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Speakers 15.7 to 21.6 million (2004)
Countries Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand
Status official
Unicode ????
Direction ????
Alphabet Khmer
ISO 639-1: km
ISO 639-2: khm
ISO/FDIS 639-3: khm

Khmer is the language and alphabet of the Khmer people of Cambodia.

Khmer OS, a project of Khmer Software Initiative, is working on a Khmer Linux distribution.

Khmer for Cambodia had more than 10,000 XOs committed through G1G1, but no Pootle project as of 2008-2-24. I created a ticket for Khmer, following the instructions above, and Sayamindu expeditiously created the Khmer project on Pootle.


  • Khmer computer terminology
  • The Ethnologue entry for Khmer says that there are about 13 million speakers of Central Khmer, and lists several countries with large Cambodian immigrant populations. "Also spoken in Canada, China, France, Laos, USA, Viet Nam."
  • Ethnologue also gives a link to an English-Khmer medical dictionary.
  • Google finds about 277,000 hits on a search for khmer dictionary. There is even a Khmer computer dictionary.
  • The Cambodian Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport has a plan in development for computers in schools, centered on KhmerOS. The Web site is in Khmer, but unfortunately not in Unicode.
  • Although there is an OLPC Cambodia page, no Cambodians are active on it.
  • A search for Linux User Groups in Cambodia turns up Open Forum of Cambodia, "Building Cambodia through Information Technology", and the KhmerOS project to create a version of SUSE Linux localized into Cambodian. We can mine their localization for ours, and invite their people to work with us. And of course, whatever we contribute upstream in Khmer will be available to them, or we can contribute to KhmerOS directly.
  • A fact that the writer of this page knows, that will not turn up in the usual sources, is that [ Mandriva Linux is the leader in Linux localization. If you want to volunteer for localization or recruit localizers for particular software, contact Pablo Saratxaga at Mandriva.
  • The place to look for NGOs is Wiser Earth, which lists well over 100,000 NGOs worldwide for every purpose. A search on their site for "Cambodia" results in 548 hits, of which most have some education program. (2008-04-09)
  • A search on LinkedIn turns up more than 500 people with links to Cambodia, including a number of Cambodians. LinkedIn lets you post questions to your network, so we can ask for help with our Khmer project.
  • Most Cambodians are Theravada Buddhists, although evangelical Christians active in refugee and reconstruction work are making converts. The Buddhist scriptures in Pali language, Khmer script, and Unicode encoding are available on CD-ROM and online. There are Cambodian Buddhist organizations in the US, such as WattKhmer — San Jose [CA] Cambodian Buddist Society, Inc.
  • A cursory search did not turn up any Web sites for teachers based in Cambodia, but the Teachers Across Borders Cambodia Project has the information.
  • has a summary article on education in Cambodia.
Royal University of Fine Arts (reopened 1980), the Institute 
of Technology of Cambodia (1981, formerly the Higher Technical 
Institute of Khmer-Soviet Friendship), the Royal University 
of Agriculture (1984, formerly the Institute of Agricultural 
Engineering), the Royal University of Phnom Penh (1988-1996, 
now incorporating Faculties of Pedagogy, Law and Economic 
Sciences, Medicine, Pharmacy and Dentistry and Business) and 
the Vedic Maharashi Royal University in Prey Veng Province 
(1993). In 1995 the Royal School of Administration was 
re-established under the control of the Council of Ministers.

Cambodia still has a low participation rate in higher education, 
with just 1.2 per cent of the population enrolled, compared 
with an average of 20.7 per cent in all the ASEAN countries.
  • There are a million or so Cambodians outside Cambodia, mostly refugees from the Khmer Rouge regime. Southeast Asian Refugee Action Council says, "The largest communities of Cambodian refugees are located in Long Beach, California, and in Lowell, Massachusetts. Sizeable communities also exist in Washington and several other states." SEARAC also provides links to statistical data from other organizations and to a large number of NGOs.
  • The Khmer language is taught in a few universities and in government training institutions for military and diplomatic purposes. Center for Khmer Studies has several directories. (Use the site map for navigation. It is impossible to find many of their resources through the menus and links otherwise.)