Everyone Is Jumping Off the Brooklyn Bridge

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Words to Your Mother: ជំរាបសួរ (joom reeup sooa)

Map of Cambodia

This post uses Khmer Unicode characters. If you cannot see these characters, please install a Khmer font. You may find one for Windows here.

ជំរាបសួរ ("joom reeup soouh") is Khmer (pronounced "ka-mai") for "Hello". Khmer is the language of the Cambodian people. Cambodia is located in southeast Asia and neighbors Vietnam.

The Cambodian language is written using an abugida rather than an alphabet. The characters above may be broken down approximately as follows:

ជ: ch/j
_ំ: oom
ជ + _ំ = ជំ: oom

រ: r
ា: ee-uh
រ + ា = រា: ree-uh
ប: p

ស: s
_ួ: oo-uh
សួ: soo-uh

រ: r (silent in this case)

Thus, this would be pronounced approximately as "joom reeup soouh".

The Khmer-language edition of Wikipedia is located at http://km.wikipedia.org/.

Updated 8/17/06 10:27 AM PDT: Made a few minor corrections to the above text. Most notably, the first roa ("r") obviously isn't silent due to the final pronunciation. Think I got a little cut-and-paste happy there for a minute.

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