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Khmer (ភាសាខ្មែរ)

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 at a glance

  • Native name: ភាសាខ្មែរ (phiəsaa khma) [pʰiə.ˈsaː kʰmae]
  • Linguistic affliation: Austroasiatic, Mon-Khmer
  • Number of speakers: c. 18.6 million
  • Spoken in: Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand
  • First written: 9th century
  • Writing system: Khmer script
  • Status: official language in Cambodia. Recognised minority language in Vietnam and Thailand

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:

Khmer alphabet (អក្សរខ្មែរ)

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.

The Khmer alphabet closely resembles the Thai and Lao alphabets, which developed from it.

Notable features

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.

Khmer script

Khmer script

Sample text

Khmer Sample

Transliteration

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.

Translation

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)

Sample video in Khmer

See more videos like this on Wikitongues

Information about Khmer | Phrases | Tower of Babel | Learning materials

Links

Information about the Khmer language
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khmer_language
http://www.khmerlanguage.com
http://www.seasite.niu.edu/khmer/
http://www.wsslanguage.com
https://www.ethnologue.com/language/khm

Online Khmer lessons
http://www.pratyeka.org/csw/
http://polymath.org/khmer.php

Khmer phrases
http://www.bongthom.com/AKOnline/phrasespageek.asp?Chapter=6
http://www.studiomartin.us/learn-khmer-cambodian.cfm
http://www2.hawaii.edu/~hongly/trans-1xl.html
http://www.holiday-in-angkor-wat.com/cambodian-language.html
http://pheakdey2u.wordpress.com/2007/08/09/some-useful-khmer-words-phrases-for-foreigners/
http://www.ximplex.com/dictionary/english/common_phrases.aspx

Online Khmer dictionaries
http://www.angkor-planet.com/dico/dicoUKKH.html
http://www.bongthom.com/AKOnline/selectchapterek.asp
http://www.english-khmer.com
http://kheng.info

Online Khmer news and radio
http://www.rfa.org/khmer/

Free Khmer fonts
http://www.cambodia.org/fonts
http://www.wazu.jp/gallery/Fonts_Khmer.html
http://www.magma.ca/~sary/fonts.htm
http://scripts.sil.org/Mondulkiri
http://selapa.net/khmerfonts/

Information about Khmer Unicode
http://www.khmeros.info/khmeros_workingsoft.html

Khmer character picker
http://people.w3.org/rishida/scripts/pickers/khmer/

Khmeric languages

Khmer, Northern Khmer

Syllabic alphabets / abugidas


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