The president of the Royal Academy of Cambodia (RAC) Sok Touch asked all ministries and institutions to consult with the National Council of Khmer Language (NCKL) before creating a new word.

Touch said the request was made to prevent mistakes and keep the public from blaming the RAC for misused words as the NCKL comes under its purview.

At the press conference, which detailed the progress of the NCKL, he said some ministries had prepared documents which had been approved by the National Assembly but contained new words not brought to the attention of the RAC.

He said the public often criticised the RAC for incorrect terminology.

Touch thanked the Ministry of Environment for always consulting with the NCKL concerning new words but criticized other ministries and institutions for developing new words without conferring with the RAC.

He said relevant institutions need to submit documentation for new words and initiate a dialogue before they start using them because some words cannot be understood and need explanations. He referenced a recent document approved by the Ministry of the Interior which contained made-up words.

Touch said institutions must consult with the Social Science and Real Science groups of the NCKL to work towards a joint decision on new words.

“Please send the form to be approved in the NCKL, so that the responsibility is for everyone [not just the RAC].

“Don’t just mention only one official and say that you’ve called the RAC. The RAC receives the blame but the NCKL doesn’t know about the matter. That’s the problem, so let’s stop it,” he said.

NCKL president Hean Sokhom, said it can have a meeting once a week to review and decide on new words. Generally, each meeting can agree on between one and 10 new terms depending on the complexity of the words and the discussion.

He said ministries and private institutions can request the NCKL to assist in the creation of new terms before they use them.

He said the NCKL has published more than 3,000 new words, and 4,000 more have yet to be approved. All new terms will be included in an online database from 2021.

The RAC said the NCKL has published 11 newsletters and 11 technical glossaries defining words.