Tips and Tricks from Cambodia

December 5, 2012

How many of Cambodians have suffered from dissing and cursing by foreigners? It would be pretty cool if we could produce songs on our own and get rid of the dissing! You say? I think it does sound cool; however, it isn't that cool for Cambodians.

Many things in Cambodia are fake including songs, CDs, books, etc. However, most of the time we complain about the copied songs as it affects people's reputation as a nation. I think we actually are selfish when we keep complaining about the copied songs without thinking of any other side effects.

Why? In order to clear out the copied songs, we may think of Intellectual Property Rights because it is the law preventing people from copying songs or any other counterfeit products without licensing from the original author or producer.

Since Cambodia entered World Trade Organization (WTO), it is inescapable for us to adopt the law and implement it - just sooner or later. However, Cambodia did raise the readiness of Khmer people to WTO and they did agree to extend the implementation date from 2005 to 2013. And early 2013 is approaching, are we actually ready for this?

Are we ready to pay 50$ for an authentic book? Are you sure you want to pay 2$ for a mp3 from iTunes? What if I cannot use this Windows Vista for free?
There are a lot of things to think, not just the copied songs.

I do know that when we have stronger laws, there will be a lot more investors, but does it really serve the poor? I think those investors would be Gucci, LV, or Prada. They are coming for the rich which is dominant by the poor in Cambodia.

Just a thought, anyway.

November 15, 2012

October 18, 2012

" October 31, 1922 - Born in Phnom Penh to King Norodom Suramarit and Queen Sisowath Kossamak

April 23, 1841 - Crowned King of Cambodia by then-colonial ruler France

March 1945 - Japan gains de facto control of Indochina through the acquiescence of the Vichny government in France. Months later, control returns to France with Japan's defeat

1952 - Marries surviving wife Paule Monique Izzi, later HM Queen Norodom Monineath Sihanouk, the final of seven marriages

November 9, 1953 - Presides over Cambodia's formal independence from France, the culmination of a vigorous campaign dubbed his "Royal Crusade"

March 2, 1955 - Abdicates the throne in favour of his father in order to enter politics

September 1955 - Elected prime minister.

August 31, 1959 - Survives a failed assassination attempt against him by South Vietnamese politician Ngo Dinh Nhu.

1960 - Wins nations's first independent election with his People's Socialist Community, becomes head of state.

1963 - Then-King Father Norodom Suramarit dies; Prince Norodom decrees himself head of state for life.

1965 - Strikes agreement with PRC and North Vietnam to facilitate Ho Chi Minh trail supply route

August 1966 - Feature film Apsara is released, the first of 19 feature-length films he would direct

1967 - Policy of collecting rice harvest in a bit to stop the illegal rice trade leads to a peasant revolt dubbed the Samlaut Uprising, which is violently quelled

March 1970 - Prime Minister Lon Nol leads National Assembly in deposing Sihanouk while he is out of the country. From China, Sihanouk calls on Cambodians to support the Khmer Rouge against Lon Nol.

April 1975 - Khmer Rouge take over Cambodia; Sihanouk is installed as puppet head of state.

1975-1979 - Five of the king's children are killed during the reign of the Khmer Rouge.

April 1976 - Sihanouk removed from office, imprisoned in the Royal Palace

1978 - King freed before occupation by invading Vietnamese forces, gives six-hour press conference after fleeing to New York

1979 - Publicly supports Khmer Rouge in opposition to Vietnamese occupation

1981 - Founds political party Funipec

1982 - Attempts unsuccessful political marriage between Khieu Samphan and Son Sann

1991 - Paris Conference leads to Sihanouk's reinstatement once again as head of state. He is later made King.

