It has the most number of alphabets
on earth (74 compared to 26 in English alphabets), and it has its own
Official name of Cambodia in Khmer script
(transcripted Preăh Réachéanachâkr Kâmpŭchea).
Squiggly lines that unless you learn it seriously, might as well
be hieroglyphs from Egypt.
So, does it sound like a hopeless case to
learn Khmer (pronounced Khe-my)?
Here are some simple phrases that you can memorize before arriving in
Cambodia. Knowing a few words of Cambodian language always earns smiles
and nods of approval from the local. And hey, usually that way they’re
extra nice to you, for taking the trouble of learning their language.
So here you go.
(Click on the play button to hear the pronunciation)
|How are you?||
Sok sabai chea tay?
|I’m fine||Knhum sok sabai chea tay|
|Yes||Baat (for man)
Cha (for woman)
|Thank you very much||Akun jann|
Getting to Know
|How much for this?||Teu nis thlay pun mann?|
|Please take me to…||Sohn york knhum toev…|
|Where is||Noev ey na|
|Slow down (you’ll need this
|Stop here||Chhop tee nis|
|Turn right||Bort sdam
|Turn left||Born chhveng|
|Go straight||Toev trang|
|Pharmacy||Or soth s’than|
|Guesthouse||Ph’teah som nak|
So in short…
Simple Cambodian phrases are the way to go. You’ll have so much fun,
with the people better. Of course there’s the chance of mis-pronouncing
the word, but not to worry, just your efforts alone will please them.
Worse comes to worse, use hand signals, hire a guide, or grab an
English speaking Cambodian to help you out . There are increasingly more
and more people who can speak basic english. So do this for fun, not
because you have to!
Where would you like to go next?
Get some Cambodian language learning software and books:
Cambodian Food/Traditional Khmer Food
It’s similar to the neighboring countries, but not really. Same same,
but different. Not to be missed though!
95% of the people are Buddhist, while the temples are Hindu. Read on to
find out when and why the ‘switch’ happened.
The locals are a big fan of karaoke. But apart from the pop songs,
there are other kinds too. The classical Cambodian music is deeply
valued by the people.
In downtown Siem Reap, you’ll see restaurants offering free traditional
dance with your meal. Here’s you’ll find out more about
those dances and other kinds as well.