Saveros Pou (in Khmer, , transliterated Bau S?varas), also known around 1970 under the name Saveros Lewitz, is a French linguist of Cambodian origin. A retired research director of the CNRS in Paris, a specialist of the Khmer language and civilization, she carried out extensive work of Khmer epigraphy, started as a young researcher with her teacher George Coedès.
Her work in the field of etymology, specifically applied to old Khmer (from the 6th to the 14th) was seminal, but her varied skills enabled her to tackle areas such as the very rich processes of derivation in Khmer, religion, codes of conduct ( CPAP '), zoology and botany, cooking, etc. This encyclopedic spirit is particularly evident in her Dictionnaire vieux khmer-français-anglais.
Born 24 August 1929 in Phnom Penh, Saveros Pou came to France for her graduate studies, carried out under the guidance of teachers such as François Martini, Au Chhieng, Jean Filliozat, Louis Renou and George Coedès, which enabled her to acquire very varied theoretical language skills and practices.
In 1965 she presented a postgraduate doctorate on Khmer toponymy, of which large extracts were included in 1967 in the Bulletin de l'École française d'Extrême-Orient. In 1978, she supported her State doctorate devoted to R?makerti, the Khmer version of the Ramayana.
She developed the transliteration system for the Khmer language used by George Coedès, which permits to see very easily borrowings from Sanskrit and Pali, and is complemented by some specific letters in Khmer (vowels ? ae, ? oe, ? ?e, ? ?oe, among others). Thus, the modern word for "dentist", pronounced toan'pèt', but transliterated dantabedy, is a complex formation from the Sanskrit words danta : "tooth" and vaidya : "physician" (verbal root VID "to know"; in Sanskrit, b and v are often used interchangeably and the vowel e like ai derives from i. This transliteration system is used inter alia at the INALCO.
Her detailed bibliography is to be found on the site of the AEFEK.
Her major publications include:
(under the name Saveros Lewitz)
(under the name Saveros Pou)