Now I Know My ABCs

Sun 28 November 2010

Nearly all of them, anyway. It won't be long to collect the whole set.

Here's some art I picked up for my apartment - an alphabet poster.


The consonant song covers all of the big letters, and the vowel chant pronounces the smaller ones at the bottom.

Some of the pictures are mystifying. Is that a demon? A phoenix? A lawn grub? Why aren't these words in my pocket dictionary?

I took liberties with my flash cards. All the books explain that consonants belong to either the first series, which says "aw", or second series, which says "oo". It was slow going to remember "this squiggle is for g-in-the-first-series". I memorized them as "gaw" and "goo", just like we memorized "ka, ki, ku, ke, ko" in Japanese. It's not accurate linguistics, but it's much faster.

Reading will help me nail down pronunciation. The romanizations of words depend on the accent of the transcriber. I've learned the same word two or three times because it's been transcribed differently. Very inefficient.

Reading is outside the scope of our conversational class, so I'm piecing together several sources. Besides the poster and textbook, there's a series of YouTube videos that teaches reading. The series narrates a Khmer primer in English. I stumbled on the book in a bookstore, so now I have my own marked-up copy. Now I can read important phrases like "Don't bother the lion".

The word of the week is tiger -- "klaw"! Many claws, in fact. I love a good mnemonic.

Category: Languages

Tags: cambodia / khmer /