Khmer is a language that mostly used in the country of Cambodia. Cambodia, with its full name The Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in Southeast Asia. Bordered by Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, it is a country with a total landmass of 181,035 square kilometers.
Khmer is used as the official language, together with English, in Cambodia. There are about 12.6 million people who speak Khmer in Cambodia. While, across Cambodia, there are nearly one million Khmer-speaking natives in the southern Vietnam and 1.4 million people in northeast Thailand speak dialects of Khmer. Khmer is primarily an isolating language. It has big difference with other languages all over the world, even those neighboring languages such as Thai, Lao and Vietnamese. And it has a long history being dated before 600 CE.
Most Khmer-speakers are Cambodian. As I used to work in that country for years, I have personal experiences in communicating and getting along with Cambodians. The most words I’d like to use on them are: honest, simple, and kind-hearted. Though we all belong to Asians, we are seemingly different. The biggest different is the skin color. Maybe due to full-year round hot days, most of them are seemed a little blacker than other Asians (such as, Chinese, Koreas, Japanese). But, in heart, we are easily getting along with each other. So, most of foreigners as us nearly do not feel we were living in a foreign country, except we have to speak English as the communicating tool.
But, practically, Khmer is a very difficult language to learn, which I confirmed through talking with some Khmer translators. It is not only different with Western language letters (e.g. Latin letters), but also different with the Eastern language characters (e.g. Chinese strokes). Besides, its pronunciation is unique. Many Chinese-Cambodians with years of living experiences there can only say daily- used Khmer words, but cannot write and read.
While, interestingly, many Cambodians, especially those who once studied in a school, have great linguistic competences. Everyone of them can speak two or more kinds of language. And I have heard that schools and universities there attach great importance on language study. Besides, there are many foreigners living or working with them together, especially, for those business companies.
As far as I concerned, Khmer and the people who speak it have got many mysterious and interesting things there. The more I know about them, the greater interests I got, just like, those very very blue skies, simple and honest people, magnificent architectures, and the attracting primitive foresters, and so on, even the one I haven’t motioned, the world famous-Angkor Wat.Tags: Cambodian, Khmer language