Officials Explain ’Net Plans

Thailand plans to develop software that can translate English text on the Internet into the languages of Asean member countries, a report said.

But while Cambodia’s e-Asean working group appreciates the Thai efforts, Cambodia is not ready to utilize such a translation program, officials said.

“We first need to standardize our Khmer font on computers,” said Moa Chakrya, a member of the e-Asean working group in Internet, e-commerce and information technology with the Min­is­try of Posts and Telecom­muni­cations.

“We welcome the idea, but it would take several years to come to Cambodia.”

Cambodia and other Asean states in November signed the e-Asean agreement, which promotes regional investment in information technology.

The government is still developing a uniform code for Khmer alphabet fonts with the UN Educa­tional, Scientific and Cul­tural Organization.

The code is expected to be finished by the end of this year, and the first government Khmer-language Web site will be launched soon after, officials said.

The Thai translation program would enable all Internet texts in English to be translated into the languages of Cambodia, Indo­nesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, Burma, the Philippines and Viet­nam, according to a report by the InfoWorld Daily News.

The project will receive technical assistance from electronics giant NEC, which has developed a system that is capable of translating English, French, German, Spanish and Chinese Internet content into Japanese, the report said. The project could take as long as five years and is expected to cost several million dollars.


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