It all started in India thousands of years ago and eventually found its way to Cambodia. This is based on the evidence that can be found on the writings on the walls of the Angkor Wat Complex. Since it was first known up till now, the Khmer language has evolved into a more complex language. This language, that was originally Hindi, is a root language not just for Khmer but other languages as well. This includes the Burmese, Laotian and Thai languages. The Khmer language is primarily spoken in Cambodia.
The writing system of the Khmer language has changed over time. It has become more difficult and complex to read. The Khmer alphabet has a lot of similarities to the Hindi alphabet, to the extent that several letters sound the same. The writing system that is used in all the countries that the language is spoken in are very similar, including the numerals. Khmer is normally written from top to bottom and from left to right with little punctuation and no spaces in between words. Spaces indicate the end of a sentence or clause. There are 3 styles of writings that are used, depending on which medium the writing will be published on. Books, newspapers and magazines use the block form. A rounded style is used when writing formal invitations and official documents. Script style is used for handwritten materials. The Khmer alphabet has 33 consonants and 23 vowels. There are many other consonants and vowels which have not been included in the alphabet, though no one can tell exactly how many. This makes pronunciation of words in the language to be quite challenging. Many words tend to have more than one accepted way of spelling them.
Khmer is a non tonal language, with no dialects. Based on the 2006 census, 12,300,000 people spoke Khmer in Cambodia. The language is also spoken in other areas. This includes in Canada, USA, France, Vietnam, China and Laos. Khmer is also known as Cambodian. It is an Austro-Asiatic language. 35% of the over 15 year old population can speak the language but they cannot read or write in it.