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BANGKOK 19 January 2019 10:50
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Don Muang Is Now Don Mueang !

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Today's Top Stories BANGKOK POST

Old airport gets a new look

By Kamolwat Praprutitum

Airport administrators have left no stone unturned in their efforts to spruce up the facility. They have even put up an official sign declaring it "Don Mueang International Airport" - including the abrupt new "e".

As most domestic flights gradually headed back to the old Don Muang airport yesterday, they were greeted with familiar sights - except the signboard announcing "Don Mueang."

And the first question on the lips of almost everyone who passed through one of Asia's oldest airports was whether or not the "e" has been misplaced.

The airport director Pinit Saraithong earlier admitted he put the "e" there after consulting the language authority, the Royal Institute, known in their own transliteration as the Ratcha Bandits, although it is pronounced "Ratchaband".

The Institute and linguists assured him "Don Mueang" is closest to the correct Thai pronunciation of the district in which the airport is located and from which it has taken its name.

He went on to explain that he now has at his disposal all the necessary documentation available in case he is asked to justify the new spelling.

Which is precisely why the issue, perceived to be trivial by many, can go far beyond the question of phonological correctness.

The concern is not so much how the lips should purse when uttering the word "Don Mueang." It has more to do with what is going on in the decision-makers' head. There is a potential danger in the tendency for people with power to shoot themselves in the foot by creating problems where there should be none.

Don Muang versus Don Mueang is the case in point. The needless problem can be very distracting, especially when the path back to "Don Mueang" has already been strewn with brickbats from industry experts who are less than convinced the dual-airport policy will ever fulfil the country's ambition to become the region's aviation hub.

Besides, Don Muang is probably the spelling style most people are inclined to follow. To "de-popularise" the spelling so commonly adopted does not make economic sense as making changes to accommodate the "e" costs money.

And money is not something "Don Mueang" airport, now with only a fraction of the flight volume it used to enjoy to generate revenue, can afford to throw away these days.

The classic problem with English spellings of many Thai words is the lack of enforcement of an official style to ensure consistency. It is downright mind-boggling to come across Onnuj on one street sign only to run into Onnuch or Onnut on other.

A spelling enforcement notwithstanding, no efforts should be wasted fashioning the "e" in the word Don Muang when the airport management is expected to be swamped with hassles of reopening the old airport in the weeks if not months ahead.

The fact of the matter is that "Don Mueang" administrators have plenty of hurdles, in terms of management, logistical and technical challenges, to cross. They clearly do not need more.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

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So can we expect an immediate change in the name of Suvarnabhumi as that English spelling is nowhere near how the word is pronounced in Thai?

What is the AOT policy on this? To be the hub of inconsistent and confusing policies?

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Muang/Mueang

Isaan/Isan

Chiang Mai/Chiangmai

I don't see what the big deal is. :o

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problems arise when tourists ask to be taken somewhere and taxi drivers cant make head nor tail of what they are trying to pronounce.

someone new to thailand would have great difficulty in pronouncing "meuang"

my - ooang , me - ooang , mairng , me - wang.

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problems arise when tourists ask to be taken somewhere and taxi drivers cant make head nor tail of what they are trying to pronounce.

someone new to thailand would have great difficulty in pronouncing "meuang"

my - ooang , me - ooang , mairng , me - wang.

Me-U-Ang:

"Me" like "It no longer amazes me the Post wastes time on such trivialities."

"U" like "R U 2 lazy 2 type 1 simple 3 ltr word on a msg brd?"

"Ang" as in "angry this post couldn't be a bit funnier."

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Another load of stupid <deleted>…after 90 years now spend millions to re-brand an already stupid name TIT

:o

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That little “e” is bound to have an effect on a lot of things:

– name on English language road signs

– name on maps

– name in the records of international organisations such as IATA, ICAO, etc.

– name in flight schedules of airlines

– etc.

Any bets on the airport director’s having to change that sign back again to the original name Don Muang?

--

Maestro

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Muang/Mueang

Isaan/Isan

Chiang Mai/Chiangmai

I don't see what the big deal is. :o

How about these apples:

donmuang.gif

After a front-page article in the Bangkok Post with airport director Khun Pinit proclaiming that DON MUEANG is the correct pronunciation, the AOT runs a third-page ad in today's Bangkok Post with, not only DON MUANG, but also CHAING RAI and CHAING MAI. :D

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Another load of stupid <deleted>…after 90 years now spend millions to re-brand an already stupid name TIT

:o

After years living in LOS and having been frequently amazed at some of the apparently loopy things that happen I now have a formula for explaining them. I run it past the following words: "short-term financial gain" and look to see if someone somewhere will be on the receiving end of that. Most things then become clear.

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problems arise when tourists ask to be taken somewhere and taxi drivers cant make head nor tail of what they are trying to pronounce.

someone new to thailand would have great difficulty in pronouncing "meuang"

my - ooang , me - ooang , mairng , me - wang.

Pronouncing 'eu' as in French peuple - especially with an English accent - plus 'a' as in Patna would be fairly reasonable. Unhappily, it's 'mueang'.

Now, someone who's done some advance preparation will know that -ua- is pronounced as in English skua without the 'y' sound, and also get the wrong pronunciation, whereas the same person stands a sporting chance of getting it right with 'Don Mueang'.

Are we sure the original spelling didn't have 'u with horn' (as in Vietnamese) - that has resulted in the 'muang' in Kam Mueang being written mu’ang or muʼang. That is really horrible, inviting, in British English spelling conventions, /moo-ung/.

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