The A-B-C's of Khmer

Practicing Khmer

Andrew and I have taken the plunge of learning the Khmer alphabet. We have been in Cambodia long enough now that the script doesn't look entirely foreign, and, honestly, I think it will make learning more of the language easier.

We had trouble finding a teacher until last month. Poipet isn't exactly swarming with fluent English speakers eager to teach Khmer. But fortunately we have a young Christian guy teaching us twice a week. The script is completely foreign - there are no English-looking letters at all. And there are way more letters than in the English alphabet - more than 27 vowels alone! 

But it's been a great way to connect with people as well. Andrew practiced saying the alphabet with the taxi driver on Tuesday, and our landlord's grandson is also attending first grade. So now we practice the alphabet together.

Obviously, it's still a bit difficult learning all those letters and remembering the sounds that go with them - especially when some of the sounds are almost identical, and some letters are the same except for one or two flicks of the pen. Pray for us that the language will stick in our minds! I have never learned a foreign script before - Andrew, at least, has studied Japanese - so this is another new experience for me.