Khmer numerals

The number 605 in Khmer numerals, from the Sambor inscriptions in 683 AD. The earliest known material use of zero as a decimal figure.[1]

Khmer numerals are the numerals used in the Khmer language. They have been in use since at least the early 7th century, with the earliest known use being on a stele dated to AD 604 found in Prasat Bayang, Cambodia, near Angkor Borei.[2][3]

Numerals

The Khmer numerals depicted in four different typographical variants.

Having been derived from the Hindu numerals, modern Khmer numerals also represent a decimal positional notation system. It is the script with the first extant material evidence of zero as a numerical figure, dating its use back to the seventh century, two centuries before its certain use in India.[2][4] However, Old Khmer, or Angkorian Khmer, also possessed separate symbols for the numbers 10, 20, and 100. Each multiple of 20 or 100 would require an additional stroke over the character, so the number 47 was constructed using the 20 symbol with an additional upper stroke, followed by the symbol for number 7.[5] This inconsistency with its decimal system suggests that spoken Angkorian Khmer used a vigesimal system.

As both Thai and Lao scripts are derived from Old Khmer,[6] their modern forms still bear many resemblances to the latter, demonstrated in the following table:

Value Khmer Thai Lao
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
Other Languages
Bahasa Melayu: Angka Khmer
Nederlands: Khmercijfers
Plattdüütsch: Khmer-Tallen
中文: 高棉數字