Did you know that Khmer is the official language of Cambodian people? Sanskrit and Pali helped create Khmer Khemara because Khmer borrowed a lot of words from the language. Also for the record, Khmer has most alphabets in the world; it is an old language that dates back to 2,000 years ago.
Do you want to learn Khmer language? Khmer is not an easy language to learn for most people. But, one of the best travel and living experiences in Cambodia is the ability to talk to Cambodian people in Khmer. With determination, foreigners and expats can learn and speak Khmer fluently.
Five tips to learn Khmer language
Immerse yourself in the language:
The best way to learn any language is to immerse yourself in it. Try to find ways to surround yourself with Khmer language and culture, such as watching Cambodian movies or TV shows, listening to Khmer music, or speaking with native speakers.
Use flashcards and other memorization techniques:
Flashcards can be a useful tool for memorizing new words and phrases in Khmer. You can use them to memorize vocabulary, grammar, and other language concepts.
The more you practice speaking Khmer, the more comfortable you’ll become with the language. Find a language partner or tutor, or practice speaking on your own. Try to speak as much as possible, even if you make mistakes.
Take a class or find a tutor:
A class or tutor can provide structured lessons and feedback to help you learn Khmer more quickly. Look for classes or tutors that use a communicative approach, where the focus is on speaking and listening, rather than just grammar drills.
Be patient and persistent:
Learning a new language can be challenging and it can take time to become proficient. Be patient and persistent with your studies, and try to find ways to make learning Khmer fun and enjoyable. Remember that making mistakes is a natural part of the language-learning process and it’s how you learn from them.
Additionally, It would be helpful to have a good app or website where you can find exercises or quizzes, or a guide on how to write the Khmer script which is a feature in the language.
Practice listening to Cambodian radio or podcasts, and reading Cambodian news articles or literature. It’s also helpful to keep in mind that learning a language takes time, effort and consistency in order to be successful.
A List of Must-Read Books about Cambodia
If you’re looking for Khmer classes or how to learn the Cambodian language (even as a beginner), this page will give you all the information you need.
Learn Khmer language for beginners
Learn Khmer Language: Books
- Khmer Picture Book: Khmer Pictorial Dictionary (Color and Learn)
- Cambodian for Beginners
- Colloquial Cambodian (Routledge Colloquials (Audio)) 1st Edition
Khmer Language Class for Foreigners in Cambodia
There is a Khmer language program for foreign nationals and expats at the Institute of Foreign Languages (IFL), Royal University of Phnom Penh (RUPP), in Cambodia. But what if you don’t have time for that language program? You can take on an easier path.
G2K: a Khmer language school in the heart of Phnom Penh
G2K school teaches foreigners language and culture from beginner to advanced level.
Learn Khmer Language with Mobile App or Online
In our smartphone age, learning a new language like Khmer is getting easier. Of course, you need to work hard and be very committed. Australia-based Lyrebird Learning, which specializes in offering language learning app for users of all ages, has an Android version to help anyone to learn Khmer characters, from consonants to vowels to diacritics to numerals. In this blog post, I take a closer look into 2 apps for Khmer language learners: one is available only on Play Store and the other is on App Store: Lyrebird Learn Khmer Alphabet and Let’s Speak Khmer.
Let’s Speak Khmer
For Apple’s iOS users, you can also check out: Let’s Speak Khmer, which is available for free on App Store here. This iPhone app has a huge collection of frequently used phrases in the Khmer language with nearly 1000 phrases. There are pictures to illustrate some unique stuff like Cambodian s and fruits. Let’s Speak Khmer iOS app was developed by Cambodian technology entrepreneur Chamroeun Ou.
Learn Khmer 101
This website provides a basic learning materials. You can get access to the audio files for free. Check it out: http://learn101.org/khmer.php.
Khmer Language Study
Managed by Dr. Chhany Sak-Humphry, Associate Professor of Khmer Coordinator of Khmer Language Program at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. Visit her website for more.
Free Cambodian Lessons Online
If you want to read the Cambodian e-books, listen to the Cambodian audios and practice your Cambodian pronunciation, I recommend that you check out Live Lingua project for online Khmer language courses.
Learn Khmer Naturally
Great resources for learning Khmer with a focus on comprehensible input and natural approaches to language acquisition. Check out the Learn Khmer Naturally blog here.
Good to Know
The word “Sanskrit” means flexible, flexible, adaptable, combining vowels by spelling with another consonant or in combination with any letter.
Literature or alphabet can also be called “class” divided into three groups:
- Literally 33 characters
- Full cast of vowels 12 chars
- The eclipse is 21, but it has to add 7 to 28 in the voice.
- But if only twenty-one is made up of vowels, the vowels are in all literal terms, both literally.
Not surprisingly, Khmer language influences Thai and Lao. The two languages borrowed a lot of words from the Khmer language, which the Europeans assumed to be in the same language. Thai and Lao are Thai-language group, Khmer is a Khmer-language group in the Australian language group with the Mon and Vietnamese-language languages that are related to Sanskrit. An evidence of the use of Khmer characters is in the South Vietnamese vulture inscription, which dates back to 611 AD.
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