Hokkien alternative names for Technology Stuff

Discussions on the Hokkien (Minnan) language.
Yeleixingfeng
Posts: 110
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2011 12:50 am

Re: Hokkien alternative names for Technology Stuff

Post by Yeleixingfeng »

Sorry, my post was too long, had to divide into two.
Mark Yong wrote: I agree that we should the avoid non-etymological characters that are created ad-hoc to accommodate dialect-unique words where the actual character (if, at all, there was ever one) has been obscured over time.

However, what I would dispute is the borrowing of Modern Standard Chinese characters to represent Hokkien words, if the actual characters are known to exist, and the meanings are well-established and documented. To cite some examples:

1. to represent phâk, when the character exists (and especially given that it is used in the Mandarin compound 曝曬).

2. for bâk, when the character exists (even though it survives as an independent morpheme in Classical Chinese).

3. for mǽ, when the character exists (even though its current usage for 'night' is unique to Min and 客家 Kejia - the latter being part of the compound 暗暝時頭 am-mi-si-thiu).

(Notice that I have endeavoured to provide three distinct scenarios.)
Not noticed, sorry. Do you mean different field of usage?
This I agree hands down.
What I do concede are the cases where the 本字 punji of the words are genuinely questionable (i.e. whether they exist at all, or whether the choice is indeed correct). A classic example of the former would be the possessive ê. My current convention for such words is to use the Classical Chinese equivalent (in this case, ), and enclose it within square parenthesis 【】, i.e. 【之】。 But that's just me. :lol:
The reason I prefer 仒 over 之 is because 之 has too many branches of meanings, ie. Going, 的, and pronoun.
I am trying to locate the punji of 仒, (Who’s not? Lol) and I found something that I think perhaps someone can give further validation – 者. 者and 仒 rhymes in every language I know – Cantonese, Mandarin, Hokkien and Japanese (mono vs no); perhaps Hainanese also. Unfortunately, my mum does not know of any fossilised expressions with者 in speech.
Besides, compare:
愛去者等於此邊;莫去者,會迴了。(Assuming ti = 於 instead of 置/蹛)
I guess its meaning expanded from here. Suggestions?
I understand and appreciate the angle you are coming from, in that the use of non-standard and overly-obscured characters will lead to confusion among readers who may not be as in-tune with etymology and rare characters, which is perfectly valid. But at the same time, my concern is that nodding too much in the direction of Modern Standard Chinese (if that was your original intent) as the guide for writing Hokkien words in 漢字 hanji will inevitably lead to a gradual Mandarin-isation of the dialect. As it is now, too many of the younger generation have this misconception that the only way to write in Chinese is via the baihuawen standard, and that Hokkien categorically cannot be written.
I understand your concern, since I too am trying to awaken people of the myth.
I guess we are down to determining the definition of Mandarin. What is Mandarin to you, and what is not? (Let’s not talk about obvious Mandarin words like 胡同 etc. Obviously we are on the same stand there.)
The thing about colloquialism is that, many complicated ideas are expressed with simpler vocabularies, such that the original terms meant for the complicated ideas are forgotten, and borrowed again from foreign languages. And, Hokkien is facing this problem too.
For example, Mandarin has 矛盾 and Hokkien has 舊早/tama講仒共(ka?)當今講仒無像. (Is ‘ma’ a borrow from Japanese 間?) Would borrowing矛盾 be Mandarinising Hokkien, as we all know that 矛盾 is a term very intelligently coined during 百家爭名(先秦). And, like how SimL’s mother could read 科學 as khO hak – mentioned in another thread, would you consider that succumbing to the linguistic oppression from Mandarin?
Regarding 科學/化學 etc, hence in relevance to the original topic >.<, I am against borrowing directly from Mandarin, since I think the terms were poorly coined. 學 itself has already a very dominant ‘to learn’ denotation that I think burdening it with ‘-logy’ is just one more meaning too much. I was hoping, when I first wrote this post, that perhaps Hokkien from other regions had created their own character for ‘-logy’. In fact, should a character be created for specifically this meaning, it itself would be sufficient to mean ‘science’, instead of 科學. Nonetheless, despite my wish, the whole of the Sinitic language circle – Vietnamese, Korean, and Japanese all uses 科學 that it would be already too late to change.
In some of the examples you have listed, the characters are already established, and can be found in the current Unihan standard:
1. gáu - 𠢕 (Andrew posted this before at viewtopic.php?f=6&t=6965&p=26459&hilit=+gau+#p26459)
2. gông -