1993 - Influences son Prince Norodom Ranariddh to accept co-prime minister position with Hun Sen after Ranariddh wins first post-war democratic election

2004 - Abdicates throne in favour of son, Prince Sihamoni. Moves to Pyongyang and later, Beijing

October 15, 2012 - Dies of a heart attack in Beijing "

by Phnom Penh Post, dated October 18, 2012

October 3, 2012

First of all, I would like to apologize as I am going to start it half way. For those who are not familiar with  International Youth Fellowship and World Camp, please spend some quality time on Google or click on the words highlighted in blue: International Youth Fellowship

Before you decide whether to join World Camp 2012 which will be held at Institute of Technology of Cambodia this November 2012. It is important for you to read the reviews below. There are three sections. The first one is a column from New York Times, the second one is a review by my Thai friend and her experience with World Camp in Thailand, and the last one is my experience as a resigned volunteer. 

1. Here is an extract from New York Times: Traveling to Volunteer, Getting Sermons Instead

Key Summary:
  • Clearey wanted to join an "English Camp" in which the total cost was reasonable; 300USD for accommodation, transport, and others. 
  • He found himself sleeping in a room of 5 to 6 people, and was woken up at 5:30AM. They later told Clearey that the teaching is much different and larger agenda which centered on the religious theories of Ock Soo Park, a Korean preacher and founder of Good News Corps, the sponsor of the English Camp
  •  Associates gave supplementary “Mind Lectures” on biblical passages as interpreted by Mr. Park, who asserts that the human heart is lodged with “filth and evil.”
  • Security guards at the doors to the ballroom of the hotel, the Intercontinental in Dallas, discouraged anyone tempted to skip out. 
  • Volunteers who turned up late for 6 a.m. sessions of calisthenics and group massage were ordered to perform squat thrust exercises.Those who skipped sessions were tracked down by teachers and ordered to explain their absences.
“The whole concept of their theology was that your heart is evil and that you need to have an ‘open heart,’ ” 
“I was the victim of a scam,” Mr. Cleary said.
"" ____________________________________ ""
Mr. Park said that before going to Texas for training, the volunteers could have attended local workshops and learned about the religious dimension. Most people knew what would be involved, he said, and of those who went to Texas, only about 20 dropped out before going on to Mexico for the camp, which lasted for three days.
The program for World Camp 2012 in Cambodia as displayed includes Workshop, Lecture by Speaker, Cultural Performance, Concert, Short Course Training, Mini-marathon.

There is no way that I could find "Mind Lecture" in the agenda. Participants are not well informed with the workshop they are going to attend.  
2. Review by my Thai friend: Suwimon 

- Most of the activities is sitting in the hall, listening to "teacher" (he called himself that) talking about testament in Korean and have someone to interpret in Thai
- I think me myself is pretty open to listen and learn, but even that, it was so insane for me, you have to sit like 4 hours and eat and then sit and listen again for another 4 hours.
- In each group has trainer who will blame us when we fall asleep and can't even read a book
- In the evening, there's always a conversation in group, the trainer kind of convince us to change religion and if you seem stubborn, you will be pushed to be invisible
- I do like Christian, and the way they treat the others, they pray for the other is so nice and warm. I like to see them carefree because god loves them, but to accept and believe we have to do it by ourselves, not to be forced.
- My Christian friend doesn't like this org too, she said it maligns Christ
- You know in the states, people talk about Buddhism and meditation, they do practice in meditation camp too. The religion is supposed to be like that, people are supposed to be willing to, not be forced to
- I do believe Christ is a nice religion, it's warm and carefree but just this org spread it not appropriately at all
- Exercise at 6:00AM just like the program in the link above, I think it's pre-world camp

3. Review by Vuthy
- I was simply an opportunity seeker, so I would try any volunteer activities as I was available at that time. I did not know that IYF is something to do with cult, I only knew that it has something to do with building youth capacity and becoming leader. 
- There was the first workshop for volunteers who wish to become an organizer of the event, I attended and was very excited when they showed performances, but later got so much annoyed by the Mind Lecture. However, I decided to stay as it was a chance to volunteer, not to become a preacher. I believe that it's going to be okay as I am not easily convinced.
- I resigned after I heard that the third workshop for volunteers will be held at a beach and volunteers will have to spend a night or two over there. I was afraid that it would be similar to what happened to Clearey; thus, I quit by then. 

