Khmer (ភាសាខ្មែរ), or Cambodian, is the language of the Khmer people and the official language of Cambodia. It is the second most widely spoken Austroasiatic language (after Vietnamese), with speakers in the tens of millions. Khmer has been considerably influenced by Sanskrit and Pali, especially in the royal and religious registers, through the vehicles of Hinduism and Buddhism. It is also the earliest recorded and earliest written language of the Mon-Khmer family, predating Mon and by a significant margin Vietnamese. As a result of geographic proximity, the Khmer language has influenced, and also been influenced by; Thai, Lao, Vietnamese and Cham many of which all form a pseudo-sprachbund in peninsular Southeast Asia, since most contain high levels of Sanskrit and Pali influences.
Khmer has its own script, an abugida known in Khmer as Aksar Khmer. Khmer differs from neighboring languages such as Thai, Lao and Vietnamese in that it is not a tonal language.
The main dialects, all mutually intelligible, are:
Battambang, spoken in northern Cambodia.
Phnom Penh, the capital dialect and is also spoken in surrounding provinces.
Northern Khmer, also known as Khmer Surin, spoken by ethnic Khmer native to Northeast Thailand
Khmer Krom or Southern Khmer, spoken by the indigenous Khmer population of the Mekong Delta.
Cardamom Khmer, an archaic form spoken by a small population in the Cardamom Mountains of western Cambodia.
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