Khmer character notes

Updated 20 January, 2020

This page lists characters in the following Unicode block and provides information about them.

This is not authoritative, peer-reviewed information – these are just notes I have gathered and copied from various places.

For details about how the script works, see Khmer. For further information related to this and other scripts, see the Script links pages.

Find

If you click on any red example text, you will see at the bottom right of the page a list of the characters that make up the example. Click on the Toggle images icon to toggle the large characters between font glyphs and graphics.

Read more about how to use this page.

To find a character by codepoint, type #char0000 at the end of the URL in the address bar, where 0000 is a four-figure, hex codepoint number, all in uppercase. Or type the character or the hex number in the Find control above.

To view this page as intended, you need a Khmer font. This page comes with Noto Sans Khmer, Noto Serif Khmer, and Battambang webfonts. Click the blue vertical bar at the bottom right of the page to apply other fonts, if you have them on your system. For transcriptions I recommend the excellent and free Doulos SIL font. The large character in the box will not be rendered unless the webfont downloaded with the page or a system font has a glyph for it. (If there is no glyph and you want to see what it looks like, click on See in UniView.)

Information about languages that use these characters is taken from the list maintained for the Character Use app. The list is not exhaustive.

Transliterations provide a single correspondence between a Khmer symbol and a Latin symbol, so that the process is reversible. The system used is a cross between the ALA LOC and UNGEGN systems, with a few small additions to help eliminate ambiguity. The transliterations should show inherent vowels. Transcriptions provide a Latin version of the Khmer text that is closer to the actual pronunciation, but is not reversible. Mostly IPA transcriptions are used here, but in some cases a transcription based on UNGEGN with modifications is used. The Khmer to UNGEGN converter above the window is still in development.

References are indicated by superscript characters. Wherever possible, those contain direct links to the source material. When such a pointer is alongside an arrow → it means that it's worth following the link for the additional information it provides. Digits refer to the main sources, which are listed at the bottom of a set of notes.

When you are using UniView and you turn on Show notes, UniView will pull in information about characters from this page.

Consonants

U+1780 KHMER LETTER KA

Khmer kɑː

k with inherent vowel ɑː or followed by a vowel, eg. ក៏ k⁎ kɑː also.

k before a subscript consonant.

when followed by a subscript or , eg. ក្មូយ k͓m̱ūy̱ kʰmuəj.

k in final position, eg. លើក ḻaᵊk ləːk to lift.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+1781 KHMER LETTER KHA

Khmer kʰɑː

with inherent vowel ɑː or before a vowel, eg. ខាង kʰāŋ kʰaːŋ direction.

k before a subscript consonant.

k in final position.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+1782 KHMER LETTER KO

Khmer kɔː

k with inherent vowel ɔː or before a vowel, eg. គេ ḵe kei they.

k before a subscript consonant.

k in final position.

when followed by a subscript or , eg. គ្នា ḵ͓ṉā kʰniə.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+1783 KHMER LETTER KHO

Khmer kʰɔː

with inherent vowel ɔː or before a vowel.

k before a subscript consonant, eg. ឃ្លាន ḵʰ͓ḻāṉ kliən hungry.

k in final position. Not common.

* Subscript consonant seldom used.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+1784 KHMER LETTER NGO

Khmer ŋɔː

ŋ with inherent vowel ɔː or before a vowel, eg. ងងឹត ŋŋɨt ŋoŋət dark. (Note that this sound appears in syllable initial position in Khmer.)

Not used before a subscript consonant.

ŋ in final position.

As a subscript this consonant doesn't determine the pronunciation of the vowel sound, it is determined by the class of the non-subscript consonant.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+1785 KHMER LETTER CA

Khmer cɑː

c with inherent vowel ɑː or before a vowel, eg. ចង់ cŋ˘ cɑŋ to want.

c before a subscript consonant.

ik in final position. [c] according to Huffman.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+1786 KHMER LETTER CHA

Khmer cʰɑː

with inherent vowel ɑː or before a vowel, eg. ឆា cʰaː stir fry.

c before a subscript consonant.

Not found in final position.

* Subscript consonant seldom used.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+1787 KHMER LETTER CO

Khmer cɔː

c with inherent vowel ɔː or before a vowel, eg. ជា c̱ā ciə is.

c before a subscript consonant.

ik in final position. [c] according to Huffman.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+1788 KHMER LETTER CHO

Khmer cʰɔː

with inherent vowel ɔː or before a vowel, eg. ឈឺ c̱ʰɨ̄ cʰɨː sick.

c before a subscript consonant.

