Though you do not need to speak Khmer to participate in our tours, we think it’s a great initiative to try to learn at least the most basic phrases in the language of the country you are visiting. The Cambodians you meet will truly appreciate your effort in getting to know their culture and once you get started, it is a ton of fun as well!
Here are the essentials you will be sure to have the opportunity to practice:
Goodbye. Lia suhn hao-y.
Yes. Jaa. (for women)
Baat. (for men)
I’m sorry/Excuse me. Sohm toh.
Thank you. Aw-kOOn.
Thank you very much. Aw-kOON ch’ran.
You’re welcome. Awt aay.
How are you? Niak sohk sabaay te?
I’m fine K’nyom sohk sabaay.
What’s your name? Niak ch’mooah ay?
My name is … K’nyom ch’mooah …
How old are you? A-yoop bpon-maan ch’num?
I don’t understand. K’nyom s’dap muhn baan te.
Where is the ___? ___ neu ai-naa?
How much is it ($)? Nih t-hlay pohnmaan?
Help! Juay! / choo-ee!
How do you say___ in Khmer? ___ kh’mai t-haa mait?
moo-ay 1 dawp-moo-ay 11
bpee 2 dawp-bpee 12
bay 3 dawp-bay 13
boun 4 dawp-brahm-moo-ay 16
brahm 5 dawp-brahm-bpee 17 .
brahm-moo-ay 6 m’pay 20
brahm-bpee 7 m’pay moo-ay 21
brahm-bay 8 saam suhp 30
brahm-boun 9 moo-ay roy 100
dawp 10 muy poan 1000
We understand that it can be hard to wrap your head around the phonetics of any new language, especially one so different from one’s own. That is why our friends at World Nomads created this entertaining Khmer audio tutorial that allows you to hear many of the above phrases. Download it to your computer, iPod, or any other mp3 player and you’ll be speaking Khmer in no time!