Khmer is the official language of Cambodia and is used in most social contexts including government administration, education at all levels, and in the mass media. It is spoken by some 7 million people living there, roughly 90% of the population.
Regional differences are slight and normally mutually intelligible. Based on the dialect of the capital city of Phnom Penh, Modern Khmer is used throughout the nation and widely understood by its inhabitants. Much Khmer vocabulary used in literature, the military, and administration is borrowed from Sanskrit, or Pali. Due to years of French colonial rule, numerous French words have been incorporated into the language as well.