Chuvit’s Angry Man Campaign Posters Translated

Chuvit: Angry Man Campaign Posters

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Chuvit: The Angry Man of Thai politics…

The Thai press is calling Chuvit the colour of the election: สีสัน การ เลือกตั้ง /sĕe-săn gaan lêuak-dtâng/. And comparing Chuvit to the other candidates, who can argue? Chuvit is colourful, dramatic, and evocative. In your face even.

So it’s no surprise that Chuvit’s powerful posters are the talk of the town. Kudos to his design team, his direction, or whatever the combo. The posters are conveying a message as loud and lively as Chuvit himself.

In order to grab the attention of a speeding motorist, trained designers know that the use of a clean, bold design works. And that the information needs to be kept short, catchy, and memorable. To do just that, for the copy Chuvit took the message he wanted to convey and then pared it down into lean but powerful headlines.

Some of the posters play with words and sentences, that when looked up separately, have a different meaning. Some use noun phrases (word or group of words) to convey a broader meaning. And some could be using colour to add cheek to the message.

And while this method works wonders for a Thai audience, it makes it difficult for struggling students of the Thai language. So for me to understand some of Chuvit’s posters, it was important to find the message he started with before the fiddling, and then work out the possible meanings from there. And that’s what you’ll find in this post.


Note: My attempt won’t be 100% successful so if Chuvit is reading this – please feel free to correct me.

Oh, and I did not do this on my own. I asked a zillion questions. You know who you are. Thank you.

This post is plenty long so I’ve mostly taken out repeats where I could. Chuvit’s request to be in the opposition and the footer information especially.

Chuvit knows he won’t win the election. His aim is to get enough votes to be in the opposition; to become the watchdog of Thai politics. And that’s why you’ll see this phrase repeated throughout his posters:

ผม ขอ เป็น ฝ่ายค้าน
pŏm kŏr bpen fàai-káan
I ask to be in the opposition.

For the duration of this post let’s assume that in every poster he’s first explaining the message and second that if he gets voted in as the opposition he’ll be the anti-corruption watchdog for Thai politics. The short version: Choose me so I can fight corruption.

You can read about Chuvit’s previous political attempts here (in Thai): Wiki: ชูวิทย์_กมลวิศิษฎ์

Also to save room I won’t put the footer, the final message running across the bottom of each poster. If you can’t read Thai, it’s the white copy knocked out of a blue background. Not all of the copy is exactly the same but it goes pretty much like this:

เลือก ชูวิทย์ พร้อมกัน ทุกเขต ทั่วประเทศ
lêuak choo-wít próm-gan túk-kàyt tûa-bprà-tâyt
Vote Chuvit simultaneously every area nationwide.

พรรค รัก ประเทศไทย
pák rák bprà-tâyt-tai
Love Thailand Party

The “everybody vote for Chuvit at the same time” phrase refers to the voting times for Thailand. You’ll read it on other political posters too. The polls are open from 8am–3pm, July 3, 2011. Everyone who’s going to vote needs to be there during those times. If they are late, they cannot vote so everyone votes at the same time.

From what I understand, there are three ways for Thais to vote in the election. 1) At the designated polls (Thais receive a letter in the mail telling them where). 2) Or they can vote ahead of time by registering on June 26th (a week before). 3) Or they can vote from overseas.

Chuvit’s angry man political posters…

There were many outings to get photos of the campaign posters. On the main run I took photos of the posters only, no background. Then I realised how many readers live outside of Thailand so I went back to get local flavour.

So here we go… the posters with their translations and my stab at what it all means. And if you have any suggestions, corrections, whatever, please share them in the comments.

Chuvit Angry Man Campaign Posters

เลือก ชูวิทย์ เป็น ฝ่าย ค้าน ต้าน คอรัปชั่น
lêuak choo-wít bpen fàai káan dtâan kor-ráp-chân
Pick Chuvit for the opposition. To oppose corruption.

