07 November 2007

We prefer English not Vietnamese

I took this picture yesterday from the back from one of covered-motor taxis here in Phnom Penh . The message on the billboard is good. To foreingners who visiting Cambodia wouldn't know what the billboard is about. He/she has to know how to read Khmer.

But wait ! The Vietnamese texts are right undeneath Khmer. This has baffled me as to why the Vietnamese appeared as a second language in my Cambodia. I know there are a lot of illegal Vietnamese come to settle to Cambodia. Maybe the message is geared toward them.

At the bottom of the sign there are serveral insignias (logo) sponsoring this ad. I notice there are 3 NGO's and Cambodia's Minister of Tourism and Minister of Interior.

I would ask our Cambodia lawmakers Minister of Tourism and Minister of Interior to please not using Vietnamese text as the second language. These days English would be like an international language. Most people read English not Vietnamese.

The English translation of the ad would be "WE'RE DEFINITELY AGAINST CHILDREN SEX TRAFFICKING" .

Our lawmakers has no reasons to promote Vietnamese language inside Cambodia.



CJ said...

Hey Vanak, i think it has to be in Vietnamese too, this message, since child sex trafficking is primarily ran by Viets. Everybody knows this. But I agree with you too, I hate seeing spanish written everywhere in my country- it drives me crazy, even when you call a company, you have to press "1" on your phone to speak to an english service agent. I'm angry thinking about it. But the Khmer people who come here have to learn English, and they do no problem, due to their intelligence- but there's no button to press for Khmer when you call a company.

Blog By Khmer said...

CJ, you're so well versed in Cambodia events. Thanks for keeping up with our country. Yes, Viets do run sex trafficking here. They ruins our country.

We still don't want Vietnamese language as a subtitle. Vietnamese is not a second language in Srok Khmer.

Illegal Viets must go back to Vietnam. We must deport them all back .

Thanh Nhan said...

Hi Vanak,

I 've read some of your pages, and feel that you is really a patriotic young man. I am a Vietnamese, used to be a soldier, staying and fighting in Battambang from 1984 to 1987. As you are a reading lover, I hope you can catch a glance at: http://www.theneverendingstory.co.uk/readarticle.asp?articleID=341&pagenumber=1

You have to register as its member to read the following pages. And, maybe you will be a popupar author there too, I hope!

When you would have finished my novel, you will understand more about Viets, Viets are not Viets goverment!

Best regards,

Nguyen Thanh Nhan

Wanna said...

What for is the Vietnamese text? Will the illegal Vietnameses in Cambodia pay attention to the billboard? I think NO.
Anyways, there many typing mistakes in the Viet text.

Anonymous said...

Vannak is reason

The panel must be for foreign tourists so it must be written in English not in Youns words

Why they wrote in Youns in that panel? Are there many youns tourists in Cambodia?
Say No because most of Youns in everywhere are just prostitutes. That are their traditions.

Blog By Khmer said...

Thanh Nhan,
I read your story. It was like a journal (diary) accounting daily event. You're good writer of imagery --descriptive writer. The protagonist in your story is a young soldier by the name "Huy".

You are trying to humanise the Viet soldiers that have fought in Cambodia. The hardships of war such as: homesick, away from love ones, hunger and thirst, sickness, fallen comrades and other things are nothing new. All are the products (casualty) of war which is told from one side of the story. You, that is.

Please, realise at that same time from our Khmer side whom you fought against must have experienced the same if not worse. Yes, this was war.

I am sure you have heard the fine writing from Erich Maria Remarque "All Quiet On the Western Front" which I highly recommend and lately the film from Hollywood "Letters From Iwo Jima" really portrayed the humanising events on war from the Japanese side.


Wanna & 9:03am,
They try to introduce little by little of what is "Vietnamese" onto us. We have to be aware of their agendas. I heard Laos is a lot worse than in Cambodia. Everywhere you go, all signs are mostly in Viets.

Blog By Khmer said...

CJ, I've been thinking like you said, if we're starting to have everything in Vietnamese also then this would make it easier and more encouraging for the Viets to come an settle at our country. Hanoi government would love that. We Cambodian must say "NO" to this.

Thanh Nhan said...

Hi Vanak and the others,

You hate Viets, this has reasons and I can understand, and so, I can not call you all as my friends, 'cause I think you will be upset with it, though I really want to do that.

However, things that I want to say is much more larger than the very war in Cambodia in which I had involved, I want to say about war in genneral and its results through my experiences.

Well, Vanak, you will see at the next pages what you would prefer - a war which was to be seen from both sides.

