First of all don’t worry.
Almost everyone in Vietnam and Cambodia (especially in the big tourist cities like Saigon, Phnom Penh and Siam Reap) has some grasp of English (to a greater or lesser degree), so you’ll be fine without these phrases.
That being said however having a few handy phrases off by heart never hurts.
Why do you need these then? Well to start with it’s fun!
It’s nice to be able to thank someone in their native tongue and maybe more importantly you’ll be amazed how much it will help you haggling in the markets!
For ease of use the below translations aren’t exact, instead we’ve provided you with the phonetic pronunciations – much easier to use when you’re busy haggling!
|Hello||Sin chow||Shoes day|
|Bye||Tam biet||Jum reap leah|
|My name’s……….||Thoy la……||Khnhom chmoh……….|
|What’s yours?||Ban thane zee||Avei del chhmoh robsa anak|
|Are you alright? ( as in how are you)||Ban the nao?||Rbieb del anak|
|Thank you||Cahm un||Ohk on|
|Can you help?||Ban zoop thoy duc khom||Anak ack choy|
|What’s this?||Guy nai la zee||Avei del chea ne|
|Mmmm, good||Mmmmm, thote||Mmmm, da li|
|How much?||Bow nyew?||Tay ni chea|
|No! Too expensive!||Khome! Mahk qwa!||Kmean! Tamlei thlay pek!|
|I like||Thoy tick||Knom – Chaulcet|