Hokkien alternative names for Technology Stuff

Discussions on the Hokkien (Minnan) language.
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Yeleixingfeng
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Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2011 12:50 am

Hokkien alternative names for Technology Stuff

Post by Yeleixingfeng »

How does Hokkien translate chemical or technological terms? I have always admire how Hokkien has their own way of naming things in very differing ways as compared to Mandarin, like 調羹(thiau g’ng) vs 湯匙, 靠(?)椅(kao i2) vs 椅子, 番仔(hoan a2) vs 馬來, 枷錮間(kha ku keng) vs監獄, 霜橱(s’ng tu5) vs 冰箱…
(If there are any spelling problems, it is not because I am using another Romanising scheme, it’s just because I pronounce it wrongly. >.<)

I was kinda disappointed when I realised they borrowed the uninventive電-prefix way of naming from the Japanese. Perhaps Hokkien would have a different naming system for the new emerging stuff like ‘computing programs’, ‘technology’, ‘air conditioners’, ‘Youtube’, ‘Facebook’, ‘Pendrive’ etc? And also names like Sodium Chloride, Lactic acid… Do they just copy blindly from Mandarin? If so, how do they allocate the pronunciation for the new characters, especially since there is no hard and fast standard translating rule from Mandarin to Hokkien?

By the way, was translating some lyrics to Hokkien, was wondering – what is ‘shoulder’ called in Penang Hokkien? I know I can just click chineseetymology.org for an answer; I was just wondering if another name is used. Thanks in advance. ^^

Ah-bin
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Re: Hokkien alternative names for Technology Stuff

Post by Ah-bin »

I invented "hoe-piak" 火壁 for "firewall" - the ones for Facebook and Twitter that the PGHK podcast uses are a few threads down under "household names"

SimL
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Re: Hokkien alternative names for Technology Stuff

Post by SimL »

Yeleixingfeng wrote:... what is ‘shoulder’ called in Penang Hokkien?
I say "keng1-thau5". At a guess, "keng1" is just .

amhoanna
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Re: Hokkien alternative names for Technology Stuff

Post by amhoanna »

This topic came up time and again on Tâigúbāng. There were some guys that said, "Hey, we have an idea: let's just use the English words." There were probably guys that thought importing Mandarin words wholesale was fine, but they never spoke up. One sophisticated approach that lots of guys seemed to like was the Japandarin approach. If Mandarin and Japanese shared a term, then it was "safe" for Hoklo to go ahead and use it. If not, then either term could be used, or a third term could be coined.

No doubt this discussion was partly a political show of hands.

Personally, when I have the time, I like to use an "expanded Japandarin" approach which takes in Korean, Cantonese and Vietnamese as well. Voilà. Sīsi̍t 視実 instead of chiamcèng 簽証 or bisah for VISA, courtesy of VNese. Sīthiaⁿlu̍t 視聴率 instead of siusīlu̍t 收視率 for RATINGS, courtesy of Korean (and JP?). And much more. These Sino-loans from the "Tang fringe" seem to fit Hoklo better than loans from Mandarin or English. VNese and Korean tend to "give more", although VNese gives lots of what looks like non-Sinitic. JP and Canto are mostly just mirrors of Big Brother languages. Overall, it's good to have all of them around. It may seem like child's play to some, but for me it strikes a chord... This is a quality of life thing!

Straits Hokkien also has some really cool words, like hunki for CIGARETTE, as a random example. Or "cng goá ê chia" 妝我仒車. And, a lot of the Tn̂g-Japanese loanwords in TW Hoklo seem to do the Hoklo body good. Sàngsò͘ 酸素 for OXYGEN, for example. Or khanpáng 看板 for SHOP SIGN. Technically these give 酸, 看, and 板 a new layer of readings ... and give us an insight into how Hoklo might've "come down with" all these layers in the first place. :idea:

Alright. It's a race against time, guys. :mrgreen: It's only so much time left to jumpstart this Renaissance.

