Buddhist sermons in Penang Hokkien

Discussions on the Hokkien (Minnan) language.
SimL
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Re: Buddhist sermons in Penang Hokkien

Postby SimL » Fri Apr 03, 2009 3:19 pm

Andrew wrote:Also, is tiaN-tiaN the same as PgHk tiam7-tiam7, as in regularly, constantly?


Wow! I'd forgotten this word! I think it's very typically PgHk.

I would add that "tiam-tiam" is "regularly, constantly", but only when it has a negative connotation. "i tiam-tiam mE wa" (= "s/he keeps scolding me"), "i tiam-tiam hiam i e kiaN gong" (= "s/he keeps complaining that his/her children are stupid"), "i tiam-tiam lai cioh lui" (= "s/he keeps coming to borrow money").

In my usage, it's never used for positive things. Like one would never say "i tiam-tiam thak-cEh" (= "he studies regularly"), "i tiam-tiam iaN bE-pio" (= "he regularly wins the lottery"), except if you were grumbling that your school friend never goes out to the movies with you, because s/he's too busy studying, or you're jealous of your friend because s/he keeps winning the lottery. "wa tiam-tiam iaN bE-pio" would hence be an unusual sentence. It could be used to mean "(I wonder why / it's really amazing that) I keep winning the lottery" or "(damn! all my friends and relatives keep expecting money or presents from me, because) I keep winning the lottery". So, still some sort of surprise or annoyance is involved, never for a normal "regularly".

SimL
Last edited by SimL on Thu May 14, 2009 7:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

duaaagiii
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Re: Buddhist sermons in Penang Hokkien

Postby duaaagiii » Fri Apr 03, 2009 7:42 pm

Interesting; tiam7-tiam7 (恬恬) in Taiwan means "quiet; quietly; to be quiet (i.e. shut up)"

  • 恬恬!
    Be quiet! / Shut up!
  • 恬恬食三碗公(半)
    (lit. to quietly eat three (and a half) big bowls of food)
    describes a person who does not appear to be aggressive, but in reality is very much so

Ah-bin
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Re: Buddhist sermons in Penang Hokkien

Postby Ah-bin » Fri Apr 03, 2009 11:02 pm

Ah, thank you everyone for clearing that up. I've heard tiam7tiam7 on the podcast but I had though it was the Taiwanese meaning. TiaN6-tiaN6 (not sure if my tone numbers are the same as yours but the characters are 定定) is used in Chiang-chiu for "often" without any negative meaning as far as I know. But if tiam-tiam is bad, then what is the way to say often in a good sense? Perhaps siong-siong is fine, but I am just suspicious when it looks like Mandarin and is read in the thak-chheh-im 讀册音 that it is used only by people who have had a Mandarin education.

Regards,

Ah-Bin

Andrew

Re: Buddhist sermons in Penang Hokkien

Postby Andrew » Sat Apr 04, 2009 12:26 pm

duaaagiii wrote:Interesting; tiam7-tiam7 (恬恬) in Taiwan means "quiet; quietly; to be quiet (i.e. shut up)"

  • 恬恬!
    Be quiet! / Shut up!
  • 恬恬食三碗公(半)
    (lit. to quietly eat three (and a half) big bowls of food)
    describes a person who does not appear to be aggressive, but in reality is very much so


We also have this meaning, as in ce-tiam-tiam, "to sit quietly", but normally when we say "be quiet!" it is just "tiam (-lah)!"

Douglas says that tiaN-tiaN, 定定, also has the meaning "still, quiet, motionless, be quiet!, also a sort of adverbial particle at the end of a sentence, having the sense of 'only' or of 'and that is all' ". So perhaps the two are interchangeable?
Last edited by Andrew on Sat Apr 04, 2009 12:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Andrew

Re: Buddhist sermons in Penang Hokkien

Postby Andrew » Sat Apr 04, 2009 12:30 pm

Ah-bin wrote:Ah, thank you everyone for clearing that up. I've heard tiam7tiam7 on the podcast but I had though it was the Taiwanese meaning. TiaN6-tiaN6 (not sure if my tone numbers are the same as yours but the characters are 定定) is used in Chiang-chiu for "often" without any negative meaning as far as I know. But if tiam-tiam is bad, then what is the way to say often in a good sense? Perhaps siong-siong is fine, but I am just suspicious when it looks like Mandarin and is read in the thak-chheh-im 讀册音 that it is used only by people who have had a Mandarin education.