Enough explanation? Make your decision :)

October 2, 2012


In Cambodia 
1. Institute: 
According to Chuon Nart Dictionary, Institute refer to location of knowledge, an establishment for doing research, or to study various knowledge.
" (វចនានុក្រមជួន ណាត), វិជ្ជាឋាន ឬវិទ្យាស្ថាន មានន័យថា ទីតាំងនៃវិទ្យា គ្រឹះស្ថានជាទីស្រាវជ្រាវរិះរក ឬជាទីសម្រាប់សិក្សារៀនសូត្រនូវចំណេះវិទ្យាផ្សេងៗ។ "
This definition provide a very wide scope of the term "Institute" which allow even a small private English school to use the term (e.g. New World Institute, American Intercon Institute), mixing with the institute which teach skills like Institute of Technology of Cambodia, Institute of Foreign Languages, etc.

Since we have the term existing in our Chuon Nart Dictionary, I think we should not use the term Institute to refer to the meaning that exist in American system; instead we may give a campus name to IFL :D Because IFL is under Royal University of Phnom Penh; and the sub-division may be called faculty?

However, ITC is a separate institute which deserves to be called a University since it is big itself and it has post-graduate programs. Geographically speaking, I would say ITC was originally under RUPP just like others as I could notice the unique fence starting from RUPP covering up to the corner of ITC. However, at the present times, ITC is very autonomous both administrative and finance.   

A few years ago, not many people were familiar with online shopping since shipping to Cambodia is insecure or rather expensive. However, these days online shopping is pretty popular among the crowds, especially through facebook page. They mainly shop apparels, while some online store also allows us to order other products in Korea with them. The process is that the dealers buy online from other dealers abroad and the goods will be delivered in a week or two. The consumer will receive a call from dealer to pick up their goods. 

Since we are living in Cambodia, direct online purchase by consumers to official website of products (e.g. from are so not popular. Here I would like to share the experience of purchasing online through ebay by using my Paypal account. All I need to is to have a Debit Account at SBC Bank and sign up with myself with After registering, Paypal subtracts 2$ from us and will return after verifying with the 4 digits that they sent to our SBC bank account.

It was 2010 that I wanted to know how it feels like to buy online, so I had the gut to try purchasing a necklace from a dealer in Hong Kong through ebay; and I would like to share some tips with you.

First of all, before you decide to purchase anything from ebay, you should notice the star rate that dealer possess because whenever a dealer receives a complain about their service (e.g., damaged product), the rate decrease. The rate should be above 95% or else you should not risk buying any items from them. Not everyone could give feedback to the dealer to decrease the rate, only the one who already made purchase could do so. Once you bought a product, you will be given a chance to give feedback. Thus, do not give it immediately, you need to wait and see the product to be delivered first.

You know what? My experience was thrilling since the first delivery was lost. The deliverer probably came to my house while no one was at home and did not bother to check again. So, they kept the necklace or return to the dealer. Later, I sent the dealer an e-mail notifying the failure of delivery. He replied that he would send me another one. So, I had to wait for another two weeks, but it worked that time when I told the dealer to place my telephone number on the envelope, just in case the deliverer could not find anyone at home. I needed to give him tip as well. 

The necklace that I bought from ebay
One more thing, you should not buy immediately after liking a product, you may question the dealer about shipping to Cambodia and some general questions about the products. Try to calculate everything before you purchase. The necklace that I bought was from Hong Kong and I agreed with the dealer to send through EMS. You may choose better logistics. However, it is going to cost more.

The second time that I bought online was not from ebay, but from Google Apps with my Google Wallet and it was to purchase this domain name ( Well, you gotta try it on your own and please let me know through writing in the comment box down below :D

Check out Shopping Online With Ebay - Part 2 

Check out Receiving and Withdrawing Paypal money from Cambodia

Do you have more questions? :) I am willing to answer more. Thanks for dropping by. 

