A problem with English translation from Thai textbooks

A-650919.- A problem with English translation from Thai textbooks

The translation of Thai astrology textbooks into English (or other foreign language) is a very difficult matter.

There are several specific words in astrology which even persons who know English language cannot understand. 

Therefore, English translation is needed to conduct by a person who have both English translation skill and well knowledge in Thai astrology.

I am not good at English and cannot translate my work into English myself. Therefore, I hired my student as a translator.

He has well knowledge of Thai astrology and good at English. Even so, it took one year for him to complete the translation because he had a full-time job and spent only free time for translation.

After completing English translation, it is also difficult for me to verify its correctness and meaning. I cannot understand its properly myself and am not sure whether foreigner read and understand the same meanings as my original words.

In the above translation, the translator said that he uses a direct translation method ie., word-for-word and sentence-for-sentence translation.  The result of this translation is not distorted from the original text and is a general academic standard translation.

He was unable to translate by reading comprehension and rewrite into English while keeping original meaning. He accepts that direct translation may make difficulty for readers to understand and might result in confusion.

Note: Later translations of additional parts have been done by another translator who uses a reading comprehension method and then rewriting.

The translation is a big issue for me because I cannot read and understand fully by myself, but it is necessary for me to disseminate the principles of Thai astrology at international level.

With my logical approach that uses data/statistics and reasoning without any use of faith, my textbook contains teaching step-by-step until the end, on every key issue with only 500 pages of A5 (6 * 9 inches) length (for Paperback & Hard cover).

Meanwhile, the translation of other conventional Thai astrology textbooks into English seems to be unlikely when considering cost and skill of translator. My first textbook contains 600 pages and they might reach 4,000 to 5,000 pages of A5 paper for translation version when including other nine books. 

This does not include textbooks or subjects of other teachers that may be required for additional or complementary parts to cover all aspects in Thai astrology.

Therefore, it is clear that the dissemination of Thai astrology to international level is almost impossible in the past, present and future. Only my subjects can do this function.

However, there are many obstacles to make most people accepting my principles due to differences in customs, traditions, culture, religion, beliefs, language and communication.

Most importantly, casting horoscope chart (locating position of planets and ASC in zodiac) is the most difficult issue which I will discuss in the next section.

  (Translated and edited by Sittidath Prasertrungruang, uchujaro@yahoo.com)


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