Khmer language facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Pronunciation pʰiːəsaː kʰmaːe
Native to Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, USA, France, Australia
Ethnicity Khmer
Native speakers 16 million  (2007)
1 million L2 speakers
Language family
  • Khmer
Phnom Penh
Northern Khmer (Khmer Surin)
Khmer Krom (Southern Khmer)
Cardamom Khmer
Writing system Khmer script (abugida)
Official status
Official language in  Cambodia
Wikipedia Khmae.PNG
This article contains Khmer text. Without the correct software, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Khmer script.

Khmer is the official language of Kampuchea/Cambodia. Its script was the base for the Thai script, although Thai does not use subscript consonants. One thing that makes it particularly difficult for many foreigners to learn is that Khmer words are not separated in a sentence and the sounds are quite hard for foreigners to replicate. But still each word in the sentence can be distinguished. Also, there is not much material on Khmer, although this situation is changing.


The Khmer script is based on an ancient Indian alphabet. It is written from left to right. There are 35 consonants, some of which are written under other consonants. Vowels are combined with the consonants.


The language has a subject-verb-object order. Pronouns change based on who you are speaking to.



"I don't want it"


"Do you want to go to Siem Reap?"

Images for kids

Khmer language Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.