Word Up! (มหาวิทยาลัย – UP) Goes Thai

Word Up! was recently selected as a resource at the AEC Learning Center in Bangkok, Thailand. (AEC stands for American English curriculum.) After discovering Word Up! on Google, Charn Marson and Supranee Yensuk, managing directors of the Center, arranged with Northwest Brainstorms Publishing to distribute the book to their students and other Thai speakers in the region.

Charn and Supranee and the seven other teachers on staff plan to use Word Up! in both its original English edition and a soon-to-be-released Thai edition, which Charn is translating himself.

Charn and Supranee

Supranee (left) and Charn celebrate the opening of the AEC Learning Center. The SE-ED on the poster and on their shirts comes from the name of the company whose franchise they bought as part of their strategy to compete with three other language schools in the neighborhood.

Charn, a native of Thailand who went to high school and college in Columbus, Ohio, describes his interest in Word Up! this way:

In your video, you said, “You [the viewer] are a writer.” That made me want to contact you and read what you had to say. I want to be a better writer, plus I want to tell Thai people that they can write better English … To write well in English is probably the most difficult part of acquiring English language … that’s why I choose your book hoping it will inspire Thai people and other people in this region to learn how to write better English.

Thailand map

With a 14-hour time difference, Bangkok and Portland lie almost exactly half the world apart. (Public-domain image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.)

When I told Charn that I hadn’t expected Word Up! to translate well because of all its idioms, he replied,

I do not believe that Word Up! cannot be translated into Thai or any other languages in the world … This will be energy-consuming but I love it. Many of the American jokes cannot be said the same way your book explains. However, a good translator can get similar results using his or her experiences to explain anything even in English acquisition. Thai people, for sure, will learn from this book.

The AEC Learning Center, which opened on August 26, 2013, delivers instruction in American English and math. So far, 50 students—ages 4 to 48—have enrolled. Sometimes parents and their children attend together. The AEC Learning Center employs 9 teachers including Charn and Supranee, who teach in addition to their management responsibilities.

AEC-Charns-school-in-Thailand

The AEC Learning Center will soon use Word Up! in its American English curriculum.

Charn plans to start using the original edition of Word Up! in the classroom soon, following with the translated edition in July or August. Meanwhile, the book already shows up on the school’s website (as shown below). Take a close look at that page’s URL, http://englishthaicenter.com/writing-english-เขียนภาษาอังกฤษ/มหาวิทยาลัย-up/. As if telling the book’s own story, it begins in English, it changes to Thai, and, in the end, things are looking up.

"Word Up!" Goes Thai (web page)

Word Up! appears on the AEC Learning Center website.

14 thoughts on “Word Up! (มหาวิทยาลัย – UP) Goes Thai

  1. Wonderful news! I know someone in Thailand, and she requested a copy of your book, which I sent her. I’ve shared this good news with her.

  2. Congratulations on having your book published on the other side of the world and in both English and Thai as well! Very few books travel that far, and it is exciting to think about people so far away and from another culture being influenced by your work. I hope you are able to reach an ever widening audience!

  3. Congratulations Marcia! Word Up! is such a great writing resource. (From a tech writer in Thailand, in the neighbourhood of Chachoengsao – we’re east of Bangkok 🙂 )

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