The government has issued new regulations that require and define the use of Khmer language on signs, banners and announcements displayed at construction sites. The move is ostensibly aimed at promoting national cultural identity, but could also help local buyers see past the poorly scripted, confusing and often deceptive claims that appear on signage at construction projects, which until now has never been inspected or restricted by any authority.
A prakas issued by the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction late last month lays down new rules on “the use of Khmer and foreign literature on construction banners or advertising signage at construction sites”. The regulation states that all information on banners or advertising signage at project sites must be written in Khmer language based on the standard Choun Nath dictionary. The Khmer text on the signage must appear above any translation into foreign languages, and must be at least twice the size of the translated text.
The prakas addresses a long-standing issue in the real estate sector, where many of the signs and banners erected at project sites include confusing statements and mistranslations written in foreign languages.
In October 2017, Post Property reported that XO Condo project was advertising “Buy 1 Unit Free 1 Unit” on a billboard erected at the project site in Phnom Penh’s BKK1 neighbourhood. When asked, a sales representative clarified that the company was not offering a free unit to customers who purchase a unit, but rather would provide a unit for customers to live in until their unfinished unit in XO Condo is ready for occupation.