Khmer, or Cambodian, is the main language in Cambodia and its old roots space steeped deep in history, v Old Khmer dating ago to 600CE and standing as the main language of Angkorian kings. Influenced by Sanskrit and also Pali, Khmer stands out from its neighbours since it is not a tonal language, through stress put on the last syllable.

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The moon plays a pivotal role in the lives of Cambodians. As a mainly Buddhist country, the Khmer calendar is lunar-based, v the bulk of spiritual festivals, such together Khmer brand-new Year and Water Festival, dictated through the complete moon. The Khmer word, chhan, is often used together a masculine or mrs name and comes from the Sanskrit word because that moon: canda.

You don’t have to look additional than the ancient temples that period the country to watch the importance put on god in Cambodia. Angkor Wat’s walls space etched through legends special gods, divine spirits, deities and also other ethereal creatures that attract on Hindu and also Buddhist legends. Tep derives native the Sanskrit indigenous deva, which way “god” or “divine”.


Cambodians love to appreciate beauty and you’ll often hear the phrase, “sa’at” — or “sa’at nas” (“very beautiful”) — being thrown around. Whether it’s elderly ladies clucking end a child, a other female admiring her hair or who commenting top top a social media update, this is one word the is worth knowing.


From the love songs blasting the end of speaker throughout the country to the romantic soap operas streamed ~ above TV, Cambodians deserve to be soppy once it pertains to matters the love. Srolang is the word for love, v “Knyom srolang nyek” meaning, “I love you”.


Sticking v the romantic theme, Khmers frequently affectionately describe their girl friend or boyfriend together songsaa, which straight translates to “sweetheart”. Cambodia’s first private island resort is dubbed Song Saa since it is comprised of two small islands, Koh Bong and Koh Oeun, which straight translate together “brother and also sister island”, yet the hatchet can additionally be used in between lovers.


Flowers feature heavily in Khmer culture, v lotus flowers given as offerings, petals strewn by monks throughout blessings and flowers adorning the hair of traditional dancers. The Khmer word because that “flower”, bopha, originally derives from Pali and also directly translates as “blossom”.

If she heading come Cambodia, then bong is a word you’re going to choose up nice quickly because everyone is her bong. Straight translating together “brother”, it is likewise used for ladies — return “sister” is bong srei — and can describe a friend, peer, lover or someone slightly older.

Cambodian names regularly reflect traits and symbols of strength, courage and beauty that parents hope will be picked up by their young. Nimol is one together name that is usually scheduled for boys; however, there space plenty of female Cambodians sporting it. Nimol translates as “flawless” but embodies phrases together as, “without blemish” and also “without doubt”.

Wealth and also prosperity are additionally highly desirable qualities in Cambodian society, v pich — “diamond” — being an additional popular surname bestowed top top sons. The valuable gemstone is so very revered the the synthetic island turn off Phnom Penh the is studded with advance in the type of high-quality condos, hotels and other projects, is named Koh Pich, or “Diamond Island”.

While the British prefer to talk about the weather, Cambodians prefer to chit chat around food. And with rice featuring heavily in the Khmer diet, it’s small wonder that the word for “rice”, bai, shows up in sentences once there isn’t even a grain in vision — although that’s very unlikely in ~ a Cambodian table. Because that example, “Moul nyam bai” means “Come eat,” nevertheless of whether there’s a bowl of rice ~ above the table or not.

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This is the most famous Cambodian household name, and with the important role strength and also power traditionally beat in Khmer society, it makes sense why the name is so common. Obtained from the Sanskrit word, jaya, chey means “victory” or “victorious”.