There is no place like traditional homes in Cambodia. The beauty of wood and bamboo bonded together to give a structure that protects and shelters the locals will forever be a wonder of Asia. Thus, most travellers opt for homestays and Airbnb, where a traditional shelter is rented by a local family, to explore the rich culture ingrained in the household structures. If you are one of them, this blog is the right place for you.
In today’s post, we will go through all the traditional and conventional Khmer household items vocabulary and other common vocabulary words related to homes-ផ្ទះ (phteah) that will enhance your Khmer language skills. Learning these will also help you communicate with the locals of your homestay and navigate items in your room.
Moreover, nothing can better describe a traditional Cambodian house than uttering the unique things it possesses. So, once you learn the most useful words related to household items, you will unlock the ability to experience a full-fledged native journey. If you want to learn more, continue reading.
Traditional Cambodian House
Before we run into the vocabulary lists, here is a quick peek at what a traditional Khmer house looks like.
Cambodian Architecture is one of the fascinating wonders of Asia. Although relatively simple and subtle, houses mostly built of wood and stilts above the ground are known for their unique cultural touch. Most homes have a pointy design at the ends of the roof, which gives the houses a look resembling that of temples.
One of the most unconventional structures is the life-in-one-room system. Cambodians tend to share a communal life with one large standard room rather than different private rooms for one person each, like in the western household. They believe in privacy systems different from western life and consider living together a great lifestyle custom.
The house-building project is another prominent feature of the traditional Cambodian lifestyle. Hinduism and Buddhism highly influence Cambodia. Since 90% of the population follows Buddhism, house building is considered a religious practice. They believe it is a structure that will provide shelter for life and, thus, should be built with utmost respect and sincerity with their own hands. Village members also cooperate and support such practices by joining hands with the builder.
The houses are built on stilts for many reasons. It mainly protects the house and its members from floods, animal attacks, etc. Also, many farmers build extra high homes to store cattle, grains, and farming machines underneath the house. Such ideas show how unique and thoughtful the Asian household is and the rich culture enrooted in them. So, learning the words and phrases for everyday household items will complete the journey of Khmer houses.
Traditional Khmer Household Items Vocabulary
Now, we will go through some of the traditional Khmer items seen in Cambodian houses with proper word translations. Later, we will discover more words related to all the conventional household items under different room categories. So, let’s get started!
Once you visit Cambodia, you will surely notice that the houses are full of beautiful កន្ត្រក- kantrak items. Khmer people are experts in making woven baskets, especially women, and they expand their talent to produce different kinds of basketry, including bowls, plates, and many more. Most households keep a kantrak as a decorative bowl with flowers and fruits. Sometimes, such handicraft is also used to store edibles and utensils in the kitchen. It works as a great souvenir; make sure you get one for yourself.
2. Sculpture Reproductions
Artisans in Cambodia possess extraordinary carving skills. They have become profound practitioners of wood carving and sculpture-making with unique skills and techniques that can be found nowhere else. From temples to Angkor Wat, the beauty of their talent is already showcased variedly. However, in most households, small to big-sized ការបន្តពូជចម្លាក់- karobantopouch chamleak made of wood, stone, or bronze are seen commonly. Most sculptures are valued and used religiously, while some are for decorative purposes. Mostly, the statues resemble some spirit, Buddhist deity, or variation of animals.
3. Handmade Paintings
Another very commonly seen item in a Khmer household is គំនូរធ្វើដោយដៃ- koumnour thveu daoy dai. Khmer people have an innate skill for beautiful hand paintings. Local artists spend hours depicting their lifestyles and customs through brush strokes, either published for local businesses or kept in the house as decorative items. Nevertheless, you are sure to find one or more paintings hung in their living room or bedroom. If you want to buy one as a souvenir, Asasax Art Gallery of Phnom Penh is a top-rated store that sells exceptional hand paintings done by local artists of Cambodia.
Sacred to Cambodian people, every home consists of at least one mask that portrays a specific character which can be historic, godly, ogres, asuras, etc. Mainly របាំងមុខ- rbangmoukh are used in their traditional dance known as the Lakhon Khol performance. These are made strictly according to culture and tradition, each depicting a significant character and soul. Since it is a part of their tradition, every house has at least one mask kept in their living room cabinet. Millions of such head masks are produced that take around 4-5 days to complete. Some miniature versions are hung on the door hooks for religious or decorative purposes.
5. Silver Jewelry
Khmer silversmiths gained much prominence during the 11-12th century. Khmer artisans have kept their silver work at best and produced many unique pieces and kinds of work. Most famous of which is the collection of គ្រឿងអលង្ការប្រាក់- kruengoalongkear brak. Almost every person in Cambodia has unique collections of silverware with different gems and stones ingrained in them. In fact, silver utensils, decorated boxes, bowls, etc., are also very famous and are common in Cambodian houses. Most foreigners also find such silverwork attractive and take bundles of jewelry home to gift their dear ones. If you love silver, Cambodia has everything you want to explore.
6. Checked Scarf
One of the most essential items of the Cambodian lifestyle is the ក្រមាដែលបានពិនិត្យ- krama del ban pinit. It is a multi-purpose scarf made with checked fabric, and it is a national symbol traditionally carried by every Cambodian. It is used for different purposes such as wrapping around the neck, covering the face, swatting away flies, carrying fruits, or even as a table cloth in living room furniture. It is found in varying qualities and colours.
Bedroom Items In The Khmer Language
|to kber kre
|tou dak chan
|bantob phlasa saamliekbampeak
|measain kam daw
Common Vocabulary Words For Kitchen Items
|mea so ei n long chan
|anak kan phaeng
Livingroom Everyday Household Item In Khmer
|tossaana v dtei
Bathroom Items In Khmer
|thneu dak kansaeng
Khmer Everyday Household Phrases
|Do you have extra bedsheets?
|tae anak mean kamrealpouk banthem te?
|Can I turn on the heater?
|tae khnhom ach baek measainkamdaw ban te?
|I would like to buy one painting
|khnhom chng tinh koumnour muoy .
|Your house is so gorgeous
|phteah robsa anak saat nasa .
|Does the washing machine work?
|tae measain baokakk damnaerkar te?
|Your bookshelf is so attractive
|thneu sievphow robsa anak mean pheap teakteanh nasa .
|Can I borrow your mouthwash?
|tae khnhom ach khchei tukakhmeh meat ban te?
|Where is the laundry basket?
|tae kantrak baokkhaoav nowenea?
Every country has a traditional touch to its homestyle and living nature. And as we learned, Cambodians live a simple yet majestic life with unique items produced by local artisans. Now that you know how to pronounce those household items in Khmer, it will become easier when describing your experience in a Cambodian house and its individuality. It will help you clearly express the beauty that Khmer people possess through native words and emotions. Moreover, if you are a language learner, these words and phrases will enhance your skill, allowing smooth communication with the locals.
So, if you want to continue learning more and exploring the culture of Cambodia, the Ling app is here to help. You can download the app from Appstore and Playstore and use it on your chosen device. So, make learning easy with Ling!
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Ling app is one of the most accessible language learning apps that emerged in 2017. It has been functioning to produce language content, through a blog post section, on various topics such as food, weather, sports, clothes, and many more with the help of expert writers and native speakers. As commented by trusted users, one of the best parts of the app is the AI Chatbot system. The bot allows you to engage in interactive lessons, which improves your communication skills and makes retention easy. So, to make your Cambodian trip successful, the best way is to learn Khmer with Ling. Download today and become a pro!