I truncated the part where you ended the sentence with "...or are simply too complicated to write." because, as Andrew mentioned, a Hokkien character does not necessarily have to be 'more complicated to write' (by that, I assume you measure difficulty by stroke count) than a baihuawen character. We either know the character or we don't.
I know both of them, and unless mistaken the punji for siao is either 犭肖 or 痟 – suggested by xng in another forum. As I said earlier, the whole part was meant to be read with sarcasm. >.< By the way, how do you type 𠢕? It is not available on my input system…

I understand your urge to find the punji of Hokkien and be aware of it when we substitute it in writing for another character. But the problem is, what gives 𠢕 the advantage over 聰明? - Besides syllable count which already is a plus point for Hokkien. 聰 is a smart combination of 囟, 心 and 耳, meaning where the brain (囟), the heart and the ears are in accordance. (Actually it is not supposed to be understood this way etymologically, since it was originally 囱 – chimney.) Brain being 囟 can be illustrated in (惱腦 巛=hair, 恖-ancient form of 思. 思 is actually wrong.) My point is that, it makes no difference from creating your own character out of nothing, and finding plenty of historic proofs to support your proposed character. Why do we need historic proofs to substantiate every character we write? For example, whether or not 睏 has historic proof, it is neither more correct nor more wrong than 睡. 睏 is the word for sleep in Hokkien, and 睡 is the word for sleep in Mandarin. They are both phonosemantics – I remember you mentioning 困 relates to sleep somehow; my argument here is based on the assumption that 睏 is a pure phonosemantic.
However, in目 vs 眼, 目 is more correct than 眼, as 目 is a pictograph of an eye, and 眼 is simply a phonosemantic. Thus, it is very plausible – in this case obvious – that 目 is the original, and 眼 is the latter variant. This can be further described using ChuNom of the Vietnamese – 眼 is like the ChuNom of the original character 目. And, 睏 and 睡 are both ChuNoms of 目. For ChuNoms, you don’t need historical proofs; you just create.
Hope you understand my point…
For 睏, if a new character consisting of 爿(bed) and 目 is created, then, in my terms, 爿目 is more original than 睏.
amhoanna wrote:I partly agree with U, in spirit.

By replaced hanji, I meant rad+phon hanji that would be replaced by streamlined phonetic script elements (e.g. hangưl) in the scenario I described.
But, actually, in Japanese, there are many examples of people getting rid of the kanji in exchange for hiragana or katakana. For example, you(樣) is always written in hiragana now. And, among youngsters, kimi(君) is written in katakana. This means that, although hanji and phonetic script elements are allowed to be used together in script, the phonetic script would be preferred over hanji - until when overuse of phonetic script blurs the meaning, for example, in scientific texts. This is the condition in Japanese, though. In Korean it is obviously worse - no more hanja. And, phonosemantics are pretty common in Hanji - consisting of about 70%, if all of them were to be replaced, then there would be no point in learning Hanji.
Note: This is not a desired scenario. I guess everyone agrees...?

Mark Yong
Posts: 684
Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2005 3:52 pm

Re: Hokkien alternative names for Technology Stuff

Post by Mark Yong »

Yeleixingfeng wrote:
By the way, how do you type 𠢕? It is not available on my input system…

I presume you use Windows XP/Vista/7, and were trying to input it either by pinyin or writing it out with your mouse using the Chinese(TW) IME Pad. Nope, neither will work (not unless Microsoft updated the character set and added 𠢕 to the database, and I was not aware of it).

