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Royal Institute promoting Thai dialects

BANGKOK, 3 August 2011 (NNT) – The Royal Institute is producing a dictionary of local literature in order to help conserve Thai dialects while it is encouraging children not to be shy when they speak their own dialects.

Thailand Royal Institute Secretary-General Kanokwalee Chuchaiya stated that the institute is aware of the declining use of dialects as recently mentioned by ex-Prime Minister Chuan Leekpai. Mr Chuan earlier expressed concerns that dialects were speedily fading from the society. He asked the Royal Institute to take action to help preserve dialects, saying some schools did not even allow students to speak dialects in class.

Ms Kanokwalee insisted that students should be encouraged to speak dialects, and learning the central Thai language is also essential. She noted that some students are shy to speak dialects although they should not be while schools should not ban them from doing so as dialects are local wisdoms.

She added that the Royal Institute is pushing for a national language policy to conserve the outstanding characteristics of Thai dialects.

Regarding the problem that newly recruited employees often lack good summarizing skill, the secretary-general said however that the skill is taught in schools while both Thai language teachers and the Ministry of Education do realise importance of this issue.

Ms Kanokwalee ascribed the problem to the way students use in completing their school reports at present, in which they tend to pick already-provided synopses from the internet without summarising the information by themselves. This has led to their poor summarising skill.

Reporter : Santibhap Ussavasodhi – NNT

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  1. 1
    JC Slobbe

    Guarding a country against the loss of accents and dialects is a must.
    I come from the Netherlands, a small country of 300 x 200 km, but having within it’s borders very many dialects and accents, and even a recognised language, Frisian.
    For many years the ABN, the standard language, was promoted at schools as the only acceptable language, speaking a dialect or accent lessened your chances for the better jobs.
    Lately the “local” use of dialects, languages and accents is promoted as very useful.
    I understand from my Thai daughters this is also the case in Thailand, not so long ago and even now, the use of Isan is frowned upon, they found that out in school and University.
    So, indeed the minister is right, “local” dialect, accents and languages should not be frown upon, but be accepted.
    That said, the Minister should, at least, try to convince employers including governmental ones, not to discriminate on the accent somebody has, indicating his or her origine.

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