Khmer Recordings

Spoken Khmer for intermediate/advanced learners
Khmer is clearly an underserved language when it comes to study materials for intermediate and advanced learners. This project tries to contribute to more diversity. It is a sister project of Thai Recordings, but follows a less strict format. The basic idea remains the same: a set of short clips on specific topics, providing examples of story telling and talking about experiences. Often (but not always), there are several clips per topic; each recording comes with a transcript.

Currently on hold
I published these recordings as part of my own study of Khmer, but the project is currently on hold. I plan to take it up again, but there is no definitive timeline.

Khmer spelling is not entirely standardized, and often multiple spellings are found to be in use. Please refer to the following document for some notes on the conventions used in aakanee's transcripts (pdf/docx): In most transcripts, various uncertainties remain unresolved; there will also still be typos and errors. Please contact me if you find any.

Native speakers
I worked on this project with two speakers, Vuthy, a student from Siem Reap, and Sithy, a Khmer-English translator in Australia and also a social activist with an online business selling fair-trade handmade products from Cambodia. For a brief description, see the Native Speakers page.

Latest additions


Title, Speaker and Synopsis Audio Transcript
Khmer Greeting 1 - Sithy/F (2015) [6:52]
Sithy explains the Khmer greeting gesture, and that it is also used to say thank you, sorry or to welcome someone. There are 5 different levels, depending on relative status.
Primary School 1 - Sithy/F (2015) [3:51]
Sithy talks about her primary school which was located in the village, not far from her home. She started learning with her mother, who was a teacher at that school. She also remembers the breaks where she could eat or play with her friends.
Primary School 2 - Sithy/F (2015) [4:36]
Sithy started school in her mother's class, but in second grade she got a new teacher. She remembers how she once got hit with a stick because she played during the lesson.
Seasons 1 - Sithy/F (2015) [9:13]
Sithy talks about Cambodia's two seasons. She touches upon several aspects, including the importance of the rainy season for agriculture, dust development during the hot season, and the two important festivals Water Festival and Khmer New Year, both of which are related to Cambodia's climate.
Seasons 2 - Sithy/F (2015) [4:37]
Sithy remembers how she used to swim in the Mekong river during the hot season when she was a kid. As the water didn't flow fast and was clear during the hot season, it was safe. Her grandfather taught her to swim, and later she often went swimming with friends in the afternoon.
Seasons 3 - Sithy/F (2015) [4:51]
Sithy remembers the rainy season when she was a kid. It often rained in the evening, and her family had dinner together, watching and listening to the rain outside.
Seasons 4 - Vuthy/M (2015) [5:22]
Vuthy talks about the rainy season in Cambodia, touching, among other things, upon the importance for agriculture, flooding in the city, and dangers when driving in the rain.
Seasons 5 - Vuthy/M (2015) [5:27]
Vuthy talks about the rainy season in the countryside. He talks about agriculture, water storage and use, road conditions and other dangers. He also talks about the lack of rain this year.
Seasons 6 - Vuthy/M (2015) [4:11]
Vuthy talks about mosquitoes, malaria and Dengue fever.
Secondary School 1 - Sithy/F (2015) [3:53]
Sithy’s secondary school was further away than her primary school, so she had to go by bike. It was also a larger and more impressive building with many more students.
Secondary School 2 - Sithy/F (2015) [4:13]
At the beginning, Sithy talks about the differences between her primary and secondary school. Then she talks about secondary school subjects and that she started to learn her first foreign language, French.
Spicy Food 1 - Vuthy/M (2015) [6:09]
Vuthy talks about various spicy dishes.
Spicy Food 2 - Vuthy/M (2015) [3:57]
Vuthy talks about food which is too spicy.
Spicy Food 3 - Vuthy/M (2015) [3:38]
Vuthy talks about children’s low tolerance for spicy food.