The only thing I can think of is ta(k)-pai, which doesn't strictly mean often, but each time, always, e.g. i tak-pai lai gua-e chu, "he's always coming to my house".

SimL
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Re: Buddhist sermons in Penang Hokkien

Postby SimL » Mon Apr 06, 2009 4:28 pm

Andrew wrote:The only thing I can think of is ta(k)-pai, which doesn't strictly mean often, but each time, always, e.g. i tak-pai lai gua-e chu, "he's always coming to my house".


I think this would be a good way of saying it - I certainly can't think of a better alternative, though, strictly speaking, this is (a positive form of) "keeps", "constantly", "often", etc and has less emphasis on the *regularity* of the occurrance. [Though of course, the two do go together - anything one does "constantly", "often" etc, one probably does "regularly".]

I find Chinese a bit vague in so many of these areas ("ducks for cover!"), like, we get along fine communicating, of course, but things seem so often to have to be worked out from context, rather than being encoded in the actual words themselves. For example, there is a huge distinction in English between "possibly" and "probably", but a lot of Mandarin speakers don't seem to be able to tell the difference, and seem to use Mandarin "ke3-neng2" for both - leaving it up to context and tone of voice to convey to the user which of the two is meant.

[While I'm grumbling about Chinese, I might as well get this off my chest. I was taught in Mandarin class that "deng3-deng3" 等等 is often put at the end of a list of things one is mentioning, but that it can either mean "etc" or "end of list". Again, I was told that context will tell the listener which one is meant, but, again, in English, these are very different situations. "This is what I don't like about you: X, Y, Z, (and that's it)" seems to me to be quite different from "This is what I don't like about you: X, Y, Z, (and there's a whole lot more I'm not mentioning)"! :shock: ]

SimL
Last edited by SimL on Tue Apr 07, 2009 7:54 am, edited 2 times in total.

SimL
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Re: Buddhist sermons in Penang Hokkien

Postby SimL » Mon Apr 06, 2009 4:33 pm

PS. The normal way I would say "ta(k)-pai" would be (I think, an elided form) "ta-mai". This is a very common situation in my Hokkien, where the elided form would be the only form I would use, with the non-elided form only as a sort of "reference" for what the phrase is derived from, rather than being actually used, even in slow, deliberate speech. If I were to use the non-elided form, then it would be "ta-ta-pai", and would be emphatically "every single occasion", rather than just "often, usually, regularly".

SimL
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Re: Buddhist sermons in Penang Hokkien

Postby SimL » Tue Jun 09, 2009 12:36 pm

Many years ago, I downloaded a lot of these sermons in Penang Hokkien. Then I lost the link and spent years trying to find it again.

Recently, I think I've found the website of the same organisation from whose website I downloaded the sermons years ago:

http://www.vbgnet.org/ (click on "audio")

or go directly there:

http://www.vbgnet.org/resource-audio.asp

However, I'm not totally sure that it's the same organisation. The lectures are very much in the same style, and the voice of the speaker sounds very similar, but I'm not completely sure it's the same. The sermons themselves seem to be different ones.

PS. on the "audio" page, in the box "Select Language", you can select "fujian general" or "fujian nikaya" and then click on "go" to get just the Hokkien sermons.

SimL
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Re: Buddhist sermons in Penang Hokkien

Postby SimL » Mon Jun 15, 2009 11:43 am

Hi everyone,

I'm doing my next lot of transcriptions, and these are the terms I need some help with. In all cases where I don't have the hanzi, I'd be grateful if anyone knows them.