Not found in final position.

* Subscript consonant seldom used.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+1789 KHMER LETTER NYO

Khmer ɲɔː

ɲ with inherent vowel ɔː or before a vowel, eg. ញី ɲī ɲiː female.

Not found before a subscript consonant.

ɲ in final position.

As a subscript this consonant doesn't determine the pronunciation of the vowel sound, it is determined by the class of the non-subscript consonant.

The bottom of this character is dropped when followed by a subscript consonant, eg. បញ្ឆោត bɲ͓cʰot ɓɑɲcʰaot to trick.

There are two shapes used for the subscript. When this character appears twice in a cluster, the full form is used. Elsewhere a reduced form is used. For example, compare កញ្ញា kɲ͓ɲā kɑɲɲaa young lady and ប្រាជ្ញា b͓ṟāc̱͓ɲā praːcɲaa intelligence.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+178A KHMER LETTER DA

Khmer ɗɑː

ɗ with inherent vowel ɑː or before a vowel, eg. ដុល្លារ ɗuḻ͓ḻāṟ ɗɑllaː dollar.

ɗ before a subscript consonant.

t in final position.

The subscript consonant is the same shape as the subscript of tɑː .

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+178B KHMER LETTER TTHA

Khmer tʰɑː

with inherent vowel ɑː or before a vowel.

t before a subscript consonant.

t in final position.

This consonant is only used in a few words of Pali or Sanskrit origin.

* Subscript is seldom used: often a silent final subscript.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+178C KHMER LETTER DO

Khmer ɗɔː

ɗ with inherent vowel ɔː or before a vowel.

Not found before a subscript consonant.

t in final position.

This consonant is rare and is only used in a few words of Pali or Sanskrit origin.

* Subscript is seldom used

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+178D KHMER LETTER TTHO

Khmer tʰɔː

with inherent vowel ɔː or before a vowel.

Not found before a subscript consonant.

t in final position.

This consonant is only used in a few words of Pali or Sanskrit origin.

* Subscript consonant is obsolete, or rarely, if ever, used.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+178E KHMER LETTER NNO

Khmer nɑː

n with inherent vowel ɑː or before a vowel, eg. ណាស់ nās˘ nah very.

n before a subscript consonant.

n in final position.

* Subscript consonant is seldom used: often a silent final subscript.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+178F KHMER LETTER TA

Khmer tɑː

t with inherent vowel ɑː or before a vowel, eg. ត្រី t͓ṟī trəj fish.

ɗ at the beginning of two syllable words where the first syllable ends with final nasal, eg. តង្វាយ tŋ͓v̱āy̱ ɗɔŋʋaaj gift.

t before a subscript consonant.

t in final position.

Subscript consonant is the same shape as the subscript of ɗɑː .

The pronunciation when a subscript in medial position is unpredictable, sometimes t and sometimes ɗ. As a general rule, but not always, it is pronounced t when a subscript to nɔː , and ɗ when a subscript to nɑː , eg. បន្តុះ bṉ͓tuh̽ ɓɑntoh to criticize, and បណ្តុះ bn͓tuh̽ ɓɑnɗoh to grow.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+1790 KHMER LETTER THA

Khmer tʰɑː

with inherent vowel ɑː or before a vowel, eg. ថា tʰā tʰaː that.

t before a subscript consonant.

t in final position.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+1791 KHMER LETTER TO

Khmer tɔː

t with inherent vowel ɔː or before a vowel, eg. ទម្ងន់ ṯm̱͓ŋṉ˘ tɔmŋɔn weight.

t before a subscript consonant.

t in final position.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+1792 KHMER LETTER THO

Khmer tʰɔː

with inherent vowel ɔː or before a vowel, eg. ភំ p̱ʰm̽ tʰom big.

t before a subscript consonant.

t in final position.

* Subscript consonant is seldom used: often a silent final subscript.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+1793 KHMER LETTER NO

Khmer nɔː

n with inherent vowel ɔː or before a vowel, eg. នឹង ṉɨŋ nəŋ future tense marker.

Not found before a subscript consonant.

n in final position.

As a subscript this consonant doesn't determine the pronunciation of the vowel sound, it is determined by the class of the non-subscript consonant.

