#1 Gripping Guide For Giving Directions In Khmer


Being able to find your way around Phnom Phen or Siem Reap when traveling around Cambodia is one of the most useful linguistic skills you can master. So, getting to grips with giving directions in Khmer, the official language of Cambodia, is going to be our subject this time.

Knowing how to give directions in Khmer can be invaluable for locals and travelers alike. We hope this comprehensive guide will teach you the essential phrases and cultural nuances in basic Khmer required to give clear and friendly directions.

Basic Phrases For Directions In Khmer

Before getting into the complexities of giving directions in Khmer, let’s start with learning Khmer for some fundamental phrases that will prove handy in countless situations:

Where are you going?តើអ្នកទៅណា?Tay nak tov na?
Go straight aheadទៅទួលមុខTov toul muk
Turn left from hereបង្វិលពីនេះទៅត្រល់Bongvile piny te tov tral
Turn right from hereបង្វិលពីនេះទៅខាងស្តាំBongvile piny te tov khang stam
U-turnលេងបង្គន់Lang bongkhnge
Intersectionស្ពានមុខSphane muk
T-junctionស្ពានដេកSphane dek
Walk for one hourកន្លះទៅក្នុងមួយម៉ោងKnal tov knong muoy maung
Drive for one hourជួបជាមួយមួយម៉ោងChoub chha muoy muoy maung

Providing Directions

When giving directions in the Khmer language, it’s crucial to be clear and polite. Cambodians are known for amazing hospitality and politeness, so maintaining a friendly tone is essential.

Asking For Directions In Khmer

If you find yourself lost or need guidance, here are some phrases you can use to ask for directions in Khmer with English translation:

Can you help me?អ្នកអាចជួបជាមួយខ្ញុំបានទេ?Nak aak choub chha muoy knhom baan te?
I want to go to this placeញុំកិតស៊ីសាគ្រីមបេត្រមុខមួយបេត្Knhom kit si sakreek muk muoy ber
Is it near here?អ្នកទៅនៅត្រល់មុខមួយទេ?Nak tov niv tral muk muoy te?
Is this close to that?តើនេះមួយជាមួយនៅត្រល់ពីរនេះទេ?Tay ney muoy chha muoy niv tral pee

Giving Directions In Khmer

When providing directions, be as clear and descriptive as possible. Use landmarks, distances, and cardinal directions to guide the person effectively.

Go left, then rightទៅត្រល់ខាងស្តាំត្រល់ហើយTov tral khang stam tral haeu
You can go straight aheadអ្នកអាចទៅត្រល់ហើយNak aak tov tral haeu
Turn right, then take the first leftបង្វិលខាងស្តាំហើយទៅមួយសញ្ញាប់Bongvile khang stam haeu tov muoy sannhab
Is it close to this intersection?តើអ្នកអាចនៅត្រល់មុខនេះទេ?Tay nak aak niv tral muk ney te?
Look for the sign near the traffic lightរកកន្លះត្រល់ខាងរបស់ជញ្ជាំងសារRok knal tov khang robsa chnakcham sangra
Go to the residential areaទៅនៅតំបន់សញ្ញាប់សារTov niv tampong sannhab saa
What comes after the roundabout?ហេតុអ្វីមកពីបារាំងដែរ?Hea avy mok pi baramdai?
Giving Directions In Khmer ling app

Using Landmarks

Landmarks are a crucial aspect of giving directions in Khmer. Cambodians often use prominent buildings, temples, and other distinctive features to help navigate. Here are some common landmarks you can use:

Angkor Wat Templeប្រាសាទបន្លែស្នេហ៍Prasat banle sne
The Royal Palaceមហារេតនឹងត្រល់Maharath neung tral
Central Marketផ្សារបូព៌ានPsar buon
Russian Marketផ្សារម៉ាកូPsar makor
Independence Monumentមុខរបរគ្រូបស្សនាMukraabaa kruhbaasannah
Post Office Squareអាគារសំកាត់ព្រែកតាAachasaomkat preakta
Big Marketផ្សារធំPsar thum
Bakong Templeប្រាសាទបាគនំPrasat baknong
Choeung Ek Killing FieldsសាលាឆាយឈើSalahchaay chhu

Using Cardinal Directions

In Khmer, you can use cardinal directions to clarify your directions. Here are some words and phrases to help you incorporate cardinal directions:

Go north then southបាត់មួយបាត់ហើយBat muoy bat haeu
Go to the eastទៅខាងលិចTov khang lik
Turn westលោតខាងឡាតាំងLot khang lataang
Just on the south side, two blocks awayតែខាងនៅពីរទេTae khang niv pee muoy te

Describing Distance

It’s essential to convey the distance accurately when giving directions. Use these phrases to describe distance in Khmer:

Less than one kilometerជាងមួយគីឡូម៉ែត្Chhang muoy kiloumaet
I live one block awayញុំលេងបង្គន់មួយដងKnhom lang bongkhnge muoy dang
It’s not far, only a few kilometersមិនបាននៅឆ្ងាយប៉ុន្មានគីឡូម៉ែត្Min ban niv chhang bongmnah kiloumaet
You can walk there; it’s only a few kilometersអាចទៅដល់នៅឆ្ងាយប៉ុន្មានគីឡូម៉ែត្Aak tov dal niv chhang bongmnah kiloumaet
Giving Directions In Khmer ling aoo

Cultural Considerations

Understanding the cultural context is essential when giving directions in Khmer. Cambodians are generally polite and hospitable, so remember these tips:

Be Polite

Always begin your request or direction in a polite way by using a phrase like សូម (som), which means “please.” It’s important to show respect in your language. Although you might not notice the Cambodians overusing the word please, as a visitor, it is always going to be appreciated if you err on the polite side. For example, សូមវិក័យប័ត្រ (som ket loy) which means “The bill please.”

Use Thank You

End your interaction with gratitude by saying អរគុណ (arkun), which means “thank you.” It’s a simple gesture that goes a long way in Khmer culture.

Be Patient

Some Cambodians may not be familiar with street names or formal directions. Be patient and use visual aids or landmarks if necessary. Even if you don’t fully understand, use អត់ទេ/ទេ (ot teh), which means “okay”, and try finding someone else to chat to.

Providing directions in Khmer can be a rewarding experience that enhances your cultural understanding and communication skills in Cambodia. By using the phrases and tips provided in this guide, you’ll be well-equipped to navigate and assist others while showing respect for Khmer culture. So, go ahead, explore Cambodia, and don’t hesitate to lend a helping hand when someone needs directions in this beautiful country. Safe travels, my friend! ធ្វើដំណើរដោយសុវត្ថិភាពមិត្តរបស់ខ្ញុំ (thveudamnaer daoy sovotthephap mitt robsakhnhom)!

Learn More Khmer With Ling

A language app is the ideal way to learn Khmer and as one of the best out there Ling app is the perfect companion for a trip to Cambodia. With more than 60 other languages on offer, Ling app is all you will ever need to learn a new language whichever country you are planning on visiting. Give Ling app a try today at Google Play or the App Store.

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