at Talk:Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom to see if that might shed some light on the discussion here—at least see what the arguments were. It seems that we're not the only ones who have problems in determining what the correct article names should be. BTW, I think voting on this is a desperate last resort. We ought to be able to reach consesus. Personally I have no strong opinions on what we call them as I think anybody who tries to find the articles will have to get there from other pages due to the transliteration problems. KayEss | talk 07:49, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

As I'm Thai, I'm not offended by seeing just 'Bhumibol Adulyadej' in English text, although I would prefer the word 'King' in my own writing. (This is not the standard of all Thais, as some may find it offensive.) 'of Thailand' is quite good, but also quite unnecessary, as Thai name are unique. And by Thai law, we can't be named Bhumibol or Sirikit or smething like that. So I think only full name (without long royal names) is alright, as it is right now. Otherwise, the 'First name + King/Queen/Prince/etc. of Thailand' is good option. But if we use this standard, it must be noted that the first name must be clearly identified. For example, the latest Crown Prince's son's first name is Tipangkorn Rasmichoti (I'm not sure with the spelling) not just Tipangkorn. 'Rasmichoti' is not like the western middle name that can be omitted. To answer the question of Markalexander100, according to Thai law, we cannot be named Bhumibol or Sirikit or something like that. CW32 16:14, 16 August 2005 (UTC)


It seems that the preceding talk produced eight alternatives for a naming convention:

  1. First name (e.g Tipangkorn)
  2. First name + Additional name (Tipangkorn Rasmichoti)
  3. First name + Additional name + Surname (Tipangkorn Rasmichoti Mahidol)
  4. First name + Territorial designation, always "of Thailand" (Tipangkorn of Thailand)
  5. Royal title (usually prince/ss) + first name (Prince Tipangkorn)
  6. Royal title + First name + Territorial designation "of Thailand" (Prince Tipangkorn of Thailand)
  7. First name + Royal title + Territorial designation "of Thailand" (Tipangkorn, Prince of Thailand)
  8. First name + Additional name + Royal title + Territorial designation "of Thailand" (Tipangkorn Rasmichoti, Prince of Thailand)

Now I ask whether there is any realistic possibility for consensus to confirm one of these.... Please express your views - will any of them receive sufficient support to become a consented convention. Please see above discussions of already stated postions, and try to think whether there is a compromise that could be tolerated by all speakers above - to reach a consensus, it would not be highly useful to stick to one's own extreme alternative and refuse to budge. (A couple of days for attempts to reach compromise, consensus, or to divide hopelessly....) Please remember to give objective reasons why an alternative is unacceptable and why an alternative is acceptable. Arrigo 23:39, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

This subsection of discussion is now at its end, and it is time to determine whether a formal vote is needed, or would the emerged majority go on to enforce its preference.


  • I would be happy with 6, 7 or 8. I will explain why if asked. Adam 23:49, 27 July 2005 (UTC)
This clearly is a no to any consensus. Btw, I do not understand why Adam Carr makes a false example of Elizabeth Windsor, as we here are not suggesting king Bhumibol Adulyadej to be moved to Bhumi Mahidol. Besides, European monarchs need disambiguation, using country name, as there plenty of other countries use same first names. There actually has been Queen Elisabeth II of Bohemia, though her husband reigned, using HER right as the heiress. (If Elisabeth were a first name used only in England, "Elizabeth Windsor" would undobtedly be under "Elisabeth II".) Let me also remind that here we are not discussing about naming of Thai monarchs, but of non-reigning Thai royals. 09:02, 29 July 2005 (UTC)
We are indeed discussing the king as well as the other Thai royals. In any case, we don't call Prince Andrew, Duke of York Andrew Mountbatten-Windsor either. Adam 09:12, 29 July 2005 (UTC)
If first names were used ONLY once in British royal family, i.e there ever were no more than one Prince Edward or Prince Frederick, and those names were never used in other countries, then they would (as then would also Andrew) be under their first name only. It is sufficiently respectful to use only the first name of a royal, as commoners woould get the surname, whereas it is a mark of royalty to be known by first name. "Andrew Mountbatten-Windsor" is a false example anyway, as the disambigation necessity is not helped by a surname - for example, there were several Edward Windsors. All in all, I find that Adam Carr tries to push his opinion using false examples. Btw, the introduction for this debate says clearly that kings and queens are not decided here, so it is only Adam Carr's wishful thinkin that this discussion determines such. There seems to be no problem in Bhumibol Adulyadej's current naming, thus it is not under discussion. 09:24, 29 July 2005 (UTC)
  • I would accept unhesitantly 1 and 2. Number 2 is probably the best one. Arrigo 00:10, 28 July 2005 (UTC)
  • Prefer 2, accept 1 or 3, 4 as a last resort or if any other royal families use the same names. Mark1 08:34, 29 July 2005 (UTC)
Which of course they don't, so that amounts to a vote for leaving things as they are. I take it you would both favour moving Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom to Elizabeth Windsor, to be consistent? Adam 08:37, 29 July 2005 (UTC)
If there were no chance of other queens Elizabeth, and if we were deciding a naming policy for European royals, then I would favour moving her to Elizabeth II. Mark1 09:17, 29 July 2005 (UTC)
  • I prefer 2, also 1 or 3 is OK. Only in case of a necessary disambiguation due to double names one of the longer versions would be possible. But only using the "Thailand" (don't forget it was Siam till the 1940s!) if there needs to be a disambiguation with a non-Thai; if it needs disambiguation a postfix like "Prince of Songkhla" is much more correct. And the postfix "Prince of Songkhla of Thailand" would be patent nonsense. andy 11:10, 29 July 2005 (UTC)
  • I vote for 2, and 8 for the unlikely case a clash with another country's royals arises. −Woodstone 12:16, July 31, 2005 (UTC)
  • I'm not too familiar with Thailand's royalty; however, I can say for sure that I oppose option 4 because its format is the same format we use to describe European reigning monarchs (i.e. Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom). As these rules will apply to non-reigning royals, option 4 should not be used. And, while I'd prefer either 2, 5, or 6, I'd be willing to accept the others. I'll be doing research on Thailand's royalty over the next few days so I'll be sure to check back here. 青い(Aoi) 04:39, 1 August 2005 (UTC)
  • I would vote for

