Rural speak

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Re: Rural speak

Post by Bitte_Kein_Lexus » Sat May 13, 2017 10:15 am

Fair enough taa. I personally wouldn't say anything, but assuming I did, I would just say "thngai nung ot miehn, lok". I find "k'miehn" sounds a bit too abrupt and impolite, especially if talking to a monk. It's mostly used between friends, people you know or if angry and being impatient. Of course tone will convey 80% of that. Just my impression and experience, I might be wrong as your village may have a more "on first name basis" relationship with their monks.

I'll ask my girlfriend (who also happens to have been one of my Khmer teachers) what she thinks. Maybe ask your wife as well, I'd be curious to know what she says.
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Re: Rural speak

Post by Bitte_Kein_Lexus » Sat May 13, 2017 10:47 am

OK well I asked the girlfriend and it turns out we were both wrong. First of all, stop saying "k'miehn". Can't say that to a monk, sounds extremely rude. That's what's funny about speaking a foreign language. Sometimes we think we know it well, but as foreigners fluent in Khmer we can get away with a lot of faux pas we never really knew (or were told) were inappropriate.

Secondly, what I said was weird as well. It apparently sounds weird to just say "look". Should be followed by the appropriate age definer. Though we both got the message across, they're both wrong because here's a special word for alms:

Here's what you should say:
អត់ទាន់ចង្ហាន់ទេលោកតា
(Ot toan junghaan te look taa)

Here's what I was told:
You shouldn't just say look (something I often do). You should say "look taa". When I pointed out that many monks are young, then she laughed and said you can also say "look bong" "look paohn"... You can even take out the whole "look xxx" part of you want.

Anyways, back to the sentence:
អត់ទាន់ចង្ហាន់ទេលោកតា
Ot toan junghaan te look ta (in your case: paohn)

The key word here is junghaan (ចង្ហាន់) which means food or money. It's specifically for monks, I assume kind of like the word "chaan" for eating, so they understand. I don't have a dictionary near me, so asked her if the word means "food" (and then was extended to money as well), or if it's the Khmer equivalent of the English word "alms". She said food and money. I'm a bit curious about this so maybe Jamie can check his dictionary for us.

Anyways, that's the correct thing to say. Like I said, we can usually get the message across in a sometimes crude way which isn't always appropriate, haha. I took years before some people corrected things I'd been saying since I learned Khmer. Anyways, ask your wife, I would be curious to know what she thinks.




Last edited by Bitte_Kein_Lexus on Sat May 13, 2017 10:47 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Rural speak

Post by Username Taken » Sat May 13, 2017 11:02 am

"អត់ទាន់ចង្ហាន់ទេលោកតា
Ot toan miehn junghaan te look ta"

Where is the 'miehn' in the script above?
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Re: Rural speak

Post by taabarang » Sat May 13, 2017 11:04 am

"Fair enough taa. I personally wouldn't say anything, but assuming I did, I would just say "thngai nung ot miehn, lok". I find "k'miehn" sounds a bit too abrupt and impolite..."

Actually there are a lot of Khmer speech habits I find abrasive in terms of my cultural expectations which clearly do not offend rural Cambodians at all.

Also please remember I deal with rural Khmer who for the greater part are not refined speakers
although they consider themselves polite and respectful.

Another thought. I almost never deal with a monk directly, but with his helper-a young lad in civilian clothing. In any case since I follow my.posting I say "ot toan" so I am reporting what I have heard not what I say.

If I address a monk I do not simply call him "Lok" but Lok taa or Lok p'ohn as is appropriate. In fact if the monk appears quite young I call him Lok khmuey-as do Cambodians.
Last edited by taabarang on Sat May 13, 2017 11:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Rural speak

Post by Bitte_Kein_Lexus » Sat May 13, 2017 11:05 am

Oops you're right. Reading it again there's no "miehn". See? I overuse words unconsciously quite often and say words that are redundant (corrected).
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Re: Rural speak

Post by Bitte_Kein_Lexus » Sat May 13, 2017 11:09 am

Yeah Look Kmuy would be fine. Ask your wife as she'll be the best indicator of what's appropriate in your village. If I recall correctly she comes from there right? I'd be curious to know what she says (or neighbors say) is appropriate.

I do think the fact that you deal with the civilian helper changes a lot. I still think K'miehn sounds too sharp for me. I assume you could just say "somto, ot toan junghaan te" to the kid and it would be fine.


{Please see above post as it seems there of us posted at around the same time}
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Re: Rural speak

Post by taabarang » Sat May 13, 2017 11:16 am

"Ot toan junghaan te look ta (in your case: paohn)"

I've already posted about the form of address and also commented that I deal with his helper. Unfortunately your post preceded mine so I am not repeating what your teacher said. However since the villagers are comfortable with"ot toan" I will stick with it too. Great exchange BKL.
Last edited by taabarang on Sat May 13, 2017 11:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Rural speak

Post by Bitte_Kein_Lexus » Sat May 13, 2017 11:20 am

*thumbs up* I like these exchanges as well.
I agree short and sweet is usually best. Gets the message across and no one gets offended.
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Re: Rural speak

Post by Jamie_Lambo » Sat May 13, 2017 11:54 am

Bitte_Kein_Lexus wrote:
Sat May 13, 2017 10:15 am
I find "k'miehn" sounds a bit too abrupt and impolite, especially if talking to a monk. It's mostly used between friends, people you know or if angry and being impatient. Of course tone will convey 80% of that. Just my impression and experience, I might be wrong as your village may have a more "on first name basis" relationship with their monks.
i did initially say this in my post but deleted it to keep it short,
plus Taa knows the more rural speech more than most here, while ive spent a fair bit of time in Kampong Cham, its not the same as living there day in and day out
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Re: Rural speak

Post by Username Taken » Sat May 13, 2017 11:58 am

BKL, I doubt it would be necessary to say 'somto' when addressing a kid.

Taa, your thoughts?
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