September 28, 2012

The content you are going to read below is wholly written by Thierry Schwarz, on May 10, 2012. This is his sample answer of a final exam : Monetary and Fiscal Policies: Implication for Cambodia, one of the subjects that I learned during my master in Public Management. 

I believe that it is important for all Cambodians to know about some pertinent history, drawbacks of the dollarization, and the some suggestions on how to de-dollarize. Thus, I would like to share them here. 

Dollarization in Cambodia
ADB Report

Cambodia is a country typical of what economies call the Multiple-Currency Phenomenon (MCP). Four currencies are used in Cambodia, one of them - the US dollar (USD) - being predominant: 

The national currency, the riel, represents now less than 10% the money circulating in the country; the riel is a declining currency in the Cambodian economy. The share of the dollar among the currencies used in Cambodia has increased with the growth of the country; Cambodia is now a "dollarized" economy.

The situation is not the result of an explicit decision made by the RGC; it is the consequence of a loss of trust in the value of the riel dating back to the period of very high inflation during the years 1988-1991. Massive Central Bank financing of current budget deficit led to inflation in the range of 90-177% a year. Inflation and devaluation eroded public confidence in the national currency, and economic agents looked for a substitute currency capable of being used as a reliable unit of account, mean of payment and store of value.

The trend was reinforced by the arrival of UNTAC whose spending reached about 2 billion USD - when the GDP of Cambodia was no more than 4 billion USD. The dollar then became the de facto curerncy of the country.

Dollarizaiton has one main drawback: a loss of a part of our sovereignty in the determination of our monetary policy. It has one main benefit: macroeconomic and financial stability, but this benefit can one day a handicap if Cambodia stops being a net receipt of USD and if growth does not materialize for a few consecutive years.

1/ Dollarization reduces the independence of Cambodia monetary authorities and imposes on all economic agents discipline and competitiveness.

2/ Because dollarization can be sustained only in a context of continued inflow of dollars and high growth, Cambodia must strengthen confidence in the riel in order to be ready to face possible deterioration of the international and/or of the domestic economic context.

Since dollarization can be sustained only in a context of continued inflow of dollars and high growth, Cambodia must strengthen confidence in the riel in order to be ready to face a possible deterioration of the internatioal and/or domestic economic context. 

a/ a dollarized country must permanently attract dollars and sustain growth
Since USD cannot be 'printed' in Cambodia, dollarization can only be maintained by a permanent inflow of USD. That inflow of USD allows the Central Bank, the RGC and the commercial banks to keep a stock of USD to stabilize the value of the riel, to balance the capital account, repay the debt, pay the imports and provide liquidity to the economy; it allows the RGC to balance its budget deficit with grants and loans in USD. The inflow is provided by exports, tourism, development partners, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and remittances from Cambodian working or residing abroad.

Exports in 2010, mostly paid in USD, reached 5 bilion USD; almost 3 million tourists visited Cambodia in 2011; funding by development partners was about 1 billion USD; FDI was around 800 million USD. Amount of remittances are not known.

But among these five sources of USD, at least three of them are fragile:

  • Cambodia exports have a very narrow based - mostly garments - and depend on trade arrangement with the US and the E.U;
  • Development assistance will gradually decline in line with Cambodia development;
  • FDI are mostly dedicated to the garment sector and are as fragile as the sector itself.
In short, the system works as long as US dollars continue to flow in, but it will show its weaknesses as soon as the favorable current international context will start to deteriorate.

The sample applies to growth; if growth came to a halt, or slowdown for two or three consecutive years, Cambodia would be confronted to a brutal decline of its GDP/capita. Cambodia would be in a position to conduct a monetary and a fiscal policy that would smooth the impact of a crisis. Demand driven policy or monetary easing would not be an option for Cambodia. 

b/ Cambodia must strengthen confidence in the riel in order to be ready to face deterioration of the international context and/or of the domestic economic context. 

Dollarization can only be a temporary solution. At one point or another Cambodia will have to engage a "re-rielization" policy. But experiences of other countries have shown that de-dollarization is a long-term process that requires, first, restoring the confidence in the local currency and, second, more sophisticated financial markets.

