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Khmer typewriter

Posted on:January 29, 2023 at 03:22 PM

The beauty is in each letter and number

In a book by Derek Tonkin, Modern Cambodian Writing, it says: “The first Cambodian-keyboard typewriters appeared in 1955. Only two models have been produced commercially, by Remington (U.S.A.) and Adler (Western Germany).”

I acquired this old Khmer typewriter during the pandemic. Going deep into both typewriter makers’ websites, I can’t find anything about the Khmer typewriter products they made. But stay tuned! I’m on a mission to find out more!

Adding this Cambodian typewriter to my collection. More work to polish.

Who invented the Khmer typewriter?

Prominent Cambodian scholar and intellecutal Keng Vannsak invented the Khmer typewriter. Keng Vannsak had many titles: philosopher, historian, linguist, professor, playwright, novelist, poet. And the Camnodian keyboard is his legacy for many generations.

The first Khmer typewriter was developed in Cambodia to accommodate the unique script of the Khmer language, which consists of 33 consonants, 24 vowels, and various diacritical marks. The typewriter became an important tool for the preservation and dissemination of the Khmer language, especially in the wake of the Khmer Rouge regime which destroyed much of the country’s written heritage. The Khmer typewriter was widely used in government offices, schools, and other institutions for many years. However, with the advent of computers and the widespread use of digital technology, the use of the Khmer typewriter has declined in recent years.

Fact: it is possible to refurbish an old Khmer typewriter.