Phnom.Penh dialect

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Phnom.Penh dialect

Postby taabarang » Sat Jan 14, 2017 4:04 pm

We all know that after the KR emptied the city it was for all practical purposes a ghost town. Then when the KR were driven out peasants from surrounding provinces squatted in the deserted homes. So my question is what are the provincial dialects that form the basis of the present day Phnom Penh dialect? I would be especially interested in what thelost and his wife can contribute.
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Re: Phnom.Penh dialect

Postby thelost » Sat Jan 14, 2017 4:12 pm

my wife wouldn't know, to be honest. she's the young generation as in, born in the 1980s. shes like your typical PP young generation who doesn't know much about the history sometimes. my father, who's from the prince sihanouk era, knows a bit, well, from what he has heard. according to what he heard, after the KR reign, most of the original PP inhabitants took refuge in france, eastern part of the U.S, new zealand and australia. the people who came to phnom penh, took whatever empty house to live in, they're not the original PP inhabitants. they are usually from mostly kandal, svay rieng, takeo or neighbouring provinces near phnom penh. their accent, i assume, is a mixed accent which is today's PP dialect. the reason he "heard" is because he's not PP local, he's Battambang local.

to me, kandal is no different from phnom penh, one is just country and one is city so i wouldnt really consider kandal dialect as very different to phnom penh like battambang/siem reap accent to phnom penh.

actually, it's not just phnom penh dialect being changed. we went to visit cambodia years ago and my father was surprised to hear his hometown sounds a bit "different", so we guess a lot of people from every provinces come to stay wherever, it's all mixed accent "to a degree", theres no more "pure" provincial accent like in the 1960s anymore.
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Re: Phnom.Penh dialect

Postby Username Taken » Sat Jan 14, 2017 4:24 pm

Serious question taabarang, when you visit Phnom Penh, do the locals have difficulty understanding you, and do you have any difficulty understanding Phnom Penhites?

I don't know, but I would expect that the sellers in the markets who are most probably originally rural folks, wouldn't have problems understanding anyone from out of town.
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Re: Phnom.Penh dialect

Postby taabarang » Sat Jan 14, 2017 8:28 pm

UT queried, "Serious question taabarang, when you visit Phnom Penh, do the locals have difficulty understanding you, and do you have any difficulty understanding Phnom Penhites?"

Nope none. My working vocabulary for tuk tuk drivers, hotel staff, police, embassy staff, and medical staff is intact. The only time I wasn't understood was when my tuk tuk driver asked me if I was going back to Kampong Cham. I used our local lingo and told him , "Nyom tov pteahtamoang which means"nyom chhpuah tov pteah(I'm going straight home.)
Last edited by taabarang on Sat Jan 14, 2017 8:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Phnom.Penh dialect

Postby Username Taken » Sat Jan 14, 2017 8:32 pm

Nice. :thumb:
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Re: Phnom.Penh dialect

Postby taabarang » Sat Jan 14, 2017 8:52 pm

I neglected to mention that I rarely go to markets anywhere in Cambodia, but I live frugally and buy most of what I need locally. However when I visit my doctor for a monthly prognosis we speak English. He was educated in the US and while I know some medical terminology he has it down pat. Not surprisingly he sometimes has to explain the English to me. We sometimes shoot the shit in Khmer when his evaluation is done and I always joke with the reception staff in Cambodian.
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Re: Phnom.Penh dialect

Postby Jamie_Lambo » Sat Jan 14, 2017 9:11 pm

taabarang wrote:I neglected to mention that I rarely go to markets anywhere in Cambodia, but I live frugally and buy most of what I need locally. However when I visit my doctor for a monthly prognosis we speak English. He was educated in the US and while I know some medical terminology he has it down pat. Not surprisingly he sometimes has to explain the English to me. We sometimes shoot the shit in Khmer when his evaluation is done and I always joke with the reception staff in Cambodian.
just out of interest where abouts roughly do you live in KPCham? i always go there for the Chaul Chnam Thmey
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Re: Phnom.Penh dialect

Postby taabarang » Sat Jan 14, 2017 9:51 pm

Hi Jamie,

I'll pm you in the near future. While you will be welcomed many are not and I value my privacy. Meanwhile enjoy HCMC.
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Re: Phnom.Penh dialect

Postby jmagic » Thu Apr 06, 2017 6:03 am

My guess is the Phnom Penh dialect has been heavily influenced by the Chinese and Vietnamese inability to produce certain sounds. The rolled R is dropped or minimized, for example "ein" to mean study or "pam" for 5.
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Re: Phnom.Penh dialect

Postby Bitte_Kein_Lexus » Thu Apr 06, 2017 7:23 am

I forget, but from the description he lives in either Kroychma or Jomka Leu. ;-)

I wouldn't say PP has any dialect. It's like Hoch Deutsch, Metropolitan French or London English. It sets the standard rather than being seen as a separate one. Cambodia isn't big or diverse enough to get many dialects. The only ones you hear that veer off standard Khmer are in some regions of Kompong Chnang, Siem Riep and Kompong Thom. There's also Khmer Leu and Krom, but even those aren't so far off and by now they're mostly different because they live in other countries. The older Krung/Phnong folk also have accents, but that's because they learned Khmer as a second language.

I imagine different regions had stronger accents/dialects in the past, but we're talking Sihanouk/French protectorate era here. You'd have to ask a grandma or something about pre-KR Khmer accents in PP or elsewhere. I've never had an issue understanding anyone anywhere in Cambodia and pinpointing accents to a region can be very misleading and difficult. I'm sure it was way more diverse in the past, but again, Cambodia isn't huge and human migration has all but erased whatever accents used to exist, even in the provinces.


EDIT: Just realized this is an old thread.
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