5. Royal title (usually prince/ss) + first name (Prince Tipangkorn)

6. Royal title + First name + Territorial designation "of Thailand" (Prince Tipangkorn of Thailand)

8. First name + Additional name + Royal title + Territorial designation "of Thailand" (Tipangkorn Rasmichoti, Prince of Thailand)

Number 5 seems the most elegant solution, as it may satisfy those demands that want to keep an article´s name simple. However, number 6 is good too because it gives more information on the person, just like an article such as Princess Märtha Louise of Norway. naming Srirasmi of Thailand sounds as if she was ruler of Thailand, so maybe Format number 5, 6, 7, or 8 would be better. Number 8 could satisfy those demands that want to have a personal name in the article, although I honestly have to say none of the articles on royals have that format. I would tend to Number 6 at the moment. GryffindorFlag of Austria (state).svg 12:59, August 10, 2005 (UTC)

The results from several days of discussion about reaching a compromise or consensus, seem to be that one discussant accepts 6,7,8, whereas three discussants accept totally another line, preferring nr 2. Three of four is 75% and clearly more than the "rough consensus" usually requires. There is little doubt that a formal vote would produce rather similar results. Thus, would a formal vote be needed? Or, do we simply conclude that this "voting" has shown that there is a rough consensus behind alternative 2. 07:29, 31 July 2005 (UTC)

I suspect that I've just missed something as I've been away for a few days. Earlier somebody said Tipangkorn Rasmichoti was the correct name (not Tipangkorn on its own). Is this analagous to the common American names like Mary-Lou or is it like a first name with a middle name (Homer Jay (Simpson))? In any case I prefer that shorter names are used and we add extra qualifiers only where they are required to disambiguate. KayEss | talk 09:09, 31 July 2005 (UTC)
Official royal name is often long and consists of many parts, higher rank usually means longer name. Tipangkorn Rasmichoti is the first name. Official name for Bangkok or many royal temples are similar examples. -- Lerdsuwa 16:32, 11 August 2005 (UTC)

I believe "Tipangkorn Rasmichoti" could best be equalled with "Ernest August" or "Victor Emmanuel", if you know the Hanoverian and Savoy naming usages. As little Tippie is a royal, we should not equal that "additional name" with Homer Jay (Simpson) or George Herbert Walker (Bush) - however it possibly is close to Am.southern "Billy Joe" and "Sue Ellen". Please tell us what are the alternatives in the list above (of those 8 alternatives) which you unhesitantly approve... Arrigo 11:47, 31 July 2005 (UTC)

If I understand you correctly then it seems that option (1) is not correct and that option (2) is the shortest possible correct name, which is the one that I think we should use. Longer formats need to be used where we have to disambiguate them, but exactly how this disambiguation needs to be done for any given royal I think depends on who we are disambiguating so would leave that for discussion on the royal in question. I don't believe that we have to come up with a disambiguation scheme here that will always work in every case, but we do need to choose the first preferable name to use for article titles. KayEss | talk 04:57, 1 August 2005 (UTC)

