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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - French vs English

French vs English

French vs English

The Editor,

T he lack of a decision about the second language of Kampuchea has pernicious effects.

Students, being pushed and pulled between the French and English languages, do not

manage to have an adequate knowledge of one of the two, which makes the necessary

use of reference books impossible.

As a Frenchman, I wish my country would be generous enough not to link its help to

the use of French.

Here in Cambodia, most of the jobs require English; Chinese is second and, at a distance,

come French and Thai. Furthermore, the neighbouring countries, like most of the world,

use English as the vehicular language.

A victory of Francophonie would create problems for the Khmers: they cannot afford

to isolate themselves from the other nations of South-East Asia and the Pacific Rim,

or to ignore the objective situation of employment at home. Of course, they are under

pressure from the main donor, which, being obsessed with its past, is blind to today's

reality.

- Claude Rabour, University of Phnom Penh

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