Khmer character notes

Updated 12 July, 2018 • tags scriptnotes, khmer

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 a summary of the script and its use in writing systems, see the page Khmer script summary. For similar information related to other scripts, see this list.

We have usage data for only the Khmer language.

Tailored systems are used for transliteration and transcription. For more details, open 'how to use this page' just below.

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.

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

A-series consonant

Khmer kɑː

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

k before a subscript consonant.

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

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

្ក as a subscript consonant.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+1781 KHMER LETTER KHA

A-series consonant kʰâ

Khmer kʰɑː

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

k before a subscript consonant.

k in final position.

្ខ as a subscript consonant.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+1782 KHMER LETTER KO

O-series consonant ḵô

Khmer kɔː

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

k before a subscript consonant.

k in final position.

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

្គ as a subscript consonant.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+1783 KHMER LETTER KHO

O-series consonant ḵʰô

Khmer kʰɔː

with inherent vowel ɔː or before a vowel.

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

k in final position. Not common.

្ឃ as a subscript consonant. Seldom used.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+1784 KHMER LETTER NGO

O-series consonant ngô

Khmer ŋɔː

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

Not used before a subscript consonant.

ŋ in final position.

្ង as a subscript consonant. 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

A-series consonant

Khmer cɑː

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

c before a subscript consonant.

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

្ច as a subscript consonant.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+1786 KHMER LETTER CHA

A-series consonant cʰâ

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.

្ឆ as a subscript consonant. Seldom used.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+1787 KHMER LETTER CO

O-series consonant c̱ô

Khmer cɔː

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

c before a subscript consonant.

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

្ជ as a subscript consonant.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+1788 KHMER LETTER CHO

O-series consonant c̱ʰô

Khmer cʰɔː

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

c before a subscript consonant.

Not found in final position.

្ឈ as a subscript consonant. Seldom used.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+1789 KHMER LETTER NYO

O-series consonant ñô

Khmer ɲɔː

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

Not found before a subscript consonant.

ɲ in final position.

្ញ as a subscript consonant. 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 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 kɑɲɲaa young lady and ប្រាជ្ញា praːcɲaa intelligence.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+178A KHMER LETTER DA

A-series consonant

Khmer ɗɑː

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

ɗ before a subscript consonant.

t in final position.

្ដ as a subscript consonant. This is the same shape as the subscript of tɑː .

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+178B KHMER LETTER TTHA

A-series consonant ṭʰâ

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.

្ឋ as a subscript consonant. Seldom used: often a silent final subscript.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+178C KHMER LETTER DO

O-series consonant ḏô

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.

្ឌ as a subscript consonant. Seldom used.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+178D KHMER LETTER TTHO

O-series consonant ṱʰô

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.

្ឍ as a subscript consonant. Obsolete, or rarely, if ever, used.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+178E KHMER LETTER NNO

A-series consonant

Khmer nɑː

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

n before a subscript consonant.

n in final position.

្ណ as a subscript consonant. Seldom used: often a silent final subscript.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+178F KHMER LETTER TA

A-series consonant

Khmer tɑː

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

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

t before a subscript consonant.

t in final position.

្ត as a subscript consonant. This 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 ɓɑntoh to criticise, and បណ្តុះ ɓɑnɗoh to grow.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+1790 KHMER LETTER THA

A-series consonant tʰâ

Khmer tʰɑː

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

t before a subscript consonant.

t in final position.

្ថ as a subscript consonant.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+1791 KHMER LETTER TO

O-series consonant ṯô

Khmer tɔː

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

t before a subscript consonant.

t in final position.

្ទ as a subscript consonant.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+1792 KHMER LETTER THO

O-series consonant ṯʰô

Khmer tʰɔː

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

t before a subscript consonant.

t in final position.

្ធ as a subscript consonant. Seldom used: often a silent final subscript.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+1793 KHMER LETTER NO

O-series consonant ṉô

Khmer nɔː

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

Not found before a subscript consonant.

n in final position.

