The Department of Psychology at the Royal University of Phnom Penh is preparing the first comprehensive dictionary of psychosocial terminology from English to Khmer. This project builds upon several smaller terminology projects undertaken since the fall of the Khmer Rouge. The purpose of this dictionary is to lessen confusion and misunderstanding among individuals and institutions, regarding the various, inconsistent translations from foreign languages to Khmer. A Cambodian psychosocial terminology will help professional counselors, social workers, medical professionals, researchers and students to better understand English-language, primary source documents.
The vast majority of psychology terms with etymologies rooted in English or other modern European languages do not have simple one-to-one correspondences in Khmer, making translation difficult and cumbersome. The dictionary will provide working professionals and students unprecedented access to both technical and colloquial terms relevant to psychological theory and praxis. Without access to terminology, research is hamstrung, therapy is limited and Cambodian psychology cannot advance.
The Psycho-Social Dictionary project brings together academics from a range of disciplines to translate key terms from English to Khmer. Nearly 3,000 terms have been selected for translation. To date, approximately 1/3 of these terms have been translated or are in the process of revision.
Current working team:
- Mick Hirsch, M.Div, GMH, ABD
- Tim Pichkessey, MA in Clinical and Counseling Psychology (RUPP)
- Lim Bouyheak, M.S. in Clinical Psychology (DLSU)
- Mak Chansophal, MA. in Counseling (DLSU)
- Ann Sorita, M.S. in Social Cultural Psychology (DLSU)
Initiative: This project began in September 2014 while Mick Hirsch, M.Div, GMH, ABD was serving as Visiting Assistant Professor of Psychology under a USAID/Winrock International grant through Hagar International. It was supported by GIZ under the supervision of Elizabeth Hoeger-Klaus, MS.