It all started in India....
thousands of years ago. And came to Cambodia at least 1,300 years ago. We know this from examining the writings on the temples of the Angkor Wat complex. Also, the sounds of the current Khmer alphabet are very similar to the modern day Hindi alphabet, the writing is similar, and several words sound similar.
Since those times, the writing has been made much more complex (and difficult to read) by adding letters, vowels, sub-vowels, and extra swirls and lines to the the letters.
This original Hindi language is one of the root languages, not only of Khmer (Cambodian Language), but also of Thai, Laos, and Burma. While the written system of the language has many similarities throughout all these countries, the numbers are all written the same or very similar.
Khmer is written from left to right, top to bottom, withnospacesbetweenthewords and with very little punctuation There are 3 styles of writing: the standard textbook style which is used in handwriting, a block form based on the standard style used in magazines and newspapers, and a rounded style used on signs, titles of books and magazines, and in places on official documents and formal invitations.
The Khmer alphabet is considered to have 33 consonants and 23 vowels. There are many more consonants and vowels not included in the standard alphabet.
The spoken language has no particular tone, as the Thai and Vietnamese languages do. There are no regional dialects, but people from the countryside do speak a little differently from the people in the cities.
And now..... on to some Khmer words and phrases.