I can tell you just some more thing about this novel. It has been published in 2004, and was banned a month later. I wrote from the point of view of soldiers in general, not from a Vietnamese one. This was the reason of its secret banning. And, certainly, I have got trouble, but it's no need to say about that.

I, like you, love my country, but I even love one thing than Her, I love truth and peace.

Best regards,

PS: to prove that I said truthfully, you can see this link,


some of your friends who can read Vietnamese would be willingly translate it to you, sorry 'cause I have short of time to do that.

Anonymous said...

Vanak Thom,
Thank you for making such a great effort posting truthful information. Thanks for helping fighting justice! As you said Vietnam is better than us now, they should go home and leave Cambodia alone!

Anonymous said...

Thanh Nhan,
You said you're a writer, if you're a professional, you should be able to understand other's writing. Vanak did not say "hate" viet nor "patriotic." You get so offense through your emotion. And you defense your viet trait in a wrong way. And it's very insulting to Cambodian victims. Get this straight, we do not hate viet, we hate WHAT THEY Did/DOING. Can't you see what's going on in Cambodia? Your viet government is a killer! Please remember that.

you believe in peace, that's great! Wouldn't be nice if you can pass peace around to your people, so that we all can leave in peace?

You'd probably suffer so much as a soldier, but your suffering is perhaps cannot be compared to victims of criminals. And do you know how it feels like knowing that you'll loose a country? How would you feel, if you loose Vietnam?

Do not come to Cambodian and saying we're hater or patriotic or racist or xenophobia or discriminate. We are loosing our countr under your government, let us talk, at least.....

khmerization said...

I believe that the message in Vietnamese is intended for the Viet sex workers as there are too many of them in Cambodia and most of them can't read Khmer or English. But, like you, I feel uneasy with that. The other thing is that the Khmer language or writing has never been used widely in any other countries such as in Thailand or Vietnam even though there are around more than 12 million Khmers living. This inequitable treatment of our language has caused resentment amongst our people toward our arrogant neighbours.

Blog By Khmer said...

Thanh Nhan,

I write from my heart how I feel. Like being friends with one another. One has to understand each other and respect each other. Respect each other property. How would you like me to take over your home and claim your land as mine in the name of “friendship”? So, I just make my residence right into your home! Impose things on you. You may not wear certain clothes, follow your custom, tradition, religion…etc, but you must follow my order. For I am your friend or am I not ?

When you invited me to read your story I did went to your website downloaded your story and read it in one sitting. I did not do anything to you. I was open minded I wanted to read what you had to say. Now you came back addressed to me and my readers that we “hate Viets”. As you can see, Thanh Nhan all of my blog postings never mention these kind of words.


Blog By Khmer said...

Agree that the Vietnamese writing is intended for the Viet sex workers. We shouldn't be making it easier for them. They are not to come and living off Cambodia.

Vietnam with the population of 85 million. That is their own problem. Vietnam is richer than Cambodia, so there is no reason for them to come living off on our country resources.

Great writing at your blog. I frequent there a lot. Thanks!!

Blog By Khmer said...

Anonymous 9:33 & 5:35am,
Thank you for your encouragement and support. This give me the energy to write more. Your encouragement means a lot to me .


Anonymous said...


I don't mean anything of offense when I wrote that "you hate Viets". This is something that I felt in my own feeling when I read your pages and the comments, and I am really unhappy with that feeling. As you can see, I tried to make an understanding between you all and me, and even though with the abovesaid feeling, I just want to treat you as my friends. I would like to explain this, I have had a Khmer lover, a young Khmer girl who I loved more than my own life, and who died by mine. I had an adopt Khmer mother and sworn Khmer brothers. Cambodia was really my second country in my mind. Please note that I don't mean I wanted take Cambodia as my country, but I loved and still loving Her as same as Vietnam. On the other hand, I didn't want to live in Cambodia, I didn't want to be an invader, to say on behalf of my own. And all I have been trying to do so far, that is to make the Vietnamese leaders to respect the sovereignty of other countries, respect their own people 's lives.

In conversations, however, there will be certainly some inevitable misunderstandings, so I think I will say no more. My final word, that is I would like to wish you all young Khmer people to be sucessful in building your country to make it strongger and richer.

With best regards,

Nguyen Thanh Nhan

Anonymous said...

Than Nhan nguyen,
you said "You hate Viets, this has reasons and I can understand, and so, I can not call you all as my friends, 'cause I think you will be upset with it, though I really want to do that."

You came to conclusion that we hate you.You put words in our mouth. Your chosen word. And now, you came to us that you didn't mean it. What's the matter? You slapped us and now you tried to cover?

Whatever you claim about having relationship with Khmer people. That's your story. That doesn't justify what has been going on in Cambodia. We are loosing our country....

