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The most important vocabulary to know during your trip in Cambodia

The Khmer language is similar to the languages of neighbouring countries in terms of pronunciation and spelling. The language itself comes from sanscrit, the language used in Hindu religious texts. 

A language for 14 million people

The Khmer language is only spoken in Cambodia, by 14 million people. However at the very heart of the country, you will find communities who do not speak Khmer: if you go to the Mondulkiri province, in the north-east, the ethnic minorities there will speak Krom, and accents will vary depending on the region you travel to. 

Each region has its own particular sound: they pronounce all the letters and role the 'r's. Certain words also have a guttural pronunciation, so it might be sometimes difficult for you to make yourself understood even if you have the correct spelling - the pronunciation is difficult!

Nevertheless, it is always much appreciated if you are able to express yourself, even if it is only with a few words, in the Khmer language, because the Cambodians as a people are very open and love to talk! This can also be very useful in certain situations during your trip to Cambodia, especially when you're negotiating a tuk-tuk price or haggling in the market! 

Monks in the temple

Basic expressions / Common Words

UsaKhmer
Good morning / Good eveningSou sdey
How are you?Sok sabay
Fine, thank you, and you?Sok sabay. Tcho néa végn ?
I understand / I don't understandAt jol
SorrySom toh
GoodbyeLee Hai
WelcomeSvakom
Thank you (very much)Orkurn (chran)
Excuse meSom toh
My name is...Knyom chmoh ...
No thank youAt té, orkurn
Yes / NoCha (si vous êtes une fille) ou Baat (si vous êtes un garçon) / At té
You're welcomeMen ey tei

Commerce

UsaKhmer
How much is it?Tlai pon man?
It is very cheapThauk
It is too expensive!Tlai nah!
Can you lower the price?Neak arch Chos tlay ban té?
I would like to buy ... this one!khom chong tink vea
I like it / I don't like itKnyom sraelang / Knyom saab
MoneyLuy
I'm just looking around.Merl leng té

Transportation

UsaKhmer
I would like to go to ...Khnom Chorng
PlaneYon aouh
Boatkapal teuk
TrainRot plen
TaxiTaksai
Buslan kron
I would like to rent ...Khnom Chorng
Motorbikemoto
Carlan
BikeKang

Directions

UsaKhmer
Where is ...? / How can I get to ...?Tiy naa .... ?
BankBang
Train stationsthanyi
CentreTi Krong
HotelSanthaguear
HospitalMontyi péet
Is it close / far?Kaket / Tchhngaye ?
Straight aheadTrang
Left / RightTchveng / Sdam
North / South / East / WestTchun / Tbon / Kaut / Lek

Numberssieben, acht, neun, zehn

UsaKhmer
one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, tenmouy, pi, bay, boun, bram, bram mouy, bram pi, bram bai, bram boun, dob
twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, sixtymopey, sam sep, se sep, ha sep, hok sep
seventy, eighty, ninetytchep sep, pet sep, kao sep,
One hundredmouy rauy

Hours/Dates and daysDienstag, Mittwoch, Donnerstag, Freitag, Samstag, Sonntag

UsaKhmer
What time is it?Moang pon man?
When?Kaal ?
YesterdayMsel minh
Today (morning/midday/evening)Thgnai nis
TomorrowThgnai sa erk
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, SundayChan, Angkea, Puth, Prohoas, Sok, Sao, Atith
I am here on vacationNov Ti Nis Samrab Ka Samrak Lomher Kay
I am here for businessKhgnom Nov Ti Nis Samrab Ka Ngea

Time to eat!

UsaKhmer
I am hungry / I am thirstyKnyom Klean
EnjoyNiang bai
Cheers!Chloy moy !
It was deliciousChnaing
What can you recommend?Ter neak yol yang mech der?
I am vegeterianNham bous
Not spicy please (I don't like spices)Min Hel, Min Yok Mtes
It's too hotKdauw !
I am allergicKnyom alaessy
Sea foodGrueung samut
PeanutsSandek Dey
GlutenGluten
I would like...Khnom Chorng
WaterTek
Tee / CoffeeTe / cavé
Beer / WineBier / Sraa
The bill, pleaseSom caut loy

Health / Emergency / Security

UsaKhmer
I need to see a doctor.Khgnom Trov Ka Krou Peit
Call an ambulance / Call 911Som Chouy Hav Krou Peit Oay Khgnom Phang
Where is the hospital?Munti Peit Nov Er Na?
I do not feel very goodKhnyom mean arom min lhor té
It hurts hereChheu
Where can I find the restrooms?Bangkon ?
Help!Chouy Khgnom Phang !
PolicePoliyh
DangerGrouoh tnaak
I'm lostKnyom vongvéegn

Other

UsaKhmer
Have a nice day !Samnang lhor !
Bettina Zourli
45 contributions
Updated 26 October 2018

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