When you are lost in the beauty of Cambodia, you may lose track of days (ថ្ងៃ / thngai) and months (ខែ khe). So, to keep track of everything, try to learn the words used for describing Khmer days and months. Just imagine not having to worry about whether you correctly understood the check-out time at your hotel or the time the tuk-tuk driver is going to pick you up for your elephant safari just makes life easier. Sounds like a dream, right? If you’re ready to learn more about that, keep reading below!
You might not realize it at first, but the Khmer calendar might be different from where you came from. You see, Cambodians actually use two types of calendars. The first one is the international calendar they use for civil purposes, and the other one is the traditional calendar they use for religious purposes. If you are given an opportunity to experience some of their important occasions in a year, you are surely lucky and honored.
Are you planning a trip to Cambodia this year? If so, one of the first things to consider is the Khmer Calendar. While it may seem like a small detail, knowing the dates in Khmer can make a big difference in ensuring a smooth and enjoyable journey. Not only will it help you avoid potential misunderstandings and schedule mix-ups, but it will also show respect for Cambodia’s rich culture. Let’s go over that and more in the sections below.
Khmer / Cambodian Calendar
The traditional Khmer Calendar, which is called “Chhankitek,” or the lunar calendar. Interestingly, even though Chhankitek means lunar calendar, the traditional Khmer calendar is lunisolar. It is similar to the one used by Hindus and Chinese.
Days Of The Week
Want to know an interesting fact about the Cambodian way of counting days? Khmer’s way of counting days is that it is also the same as the Gregorian calendar. But that is a long discussion that needs to be learned thoroughly. For now, learn these Khmer words related to the days of the week.
In the Khmer language, each day of the week is should include the word ថ្ងៃ “T’ngai” – the Khmer word for “day.” So this means that if you want to say “Monday,” then the Khmer word for that is ថ្ងៃចន្ or thngai chan. Sounds pretty easy, right? So long as you practice getting the pronunciations right, you’re good to go.
|ចុងសប្តាហ៍||chong sab da||Weekend|
|now thngai chanon|
now riengrealthngai chan
|now thngai angkear|
now riengrealthngai angkear
|now thngai pouth|
now riengrealthngai pouth
|now thngai prohos|
now riengrealthngai prohos
|now thngai sok|
now riengrealthngai sok
|now thngai saw|
now riengrealthngai saw
now riengrealthngai atit
|now chong sabda |
now riengreal chong sabda
|at the weekend|
|ម្សិលម្ងៃ||msail mngei||The day before yesterday|
|តើថ្ងៃនេះជាថ្ងៃអ្វី?||tae thngainih chea thngai avei?||What day is today?|
Months Of The Year
Khmer calendar follows the 12-month scheme like the Gregorian Calendar. There may be many similarities, but the key difference is that Cambodians use the Buddhist Era as their demarcation line for years. They do not use the Common Era. It is not that surprising because we know that Cambodians are Buddhists. They also have solar and lunar months, but we don’t need to focus on that now. What’s important is that you learn these words and phrases related to the months of the year.
|វិច្ឆកា||vi chchh ka||November|
|ខែនេះ||khe nih||This month|
|ឆ្នាំនេះ||chhna nih||This year|
|តើខែនេះជាអ្វី?||tae khe nih chea avei?||What is this month?|
It is also useful to know the seasons of the year in Khmer, as it will help you decide when to visit. The weather can vary, and it is a good idea to know what to expect when you visit. Typically, during the moon phases from June to October is when you can expect clouds and a lot of rain as this is the rainy or monsoon season. the dry season is split into two periods. From March to May, expect it to be hot and dry, and cooler and dry from November to February.
|រដូវស្លឹកឈើជ្រុះ||rodeuv sleuk cheu chrus||Autumn / Fall|
|រដូវរងារ||rodeuv phkar rik||Winter|
Thankfully telling the current local time in Cambodia is kept simple because the country doesn’t have multiple time zones, and you won’t need a time zone converter. This means it is the same time in the cities of Phnom Penh and Siem Reap and any other location across the country. Cambodia also doesn’t observe daylight saving time as other time zones do, so Indochina time is always used, and the time is always UTC GMT+07:00. This makes it nice and easy to convert the current time in your country to the local time in Cambodia.
Khmer uses a different system to represent the time of day than the one we have in the west. Instead of dividing the day into 24 hours as we would in somewhere like London, the Khmer language divides the day into the daytime and the nighttime. The daytime is divided into 12 hours, starting at 6 a.m. The first hour is called “proh muoy” (ព្រហមមួយ) or “first hour,” and the 12th hour is called “proh pi” (ព្រហិតពីរ) or “twelfth hour.”
The nighttime is also divided into 12 hours, starting at 6 p.m. The first hour of the nighttime is called “proh muoy chey” (ព្រហមមួយជេរ) or “first hour of the night,” and the 12th hour is called “proh pi chey” (ព្រហិតពីរជេរ) or “twelfth hour of the night.”
Cambodians also employ a combination of words and numbers to represent the exact time. For example, if it is 7:30 a.m., it would be represented as “proh muoy bpeun” (ព្រហមមួយប្រឹង្ហប៉ូណ៍) or “first hour, half.” If it is 3:45 p.m., it would be represented as “proh sam boun” (ព្រហសេមបូន្ដ្រែល) or “third hour, three quarters.”
|ម្តងម្កាល||mtongomkeal||once in a while/ occasionally|
|មួយម៉ោង||muoy maong||one hour|
|ពីរម៉ោង||pir maong||two hours|
|មួយនាទី||muoy neati||one minute|
|ពីរនាទី||pir neati||two minutes|
|ដប់នាទី||db neati||ten minutes|
|ដប់ប្រាំនាទី||dbbra neati||fifteen minutes|
|សាមសិបនាទី||samseb neati||thirty minutes|
|សែសិបប្រាំនាទី||seseb bram neati||forty-five minutes|
|តើម៉ោងប៉ុន្មានហើយ?||tae maong bonman haey||What time is it?|
|តើត្រូវចំណាយពេលប៉ុន្មានម៉ោង?||tae trauv chamnaypel bonman maong?||How many hours does it take?|
|ជើងហោះហើររបស់ខ្ញុំគឺនៅម៉ោង ៦ ល្ងាច។||cheunghaohhaer robsakhnhom ku now maong 6 lngeach .||My flight is at 6 o’clock in the evening.|
|តើវាចាប់ផ្ដើមនៅម៉ោងប៉ុន្មាន?||tae vea chabphdaem now maong bonman?||What time does it start?|
Times Of The Day
Because you are learning about Khmer days and months, you also need to learn the times of the day. This is very helpful, especially when you want to say your greetings to others.
|ពាក់កណ្តាលយប់||peak kandal yub||midnight|
Make Your Time, Days, And Months Worth It!
If you have learned Khmer days and months and enjoyed learning, it is a sign that your time was well-spent. The words you have learned will not just widen your Khmer vocabulary. You can also use it when you go to Cambodia and face a situation that requires your knowledge about time, days, and months. You can read more blog posts like this posted on Ling’s website. There are several blog posts that you can read, such as Hello in Khmer & Other Greetings, A New Beginning: Khmer New Year, and 10 Khmer Food That Will Satisfy Your Cravings. All these blog posts will make your days meaningful.
On the other hand, if you want to learn Khmer and other languages differently and more excitingly, Ling App has an alternative for you. You can learn a number of languages online for free. You would not have to worry about lack of time and conflicting schedules because you can find your own time. Ling App will help you have a language learning experience that is convenient and engaging. So why don’t you get started? Don’t waste any time. Learn Khmer now.