Some measures into that direction have already been taken:

  • Civil servants and public contracts are paid in riels;
  • The price of listed companies at the Phnom Penh stock exchange is in riels (although actual transaction are USD dominated or USD based);
  • Interest rates on deposits in riels are higher than for USD deposits. 
But the RGC and the NBC could in due time take further steps:
  • Expand the obligation to quote all prices of goods and services in riels;
  • Create a new riel that would be worth 4 or 40 USD instead of 4000 today;
  • Expand the means of interbanking payment demoniated in riels; check-books and banking cards;
  • Abandon the "near fixed exchanged rate" and move towards a Currency Board Arrangement (CBA): the NBC would issue currency that is fully backed by foreign assets at a fixed exchange rate;
  • Make operations in riels more attractive in terms of security and costs;
  • Issue treasurey bills in riels;
  • Set Reserve Requirement Ratio (RRR) and deposit ration in riels;
  • Provide bank refinancing in riels and help foster lending in the national currency.
  • And, expand regional cooperation in order to protect our currency from sudden crisis or speculative attacks. 
Monetary experts use the expression "seigniorage revenue" to name the difference between the face value of a currency and the cost of producing it. A dollarized country does not benefit from seigniorage revenue; but that loss revenue is not the main issue. The real issue is that by abandoning our seigniorage rights we also abandon part of our sovereignty. A carefully and gradually managed "re-rielizaiton" process would take us on the path towards a fully recovered sovereignty.

September 23, 2012

I was thinking it should be time to change my job. I already finished my master in Public Administration and is about to finish another one at the end of 2012. Even if I haven't found a new job, still I decided to resign as I knew that the workplace will need to recruit more staffs for the next academic year. So, I needed to inform my supervisor before the day of interview for employees which means I was trying to help.

I went to my workplace at 10:40 AM and found my supervisor was waking up from sleep and ready to leave the office. I didn't know if he was working earlier. :P I went in and talked as below: 

" Me: How are you, Mr. A? 
Supervisor: Yeah. I am fine. How are you, dear? Anything I can do for you? (Smiling) 
Me: I am fine too, Hmm I would like to resign. (Speaking with fear) 
Supervisor: Yeah. That's good. (Smiling even harder)
Me: What do you mean by that? (Start frowning) 
Supervisor: I mean it's good that you tell me now because I am in the process of recruiting new teachers.
Me: Oh, how many teachers are you going to recruit this year?
Supervisor: Sorry. This 
is my job. I cannot tell you. (Still smiling)
Supervisor: (Rushed to grab a pen and paper and asked) Do you still have any books or any materials at home?
No, I already returned everything to you and I would like to request you to write a letter of recommendation and certificate of employment.
Supervisor: You have worked here for one year ...
No. I have worked here for two years.
Okay. That's fine.
So, I will have to write by myself or you do it for me?
You write it and I will see if it's like your performance here.
Thanks. That's it (Still frowning face)
Supervisor: Yes. That's it. "

Conversation ended there. I left quietly without saying bye. Maybe I deserved such response, but not after the three months break because I have done nothing wrong, but to ask him for resignation legally. 

I have been questioning myself what I have done to make him hate me that much. All of the staffs used to make mitakes, don't you think so? Whether mine was horrible or whatever, I already took the blame.

If I happened to own a company, I would not insult my staff on their resignation day. It's all over, isn't it? It's not worth talking about, what to value is the friendship after one is leaving.

He did not even ask me what I am going to do next or what my new job is. He was simply very happy to let me go. I mean at least, act as if I mean something to the institute even if he doesn't think so. Moreover, he did not even know that I have worked with him for two years. PFfff !!!

After all, 
I took it as an insult. There is no need to keep in touch with such person. I just don't get it when he responded to me that way after a very long break.

Pheww ... I am out of hell, but hey! I do like my colleagues there and the students. It was so much fun and loving that I think I will never get at any other workplaces. :D :D :D

September 20, 2012

On boulevard like Norodom or Monivong, we can see both traffic and street sign indicating its name, but there is never a street sign for Street No. 338 or 438 or whatever number. If a driver is not familiar with the street, he has to browse by driving around the area. Normally the number of these streets come in order.

