Khmer is the official language of Cambodia and one of the major languages of Southeast Asia. It is spoken by eleven million people in Cambodia and nearly three million more outside Cambodia.
Khmer in Cambodia
It belongs to a family of languages widely distributed in southern Asia and is the idiom of one of the earliest of the great nation-states in the region. As such it is the vehicle of sophisticated forms of architecture, the plastic arts, music, dance, literature and statecraft which are transmitted to Cambodia’s neighbors and which are still admired today. The writing system it employs is a member of the Indic script family, which spread from India into Inner Asia and all of Southeast Asia except Vietnam. Khmer is a non-tonal but has vowel distinctions not found in English; its grammar is uncomplicated, with neither verb conjugations nor noun declensions, and is not unlike that of English.