Winter Edition 2016

We welcome you to the Winter 2016 edition of our newsletter. We are pleased to share with you our achievements and our development as a translation vendor.

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The longest alphabet in the world corresponds to the official language spoken in Cambodia, Khmer, and it has 72 letters of which 32 are vowels. Nevertheless, its grammar is surprisingly simple if compared to the Romance languages, for example. There are no verb tenses, gender, plurals or articles.

Khmer, or Cambodian, is one of the most important of the Austroasiatic languages. Sanskrit and Pali have a significant influence on this language through Buddhism and Hinduism. Due to its geographical proximity, Khmer has has also influenced Thai and Laotian, and vice versa. However, one of the most important differences between the Cambodian language and that of neighbouring countries is that it is not a tonal language.

In terms of grammar, sentence order in Khmer is the same as in English or Spanish: subject-verb-object. The grammar is much more simple than that of the Romance languages, as neither tenses, gender, plurals nor articles are used. The difficult aspect of this language is its wide range of sounds, complicating pronunciation. An added complexity is its extensive hierarchy, that is, ways of speaking strictly differentiate between age and social status.

Due to this large number of consonants and vowels, Cambodian words predominantly have one or two syllables. There are 85 possible two-consonant clusters at the beginning of syllables and two three-consonant clusters with phonetic alterations. Syllables start with one of the consonants of these clusters followed by one of the vowel nuclei.