Rescribe: Cambodian Translation Notes

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Khmer is the official language of Cambodia and is sometimes referred to as "Cambodian." It is spoken by approximately 7 million people as a first language and by another million in Thailand as a second. Khmer is also spoken in countries where large Cambodian populations exist such as Vietnam, Laos, France, and the USA. The more learned vocabulary of Khmer has borrowed richly from Chinese, Thai, and Vietnamese as well as from Sanskrit, Pali, and French.

The rise of the Khmer Rouge regime brought a new interest in linguistic purity. The Khmer Rouge organized committees to obliterate all words that reflected social status or education, especially those loan words from the Indic languages known mostly to scholars and the aristocracy.

Khmer's closest linguistic relative is Vietnamese. The dominant dialect is called "Phenom Phen," after the name of Cambodia's capital.


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