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Cambodian for Beginners Audio CD – CD, 14 Sep 2004


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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Paiboon Publishing,Thailand (14 Sept. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1887521445
  • ISBN-13: 978-1887521444
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 3.1 x 14.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 911,902 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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First Sentence
While Cambodian is not a tonal language, it does have its challenges. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By I read therefore I am on 15 Feb. 2007
Format: Audio CD
I bought this book and CD set because I had been impressed with the 3 part Thai course from the same publisher. The Cambodian for beginnners follows the same format with the lessons split into Vocab lists, Grammar and learning to read and write the alien Khmer alphabet.

First I should say that I bought the book and 3 CD set and must recommend that anyone new to Khmer MUST have the CDs to effectively learn the course. Without hearing the natives speak the words you really are making things difficult for yourself as its impossible to accurately transcribe phonetically.

Now Khmer, although it looks simliar to Thai, is in fact easier to learn, mainly because unlike Thai, it is NOT a tonal language which means the pronounciation is not so critical and one word doesn't mean five different things like in Thai!

However, this brings us to the only problem I have with this course: As beginners, we cannot read Khmer script, so the authors must create Phonetic words for us to read and learn, but they have made things unnecessarily difficult by using a bizarre sytem throughout that requires you to learn their particular symbols such as upside down letters. Its hard to explain, but its non-intuitive and adds a needless level of ambiguity and complexity.

But! all is not lost because I found that it is easy to write your own phonetic alongside the Khmer word as you go through the lessons. I know that this sounds a lot of work- but its far easier than you think as there are only a couple of hundred words, and with this problem corrected I found the learning improved.

Each lesson starts with the American saying an English word once then the Khmer speaker saying the Khmer word once.
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15 of 23 people found the following review helpful By meepmeep on 30 Dec. 2007
Format: Audio CD
After having learned to read and speak thai from 'teach your self thai, David Smyth' i thought that khmer would be an good second language and plumped for this course. I am writing this review 6months later, It's not really a review because i have not decided to use the course because i hate it,the reasons are because firstly the khmer music played all the way through is so somber that it immediatley puts me in a deflated mood and like any music or noise that you have to listen to over and again can quickly become tiresome,imagine having to listen to a friends CD collection over and again you'll want to kill yourself. Secondly i am not a fan of americans and the sound of this narrators voice is so boring it's unreal. Thirdly the spacing between when the khmer speaker and the american speaker saying the vocab words leads to major confusion for me. For example the khmer girl will say a khmer word and the american will say the word in english afterwards,but the gap between is so long insome instances that you think to your self has the american started a new word now and is the khmer following or what.
The course lacks the energy and clearness that 'Teach your self thai' has . So i feel i have wasted my money here i cannot in way understand why the publishers decided to use this guy as a narrator when there are so many other choices,such as a english speaking khmer national for example. What a wasted opportunity
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Tando on 14 Mar. 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This book is incredibly irritating right from the first word.
Guide to pronunciation is designed in a rather conceited way so as to make it appear professionally done,but in fact all it achieves is a complication of what should be a simple exercise.
The dictionary pronunciations are inadequate,as are all cambodian dictionaries,none of which ever agree with each other on definitive pronunciations of the same word.I have at least 5 Khmer dictionaries and they all seem to try as hard as they can to over-complicate the way they "help" you to pronounce a word. For instance, with this book when you look at a word which has a vowel with an "aw" sound, do they write "aw"? No, they write 2 backwards "c's" which makes no sense at all.why nt just write "aw"???? when there is an "ee" sound do they write "ee"? No, they write "ii." There are several examples just in the vowel section, so you have not only to learn a language,but to learn their crazy system of writing the words.
Then we have the complex vowels, which they list but completely neglect to say how each one is pronounced!!!!!!!why even bother listing them???
Then we move onto the cd's. Did nobody bother to tell the speakers that it might be a good idea to slow down the speech everso slightly because there might be the distinct possibility that someone who doesnt speak Khmer might be listening and attempting to hear each word??????? Whoever gave this 4 stars must be mates with the writers,thats all i can say. Frustrated is not the word, but the word i would like to use does begin with an F.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 11 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Very good starting point 5 May 2006
By reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The good points: clearly written in general, font easy to read, very useful vocabulary and well paced for easy learning. Covers written as well as spoken Khmer and this is carefully and well explained - absolutely essential yet sometimes overlooked by introductory texts. Key piece of advice in the introduction is to get the CDs that accompany the book or get hold of a native speaker. One of the best books for this very basic level for a reasonable price. Only small downside is the occasional mistranslation (such as translating koon bpov as youngest sibling rather than youngest child) which is unfortunate since unlearning is always harder than learning. In one or two cases there are differences from the commonest usages but these may be just dialectal differences and aren't significant. All in all, to be highly recommended for the absolute beginner or as a rapid refresher for those who have done a bit of Khmer and just want to brush up. But do buy the CDs with the book as the intro recommends because you cannot learn Khmer pronuncation from a book.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Superior 25 Feb. 2005
By Frank Lindahl - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I found this product superior to other self study material; well organized and reasonably paced. Recommend using it on a PC so you can go over sentances/words repeatedly, but that applies to any CD material. Minor quibble, mans voice is a bit strong in English compared with the woman's voice in Cambodian, but all in all a product I would describe as superior.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Excellent introduction 27 Feb. 2006
By Oliver Twist - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I have read a few different books on learning cambodian, and this has been the most helpful for me.