As the discussion shows a clear line, it could be concluded that a clear majority, a "rough consensus" is in favor of alternative 2. However, it seems to me that there are now a couple of opinions which someones could want to interpret as support to some of Adam Carr's otherwise lonely votes, and in order to have a clear case, I prefer that we arrange a formal vote. I mean, the policy-recommended multi-propose Approval Vote. Arrigo 08:55, 3 August 2005 (UTC)

Note that Adam's votes are not completely lonely, User:Antares911 is going along the same lines, and it was him who started the whole discussion due to his moving of articles and also the creation of some new ones which mainly consist of titles. andy 11:40, 5 August 2005 (UTC)
  • 5, 6, 7 or 8 seem fine by me. violet/riga (t) 15:00, 11 August 2005 (UTC)
  • 5 is my first choice. But I'd prefer Prince Tipangkorn Rasmichoti. 8, 7 would be my next choices. - Lerdsuwa 16:32, 11 August 2005 (UTC)

Formal vote[edit]

Discussion. Reasons for and against.[edit]

First names of Thai royals are protected in practical terms, so no commoners are using the same, and (usually) only one member of the royal dynasty is ever known by a certain first name. In that sense, they are unique. No need to disambiguate against commoners, thus titulary is redundant in the heading. 11:59, 26 August 2005 (UTC)

Wasn't there a King Thaksin? Or does the PM think he's a re-incarnation? I know that this is due to a clash of transliteration rather than clash of actual name, but this does matter on the English language Wikipedia. And I'd still rather see us talk about it and come to a consensus rather than have a vote foisted on us. KayEss | talk 06:12, 27 August 2005 (UTC)

There was no King Thaksin. His mane was Taksin, not Thaksin. And in Thai, T in Taksin is pronounced more harder than in Thaksin. I don't know how to explain this, but it is definitely different. I reafiirm that Thai royal's names are unique. CW32 12:58, 29 August 2005 (UTC)

On the issue of royal title, lots of people seem to have an issue with calling the article on King simply Bhumibol Adulyadej, or the article on the Crown Prince as simply Vajiralongkorn. Does not prefixing "King" or "Crown Prince" or "Princess" imply disrespect for the Thai royal household? I do not think so. I mean, we have a Sirikit National Convention Center (the word "Queen" is omitted in Thai), a Vajiralongkorn Dam, and a Sirindhorn International Institute of Technology. Certainly no disrespect shown by omitting the royal titles. Besides, we have to be aware that the royal titles are a transient thing. The current King will not be King forever. Then what will we name the article? Was the article on (Princess) Ubolratana renamed when her relationship to the royal family was rehabilitated? As for "of Thailand", I think it is totally unneccesary. I mean, if Elizabeth is a common name among royalty across all of Europe, it makes sense to say "Elizabeth of England". But no other royalty in Asia uses the sansakrit/thai style of naming that the Thai royal family uses. There will never be a Vajiralongkorn of Cambodia. So adding "of Thailand" adds no value. 2 is, IMHO, best.Patiwat 09:28, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

Cast votes[edit]

Add your vote by writing under each of the propositions you approve (not leaving an empty line between previous voter and yours) #, your signature, and (optional) your short reasoning. Longer reasonings should be added to above subsection "Discussion. Reasons for and against."

The voting is intended to be a multi-proposal approval vote, with 8 precise alternatives. Each voter is entitled to vote for one or for several alternatives, which vote signifies that the voter approves all the alternatives s/he has voted for. Opposing votes are not used (not allowed), since it is already an opposing vote to an alternative that the voter does not vote for it. The approval voting system eventually accumulates votes highest to that or those alternative(s) which is approved by most of participants. If numerically a rough consensus is reached, the winning alternative becomes the guideline for the MoS regarding non-reigning Thai royals.

1. proposition "First name (e.g Tipangkorn)"

  1. Arrigo 09:00, 3 August 2005 (UTC). Weak approval. Even this alternative suffices.
  2. Septentrionalis 16:38, 16 August 2005 (UTC)

2. proposition "First name + Additional name (Tipangkorn Rasmichoti)"

  1. Arrigo 08:58, 3 August 2005 (UTC). My preferred solution to this. Sufficient, no need of other disambiguation.
  2. Septentrionalis 16:38, 16 August 2005 (UTC)
  3. Mark1 07:55, 30 August 2005 (UTC)
  4. Andy Ahoerstemeier apparently approves this
  5. Woodstone approves this. confirm −Woodstone 18:37:34, 2005-08-26 (UTC)
  6. Aoi approves this. conform. 青い(Aoi) 01:51, 27 August 2005 (UTC)
  7. KayEss apparently approves this
  8. CW32 approves this. This is my preferred choice. CW32 13:13, 29 August 2005 (UTC)
  9. Patiwat 09:34, 14 March 2006 (UTC) approves this. Sufficiently simple. Everything else is transient or not neccesary.

