Mathias wrote:
>I'm sincerely happy that Kristian is interested in MODERN Khmer
>because this language is despised by most scholars who are only
>interested in Angkorian litterature and can't accept that the
>language dramatically changed in the 70's. Very basic features
>like the common *ot* negation are denied (;-) as *derogatory*.
>Problem is : nobody speaks like scholars anymore and Khmer coming
>back from exile are really badly resented for that.

Hmmm... I wasn't aware of this problem - although it makes total
sense that this problem would arise when many of the intellectuals
were inihilated by the Khmer rouge back in the 70's. The book I
borrowed from the library was written in the early 70's, so I
suppose the bit of Cambodian I'm learning isn't as modern as you
think. I just returned the book so I can't check when exactly it was
printed. Its called, "Modern Spoken Cambodian" - but perhaps its not
as modern as it suppose to be since it antedates the Rouge's reign.

>I also think that the Khmer script is a nightmare for pupils :
>they spend two long years trying to master it whereas school is
>expensive and an easier script perfectly possible. Please judge
>from my description:


It *IS* a nightmare: Over thirty basic consonants, some of which
having the same consonant value but differing vowel value depending
on the register. About twenty diacritics, each of which having two
differing values depending on the register. But I'm sure learning
Chinese or Japanese is a lot harder. The Khmer pupils should not
complain when compared to what the Chinese or Japanese pupils would
have to go through. Its part of the beauty in the script. Although I
must admit, I have no immediate intentions to learn the script with
this complexity. Perhaps later...

-Kristian- 8-)