To learn how to count in Khmer, all you need to do is remember the numbers 1 through 5.

 

1 – muy

2 – pi

3 – bai

4 – buhn

5 – prum

 

Now, that we have that in place, the rule to remember the numbers 6 through 9 is the ‘5+n’ format.

 

So 6 is 5 + 1 which is prum muy.

 

We have:

 

6 – prum muy

7 – prum pi

8 – prum bai

9 – prum buhn

 

The word for 10 is dop and then the same logic applies. The numbers 11 through 19 follow the rule ’10 + n’.

 

11 – dop muy

12 – dop pi

13 – dop bai

 

So now, you just need to remember the numbers 20, 30, 40, 50,60, 70,80 and 90 to count until 99 with the same rule as above.

 

20 – mphai

30 – saam / saamsuhp

40 – sai / saisuhp

50 – hay / haysuhp

60 – hok / hoksuhp

70 – chet / chetsuhp

80 – paet / paetsuhp

90 – kau / kausuhp

 

Now, The keyword for the ‘hundreds’ is ‘roy’.

100 is muy roy, 200 is pi roy, and so on.

 

Now you can count in Khmer until 999 :)

 

Example: If you have to say 527, you will say prum roy mphai prum pi.

 

Next, the keyword for the ‘thousands’ is ‘puan’ and based on the same rule as the hundreds:

 

1000 – muy puan

2000 – pi puan  

3000 – bai puan

4000 – buhn puan

5000 – prum puan

6000 – prum muy puan

 

And now, you can officially count in Khmer!

For tourists, the thousands will be the most commonly used numbers as you’ll be paying for food, drinks, etc in thousands.

 

Even though the dollar is accepted all across Cambodia, it’s a good idea to negotiate in Reil (the Khmer / Cambodian currency) to get a better deal for everything.

 

NOTE:

The number are spelled in a way to make it easy for foreign language speakers to pronounce the words.

Your Khmer counting skills will surely get you a ‘local’ edge and a discount!

 

If you’re interesting in interacting with the locals, check out these ‘Khmer phrases to make local Cambodians love you instantly!’