Close

Support Global Voices

To stay independent, free, and sustainable, our community needs the help of friends and readers like you.

Donate now »

See all those languages up there? We translate Global Voices stories to make the world's citizen media available to everyone.

Learn more about Lingua Translation  »

Cambodia: Be the first to tell

Too often, most people, want to be the first to be informed of events and situation happening around them or anywhere else in the other of parts of the world. In the world where technology is changing the way we live, we want to do more than just being the first person to read and watch the news. We also want to report and explain any issue we have in mind or things we encounter using web tools to publish text, audio, and even video clip. The matter may be professional, personal, a story that touched our heart or anything else in our own backyard. We are ready to be the first ones to tell. It is no longer that we demand news at our finger tip, but we also want to post opinions, thoughts, and stories with just a few mouse clicks.

The rapidly changing cityscape of Cambodian capital city Phnom Penh, once under French colonial rule, attracted the attention of Sopheak. The local blogger, surprised by the new buildings springing up recently, posted his comment with a series of pictures.

In these last few years, there are new building of dozen thousand of flats in Phnom Penh. From lakes to parks to government sites have been transformed to flats. Beside this, we remarkably see newly-built company's offices and big building of banks.

The 24-year-old local blogger also talked about the issue of misspelling in Khmer language as he wrote with concern that:

On some advertisement messages, leaflets, and brand stores, there are just too many misspellings due to the fact that nobody checks them, both written in Khmer translated from English and Khmer language itself. I'd like to point out a few commonly misspelled terms, and this does not to mention educational institution that misuse the language. All these mistakes are nothing beyond not knowing how to spell in writing because [these people] don't even touch dictionary. And in English, they may perhaps bought the [English-English] dictionary to check out as they are afraid of using the term incorrectly.

Perhaps Harvard University in the United States is very much known to most Cambodians that there is a high school in Cambodia named after it. But for the blogger who posted a picture of the English and computer school is note sure why the name was chosen. The banner reads: Hard Word High School offers foreign languages class: English, Chinese, Thai, and Computer.

hard word school
Wait … It’s not the prestigious Harvard University but it’s Hard Word High School. I really don’t know what they mean by naming it “Hard Word“. Photo is courtesy of Mungkol

Tom, a Cambodian computer programmer in the United States, is proud of his father. His father's book is titled ‘The life of a physician under the Khmer Rouge Regime’. Based in Missouri, the 26 years old Khmer-American hopes the book will be available in English and that the world will learn about the 1975-1979 genocide through their own eyes.

“This book, which was just published recently in Cambodia, was written by my father. As the title suggests, the book is about his surviving experience during the Khmer Rouge regime from 1975 to 1979 that killed almost 2 million Cambodians.
As a son, I am very proud of you and your work Pa. It makes me appreciate life more after reading about your hard life during those years. Thank you for this wonderful gift. I hope it will be published in English soon. I want the world to read it and see the Khmer Rouge regime through your eyes.”

Somongkol was so thrilled that he began his weblog post with the words “Dengue fever, an acute mosquito-borne tropical disease with a geographical spread similar to Malaria, rocked Pailin City Restaurant in Lowell, Massachussetts, tonight,”. Somongkol was reporting on the show of a Khmerican music band at a Khmer restaurant in Lowell, U.S.A.

The Cambodian Fulbright scholar talks a lot about his student life in the United States as well as Cambodia affair in the news.

“Somehow the charismatic force that holds this fantastic band together is a famous Cambodian singer, Chhom Nimol, whom the band recruited after scouring the scene in Long Beach , which is home to the largest Cambodian population outside Cambodia, for a front woman to interpret the Khmer-language songs that so compelled them.”

Reacting to the death sentence of infamous dictator Saddam Hussein, local blogger Vanak commented

The strongman dictator Saddam Hussein of Iraq was hanged. He was operating the country like he was running a mafia business. Corrupted to the core. The army was his. The police was his. The court and the law were his. His family, brothers, sons appointed in high government positions.

And do you want to know how Cambodian news reporters in newsroom of the Cambodia Daily – Cambodia's leading English newspaper take their lunch-break?
Juan Antonio Giner posted two pictures to tell the story.

2 comments

  • interesting, and entertaining…but you should clarify that the photo of the newpaper employess is circa 2003 — i wonder if any of the same employees work there now? maybe it’s a new way of brainstorming?

    about hard word high school, maybe hard word is connected with the fact that english can be ‘hard words’ to learn for students?

  • I agree. I do not have to be the first person to learn of a specific news event to be satisfied. As long as it is within a reasonable and timely manner I am OK with it. What bothers me most is not the actual facts of the news event but the interpretation of it by the reporters. I often feel the need to interpret what they are saying because it sounds more oriented to their understading rather than an accurate reporting of the facts. Please just give me the facts and allow me the freedom to interpret them myself. Thank you for listening.

Join the conversation

Authors, please log in »

Guidelines

  • All comments are reviewed by a moderator. Do not submit your comment more than once or it may be identified as spam.
  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.