By Khaosod Online
10 September 2013, Last upated at 21:42 GMT
Khaosod English Clarifies Usage Of "Stupid Bitch"
In an article
published yesterday, we translated former Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva′s now-controversial
remark about Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra as "stupid bitch". The original term in Thai was
Two other English language media outlets have also reported the story - the Bangkok
Post and The Nation. However, their choice of translation differs from ours. The Nation translates
the word as "stupid woman", while the Bangkok Post gave it an even softer term: "stupid
To prevent any doubt toward our journalistic integrity, the editorial team of Khaosod
English has decided to clarify why the term "stupid bitch" is the more accurate translation of what
Mr. Abhisit had said at the rally on 7 September.
First of all, neither "stupid woman" nor
"stupid lady" is an accurate translation, precisely because Mr. Abhisit did not say such things.
According to the transcript published by his own party, he said "อีโง่", not "ผู้หญิงโง่" or
"สุภาพสตรีโง่", which would warrant the translation into "stupid woman" and "stupid lady",
It should be noted that when a cartoonist at Thai Rath newspapers referred to
Ms. Yingluck as "หญิงชั่วขายชาติ", Khaosod translated it as "evil woman" selling her
While we accept that "stupid bitch" is not an 100% accurate translation of the term
"อีโง่" (as it is the case with many other "very Thai" words), we have concluded that "stupid bitch"
is the closest possible translation in the news′ context.
อี is a gender-based insulting
word, particularly in the modern usage, denoting female. Indeed, while there is a male counterpart -
ไอ้ - the word is generally perceived as less insulting than อี.
อี is also used as a prefix
to make any word very, very rude, in the feminine context. Place อี before ตอแหล (liar) and you get
the Thai version of "lying bitch". Place อี before ตัว (body) and you get the word
To convey the shocking aspect of Mr. Abhisit′s remark, we had to resort to an
English word so rude that public figures in the West would not consider uttering it to the large
crowd of people, let alone in presence of the watching media, which also has a feminine quality.
Hence, the word "bitch".
Although we generally adhere to a universally practised principle of
not printing vulgar words, we feel that softening Mr. Abhisit′s remark, like other media agencies
have done, would amount to distortion of his words.
ภาพ : Anti-government critics have regularly portrayed PM Yingluck Shinawatra as stupid or brainless.