្ន as a subscript consonant. 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

A-series consonant

Khmer ɓɑː

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

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

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

p when below a museʔkətoə̯n, eg. ប៉ា paː father.

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

្ប as a subscript consonant.

A ligature បា is used when this character is followed by sra-aː, to avoid similarity with hɑː , eg. បាយ 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

A-series consonant pʰâ

Khmer pʰɑː

with inherent vowel ɑː, eg. ផ្សារ psaː market.

p before a subscript consonant.

p in final position. Not common.

្ផ as a subscript consonant. Obsolete, or rarely, if ever, used.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+1796 KHMER LETTER PO

O-series consonant ꝑô

Khmer pɔː

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

p before a subscript consonant.

p in final position.

្ព as a subscript consonant.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+1797 KHMER LETTER PHO

O-series consonant ꝑʰô

Khmer pʰɔː

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

p before a subscript consonant.

p in final position.

្ភ as a subscript consonant.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+1798 KHMER LETTER MO

O-series consonant

Khmer mɔː

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

m before a subscript consonant.

m in final position.

្ម as a subscript consonant. 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

O-series consonant

Khmer jɔː

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

Not found before a subscript consonant.

in final position. Huffman says [j]

្យ as a subscript consonant. 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

O-series consonant

Khmer rɔː

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

Not found before a subscript consonant, eg. ការ kaa work; ខ្មែរ 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 kaa to work; ពី piː from and ពីរ piː two.

្រ as a subscript consonant. 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

O-series consonant ḻô

Khmer lɔː

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

l before a subscript consonant.

l in final position.

្ល as a subscript consonant. 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

O-series consonant

Khmer ʋɔː

ʋ with inherent vowel ɔː or before a vowel.

Not found before a subscript consonant.

w in final position.

្វ as a subscript consonant. 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 ʋouŋ crowd.

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

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+179F KHMER LETTER SA

A-series consonant

Khmer sɑː

s with inherent vowel ɑː or before a vowel.

s before a subscript consonant.

h in final position.

្ស as a subscript consonant.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17A0 KHMER LETTER HA

A-series consonant

Khmer hɑː

h with inherent vowel ɑː or before a vowel.

Silent before a subscript consonant.

Not found in final position.

្ហ as a subscript consonant.

In combination with subscript gives f, eg. ហ្វឹក fek train; កាហ្វេ 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 ʋouŋ, ហ្ម mɑː, ហ្ន nɑː, ហ្ល lɑː.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17A1 KHMER LETTER LA

A-series consonant

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

A-series consonant ’â

Khmer ʔɑː

ʔ with inherent vowel ɑː or before a vowel.

ʔ before a subscript consonant.

Not found in final position.

្អ as a subscript consonant.

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

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

Vowels

Independent vowels

U+17A5 KHMER INDEPENDENT VOWEL QI

Independent vowel ′i

Khmer ស្រៈឥ sraʔ ʔeʔ

ʔə, eg. ឥត ʔət not

ʔɨ, eg. ឥត ʔət not

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17A6 KHMER INDEPENDENT VOWEL QII

Independent vowel ′ī

Khmer ស្រៈឦ sraʔ ʔəj

ei

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17A7 KHMER INDEPENDENT VOWEL QU

Independent vowel ′u

Khmer ស្រៈឧ sraʔ ʔo

ou

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17A9 KHMER INDEPENDENT VOWEL QUU

Independent vowel ′ū

Khmer ស្រៈឩ sraʔ ʔou

ou, uː

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17AA KHMER INDEPENDENT VOWEL QUUV

Independent vowel ýu

Khmer ស្រៈឪ sraʔ ʔəw

əw

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17AB KHMER INDEPENDENT VOWEL RY

Independent vowel

Khmer ស្រៈឫ sraʔ ra

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17AC KHMER INDEPENDENT VOWEL RYY

Independent vowel

Khmer ស្រៈឬ sraʔ raː

r̥̄

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17AD KHMER INDEPENDENT VOWEL LY

