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17+ Best Guide To Khmer Sports Vocabulary To Learn Now!

September 6, 2022

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Finding a common interest, like a shared hobby or musical taste, maybe a great conversation starter. In a short time, sports may become a common bonding topic for many people. So today, we'd like to introduce you to some basic Khmer sports vocabulary.

Do you participate in any athletics? If so, beginning up a conversation with a local might be a great way to improve your Khmer skills. Khmer culture also includes various fascinating traditional sports that are worth learning about. This introduction to traditional Khmer sport will inspire you to continue learning about the Khmer language and culture beyond the scope of this lesson on sports words. All right, let's get moving!

Traditional Sports In Cambodia

In 802 A.D., the Khmer Empire was created when many current countries in Southeast Asia did not yet exist. As a result, the Khmer Empire's armed forces extensively used martial arts, eventually becoming popular Khmer modern-day sports. In addition, wall sculptures created by ancient artisans certify the longevity of several Khmer sports, proving their existence. This is why some traditional Khmer sports are some of the world's oldest practiced martial arts or sports.

Here's a look at some of these sports!

បោកចំបាប់ (Baok Cham Bab)

Khmer Sports Vocabulary

This is a form of traditional wrestling in Cambodia. Historically, this game was used to determine who would lead the villages. Once the harvest was complete, the village elders would gather under the full moon to pass on their knowledge to the younger generation. It would happen at night in a rice paddy just outside of town. In addition, traditional matches are organized to celebrate the Khmer New Year and other Cambodian festivals.

There are three rounds in a typical Khmer wrestling match. Pushing an opponent to their back is a potential strategy for winning a competition. Two-round wins are required to declare victory in a wrestling match. If the loser of a round wants to keep competing, he is given the option to do so.

The ritual dance is just as significant as the wrestling itself. Before a match, wrestlers often engage in ritual dancing accompanied by the rhythm of two drums. This tradition is similar to Muay Thai (Thai boxing).

ល្បុក្កតោ (Bokator)

Khmer Sports Vocabulary

It's believed that Bokator, a combat style with its roots in Cambodia, is one of the world's oldest continuously practiced martial arts. It's a form of Khmer martial art that dates back to when the ancient Khmer armies fought on the battlefield.

Bokator features both hand-to-hand and heavy weaponry combat. This sport uses various striking and grappling techniques, including elbows, knees, shin kicks, and ground fighting. Wooden stuff like Bamboo sticks, swords, and lotus sticks are all involved in this sport. Bokator is sometimes incorrectly categorized as a kind of modern kickboxing due to its striking similarity to the sport.

ប្រដាល់សេរី (Pradal Serey)

Khmer Sports Vocabulary

One of the most popular sports in Cambodia is Pradal Serey or traditional Khmer kickboxing. It's also referred to by គុនខ្មែរ (Kun Khmer). This is another form of Cambodian martial arts. Power in Pradal Serey kicks comes from hip rotation instead of a leg snap, making it distinctive from other styles. Pradal Serey fighters use many forms of strikes: punches, kicks, elbows, and knees.

Boxers, like the practitioners of the Baok Cham Bab, perform a series of rituals called the Kun Kru before each match.

Khmer Sports Vocabulary

Here is sports vocabulary, including words related to sports events in Khmer, to learn to speak with the locals whenever you can.

Khmer WordPronunciationEnglish Definition
កីឡាkeilaSports
កីឡាករkeilakarAthletes
មេដាយmedeayMedal
ម្ចាស់មេដាយmcheasa medeayMedal winner
មាសmeansGold
ប្រាក់brakSilver
សំរឹទ្saam rutBronze
ស៊ីហ្គេមsai hkemSEA Games
ប្រដាល់សេរី pradal sereyTraditional Khmer kickboxing
ល្បុក្កតោbokatorBokator
បោកចំបាប់baok cham babTraditional wrestling
បាល់ទាត់balteatFootball
បាល់ទះbalteahVolleyball
បាល់បោះbalbaohBasketball
តេក្វាន់ដូte kvan dauTaekwondo
ជិះទូកកាណូchiahtouk kanauCanoeing
ឈិនឡូនchhin launChinlone
កិមប៉ូkem bauKempo
ប៉េតង់betngPétanque
សីប៉ាក់តាក្វាន់sei bak ta kvanSepak takraw
ការប្រណាំងទូកប្រពៃណីkar braneangtouk brapeineiTraditional boat racing
ចំបាប់chambabWrestling
វ៉ូវីណាមvau vi namVovinam martial arts
អ៊ូស៊ូaou saouWushu martial arts

In Summary

Has studying the Khmer sports vocabulary inspired you to get out and be active? Khmer traditional sports are fascinating because of their deep historical roots in the country's culture. Some Southeast Asian countries share similarities with Cambodia regarding martial arts. For instance, the Baok Cham Bab shares many of Muay Thai's core values and traditions. In addition, traditional tribal elections have often included competitions based on such sports.

That said, sports appear to have a much more significant role in Khmer culture than we ever imagined.

Learn Khmer With Ling Now!

Learn Khmer With Ling

Ling is your best choice if you're seeking the Khmer language guide to help you achieve the target proficiency!

Any level of Khmer learner can benefit from using the Ling App. We provide a variety of materials to you in your daily goal of Khmer fluency. Not only will you increase your listening comprehension, but you will also master the Khmer vocabulary for general topics so you can impress the locals with your mastery of the language. Why? Because the Ling App allows you to familiarize yourself with a native speaker's voice daily and learn how to speak with the correct pronunciation.

Most Khmer learners chose Ling to help them succeed, so why not join them? Download the Ling App from the Google PlayStore and Apple AppStore now, and prepare to be fluent in Khmer soon!

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