Posted by: u4492462 | October 22, 2009

Royal language

There are interesting facts about the use of language to acknowledge a person’s royal heritage in the Thai language. The choice of vocabulary is important. When Thai subjects have been granted an audience with the King, the Queen or members of the Royal family or whenever we are referring to the royalty, they must use Ra-cha-sap (Royal language). The subjects are supposed to speak properly with the right choice of words when referring to things associated with royalty, for example ‘food’ we should not refer to as [?a-han] but [Pra-Kra-Ya-Han] and ‘eat’ as [sa-woey] not [than] as we usually do for lay people.
When the subjects refer to the King’s eyes, they are not allowed to use [ta] but [Pra-ne:t] and ears as [Pra Kan] not [hu]. According to Thonglo (1952 : 264 in Juntanamalaga,1988: 317), this ‘royal linguistic register’ …[includes] various created rules of classifier use.’…
Even for certain animals, a decree was issued by King Mongkut in 1854 (Prachum prakat R.4 1960 :1:65 in Juntanamalaga,1988: 319) declaring that “elephants and horses are animals with a noble lineage. Thus, they should not be referred to with /tua/ like other animals…. Instead one must say cha:ng nu’ng (‘one elephant’) , so:ng cha:ng (‘two elephants’), ma: nu’ng (‘one horse’) , so:ng ma: (‘two horses’) But for animals other than these , /tua/ should be used.’

What about other languages? Do you know any languages similar to Thai’s Rachasap?

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