Asking “What is he doing?” — Cultural note


ការសួរថា កំពុងធ្វើអីហ្នឹង [ឈ្មោះ/បង/អូន/ម៉ាក់ ជាដើម]? គឺជាការផ្ដើមការសន្ទនាជាទូទៅ និងបង្ហាញភាពស្និទ្ធស្នាលមួយប៉ុន្តែ ពេលខ្លះ អ្នកអាចនឹងទទួលបានចម្លើយថា មានអីនេះមានន័យថា អ្នកឆ្លើយខ្ជិលមិនចង់ពន្យល់ប្រាប់យើងនោះទេប៉ុន្តែ ចម្លើយបែបនេះមិនចាត់ទុកថាជាការមិនគួរសមអ្វីឡើយ

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KhmerPronunciationEnglish/Notes
ការ kaa 1. work, occupation
2. business, affair, matter
3. commonly occurs as a nominalizing particle deriving abstract nouns or noun phrases from verbs or verb phrases
4. to protect, defend, prevent
5. to marry
6. marriage
7. wedding
8. interest (e.g., on a loan)
9. profit
10. usury
11. to wind (into a skein/bobbin/reel)
12. to spin (silk)
សួរ suə 1. to ask, question, enquire
2. to visit, come to see
ថា tʰaa 1. to say, tell, pronounce
2. that (introduces a question or indirect discourse)
កំពុង kɑmpuŋ to be in the process of (doing something)
ធ្វើ tvəə to do, to make, to work, to prepare, to cultivate (a field)
អី ʔəy 1. what? {អីហ្នឹង?/អីគេ?/អីគេហ្នឹង? = what is this?/what?} {កាន់អីនៅនឹងដៃហ្នឹង? = What are [you] holding in [your] hand?}
2. something, anything {មានអីអត់ = Are you all right?/Is everything ok?/Did anything happen?} {ខ្ញុំទៅក្រៅញ៉ាំអី = I’m going out to eat something}
Notes: variant of អ្វី
ហ្នឹង nɨŋ this, that, right here, right now (colloquial form of នេះ = this, that)
ឈ្មោះ cmʊəh 1. name
2. to be named/called
បង bɑɑŋ 1. elder sibling
2. you (addressing an acquaintance, friend, elder sibling, or husband), or I (if elder than the addressee)
3. you (politely addressing a stranger who's not too much younger than oneself)
អូន ʔoun 1. I (younger brother, younger sister, sweetheart or wife - about themselves)
2. you (intimate or familiar address form for younger sibling, for one's wife or girl friend, or for a close friend who is younger)
3. you (politely addressing a stranger who's younger than oneself)
ម៉ាក់ mak mom, mommy
Notes: colloquial
ជាដើម cie daəm as above, as listed (or given) above
គឺជា kɨɨ cie 1. to be (equal to)
2. as follows, namely
Notes: equivalent to គឺ
ផ្ដើម pdaəm to start, to begin
Notes: ជើង ដ
សន្ទនា sɑnteaʔnie 1. to converse, to discuss
2. conversation, discussion
ជាទូទៅ cie tuu təv in general, as a whole, generally
និង nɨŋ and
បង្ហាញ bɑŋhaaɲ 1. to show, exhibit, reveal, to indicate
2. to demonstrate, to teach
3. to introduce (someone to someone)
ភាព pʰiep state, condition, shape, manner
ស្និទ្ធស្នាល snǝt snaal (of a friendship) close, intimate
មួយ muəy 1. one {មួយៗ = one by one}
2. one person/myself {សុំចេញមួយ = Please let me [go] out!} {សុំទៅមួយ = Please give way [for me one person]!} {សុំចុះមួយ = Please let me [one person] get off [the bus]!}
ប៉ុន្តែ pontae but, however
Notes: ជើង ត; root: តែ
ពេលខ្លះ peel klah sometimes
អ្នក neak 1. you (to equals of both sexes)
2. person, one who... (used as an agentive particle to create nouns from predicatives)
អាច ʔaac 1. to be able (to do something), to be capable (of doing something)
2. to be possible
នឹង nɨŋ future tense marker: will, about to
ទទួល tɔtuəl 1. to receive, to take
2. to accept, to agree
3. to meet (e.g., at an airport or station)
បាន baan 1. to have completed/done something
2. to intend to complete something
3. marker of completed action
4. to get, obtain, acquire, to achieve, have been able to, to get/have the opportunity to do something
5. to get someone or something to do something (often translated by the English passive in this sense)
6. to be able to
7. not ... until, then and only then
8. to pass to someone through inheritance
9. to be OK, fine, all right
10. [spoken language] however, though, in contrast {ម្សិលមិញបានក្ដៅខ្លាំង = yesterday, however, it was very hot}
ចម្លើយ cɑmlaəy response, answer, reply
Notes: root: ឆ្លើយ; also written ចំឡើយ
មានអី mien ʔəy 1. what things, why not, of course, O.K., all right, yeah, well...
2. you're welcome
3. but, however (contrasts one statement with another)
Notes: colloquial
នេះ nih 1. this, these
2. often serves simply to emphasize something already referred to or something nearby in time or space
មានន័យ mien ney to mean
ឆ្លើយ claəy to reply, to answer
ខ្ជិល kcɨl 1. lazy
2. careless
rɨɨ 1. or
2. phrase-final interrogative particle {មិនមែនឬ = Isn't it true?}
មិន mɨn negative particle not, non- (usually requires the final particle ទេ)
ចង់ cɑŋ 1. to want, wish, desire
2. to need
ពន្យល់ pʊənyʊəl to explain, show, demonstrate
ប្រាប់ prap 1. to tell, say, state, inform, report
2. to explain
3. to point out
យើង yəəŋ 1. we
2. I (familiar)
3. in final position used to refer to 'our Cambodian ...' {ទុរេនកំពតយើងមែន? = Kampot durian (from our country, Cambodia), right?}
នោះ nuh 1. that, those (often serves simply to emphasize something already referred to or something distant in time or space)
2. then
ទេ tee 1. particle: negative particle occurring in phrase final position especially after មិន, ពុំ, etc.
2. interrogative particle occurring in phrase final position, often in the combination ឬទេ
3. neutral/positive particle to add emphasis {ខ្ញុំសុខសប្បាយទេ = I'm fine!}
បែប baep kind, sort, model, type, style, form, shape, method, way
ចាត់ទុក cat tuk to consider
ជា cie 1. to be (equal to), to be as
2. to be well, in good health, recovered
3. to be effective (of medicines)
គួរសម kuə sɑɑm 1. polite, acceptable, appropriate
2. reasonable, moderate {មានច្រើនគួរសមដែរ = it has a reasonably/relatively many}
អ្វី ʔvəy 1. what?
2. anything, something, nothing
ឡើយ laəy 1. at all, absolutely
2. generally used with the negative particles កុំ, គ្មាន, ពុំ, មិន, ឥត, to express the idea of incompleted action, existence or progressing action