Yeleixingfeng
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Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2011 12:50 am

Re: Hokkien alternative names for Technology Stuff

Post by Yeleixingfeng »

Ah-bin wrote:I invented "hoe-piak" 火壁 for "firewall" - the ones for Facebook and Twitter that the PGHK podcast uses are a few threads down under "household names"
LOL, doesn't Mandarin use 火壁 too? This is exactly what I mean. Like, for firewall we could use 火垣 or 火墉, which adds a new layer of meaning for these out-of-use obsolete characters; in time, 垣 or 墉 itself would be sufficient for the meaning. The problem with this, of course, is that I don't know the pronunciation for these characters. >.<

Reply to Amhoanna,
Actually, I prefer the Chinese version of Oxygen - 氧. 氧 came from 气 and 養, meaning the gas that nurtures all living organism. Unfortunately they took the phonetic 羊 of 養 instead of the semantic 食, though how would 食 squeeze into the mere space below 气 I don't know. Creating a new character is advantageous in that, when oxygen is referred to, 氧 itself would be sufficient (缺氧) to represent oxygen, as compared to the Japanese version - Sanso (酸素) which needs both Oxidising and Element to mean Oxygen.
In fact, the Chinese version of the elements makes much more sense than its English counterpart, especially some of the more frequently used ones. For example, 氫 comes from 气 and 輕 - understandable right? What's more; for hydrocarbons, they combine the representative component of hydrogen (巠) and carbon (火) to form 烴, and the pronunciation is 碳氫切, if you understand 反切. It simple means, take the consonant of 碳 and the vowel of 氫 to know the pronunciation of the word. Of course, elements like 鈉(Kalium) which follows the European naming are still the majority, but still, it makes sense. ^^ Compare - 炭化水素 is the Japanese version of hydrocarbon.

I hope I prove my another point - I don't think I am influenced by politics or prejudices. I credit and condemn accordingly. >.< FYI, I don't usually agree with the PRC way of handling the Chinese language. This is one of the rarer conditions.

Since I am already on Chinese names for Chemistry, I am gonna proceed to commenting on the other ways of naming Chemistry stuff. By the way, this is unified all throughout Korea, Japan, VN, TW, HK and PRC. They call atoms 原子, electrons 電子, neutron 中子, ion 離子 without making the effort to create a new character. I don't understand, how hard can it be to name such basics of chemistry a one-word name, since they would be mentioned in most of the Chemistry discussions? Thus I ask the question, if Hokkien has come out with another way of naming these terms, or perhaps even created they own word for it.
Though, I must admit, I am starting to doubt the possibilities.

Mark Yong
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Re: Hokkien alternative names for Technology Stuff

Post by Mark Yong »

Since we are on the subject of technology terms, here are some that I used at Hewlett-Packard Penang:

平水尺 pǽⁿ cûi chĭok (level gauge ruler)
鹹水鋼 kíam cûi kng (stainless steel)
录孔 lāk khāng (drill a hole)
索粉機 sōk hŭn kī (vacuum cleaner)

I will update this list as more terms come to mind.

amhoanna
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Re: Hokkien alternative names for Technology Stuff

Post by amhoanna »

平水尺 pǽⁿ cûi chĭok (level gauge ruler)
鹹水鋼 kíam cûi kng (stainless steel)
录孔 lāk khāng (drill a hole)
索粉機 sōk hŭn kī (vacuum cleaner)
Mortal words can't describe the coolness of these words. "Kiâmcúikng"! I know Ah-bin either has these words in his database, or will be taking them down, so we can all pàngsim. :P

Ah-bin
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Re: Hokkien alternative names for Technology Stuff

Post by Ah-bin »

LOL, doesn't Mandarin use 火壁 too? This is exactly what I mean. Like, for firewall we could use 火垣 or 火墉, which adds a new layer of meaning for these out-of-use obsolete characters; in time, 垣 or 墉 itself would be sufficient for the meaning. The problem with this, of course, is that I don't know the pronunciation for these characters. >.<
In Mandarin it is actually 防火牆, so 火壁 belongs just to Hokkien, just to my Hokkien in fact, as no-one else currently uses it!

