The Khmer script is an abugida (alphasyllabary) script used to write the Khmer language (the official language of Cambodia). It is also used to write Pali in the Buddhist liturgy of Cambodia and Thailand.

Language Facts

  • Informally known as Cambodian
  • Circa 16 million native speakers
  • Belongs to the Austroasiatic language family
    • Only three languages in this family are now considered official national languages: Khmer, Vietnamese and Mon
  • Has been influenced a lot by Sanskrit and Pali
  • The colloquial language has been influenced by Thai, Lao, Vietnamese, and Cham
  • Is an analytic language
  • There are no inflections or conjugations
  • Uses the subject-verb-object order
  • Is not a tonal language
  • Words are stressed on the final syllable

Script facts

For more see Khmer Script
  • Type: Abugida
    • An abugida is a writing system in which consonant-vowel sequences are written as a unit and vowel notation is secondary
  • Direction: Left-to-right
  • Age: circa 611 - present
  • 35 consonant characters (although 2 are obsolete)
  • Each consonant can belong to one of two series, the a-series or o-series
  • Approximately 79% of Cambodians are able to read Khmer
Last modified 3yr ago