The never-ending adventures of a travel writer in Vietnam, Cambodia, New Zealand and throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Help Me Translate This Khmer Artifact in Vietnam

I recently came across this relic in a local shop. It's unusual because the inscription looks like Khmer. As this is coastal Vietnam I don't often come across Khmer script. It could be something old, or it could simply be something a Vietnamese soldier brought back after serving in Cambodia. Unfortunately I don't read Khmer. Can somebody offer a translation? There were 3 inscriptions, pictured below.


Will Koenig said...

The first inscription is in Khmer and doesn't make a lot of sense. It might say "I am 'Pop.'" or a name that sounds like 'bpok.'"

The second inscription appears to be Thai but it doesn't make any sense.

Don't know about the third language.

Adam Bray said...

Thank you very much Will, now that you mention it, I had a look at Thai script and agree with you one panel does look like Thai. Someone has suggested the Khmer is "middle khmer" or "monk khmer." Unfortunately I read neither. Third panel most curious. Does look like a language of some sort but not a writing system I've ever seen in SE Asia.

Snap said...

For goodness sakes Adam, I still haven't discovered the name of that exotic parrot, let alone translate Khmer! ;) I thought I came close though when a VN friend emailed me a name for the bird, in Vietnamese...but, alas, it translated into 'parrot' :(

Adam Bray said...

Some Cham scholars have told me they think this is Cham, but its an unusual script and they can't fully translate it. Appears to be very old.

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