Do you speak Khmer?
We are going to ask the title question again: Do you speak Khmer? Well, if you are traveling to the beautiful and exotic Cambodia in the near future, you might need to think of taking it up, if just on a conversational level!
You might not have heard much about Cambodian, but I bet Sanskrit sounds familiar. Actually, Khmer language – or Cambodian – has been vastly influenced by Pali and the Sanskrit language, through Hinduism and Buddhism. After Vietnamese – which has similar roots – Khmer is the second most spoken of the Austroasiatic languages.
It is influenced and has influenced Chinese, Thai, Cham and Lao because of the geographical proximity and the cultural contacts between the nations that speak these languages. It is an analytic language, devoid of conjunctions or inflections, particles or auxiliaries. It is a bit different from other Asian languages in the sense that it is not tonal. The script is Indian-like, as it descends from the Brahmi script.
To a Westerner, for instance, it can be a bit hard to learn, but with a good teacher, learning Khmer will seem like a piece of cake. Actually, there are interactive online courses that are offered via Skype, with free additional articles providing useful information that will aid you in your language acquisition process.
After that, you can plan your trip to the wonderful Cambodia, a place of unparalleled exotic beauty and fascinating paradoxes. We suggest testing your Cambodian language skills in Phnom Penh, the capital city of Cambodia. There, you will find, among other interesting facts, that there are 1.5 million people, smiling and welcoming as they are famed to be, and 1.3 million mopeds. Motorcycles, bikes and the sort prowl the city.
We’ll let you unravel the other mysteries of Cambodia, but now it’s time for your Khmer lesson!