I give first the original sentence(s), then my attempted translation, then the words I'm unfamiliar with, as a list. These are rendered in bold - in the original sentence, the translated sentence, and in the list. I've transcribed without tones (too much effort otherwise), but in the word lists, I have added the tones I think it might have. For final syllables which sound like tone-3, I have to say tone-3/7 because I can't tell which of the two is intended. For non-final syllables, I have to give all the tones which could have resulted in the sandhied tone I hear: for example "sin1/5/7", because I heard a tone-3 (or tone-7) in non-final position.

Thanks a lot!

SimL

P.S. I don't lightly "impose" on the good nature and time of the more learned members of the Forum. For most of the passages I've transcribed, I've already done hours of work, looking up stuff in Douglas/Barclay, asking my parents, guessing at equivalents in Mandarin and looking them up in my Mandarin-English dictionary, etc. The questions I've posted here are the remaining ones which I haven't been able to solve any other way.

---

"i e pue cin-nia ce keng"

= "he can recite [from memory] a lot of scriptures"

• "pue3/7": I think I got the meaning right; I just need the hanzi and tone for it. Is it as in Mandarin?

---

"u-e lang lai hut-kau-hue, cong-cong e bok-tek pun bo ha-mi ho e, na-ka u-e hau-sEN-lang: ca-bO toh ai chue ta-pO peng-iu; ta-pO toh ai chue ca-bO peng-iu. ci-le si cu-ien e la, m-si kong cin-nia phaiN e bok-tek, tapi i bo ha-mi kong ho i-su la.

= "some people come to the Buddhist Institute for all sorts of not very good reasons, like some <hau-sEN-lang>: girls wanting to find a boyfriend; boys wanting to find a girlfriend. This is a <cu-ien> reason, not a very bad reason, but still not a very good motivation."

• "hau-sEN-lang5": I'm only familiar with the word "hau-sEN" meaning "son". Can "hau-sEN-lang" refer to both guys and girls? Perhaps it means "young people"? How is this written in hanzi?
• "cu1/5/7-ien5": could this be "cu7-jien5" 自然? The speaker seems to definitely say "ien" not "jien".

---

"na-kong lang iong ci-le sin-tong e mih-kiaN; bo ha-mi ho, in-ui na-kong i hO lu ho ci le ui, i u ci le "price" la. u ci le bo-ho chu la. i hO lu ho chu, tapi au-bue lai, i u bo-ho chu la."

= "say we use this <sin-tong> thing; it's not very good (to do so) because (even though) it gives you something good at one spot, it has a 'price'. There is (later) a bad <chu>. (First) it gives you a good <chu>, but in the end, there is a bad <chu>"

The above follows a passage about a heroin addict, so perhaps "sin-tong" has something to do with ""? The idea he's seems to be trying to convey is that things which give you pleasure at one stage have a "price" (he uses the English word "price" at this point in the lecture): a good "chu" first, but later a bad "chu".

• "sin1/5/7-tong1": what about 神通, or perhaps something with ?
• "chu3/7": meaning and hanzi?

---

"lang na-si kong ciaN-ciaN gian-kiu hut-li, liau lu beng-pek in-ko, a beng-pek ci-le si-seng-ti, cin-pun e hut-li, hut kong lang jip-to liau la - than-tioh it-to la. than-tioh it-to liau, siang koh ci si, lang tiaN-tioh than-tioh it-ko la."

= "if we truly study Buddhist teachings, and you understand (about) karma, and you also understand this <si-seng-ti>, the <cin-pun> Buddhist teachings, (then) the Buddha says we would have <jip-to> - (we would) have achieved <it-to>. (And) after we have achieved <it-to>, similarly, another time, we will definitely achieve <it-ko>."

This passage is full of Buddhist terminology. Thanks to Ah-Bin who gave me a reference to Soothill (http://www.acmuller.net/soothill/soothill-hodous.html), I've been able to find some terms which might be relevant, but of course I can't be sure that they are correct. If anyone knows these terms from their own personal experience, I'd be very grateful for help.