SimL
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Re: Hokkien alternative names for Technology Stuff

Post by SimL »

amhoanna wrote:
平水尺 pǽⁿ cûi chĭok (level gauge ruler)
鹹水鋼 kíam cûi kng (stainless steel)
录孔 lāk khāng (drill a hole)
索粉機 sōk hŭn kī (vacuum cleaner)
Mortal words can't describe the coolness of these words.
Agreed! Thanks a lot for posting them here, Mark. Real words, used in the real world!

BTW, I always thought "soh" (= "to suck") was . Did you mean that rather than "sok" in "vacuum cleaner"? The etymology page gives "khip" for 25 of the 27 terms with , and only one of the 27 with "soh4", so perhaps "soh" is a non-sinitic syllable - and hence one could right it for the sound, or for the meaning.
Ah-bin wrote:In Mandarin it is actually 防火牆, so 火壁 belongs just to Hokkien, just to my Hokkien in fact, as no-one else currently uses it!
Nice! Seems the perfect coining, to me. Let's hope it spreads. Mail the Hokkien podcast people, and propose that they give it air time there... :mrgreen:.

Mark Yong
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Re: Hokkien alternative names for Technology Stuff

Post by Mark Yong »

SimL wrote:
BTW, I always thought "soh" (= "to suck") was 吸. Did you mean that rather than "sok" in "vacuum cleaner"? The etymology page gives "khip" for 25 of the 27 terms with 吸, and only one of the 27 with "soh4", so perhaps "soh" is a non-sinitic syllable - and hence one could right it 索 for the sound, or 吸 for the meaning.
Hi, Sim,

Nope, I deliberately avoided , given its khip reading. The Cantonese equivalent is sOk and the tone also matches, which leads me to believe that there is a character for it. That said, I am not sure at all if it is .

amhoanna
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Re: Hokkien alternative names for Technology Stuff

Post by amhoanna »

Sheik's CantoDict, which is a wiki, has 嗍 for sok / TO SUCK. That hanji's Greek to me, but the radical looks spot on. The correspondence with Hoklo suh or soh TO SUCK is convincing. For now I'm open-minded to the possibility of this cognate set being either Sino or non-.

Mark Yong
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Re: Hokkien alternative names for Technology Stuff

Post by Mark Yong »

Hi, amhoanna,

You might be on to something. Here's what I dug up on : http://www.zdic.net/zd/zi/ZdicE5Zdic97Zdic8D.htm
《集韻》色角切,音朔。吮也。本作欶。或作嗽𠲿。

Or, even better, if we follow on from the above reference to : http://www.zdic.net/zd/zi/ZdicE6ZdicACZdicB6.htm
《廣韻》所角切《集韻》《韻會》色角切,𠀤音朔。《說文》吮也。《通俗文》含吸也。

Time for me to drop !

Ah-bin
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Re: Hokkien alternative names for Technology Stuff

Post by Ah-bin »

Wonderful!!!!!

I've been thinking about that word for a few days now, as I wanted to enter it, but also enter 嗍草 - a drinking straw. The Hokkien input system gives only 噪 and 索, and I wasn't satisfied with either, so i was going to give up and give it the square treatment (□)...no need to do that any more, thanks Mark.
Mortal words can't describe the coolness of these words. "Kiâmcúikng"! I know Ah-bin either has these words in his database, or will be taking them down, so we can all pàngsim. :P
They are in the dictionary now!

Mark Yong
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Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2005 3:52 pm

Re: Hokkien alternative names for Technology Stuff

Post by Mark Yong »

I think the credit should go to amhoanna for starting off the search trail with . I just copied-and-pasted it into ZDict, and out came . :lol:

SimL
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Re: Hokkien alternative names for Technology Stuff

Post by SimL »

Well, part of the credit can go to me, for asking what the character for "soh" was in the first place :mrgreen:. But sure, thanks amhoanna and Mark! This dictionary is going to be a *spectacular* work...

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