Let’s Read! Adds 50 New Children Books Translated into Khmer

Phnom Penh, June 26, 2018 — The Asia Foundation hosted a Let’s Read! Translation Event on June 23 and 24 with 10 teams consisting of editors and volunteers, including university students, who collaborated to translate and publish 50 children books from English to Khmer at the Foundation’s TEK4Good, a community space for tech startups. These books are now live on the Let’s Read! platform, a multi-lingual, digital collection of children’s books designed to spark a lifelong love of reading throughout Asia.

Partnering with SMART, Cambodia’s leading mobile telecommunications company, this event is the third of its kind gathering writers, editors and volunteers from diverse backgrounds to make more books available for children in their native language. The two-day event began with teams of volunteers providing translations using the unique Let’s Read! online collaborative translation tool. On the second day, professional editors quality assured the teams’ work before publishing the books to the platform.

Attendees at the event

Photos: Pal Laukli

Access to books and information is crucial to give free rein to young people’s imaginations, to envision possibilities, and heighten awareness of opportunities. In many parts of Asia, access to quality books and information is limited, especially in remote and turbulent areas. And millions of children who are not enrolled in school lack exposure to books altogether. Because children learn first and best in their own language, a severe shortage of material published in local languages is creating a vicious cycle of failure for the next generation.

These high-quality children books are now available under Creative Commons licenses on the Let’s Read! digital library, bringing the total number of Khmer storybooks to nearly 200. All of the book in the library can be read, downloaded, and adapted for free with few or no restrictions.

The Let’s Read! initiative draws on The Asia Foundation’s in-country capabilities, local partnerships, and technological expertise to empower communities to create, translate, and share high-quality, richly illustrated children’s books across Asia. Since 1954, The Asia Foundation’s Books for Asia program has donated print books to thousands of under-resourced educational institutions in 21 Asian countries. While print remains the most effective means of delivering information in many parts of the developing world, mobile technology’s increasing affordability suggests e-books hold the promise of becoming a cost-effective, scalable model.

Read more information about the Let’s Read! initiative.

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Related locations: Cambodia
Related programs: Books for Asia
Related topics: Let's Read! Asia

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