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Speling mistakes

The Editor,

Perhaps it is only to be expected that words, in being

transplanted from one language to another, alien one, should become strangely

transmogrified. This phenomenon may account for the numerous decidely unFrench

words appearing in your Gecko column (June 2-15 issue, p.6), such as

"introduissaient", "a opposé" instead of "s'est opposé"), "Manichaeanisme", "Le

Eutychianisme", as well as the fairly random sprinkling of 'accents aigus.' In

fact, words of French or Latin origin often fare badly in your publication, even

when they appear in their 'Englished up' form: e.g. "principle" (instead of

"principal"), "liquidaters", "recieving", all in that same issue... but then,

the problem is a fairly endemic one, occuring even more widely in other English

(?) papers, together with other assorted solecisms.

Regarding your

article on the war of languages (or imperialisms), on p14, I am struck, not for

the first time, that the only foreign-language newspaper in Cambodia that was

not started by foreigners, under foreign impulse, and with foreign money, should

be ignored. That paper, Le Quotidien du Cambodge, no doubt has its limitations,

though it is steadily improving. It too has occasional problems with spelling

and grammar, and also other flaws, not unrelated to the scarcity of its funds.

But Khmer, notably local Khmer (i.e. not diaspora Khmer) initiatives are still

somewhat rare, and should I feel be encouraged, not snubbed.

As for the

general question raised by the article, there is no reasonable doubt that

English, or rather a variously pidginised version of American English, will

prevail, just as the once overwhelming power of its originator and sponsor is

beginning to wane (the unequal development of history...).

- Philippe Hunt, Phnom Penh

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