The current Siamese characters are derived from the more monumental Cambodian alphabet, which again owes its origin to the alphabet of the inscriptions, an offshoot of the character found on the stone monuments of southern India in the 6th and 8th centuries.
The sacred books of Siam are still written in the Cambodian character.
Of this total about 3,000,000 are Siamese, about 2,000,000 Laos, about 400,000 Chinese, 115,000 Malay, 80,000 Cambodian and the rest Burmese, Indian, Mohn, Karen, Annamite, Kache, Lawa and others.
Leclere, Les codes cambodgiens (2 vols., Paris, 1898), and other works on Cambodian law; Francis Garnier, Voyage d'exploration en IndoChine (Paris, 1873).
In the effort to escape from the vulgar, words of Sanskrit origin have been freely adopted and many Cambodian words are also used.
The salient feature of Cambodian geography is the large lake Tonle-Sao, in a depression 68 m.
The Cambodian is his own artificer and self-sufficing so far as his own needs are concerned.
Foreign histories include a work on Pegu, a few tales of Cambodian kings and recently published class-books on European history compiled by the educational department.
The population is about 5000, two-thirds Cambodian and the remainder Chinese and Siamese.