Khmer, or Cambodian, is the main language in Cambodia and also its ancient roots room steeped deep in history, through Old Khmer dating ago to 600CE and standing together the official language the Angkorian kings. Affected by Sanskrit and also Pali, Khmer stands out from the neighbours because it is no a tonal language, v stress inserted on the last syllable.

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The moon theatre a pivotal function in the lives of Cambodians. Together a predominantly Buddhist country, the Khmer calendar is lunar-based, with the bulk of spiritual festivals, such as Khmer new Year and Water Festival, dictated by the full moon. The Khmer word, chhan, is often used together a male or woman name and comes from the Sanskrit word because that moon: canda.

You don’t need to look additional than the old temples that period the country to see the importance inserted on gods in Cambodia. Angkor Wat’s walls space etched with legends special gods, divine spirits, deities and also other ethereal creatures that draw on Hindu and also Buddhist legends. Tep derives native the Sanskrit native deva, which method “god” or “divine”.


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


From the love songs blasting out of speaker throughout the country to the romantic soap operas streamed on TV, Cambodians can be soppy once it comes to matters of love. Srolang is words for love, v “Knyom srolang nyek” meaning, “I love you”.


Sticking through the romantic theme, Khmers often affectionately describe their girlfriend or boyfriend as songsaa, which straight translates come “sweetheart”. Cambodia’s very first private island will is referred to as Song Saa because it is made up of two tiny islands, Koh Bong and Koh Oeun, which straight translate together “brother and also sister island”, yet the ax can additionally be used between lovers.


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

If you’re heading come Cambodia, then bong is a native you’re walk to pick up pretty quickly due to the fact that everyone is your bong. Directly translating together “brother”, the is additionally used for females — back “sister” is bong srei — and can refer to a friend, peer, lover or someone slightly older.

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

Wealth and also prosperity are additionally highly desirable attributes in Cambodian society, with pich — “diamond” — being one more popular name bestowed top top sons. The priceless gemstone is so highly revered that the synthetic island turn off Phnom Penh the is studded with development in the type of high-quality condos, hotels and other projects, is called Koh Pich, or “Diamond Island”.

While the British favor to talk around the weather, Cambodians favor to chit chat about food. And with rice featuring heavily in the Khmer diet, it’s tiny wonder that words for “rice”, bai, appears in sentences once there isn’t also a serial in vision — back that’s extremely unlikely at a Cambodian table. Because that example, “Moul nyam bai” method “Come eat,” regardless of even if it is there’s a bowl of rice ~ above the table or not.

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This is the most well-known Cambodian family members name, and with the important role strength and power traditionally play in Khmer society, it makes sense why the name is so common. Derived from the Sanskrit word, jaya, chey means “victory” or “victorious”.