50+ Simple Khmer Words For First-Time Travelers


Last updated on April 27th, 2023 at 12:01 pm

Is it possible that Angkor Wat piqued your curiosity about visiting Cambodia? If that’s the case, you could be looking up flight tickets while also making plans to brush up on simple Khmer words. The information in this blog will come in helpful!

Cambodia is a country that absolutely must be visited because of the history and culture that can be experienced there. For its historical significance,  it was formerly the center of the Khmer Empire. You can learn about the glorious history of the Khmer Empire at Siem Reap, or you can learn about the recent history of the Khmer Rouge at the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum in Phnom Penh.

So, Let’ Learn Simple Khmer Words Together!

We can’t wait to show you some of the basics of the Khmer language that will come in handy throughout your time in Cambodia. So, we have covered a wide range of topics in the following Khmer vocabulary: how to greet people, how to get around, where to eat, what questions to ask, and more!


Khmer Words For Greetings

Greeting people in Khmer is a great way to ease the awkwardness between tourists and locals.  They will be impressed that you have taken the time and effort to learn about and respect their culture.

Here are the Khmer language phrases for greeting the locals whenever you’ve got a chance to meet them!

English WordKhmer WordPronunciation
(formal Khmer greeting)
In case you didn’t know, the Cambodian people maintain an extremely respectful culture. Therefore this is how they welcome elders and those of higher social status.
ជំរាបសួរChom reap suor
(informal Khmer greeting)
You can use this version to greet your friends because it’s a more informal Khmer greeting.
Good morningអរុណសួស្ដីârŭn suŏ sdei
Good afternoonទិវាសួស្ដីtĭvéa suŏ sdei
Good eveningសាយ័ណ្ហសួស្ដីsayôn suŏ sdei
Good nightរាត្រីសួស្តីréatri suŏ sdei
Good luckសូមឲ្យ​បាន​ជោគ​ជ័យsom aôyy ​ban ​choŭk ​chôy
Nice to meet youរីករាយដែលបានជួបគ្នាRiikreay dael baan juapknia
How are you?សុខសប្បាយsok sapbaay?
Thank youអរគុណorkun
Yes (for woman)ចា៎ះcaah
Yes (for man)បាទbaat
Noអត់ទេort tee
Excuse meសុំទោសsŏm toŭs
Bon voyageទៅអោយបានសុខtŏu aôy ban sŏkh

Khmer Words To Use At The Restaurant

The traditional meal in Cambodia, like in many other Southeast Asian nations, is rice, commonly served with a curry dish. You can use these terms to place an order at your local eatery with little confusion the first time you visit.

English WordKhmer WordPronunciation
Coffeeកាហ្វេkaa fey
The bill pleaseសុំគិតលុយsom ket loy

Khmer Words To Use In Public Transportation

There are several options for public transportation in Cambodia. You should let the hotel know if you want to hire a particular vehicle. A few of Cambodia’s most common transportation modes are listed below.

English WordKhmer WordPronunciation
Busរថយន្ដក្រុងlaan krong

Khmer Words For Direction

Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler to Cambodia, the nation is too large to explore in a single trip. For this reason, you should always be prepared to ask locals for directions. Let’s have a look at the wording, then.

English WordKhmer WordPronunciation
Go straightត្រង់da trong
Please stop hereសូមឈប់នៅទីនេះsom chop tini
Where’s the toilet?បង្គន់​នៅ​ឯណា?bâng-kôn ​nŏuv aina?

Khmer Words For Questions And Answers

If you want to talk to Khmer people for longer, here are some frequent questions to ask. Of course, a sudden burst of practice doesn’t make you a competent speaker, but regular practice will get you further.

English WordKhmer WordPronunciation
What’s your name?អ្នកឈ្មោះអី?neak cmuah ey?
My name is…ងុំឈ្មោះ …khnyŭm chhmoŭh …
What’s this?នេះជាអី?nih cea ey?
How much?ថ្លៃប៉ុន្មាន?tlay ponmaan?
Where are you from?អ្នកមកពីប្រទេសណា?ânâk mô pi brôté na?
I’m from…ខ្ងុំមកពី…khynŭm mô pi…
Do you speak Khmer?អ្នក​ចេះ​និយាយ​ភាសា​ខ្មែរ​ទេ?ânâk ​chéh ​nĭyéay ​phéasa ​khmêr ​té?
Do you speak English?អ្នកចេះភាសាអង់គ្លេសទេ?ânâk chéh phéasa ’ângôklésâ té?
Where can I buy…?ដែលជាកន្លែងដែល ខ្ញុំអាច ទិញnou tee na knyom ahrt teng…

Ready To Visit Cambodia?

After mastering the most useful everyday Khmer phrases, you’ll feel at ease going about your day in the country. Because learning some simple Khmer words can allow you to start conversations with locals in various settings, from the restaurant to the transport to the question and answer session and beyond.

But if you’re up for the challenge of learning even more advanced Khmer vocabulary, we have just the app for you.


Learn Khmer With Ling Now!

If you want to learn Khmer quickly and easily, download Ling to your phone or tablet right now! Our extensive Khmer lexicon serves Khmer learners at all skill levels. Moreover, since our app is available worldwide, you may study the language anytime, anywhere, using public transportation or on the road. In addition, we provide a wide variety of interactive activities, from games and puzzles to clever chatbots, that will make learning the language a joy!

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

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