In some words it follows a silent to make the following vowel behave as if it was an ɑː class consonant, eg. ហ្ន is nɑː.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+1794 KHMER LETTER BA

Khmer ɓɑː

ɓ with inherent vowel ɑː or before a vowel, eg. បន្ទប់ bṉ͓ṯb˘ ɓɑntuɓ room.

p when followed by a subscript consonant, eg. ម្រាំ m̱͓ṟām̽ pram.

p in final position, eg. ឈប់ c̱ʰb˘ cʰup to stop.

p when below a museʔkətoə̯n, eg. ប៉ា b″ā paː father.

p in some words just by convention, eg. បច្ច័យ bc͓căy̱ paccaj money.

A ligature បា is used when this character is followed by sra-aː, to avoid similarity with hɑː , eg. បាយ bāy̱ ɓaaj cooked rice. The same applies when followed by sra-ao បោ and sra-aw បៅ .

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+1795 KHMER LETTER PHA

Khmer pʰɑː

with inherent vowel ɑː, eg. ផ្សារ pʰ͓sāṟ psaː market.

p before a subscript consonant.

p in final position. Not common.

* Subscript consonant is obsolete, or rarely, if ever, used.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+1796 KHMER LETTER PO

Khmer pɔː

p with inherent vowel ɔː or before a vowel, eg. ពី p̱ī piː from.

p before a subscript consonant.

p in final position.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+1797 KHMER LETTER PHO

Khmer pʰɔː

with inherent vowel ɔː or before a vowel, eg. ភាសា p̱ʰāsā pʰiəsaː language.

p before a subscript consonant.

p in final position.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+1798 KHMER LETTER MO

Khmer mɔː

m with inherent vowel ɔː or before a vowel, eg. មុខ m̱ukʰ muk ahead, front.

m before a subscript consonant.

m in final position.

As a subscript this consonant doesn't determine the pronunciation of the vowel sound, it is determined by the class of the non-subscript consonant.

In some words it follows a silent to make the following vowel behave as if it was an ɑː class consonant, eg. ហ្ម is mɑː.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+1799 KHMER LETTER YO

Khmer jɔː

j with inherent vowel ɔː or before a vowel, eg. យល់់ y̱ḻ˘˘ jul to understand.

Not found before a subscript consonant.

in final position. Huffman says j.

As a subscript this consonant doesn't determine the pronunciation of the vowel sound, it is determined by the class of the non-subscript consonant.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+179A KHMER LETTER RO

Khmer rɔː

r with inherent vowel ɔː or before a vowel, eg. រូប ṟūb ruːɓ picture.

Not found before a subscript consonant, eg. ការ kāṟ kaa work; ខ្មែរ kʰ͓m̱æṟ kmae Cambodian.

Silent in final position. There is no final r sound in Cambodian, but the r symbol can sometimes disambiguate homonyms, eg. កា kaa to address (a letter) and ការ kāṟ kaa to work; ពី p̱ī piː from and ពីរ p̱īṟ piː two.

As a subscript this consonant doesn't determine the pronunciation of the vowel sound, it is determined by the class of the non-subscript consonant.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+179B KHMER LETTER LO

Khmer lɔː

l with inherent vowel ɔː or before a vowel, eg. លុយ ḻuy̱ luj money.

l before a subscript consonant.

l in final position.

As a subscript this consonant doesn't determine the pronunciation of the vowel sound, it is determined by the class of the non-subscript consonant.

In some words it follows a silent to make the following vowel behave as if it was an ɑː class consonant, eg. ហ្ល is lɑː.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+179C KHMER LETTER VO

Khmer ʋɔː

ʋ with inherent vowel ɔː or before a vowel.

Not found before a subscript consonant.

w in final position.

As a subscript this consonant doesn't determine the pronunciation of the vowel sound, it is determined by the class of the non-subscript consonant.

In some words it follows a silent to make the following vowel behave as if it was an ɑː class consonant, eg. ហ្វូង h͓v̱ūŋ ʋouŋ crowd.

In combination with preceding it also gives f, eg. ហ្វឹក h͓v̱ɨk fek train; កាហ្វេ kāh͓v̱e kaafei coffee.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+179F KHMER LETTER SA

Khmer sɑː

s with inherent vowel ɑː or before a vowel.

s before a subscript consonant.

h in final position.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17A0 KHMER LETTER HA

Khmer hɑː

h with inherent vowel ɑː or before a vowel.

Silent before a subscript consonant.

Not found in final position.

In combination with subscript gives f, eg. ហ្វឹក h͓v̱ɨk fek train; កាហ្វេ kāh͓v̱e kaafei coffee.