When I cannot input a character, I resort to looking it up in the Unihan database (you need to know the radical and stroke count of the character in order to find it), and copying-and-pasting it.
Yeleixingfeng wrote:
I guess we are down to determining the definition of Mandarin. What is Mandarin to you, and what is not?
Okay, I will be more precise in my terminology, and say "today's Modern Standard Chinese or 白話文 baihuawen", modelled upon (but is not necessarily identical to) the vocabulary and grammar of the Northern dialect of Beijing.
Yeleixingfeng wrote:
For example, Mandarin has 矛盾 and Hokkien has 舊早/tama講仒共(ka?)當今講仒無像. (Is ‘ma’ a borrow from Japanese 間?) Would borrowing矛盾 be Mandarinising Hokkien, as we all know that 矛盾 is a term very intelligently coined during 百家爭名(先秦). And, like how SimL’s mother could read 科學 as khO hak – mentioned in another thread, would you consider that succumbing to the linguistic oppression from Mandarin?
To begin with, the very fact that 矛盾, as you correctly pointed out, comes from the 先秦 era (specifically, it is a chapter from the 韓非子 text), means that to say "Mandarin has 矛盾..." is, in itself, incorrect - the term predates "Mandarin" (which achieved its final stable form in the 16th century) by at least a millennium and a half. Mandarin does not have exclusive ownership of the term 矛盾, but shares it as part of a larger group called the Chinese languages. So, in the first place, Hokkien would not be 'borrowing' 矛盾, but rather reading 矛盾 as part of a Classical Chinese text using the 文讀 buk-thak pronunciations (which is the way Hokkiens read Classical Chinese texts in pre-modern China).

In the case of Sim's mother reading 科學 as khO hak, or any Modern Standard Chinese terminology coined only after 4 May 1919 (to put a date to things) in general, then yes, I would classify it as borrowing. And I do not see it as invalid, as the court dialect of Beijing, although chosen as the Standard National Language, absorbed a number of Southern, non-Beijing words into its lexicon (which is why Modern Standard Chinese is, strictly speaking, not identical to the Northern Court or "Mandarin" dialect).

The adoption of true 白話文 baihuawen ("writing in the vernacular") was not an immediate process, but rather took a few decades of transitioning from the early 1920's all the way into the 1960's. For evidence of this gradual process, all you need to do is look up archived copies of Chinese newspapers between, say, 1920 and 1960, and sampling the first page from one issue every 5 years. You will see vestiges of the terser Classical model and less of the vulgar grammar in the earlier issues. One significant change that I estimate took place around 1955 was the complete replacement of the copula with . And, of course, you will see less-and-less and more-and-more as you progress through the years. My point is, it would probably have been easier (or, at least, more natural) for Sim's grandparents to read a Chinese newspaper in 1920 than in 1960.
Yeleixingfeng wrote:
But the problem is, what gives 𠢕 the advantage over 聰明? - Besides syllable count which already is a plus point for Hokkien. 聰 is a smart combination of 囟, 心 and 耳, meaning where the brain (囟), the heart and the ears are in accordance.
It is not a question of advantage. It is simply that they are two different words, even if they are synonyms. It would be like asking "why use 'manufacture' when there is a simpler word 'produce'?" And I deliberate choose this example, because as you can see, although the two words may be synonyms in certain contexts, they are not exactly identical in meaning. In the same way, neither is 𠢕 exactly the same as 聰明. The former could also mean 'high ability', e.g. 𠢕講話 'good at talking', but the latter specifically means 'mentally-astute' (in other words, 𠢕講話【之】儂無定著是聰明【之】儂!).

If we want to talk about absolute synonyms, then let us consider the three words occurring in Mandarin for 'sleep' - and . Would you read one exactly as the other, even if they mean the same? That's right, you wouldn't. And that's because by virtue of your education using Mandarin as a medium, you know how to read those three words distinctively. Then why not distinguish 𠢕 and 聰明? My answer, again, is education. If we were taught how to read both characters separately, there would not be a need for substitution.