Independent vowel

Khmer ស្រៈឭ sraʔ la

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17AE KHMER INDEPENDENT VOWEL LYY

Independent vowel

Khmer ស្រៈឮ sraʔ laː

l̥̄

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17AF KHMER INDEPENDENT VOWEL QE

Independent vowel ′ae

Khmer ស្រៈឯ sraʔ ʔae

ae

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17B0 KHMER INDEPENDENT VOWEL QAI

Independent vowel ′ai

Khmer ស្រៈឰ sraʔ ʔaj

aiy

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17B1 KHMER INDEPENDENT VOWEL QOO TYPE ONE

Independent vowel ′o

Khmer ស្រៈឱ sraʔ ʔao

ao

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17B2 KHMER INDEPENDENT VOWEL QOO TYPE TWO

Independent vowel ′ǎu

Khmer ស្រៈឲ sraʔ ʔao

ao

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 ʔaoj to give, is very common however.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17B3 KHMER INDEPENDENT VOWEL QAU

Independent vowel ′au

Khmer ស្រៈឳ sraʔ ʔaw

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

Vowel signs

U+17B6 KHMER VOWEL SIGN AA

Vowel sign ā

Khmer ស្រៈ អា s͓rà ʼā

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

after an ɔː class consonant, eg. ជា 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

Vowel sign i

Khmer ស្រៈ អិ sraʔ ʔi

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

i after an ɔː class consonant, eg. វិញ 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 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

Vowel sign ī

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

Vowel sign

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

Vowel sign ȳ

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

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 coh so?.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17BC KHMER VOWEL SIGN UU

Vowel sign ū

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

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

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

Vowel sign ẏa

Khmer ស្រៈ អឿ sraʔ ʔɨə

ɨə after any class of consonant.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17C0 KHMER VOWEL SIGN IE

Vowel sign ia

Khmer ស្រៈ អៀ sraʔ ʔiə

after any class of consonant.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17C1 KHMER VOWEL SIGN E

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 seh horse
  • ih after an ɔː class consonant, eg. នេះ 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

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

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

Vowel sign o

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 nəɨnɔh over there
  • uəh or uh after an ɔː class consonant, eg. ឈ្មោះ cʰmuə name, នោះ nuh that

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17C5 KHMER VOWEL SIGN AU

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

Anusvara

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 kɑmpuŋ present tense marker.

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

Combined with sra-o អុ:

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

Combined with sra-aː អា:

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

Combined with sra-aː and ŋɔː អាង:

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

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

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17C7 KHMER SIGN REAHMUK

Visarga

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 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 cih to ride, កឹះ kəh to scratch,ពុះ puh to boil.

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

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

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

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

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

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17C8 KHMER SIGN YUUKALEAPINTU

Short vowel à

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 sraʔ vowel

eə̆ʔ as an ɔː class vowel, eg. ធុរៈ 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

Coeng sign ͓

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

Vowel shortener á

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

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17CC KHMER SIGN ROBAT

Consonant silencer ʳ

Khmer របាទ rɔɓaːt

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

Over a word-medial syllable-initial consonant it introduces the sound before the syllable, eg. ទុគ៌ត 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 pɔə colour.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17CD KHMER SIGN TOANDAKHIAT

Syllable silencer ˚

Khmer ទណ្ឌឃាត tɔnɗɔkʰiət

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

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17CE KHMER SIGN KAKABAT

Exclamation sign

Khmer កាកបាទ kaːkɑɓaːt

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

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17CF KHMER SIGN AHSDA

Word specifier ʻ

Khmer លេខអស្ដា leːk ʔahsɗaː

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

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

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17D0 KHMER SIGN SAMYOK SANNYA

Vowel changer ă

Khmer សំយោគសញ្ញា sanjoːksaɲɲaː

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

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

eə̯ over an ɔː class consonant followed by ŋɔː , eg. វ័ង 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 cɔə resin.