In some words it combines with one of the following ɔː class subscripts, វមនល, to make the following vowel behave as if they were ɑː class consonants, eg. ហ្វូង h͓v̱ūŋ ʋouŋ, ហ្ម h͓m̱ mɑː, ហ្ន h͓ṉ nɑː, ហ្ល h͓ḻ lɑː.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17A1 KHMER LETTER LA

Khmer lɑː

l with inherent vowel ɑː or before a vowel.

Not found before a subscript consonant or in final position.

** Subscript consonant not used in Cambodia (only in Khmer spoken in Thailand).

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17A2 KHMER LETTER QA

Khmer ʔɑː

ʔ with inherent vowel ɑː or before a vowel.

ʔ before a subscript consonant.

Not found in final position.

When used as a subscript at the beginning of a word this adds an extra syllable after the initial consonant, eg. ផ្អែម pʰ͓ʔæm̱ pʰaʔaem; ស្អាត s͓ʔāt saʔaːtʰ.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

Vowels

Independent vowels

U+17A5 KHMER INDEPENDENT VOWEL QI

Khmer ស្រៈឥ sraʔ ʔeʔ

ʔə, eg. ឥត ịt ʔət not.

ʔɨ, eg. ឥត ịt ʔət not

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17B2 KHMER INDEPENDENT VOWEL QOO TYPE TWO

Khmer ស្រៈឲ sraʔ ʔao

This is a variant of [U+17B1 KHMER INDEPENDENT VOWEL QOO TYPE ONE] that is only used, according to Unicode, in two words, one of which, ឲ្យ ạᵒ͓y̱ ʔaoj to give, is very common however.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

Vowel signs

U+17B6 KHMER VOWEL SIGN AA

Khmer ស្រៈ អា s͓rà ʼā

after an ɑː class consonant, eg. ណា naː which, where

after an ɔː class consonant, eg. ជា c̱ā ciə to be.

In combination with a following nikahit អាំ this is regarded as a letter of the Khmer alphabet. Sounds are:

am after an ɑː class consonant.

oə̯m after an ɔː class consonant.

In combination with a following nikahit and ŋɔː អាំង:

after an ɑː class consonant.

ɛaŋ after an ɔː class consonant.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17B7 KHMER VOWEL SIGN I

Khmer ស្រៈ អិ sraʔ ʔi

e after an ɑː class consonant, eg. ចិត្ដ cit͓ɗ cet heart.

i after an ɔː class consonant, eg. វិញ v̱iɲ ʋiɲ instead, again.

In combination with a following reahmuk អិះ this is regarded as a letter of the Khmer alphabet. (It has the same sound, followed by h), eg. ជិះ c̱ih̽ cih to ride. This combination has the same sound as អេះ, but this is much less common.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17B8 KHMER VOWEL SIGN II

Khmer ស្រៈ អី sraʔ ʔəj

əj after an ɑː class consonant.

after an ɔː class consonant.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17B9 KHMER VOWEL SIGN Y

Khmer ស្រៈ អឹ sraʔ ʔə

ə after an ɑː class consonant.

ɨ after an ɔː class consonant.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17BA KHMER VOWEL SIGN YY

Khmer ស្រៈ អឺ sraʔ ʔəɨ

əɨ after an ɑː class consonant.

ɨː after an ɔː class consonant.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17BB KHMER VOWEL SIGN U

Khmer ស្រៈ អុ sraʔ ʔo

o after an ɑː class consonant.

u after an ɔː class consonant.

In combination with a following reə̯hmuk អុះ this is regarded as a letter of the Khmer alphabet. (It has the same sound, followed by h), eg. ចុះ cuh̽ coh so?.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17BC KHMER VOWEL SIGN UU

Khmer ស្រៈ អូ sraʔ ʔū

ou after an ɑː class consonant.

after an ɔː class consonant.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17BD KHMER VOWEL SIGN UA

Khmer ស្រៈ អួ sraʔ ʔua

after any class of consonant.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17BE KHMER VOWEL SIGN OE

Khmer ស្រៈ អើ sraʔ ʔaə

after an ɑː class consonant.

əː after an ɔː class consonant.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17BF KHMER VOWEL SIGN YA

Khmer ស្រៈ អឿ sraʔ ʔɨə

ɨə after any class of consonant.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17C0 KHMER VOWEL SIGN IE

Khmer ស្រៈ អៀ sraʔ ʔiə

after any class of consonant.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17C1 KHMER VOWEL SIGN E

Khmer ស្រៈ អេ sraʔ ʔei

ei after an ɑː class consonant.

after an ɔː class consonant.

