Cambodian/Khmer Resources

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Cambodian/Khmer Resources

Postby Speakeasy » Sat Nov 25, 2017 10:54 pm

Cambodian/Khmer Resources
Very recently, a question was asked on the How-to-Learn-Any-Language (HTLAL) forum as to the availability of Assimil Khmer in English. I checked the website and confirmed that it is presently available in French only. Having conducted a quick search of both the HTLAL and this language forum, I noticed that there is precious little information available on this language. So then, I have opened this discussion thread with a view to creating a list of resources for Cambodian/Khmer. This is what I have so far:

Khmer (Cambodian) Language – Wikipedia

FSI Cambodian/Khmer
The “FSI Basic Cambodian”, published in 1966, and “FSI Cambodian Contemporary”, published in 1972, courses are available on the website. It is interesting to note that editions of the FSI Basic Cambodian course were published by Multilingual Books, Audio-Forum, and Master Language, copies of which are still available on the large online booksellers’ websites. There are a few offers for very low-priced Cambodian/Khmer courses on eBay; however, these courses appear to be copies of the FSI courses.

DLI Cambodian/Khmer
There is evidence of a “DLI Basic Cambodian” course on the U.S. Government's ERIC website. The PDFs are pending restoration and are not presently accessible. Anyone wishing to access them would have to submit a request to ERIC. I have not been able to locate copies of this course or of the associated audio recordings on any other websites. The DLI GLOSS website does not presently contain any materials for this language.

DLI Khmer Survival Kits
The DLIFLC website provides free access to "Survival Kits" covering a wide range of languages, including that of Khmer:
You can also purchase a Kindel version:

Peace-Corps Cambodian/Khmer (none)
I have not been able to locate any Peace-Corps courses for learning the Cambodian/Khmer language.

Assimil Le Khmer
Published in 2013, "Assimil Le Khmer" is presently available from a French-language-base only. Generally speaking, the Customer Reviews on are quite positive. It is nevertheless interesting to note that one reviewer chose to assign “1 star” to this course and expressed the opinion that this course does not correctly treat the differences of sounds (vowels, consonants). Then again, the other Custom Reviews were almost unreservedly very positive.

Cambodian for Beginners, 2nd edition – Richard Gilbert
The Customer Reviews on Amazon of "Cambodian for Beginners, 2nd edition", published in 2008, are generally positive. The 300-page course book and three (3) CDs seem to be sold separately.

Routledge Colloquial Cambodian
There appear to be two separate generations of Routledge's "Colloquial Cambodian." The first generation, authored by David Smyth, was published in 1995 and went through a couple of revisions. A second generation course, authored by Chhany Sak-Humphry, was published in 2015, for which the mp3 audio files are now freely available via Routledge's website. There are three very well-written customer reviews of the new version of this course on the website.

Teach Yourself Cambodian/Khmer (none)
I was surprised by the apparent lack of a Teach Yourself course for this language.

Cambodian Intensive Basic Course - William Patterson, Rath Chim, Robert Hedley (Dunwoody)
Published in 1988 by Dunwoody Press, the five course manuals of the "Cambodian Intensive Basic Course" include an impressive 2,175 pages of instructional materials! I came across a few offers for the course on Amazon, AbeBooks, and elsewhere. In July, 2008, there was a brief discussion of this course on the HTLAL.

Modern Spoken Cambodian - Franklin E. Huffman
The latest edition of the 480-page course manual "Modern Spoken Cambodian" was published in 1970 by Yale University Press as a reprint. The comments on Amazon clearly indicate that the audio-lingual method was used. I came across a reference on the Internet to Cornell University and a (most likely out-of-date) advice that the corresponding audio cassettes could be purchased from the Language Resource Center at Cornell University. In addition, I came across the freely-available mp3 files at Yale University.

Online Cambodian/Khmer courses
The usual; Duolingo, et cetera.
University of Hawaii, Online Khmer (Cambodian):

(1) Addition of "Modern Spoken Cambodian"
(2) Additional information concerning Dunwoody's "Cambodian Intensive Basic Course"
(3) Typos, tinkering.
(4) Addition of "DLI Khmer Survival Kits"

Perhaps others would like to comment?
Last edited by Speakeasy on Tue Dec 12, 2017 2:40 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: Cambodian/Khmer Resources

Postby Axon » Sun Nov 26, 2017 11:53 am

I've never tried learning Khmer, but I know that Bakunin has a website with quite a few Khmer recordings and their transcripts. (As well as Thai and Isaan recordings and their illustrations, for anyone searching these terms.)
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