3. proposition "First name + Additional name + Surname (Tipangkorn Rasmichoti Mahidol)"

4. proposition "First name + Territorial designation, always "of Thailand" (Tipangkorn of Thailand)"

5a. proposition "Royal title (usually prince/ss) + first name (Prince Tipangkorn)"

  1. Prefer 1, but can accept. Septentrionalis 16:38, 16 August 2005 (UTC)
  2. Aoi approves this. confirming approval. 青い(Aoi) 01:51, 27 August 2005 (UTC)
  3. Antares/Gryffindor apparently approves this
  4. Violetriga apparently approves this
  5. Lerdsuwa apparently approves this

5b. proposition "Royal title (usually prince/ss) + Additional name + first name (Prince Tipangkorn Rasmichoti)"

  1. Prefer 2, but can accept Septentrionalis 16:38, 16 August 2005 (UTC)
  2. Aoi approves this. conforming approval. 青い(Aoi) 01:51, 27 August 2005 (UTC)
  3. Antares/Gryffindor apparently approves this
  4. Violetriga apparently approves this
  5. Lerdsuwa apparently approves this
  6. CW32 tertiarily approves this. Prefer 2. CW32 13:13, 29 August 2005 (UTC)

6. proposition "Royal title + First name + Territorial designation "of Thailand" (Prince Tipangkorn of Thailand)"

  1. Adam Carr apparently supports this
  2. Antares/Gryffindor apparently approves this
  3. Violetriga apparently approves this

7. proposition "First name + Royal title + Territorial designation "of Thailand" (Tipangkorn, Prince of Thailand)"

  1. Adam Carr apparently supports this
  2. Violetriga apparently approves this

8. proposition "First name + Additional name + Royal title + Territorial designation "of Thailand" (Tipangkorn Rasmichoti, Prince of Thailand)"

  1. Adam Carr apparently supports this
  2. Gryffindor apparently approves this
  3. Violetriga apparently approves this
  4. CW32 secondarily approves this. I prefer 2, but this is better than 5 and 6. CW32 13:13, 29 August 2005 (UTC)

The guideline is to be applied to both deceased and to living royal Thai persons. Please see above discussions of already stated positions.


There is no need for a vote. We already know what everyone thinks. Mark1 08:59, 3 August 2005 (UTC)

I agree with Mark, there's no reason to vote on this. It looks like only Adam favours the longer names be used from the outset. He said he would give his reasons if asked, so it would be interesting to see what he thinks having read other's comments. KayEss | talk 09:05, 3 August 2005 (UTC)

It seems that quite many have accepted the formula "First name + Additional name", whereas only a minority (one or two?) have supported territorial designation and/or titulary. I believe the result can be applied. Arrigo 09:09, 23 August 2005 (UTC)

Well let´s see. There are at least 8 users above who have stated that they would support Option 8. So I believe that that result should be applied. GryffindorFlag of Austria (state).svg 21:50, August 25, 2005 (UTC)

I attempted to construe the votes according to what each participant has said in the precise discussion above. Conditional approval opinions cannot be counted - those require the person's own unambiguous decision here. Unclear votes cannot be counted, due to self-evident reasons. Everyone is welcome to confirm one's own votes and/or to make changes to one's own contstrued votes. 10:24, 26 August 2005 (UTC)

Having been pointed here by User:, and not having the time to read up on the Thai monarcy to make an informed vote, I'll just make a couple of comments. The reason european monarchs have of <country> is that they all interbred like mad and used the same names - unless there are a bunch of princes elsewhere identically named, of Thailand is redundant disambiguation and should not be used. Secondly common names applies to every article in the main namespace, whatever certain formalists will tell you. Using long, convoluted, but technically 'right' titles should not be prefered to what people on the street actually say. Finally just because there are a few problem cases under a specific system, it doesn't mean the whole method is broken. Just the same as if there are two people named X - you disambiguate them, not every person listed in wikipedia. --zippedmartin 12:37, 26 August 2005 (UTC)

How does No.2 proposal make any sense? Since when are royals referred to with their first name and their (other) names? Considering Wikipedia has pretenders even listed with their titles such as Prince Luiz of Orleans-Braganza, and Thai royals are very much alive and in power, how does Proposal 2 even make sense? So pretenders are kept with title, but royals not? Gryffindor 21:51, 28 August 2005 (UTC)

Pretenders: We do not call Luiz as Emperor Luiz, Louis of Brazil or Luiz of Brazil, we name him under the naming he is almost uncontestedly recognized. Thai royals do not need titles here, they are well-identifiable without. You, speaking about respect, should learn that being known by a simple name is quite high respect. Arrigo 10:51, 29 August 2005 (UTC)

What will happen?[edit]

An editor (visit User talk:Gryffindor) has made a bunch of proposals to move Thai royals from their current locations.