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

Virama ˙

Khmer វិរាម ʋiriəm

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

Final vowel retainer

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

Consonant shifter

Khmer មូសិកទន្ត museʔkətoə̯n

Changes the class of a consonant from ɔː to ɑː, affecting the inherent vowel and any other vowel following the consonant, eg. ម៉ត់ចត់ mɑtcɑt careful, រ៉ាប់ rap to guarrantee. It is used for the following consonants that don't have equivalents in the ɑː class: ងញមយរវ. It is usually written over the right-hand side of the consonant glyph. This is also especially useful for spelling foreign names. Eg. យ៉ាង jaːŋ kind (cf. យាង yiəŋ to go (royalty)).

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

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

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

tmɨɲ kɑnɗao means "rat's teeth".

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17CA KHMER SIGN TRIISAP

Consonant shifter

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 kromhun company; ហ៊ាន hiən to dare (cf. ហានhaːnshop); អ៊ូ ʔuː dry dock (cf. អូʔouexclamation). 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 siː to eat.

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

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

Punctuation

U+17D4 KHMER SIGN KHAN

Full stop .

Khmer ខ័ណ្ឌ kʰan

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

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

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17D5 KHMER SIGN BARIYOOSAN

Section terminator

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

Colon :

Khmer ចំណុចពីរគូស cɑmnoc piː kuːh

Used much like a colon in English.

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

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17D7 KHMER SIGN LEK TOO

Repetition sign

Khmer ស្ទួន / លេខទោ stuən / leːktoː

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

Sometimes repeats a phrase rather than a word, eg. បន្តិចម្ដង ៗ 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

Text start

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

Text end

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

Currency symbol

Khmer សញ្ញារៀល saɲ ɲaː riəl

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

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

Digits

U+17E0 KHMER DIGIT ZERO

Digit 0

Khmer សូន soun

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17E1 KHMER DIGIT ONE

Digit 1

Khmer មួយ muəj

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17E2 KHMER DIGIT TWO

Digit 2

Khmer ពីរ piː

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17E3 KHMER DIGIT THREE

Digit 3

Khmer បី ɓəj

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17E4 KHMER DIGIT FOUR

Digit 4

Khmer បួន ɓuən

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17E5 KHMER DIGIT FIVE

Digit 5

Khmer ប្រាំ pram

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17E6 KHMER DIGIT SIX

Digit 6

Khmer ប្រាំមួយ prammuəj

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17E7 KHMER DIGIT SEVEN

Digit 7

Khmer ប្រាំពីរ prampiː / prampɨl

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17E8 KHMER DIGIT EIGHT

Digit 8

Khmer ប្រាំបី pramɓəj

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+17E9 KHMER DIGIT NINE

Digit 9

Khmer ប្រាំបួន pramɓuən

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

Deprecated or obsolete

Consonants

U+179D KHMER LETTER SHA

Obsolete consonant ś

Khmer

Used only for Pali/Sanskrit transliteration.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

U+179E KHMER LETTER SSO

Obsolete consonant

Khmer

Used only for Pali/Sanskrit transliteration.

General sources: Huffman, Daniels, Unicode, Wikipedia

Inherent vowels

Independent vowels

U+17A3 KHMER INDEPENDENT VOWEL QAQ

Deprecated independent vowel

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.

Khmer

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

U+17A4 KHMER INDEPENDENT VOWEL QAA

Deprecated independent vowel

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.

Khmer

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

Punctuation

U+17D8 KHMER SIGN BEYYAL

Etc.

Use of this character is discouraged. The preferred representation uses the individual characters, ie. + + [U+17D4 KHMER SIGN KHAN + U+179B KHMER LETTER LO + U+17D4 KHMER SIGN KHAN].

Khmer ។ល។ / ល៉ៈ lanəŋla / laʔ

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

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

Lunar date sign

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. [S] Sudewa, The N'Ko Alphabet
  3. [E] Everson et al., Proposal for encoding the N'Ko script in the UCS
  4. [W] Wikipedia, N'Ko script
  5. [U] The Unicode Standard v6.0
  6. [O] Omniglot, N'Ko
  7. [S]ScriptSource, N'Ko
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