This extract of Phnom Penh Street map indicates that the street number is somewhat jumbled
However, it does not apply to every street. Some order might be odd, even, or even jumbled but that is not the case since not everywhere is the same.

My suggestion is to place Street Sign on every corner of the street so that people know whether they should go straight, turn left, or turn right. We do have it, but it only exists on boulevard. It can be attached to a traffic sign, for example, in the picture shown below "Stop Sign". 

Somewhere near Olympic market
It could help save people time; and it also looks nice when we have standard street signs everywhere on the street.

September 13, 2012

There are thousands of companies in Cambodia, but not all of them have Human Resource Department (HRD) as some are so small and don't want to spend money on HR staff. Without HRD, some of the HR tasks are left to administrative staff to control the employees which I think is horrible. Some companies are equipped with HRD, but still the way they act is not so friendly to the staff or staff-to-be. For the word staff-to-be here, I mean those who wish to work there or already applied a job application and in the process of waiting for their HR staff's mercy to inform even if they could not make it. 

There are many ways that I consider as unfriendly or not so welcoming for those companies or institutions. First, they never respond to your e-mail no matter what you ask; yet they consider themselves as a professional. If I'm not wrong, they are the one who typed their e-mail in the job announcement in newspaper. Second, they will never let you know when you happen to fail the interview. Here I mean you might spend a couple of weeks checking your email curiously and hell they stay calm as water.

From that, I could feel how selfish and arrogant those HR staff are. They only care about the company's benefit by informing the successful candidate, leaving out others and they are simply lazy to inform as they consider it useless.    

However, not all of the institutions are bad, I had a very good experience with the HRD in DFDL Legal & Services for its standard Human Resource management. I remember they were so friendly with the recruitment process. First, I did not see any advertisement for the recruitment of Legal Assistant. They did post it over the internet - job classifieds in major recruitment agency website. However, I was unaware of that, but I had uploaded my CV to DFDL server. Later, I was informed via email that DFDL received my email and it will be kept in their database for job opportunity. A week after, I was contacted by its HR whether I am interested in the position available at DFDL. I went for the interview, but I did not make it. A week later, I was informed that I could not make to the second interview; and therefore, they would keep my data in their server for later opportunity. I think this is the coolest HR I have ever encountered. 

In short, I do hope that any other companies could do the same - value other's time. No one should be left ignoring and assume that they fail. That's not how a professional HR staff do! You know what assume actually means? It actually stands for ass + u + me, that means when you assume someone has done something wrong, you actually make an ass of you and him. Things don't work out that way, right? If I happen to own a company, I would definitely follow DFDL management style such as follows:

1. Inform the candidates after the company has received the application - some people might misspell the targeting email address, and they will never know if you have already received. If you are not that hardworking, you may set an auto-response which only takes a couple of minutes.

2. Include the salary that you may provide in the announcement. You may consider it not professional, but again think about the time a candidate has to ask for permission from their current workplace for your probably-less-pay interview. If things are clear, it will help your company as well as some of them don't have to come and surprise with what you've gotta give them. Oh, by the way, there are some organizations which pay interviewee 10$ per interview! I do remember it. Well, I do not expect all of the companies to do so. So, please just state your salary in the announcement.

3. Inform those who fail the interview as well. Do not leave out anyone. I call it "Respect" and "Professional" because there is an accountability in there.

That's it from me. Criticisms and Suggestions are welcome in the comment box below :)

August 22, 2012

Many students decide to study International Relations and speak with pride "I want to become an ambassador". It's pretty amazed to hear the statement repeatedly, but I doubt whether they know what to do to get the position, when they will get it, or the fact that they may not be able to get it.

