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Translation Mistake On Surname


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Only just discovered why everyone Thai has been mispronouncing my surname for the last seven months. The Translator who translated my affirmation and Divorce Papers had made a mistake, using Sor Soh instead of Chor Chang. The difference being the difference between the Letter S sound and the sound of SH/Chor Chang which should have been there in the Translation.

That has meant that the Affirmation from the Embassy, The Translation of the Divorce Papers, The Thai Marriage Certificate, The Wife's ID Card, and the Nor Sor Sam Kor are using the wrong spelling in Thai of my surname.

Now, how in Thailand do I get that lot changed easily? Bearing in mind Thai Government Authentication department have put the official seals all over the Translations.

Can of worms.

Good Guy

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A lot easier to leave it how it is. I had a similar problem before, but to be honest didn't feel it was important enough to go through the hassle of trying to change it. The only correct spelling of your surname is in the Roman Alphabet anyway.

However if you want to go ahead and try to change it, then I would guess that there are plenty of people on this board who will know how to do that. This is a very common problem, as transliterating English names into Thai is not an exact science.

If you want to post the surname, then I will post a transliteration in Thai so that you can compare it to the one on your documents.

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How they gonna agree on how to spell your last name when they can't agree on the translation spelling of the towns and provinces in thailand?

They spell all the town names 2 or 3 different ways. I don't think I would worry about it either. :o

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konangrit Posted on Wed 2004-05-19, 21:36:49

  A lot easier to leave it how it is. I had a similar problem before, but to be honest didn't feel it was important enough to go through the hassle of trying to change it. The only correct spelling of your surname is in the Roman Alphabet anyway.

However if you want to go ahead and try to change it, then I would guess that there are plenty of people on this board who will know how to do that. This is a very common problem, as transliterating English names into Thai is not an exact science.

If you want to post the surname, then I will post a transliteration in Thai so that you can compare it to the one on your documents. 

Thank-you konangkrit Yes, easy to leave, but then not easy to endure constant reminders of the mistake in future, especially when I would like, my soon to be born child, to be clear on his/her pronunciation of his identity both when he/she is in Thailand or in England. I have checked the links you kindly provided and managed to confirm that there is a genunie mistake.

I guess I know how Eastern Europeans ie: Polish Refugees must have felt when they migrated to England/America during the second world war, when confronted with English. The beauty of the evolution of ones surname's spelling, which in some cases are actually many hundreds of years in making, to be dumped on by some stupid, amateur, translation idiot in Thanon Wittayu, and then mis-confirmed by the Thai Gov. peeves me no end. The mis-sounding pronunciation sounds like my surname has caught a virus.

sonthaya Posted on Wed 2004-05-19, 22:34:10

  Nothing is easy in Thailand 

I guess you mean 'everything is'.

Good Guy

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All my Thai identity documents from driving licence through to government passes have me listed as ten years my junior :D I am not about to get it changed!! :o

They screw up once and you're with it for the duration. What's in a name anyway, even one that has caught a virus?

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All my Thai identity documents from driving licence through to government passes have me listed as ten years my junior :D I am not about to get it changed!! :o

They screw up once and you're with it for the duration. What's in a name anyway, even one that has caught a virus?

Just tell the BG's you are young, but you haven't been too well. :D

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  • 2 weeks later...

Mistake Fixed. Corrected. Not so hard as I feared. OK, after a trip to the Australian Embassy Consular Section, I was advised correctly of the manner in which to fix this personally annoying mistake.

Step 1. Make a true copy at the Embassy. AU $30

Step 2. Have it translated free of charge correctly by the sorry Translation idiot.

Step 3. Have it verified by Chaeng Wattana B 400

Step 4. Go to Original Amphur where we married with Wife, Marriage Certificate, and Wife's Thai ID Card.

Step 5. Leave Amphur with Memo in Thai attached with a staple, to the Marriage Certificate, and with Wife with her new ID Card with the correct Thai spelling.

Only cost was time and fuel for the car.

Good Guy

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There are rules governing how Roman words/names should be transliterated into Thai.

Vowels: http://www.royin.go.th/trans03.html

Consonants: http://www.royin.go.th/trans04.html

Very useful tool from The Royal Institute. Unfortunately it seems that most Thais are unaware of this.

Nope, quite a few Thais with more than six years of education *are* aware of this system, and have in fact been taught the correct method of transliteration at one stage in their education, but they couldn't give a som tam about it since they don't think it's that important - excepting those who work closely with foreigners or at newspapers and such.

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Mistake Fixed.  Corrected.  Not so hard as I feared.  OK, after a trip to the Australian Embassy Consular Section, I was advised correctly of the manner in which to fix this personally annoying mistake. 

Step 1.  Make a true copy at the Embassy.  AU $30

Step 2.  Have it translated free of charge correctly by the sorry Translation idiot.

Step 3.  Have it verified by Chaeng Wattana  B 400

Step 4.  Go to Original Amphur where we married with Wife, Marriage Certificate, and Wife's Thai ID Card.

Step 5.  Leave Amphur with Memo in Thai attached with a staple, to the Marriage Certificate, and with Wife with her new ID Card with the correct Thai spelling.

Only cost was time and fuel for the car.

Good Guy

Glad to hear you got that sorted, I'm sure your experience will come in handy for a lot of others in the same situation.

Meadish,

Sounds about right and I guess a Thai who doesn't have much interaction with foreigners wouldn't find it important, which is quite understandable. That said, you should be able to expect a translator to transliterate names the official way for official documents. This translator was simply incompetent.

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'Just tell the BG's you are young, but you haven't been too well. '

Didn't realise I lookd that old, or is that an assumption based on my medical history, which you happen to have handy? :o

Hmmm , the fact that your documents say your are ten years younger than you are may form the basis of the good Doctors pun , no?

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Guess what? It doesn't only happen in Thailand. They mispelled my surname on my British driving license, because they are not used to German pronunciation. I didn't think much of it, until I had to show it to the German police after an accident there with a borrowed car (I got confused which was the right side of the road and what exactly the drink limit was).

Let's just say I spend a lot of time explaining...

In Thailand they haven't noticed the discrepancy yet, they are doing well to hold my passport the right way round...

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