My grandmother is a viet. I do not care at all about being viet. None of us would like to speak about being viet. Just to talk about grandmother, our blood boils. My viet relatives fight, they don't get along with each other. They fight over money and heritage, property. They sometimes make no sense when it comes to money.

Nhan, you may not like what I said, but this is true, my grandmother is part of your people. I have lived through it and NEVER have liked it. Never.... I have enough my viet blood fighting.... never again. I wish my viet grandmother never spread her gene to me.

About the sign in the post,
I think that it is for the Vietnamese sex trades, since most of the brothels and prostitutes came from Vietnam.

VuthaSurf said...

This Billboard was sponsored by government ministries. All message should be written in Khmer and English which government regards it as the second language. I also doubt why they put Vietnamese language on this ads.

Blog By Khmer said...

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rst said...

Many of the abused children are Vietnamese , they usually cannot read Khmer because they don't have documents to enroll in the school. So I don't see what's the problem is if some of the people affiliated with the trade will be aware that it's illegal and there are organizations that oppose to it. Insulting poor people is of no value , most of you don't live close to Vietnamese just know an abstract "Yuon" who is a definate "Chkae" and most of the poor Khmer people who live side a side with Vietnamese in Chbar Ampeou get along with them well. Why ? Because it's not the nation that matters it's the social class that matters , try to get along with one of the tycoon ... doubt you can get stay more that a few minutes in vicinities of their villas before being kicked off. Why is that ? Aren't we the same Khmer ? Heh , I bet no. They're different. Most of the people in Phnom Penh aren't xenophobic as you guys . I wonder why aren't you getting a lot of attention from your local US newspapers - try to write to any of them with your views and you won't even be printed , or in case you will be you'll get tons of correspondence blaming you as xenophobic who you , of course are.

Anonymous said...

Hi Vannak,

I love your blog. You have done a great job for Cambodian people. I am really proud of you. I know our country is poor due to the corruption of the government and the lack of capital to start doing business, even the small one.

Anyway since you’re now living in Cambodia, you must have lots of connection with all people. I recently found an interested website. This website is belonging to American organization and allowing all poor people who are living in developing countries to borrow money from American people. However, the borrowers have to have their own plan and prove that they will use the money to do business in order to improve their lives. They cannot borrow the money for drug or any illegal purposes. After they get success in their businesses, they have to pay back to the lenders.

So far, lots of people around the world including Vietnam are being approved to get the money. This organization helps poor people to achieve their goals of doing business.

Please check the following website.

Khmer USA
P.S. This website was supported by Ex-President Bill Clinton

popo said...

I agree with "rst" post more than the others.
Seemingly most of you guy prefer the message in Khmer and English. Myself I didn't see any thing wrong with the message targeted Vietnamese living in Cambodia. However, I can help you to convince why it should be in English. And here below is my 2 cents.
As most of child prostitute cases involved with Westerner tourists who speak and read English.

I have a question for you guy. Did you have first hand expeerience with sex trafficking in Cambodia before posting your say? How about it in Vietnam where Vietnamese people live? How about Thailand? Do you think that Viets also run sex trafficking in Thailand, or Thai, or Chinese, or Khmer? And how about the country you are currently living, the sex trafficking is also run by the Viets, or Chinese, or Korean? and the sex workers are mainly Viets or Chinese, or Korean, etc.

KLKP said...

Comerade Vannak,

I agreed with your articles and I am supporting your views and a decision to speak out. It is time that our young generations must dare to engage with a commitment to changes our belove country direction and allowed the world community to understand the reason behind what is happening to every Cambodian. But we must not stop seek for an effective solution(s) to solve our differences, before we will able to counter those negative images by the current administration leaded by Mr. Hun Sen.

I, hopes one day, our generation will make a lot of differences from the old generation, Our generation must believe in an equal opportunity and no one above the law.

Our country is moving in all directions, and its lacking of the rules and regulations to ensure the basic human rights and a free speech must respected by the current administration.

We must continue to stress the real issue and the reality in our nation to the world, and to oversea Cambodian to understand, and hope they will able to involve and assist in promoting the democracy and fighting poverty within our border.

As long as Mr. prime minister Hun Sen is commtting to have his private army and it seem no sign to liquidate, but we must dare to strike him and tell the world that he is the head of everying in Cambodia and must responsible, accountable to his actions.

Wishes you all the best and continue to seek and reseach the weak poin to the current adminstration and be prepared for the worse, but I am asking God to Bless you and he will be with you all time,

GOD Bless you,

Hienh KEO,
Khmer Loves Khmer Party
atwww.klkp.org or www.klkpfouderbiog.com