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Home | Cambodia | Language in Cambodia
Language in Cambodia

The official language of Cambodia is Cambodian, or Khmer. This language belongs to Mon-Khmer or Austro-Asiatic language family of language. The language of Cambodia is not as easy to pick up as other languages might be and westerners might find it a little difficult to follow.

The Mon-Khmer languages are the autochthonous language family of Indo-China. Together with the Munda languages of India, they are one of the two traditional primary branches of the Austro-Asiatic language family. The Eastern Mon Khmer languages include languages like:-

  -   Khmer in Cambodia, southern Vietnam, and northeastern Thailand
  -   Pearic in southern Cambodia
  -   Bahnaric in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos
  -   Katuic in central Laos
  -   Vietic in Vietnam

Another important spoken language in Cambodia is French. Your Cambodia Overview will make clear that French has been and still is to some extent the lingua franca of Indochina. The language is still by spoken by some, mostly older Cambodians as a second language. The French language is also the means of instruction in various schools and universities. There are many such educational institutions that are funded by the government of France.

Cambodian French is virtually another language of Cambodia. This dialect is a reflection of the country's colonial past and is still frequently used in the government.

Another Cambodia Language that is slowly finding prevalence is English. Many younger Cambodians and those in the business class speak the language these days. Thus the prevalence of English as a language of Cambodia should not pose too big a problem for tourists in Cambodia.

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