In Khmer language only the numbers one through five have their own terms. Number 6 til nine is counted as five-one, 7 is called five-two and so on, means five-three for numer 8 and five-four for number 9. This kind of counting is visible through the whole number system in this for us strange-sounding language. In the range of thousand it’s getting really interesting. Take the number 1867, you need to say one-thousand – five-three hundred – sixty – five-two.
So listen to the numbers 1 to 10 in Khmer
Listen to the numbers from zero to ten. Spoken by Seiyon, Ly Heng and Kunthea
Zero = but
One = moy
Two = pee
Three = bay
Four = buan
Six = pram-moy (five-one)
Seven = pram-pii (five-two)
Nine = pram-Buan (five-four)
Ten = dop
From number 11, it then proceeds to dob-moy (ten -one), dob-pii (ten-two), dob-bay (ten-three), dob-Buan (ten-four) and dob-pram (ten-five).
And from the number 16 again we continue with dob-pram-moy (ten-five-one), dob-pram-pii (ten-five-two), etc.
There are even colloquial Khmer counting
like 11 to 19. Instead of using the one behind the ten, it is placed at the beginning and adds dandab behind. So instead of dob-moy for 11 it is moy-dandab and pii-dandab for 12, etc. Anyone who can count like this, will not be considered as a pure tourist and people will be impressed instead.
See also: Greeting and a little conversation in Khmer language
Listen how to spell “Hello”, “How are you”, “What’s your name”, “Goodbye” and further more in Khmer Language here on Visit Angkor.
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