The FSI Contemporary Cambodian course is the product of a collaboration by the Defense Language Institute, American University, and the Foreign Service Institute. It had its origin in 1969 in a proposal written by Mr. Dale I. Purtle of the American University faculty addressed to the Defense Language Institute which eventuated in a preliminary version of the present volume. A DLI issuance in August 1970 entitled "DLI Research and Development Plan" listed Cambodian as one of the languages in which DLI had a need for additional learning materials. Miss Madeline Ehrman of FSI envisaged an array of materials which would provide not only a beginning course in Cambodian but also a handy reference manual on the grammar of the language, a practical glossary, and intermediate materials to meet the special needs of individual students or groups of students.
Acting on the idea the FSI proposed the preparation of Contemporary Cambodian, of which this volume, written in its first firm by Dr. Purtle and his associates at American University, has become a part. Mr. Lim Halt Kheang wrote the dialogues and drills of the preliminary version at American University under the supervision of Mr. Purtle and chose the topics for the lessons. Some grammar notes were supplied by Mr. Purtle. Mr. Purtle has been helpful and cooperative throughout, even though his own direct contribution was completed relatively early.
Khmer or Cambodian more formally is the language of the Khmer people and the official language of Cambodia. With approximately 16 million speakers, it is the second most widely spoken Austroasiatic language (after Vietnamese). Khmer has been considerably influenced by Sanskrit and Pali, especially in the royal and religious registers, through the vehicles of Hinduism and Buddhism. It is also the earliest recorded and earliest written language of the MonKhmer family, predating Mon and by a significant margin Vietnamese. The Khmer language has influenced, and has been influenced by, Thai, Lao, Vietnamese, Chinese and Cham, all of which, due to geographical proximity and long-term cultural contact, form a sprachbund in peninsular Southeast Asia.
Cambodian is spoken in: Cambodia
Cambodian is also called: Khmer