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Cambodia is an interesting country to visit as it is full of culture and history not to mention Cambodia’s dark history of when the Khmer Rouge was in charge. Up till 1953, Cambodia was a French protectorate. As a result, France had a big influence in Cambodia where french was taught in the schools. So do they speak french in Cambodia?

No, you might find older people might be able to speak french but not the younger generations. The official language in Cambodia is Khmer. French was spoken in Cambodia and taught in the schools before the Khmer Rouge were in charge till 1979. Simply during the Khmer Rouge years, they killed mostly educated Cambodians, most of whom were French-educated. By the end of the Khmer Rouge reign, the french language was mostly wiped out in Cambodia.

In this post, we will go through whether the Cambodians speak English. Let’s get started!

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Do They Speak French In Cambodia?

No, not really. You might find older people might be able to speak french but not the younger generations. Even though Cambodia was a French protectorate, French is no longer commonly spoken in Cambodia. This is because of Cambodia’s dark history during the Khmer Rouge reign.

The official language in Cambodia is Khmer. French was spoken in Cambodia and taught in the schools before the Khmer Rouge were in charge till 1979. During the Khmer Rouge years, they killed mostly educated Cambodians, most of whom were French-educated. By the end of the Khmer Rouge reign, the french language was mostly wiped out.

Today, the English language is taught in schools and is widely used throughout the country. As English was seen as a more useful international language.

Don’t expect someone that is working in housekeeping or a builder or even the police to speak good English. Remember that the main language used in Cambodia is Khmer.

Phnom Penh Cambodia

Is English Widely Spoken In Cambodia?

Depends, simply, in tourist areas, English is commonly spoken but in more rural areas and less touristy areas do not expect there to be many English speakers.

Typically the young Cambodians tend to be more able to speak English at a good level as they learn it in school.

Is Cambodia Safe To Visit?

Cambodia is a safe place to visit and it does attract tourists from all over the world especially to see Angkor Wat. The one thing to remember is that Cambodia is relatively poor and that increases the risk to tourists. So based on this fact you need to ensure that expensive phones or jewelry are not visible.

There are incidents of pickpocketing, scams, and robbery so like anywhere else in the world you do need to use common sense and not make yourself attractive to criminals.

Is It Safe To Drink The Tap Water?

It is NOT advised to drink tap water in Cambodia. There is a lack of infrastructure to treat the water along with poor water pipe infrastructure has can lead to the water getting contaminated with harmful bacteria or viruses.

It is safe to drink filtered water but even safer to drink bottled water.

Ream Beach in Sihanoukville Cambodia

Does Cambodia Have Decent WiFi?

The quality of the WiFi in Cambodia depends on where you are. Cambodia has good internet but it starts to become less reliable as you leave the main cities for remote areas. There is WiFi available in cafes, bars, and hotels. Most of them have good wifi. And it is free in most coffee shops, hotels, bars, and restaurants.

Wrapping Up

Finally, you may find older people might be able to speak french but not the younger generations. The official language in Cambodia is Khmer. French was largely spoken in Cambodia and taught in the schools before the Khmer Rouge were in charge till 1979. Simply during the Khmer Rouge years, they killed mostly educated Cambodians, most of whom were French-educated. By the end of the Khmer Rouge reign, the french language was mostly wiped out in Cambodia.

And that’s it for now! I’d love to know if this guide on whether Cambodians speak French has helped you. Let me know if you have any questions and let me know if there is more to add.

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