(By the way, is also used in Shanghainese for 'sleep'; they say 睏覺 khun-kO.)
Yeleixingfeng wrote:
My point is that, it makes no difference from creating your own character out of nothing, and finding plenty of historic proofs to support your proposed character. Why do we need historic proofs to substantiate every character we write? For example, whether or not 睏 has historic proof, it is neither more correct nor more wrong than 睡.
You are right, we do not need historical proofs to substantiate every character that we write, on the proviso that the character is not the historical character to begin with, e.g. newly-created (the chemical elements are an example that immediately come to mind), acknowledged as a 假借字, etc. But when we write a character in Hokkien on the basis that it is the actual 本字 punji, then yes, we should have some etymological backing to support it - even if it was created a couple of millennia ago as one of the 90% of Chinese characters falling under the phono-semantic class (the figure is quoted from Weiger's Chinese Characters), that's fine. But if we are clear and state that the character being used is a provisionally-borrowed character because we (or, at least, the writer) do not know the actual character, then I agree that the writer is not obliged to prove the character's etymology (but it would be good if he welcomes suggestions on the correct character, if one exists!).

I know what you are referring to specifically, i.e. those characters that really fall under the 'made up' category. To repeat what I have posted before in other threads: Mandarin is also guilty of a lot of made-up characters that have snuck their way into acceptance. , , (there's your radical again!), 幹嘛. Look up any Classical/Literary Chinese dictionary, and see if they mean 'this', 'that', 'where' and 'what for'. We sub-consciously absorb and accept them as correct without question, simply because of today's education. In reality, they are historically as far-removed and unrelated from their current definitions as tôeh (to follow) is from (and on that note, neither is historically 'to follow', but rather is the heel of the foot - the original word in Classical Chinese for 'to follow' is ; it's amazing how much we take for granted!).

(FYI - I avoid the above four words like a plague when writing, and normally resort to , , 何處 and 何爲, respectively.)

I agree with you that we should not adopt a self-fulfilling stance by creating a character out of nothing for the sake of mapping it to a word, and then making a historical case for it after the fact. It should be the reverse - find out whether the character exists, and then validate within reasonable linguistic standards that it is the character.

In the end, I believe the exercise of finding the actual 本字 punji for every Hokkien word will prove futile, in no small part due to the fact that a lot of the words are of non-Han origin - though, I must say I was very pleased with the entry in 《閩臺方言的源流與嬗變》 for ta-pO ("man") as 查甫, citing the 《說文》: “甫、男子美稱也。” (not sure about the , though). But what I would like to see is a decent attempt at getting as many of the 本字 punji correct, so that Hokkien, as a Han language, does not have to rely on 白話文 baihuawen-based written Chinese as a crutch. That is why I respect the Classical Chinese model as the most ideal 漢字 hanji-based fall-back model, as the lowest common denominator.

I don't think any of the regular Forumers here deliberately manufacture characters and try to prove them later. What they most likely do is identify a candidate character from a reliable source, and then objectively work a case for/against it based on other reference sources.

----------------------------------------------

By the way, I apologise if I sound a bit fiery above. It's nothing personal. The older Forumers can tell you that I am quite passionate when it comes to being etymologically-correct when writing Hokkien using 漢字 hanji. :P

amhoanna
Posts: 912
Joined: Sat Sep 18, 2010 12:43 pm

Re: Hokkien alternative names for Technology Stuff

Post by amhoanna »

(By the way, 睏 is also used in Shanghainese for 'sleep'; they say 睏覺 khun-kO.)
Interesting. Cantonese "瞓" fan3 SLEEP could be a cognate too. The correspondences are all there: meaning, tone, initial and final. Don't know if this holds up if we plug in "upstream" (historical or reconstructed) forms instead. I'm guessing yeah.

