#1 Easy Guide To Khmer Pronunciation

Are you confused about how to pronounce a particular word or expression? When it comes to learning a new language, having the ability to say the right things can take you far. In this post, we focused on Khmer pronunciation so that you can impress the locals right away! If that floats your boat, then let’s go right into it.


Is Pronunciation Important?

Maybe the most challenging part of learning a new language is pronunciation. There is no denying that there can be huge differences (especially if you are learning an Asian language for the first time!) between one’s native language and foreign-language when it comes to pronunciation and spelling. But do you need to have perfect pronunciation? Here’s the truth: You do not have to!

Nobody expects you to speak like native speakers! It is almost impossible to have a native-like accent unless you are not bilingual. However, this does not mean that you shouldn’t try and practice. In fact, you should learn the basics of pronouncing words correctly and speaking clearly, so that people can understand you with ease. Try to pronounce a few words or single sounds every day to get used to the correct pronunciation. Correct Khmer pronunciation saves you time and effort when you have a conversation with Khmer people.


Cambodian Dialects

Visiting Cambodia could be a fantastic experience for anyone because it has so many natural wonders to see. Colorful and vivid sceneries are in every corner you turn. Cambodians own unique culture and tradition since it is a land of different societies with various cultural backgrounds. Embracing and conserving their cultural items is not easy in this century, but Cambodia manages to do it.

The Cambodian, also known as the Khmer language, differs from region to region in terms of pronunciation. However, the Phnom Penh dialect is the most commonly used in Cambodia. If you learn the Khmer language, it would be better to get accustomed to this specific dialect. Pronunciation improves better if you have an opportunity to chat with native speakers or visit a country whose official language is your target language. If none of them is suitable for you, then you can benefit from the internet to watch TV programs in your target language.


Dialects Of Khmer Language

  • Standard Khmer: Standard Khmer is used in central Cambodia and used as the formal and instruction language in schools of Cambodia.
  • Phnom Penh Khmer: Phnom Penh Khmer is spoken in Phnom Penh, which is the capital city of Cambodia, and nearby areas.
  • Northern Khmer: Northern Khmer is spoken in the north of Thailand.
  • Southern Khmer: Southern Khmer is spoken in southwest Vietnam.
  • Western Khmer: Western Khmer is spoken in the west of Cambodia and east of Thailand.
  • Khmer Khe: Khmer Khe is spoken in Stung Treng Province in northern Cambodia.


Is It Cambodian Or Khmer?

There is a distinction between Khmer and Cambodian. Khmer is the ethnicity of people, so it is a race. On the other hand, Cambodian is the nationality of people living in Cambodia. But in terms of language, both are true. You can either say Cambodian or Khmer language.

Khmer Pronunciation


Khmer Pronunciation Tips

The Khmer language is considered complex in terms of pronunciation and writing. The reason behind this could be the writing system in which there are three types of consonants and two types of vowels plus diacritics. The pronunciation of vowels changes depending on the consonant (first or second series) they are attached to. Those features make Khmer pronunciation a little knotty, but as we always say, practice makes perfect!


How Is Khmer Pronounced?

Here is the Khmer Alphabet, and their Phnom Penh pronunciation is given with their English counterparts. We added some English words to guide you on how these specific Khmer sounds are pronounced.

Khmer AlphabetPhnom Penh PronunciationEnglish Counterpart
as in cat
khâas in Khmer
as in cold
khôas in khota
ngôas in bang
châas in chat
chhâas in charm
chôas in chop
chhôas in chowder
nhôas in ganho
as in dark
thâas in that
as in door
thôas in though
as in night
as in task
thâas in that
as in torch
thôas in though
as in north
as in bath
phâas in fast
as in poll
phôas in food
as in moth
as in yolk
as in raw
as in lock
as in vault
shâas in sharp
ssôas in esso
as in sand
as in heart
as in loud
as in qawqaw
âas in hat
aas in cat
ĕas in pet
eias in bye
ŏas in top
ûas in put
ouas in tool
rœ̆as in road
as in rude
lœ̆as in low
as in loud
éas in me
aias in tie
as in how
âuas in vow


Do You Want To Learn Khmer?

Do you want to learn Khmer but have trouble finding a good resource? And let me guess, you don’t like textbooks, right? Then the Ling App by Simya Solutions is a perfect match for you!

Khmer Pronunciation

The Ling App is an educational language learning platform that includes lessons for more than 60+ foreign languages. It teaches grammar rules, vocabulary and strives to improve core skills such as writing, speaking, and listening. This app is also learner-friendly in terms of design and content. So, what are you waiting for? You can get it from the App Store and Play Store for free now!

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