• "cin1-pun2": 真本??? "truly original"???
• "it4-ko2": 一果??? [Soothill "九因一果. Nine of the 十界 ten dhotu or regions are causative, the tenth is the effect or resultant."]
• "it4-to3/7": 一道??? [Soothill "one way, the one way; the way of deliverance from mortality, the Mahayana"]
• "jip8-to3/7": 入道??? [Soothill "to become a monk"]. Doesn't quite fit into the context.
• "si-seng-ti": 四聖 "The Four Noble Truths"???, or 四眞 [Soothill] (http://www.internationalscientific.org gives the pronunciation of as "the5")

---

"lang puah 'ampat ekor' a-si 'ban-ji', lang e ki-ui than, si cin-nia cio e"

= "if we gamble 'ampat ekor' or "ban-ji", (then) the <ki-ui> that we get, (it) is very little"

• "ban-ji": "ampat ekor" is the gambling system known in Malaysia where one can bet on any 4-digit number; "ban-ji" is presumably 萬字, but I'm unfamiliar with this game. Does anyone know anything more about it?
• "ki2/3-ui3/7": Can't work this out from context.

---

"lang e tng-lang e am: tua-jit-ci e si, i-lang toh thai iauN, thai ke, lai kong-iong"

= "(in) our Chinese temples: during feast days, they'll slaughter sheep, slaughter chickens, to <kong-iong>"

• "kong1/5/7-iong2": From context, perhaps "offering, sacrifice"? What are the hanzi?

---

"lang na-si kiaN ho e lO, lang u kui-jin kO lang2 la"

= "If we walk the good road (i.e. live a good life), then we will have <kui-jin> looking after us"

• "kui2/3-jin3/7": No idea what this could be. Guardian spirits?

---

SimL
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Re: Buddhist sermons in Penang Hokkien

Postby SimL » Tue Jun 16, 2009 4:27 pm

SimL wrote:• "cu1/5/7-ien5": could this be "cu7-jien5" 自然? The speaker seems to definitely say "ien" not "jien".


Oops! Very sorry about this! I see that I've already asked this at the beginning of this thread. I've done quite a number of other lectures by this same speaker now, and he consistently says "cu-ien" where 自然 would fit the meaning. So, perhaps he speaks a variant which pronounces it this way, or perhaps he has his own individual way of pronouncing this word.

For certain words, he (consistently) uses a different pronunciation from the one I'm used to. For example for "pan7-huat4" 辦法 (="method"), he consistently says "pan7-huat8", whereas I and all my relatives (and Douglas/Barclay) say "pan7-huat4".

Ah-bin
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Re: Buddhist sermons in Penang Hokkien

Postby Ah-bin » Thu Jun 25, 2009 12:04 am

I can suggest a few things


I think you are right about "pue" it is not an entering tone, so should be 3.

"sin1/5/7-tong1": what about 神通

That means "magic" I think. sometimes in other places he talks about "sin-tong-lat" 神通力 and I think it meant "magic power"

• "hau-sEN-lang5" 後生lang just means "young people" neither male nor female.

But that;s all I can manage.

regards,
Ah-bin

SimL
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Re: Buddhist sermons in Penang Hokkien

Postby SimL » Thu Jun 25, 2009 6:53 pm

Hi Ah-bin,

Thanks for your answers. I wonder where all the other regular posters have gone???

Ah-bin wrote:"sin1/5/7-tong1": what about 神通

That means "magic" I think. sometimes in other places he talks about "sin-tong-lat" 神通力 and I think it meant "magic power"


Yes, "magic" would fit the context quite well:

"na-kong lang iong ci-le sin-tong e mih-kiaN; bo ha-mi ho, in-ui na-kong i hO lu ho ci le ui, i u ci le "price" la. u ci le bo-ho chu la. i hO lu ho chu, tapi au-bue lai, i u bo-ho chu la."

"say we use this magic thing; it's not very good (to do so) because (even though) it gives you something good at one spot, it has a 'price'.

However, I managed to find this:

http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E7%A5%9E%E9%80%9A

It appears to be an article on Buddhism. Unfortunately, there is no link to an equivalent English page. I would be very grateful if anyone would be willing to just give a summary here of the content of the article. Hopefully enough for me to be able to work out if there is a specialized meaning of 神通 in a Buddhist context.

