Handy Khmer Vocabulary

Chhnang (ch-nang)/ Delicious

Cambodians love talking about food, so saying “delicious” can elicit a smile.

Chhmua ei? (cham-moo-ey)/ What is your name?

This is an essential phrase for forging friendships with locals.

Baht schweng (bart-shweng) / Turn left

A tuk-tuk is likely to be your main mode of transport in Cambodia so learning a few phrases will come in handy.

Baht Saddam (bart-sadam) / Turn right

This is another helpful phrase for getting around.

The Khmer Script

Vowels

Vowels are indicated by using either separate letters or diacritics written above, below, in front of, after, or around the consonants.

The Pronunciation

The pronunciation of the vowels depends on whether a consonant they are attached to belongs to the first or the second series.

Consonants

All consonants have a subscript form that is used to write the second consonant of a cluster.

Space

There are no spaces between words in Khmer. Spaces are used to indicate the end of a clause or sentence.

Cambodia: Linguistic Diversity

Khmer

Modern Khmer is used nationwide and is understood by most of the country’s inhabitants.

Tumpoon

Tumpoon is spoken by the Tampuan people who are indigenous inhabitants of the mountains in Cambodia’s Ratanakiri Province.

Kuy

Although Kuy is spoken mostly in Thailand and Laos, it is also used in the Preah Vihear, Stung Treng and Kampong Thom provinces of northeastern Cambodia.

About us

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Meas Rithipol

Educator at Range-Master Language School

We offer regular and online classes for Khmer language learners of all levels. Instruction is given by qualified instructors and linguists at the appropriate for the group level.

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