You've probably had this topic before so I apologize if I'm being redundant. I have been a resident in Cambodia (Siem Reap) for about 4 years now, though I've only been tuning in here for a year. I took Khmer lessons for 8 months 3 years ago and my Khmer teacher turned me loose saying, "You know the basics plus 650 words of vocabulary and your accent is great, Alex. Now just go into the community and practice, practice, practice." And there's the rub. When I spoke to a Khmer and they answered I couldn't understand their response. I am now in a relationship with a Khmer and we live on the family compound (two+ years!) and my Khmer speaking is so bad I refrain from speaking at all. I think I know what the problem is and my Khmer family have an opinion as well. I would be interested in hearing your experience with the language of Cambodia. Do you think it is important for us (foreigner residents) to learn Khmer? Have you learned it? How did it go? Was it worth the effort? How so?
Thanks for your input.