The Birth of the National Thai Language Day
The National Thai Language Day originated from the day when, on July 29th, 1962, His Majesty the King came to take part in a discussion, “Problems in the Use of Thai Words,” organized at an academic conference of the Thai Language Club in the Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University. The King showed interest and concern about problems in the use of the Thai language and his comments greatly impressed the attendees at the conference. Some of his comments were as follows:
“We are fortunate to have had our own language since the olden days and it is appropriate for us to keep it. There are many specific problems in the use of the Thai language. One thing is that we should keep the pronunciation pure by making clear and correct pronunciation and keeping the language pure in use, which means the use of words in sentences. This is a major problem. The third problem is caused by the richness of Thai words. We think that our language is not rich enough so we tend to coin new words.
These newly coined words may be quite important in academic circles but easy words should be available in our old language and we should not take the trouble to coin new words.”
On July 13th, 1999, the Cabinet approved the celebration of July 29th of every year as the National Thai Language Day as a way of showing gratitude to the King for his ideas and guidelines in the use of the Thai language as well as to celebrate his 6th cycle birthday on December 5th, 1999. This day helps to make Thai people aware of the importance and value of their own language. In turn, it contributes to the promotion and conservation of the Thai language, which is part of our cultural identity and an asset, in order to ensure its continuation.