Combined with reə̯hmuk អេះ:

  • eh after an ɑː class consonant, eg. សេះ seh̽ seh horse.
  • ih after an ɔː class consonant, eg. នេះ ṉeh̽ nih this.
  • This combination has the same sound as អិះ, but this is much more common.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17C2 KHMER VOWEL SIGN AE

Khmer ស្រៈ អែ sraʔ ʔae

ae after an ɑː class consonant.

ɛː after an ɔː class consonant.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17C3 KHMER VOWEL SIGN AI

Khmer ស្រៈ អៃ sraʔ ʔaj

aj after an ɑː class consonant.

ɨj after an ɔː class consonant.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17C4 KHMER VOWEL SIGN OO

Khmer ស្រៈ អោ sraʔ ʔao

ao after an ɑː class consonant.

after an ɔː class consonant.

Combined with reə̯hmuk អោះ:

  • ɑh after an ɑː class consonant, eg. នៅណោះ ṉaʷnoh̽ nəɨnɔh over there.
  • uəh or uh after an ɔː class consonant, eg. ឈ្មោះ c̱ʰ͓m̱oh̽ cʰmuə name, នោះ ṉoh̽ nuh that.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17C5 KHMER VOWEL SIGN AU

Khmer ស្រៈ អៅ sraʔ ʔaw

aw after an ɑː class consonant.

ɨw after an ɔː class consonant.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17C6 KHMER SIGN NIKAHIT

Khmer និគ្គហិត nikkɔːhet

Although it can be equated with the anusvara in Sanskrit, this is usually regarded as a vowel sign or a part of a vowel sign in Khmer.

ɑm after an ɑː class consonant, eg. កំពុង km̽p̱uŋ kɑmpuŋ present tense marker.

um after an ɔː class consonant, eg. រំភើប ṟm̽p̱ʰaᵊb rumɓəːpʰ excited.

Combined with sra-o អុ:

  • om after an ɑː class consonant, eg. ធំ ṯʰm̽ tʰɑm big.
  • um after an ɔː class consonant, eg. ខ្លាឃ្មុំ kʰ͓ḻāḵʰ͓m̱um̽ kʰlaːkʰmum bear.

Combined with sra-aː អា:

  • am after an ɑː class consonant, eg. ដាំ ɗām̽ ɗam to plant.
  • oə̯m after an ɔː class consonant, eg. នាំ ṉām̽ noə̯m to lead.

Combined with sra-aː and ŋɔː អាង:

  • after an ɑː class consonant, eg. ម្ហូបបារាំង m̱͓hūbbāṟām̽ŋ mhouɓɓaːraŋ French food.
  • eə̯ŋ after an ɔː class consonant, eg. ទាំង ṯām̽ŋ teə̯ŋ including, both.

In some words of Sanskrit origin, the niʔkəhət represents or an, eg. សំស្ក្រិត sm̽s͓k͓ṟit sɑŋskret Sanskrit and សំយោគសញ្ញា sm̽y̱oḵsɲ͓ɲā sɑnjoːksaɲɲaː name of a diacritic.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17C7 KHMER SIGN REAHMUK

Khmer រះមុខ reə̆hmuk

Although it can be equated with the visarga in Sanskrit, this is regarded as a vowel sign or part of a vowel sign in Khmer.

ah with an ɑː class inherent vowel, eg. ខ្លះ kʰ͓ḻh̽ klɑh some.

eə̆h with an ɔː class inherent vowel or an ɔː class sra-aː អា, eg. ផ្ទះ pteə̆h house, home.

h after the normal sounds of short vowels sra-e អិ, sra-ə អឹ, and sra-o អុ, eg. ជិះ c̱ih̽ cih to ride, កឹះ kɨh̽ kəh to scratch, ពុះ p̱uh̽ puh to boil.

ih with sra-ei អេ as an ɔː class vowel, eg. នេះ ṉeh̽ nih this.

eh with sra-ei អេ or sra-aj អៃ as an ɑː class vowel, eg. សេះ seh̽ seh horse, កែះ kæh̽ keh wild goat.

əh with sra-aə អើ as an ɑː class vowel, eg. ចង្កើះ cŋ͓kaᵊh̽ cɑŋkəh chopsticks.

