Are you Cambodian or Khmer?

November 6, 2015

Once known as the Khmer Empire in 802 AD, the country is now officially referred to as the Kingdom of Cambodia. The word 'Cambodia' is an Anglicised version of the French translation of Kampuchea, Cambodge.


Traditionalists often refer to themselves as Khmer however with the country welcoming the world in record numbers, it has become more westernised. As a result, the people are increasingly identifying themselves as Cambodians however the native tongue is still referred to as Khmer. Speaking of which, here are some useful phrases if you ever get the chance to experience the Kingdom of Cambodia.


Hello (ជំរាបសួរ)

johm rieb sua (formal)
surs dey (informal)


How are you? (អ្នកសុខសប្បាយទេ)

niak sohk sabaay te?


What's your name? (អ្នកឈ្មោះអី?)

niak ch'muah ei?


My name is... (ខ្ងុំឈ្មោះ ...) 

kh'nyohm ch'muah ...


Where are you from? (អ្នកមកពីប្រទេសណា?)
niak mao pbii prateh naa?


I'm from... (ខ្ងុំមកពី...)
kh'nyohm mao pbii...


Pleased to meet you (ខ្ញុំ​ត្រេក​អរណាស់​ដែលបាន​ស្គាល់​លោក)
kh'nyom trawk aw naa dael baan skoal loark


Goodbye (លាសិន​ហើយ)

lia suhn hao-y


Good luck (សូមឲ្យ​បាន​ជោគ​ជ័យ)

soam aoy baan joak jaay


Bon appetit / Have a nice meal (អញ្ជើញ​ពិសាឲ្យ​បាន​ឆ្ងាញ់)
anjoe-in pisaa ao-y baan ch'ngain


Bon voyage / Have a good journey (ទៅអោយបានសុខ)

tuoo aoy baan sok


Please speak more slowly (សូម​និយាយ​យឺតៗ)

sohm niyay yeut yeut


Please say that again (សូមនិយាយម្តងទៀត)

sohm niyay m'dawng tiat


Do you speak Khmer? (អ្នក​ចេះ​និយាយ​ភាសា​ខ្មែរ​ទេ?)

niak jeh phiasaa kh'mai te?

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