Proverbs and sayings

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Proverbs and sayings

Postby ផោមក្លិនស្អុយ » Fri Jun 08, 2018 7:55 am

I’m trying to keep on my toes with the language so am reading a book of proverbs. I’ll post some here every few days and will include the Khmer, English and what I understand with it.

I am crap at romanisation of Khmer language so if anyone wants to chip in with a transliteration then please go ahead.
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Re: Proverbs and sayings

Postby ផោមក្លិនស្អុយ » Fri Jun 08, 2018 8:02 am

ចេះដប់មិនស្មើប្រសប់មួយ
[cheh db min smae brasab muoy]
*transliteration from google translate*

Knowing ten (skills) is not the same as being an expert in one.

The Khmer version of ‘jack of all trades, master of none’. Fairly useful when reviewing CV’s of young job applicants who list every single training course available but has no depth to their skills.
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Re: Proverbs and sayings

Postby Duncan » Fri Jun 08, 2018 8:04 am

ផោមក្លិនស្អុយ wrote:I’m trying to keep on my toes with the language so am reading a book of proverbs. I’ll post some here every few days and will include the Khmer, English and what I understand with it.

I am crap at romanisation of Khmer language so if anyone wants to chip in with a transliteration then please go ahead.



I am crap at romanisation of Khmer language so if anyone wants to chip in


Thats a good proverb,,, who said that ,,, was it you or Sam Rainsy.
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Re: Proverbs and sayings

Postby ផោមក្លិនស្អុយ » Fri Jun 08, 2018 8:12 am

លួចគេវាគ្រាន់តែគេទាន់វាក្រែល
[luoch ke vea krean te ke tean vea krel]

If you steal something it’s just enough, but if you get caught then it’s a problem.

As I understand it this one is about regret only existing if you get caught. If you steal something then it’s a small thing, but if you get caught then it’s much bigger.

Similar to the western saying ‘it’s only a crime if you get caught’
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Re: Proverbs and sayings

Postby ផោមក្លិនស្អុយ » Fri Jun 08, 2018 8:23 am

ស្តាប់មិនទាន់ជាក់កុំអាលញាក់ចិញ្ចើម
[stab min tean cheak kom al nheak chenhcheum]

If you haven’t finished listening don’t lift your eyebrows.

Don’t pretend that you understand before the other person has finished speaking.
i.e. don’t buzz in early.
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Re: Proverbs and sayings

Postby Alex » Fri Jun 08, 2018 9:46 am

ផោមក្លិនស្អុយ wrote:លួចគេវាគ្រាន់តែគេទាន់វាក្រែល
[luoch ke vea krean te ke tean vea krel]

If you steal something it’s just enough, but if you get caught then it’s a problem.

As I understand it this one is about regret only existing if you get caught. If you steal something then it’s a small thing, but if you get caught then it’s much bigger.

Similar to the western saying ‘it’s only a crime if you get caught’


I don't know, to me it sounds more like taking a high risk for a low potential gain.
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Re: Proverbs and sayings

Postby ផោមក្លិនស្អុយ » Fri Jun 08, 2018 9:54 am

Alex wrote:
ផោមក្លិនស្អុយ wrote:លួចគេវាគ្រាន់តែគេទាន់វាក្រែល
[luoch ke vea krean te ke tean vea krel]

If you steal something it’s just enough, but if you get caught then it’s a problem.

As I understand it this one is about regret only existing if you get caught. If you steal something then it’s a small thing, but if you get caught then it’s much bigger.

Similar to the western saying ‘it’s only a crime if you get caught’


I don't know, to me it sounds more like taking a high risk for a low potential gain.

I could buy that. Slightly different to my take, but I can see how it could be understood that way.
That’s the problem with proverbs. They are a tad ambiguous and you have to work at them to understand not just the words but context, culture and application.
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Re: Proverbs and sayings

Postby Kachang » Fri Jun 08, 2018 4:40 pm

Two proverbs I remember, and sometimes use....

Sorry, illiterate in Khmer....

Klah keing, kom pah klah.
If the tiger / big cat sleeps, don't pat it.

