Yesterday, Don Muang was officially re-opened as Bangkok’s second airport. The old boy has been dusted off, spruced up and brought out of premature retirement to ease the burden on the new airport at Suvarnabhumi. The old airport has a new code (DMK) with Suvarnabhumi having already adopted the code BKK. But is it Don Muang or Don Mueang? The airport authorities have spent a small fortune consulting language specialists who concluded that the airport should have an extra letter in its name. Not since the rave scene of the early ‘90s has a little ‘e’ caused so much consternation.
Even the airport authorities and the airlines are confused with some resolutely insisting on Don Muang. Does it really matter? Of course it doesn’t, but the incident does highlight the problems that exist in translating Thai words into English (Roman script).