King's literary work to get new airing

King's literary work to get new airing

The Culture Ministry plans to republish 17 books written or translated by His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej for distribution to the public and libraries nationwide.

The books include A Man Called Intrepid by Canadian writer William Stevenson which took His Majesty three years to translate; The Story of Mahajanaka, composed by His Majesty and published in 1996; and The Story of Tongdaeng, about His Majesty's favourite dog.

"Initially, 10,000 copies of each book will be published and the e-book versions will be launched for free download," said Culture Minister Veera Rojpojanarat.

Mr Veera said the goal was to promote the late King's literary talent and make the works more widely available.

To promote the proper use of the Thai language, the Culture Ministry had designated July 29 as National Thai Language Day to celebrate the King's 1962 meeting at Chulalongkorn University with Thai-language experts to discuss issues surrounding the language.

"On July 29, 1962, at Chulalongkorn University's Faculty of Arts, His Majesty urged everybody to be aware of the proper use of the Thai language. Surprisingly, 50 years later, many issues which His Majesty warned about remain, as many young Thais still cannot use the language properly," Mr Veera said, adding National Thai Language Day has been observed since 1999.

On that day His Majesty said: "We are fortunate we have had our own unique language since ancient times. It should therefore be carefully preserved. This can be accomplished in several ways. The purity of pronunciation should be maintained with great accuracy. Words should be used appropriately in sentences. The key issue is the richness of the Thai language. We should not think the Thai language is somehow inadequate and that we frequently need to create new words. Although some new words may be necessary for technical or academic usage, most words should remain simple. We should use the words that already exist and not add complications by creating new words."

Mr Veera said the ministry will publish a book of about 500 condolence poems written by national artists next month, and will also pay respect to the late King through an exhibition of photos of His Majesty's work to promote the Thai language.

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