ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Learn Khmer: Part 3: Numbers (How to Count)

Updated on December 18, 2012

Numbers 1 through 5

The basis of counting numbers in Khmer all starts with knowing the first five numbers. After memorizing the first five, the rest of the numbers, apart from the multiples of 10, do not necessarily have to be memorized because they are "built" on the first five. These numbers, basically, are:

1) Muy

  • This word is pronounced exactly like the Spanish word "muy," which means "very" like in the phrase "muy bien," which means "very good." However, "muy" in Khmer means "number 1."

2) (b+p)ee

  • If you've read my first 2 articles, you will probably recognize this word, which means "number 2" in Khmer. This word was used as an example of the "blended sounds" concept in the Khmer language. Just as a reminder, the word is not pronounced "bee" with a pure "B" sound nor pronounced "pee" with a pure "P" sound. The consonant at the beginning of the word should sound like a blend of a "B" and a "P" sound.

3) (b+p)ei

  • This is the number 3 in Khmer. Notice, that like number 2, the consonant at the beginning of the word is a blend of a "B" and "P" sound.

* Saying the word with a pure "P" sound will change its meaning to "panic," which is not what we are trying to say.

4) (b+p)uon

  • This is the Khmer word for the number 4. Again, the word has a blended "B" and "P" sound at the beginning.

* However, for this particular word, even though the pure "B" sound does not exist in Khmer, the blended (b+p) sound should lean more heavily towards the "B" rather than the "P." Leaning more towards the "P" sound actually changes the meaning of the word to "hide," but in this case, we want to say, "four."

5) (b+p)rahm

  • If you haven't figured out the pattern by now, this is the number 5 in Khmer. Once again, this word's consonant at the beginning is a blended "B" and "P" sound.

* Thus, note that it is quite important to get the (b+p) sound learned because it is a part of numbers 2-5. On the side, however, Cambodians will still understand what you are saying even if these words are spoken with a pure "B" or pure "P sound (thanks to context clues); this does not mean that it doesn't sound hilarious, though.

Numbers 6 through 9

The Khmer numbers 6 through 9, as well as many of the other numbers that follow the numerical sequence, are "built on" the foundation numbers 1 through 5. What do I mean by this? Let's take a look at 6 through 9:

6) (b+p)rahm-muy

  • The number 6, in Khmer, is made up of two parts:
  1. (b+p)rahm = five
  2. muy = one
  • Therefore, the Khmer number 6, literally translated, means something like "five and one" or "five plus one."

7) (b+p)rahm-(b+p)ee OR (b+p)rahm-(b+p)ell

  • The number 7, in Khmer is also made up of two parts:
  1. (b+p)rahm = five
  2. (b+p)ee = two
  • Thus, the Khmer number 7, literally translated, means "five and two" or "five plus two."
  • * NOTE: The number 7 in Khmer can also be pronounced (b+p)rahm-(b+p)ell. Where this option derives from, I really do not know, but based on my speaking experiences, I've found that (bp)rahm-(bp)ee is more commonly said amongst those who speak formal Khmer whereas (bp)rahm-(bp)ell is more commonly said amongst those who speak the commoner's Khmer dialect.

8) (b+p)rahm-(b+p)ei

  • The number 8 is also made up of two parts:
  1. (b+p)rahm = five
  2. (b+p)ei = three
  • Hence, the Khmer number 8, literally translated, means "five and three" or "five plus three."

9) (b+p)rahm-(b+p)uon

  • Lastly, the number 9 is also composed of two parts:
  1. (b+p)rahm = five
  2. (b+p)uon = four
  • Just like the pattern for previous three numbers, the Khmer number 9, literally translated, means "five and four" or "five plus four."

Multiples of 10 & Counting on...

Before you can continue counting, you must memorize the multiples of 10, which, unlike the rest of the numbers, are NOT "built on" the first five numbers. The multiples of 10 must be memorized:

10 = (d+t)op

20 = Muh - Pei

  • The "P" in "Pei" is actually a pure "P" sound, so consider it a freebie. You do not have to blend it with a "B" sound.

30 = Saam - Sep

40 = Sai - Sep

50 = Haa - Sep

60 = Hok - Sep

70 = (j+ch)et - Sep

  • The "T" at the end of (j+ch)et should be a very subtle and non-accented "T" sound. It should be there, but barely there.

80 = (b+p)ait - Sep

  • Just like the number 70 in Khmer, the "T" at the end of (b+p)ait should be very slight, not stressed, but still there.

90 = (g+k)ao - Sep

100 = Muy Roy

1,000 = Muy (b+p)on

1,000,000 = Muy Lien

To continue counting from 10:

11 = (d+t)op Muy

  • NOTE: The number 11 in Khmer is made up of 2 parts:
  1. (d+t)op = 10
  2. Muy
  • Thus, eleven, literally translated, means "10 and 1" or "10 plus 1."

* However, for certain numbers that are greater than 11, there are three parts. For example:

16 = (dt)op + (bp)rahm + Muy

  • The three parts are:
  1. (dt)op
  2. (bp)rahm
  3. muy
  • Hence, the number 16, in Khmer, translates as something like "10 plus 5 plus 1."

* Every other number in the Khmer language can simply be put together by using the basic 5 numbers and building those numbers on top of multiples of 10, and the cycle goes on...

* To actually hear the pronunciation of these words, and for, perhaps, better tips, please watch the video below.

Learn Khmer: Part 3: Numbers (How to Count)


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)