Family (គ្រួសារ / krou sar) is the foundation of Cambodians social life. Before we learn some Khmer vocabulary for family, let us first discover what a typical Cambodian family looks like. គ្រួសារ (krou sar) is the term for a family in the Khmer language. This is just a simple word but for Cambodians, it is one of the most important things in their life. A typical Cambodian family can either be made up of nuclear family (ក្រុមគ្រួសារនុយក្លេអ៊ែរ / krom kruosaear nouyokleaer) or extended family (គ្រួសារដែលមានសមាជិកច្រើន / kruosaear del mean sameachik chraen).
Even if the nuclear family (ក្រុមគ្រួសារនុយក្លេអ៊ែរ / krom kruosaear nouyokleaer) is the core, Cambodians also have a strong attachment to the members of the extended family. In fact, they also care too much for their friends and neighbors. This might be the reason why they are very welcoming to foreigners who are visiting their country.
Just like any other culture, each family member has a significant role in the household. Cambodians respect both roles of men and women. There is also a difference between the household structure between families from urban and rural. Families who live in the rural area is more conservative than those who live in urban. But during the Khmer Rouge regime, women played a big role in civil service.
The roles of Cambodian family members are similar to most of the culture. The father is the head of the household and the main provider for the family while the mother is the homemaker. Think about your own family structure. Is it the same as the Cambodians? There are still a lot of things to learn about Cambodian families but this can be a good head start in learning Khmer vocabulary for the family.
If you heard of the word Thoa then you might have an amazing grasp of Cambodia's history. Thoa is a kind of relationship which is closer than friends but farther than blood relations. This term emerged during the Khmer Rouge regime where there was a large number of deaths. During these times, the number of orphans, widows, and single-parent families increased. This gave way to this kind of relationship. Thoa roughly means adoptive/ foster parent or sibling in English.
Now that you have learned a little bit about a typical Cambodian family, let us now learn some Khmer vocabulary for the family. Learning these will help you expand your Khmer vocabulary. This can also be useful if you are planning to go to Cambodia with your family. Here is a list of some Basic Khmer vocabulary to learn:
|ឪពុកម្តាយ||eu puk mday||parents|
The father, just like what is stated above, is the main provider for the family. There are different ways that Cambodians use to address their father.
|ឪពុក / ប៉ា / បិតា||aupouk / pa/ beta||father|
|ប្តី / ស្វាមី||btei / svami||husband|
The mother is considered the homemaker. Just like in any other culture, the mother is responsible for taking care of the family but in Cambodia, mothers tend to have more control over the household budget and education of the children. Here are different ways how Cambodians address their mother:
|ម្តាយ / ម៉ែ / មាតា||mday / me / meada||mother|
|ភរិយា / ប្រពន្||phriyea / braponth||wife|
Cambodian children are expected to learn values and pay respect to their parents just like any other culture. Upon reaching the right age, Cambodians are encouraged to marry before leaving their home. Of course, they are free to choose whom they are going to marry but parents will be a part of the preparations. Here is some Khmer vocabulary for family related to children:
|បងប្អូនបង្កើត||bong paon bong ket||siblings/brothers and sisters|
Grandparents are highly respected and valued by Cambodians. For them, they symbolize wisdom. Here is some Khmer vocabulary for family related to grandparents:
|ជីដូនជីតា||chi daun chi ta||grandparents|
Other members of extended family, are also important for Cambodians. Here is a person some Khmer vocabulary for family related to extended family members:
|បងប្អូនជីដូនមួយ||bong paon chi don mouy||cousin|
Learning the Khmer language might be useful in different situations. Learning simple words and phrases will go a long way especially when you want to visit Cambodia. Whatever your purpose is, there is nothing for you to lose. Here is a list of some additional Khmer vocabulary for a family:
|ក្រុមគ្រួសារនុយក្លេអ៊ែរ||krom kruosaear nouyokleaer||nuclear family|
|គ្រួសារដែលមានសមាជិកច្រើន||kruosaear del mean sameachik chraen||extended family|
|គ្រួសាររបស់ខ្ញុំ||kruosaear khnhom||my family|
|គ្រួសាររបស់អ្នក||kruosaear robsa anak||your family|
|ឈ្មោះគ្រួសារ||chhmoh kruosaear||family name|
|មែកធាងគ្រួសារ||mektheang kruosaear||family tree|
|បន្ទប់គ្រួសារ||bantob kruosaear||family room|
|សមាជិកគ្រួសារ||ameachik kruosaear||family member|
|ក្រុមគ្រួសារម្ចាស់ផ្||krom kruosaear mcheasa ph||host family|
They say that blood is thicker than water. In every culture, people always give importance to their families. Yes, there may be misunderstandings and conflicts. There will be times that family will not get along but at the end of the day, please remember that it is a part of a strong relationship. No matter what page of your life you are on right now, you can always go home to your family.
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