The book has a grammar section, vocab section, and you get introduced to reading/wrtiting cambodian script in each lesson. (also some practice areas) The grammar section is especially helpful, it explains clearly some useful concepts/words. For example, some other books I have read just start throwing sentences at you that you could memorize, but this book gives you some of the underlying principles behind the cambodian language. Such as the different ways to say "I know", or how to answer questions, or the fact that camobodian generally does not use words like "is, at, the, etc".

**The only reason I do not give it a five is the absence of a cd or some other way to hear cambodians speak the language. To me, pronunciation is one of the hardest parts of learning Kmai. I am lucky that my wife is Cambodian-American so she can help me.

This a great companion book if you have other cd/audio materials.

VERY HELPFUL!
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Fatal Flaw in Teaching Languange 29 Dec. 2006
By Alan Perry - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
While most reviews of this book are fairly glowing I must really disagree. There are two very serious flaws to this book and CD.

One is that the book requires you to learn a difficult and non-intuitive phonic alphabet system to approximate the sounds of the Khmer language. In the vast majority of the cases the tortured phonics made up by the authors could have been very closely approximated by already known and intuitive english letter/phonic cominations that every english speaker already knows. In other words the authors have made up symbols and then give you english word equivalents that approximate the Khmer sound. Then it is these symbols that are used throughout the text to "learn" the Khmer sounds. In reality most guidebooks do a much better job by using combinations of letters that we all know the sounds of to approximate the Khmer. It is needlessly complex.

The second fatal flaw is the CD set. Throughout the CD the Khmer speaker only says the word or phrase ONCE, never repeating. For any language this is just not adequate but for a language that is as difficult as Khmer is to western ears this is a serious shortcoming. You really need to hear these words more than once, then repeated in a sentence, in context, then repeated in the english translation.

Some areas of the book are better as are the lettering practice sections. However they too are hobbled by the really unworkable phonetic symbols used throughout.

Give this set a pass. If I could get my money back I would.

Alan Perry

Seattle Wa
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A great beginner's learning tool 30 Oct. 2005
By M. Blackwell - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book and audio offers a easy to follow and sequential study of the Cambodian language. It starts with the basics for conversation and progresses in a logical order. The audio covers all the vocabulary and conversations. It allows plenty of time for the listener to repeat the words after the native speaker. It even starts teaching the Cambodian characters in lesson 1! Giving a simple explanation of the Cambodian alphabet, it explains the use of both vowels and consonants. This book also provides plenty of practice exercises in speaking, reading, and writing. I've found it to be very helpful.
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