Chom Reap Sour (chom-reap-sore) / Hello (formal)
Cambodians have an extremely respectful culture, with elders and those of a higher social standing greeted using this more formal hello.
Susadei (Soos-a-day)/ Hello (informal)
This is a more informal greeting that is used between peers or friends. It is also accompanied with a sampeah.
Soksaby (soks-a-bye) / How are you and I am fine
It may seem strange but the Khmer way of asking “how are you?” and responding “I’m fine” is the same.
Chom Reap Lear (chom-reep-lear) / Good bye (formal)
Again, this is the formal way to say goodbye in situations where respect is required. Don’t forget to throw in a smile.
Lee hi (lee-hi) / Good bye (informal)
This is the more commonly used and casual way to wave goodbye.
Ot Teh (ot-tei)/ No
Learning how to say no will come in very handy for turning down the heckling tuk tuk drivers visitors face.
Arkun (Ar-koon) / Thank you
A polite thank you always goes a long way, wherever you are in the world.
Som Dtoh (som-toe) / Sorry/ excuse me
This is another useful phrase that is well worth picking up before you land in the country.
Baht schweng (bart-shweng) / Turn left
A tuk tuk is likely to be your main mode of transport in Cambodia so learning a few phrases will come in handy.
Baht Saddam (bart-sadam) / Turn right
Another handy phrase for getting around.
Chop (chop) / Stop
You can throw a “som” (please) in front to be polite.
Tini (tinny) / here
Why not place some of your newly learned words together to say, “please stop here” or “som chop tini”.
Da Trong (da-trong)/ Go straight
Another handy phrase when your tuk tuk driver looks like he wants to take a wrong turn.
Chhnang (ch-nang)/ Delicious
Cambodians love talking about food as much as Brits enjoy moaning about the weather, so saying “delicious” will bring about a smile.
Som tach (som tack) / Water please
Cambodia’s heat means staying hydrated is essential.
Knyom khleam (knoym-kleam)/ I’m hungry
If you grasp this phrase, then you’ll soon find yourself being ushered to the nearest restaurant or street stall.
Som ket loy (som-ket-loy)/ The bill please
Cambodians don’t so often use the word “please” or “som” so this can be dropped for speed.