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Khmer /kmɛər/ or Cambodian (natively ភាសាខ្មែរ or more formally ខេមរភាសា [kʰeɛmaʔraʔ pʰiːəsaː]) 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 influenced considerably 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 Mon–Khmer 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.
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