ɑh with sra-ao អោ as an ɑː class vowel, eg. កោះ koh̽ kɑh island.

uə̆h with sra-ao អោ as an ɔː class vowel, eg. គោះ ḵoh̽ kuə̆h strike.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17C8 KHMER SIGN YUUKALEAPINTU

Khmer យុគលពិន្ទុ juʔkɔluə̆ʔpintuʔ

Used as a vowel after consonants that are to be used as stressed syllables at the end of a word, or preceding an internal juncture in compounds.

as an ɑː class vowel, eg. ស្រៈ s͓ṟa sraʔ vowel.

eə̆ʔ as an ɔː class vowel, eg. ធុរៈ ṯʰuṟa tʰureə̆ʔ preoccupation.

This character is a modern innovation. It is also used in the official Cambodian Dictionary to mark any consonant symbol which is pronounced independently.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

Coeng

U+17D2 KHMER SIGN COENG

Khmer ជើង cəːŋ

Serves to indicate in Unicode text that the following consonant should be rendered as a subscript. The shape is arbitrary, since it is never visible in Khmer (unlike Devanagari etc.).

cəːŋ (transcribed in Unicode as COENG) is actually the name given to the subscripted consonants themselves, and this should more accurately be called a cəːŋ generator.

This virama-based model used by Unicode is consistent with the approach to other Indic scripts, however Cambodian people regard the subscripted consonants as different entities to the normal consonant characters, and need to be taught to use a cəːŋ sign to type in Unicode.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

Diacritics

U+17CB KHMER SIGN BANTOC

Khmer បន្តក់ ɓɑntɑk

Always placed above the final consonant. Basically shortens the preceding vowel. Affects the preceding vowel sound in one of the following ways:

  • After an inherent vowel
    • ɑ after an ɑː class consonant, eg. ចប់ cb˘ cɑp to finish (cf. ចប cb cɑːp hoe).
    • u after an class consonant and before a labial consonant, eg. លប់ ḻb˘ lup bird trap (cf. លប ḻb lɔːp fish trap).
    • uə̯ otherwise after an ɔː class consonant, eg. លក់ ḻk˘ luə̯k to sell (cf. លក ḻk lɔːk to channel).
  • After following an ɔː class consonant
    • eə̯ before a velar consonant, eg. ពាក់ p̱āk˘ peə̯k to wear (cf. ពាក្យ p̱āk͓y̱ piək word).
    • oə̯ elsewhere, eg. មាន់ m̱āṉ˘ moə̯n to wear (cf. មាន m̱āṉ miən word).
  • Otherwise, shortens a long vowel, eg. ចាប់ cāb˘ cap to catch (cf. ចាប cāb caːp sparrow).

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17CC KHMER SIGN ROBAT

Khmer របាទ rɔɓaːt

Not a very common mark. It silences final consonants, eg. បរិបូណ៌ bṟibūnʳ ɓɑriɓou abundant.

Over a word-medial syllable-initial consonant it introduces the sound before the syllable, eg. ទុគ៌ត ṯuḵʳt tuːrəkuə̆t destitute.

It can also convert the vowel sound of the previous consonant from ɔː to ɔə as well as silencing the consonant it appears over, eg. ពណ៌ p̱nʳ pɔə colour.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17CD KHMER SIGN TOANDAKHIAT

Khmer ទណ្ឌឃាត tɔnɗɔkʰiət

Used over a consonant, particularly in loan words, to silence it and any attached vowels or subscripts, eg. សាសន៍ sāsṉ˟ saːh race, ethnicity, and សប្ដាហ៍ sb͓ɗāh˟ sɑpɗaː week; រេហ៍ពល ṟeh˟p̱ḻ rɔpuə̆l army.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17CE KHMER SIGN KAKABAT

Khmer កាកបាទ kaːkɑɓaːt

Very rare, but used over the final consonant of a word like an exclamation mark, to convey excited emphasis, eg. ណែ៎ næⸯ nɛː Hey !; នុ៎ះន៎ ṉuⸯh̽ṉⸯ nuhnɔː Over there !

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17CF KHMER SIGN AHSDA

Khmer លេខអស្ដា leːk ʔahsɗaː

Used over two consonants to indicate that they represent two specific words:

  • ក៏ k⁎ kɑː meaning auxiliary: also, then, therefore
  • ដ៏ ɗ⁎ ɗɑː means pronoun which; very

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17D0 KHMER SIGN SAMYOK SANNYA

Khmer សំយោគសញ្ញា sanjoːksaɲɲaː

a over an ɑː class consonant, eg. ស័កិ្ត săki͓t sak rank; ស័កិ្ត săki͓t sak rank.

oə̯ over an ɔː class consonant, in general, eg. ទ័ព ṯăp̱ toə̯p army.

eə̯ over an ɔː class consonant followed by ŋɔː , eg. វ័ង v̱ăŋ ʋeə̯ŋ palace.

