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Local guide goes bilingual

Local guide goes bilingual


A new Khmer edition of the Cambodia Pocket Guide targets strong growth trend among young Khmer consumers

Photo by:

Tracey Shelton

The Cambodia Pocket Guide has now been translated into Khmer.

Cambodia Pocket Guides were launched in 2004 and have since become a staple resource for tourists and expats alike. With their detailed information on drinking, dining, clubs, bars, sights and activities in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, they are a reliable and up-to-date source of information on the ever-evolving social scene.

Last week, after more than a year's planning, Cambodia Pocket Guide launched a Khmer-language edition that directors Tim Gibbons and Dean Lennox hope will offset the potential loss of revenue from the Western guides due to the global economic crisis.

"We expect this year to be pretty neutral or flat as far as the Western guides are concerned, but I think there is still a strong growth trend in the Khmer market, especially in the  25 to 35 age group with expendable income," said Lennox.

Lennox says half of the advertisers for the Khmer edition are new customers for Pocket Guide, though veterans such as Cafe Fresco are also hoping to offset potential loss in revenue by expanding their market.

New content

The guide looks similar to its English counterpart, said Lennox and Gibbons, but its content and construction is very different.

The Khmer guide is about a third longer than the English version due to differences in written text, a new set of symbols used throughout and more landmarks incorporated into the map, as this is often how Cambodians navigate. Many of the places featured are also new.

"Khmers ... generally don't go to places just to drink like Westerners; they tend to like places that are all things for everyone. So places such as Suki Soup are very popular in the guide," said Lennox.

Still in its early days, the Khmer-language Cambodia Pocket Guide has so far received a positive response, said Gibbbons and Lennox.

"As more educated Khmers start to work closely with foreigners, they are socialising together in places like Metro, Riverhouse, Pontoon and Elsewhere bar.... Going out more seems to be a growing trend," said Lennox.


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