Al though Cambodians are native speakers of the Khmer language, it doesn’t necessarily mean that we’re speaking the language correctly.
In fact, pride often inhibits us from admitting that we’re making mistakes and not using our mother tongue correctly.
According to Professor Touch Kimsreang, President of the Association for Supporting Khmer Literature and Culture, young and old alike are using many Khmer language devices incorrectly.
For instance, he said, many people are erroneously interchanging the words “with” and “for” – the most popular mistake people make when speaking Khmer.
“The way we’re using ‘with’ and ‘for’ [in Khmer language] is completely wrong,” he said.
As the mistake happens over and over again, without correction, it becomes a habit, explained Professor Touch.
To make progress in this respect, Professor Touch has published the Lexicon Directory. The book is meant to help the public use the Khmer language correctly, as it was originally intended.
The book corrects grammar from the Choun Nat dictionary – one of the most commonly used dictionaries in Cambodia – along with other widely consulted vocabulary books.
The project took Professor Touch nearly half of a year. He’s written about 10 grammar books to date.
“The Lexicon Directory is the best of my publications,” he said.
The Lexicon Directory can be found at Peace Book Center (PBC), the bookstore by Daunh Penh Primary School and at the School for Future Leaders. One copy is US$2.