Cambodian Language

Welcome to the Khmer Language wikibook!
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  • The Cambodian or Khmer language (in Cambodian, ភាសាខ្មែរ /pʰāsākʰmær/) is one of the main Austro-Asian languages. Sanskrit and Pali have considerable influence on the language through Buddhism and Hinduism. As a result of its geographical proximity, the Cambodian in turn influenced Thai and Lao, and vice versa.
  • The Cambodian, also known as Khmer, is the official language of the Kingdom of Cambodia and almost all Cambodians speak it. Khmer is also understood by people in many bordering countries such as Thailand (in the eastern provinces of Buriram, Surin and Srisket in northern Thailand), in the Mekong Delta region in South Vietnam and in southern Laos.
  • The Cambodian is the main modern representative of the Mon-Khmer language family, which includes hundreds of related dialects dispersed throughout most of Southeast Asia. As for foreign influences in the language, the Khmer language has borrowed many words from Sankrit. With the advent of Theravada Buddhism in the early fifteenth century, Khmer began to borrow Pali's words, and continue to use Pali as an important source of neologisms today (Huffman 1970). During the period of French domination, many French words were borrowed from the language and have become part of the colloquial language, as well as in medical and technical terms. There are also a handful of loans in Chinese and Vietnamese in colloquial form.
  • Unlike Thai, Vietnamese and Lao, Khmer is not tonal and has a high percentage of disyllabic words that are derived from monosyllabic bases by prefixing and infixing.

Table Of Contents

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  1. Writing System
  2. Grammar
  3. Conversation
  4. Vocabulary
  5. Reading