Koh chach si smau kchey (reak aatch)
The old cow loves to eat fresh young grass (and gets the runs)
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Re: Proverbs and sayings

Postby ផោមក្លិនស្អុយ » Sat Jun 09, 2018 10:07 am

កុំទុកចិត្តមេឃ កុំទុកចិត្តផា្កយ បើគេថាកូនមានសាហាយ កុំជេម្តាយអ្នកស្រុក
[kom toukchett mekh kom toukchett phkay bae ke tha kaun mean sa hay kom che mteay nak srok]

Don’t trust the sky, don’t trust the stars. If someone says that your child has a lover, don’t curse their mother.

Don’t put too much trust in things you don’t know about. The sky, the stars or what your child is up to.

Also could be understood as ‘don’t shoot the messenger’
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Re: Proverbs and sayings

Postby ផោមក្លិនស្អុយ » Sat Jun 09, 2018 10:15 am

អន្ទង់វេងកុំបាចរកឆ្នាំងវែង
[antong veng kom bach rk chhnanng veng]

You don’t need to look for a long pot for (to cook) a long eel.

Initially I understood this as about thinking outside the box, or looking for creative solutions to problems. But it is used more for partnerships, or relationships.

Not so dissimilar to opposites attract, but more like saying you should look for a partner who has skills, characteristics or personality different to you. Someone who will complement you and not a duplicate of you.
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Re: Proverbs and sayings

Postby logos » Sat Jun 09, 2018 8:21 pm

ផោមក្លិនស្អុយ wrote:អន្ទង់វេងកុំបាចរកឆ្នាំងវែង
[antong veng kom bach rk chhnanng veng]

You don’t need to look for a long pot for (to cook) a long eel.

Initially I understood this as about thinking outside the box, or looking for creative solutions to problems. But it is used more for partnerships, or relationships.

Not so dissimilar to opposites attract, but more like saying you should look for a partner who has skills, characteristics or personality different to you. Someone who will complement you and not a duplicate of you.

I heard differently. Negative connotation about getting a result through a complicated way rather than straight from a to b
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Re: Proverbs and sayings

Postby epidemiks » Sun Jun 10, 2018 6:19 pm

logos wrote:
ផោមក្លិនស្អុយ wrote:អន្ទង់វេងកុំបាចរកឆ្នាំងវែង
[antong veng kom bach rk chhnanng veng]

You don’t need to look for a long pot for (to cook) a long eel.

Initially I understood this as about thinking outside the box, or looking for creative solutions to problems. But it is used more for partnerships, or relationships.

Not so dissimilar to opposites attract, but more like saying you should look for a partner who has skills, characteristics or personality different to you. Someone who will complement you and not a duplicate of you.

I heard differently. Negative connotation about getting a result through a complicated way rather than straight from a to b


The way I've heard it is similar, more in terms of being naive or stupid, "You believe the only way to cook an eel is with a long pot". Long pots don't exist, why waste time trying to find one when you can roll up the eel and put it in any pot.
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Re: Proverbs and sayings

Postby ផោមក្លិនស្អុយ » Sun Jun 10, 2018 8:38 pm

epidemiks wrote:
logos wrote:
ផោមក្លិនស្អុយ wrote:អន្ទង់វេងកុំបាចរកឆ្នាំងវែង
[antong veng kom bach rk chhnanng veng]

You don’t need to look for a long pot for (to cook) a long eel.

Initially I understood this as about thinking outside the box, or looking for creative solutions to problems. But it is used more for partnerships, or relationships.

Not so dissimilar to opposites attract, but more like saying you should look for a partner who has skills, characteristics or personality different to you. Someone who will complement you and not a duplicate of you.

I heard differently. Negative connotation about getting a result through a complicated way rather than straight from a to b


The way I've heard it is similar, more in terms of being naive or stupid, "You believe the only way to cook an eel is with a long pot". Long pots don't exist, why waste time trying to find one when you can roll up the eel and put it in any pot.

That was my initial assumption - it certainly makes sense to me.
But a Khmer friend explained it differently. I just took his word as more reliable than my understanding.
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