14 August 2008
By Ung Chamroeun
Cambodge Soir Hebdo
Translation from French by Luc Sâr
Click here to read the original article in French
In 1938, the Buddhist Institute (BI) published the first Khmer dictionary in 2 volumes. The 1858-page dictionary was written by Samdech Sangh Chuon Nath, the Supreme Patriarch of the Buddhist Mohaniakaya sect. The National Committee of the Khmer Language, under the direction of Sok An, decided to use this dictionary exclusively as its reference in terms of spelling.
The fifth edition of the dictionary is now available in electronic format, under an initiative of the BI and the Sealang Projects. The electronic dictionary is distributed free of charge. “Numerous Cambodians, including journalists and students, make spelling errors. This dictionary will be very useful for them. One can refer to it or check the meaning of a word or its spelling with just a simple click,” Nguon Vanchanthi, the director of the BI, explained.
A dozen of BI employees participated in the setup of this major work for a duration of two years. “Errors are unavoidable, but I hope that they will be less than 2%. Everything was checked several times. Among the 18,003 words in the dictionary, we only found 461 keywords without definition. We will ask the National Committee of the Khmer Language to meet to define them,” Nguon Vanchanthi added.
This electronic dictionary can be used with Windows XP and Vista. “We want to encourage Cambodians to use Khmer Unicode software. Later on, we will come up with a software to make it accessible on mobile phones,” Vanchanthi indicated.
For this first version, the dictionary is opened to all critics that would improve the work accomplished by the team. “We will bring in a yearly update in order to reduce the number of errors to the maximum. One day, Cambodians will be able to download this dictionary on the website http://www.budinst.gov.kh,” he announced. The BI also plans to create electronic dictionaries specialized for medicine, economy, finance or legal.
To receive a free copy of the dictionary, contact the BI by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com, or call (855-23) 212 046.
The compressed “rar” file version of the dictionary is also available to download by clicking this link.
To decompress file, please download a shareware version of Winrar at:
For additional information, click here.