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Khmer phrasebook

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Khmer is the main and official language of Cambodia.

Khmer script

Pronunciation guide[edit]

Knowing a few Khmer words will help you earn some respect while in Cambodia.

  • If you are male the word for 'yes' is pronounced 'baht' (បាទ) as in the sound of a sheep followed by a hard T.
  • If you are female the word for 'yes' is pronounced 'jah' (ចា) as in the first part of 'jar'.
  • The word for 'no' is pronounced 'otDay' (អត់ទេ/ទេ) with a short 'ot with an emphasis on the D following.
  • The word for 'thank you' is pronounced 'awkunh' (អរគុណ) sounds a little like raccoon.
  • To express greater thanks (thank you very much), use the word 'awkunh ch'ran' (អរគុណច្រើន).
  • The word for 'hello' is pronounced 'sue-saw-day' (សួស្តី) with sue as in a woman's name, saw as in a thing you cut with, and day as in sunday.
  • The word for 'sorry' is pronounced 'somtoh' (សុំទោស).
  • The word for 'toilet' is pronounced 'dakuhn' (បង្គន់) or 'pahkuhn' (បន្ទប់ទឹក). Similarly to how you would pronounce the kunh in thank you, but with a short 'ba' in front.
  • Scooter/mopeds with carriages pulled behind are called a 'tuk-tuk' (តុកតុក) better pronounced with the U sound from the back of your throat, like tulk-tulk.
  • Scooter/mopeds by themselves are pronounced 'moto' (ម៉ូតូ) with an emphasis on 'mo'.
  • Rickshaws are called 'cyclo' (ស៊ីក្លូ). The cy is pronounced like the word see.

Vowels[edit]

Consonants[edit]

Common diphthongs[edit]

Phrase list[edit]

Basics[edit]

Common signs


OPEN 
CLOSED 
ENTRANCE 
EXIT 
PUSH 
PULL 
TOILET 
MEN 
WOMEN 
FORBIDDEN 
Hello. ("formal")
ជំរាបសួរ (chum reap suor)
Hello. (informal
សួស្តី (sous-dey)
Hello. (answering the phone
អាឡូ (allo)
How are you? 
(niak sok sabai teh?)
Fine, thank you. 
សុខសប្បាយ (akun, sok sabai)
What is your name? 
(niak chmuah ey?)
My name is ______ . 
ខ្ញុំឈ្មោះ (knyom chmuah _____ .)
Nice to meet you. 
(reak reay dae bahn skoal loak )
Please. 
សូម (soum)
Thank you. 
អរគុណ (aw khun)
Welcome 
(soum swa-khom)
You're welcome. 
(m'n ay te) or អញ្ជើញ (un-juhn)
Yes. 
ច៎ា (jaah female) បាទ (baht men)
No. 
(ot teh)
Excuse me. 
សូមទោស (soum toh)
I'm sorry. 
សូមទោស (soum toh)
Goodbye 
(chum reap leah)
Goodbye (informal
(leah seun hai)
I can't speak name of language
(k'nyom ot seu cheh niyeay pia'saa khmae teh)
Do you speak English? 
(cheh niyeay pia'saa Anglais baan teh?)
Is there someone here who speaks English? 
(miean niak na cheh Anglais teh?)
Help! 
(chuy!)
Look out! 
(mer seun!)
Good morning. 
អរុណសួស្ដី (arun sous-dey )
Good afternoon. 
(tiveah sous-dey )
Good night. 
រាត្រីសួស្ដី (reatrey sous-dey )
I don't understand. 
ខ្ញុំ​មិន​យល់​ទេ ( k'nyom min yul teh)
Where is the toilet? 
(bakun noew ey nah?)
Happy Birthday! 
(reak reay t'gnai khom-not)

Problems[edit]

Numbers[edit]

Although Khmer uses base-10 numbers, the numbers for 1-9 are effectively spoken as base-5. Thus, six (bpram mouy) literally means five (bpram), one (mouy); whereas sixteen (dop bpram mouy) is ten (dop), five (bprum), one (mouy).

In practice, the word 'sep' is often omitted from the numbers for 30-90. However, it is generally considered more proper to include the word.

0  
๐ (soun)
1  
๑ (muay)
2  
๒ (pee)
3  
๓ (bei)
4  
๔ (buan)
5  
๕ (pbram)
6  
๖ (pbram muay)
7  
๗ (pbram pee)
8  
๘ (pbram bei)
9  
๙ (pbram buan)
10 
๑๐ (dop)
20 
(ma'pei)
30 
(sam sep)
40 
(sae sep)
50 
(haa sep)
60 
(hok sep)
70 
(chet sep)
80 
(paet sep)
90 
(kao sep)
100 
(muay roy)
1,000 
(muay poan)
10,000 
(muay meun)
100,000 
(muay saen)

Time[edit]

Time 
ម៉ោង (Maong)

Clock time[edit]

What time is it? 
(Maong bon maan?)
Maong mouy t'ngai (day) 
(1 pm)
Maong mouy yop (night) 
(1 am)

Duration[edit]

Hour 
ម៉ោង (Maong)
Minute 
នាទី (Neatii)

Days[edit]

Day 
(T'ngai) (ថ្ងៃ)
One day 
(Mouy t'ngai) (១ ថ្ងៃ)
Monday 
(Chhan) (ច័ន្ទ)
Tuesday 
(Angkea) (អង្គារ)
Wednesday 
(Poat) (ពុធ)
Thursday 
(Pra-hoah) (ព្រហស្បត្តិ៍)
Friday 
(Sok) (សុក្រ)
Saturday 
(Sao) (សៅរ៍)
Sunday 
(A-tut) (អាទិត្យ)

Months[edit]

Year 
(Chnam)
Month 
(Khae)
January 
(Makara)
February 
(Kompheak)
March 
(Mea-neah)
April 
(Mae-sa)
May 
(Osaphea)
June 
(Maytona)
July 
(Kakada)
August 
(Seyha)
September 
(Kanya)
October 
(Tola)
November 
(Vicheka)
December 
(Ta Nou)

Colors[edit]

Color 
(Phoa)
Red 
(Phoa Krahom)
Blue 
(Phoa Khiev)
Yellow 
(Phoa Leung)
White 
(Phoa Saw)
Black 
(Phoa Khmao)
Green 
(Phoa Bai-Thong)
Orange 
(Phoa Teuk-Kroit)
Pink 
(Phoa Pkah-Chouk)
Purple 
(Phoa Swai)
Brown 
(Phoa Thnout)​
Silver 
(Phoa P'rak)
Gold 
(Phoa Meas)

Transportation[edit]

Ride 
(Che-eh)

Bus and train[edit]

Train 
រទេះភ្លើង (ro-teh-plung)

Directions[edit]

Stop 
(Choup)
Turn 
(Baat)
Right 
(Sa-daam)
Left 
(Ch-wang)
Straight 
(Thrang)
Backward 
(K'raoy)

Taxi[edit]

Accommodation[edit]

house 
(p'theh)
my house 
(p'theh k'niom)
go to my house 
(dtow p'theh k'niom)

Money[edit]

Money 
លុយ (Loiiy)

Eating[edit]

Eat 
ញ៉ាំ (Niam bay)
Food 
ម្ហូប (Mahop)
Rice 
បាយ (Bai)

Bars[edit]

Shopping[edit]

ne ke ghtu

Driving[edit]

to drive 
(baek)
car 
ឡាន (laan)

Authority[edit]

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