The first of such motions received its verdict today. See Talk:Srinagarindra - Gryffindor had wanted Srinagarindra to be moved to some heading where there would be plenty of royal and princely titles etc. Sadly, Gryffindor's request did not gather sufficient support, actually it gathered opposition. The admin denied Gryffindor's request.

There are afoot more of these Gryffindor moves: see Talk:Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, Talk:Galyani Vadhana and Talk:Prajadhipok. 06:43, 31 August 2005 (UTC)

Inconsistencies among royal names in article titles[edit]

Despite (or because of) all the debate, there are some wild consistencies in how article names of Thai royalty are titled. Right now we've got:

Whatever system is used is going to cause lots of confusion to readers as long as there are so many inconsistencies. Patiwat 01:13, 27 April 2006 (UTC)

It looks like alternative (2) above gathered enough support to be included in the manual of style. Why don't you go ahead, make it official and start clearing up the articles. −Woodstone 07:13, 27 April 2006 (UTC)
Sorry, I don't know how to do this (change article names). Could somebody else give it a go? Changes would apply to Ploypailin (turn into Ploypailin Jensen since she is a commoner), Soamsavali (remove surname), Bejaratana, Vajiralongkorn, and Sirikit (remove titles for all three). Patiwat 02:33, 28 April 2006 (UTC)

Monarchs - how it is done in Hawaii[edit]

"Articles of Monarchs of Hawaiian Kingdom have the monarch's Hawaiian reign name as the heading, and the ordinal if necessary for disambiguation. For example, Kamehameha IV, Liliuokalani. The possible christened name is not to be included into the heading, and not any other non-reign name. The titulary (Queen, King) is not used in the heading, nor any style or honorific. The territorial designation ("of Hawaii") is not to be used in the heading since there is no necessity to disambiguate on basis of country. The text of the article follow standards and guidelines for WP biographical articles." 13:30, 30 August 2005 (UTC)


Don't know if this page is still active, but...

"However, do not capitalize suffixes in the titles of historical periods and events, such as Sukhothai kingdom, Chakri dynasty."

I hadn't seen this before, and have made some changes toward Chakri Dynasty instead. Why, though, the decision not to capitalise, as in Ottoman Empire and Ming Dynasty? Paul C 16:31, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

I think it's just for the sake of consistency. Either is correct English. Markyour words 17:04, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

Transcription of English into Thai[edit]

I'm not a linguistic expert, but I've had grievances with Thai romanizations not only from Thai to English but also vice versa. I'd specifically like to address consonants and won't even mess with vowels or tones. Some 'problem' consonants include: ก จ ต ถ ท ธ ป ผ พ ภ (I've left out the complicated letters used mainly in religious words, as English-Thai translations are uninvolved with them.)


1. English speakers are pronouncing Thai incorrectly.
2. Thai people are learning to pronounce English incorrectly.

(1) has already been discussed by others.

(2) presents a huge problem, especially as English loanwords are increasingly transcribed into Thai. For example, take the word digital. In Thai, it has been translated into ดิจิตอล, incorrectly pronouncing the t as an English th to sound more like digithan. Thus, when presented with an English word, a Thai person will often mispronounce t as th, th as t, j as y (as in jam->yam), p as b, ph as p, and k as g.

Comparisons of Consonants
Thai RTGS (Initial) Correct English Thai RTGS (Initial) Correct English
k g th t
ch j p b, bh?
t th ph p
th t ph p
th t ph p

The result of using the RTGS system is that many English words are pronounced with a clear Thai accent, not only because inappropriate tonality is added, but also because common consonants are switched (such as ต with ถ ท ธ, and ป with ผ พ ภ).

In fact Thais, while being fully capable of spelling a word, often mix these pairs up. My parents, having lived in America for nearly 30 years, still sometimes flub this up because they've had the RTGS system engraved in their minds. What worries me most is that my cousins, aunts, and uncles in Thailand, when presented with a foreign word, constantly use incorrect consonant sounds. I'm afraid that they are being taught their bad pronunciations in school.