Ambassador William E. Todd
Teens choose to study International Relation (IR) at many universities in Cambodia such as at Pannasastra University of Cambodia (PUC), or at Institute of Foreign Languages, Department of International Studies and hope that they will become an ambassador in the near future, but the dream is long to be realized, not all ambassadors graduated from IR. Many would end up working for NGOs or for a private company as it is impossible to achieve right after they graduate from a bachelor degree. The following description is based on what I have talked with my friends who is a graduate from Royal School of Administration, a student at Institute of Foreign Language, Department of International Studies, and a government official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

Since many teens are interested in International Relation, let's see the curriculum that IFL's got to offer for year one and year two in the Department of International Studies:
" - Macro- Research- International Organization- International Laws- IPE: International Political Eco- World History- Southeast Asia Study- ASEAN in Regional context- ASEAN Summit Model Study- International Reations- Micro-Eco- Academis Writing- United Nations "
Credit to: Siekhouy Hout 

- One convenient way which might help a personnel to become an ambassador is to apply for a study at Royal School of Administration; there are three departments for government officials to choose - Economics, International Relation, and Administration. If you wish to become a prospective ambassador, you shall apply for International Relations; most of the government officials graduated from RSA shall be offered a particular position in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. However, the process of becoming an ambassador is still a blur to me.   
Credit to: Chanty Piseth

- There are many institutions that can appoint one as an ambassador. However, I would like to limit the scope to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Once you become a department director, when you are nominated to work at Cambodian embassy, you will be granted the ambassador title. Of course, the IR degree also count. 

From Department Director up (under-secretary of state, secretary of state, etc). Some high ranking officials from the Council of Ministers are also appointed as Ambassador.    

Credit to: Lim Hok Seng

The information above will never be detail enough, I do hope that someone from the government could hold a seminar on how to become an ambassador for the next generation in the near future ... 

August 17, 2012

In early July, there was a propaganda of Cambodian flag as some Khmer people claimed that the flag comes with stairs, while some claimed that the color of Angkor Wat to be outlined in black. This issue was also brought up by a guy who created a picture and passed out to his friends in facebook without using a reliable source, but later the picture was deleted. The flag issue was so confusing and lively in the social network and became even more serious when University Scholars Leadership Symposium provided a chance for the Philippines and Cambodia to compete in order to become a host country for the symposium in 2013 by clicking "Like" in a post with Cambodian flag if we wish to vote for Cambodia, or a "Like" on the Philippines flag. As the flag used by University Scholars Leadership Symposium was a wrong one, Cambodian people refused to vote or shared the wrong flag and the number of vote did not increase very much from day to day. As a result, Cambodia lost.

So, today I would like to raise this issue up and clear the doubt. First, let me start with the changes of Cambodian flag through time. 

Below is an extract from Wikipedia on the changes of Cambodian flag through various regimes. 

An Extract from Wikipedia , be aware of the third column "1948-1970, 1993 - Present" as it is an outdated information 

 However, the extract provides wrong information regarding current Cambodian flag as there is another flag stated in Cambodia Constitutional Law promulgated in 2008.

The flag shown below is a Cambodian national flag used in Cambodia Constitutional Law promulgated in 1993, just like the flag shown in Wikipedia, which are both wrong. 

Reference: Page 60 of Cambodaian Constitution promulgated July 13, 2004, unofficial translation in English, supervised by Constitutional Council

 ... and some other major websites that mislead to wrong/outdated Cambodian flag:

Even Google Image also shows hundreds of wrong Cambodian flag. We need to be aware of the issue. Cambodian flag is outlined in black and has no stairs.

