Links & Papers

The table below contains links and papers I find worth sharing, sorted by category. If you know of any relevant websites, papers or other work related to any of the featured minority languages on aakanee (currently: Isaan, Northern Khmer), please let me know.

The illustrations for the various illustration projects were done by the wonderful artists at Zipolite Studio.

Link Description
SEAlang SEAlang Library Khmer Dictionary, based on Headley's work; contains etymological notes
Tovnah Chuon Nath's Khmer-Khmer Dictionary and Headley's Khmer-English Dictionary
Antkh Khmer-English dictionary (
Kheng Khmer-English dictionary with sound (
Kroma Khmer Sithy is a Khmer-English translator in Australia; she also has an online shop selling fair-trade handmade products from Cambodia to support marginalised women; she's one of the speakers of the Khmer Recordings project
Learn Khmer Now Vanna teaches Khmer in Phnom Penh and online via Skype
Vowel reference Khmer vowel reference page with sound bites from the recordings projects; mainly for myself, but maybe useful to others as well
Isaan-Thai-English dictionary
Isaan-Thai dictionary (Chulalongkorn University)
Isaan-Thai dictionary
Isaan-Thai dictionary
Phrasebook Thai-Isaan-Lao
WomenLearnThai The most comprehensive collection of Thai language learning resources on the web
Thai with Joy Joy teaches Thai, she's one of the native speakers of the Thai Recordings project
Learn 2 speak Thai Mia teaches Thai, she's one of the native speakers of the Thai Recordings project Comprehensive dictionary with lessons and a forum; some of the Thai Recordings clips have been translated and published in their lessons section
Self Study Thai Offers Thai audio, corresponding transcripts, line by line English translations and flashcards for news articles from Voice of America (VoA)
Northern Thai
[13 Herington]
Jennifer Herington, Margaret Potter, Amy Ryan, and Jennifer Simmons: Sociolinguistic Survey of Northern Thai
SIL International, 2013
This paper presents the results of a sociolinguistic survey of the Northern Thai varieties spoken in six provinces of Northern Thailand. The purpose of this survey was to determine whether the variety of Northern Thai currently being used for literature development will be adequate for Northern Thai speakers in all of these six provinces, and if not, which varieties should be selected for further development. The researchers conducted brief sociolinguistic questionnaires and modified recorded text tests to investigate sociolinguistic attitudes.
Northern Khmer
Kantrum Film documenting traditional kantrum music, an art form among Khmer speakers in northeastern Thailand
[97 Suwilai]
Suwilai Premsrirat: Linguistic Contributions to the Study of Northern Khmer
Mon-Khmer Studies 27, 1997
A survey of the linguistic work that has been done on Northern Khmer covering language status, number of speakers, language structure, phonetic studies, dictionaries, socio-cultural studies, word-play and expressives, epic recitatives, pedagogical materials, and development of a Thai-based orthography for Northern Khmer.
[03 Kasetsiri]
Charnvit Kasetsiri: Thailand and Cambodia: A Love-Hate Relationship
Kyoto Review of Southeast Asia, Issue 3, 2003
A look at the troubled history of Thai-Cambodian relations; comes with a bibliography of Thai works on Cambodia and Khmer history.
[06 Vail]
Peter Vail: Can a language of a million speakers be endangered? Language shift and apathy among northern Khmer speakers in Thailand
International Journal of the Sociology of Language, 178, 135-147, 2006 [not available online]
[07 Vail]
Peter Vail: Thailand's Khmer as Invisible Minority
Asian Ethnicity, Volume 8, Number 2, June 2007
The paper argues that ethnic Khmer speakers are inconspicuous in Thailand's arena of cultural politics, 'invisible', and that this invisibility is a result of cultural politics at the national level which have resulted in apathy towards Khmer identity in Thailand.
[11 Denes]
Alexandra Denes: The revitalization of Khmer ethnic identity in Thailand: empowerment or confinement?
Routledge Handbook of Heritage in Asia, 2011
The paper argues that the state-led revival of Khmer heritage has reinforced local discourses of ethnic Khmer superiority over the region's ethnic Kui and hardened the political boundary dividing Thailand and Cambodia. It further argues that while the revival movement has provided an opportunity for the ethnic Khmer to reclaim a place in the national past after a century of invisibility, it has done so at a heavy price: Rather than empowering the ethnic Khmer to determine for themselves what aspects of their heritage they regard as significant or valuable, the state-led revival is one which circumscribes Khmer identity as a means of reasserting Thailand's extant claims of entitlement to the Khmer past - particularly the legacy of Angkor.
[13 Vail et al.]
Peter Vail, Panuwat Pantakod: The Politics of Scripts: Language Rights, Heritage, and the Choice of Orthography for Khmer Vernaculars in Thailand
Rights to Culture - Heritage, Language and Community in Thailand, edited by Coeli Bary, Silkworm Books, 2013 [not available online]
This book chapter explains the contentious issues surrounding the selection of a script for Northern Khmer. There are two main options, the Khmer script, a version of which was traditionally used before Thailand's ethnic Khmer became illiterate due to suppression of Khmer literacy by Thailand in the 20th century, and a script based on the Thai script. The author presents both views, but it becomes clear that the selection of a Thai-based script is based on nationalist ideology and patronizing ideas about the intelligence of Northern Khmer children. All of that, however, is pretty much irrelevant given the apathy and passivity of the Northern Khmer community with respect to their linguistic rights.
[15 Denes]
Alexandra Denes: Folklorizing Northern Khmer Identity in Thailand: Intangible Cultural Heritage and the Production of "Good Culture"
Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia Vol. 30/1, 2015
This paper argues that the concept of cultural heritage in Thailand is employed to 'domesticate' Thailand's ethnic minorities and doesn't adequately involve the communities which live and own the cultural heritage. This is discussed at the example of state-sponsered Northern Khmer kantrum music which is being folklorized and taken out of its shared historical context with neighboring Cambodia. Local cultural heritage is distorted and expropriated to serve the nationalist agenda of Thailand.
Language Learning
GPA Resources page of the Growing Participator Approach (GPA), a self-contained approach to language acquisition with native speakers; detailed manuals with lots of great ideas
ALG Automatic Language Growth (ALG) is an approach to language learning based on an extended silent phase in the beginning; AUA Bangkok teaches Thai using ALG