Paris Peace Accords 23 Oct. 1991

Monday, July 10, 2017

[Vietnamization: Language Propaganda, Occupation] Letter to the Editor: ‘Yuon’ May Be Incorrect, but Not Offensive

Letter to the Editor: ‘Yuon’ May Be Incorrect, but Not Offensive

The Cambodia Daily | 10 July 2017

In a description of my political activities under the title “The Provocateur” (July 7), the article’s author, Ben Paviour, points to my using the term “Yuon” for “Vietnam” or “Vietnamese,” a word that—he says—“can have racist undertones.”

Letter to the Editor
This is not the first time that similar remarks have been made by foreign journalists and observers, who then infer—from only our using this word “Yuon”—that opponents to the Hun Sen regime have developed racist inclinations.

Since 1979, following the invasion of Cambodia by the Vietnamese communist army, the word “Yuon,” previously a neutral term commonly used by ordinary Khmer (or Cambodian) people for centuries—at a time when the word “Vietnam” was not created yet—has become politically incorrect.

I urge our foreign friends who do not speak the Khmer language to learn to make the difference between “offensive” and politically incorrect.

As for me, to avoid any misunderstanding, I use—in my speeches and writings—the words “Yuon” and “Vietnam” interchangeably. But sometimes, doing that with old Khmer expressions would sound rather odd, notably in contexts where there is no substitute for “Yuon.”

Those who speak the Thai language, in which the word “Yuon” has also been commonly used for centuries, would understand my comment.

To close—once and for all—this mainly foreign-entertained controversy, we should simply refer to the most authoritative Khmer dictionary published last century under the direction of the Venerable Samdech Chuon Nath, the most respected modern Khmer scholar. In that dictionary, the word “Yuon,” as I said above, is explained as just a neutral term commonly used by ordinary Khmer people, without any negative connotation whatsoever.

[Editor’s note: Chuon Nath’s dictionary was first published in 1938. A 1967 edition defines “yuon” as the “people of Tonkin, Annam, Cochinchina,” referring to the northern, central and southern regions of Vietnam under French colonial rule, respectively.]

I think this letter could help educate some foreign journalists and observers who have been wrongly influenced by the CPP government’s propaganda wanting to depict political opponents who are vigilant about Vietnam’s recent aggressive policies as having racist inclinations, which is just untrue and unfair.

Sam Rainsy Former CNRP President

6 comments:

  1. Anonymous8:48 AM

    I had a Caucasian friend who I disowned after many years of friendship. He got upset about the political correctness of the term "Negro". He said negro is black in Spanish.

    I told him, "I spoke a little Spanish myself." Then added, "You missed the point. If the people don't want to be called Negro, you don't call them Negro."

    "Just address them the way they wish. Stop trying to find way to insult them. I know you have a low opinion of the blacks. Stop it."

    After a while, I got fed up with his attitude and unfriend him. He was an engineer nerd with wimpy physics. I begun to wonder if his slut wife (Austrian descent) was having sex with black men. She talked like a trashy whore actually. It's so sad for the poor guy, marrying a trophy wife but he could not perform nor maintain.

    So, if people don't want to be addressed as "Yuon", then address them the way they wish. Or else, I will start to address your kind as "kangaroo" and rename Cambodia as Kangoria".

    -Drgunzet-

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous9:37 AM

    If it is not clear enough, I shall make it short:

    If you speak in English, the word for the black color is: black, not negro. So do not address the Black folks as Negros.

    The word for the people from Vietnam is Vietnamese, not Yuon. You will not use the word Yuon mixed in with English. Get it?!

    -Drgunzet-

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous2:29 PM

    Hey gunzet, did your mom ask you yesterday to buy her, salt and vinegar from the grocery store or she told you to buy sodium chloride and diluted acetic acid ? !!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous1:05 AM

    Hun Sen and his Yuon's CPP will lose and lose big time. The Hun Sen's rank and file will discreetly abandon Hun Sen and there is nothing HUN SEN can do about it. Long live the Khmer people [without Hun Sen]!!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous6:33 PM

    Anonymous8:48 AM (-Drgunzet-):

    You compare your Vietnamese folks to Black people in America as the victim when it comes to the word "Yuon." There is no victims in Vietnam as slaves to Vietnam when it is called "Yuon." You are regarding your Vietnamese people as victims because of the world "Yuon" and you and your manipulative Vietnamese folks will play the victims of whom, whoever and then you need to tell us what the difference between the Black people in America and Vietnamese folks in Vietnam. Based on the history, Vietnam and Vietnamese were not created yet when it comes to the word "Yuon." If the Vietnamese and Vietnam are heard of today, the word "Yuon" will be used in English or other foreign language. You need to tell and educate your Vietnamese folks and don't just try to twist the history and blame other to be racist because of the world "Yuon."

    Khmer Yoeurng

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous6:40 PM

    Correction for Anonymous6:33 PM

    Anonymous8:48 AM (-Drgunzet-):

    You compare your Vietnamese folks to Black people in America as the victim when it comes to the word "Yuon." There is no victims in Vietnam as slaves to Vietnam when it is called "Yuon." You are regarding your Vietnamese people as victims because of the WORD "Yuon" and you and your manipulative Vietnamese folks will play the victims of whom, whoever, AND TELL US WHO HURT AND FORCE THE VIETNAMESE FOLKS TO BE SLAVES IN VIETNAM. WHERE ARE ALL THE VIETNAMESE AND VIETNAM ORIGINALLY CAME FROM ON THE PLANET? Then you need to tell us what the difference between the Black people in America and Vietnamese folks in Vietnam. Based on the history, Vietnam and Vietnamese were not created yet when it comes to the word "Yuon." If the Vietnamese and Vietnam are NOT heard of today, the word "Yuon" will be EXISTED AND used in English or other foreign languageS TODAY. You need to tell and educate your Vietnamese folks and don't just try to twist the history and blame other to be racist because of the WORD "Yuon."

    Khmer Yoeurng

    ReplyDelete