ได้ ทุก เขต ทั่วประเทศ ไทย
dâi túk kàyt tûa-bprà-tâyt tai
Can. Every district nationwide in Thailand.

This simple poster lays out the basic theme running through the rest of the series. It’s main message includes some of the copy I’m leaving out.

Infers: You can choose Chuvit to be the opposition, to oppose corruption, no matter what district, nationwide in Thailand.

Flickr: Rak Thailand

Chuvit Angry Man Campaign Posters

คุณ จะ ไป ทาง ไหน ?
kun jà bpai taang năi ?
Which direction are you going?

Noun phrase:
การเมือง + ผลประโยชน์
gaan-meuang + pŏn-bprà-yòht
Political affairs, politics + benefits

Which direction are you going? Politics benefit politicians.

Infers: Which direction are you going when political policies benefit the self interests of the politicians and not ordinary Thais? As a visual, it’s saying that Thais keep choosing to head into known traffic jams instead of going where the lights are green and the streets are clear.

Chuvit Angry Man Campaign Posters

คุณ จะ ไป ทาง ไหน ?
kun jà bpai taang năi ?
Which direction are you going?

Noun phrase:
รัฐบาล + ผลประโยชน์
rát-tà-baan + pŏn-bprà-yòht
Government + vested interests

Which direction are you going? Government benefits politicians.

Infers: Same as above. Which direction are you going when government benefits the interests of the politicians?

Chuvit Angry Man Campaign Posters

จะ หลงทาง กัน อีก กี่ ครั้ง ?
jà lŏn-taang gan èek gèe kráng ?
How many more times will you lose the way?

Noun phrase:
นโยบาย + ผลประโยชน์ พรรคการเมือง
ná-yoh-baai + pŏn-bprà-yòht pák-gaan-meuang
policies + vested interests [of] political parties

How many more times will you lose your way? The policies of political parties make profits for themselves.

Infers: Chuvit is asking how many more times will Thais lose their way by choosing policies that benefit the political party and not ordinary Thais. It means putting money in politician’s pockets by changing Thai laws to benefit the politician’s family businesses. In the west it’s known as conflict of interest.

Chuvit Angry Man Campaign Posters

เมื่อ … นักการเมือง พูด คำว่า
mêua … nák-gaan-meuang pôot kam-wâa
When… politicians say the word

Noun phrase:
ซื่อ + สัตย์
sêu + sàt

ประชาชน จะ เป็นสุข อย่างไร
bprà-chaa-chon jà bpen-sùk yàang-rai
how can people be happy?

When… politicians say the word ‘honest’ how can people be happy?

Could infer: How can people be happy when politicians say the words ‘honest’ but their promise of innocence cannot be trusted?

ซื่อสัตย์ /sêu-sàt/ means to be honest, faithful, and loyal but in this poster Chuvit pushed the two words apart, changing the meaning.

ซื่อ /sêu/ innocent (red)
สัตย์ /sàt/ the promise (black)

สัตย์ /sàt/ is in black so it could be that the promise cannot be trusted. But what could the red colour mean?

Chuvit Angry Man Campaign Posters

เลือก ชูวิทย์
lêuak choo-wít
Elect Chuvit

การเมือง เหมือน ผ้าอ้อม
gaan-meuang mĕuan pâa-ôm
Politics are like pampers.

ยิ่ง เปลี่ยน … ยิ่ง ดี
yîng bplìan … yîng dee
The more you change them, the better they are.

Elect Chuvit. Politics are like pampers. The more you change them, the better they are.

Infers: Politicians stink. Chuvit doesn’t.

Flickr: Rak Thailand

Chuvit Angry Man Campaign Posters

เมื่อ คุณ ต้องการ ความ ซื่อสัตย์ VOTE 5 ชูวิทย์
mêua kun dtông-gaan kwaam sêu-sàt VOTE hâa choo-wít
When you want honesty VOTE 5 Chuvit

In this poster ซื่อสัตย์ /sêu-sàt/ is in red. The previous poster has ซื่อสัตย์ as two words, changing the meaning. This poster could be playing off the other poster. It is saying honest for real, not untrustworthy, like in the previous poster.

