The internet can be a great help to learn a language. Unfortunately, there are not many resources on the web for interactively learning the Khmer language. We have done extensive searching to provide you with some helpful tools to start learning Khmer, including one online interactive course. We have updated this page on April 5th 2011, as some of the links were outdated.
To start getting used to the sound of the Cambodian language, view video’s on YouTube, we have included two videos below, but there are more available.
Let’s learn Khmer (Part 1) by Kime0
“Hello, my name is …. “ by SadSushi
(You can also download this and other video’s from YouTube)
Another YouTube user posting video’s about the Cambodian language is Khmerschool.
Websites To Learn Khmer
Here are a few other websites to get you started learning Khmer:
Wiki Portal Khmer
This is a good start to learn some basic Cambodian words and phrases. Very useful for travellers to Cambodia who want to be able to greet in the correct way.
The American Foreign Service Institute (FSI) has a Khmer course online, including text books and audio files. This course was made in the 70s, and the pdf files are copies of typewriter written text books. The audio files are useful to get the right pronunciation of Khmer words and phrases.
Rean Khmer (Learn Khmer)
This is probably the best online learning tool. Rean Khmer is an easy, interactive, and powerful teaching tool. Try the example lesson and quiz and see how easily you can learn Khmer words and phrases, not only pronouncing them right, but you’ll improve your reading and writing skills as well. It’s not free, but at $19.99 for a 6 month subscription, it’s a real bargain.
Studio Martin Khmer Lessons
A web design studio in Savannah, Georgia offers free online Khmer lessons, including audio files. The first lesson you can see and download rightaway, for the next lessons you have to register at the website, which by the way is free. Very nicely done and a good introduction to speaking Khmer.
The Khmer writing system, including consonants, vowels, and numerals. Texts and materials for practicing reading in Khmer on three different levels: beginning, intermediate, and advanced. Various lessons for listening and speaking skills.
I Speak Khmer
A community resource builder where learners of all skill levels can interact, share, and empower each other. Unfortunately, it seems to be no longer actively maintained or updated.
Including English-Khmer dictionary. Unfortunately, the downloadable files only work for older tablet pc’s or smartphones and the audio files online don’t seem to work.
(includes sound files)
Though English is fast becoming the second language in Cambodia specially of younger Khmers, it is still great if you know a little of Khmer. It’s a great help in learning and gaining more understanding of Cambodian culture. And…, it goes a long way when you are bargaining in the markets!
The Khmer language has 33 consonants, 23 vowels, and 12 independant vowels. The placement of the vowels in written Khmer can be confusing at first; vowels may follow or precede the consonants, or they may go above or below, or some combination of before, after, above, or below.