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Ideas on English vs French

The Editor,

My letter is concerned about the letter of Mr Claude Rabour ("French vs English",

Post Oct 31-Nov 14).

I think the students with clear objectives of French and English as vehicular languages

won't be so tangled if these languages were introduced into primary school, for French,

and secondary school, for English. Both languages have derived most in common from

the Greeks or the Latins and they are very common in words and meanings, only different

in pronunciation. Students must study hard for sure to fit themselves into the international

community.

For example, in the past in Cambodia the French language was introduced in the primary

school, in the second year (cours préparatoire) and later in the fourth year

(cours Moyen 1ère Année). The English language was introduced in the

second year of secondary school. In those days, HE Heal Sumpha urged Khmerization;

we were proud because our mother tongue was unanimously used inside the country,

but some critics have also said that we were isolated from the international path.

The Philippines speak Tagalog along with English from primary school age; the Malaysians

speak Bahasa with English also from the primary school. I have chatted with children

under 10-years-old of both countries understandably and with interest.

For the reference books, especially in medical training, we cannot isolate ourselves

from French; so the beneficial way is to use French and English.

- Dr Sengly Chuong, Kratie

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