Khaosod English's Note On Translation Of Anti-Govt Leadership Title "PCAD"

Mr. Suthep Thaugsuban, leader of the People's Committee for Absolute Democracy With the King As head of State (PCAD), 22 December 2013

The editorial team of Khaosod English has recently received a number of questions about its translation of the name of the the anti-government protest group.

The group, known in Thai as "คณะกรรมการประชาชนเพื่อการเปลี่ยนแปลงประเทศไทยให้เป็นประชาธิปไตยที่สมบูรณ์ อันมีพระมหากษัตริย์ทรงเป็นประมุข (กปปส)" has supplied English media with one version of its title: "The People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC)." 
 
However, this official name is not an accurate translation of the group's name in Thai. As an independently-owned news agency, we believe that Khaosod English is under no obligation to adopt the name provided by the group's leadership.
 
Therefore, our editorial team has decided to translate the Thai name more accurately to: "The People′s Committee for Absolute Democracy With the King As Head of State (PCAD)".
 
Our translation derives directly from the group's full name: คณะกรรมการ (Committee), ประชาชน (People), เพื่อการเปลี่ยนแปลงประเทศไทยให้เป็น (For Change Of Thailand Into – which we have shortened to 'for'), ประชาธิปไตยสมบูรณ์ (Absolute Democracy), อันมีพระมหากษัตริย์ทรงเป็นประมุข (With the King As Head of State).
 
Our readers may notice that two prominent aspects of the group's full name have been omitted from the official English translation: 'absolute democracy' and 'with the king as head of state'.
 
The incomplete translation is curious given that the notion of 'absolute democracy' (ประชาธิปไตยสมบูรณ์) is a cornerstone the group's platform and is mentioned on many occasions by the group's leaders. The PCAD leaders also often uses pro-monarchy rhetoric, which is reflected in the phrase 'With the King As Head of State' (อันมีพระมหากษัตริย์ทรงเป็นประมุข).
 
Our abbreviation also reflects the Thai abbreviation of the name: (รรมการ), (ระชาชน), (ระชาธิปไตย), (มบูรณ์), which corresponds to P(eople), C(ommittee), A(bsolute), D(emocracy) in English.
 
We hope this note helps clarify any confusion our translation might have caused.
 
 

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