About Khmer Language

Khmer, also known as Cambodian, is the official language of the Kingdom of Cambodia which is spoken by nearly 15 millions people. Khmer is also spoken by millions of inhabitants who are living in the land of former Khmer empire, which are in the current Northeastern Thailand, Southern Laos and the Mekong Delta region of South Vietnam (former Khmer Kampuchea Krom). The language is also spoken by millions of Khmer migrants who are residing in Australia, New Zealand, the USA, Canada, France etc.

Khmer is a language in the Mon-Khmer language family. Unlike Thai, Lao and Vietnamese, Khmer is non-tonal language. Through the influence of Brahmanism and Buddhism on Khmer culture, Khmer language has borrowed many words from Sanskrit and Pali, which are the foundation of the modern neologism. During the French colonization, many French words were used into Khmer language and then have become the both the spoken and written languages especially, the medical, technical and legal terms.

After 1993, since English has become the second language in Cambodia. Khmer has borrowed many English words especially the commercial and technical terms.


There are 33 consonants in Khmer and each consonant has its own sub-script