Side note: In fact, I'm pretty sure they are taught incorrectly. I've looked at Thai books that teach Japanese, and for non-initial mora (syllables) of words, they use ก for k consonants (く-column) and ต for t consonants (つ-column).

While the RTGS transcription (regardless of its accuracy) of foreign words into Thai has been established and used, the use of RTGS for pronouncing foreign alphabets is simply wrong! I know that RTGS has already been established and has some basis in linguistic studies, and that there are non-English languages with which the RTGS system works better. However, romanization and de-romanization, for practical purposes, are for practical purposes--to accurately pronounce, read, and remember foreign words. The RTGS system does not efficiently fulfill its role.

(I hope people are still using this discussion page. Any comments and opinions are appreciated.)

-Wikky Horse 2006-07-19

The RTGS system is meant for transcription of Thai words into the Latin alphabet. It is not oriented specifically at English, but uses a more common form of the way the Latin alphabet is used in many languages. Transcribing English words in the Thai alphabet is a completely different subject. Using the RTGS in reverse is not appropriate. For example transcribing English ph as Thai พ would surely be wrong, as it should be ฝ.
There is a small book (ISBN 974-8122-41-7; lak ken kan thap sap; THB 20) by a semi-governmental Thai institution giving guidelines for the reverse transcription (for English and many other languages).
Some specifics on your remarks. I am confused that you would like to transcribe ต with th, to which is has no similarity (ต is not aspirated and not a fricative, RTGS th is aspirated, English th is a fricative). If you use b to transcribe ป, what do you use for บ ? Similarly if you use t for ท (aspirated), how do you write ต (not aspirated). −Woodstone 08:29, 20 July 2006 (UTC)
The official guideline contains:
Remark Thai
c before e/i/y
in ch most cases
g before e/i/y
k single letter before stressed vowel (aspirated)
otherwise (unaspirated)
p single letter before stressed vowel (aspirated)
in combination ph
otherwise (unaspirated)
q in combination qu คว
s before vowel
before c mostly
before other consonant mostly
t single letter before stressed vowel (aspirated)
or in combination th
otherwise (unaspirated)
x initial
otherwise กซ

Hope this helps. −Woodstone 15:58, 20 July 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for the table: I wasn't sure if there actually was an official English-to-Thai transcription. It clarifies a lot of things. Also, sorry about the late reply, I had some major computer problems (one being that my hard drive crashed).

What I meant with my comments of those specific characters is that, to my ears and eyes, many RTGS transcriptions seem incorrect, and many of the reverse-transcriptions of English (specifically English, and not dealing with other languages) into Thai appear incorrect.

Starting with the English letters and transcribing them into Thai:

English transcriptions into Thai
Remark Thai
k aspirated or unaspirated
p aspirated or unaspirated
in combination ph
t aspirated or unaspirated
in combination th

As a native English speaker, the English t (not in th) will nearly always sound closer to ท than it does to ต, regardless of aspiration. I know that I am using an "English mindset". (In English, the aspirated t and unaspirated t are represented with no distinction as a single letter, and I combined them into the single character ท.) Thus, my proposition may seem completely wrong from a linguistic point of view. The same idea applies to p (not in ph) and k (to a lesser extent).

Now working the other way around (transcribing Thai into Roman characters), RTGS uses a more linguistic, rather than (what I would call) an empirical, approach. Thus it very closely resembles the IPA transcriptions. h is a dangerous letter to use because even languages that use Roman characters treat h very differently. Now, I know that for these characters, the IPA transcription uses a superscript h. Of course when transcribing a language into general use, avoiding superscripts and difficult-to-type characters is essential for efficiency. Consequently, RTGS uses non-superscript h. However, as someone else on this page has mentioned, using h may have been a bad letter to denote aspiration.

English is the international language of most aspects. On the contrary, the IPA is not understood by most people. Thus, having h combined with other letters for transcription results in pronunciation errors. I do not want to appear as an English chauvinist or the like, but the Romanization of Thai should somewhat account for English phonetic rules--by avoiding the use of h unless absolutely necessary.

Of course, while still avoiding mispronunciations by native speakers of English, ต can be transcribed as θ, but that is difficult and time-consuming to type on most keyboards. This would however remove any English-centralized aspect of transcription.

Thai romanization

As far as I know, ป is closer in sound to บ than it is to the group ผ พ ภ. The RTGS system uses b for บ, p for ป, and ph for ผ พ ภ. With this system, people are more apt to pronounce ป more like ผ พ ภ (than บ). I'd suggest transcribing ป as either b (the same บ), bp, or bh. Here, the ambiguity of h would disappear, as I don't think any languages use the combination bh.