(Note that all of the above are the same as if a sra-aː plus niʔkəhət had been used.)

ɔə over a consonant followed by rɔː (these are always ɔː class consonants), eg. ជ័រ c̱ăṟ cɔə resin.

ɨ over an ɔː class consonant followed by jɔː , eg. ជ័យ c̱ăy̱ cɨj victory.

Gilbert & Hang say that the sound is e usually, when over ʋɔː or nɔː .

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17D1 KHMER SIGN VIRIAM

Khmer វិរាម ʋiriəm

The sanskrit virama, sometimes used in Sanskrit words to indicate that a final consonant has no vowel sound, eg. អាត្មន៑ ʔāt͓m̱ṉ¯ ʔaːtman soul.

Sometimes this appears as a bar over the consonant, sometimes as a wide, inverted v-shape under the consonant.

The Cambodian way of spelling such words uses the sanjoːksaɲɲaː អ័.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17DD KHMER SIGN ATTHACAN

Khmer

A rarely used sign that indicates that the consonant retains its inherent vowel sound.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17C9 KHMER SIGN MUUSIKATOAN

Khmer មូសិកទន្ត museʔkətoə̯n

Changes the register of a consonant from ɔː to ɑː, affecting the inherent vowel and any other vowel following the consonant, eg. ម៉ត់ចត់ m̱″t˘ct˘ mɑtcɑt careful, រ៉ាប់ ṟ″āb˘ rap to guarrantee. It is used for the following consonants that don't have equivalents in the ɑː class: ង ញ ម យ រ វ. It is usually written over the right-hand side of the consonant glyph. This is also especially useful for spelling foreign names. Eg. យ៉ាង y̱″āŋ jaːŋ kind (cf. យាង y̱āŋ yiəŋ to go (royalty)).

Changes the sound of ɓɑː from ɓ to p, eg. ប៉ះ b″h̽ pah to touch. This is the only way to write an ɑː register p. Eg. ប៉ាន b″āṉ paːn to cover (cf. បាន bāṉ ɓaːn to have).

When a vowel sign appears above the consonant, the ក្បៀសក្រោម kɓiəhkraom form of this character is used. This looks exactly like sra-o អុ, eg. ម៉ឺន m̱″ɨ̄ṉ məɨn 10,000; ញ៉ាំ ɲ″ām̽ ɲam to eat.

You can prevent this behaviour using a zero-width non-joiner between this character and the following one, eg. ញ៉‌ាំ ɲ″‌ām̽.

tmɨɲ kɑnɗao means "rat's teeth".

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17CA KHMER SIGN TRIISAP

Khmer ត្រីសព្ទ trəisaɓ

Changes the class of a consonant from ɔː to , affecting the inherent vowel and also any other vowel following the consonant, eg. ក្រុមហ៊ុន k͓ṟum̱h′uṉ kromhun company; ហ៊ាន h′āṉ hiən to dare (cf. ហាន hāṉ haːn shop); អ៊ូ ʔ′ū ʔuː dry dock (cf. អូ ʔū ʔou exclamation). This is especially useful for spelling foreign names.

When this appears with a vowel sign above the consonant, the ក្បៀសក្រោម kɓiəhkraom form is used. This looks exactly like sra-o អុ, eg. in ស៊ី s′ī siː to eat.

You can prevent this behaviour using a zero-width non-joiner between this character and the following one, eg. ស៊‌ី s′‌ī.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

Punctuation

U+17D4 KHMER SIGN KHAN

Khmer ខ័ណ្ឌ kʰan

Equivalent of a period, placed at the end of a sentence.

Also used in the combination ។ល។ .ḻ. lanəŋla to mean etcetera.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17D5 KHMER SIGN BARIYOOSAN

Khmer បរិយោសាន ɓɑːrijaosaːn

Used at the end of a chapter or an entire text.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17D6 KHMER SIGN CAMNUC PII KUUH

Khmer ចំណុចពីរគូស cɑmnoc piː kuːh

Used much like a colon in English.

It is typically used after the quotative particle ថា tʰā tʰaː saying, as follows and the copulative kɨː that is.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17D7 KHMER SIGN LEK TOO

Khmer ស្ទួន / លេខទោ stuən / leːktoː

Repetition sign. Repeats the word directly before. A common way of providing emphasis, eg. ខ្លាំង ៗ kʰ͓ḻām̽ŋ & klaŋklaŋ very strong; គាត់មានផ្ទះថ្មី ៗ ḵāt˘m̱āṉpʰ͓ṯh̽tʰ͓m̱ī & kaːtʰ miən pʰteə̯h tʰməitʰməi he has a brand new house.