Infers: Chuvit is using his dog, Motomoto, to suggest that dogs are honest but politicians are not. Chuvit’s use of ซื่อสัตย์ /sêu-sàt/ as a complete word could be stating that he’s honest but other politicians are not.

Flickr: Rak Thailand

Chuvit Angry Man Campaign Posters

เบื่อ การเมือง
bèua gaan-meuang
bored with politics


ต้อง ไป เลือก ตั้ง
dtông bpai lêuak dtâng
must go vote

Infers: I know you are bored of politics but you have to vote (chose me so that I can fight corruption).

Flickr: Rak Thailand

Chuvit Angry Man Campaign Posters

เลือก ชูวิทย์ กา ที่ เบอร์ 5 ที่ บัญชีรายชื่อ เท่านั้น
lêuak choo-wít gaa têe ber hâa têe ban-chee-raai-chêu tâo-nán
Choose Chuvit by picking number 5 on the party list only.

ปรองดอง… ตอน ได้ ประโยชน์
bprong-dong… dton dâi bprà-yòht
Reconcile… when there’s something to gain

ปองร้าย เมื่อ ขัดแย้ง
bpong-ráai mêua kàt yáeng
Bear ill will… when in conflict

The first message conveys the basic instructions for voters: Only choose number 5 on the party list.

Infers: The second message states that politicians only agree with other politician’s policies when it benefits their personal income. And when their own policies are opposed, they play dirty.

Note the play on words between ปรองดอง /bprong-dong/ (reconciliation) and ปองร้าย /bpong-ráai/ (ill will).

Flickr: Rak Thailand

Chuvit Angry Man Campaign Posters

ถ้า คุณ รัก ประเทศไทย
tâa kun rák bprà-tâyt-sà-tai
If you love Thailand

ผิด ต้อง เป็น ผิด
pìt dtông bpen pìt
wrong must be wrong

ถูกต้อง เป็น ถูก
tòok-dtông bpen tòok
right must be right

อุดมการณ์ ชัดเจน ตรงไปตรงมา
ù-dom-gaan chát-jayn dtrong-bpai-dtrong-maa
ideology clear straightforward

If you love Thailand, then wrong must be wrong and right must be right. The ideology is clear and transparent.

Infers: There should be no bias in Thai society, no zig-zag (ซิกแซก).

When a father, in a position of power, refuses to help his errant son, he can say: wrong must be wrong, right must be right. This means the son must pay the consequences because the father will not pull strings to keep him out of jail, whatever. So no ลูก เทวดา /lôok tay-wá-daa/ here!

Chuvit Angry Man Campaign Posters

Why is Chuvit going for the English audience? Could he be courting the English press? Trying to get the attention of the English speaking younger generation of Thais? Or is he reaching out to his western-Thai children?

Chuvit’s on top!…

Here in Bangkok Chuvit’s posters are stacked on top of other campaigners. Not the other way around. But stay tuned for next week!

Chuvit Angry Man Campaign Posters

In Thailand the head is a most cherished part of the body so this campaign style of Chuvit’s has me wondering just what the message is. But note: Chuvit’s posters are not just sitting on the other candidates, he’s also doubling up his own posters.

More of Chuvit… has series of Chuvit posters that show just how consistent the designs are: Chuwit Kamolvisit News. Does anyone know the name of the Alsatian?

Apologies, I didn’t provide a vocabulary list but the important Thai words can be found at Tweet Yourself Thai: Promises, Promises: Part 3 – Rak Prathet Thai.

And if you missed my first Chuvit post, head over to Thai Politician Chuwit Kamolvisit: A Man. His Dog. Their Park.

Next up in this mini-series will be the yellow PAD animal posters. And I’d better hurry before population of Bangkok tears the posters to shreds!

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