Thai romanization of บ, ป, ผ พ ภ
Transcription Ideas
1 2 3? 4?
b b b bh
b bp bh b
ผ พ ภ p p p p

What I was previously thinking was that transcription and reverse transcription could be a 2-way road: Transcription of characters would work both ways (see table below) in a parallel fashion. However, I can see how this would not always work. It's a huge generalization.

Remark Thai
b aspirated or unaspirated b
ป not used (unsure)
g before e/i/y j
otherwise g
j j
k aspirated or unaspirated ข ฃ ค ฅ k
p aspirated or unaspirated ผ พ ภ p
in combination ph f
t aspirated or unaspirated ถ ท ธ t
in combination th th

The RTGS system is great for those who are knowledgeable in its workings. Any romanization system works perfectly if people know exactly how to use it. However, one cannot expect the masses to be aware of all the rules. This is because most people aren't linguists.

There are already deviations from the RTGS, for practical purposes. For example, in Thai restaurants in America and abroad, menus display kai to refer to an egg and gai to refer to chicken. I figure that restaurants were tired of hearing a hard k for the word chicken, and they made a change to differentiate what people were asking for.

Both directions of transcription need some revisions, as I have concluded through first-hand experience. The IPA is a linguistic and ideal transcription system of Thai, and RTGS closely mimics the IPA. However, for practical uses, h should be avoided and the transcriptions should be readjusted.

If some of my suggested transcriptions were practiced, not all pronunciations would be corrected. However, I bet that foreigners would pronounce Thai words more correctly and that Thais would pronounce English more accurately as well.

I'd like to quickly summarize my points.

1. Some English-to-Thai transcriptions, as described by lak ken kan thap sap, sound incorrect.

2. The RTGS romanization system is easily misinterpreted by the layman. (It looks incorrect.) This means that foreigners pronounce many consonants of Thai words incorrectly.

I understand that systems are difficult to change once they've been standardized. I just wanted to put my thoughts out. Once again, I'd like to thank Woodstone for providing his informative response.

-Wikky Horse 2006-08-12

One of the basic principles of wikipedia is "no original research". So no matter if you can create a better way of transcribing, it cannot be adopted in wikipedia unless you can point to reputable sources defining it.
What's more, you should realise that RTGS is not a transcription into English, but into the Latin alphabet, which is shared by many other languages, using it differently. Using English as reference for transciptions is always problematic, since the pronunciations of letters in English is very erratic. Using English rules outside of an English context will always lead to uncertainty. Therefore a more standardised approach is more appropriate. Is it really that difficult to remember that ph, th (and kh) are not pronounced as the English fricatives, but as combinations of p/t/k + h (aspirated unvoiced plosive)?
As to the contents of your remarks, I'm still at a complete loss of why you would want to trancribe ต (tao) with th, to which is has no similarity (ต is not aspirated and not a fricative, RTGS th is aspirated, English th is a fricative). The trick of rendering ก (kai) by "g" (instead of "k") is possible only because there is no voiced velar plosive in Thai (the logical place for "g"). That's why you run into a problem with ป (pla), which has to be "p" since there a voiced labial บ (baimai), taking hold of "b". Same holds actually for ต (tao) and ด(dek), which you omitted from considerations.
Woodstone 17:59, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
Ok, it all makes sense. Sorry, I didn't mean to propose officially using a new system. I just wanted to see what people thought about it. In answer to your question: It is simple for me to read the transcriptions because I'm used to them. However, if I were to ask a random foreigner in Thailand what he or she thinks h after certain consonants means, he/she may or may not know. Then again, as I see your point, any other proposed system may not even clarify this.
To explain what I meant with transcribing ต (tao) with th or something else, my idea was to use the original RTGS system and remove all hs, so h no longer denotes aspiration. (RTGS kh becomes k; RTGS th becomes t; RTGS ph becomes p.) As for how to now transcribe ต and ป, that would be up to question. They could both be transcribed in a regular way. Of course, the new system may have flaws as well, and that's probably why such a system wasn't chosen.
Anyways, I sounded everything out in my head, and the RTGS system all makes clear sense now. Let me see if I have the RTGS transcription correct for these characters:
Thai romanization
unvoiced, aspirated ข ฃ ค kh ถ ท ธ th ผ พ ph
unvoiced, unaspirated k t p
voiced, unaspirated (none) g d b
The only thing that still confuses me is why the RTGS transcription doesn't distinguish จ from ฉ and ช. Both consonant sounds use the transcription ch. Looking at the IPA versions on the Thai alphabet page, a superscript h makes ฉ ช appear as if they were aspirated versions of จ . Should this group of consonants follow the same pattern? If RTGS were to normalize this group too, would we have j for จ and jh for ฉ and ช? (Or perhaps c for จ and ch for ฉ and ช.)
-Wikky Horse 2006-08-12 18:36 (UT)
You have the table above quite right, I put the full names in the row header boxes. In many languages in India, there is a fourth set of voiced, aspirated sounds. Yes, the flaw in RTGS about จ versus ช is well known. Perhaps c/ch would have been better. In Malay and Turkish, the letter c is used for a sound not so far removed from Thai จ . Pinyin uses j for the Thai จ sound. So j/jh would also have been a possible choice, although not consistent with IPA. But again, we have preferred to stick to the standard above inventing a new (better?) one. −Woodstone 21:19, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

