3.7 Introduction to Khmer Vowels

The Positions of Khmer Vowel Symbols

There are 24 dependent vowel symbols. The vowel symbol can be placed in front of, on top of, below, or around the consonant. However, the consonant sound always precedes the vowel sound. Vowels can either have long or short sounds. Please note that the dotted zero​ represents the position of the consonant.

Vowel Symbols: ុ/ូ/ួ/េ/ែ/ៃ

Vowel symbols with phonetic scripts.

Use the audio and Table 1 to learn how to pronoun the vowel symbols.​

Table 1
No. Vowel Symbol Phonetic Script Example
1 /o/ តុ (table)
2 /oo/ អូរ (stream)/ដូរ (to exchange)

/កូរ (to stir)

3 /ua/ សួរ (to ask)/ខួរ (brain)
4 /ee/ ភេ (Otter)
5 /ae/ ខែ (moon)/កែ (to mark)/តែ (tea)
6 /ai/ ដៃ (hand)/ចៃ (lice)

1. Listening

In the following audio clip, one of the three words will be read out loud.  Mark the word you hear using the following app.


2. Writing​

Download the worksheet below to practice writing the first 6 vowels by following the directional arrows.

Worksheet 1

3. Reading

Match the Khmer words with their English translations.



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Basic Khmer Copyright © 2022 by Vathanak Sok is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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