I am looking for the soft (electronic) copy of these two basic, high quality history books on Cambodia, by two of the most prominent historian and journalist on Cambodia--to edit for easier comprehension and public accessibility. I remember a conversation with a senior manager of Bophana Center who prefers reading the English as the Khmer versions are incomprehensible. Also I know that Elizabeth Becker wants her book made widely accessible to Cambodians -- then she and I were discussing possibly reading on the radio...
And great is the urgency in light of my recent conversation with my uncle from Svay Rieng, who not unlike many (if not most Cambodians) relies on the much shorter memoir by Khieu Samphan (less problems with language and translation as Samphan wrote it and is fluent in all 3 languages) as his main history book!
Initially, I had my staff type these books, but the process is too tedious and burdened with too much room for errors. I have read the History of Cambodia and it was a struggle -- fighting the printed page, starting and restarting many times, before finishing 3/4 of the book (but never finishing the complete book).
With When the War Was Over, I also attempted to read many times, but never got through the first 2 chapters, as the struggle with the printed page and translation was of a different level of difficulty.
What I love about the Khmer Bible (which comprises of 66 books!) I am currently editing is that the translation was done by a highly-competent committee in a deliberate, time-consuming process of check and re-checks, of back-and-forth discussions, which most of the translations elsewhere do not have. So, it makes editing the Khmer Bible that much more easy!
- Theary C. Seng
Phnom Penh, 24 Jan. 2013