Naming of Thai royals[edit]

I still believe, that we should at least give some titles to the articles in order to be compliant with the naming conventions on other royals. Something like "Princess Galyani Vadhana" for example. Gryffindor 15:55, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

Prince Charles is given as "Charles, prince of Wales," so Galyani should be "Galyani Vadhana, princess of Narathiwat." But I get what you're saying. Living royals hold a particular title at the present time, and that title should be given. Dead royals have generally held more than one title over the course of their lives and don't hold any title currently. They should be identified by the name by which they are best known, followed by a parenthetical remark if necessary, e.g. "Ramkhamhaeng (king of Sukhothai)", "Naresuan (king of Siam)", "Vajirañāṇavarorasa (Buddhist reformer)". (I came up with this based on the style used in Britannica, although it isn't 100 percent consistent. Wikipedia often gives "prince" and "duke," but not "king." This strikes me as goofy.) Kauffner 05:55, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
Not again said the pot of petunia. There are hundreds of Charles' in European aristocracy, but a single Galyani in Thai aristocracy. So it is necessary to disambiguate Prince Charles from all the other Charles, but not for any of the Thai nobles. It is however necessary for the lower noble titles, like Si Suriyawongse, which was more like the job name than the title and thus given to several people in a row. It is still common in WP to add the titles only for disambiguation, not for referencing the person in the full royal style. And Britannica still does not have "King" in their article names either, see e.g. Mongkut. Please don't move articles unilaterally, or even ignoring the oppose votes for a previous requested move! andy 12:04, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
Agree with andy. No need to disambiguate royal names using titles. It's not as if there is or will ever be more than one Bhumibol of Thailand. Patiwat 23:49, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
Easy tiger (or petunia), no one died and put you in charge of what can be moved and what can't. As far as Britannica goes, it uses descriptive tags in parenthesis like "k. of Siam" or "q. of U.K." You're looking at the stripped down version of Britannica on the Web, but I have the "Pantip Plaza" version. The tags strike me as a clear improvement over not knowing what the article is about until you open it. I take it you want the article title to be shortest possible description, the fewest unambigious letters. I don't see any advantage to this. An article title has to be typed in only once, when its being moved. It's not like a short title increases processing efficiency. Kauffner 13:10, 20 February 2007 (UTC)

Where to put nicknames?[edit]

Where should nicknames of Thai people be placed in the article? Nicknames are an important part of Thai society, and newspapers usually refer to people by their nicknames (บิ๊กแอ้ด Big Add, กบ สุวนันท์ Kob Suwanan, แม้ว Maew). Should they be placed in the introduction or in the body article - and where specifically? Patiwat 23:47, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

Nicknames go in the intro. See Babe Ruth or Joe DiMaggio for a model. Kauffner 06:51, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

Naming of a biography[edit]

I don't know if this is a matter of transliteration or something else, but someone here might be less clueless than me: Tevarit Majchacheeap or Tavarit Majchacheep or some other combination? Neither version dominates Google hits; the International Shooting Sport Federation seems to use the latter. -- Jao (talk) 21:12, 10 August 2008 (UTC)

For names it is quite difficult - the official transcription (RTGS) which is at least partially used for placenames in Thailand, is rarely used for personal names. If I am not totally wrong, a Thai can choose the romanized spelling to be used in his passport himself, so it's not easy to say which is the "official" spelling without checking the passport. andy (talk) 21:27, 10 August 2008 (UTC)
Thank you for your quick answer. -- Jao (talk) 21:43, 10 August 2008 (UTC)

I have added the Thai name เทวฤทธิ์ มัจฉาชีพ and RTGS "thewarit matchachip" in the article. The added "a" at the end in one of the spellings is definitely wrong. As always with Thai names many variants can be found. I would say, unless we know the person's official pasport name, using teh RTGS would be the best choice, since at least it provides a rule. −Woodstone (talk) 21:48, 10 August 2008 (UTC)