Cambodian language

Cambodia is a homogeneous country with more than 90% of the population being Khmer and speaking Khmer, the official language. French and English are used by many Cambodians as second languages and are generally the languages to be learned in schools and universities.

Khmer (ភាសាខ្មែរ / Pronounced: Muscles), also known as Mien (Man), is the language of the Khmer, a South Asian language influenced by Sanskrit and Pali. Due to its geographical proximity, Khmer language is impacted by other languages in the region such as Thai, Lao, Vietnamese, and Cham and vice versa.

This is a language that dates back to BC before the Khmer-Mon people had relations with the Indians. Besides the language and culture of the Cambodians also used the language borrowed from India, therefore, is largely influenced by Indian culture. The process of forming a special written Khmer language, during the French colonial period, forced the countries on the Indochinese peninsula to use Latin, but the Khmer people, especially monks, had sacrificed and struggled to keep Khmer culture to this day.

Khmer language has four dialects that can be understood by each other:
• The language is spoken in Phnom Penh (considered the standard language),
• Northern Khmer, also known as Khmer Surin, is spoken by the Khmer in northeastern Thailand
• Cardamom Khmer, an ancient speech of a small population in the Cardamom Mountains of western Cambodia [3].
• Khmer Krom, in southern Vietnam

The alphabet includes:
• Consonants: 33 letters and 32 feet, divided into 2 voices O and Ô;
• Normal vowels: are vowels that must be assembled with consonants to make sense. Consists of 24 letters, but when pronounced, each letter has 2 different sounding voices.
• Independent vowel: is a vowel that does not need to rhyme with any consonant that also has meaning (because it has meaning) consisting of 13 characters;
• Khmer is primarily an analytic, isolated language. There are no modifiers, conjugations, or grammatical suffixes. Instead, particles and adjectives are used to define grammatical relationships. The word structure is generally subject-verb-object. The word classifier appears after the noun count, though not always present as in Chinese. In spoken language, common topic-commentary structures and social relationships among conversation participants determine word usages, such as pronouns and honorifics.

Khmer language differs from neighboring languages such as Thai, Burmese, Lao, and Vietnamese as it is not a tonal language. This language is written in Khmer from at least the seventh century, this is an abugida derived from the word Brāhmī, through the South Indian word Pallava. The Khmer script was formed and used over the centuries. About 79% of Cambodians can read Khmer.

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