Sometimes repeats a phrase rather than a word, eg. បន្តិចម្ដង ៗ bṉ͓ticm̱͓ɗŋ & ɓɑntecmɗɑːŋ ɓɑntecmɗɑːŋ little by little.

It is also occasionally used to repeat the word at the end of a sentence for the beginning of a new sentence (Huffman), eg. ខ្ញុំទៅផ្ទះខ្ញុំ ។ នៅជិតផ្សារ kɲomtɨwpteə̆hkɲom pteə̆hkɲom nɨwcɨtpsaː .

The sign is usually separated from the text by a space.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17D9 KHMER SIGN PHNAEK MUAN

Khmer ភ្នែកមាន់ pnɛːkmoə̆n

Marks the beginning of literary and religious texts.

Forms a pair with , which ends a text.

Means cock's eye. It is said to represent the trunk of the elephant-god Ganesha.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17DA KHMER SIGN KOOMUUT

Khmer គោមូត្រ koːmout

Marks the absolute end of a text. Usually used for poetic or religious texts.

Forms a pair with , which starts a text.

Sometimes used in combination as ។៚.

Means cow's urine.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

Currency symbol

U+17DB KHMER CURRENCY SYMBOL RIEL

Khmer សញ្ញារៀល saɲ ɲaː riəl

Placed after the amount, eg. ៣០០០ ៛ 3000 ¤ ɓej poan riəl 3000 riel.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

Digits

U+17E0 KHMER DIGIT ZERO

Khmer សូន soun

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17E1 KHMER DIGIT ONE

Khmer មួយ muəj

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17E2 KHMER DIGIT TWO

Khmer ពីរ piː

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17E3 KHMER DIGIT THREE

U+17E4 KHMER DIGIT FOUR

Khmer បួន ɓuən

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17E5 KHMER DIGIT FIVE

Khmer ប្រាំ pram

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17E6 KHMER DIGIT SIX

Khmer ប្រាំមួយ prammuəj

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17E7 KHMER DIGIT SEVEN

Khmer ប្រាំពីរ prampiː / prampɨl

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17E8 KHMER DIGIT EIGHT

Khmer ប្រាំបី pramɓəj

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17E9 KHMER DIGIT NINE

Khmer ប្រាំបួន pramɓuən

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

Deprecated or obsolete

Consonants

U+179D KHMER LETTER SHA

Khmer

Used only for Pali/Sanskrit transliteration.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+179E KHMER LETTER SSO

Khmer

Used only for Pali/Sanskrit transliteration.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

Inherent vowels

Independent vowels

U+17A3 KHMER INDEPENDENT VOWEL QAQ

Khmer

This should be considered an error in the encoding. Use of this character is strongly discouraged; [U+17A2 KHMER LETTER QA] should be used instead.

Originally intended only for Pali/Sanskrit transliteration, but not actually a separate character in Khmer.

U+17A4 KHMER INDEPENDENT VOWEL QAA

Khmer

This should be considered an error in the encoding. Use of this character is discouraged; the sequence + ◌ា [U+17A2 KHMER LETTER QA + U+17B6 KHMER VOWEL SIGN AA​] should be used instead.

Originally intended only for Pali/Sanskrit transliteration, but not actually a separate character in Khmer.

Punctuation

U+17D8 KHMER SIGN BEYYAL

Khmer ។ល។ / ល៉ៈ lanəŋla / laʔ

Means et cetera. Use of this character is discouraged. The preferred representation uses the individual characters, eg. ។ល។ .ḻ..

Other spellings for et cetera also exist. These include:

  • ។បេ។
  • –បេ–
  • –ល–

Pronounced lɑʔ.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

Symbols

U+17D3 KHMER SIGN BATHAMASAT

Khmer

Use discouraged in favor of the complete set of lunar date symbols.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

References

  1. [ d ] Peter T. Daniels and William Bright, The World's Writing Systems, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-507993-0
  2. [ g ] Richard Gilbert & Sovandy Hang, Cambodian for Beginners, Paiboon Publishing, ISBN 1-887521-35-6
  3. [ h ] Franklin Huffman, Cambodian System of Writing
  4. [ s ] SIL, The order of components in Khmer orthographical syllables
  5. [ u ] The Unicode Standard, Version 11, pp637-648
  6. [ w ] Wikipedia, Khmer alphabet