To help you enjoy your trip a little bit more, here are some common Khmer Language words and phrases.
While it is not necessary for travelers to speak the Khmer Language in Cambodia, it will certainly make your stay easier and will earn you some respect from the local people you meet. Here are a few words in the Khmer Language you can practice and use during your trip. You can print the page out and take it with you as a handy Khmer reference guide.
Common Words and Phrases in the Khmer Language
Hello = Sues dei
Good morning = Arun sues dei
Good afternoon = Tiveah sues dei
Good night = Reah-trey sues dei
How are you? = Daa neh sok sab bai te?
Fine, thank you = la’or, Aw khun
What is your name? = Daa neh chmuah ey?
My name is ______ = Knyom chmuah _____
Please = Soum
Thank you = Aw khun
Thank you very much = Aw khun tran
You are welcome = Muhn ay te
Yes = Jah (for females) = Baat (for men)
No = Te
No thank you = Te aw khun
Excuse me = Soum doh
Goodbye = Chum riep leah
Bye Bye = Leah Hai
I do not understand = Min yul dtey
Do you speak English? = Cheh niyeay pia’saa Anglais baan te?
Is there someone here who speaks English? = Mean neak nass cheh Onglayh te?
Help = Chouay
Where is the toilet? = Bangkun now ey nah?
Motor bike = moto
Tuk Tuk = Tuk Tuk (of course)
Numbers in the Khmer Language
1 = mouy
2 = pii
3 = bey
4 = bourn
5 = pbram
6 = pbram muoy
7 = pbram pii
8 = pbram bey
9 = pbram bourn
10 = dop
20 = m’pai
30 = sam sep
40 = sae sep
50 = ha sep
60 = hok sep
70 = chet sep
80 = bpet sep
90 = gow sep
100 = mouy roy
1000 = mouy poan
10,000 = mouy meun
100,000 = mouy sen
Days of the week in Khmer Language
Monday = Chunn
Tueday = Onkear
Wednesday = Pourt
Thursday = Pror-hoah
Friday = Sok
Saturday = Sau
Sunday = A-dtut
A few helpful hints for travelers.
- Do not raise your voice or show signs of anger. It will embarrass everyone and only make a situation worse.
- Do not touch or pat someone on the head (not even a child) as the head is considered sacred.
- Always take your shoes off when entering a locals home or a temple.
- It is considered rude to point the bottom of your feet towards someone.
- Women should not touch or hand something to a monk. Place the object down so the monk can then pick it up.
- When going to temples dress the right way. Make sure shoulders are covered and shorts or dress goes to knees.
- Above all, smile and enjoy yourself.