In Khmer tradition, It is important to address
people by using the titles or word that sustitute pronounce in the table above at the very
begining of the converstation. The addressing words should be at the beginning or
end of phrase. Because these words could express the respect of the speaker to the
listeners. For example, in the greeting phrase "How are you?", it would
be more polite to say "How are you bAAN ? [cuum riep sue bAAN]"
or "bAAN how are you?[ bAAN
cuum riep sue ]".
In Khmer, people use titles such as word like
Mr., Mrs. and Miss much more than in America, when speaking to people of the same age and
social status. It is customary to use the title (look) in front of the first name of
the person to who you are speaking. In formal situations the first and last names
are used, preceded by the words Mr. (look), Mrs., (look srey),
or Miss (kan)n)aa).
In Khmer the family name come first and the
given name or first name comes last unlike in English. In speaking to Europeans the
Khmer often use the title look with the first name of the person being addressed. Thus if
your name is Paul Henry, you might be called look Paul or look Paul Henry. But it
would not seem quite natural for Cambodian to call Paul alone.
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