SimL

Andrew

Re: Buddhist sermons in Penang Hokkien

Postby Andrew » Fri Jun 26, 2009 5:13 am

SimL wrote:= "if we gamble 'ampat ekor' or "ban-ji", (then) the <ki-ui> that we get, (it) is very little"

• "ban-ji": "ampat ekor" is the gambling system known in Malaysia where one can bet on any 4-digit number; "ban-ji" is presumably 萬字, but I'm unfamiliar with this game. Does anyone know anything more about it?
• "ki2/3-ui3/7": Can't work this out from context.


Sim: I am currently travelling, so I don't have my dictionaries with me here, but could it be Mandarin ji1-hui4, opportunity?

"lang e tng-lang e am: tua-jit-ci e si, i-lang toh thai iauN, thai ke, lai kong-iong"

= "(in) our Chinese temples: during feast days, they'll slaughter sheep, slaughter chickens, to <kong-iong>"

• "kong1/5/7-iong2": From context, perhaps "offering, sacrifice"? What are the hanzi?


Could it be gong1-yong4, public use? But iong2 suggests yong3 rather than yong4 in Mandarin.

I think this site works best when at least one person is studying, whether it be a complete beginner or a more advanced speaker like you, as it brings out the questions that we can all discuss.

SimL
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Re: Buddhist sermons in Penang Hokkien

Postby SimL » Fri Jun 26, 2009 7:33 am

Hi Andrew,

Could it be gong1-yong4, public use? But iong2 suggests yong3 rather than yong4 in Mandarin.


Good suggestion. I considered this possibility too, but I think it's not likely. Particularly in the light of the following passage (from another file I transcribed, which I haven't asked about yet):

Transcription

ha-ku u ci le pO-lO-mng lai mui hut. i kong: "wa-lang pO-lO-mng - chin-ciaN si khi kue-au - wa-lang cu CI-le sam-phue ... liau wa-lang kong-iong hO wa-lang e chin-ciaN - si khi liau e". i-lang e hong-sioh tam-poh bo-siang ka tng-lang; toh-si kong i-lang kong-iong e tiam-siaN, i-lang khi sio - sio i khi la. "sio i khi liau", i mui hut kong, "lang2-e chin-ciaN u than, bo than la?"

Translation

Formerly, there was a Brahmin who came to ask the Buddha (something). He said: "We Brahmins - after our relatives die - we cook these dishes ... and then we kong-iong (them = the dishes/food) for/to our relatives - the ones who have died." Their customs are a bit different from Chinese (ones); that is to say, when they kong-iong, they burn - burn off the dishes (i.e. the food). "After burning them", he asked the Buddha, "do our relatives get (these offerings) or not?"

This seems to me to exclude the possibility that the speaker is trying to say "gong1-yong4" (which I did find in Douglas or Barclay as a Hokkien 詞語). Also, the speaker definitely says "iong2" not "iong7" (in the sentence I originally posted, and in this current one), so, as you say too, can be excluded. Both passages seem to suggest "sacrifice" or "make offerings".

My current hypothesis is that it might be 功養 "merit" + "to nourish", but this combination yields practically no hits in Google, and is not a recognized 詞語 in any Mandarin dictionaries I've consulted (which is not, of course, to say that it might not be a Hokkien 詞語).

Thanks for your input. I'm very relieved that you're still reading the Forum!

Great that you're travelling. Look forward to when you have returned home and can check your dictionaries.

Regards,
SimL.

SimL
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PS

Postby SimL » Fri Jun 26, 2009 11:19 am

One other comment.

There is "kong1-iong7" 功用 Douglas p244 "efficacy (as of a medicine)" and p175 "great usefulness and efficacy (as of a medicine or plan, but not of a person)"; Barclay p117 and p84.

This has a different tone in the final syllable from the looked-for "iong2", and the meaning "efficacy, as of medicine" doesn’t fit the context either. Also 共用 or 公用 seem to be more "adjectival-like", and 功用 seems to be more "noun-like", whereas the "kong-iong" used in the lectures seems to be more "verb-like". (I realise that these grammatical categories may not be that meaningful in Chinese, but the basic point still stands, I think).


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