Khmer is definitely a language I'd love to learn! I've been looking for a place where I can learn any Khmer and can't believe there is no Khmer on Duolingo. I wish to learn how to say at least a few introductory phrases, but I've had no luck finding any possibility for that. It seems that there are many less-spoken languages such as Thai, Tagalog, Serbian, Slovak, etc. not available on this language app.
The reason for this probably lies in the opinion of the majority that there are not many people speaking Khmer language and not many people would like to learn it. Well, they are wrong!
Khmer is the language of Cambodia, a small country in the center of South East Asia and home to the former Khmer Empire. The language has 16 million speakers currently.
The other reason why there is no Khmer on Duolingo could be that it's hard to learn it. Based on the information I have so far, the Khmer alphabet is much more complicated to read and write, but not necessarily to speak. So, it would be better to help people working on an alphabet using a language learning app that will teach it better and help people not to lose hair over it as much as I did while finding resources to learn any Khmer.
I am glad you asked. There is one very obvious recommendation that can be made here, and that is the Ling Khmer app. Ling uses native Khmer speakers to help you learn Khmer just like it will sound in the country.
Through the gamification of learning, it also makes the whole process much more engaging. You can see yourself progress as you make your way through the different topics and tests that come along with it.
Then there is the chatbot feature that simulates conversations and makes for great practicing your Khmer language skills. For an introvert like me, it helps to build up my courage to eventually feel confident enough to use it when out and about.
While these mobile apps do share a common goal of making language learning fun and accessible, what sets Ling apart is the focus on practical vocabulary, sentences, and phrases that you will use in everyday speech.
This one is actually a part of the same family as Ling. Simply Learn Khmer is a phrasebook in app form, giving you all the benefits that come with that. You can listen to the words and phrases being spoken by native Khmer speakers, along with the Khmer and phonetic spellings of the words.
It makes for a great companion both when practicing and when you are in Khmer. It makes use of flashcards and the spaced repetition learning technique that is said to really improve language learning.
It may not be the top choice if you want a deep understanding of the language but helps you start with pronunciation and basic grammar like word order.
There are quite a few different apps and websites that work great with helping you to learn Khmer. Each one goes about its own way to replace the hole made by the lack of Khmer in Duolingo. Ultimately, it is a case of finding which option works best for your case.
Like we said before, it is good to make a language learning plan and mix things up if you are serious about learning Khmer. If you are just looking for a more casual experience to learn a few phrases before traveling, then apps might be the best option for you.