Below is the right flag stated in Cambodian Constitutional Law amended in 2008 available in Scribd
Nokor Khmer Center also reveals another explanation regarding the flag.
Click to enlarge

In order to be more precise, I would like to take this chance to explain the meaning of each colors and the symbol in current Cambodian flag as follows:

" Flag of Cambodia - Description of the Cambodia Flag
-          As the above picture of the Cambodia Flag indicates the overall background is Red and Blue
-          The description of the Cambodian Flag is as follows:
§  three horizontal bands of blue (top), red (double width) and blue
§  a white three-towered temple representing Angkor Wat* outlined in black in the center of the red band
§  the Cambodian flag is the only flag in the world to incorporate a building in its design
§  Angkor Wat*  is thought to be world's largest religious structure
-          According to Ancient and Heraldic traditions much symbolism is associated with colors. The colors on the Cambodia flag represent the following:
§  Red - hardiness, bravery, strength & valour
§  Blue - vigilance, truth and loyalty, perseverance & justice " 

August 16, 2012

If you ever searched on how to write a CV and a Cover Letter before, you may have found many links guiding you  how to write an awesome CV and a charming Cover Letter. However, none of the link mentioned the importance of using PDF rather than Ms. Word when you submit your application to an employer or to a school. 

My post here is to focus on the idea of sending out PDF rather than in Ms. Word document. To me, it is better to send out your CV and Cover Letter in PDF form for two main reasons. First, people could see how professional you are as you could prove that you are a computer literate. Second, no one could ever blame you on the wrong format that might appear on your recipient's computer screen. If you type in Ms. Word, for example, the texts might appear disorder as you and your peer use different version of Ms. Word. That is not the only problem. There are many more that I could not think of for now. In short, it is better to send out in PDF if it is not necessary for your peer to edit your document.

Here I am going to show you just how. 

1. In my Microsoft Word 2007, I installed Adobe Acrobat Plug-in so I could convert all of my document into PDF with this plug-in.

Adobe Acrobat Plug-in (Click to Enlarge)
2. If you do not have this plug-in, there is another way and it is to print in Adobe PDF, the computer will convert your document and save it in PDF.
Choose Adobe PDF when you select a printer 
3. Above mentioned are to do with your CV. How about a Cover Letter in which you will have to sign? For Cover Letter, after typing, you will have to print it out. Sign where you have to sign, and then, you will have to scan your Cover Letter in PDF, not in JPG form. In this way, you will have both CV and Cover Letter in PDF forms; and you are ready to send out!

These are all the tools that I use before I send my application out. If you have any comments or suggestions, I would be very happy to learn from you. 

July 7, 2012

This is simply to share what I have experienced regarding translation work. This note is upon my translation experience, if you find this post to be in contrary to what you have experienced or learned at translation school, please excuse me and I welcome all constructive feedback.

In general,
I use many web-based resources like:

From this dictionary, you may search for any words with clear explanations and you may search for antonym or even more specifically, for example in legal field, you may search in
You will need to spend a couple of minutes to hang out in there.

Moreover, I also use :
For English to Khmer, I normally use:  and

If you cannot find the word you’re wishing for, you may go to google and type :
eg, "define:  coenzyme” – from the first link, you may find the definition of the word. If not, you will have to read for general understanding of the word itself. might help. That's not it! You may also try to google for its image if you cannot find it anywhere on the web.

If you are trying to translate a phrase, and you are not sure if your phrase is the right phrase which is being used officially, you may confirm with google by typing your phrase both in Khmer and in English. Try to confirm with several link before you decide to use it. 

See the picture below for further understanding.

Translating Technical Document:
Let's say you are translating Legal Document.
The resource you might need here is Law in both English and Khmer. For example, “Traffice Law [En] and Traffic Law [KH]“,
Look for Article 1 in the English version and compare with the Article 1 in the Khmer version; then, you may find the word you want to use.
It’s pretty easy to do so, since those files are in PDF files, you only need to type the word in the Search box at the up right inside the Adobe Reader.

Last but not least, you may use Khmer Dictionary by Samdech. Juon Nart.

Translation work is not hard as long as you don't give up at the first place. You may be unfamiliar with the type of a document when you first start translating, don't give up just yet. That's how everyone started. When you get used to a type of document, you will be able to go faster. It only means that you don't understand the context much at first. What you should feel is to enjoy learning new vocabulary and content. :D Moreover, if you need any help, do not hesitate to drop your comments below.

I also have some economic dictionary, legal terminology, IT related words in PDF files. You may drop your e-mail here. I'll send right up to your e-mail. 

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