Khmer is a Mon-Khmer language spoken mainly in Cambodia, and also in Vietnam and Thailand. In 2015 there were about 16 million Khmer speakers in Cambodia, and there were about 1.2 million speakers of the language in Vietnam in 2009. In Thailand a variety of Khmer known as Northern Khmer is spoken by 1.4 million people. This is considered a separate language by some people.
Khmer shares many features and much vocabulary with Thai as a result of centuries of two-way borrowing. There are also borrowings from Sanskrit, Pali, French and Chinese in Khmer.
Khmer is also known as Cambodian. The official name of Cambodia is the Kingdom of Cambodia (ព្រះរាជាណាចក្រកម្ពុជា [Preah Reachanachâk Kampuchea]). In the past it has been known as the Khmer Republic (1970-1975), Democratic Kapuchea (1975-1979), the People's Republic of Kampuchea (1979-1989) and the State of Cambodia (1989-1993). The name Kampuchea comes from the Sanskrit कम्बोजदेश [Kambujadeśa] - "land of Kambuja") [source]. The name Cambodia is an English version of the French Cambodge, which is a version of Kampuchea [source].
Varieties of Khmer include:
The Khmer alphabet is descended from the Brahmi script of ancient India by way of the Pallava script, which was used in southern India and South East Asia during the 5th and 6th Centuries AD. The oldest dated inscription in Khmer, found at Angkor Borei in Takev Province south of Phnom Penh, dates from 611 AD.
There are a number of ways to Romanize Khmer. The transliteration used here is the United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names (UNGEGN) system, a group of experts that deals with the national and international standardization of geographical names.
mnoussa teangoasa kaetamk mean seripheap ning pheap smae knea knong setthi ning sechakdeithlaithnaur. mnoussa krobroub sotthote mean vichearonanhnhean ning satesambochonhnh haey trauv br pru td champoh knea towvinhtowmk knong smartei reaban knea chea bangobaaun.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They
are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another
in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)
Information about the Khmer language
Online Khmer news and radio
Information about Khmer Unicode
Khmer character picker
If you need to type in many different languages, the Q International Keyboard can help. It enables you to type almost any language that uses the Latin, Cyrillic or Greek alphabets, and is free.
Note: all links on this site to Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.fr are affiliate links. This means I earn a commission if you click on any of them and buy something. So by clicking on these links you can help to support this site.