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The Ideology and Translation of the Thai Prime Minister’s Weekly Addresses (2014-2016)

Phanthaphoommee, Narongdej (2019) The Ideology and Translation of the Thai Prime Minister’s Weekly Addresses (2014-2016). PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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In the aftermath of the May 2014 coup, Thailand’s self-appointed Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha made his first Friday evening TV programme ‘Return happiness to the people in the nation’, broadcast in Thai with English subtitles. Emulating a format inherited from its precursors during the Thaksin, Abhisit and Yingluck premierships, this programme exemplified the junta’s political marketing, aiming to dispel public anxieties and promote government policies both domestically and internationally. The study attempts to analyse the 124 General Prayut’s weekly addresses and their official translations (30 May 2014 to 7 October 2016) in order to identify the translation patterns in the target text. It also explains as to how the ideologies expressed in the original were presented in the official translation and to what extent the institutional ideology condition the translation process. This study applies a combination of Critical Discourse Analysis and Systemic Functional Linguistics, especially the system of Appraisal (Martin and Rose, 2008) applied to Translation Studies (Munday, 2012). Interviews were also conducted to understand how the translation process operates. The study found that there are four major translation patterns: (1) adding or shunning the attitudinal-rich words depending on groups of people with whom Gen Prayut identified in his speech, (2) rearranging information and inserting connective items to build a more cohesive textual organisation, (3) maintaining and improving the image of the military, (4) explicitating pronouns and spatio-temporal location of the participants in the clauses. All these patterns are the textual manipulations to camouflage the reality of General Prayut’s idiosyncrasy, or a defense mechanism to present and re-package the official Thai self. Knowing their task was politically sensitive, the translation team had to engage in censoring their own prime minister’s improper use of language in order to improve the image of the junta’s ‘good men’ before relaying the ‘proper translation’ to international audiences. Consequently, the conservative ideology of ‘Nation, Religion and King’ was presented in less explicit manner. The study also found that despite the considerable importance of the translated broadcasts, the quality of the management of the TV production and translation was meagre; only a handful of people were trusted to be involved in the whole process. There was no assessment after the show, and neither did the translators receive any critical feedback from the junta.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Ideology, Translation, Political Text, Thai Politics, Weekly Address
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures (Leeds)
The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures (Leeds) > School of Languages Cultures and Societies (Leeds)
Depositing User: Mr Narongdej Phanthaphoommee
Date Deposited: 26 Nov 2019 16:26
Last Modified: 26 Nov 2019 16:26
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/25379

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