Khmer Languages

The Cambodian language is Khmer, which is usually inherited itself – and advanced in education with the application of Indic languages Pali and Sangkrit from India.

Also, the Khmer language is influenced by spoken and written Thai. Some technical languages are borrowed from French. However, English is commonly communicated in hotels and business compounds at the present day.

English and French are popular second languages and Chinese are the third.

With approximately 16 million speakers, it is the second most widely spoken Austroasiatic language (after Vietnamese). Khmer has been influenced considerably by Sanskrit and Pali, especially in the royal and religious registers, through Hinduism and Buddhism. The more colloquial registers have influenced, and have been influenced by, Thai, Lao, Vietnamese, and Cham, all of which, due to geographical proximity and long-term cultural contact, form a sprachbund in peninsular Southeast Asia. It is also the earliest recorded and earliest written language of the Mon-Khmer family, predating Mon and by a significant margin Vietnamese, due to Aged Khmer being the language of the historical empires of Chenla, Angkor and, presumably, their earlier predecessor state, Funan.

The vast majority of Khmer speakers speak Central Khmer, the dialect of the central plain where the Khmer are most heavily concentrated. Within Cambodia, regional accents exist in remote areas but these are regarded as varieties of Central Khmer. Two exceptions are the speech of the capital, Phnom Penh, and that of the Khmer Khe in Stung Treng province, both of which differ sufficiently enough from Central Khmer to be considered separate dialects of Khmer. Outside of Cambodia, three unique dialects are spoken by ethnic Khmers native to areas that were historically section of the Khmer Empire. The Northern Khmer dialect is usually spoken by over a million Khmers in the southern regions of Northeast Thailand and is usually treated by some linguists as a separate language. Khmer Krom, or Southern Khmer, is the first language of the Khmer of Vietnam while the Khmer living in the remote Cardamom mountains speak a very conservative dialect that still displays features of the Middle Khmer language.

Khmer is primarily an analytic, isolating language. There are no inflections, conjugations or case endings. Instead, particles and auxiliary words are accustomed to indicate grammatical associations. General word purchase is subject-verb-object, and modifiers stick to the term they modify. Classifiers show up after numbers when utilized to count nouns, though not necessarily so regularly as in languages like Chinese. In spoken Khmer, topic-comment framework can be common and the perceived interpersonal relationships between individuals determine which pieces of vocabulary, such as for example pronouns and honorifics, are correct.

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Khmer differs from neighboring languages such as for example Thai, Burmese, Lao and Vietnamese for the reason that it isn’t a tonal language. Phrases are stressed on the ultimate syllable, hence many phrases conform to the normal Mon-Khmer design of a stressed syllable preceded by a syllable. The vocabulary has been created in the Khmer script, an abugida descended from the Brahmi script via the southern Indian Pallava script, since at least the 7th hundred years. The script’s form and make use of has advanced over the centuries; its contemporary features include subscripted variations of consonants utilized to create clusters and a division of consonants into two series with different inherent vowels. Around 79% of Cambodians can easily read Khmer.