Koh Rong Samloem

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Re: Koh Rong Samloem

Postby Username Taken » Wed Jun 04, 2014 6:42 am

Thanks, LTO.

So we can mark this as RESOLVED then!

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Re: Koh Rong Samloem

Postby Bitte_Kein_Lexus » Wed Jun 04, 2014 7:14 am

I certainly wouldn't call it resolved based on what's written on a 30 year old map. They might have changed the official spelling since then. Even googlemaps (which as of late seems to be going very "official") write it as sanloem. I wouldn't be surprised if it were now "officially" sanloem, but all the books keep writing samloem for the very reason LTO stated: it's the old/traditional spelling. But some guy at the ministry might have decided to unilaterally change it a few years ago (in this case, with good reason). I'll stop by IBC this morning on my way to the gym and will see what the official maps there says. I'm getting pretty curious, lol.
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Re: Koh Rong Samloem

Postby giblet » Wed Jun 04, 2014 3:58 pm

I don't know what that character is that is making the m/n sound, but the Khmer spelling appears to be different than the one the analyzed in the blog I linked to in the first post.
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Re: Koh Rong Samloem

Postby Username Taken » Wed Jun 04, 2014 7:36 pm

giblet wrote:I don't know what that character is that is making the m/n sound, but the Khmer spelling appears to be different than the one the analyzed in the blog I linked to in the first post.
As spelt in Lex's post:
កោះរ៉ុងសន្លឹម = Koh Rong Sanloem

As spelt in the blog you linked to:
កោះរុងសន្លឹម​ (As above without 'rats teeth' above the រ ).

This character, 'ស'​ gives the 'S' sound. This one, 'ន' gives the 'n' sound. There is no vowel between the two, so it will give a sound like 'san' or 'son' (rhymes with gone).
That's the N sound you ask about.

As spelt at the top of LTO's map.
កោះរុងសំឡឹម​ = Koh Rong Samloem

In this one you will see there is no 'áž“'.
Above the 'ស' you will see a little circle. That is the vowel, and gives the sound 'om' or 'am'.
That's the M sound you ask about.

8-)
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Re: Koh Rong Samloem

Postby Bitte_Kein_Lexus » Wed Jun 04, 2014 9:14 pm

Went to PBC this morning. Some maps were official (issued by the ministry of transport I think), but some weren't. Didn't really help much to be honest. The only way to find out would be to go to the ministry of geography, but so far I'd say samloem seems to be the preferred spelling:
ImageImageImage
(not official)
ImageImageImage

An eclectic mix of maps. The official ones were dated 2011, the rest looked old. Either way, seems sanloem is preferred.
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Re: Koh Rong Samloem

Postby Username Taken » Wed Jun 04, 2014 9:42 pm

Bitte_Kein_Lexus wrote: but so far I'd say samloem seems to be the preferred spelling:

Either way, seems sanloem is preferred.
That is, indeed, confusing. :wink:

The first maps have Vietnamese script, whereas the next ones are in Khmer. I wonder if that has anything to do with it.

It's not unusual for Khmer words to several ways of spelling a word. I've always assumed this was associated with literacy skills.
I would think that the best way to find the real answer is not to check the spelling, but to ask people that have lived there all their life how they pronounce it. Listen for an m or an n sound.
At the end of the day, I guess it's up to the government to decide what is and what is not 'official'.
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Re: Koh Rong Samloem

Postby giblet » Thu Jun 05, 2014 10:20 am

Until seeing those maps (thank you LTO and Bitte_Kein_Lexus) I hadn't realized there were multiple spellings in Khmer and in English.

I think you're right that learning how the locals pronounce it would be helpful (although there aren't very many long-term locals there). I probably won't be heading back there in the near future, unfortunately. Although I always like an excuse to go island hopping!
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Re: Koh Rong Samloem

Postby LTO » Thu Jun 05, 2014 10:45 pm

Well…

I went to the Department of Geography today (under the Ministry of Land Management Urban Planning & Construction) to ask about the proper spelling of the islands and get the most recent official map, if possible. It was quite the Cambodian experience. Spoke with the asst director I believe, and eventually others as well. When I explained the issue he was confident that the proper spelling was 'Koh Rong Sanloem'. He called it up on the GIS system. There were three different versions. One was a similar to the 1980s map I posted earlier that has it as 'Samloem' in both English and Khmer in the title but on the island 'Sanloem' in Khmer and 'Samloem' in English. The second version, created just a few months ago (March 2014) has it spelled two different ways in both English and Khmer ('Samloem' and 'Sanloem'), one way on the main map and the other way on the insert. The most recent version, of which there is only a digital copy and has not yet been published, has it 'Sanloem' in Khmer and 'Samloem' in English.

At that point a meeting was called to discuss the discrepancy, though unfortunately the guy that drew that particular map was absent today. The asst director made the point that Sanloem has a meaning, i.e. far away or so far, but that Samloem is meaningless. He pointed out that the earlier map was made by the Vietnamese and Americans, and they don’t know Khmer. He speculated that the 'Samloem' on the most recent map were due to inattention by the mapmaker in the Dept of Geo who copied the earlier map. But there was still the problem of 'Samloem' appearing in Khmer on some maps. At that point, he cited the ultimate source: Sinn Sisamuth. An iPhone was produce and he played the song Reaproy Koh Khmer by Sinn Sisamuth in the early 60s, which lists all of the Khmer islands. We all listened carefully as it played. Sinn Sismuth seemed to say “Koh Rong Sanloem” and even referred to it as being ‘so far away.’ Everybody then agreed that it should be ‘Koh Rong Sanloem’ and that the mapmaker would be instructed to get the spellings consistent on the various maps.

In the Sinn Sismuth session another island name discrepancy was discovered. This in the name of Koh Mano north of Koh Rong. It is variously spelled 'Koh Mano, Koh Manu, Koh Manou and Koh Manuo'. But, according to others in the room that can hear Khmer better than me, say that he is saying Koh Mnoau, i.e. Pineapple Island. He said that this would be investigated and corrected if necessary too.

I told him I’d come back next month for a corrected version of the map. He agreed. In the meantime I had him plot me a copy the most recent authorized version of the map, published just 3 months ago. Here is the English version, with both spellings on it.

Image
Last edited by LTO on Fri Jun 06, 2014 3:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Koh Rong Samloem

Postby OrangeDragon » Thu Jun 05, 2014 10:50 pm

Hahaha, that's an incredible story!

Sinn Sismuth... brilliant!
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Re: Koh Rong Samloem

Postby giblet » Thu Jun 05, 2014 11:59 pm

Excellent investigative research, LTO! Doesn't it tickle you to think that two Cambodian islands are essentially being renamed because of you?


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