Thursday, November 29, 2007

Siem Reap: Signs and Languages

Khmer is the official language in Cambodia. Other languages include: Vietnamese, Thai, French, and English. With the immense flow of tourists coming to Siem Reap, the need to speak other languages aside from Khmer became foreseeable. Being a tourist guide who knows more than two languages (Khmer and English) has also become one of the prolific jobs among locals. So when you go to Siem Reap and you need to hire a tour guide, all you need to do is ask for someone who fluently speaks your language. English and French are mostly requested (I think).

When we were in Siem Reap, we always walked around to look for a place to eat and a place to buy things. We met people along the way, and encountered signs that would stump my senses. While Oki and Lyn would ask for a place to eat, I was on a look-out for these signs that would make me think and review my English as I’ve learned them from my professors. As you know, I am not a native English speaker myself. When I was in college, my composition would always get all the red marks I could gather. A shame really. Until now, I am not confident with my English. And I can say that with full conviction. Wahoo!

signs1

Oki and Lyn asking for food to eat in a resto bar called The Dead Fish. Oh, the dead fish died in 1999 according to the sign. I don't like to imagine what it's like eating in a resto with a dead fish that marked its demise 7 years ago but it sure did get my fancy. A come-on or not? You will be the judge.

This resto was actually part of our itinerary because we found out that, there are Filipinos who perform here every other night. So we wanted to check it out. But on that night that we made the inquiry, the guy in front told us that the Filipino singers won't be performing until the next night. We asked for the food that they serve. But we don't fancy their speciality that much so we moved to another place. We promised to come back the next day but it rained so we just opted to eat at the villa.

signs2

This is one of the 'more profound' disclaimer in their resto.

You will not be able to ignore this even if you chose not to. A few more restaurants in the area have the same disclaimer as if having this, would ensure that what they are eating is really chicken and not rat meat. Nyahaha!

signs3

You practically have everything in this signage.

A hight (height? or high?) speed Internet, a phone to call your love ones oversea(s) and an ATS to book your next plane ticket to leave. What more do you want?

signs4

It just caught my eyes
.
I wanted a cup of coffee but then again a cup of T would be a good one too. Ah, I just love this sign! "An inspiration for your mind."

sign5

This one confused me for awhile.

"Seeing hand 4 massage"? Looks like they mixed up text messaging with the English language structure. I guess what they mean is that, they offer "blind massage" or massage done by a blind man? Am I getting it right? or not?

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It’s easy to get lost and be befuddled in a place like Cambodia, which is the same anywhere else I guess. I get lost when I am in the Philippines (can you imagine that!). And with more than 180 languages and dialects being spoken here, it’s easy to get lost in translation.

Note: I’ve always been tagged as a ‘lost person’ (literally and figuratively speaking). So here, or anywhere else, I am bound to get lost.

8 comments:

kyels said...

The sign board is hilarious but it sure does make sense in their country. But did you inquire what 'died in 1999' is about? Is it about the owner of the restaurant or something else?

(:

pieterbie said...

"All body massage", did you go for that?
I don't fancy the fish that died in 1999 either.
Restaurants that say: 'It is not cat, dog, rat, worm' too much, worry me. What about all the species that are not mentioned?
No, I did not know the two guys sipping wine on the boat. I gestured from afar if I could take their picture and they waved to me with a smile and continued their conversation. I took this photo during the yeary authentic boating fair in Oostende. More than a 100 authentic old wooden boats gather in our port then, some tall ships as well. The event attracts a lot of water tourism as well like the two guys in the photo.

haggis basher said...

Again great images and a great travelogue!!

More!!!

Please............

Sidney said...

Hahahaha.... funny signs!
I particularly like the "Don't serve Dog, Cat, Rat, Wrm"

But what I like most is the famous picture of OKI !

Ferdz said...

hahaha. nakakatuwa nga yang mga signs dyan. Kung minsan tuloy nga mapapa question ka kung tama ba yung alam mong english o mali. hehehe.

I think the "Died" in dead fish is the other way around, kung di ako nagkakamali na establish sya nung 199?

Were you able to eat some exotic food? Masama naging experience ko nung I ate one haha. We also tried one of the full body massage dyan sa psar chaa. well it kinda different. hehe

my gulch said...

kyels,
could be that there is truth in what Ferdz said. in 1999, a dead fish died and the owner loved it so much that he/she established a resto in memory of that fish. But I think it's more than that. I think it's a pradoxical trick. you know, what you read is not really what you read thinge. but again, i could be wrong. I should have asked.

Peter,
i did not go for that "all body massage." But Oki did try one of their massages.

Mike,
thanks...there's more.

Sidney
oh yea. she's now being refered to as the "half Japanese, half resto". A lady with that tag will surely get "more" famous.

Ferdz,
pwede ngang ganun. namatay yung fish tas pinatayuan nila ng memorial, hehe. wirdo. no, i wasn't able to try their exotic food. one thing you have to know about me is that, I am never an adventurer when it comes to exotic food. nauunahan ako ng malawak kong imahinasyon. Oki, yung kasama ko, she's the adventurer type when it comes to weird looking food, nyahaha. Meron nga kaming nakitang spiders na nilalako sa daan at saka yung mga maliliit na ibon na prito, aba kamusta naman, nangilabot na ako e di lalo nang di ko nakain.

cathy said...

lolz looks like cambodia is catching up on us pinoys in english usage :)

Dylan said...

"Seeing hands" quite literally as they are blind. They only "see" with their hands. I think it's that image you see when a blind kid feels the face of an adult to identify who it is.

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