37 Khmer Vocabulary For Family That Is Easy To Learn

May 8, 2021

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 (គ្រួសារ​ដែល​មាន​សមាជិក​ច្រើន / 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.


Household And Structure

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.


Basic Khmer Vocabulary For Family

Khmer Vocabulary For Family

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:


Khmer Pronunciation English Translation
ឪពុកម្តាយ eu puk mday parents
គ្រួសារ krou sar family
Father and Mother


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.

Khmer Pronunciation English Translation
ឪពុក / ប៉ា / បិតា aupouk / pa/ beta father
ប៉ា pa dad
ប៉ាប៉ា papa daddy
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:

Khmer Pronunciation English Translation
ម្តាយ / ម៉ែ / មាតា mday / me / meada mother
ម៉ាក់ mak mom
ម៉ែ meh mommy
ភរិយា / ប្រពន្ phriyea / braponth wife



Brother and Sister

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:

Khmer Pronunciation English Translation
កូន kaun child
ទារក teark baby
បងប្អូនបង្កើត bong paon bong ket siblings/brothers and sisters


Khmer Pronunciation English Translation
កូនប្រុស kaun pros son
បងប្រុស bong pros brother


Khmer Pronunciation English Translation
កូនស្រី kaun srei daughter
បងស្ bong srei sister




Grandparents are highly respected and valued by Cambodians. For them, they symbolize wisdom. Here is some Khmer vocabulary for family related to grandparents:

Khmer Pronunciation English Translation
ជីដូនជីតា chi daun chi ta grandparents
ចៅ chao grandchild


Khmer Pronunciation English Translation
ជីតា chi ta grandfather
តា ta grandpa


Khmer Pronunciation English Translation
ជីដូន chidaun grandmother
យាយ yeay grandma


Other Extended Family Member

Other members of extended family, are also important for Cambodians. Here is a person some Khmer vocabulary for family related to extended family members:

Khmer Pronunciation English Translation
មា mea uncle
មីង ming aunt
មួយប្រុស kmuoyobrosa nephew
មួយស្រី kmuoyosrei niece
បងប្អូនជីដូនមួយ bong paon chi don mouy cousin


More Khmer Vocabulary For Family

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:

Khmer Pronunciation English Translation
ក្រុមគ្រួសារនុយក្លេអ៊ែរ krom kruosaear nouyokleaer nuclear family
គ្រួសារ​ដែល​មាន​សមាជិក​ច្រើន kruosaear​ del​ mean​ sameachik​ chraen extended family 
គ្រួសារ​របស់ខ្ញុំ kruosaear khnhom my family
គ្រួសារ​របស់​អ្នក kruosaear​ robsa​ anak your family
ឈ្មោះគ្រួសារ chhmoh kruosaear family name
មែកធាង​គ្រួសារ mektheang​ kruosaear family tree
បន្ទប់​គ្រួសារ bantob​ kruosaear family room
សមាជិក​គ្រួសារ ameachik​ kruosaear family member
ក្រុម​គ្រួសារ​ម្ចាស់ផ្ 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.


Want To Learn The Khmer Language?

Did you find this article interesting? Did you get the information you need? If the answer is yes, then it's time for you to learn more Khmer words and phrases through Ling App. Yes, English is enough for you to learn but you can still expand your vocabulary. Just click on the links in this blog post, go to the website, or you can just simply search it online.

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