Please excuse my "tone of voice" for the rest of this post. Please don't anybody take it all personal. I just wanna get a few points across, which I shouldn't be trying to do anyway, since it's so rare for any man to convince any other. :mrgreen: Now--
although hanji and phonetic script elements are allowed to be used together in script, the phonetic script would be preferred over hanji - until when overuse of phonetic script blurs the meaning, for example, in scientific texts. This is the condition in Japanese, though. In Korean it is obviously worse - no more hanja.
This line of argument is, "We should avoid bringing in phonetic script b/c people will like it too much." :lol: I mean, gods forbid giving the people what they want.

Seriously, though, let's ride this logic to the bitter end. What does the preference for hiragana tell us about hanji? And which hanji tend to get the cold shoulder? The 指示, 象形, and 會意 ones, or the phono-semantic ones?
And, phonosemantics are pretty common in Hanji - consisting of about 70%, if all of them were to be replaced, then there would be no point in learning Hanji.
Let's rephrase this. What's the point of learning hanji, when 70 to 90% of them are just clumsy phono-semantic characters -- with the uncontested bulk of their strokes going toward the "phono" part -- that wanna be an alphabet?

Don't get me wrong. I like hanji. I say we use them for Hoklo, for Mandarin, for Korean, and what have U. But most phono-semantic characters just seem borderline pointless. Take 𠢕, for example. I mean, kudos to Mark for finding it. If it is the 本字, and it seems like it is, it's something we should be keeping track of -- as a society, with our dictionaries, etc. But allow me to play devil's advocate here, w/o meaning offense. :twisted: What's the point of using this hanji in daily life? Aside from two strokes meaning POWER / TENAGA, the rest of it is just an overblown phonetic. Why NOT replace it with phonetic elements in daily use? Or keep the 力 semantic, but dump the 敖 phonetic for a leaner, meaner phonetic?
無像
U guys say "bô chiāuⁿ"? Interesting.
I am trying to locate the punji of 仒, (Who’s not? Lol) and I found something that I think perhaps someone can give further validation – 者.
Cool. But how do U explain the non-correspondence in tone and initial? And cousin dialects with k- initials in their cognates? And how many examples do we have of a colloquial -e final corresponding to a literary -ia?

What if ê 仒 is non-Sino? Come on, acknowledge this possibility. Come over to the dark side.
So, in the first place, Hokkien would not be 'borrowing' 矛盾, but rather reading 矛盾 as part of a Classical Chinese text using the 文讀 buk-thak pronunciations (which is the way Hokkiens read Classical Chinese texts in pre-modern China).
If 矛盾 does not exist in spoken or written Hoklo, and then we pluck it out of Classical Chinese texts and use it in spoken or written Hoklo, then how is that not a borrowing? To clarify, by written Hoklo, I mean the Lychee Mirror, the Hoklo Bible, Hokkien aLian blogs, and so on.

Don't get me wrong: if we HAD to borrow from somewhere, I feel that Classical Chinese would be one of the best languages (or line of languages, which is what it is) to borrow from. I just question how borrowing from Classical Chinese is somehow not borrowing.
ta-pO ("man") as 查甫, citing the 《說文》: “甫、男子美稱也。” (not sure about the 查, though)
In keeping with the tone of this post, I'll have to call bullshit on both the 查 and the 甫. Armed with nothing but classic texts, native Hokkien, and in some cases no knowledge of sound change, writers in Taiwan in the '90s filled whole library shelves with books speculating on the púnjī of this or that Hoklo word. Few of them bothered to acknowledge the existence of other Hokloid or Hokkienese languages, let alone historical or reconstructed forms. They also disregarded when and where any given etymon was used in the past, and how it might've somehow wound up in Hoklo.

Tapo͘ / cabó͘ are used in most if not all Hokloid and Hokkienese languages, even Mango 蛮講 spoken up in Ciatkang... I've seen po͘ written as 夫 as well. To me that seems way more plausible.

Thanks for reading, guys. I guess I've been a prick in this post, but I'm the hoanná. Ce 是我仒角色.

Ah-bin
Posts: 830
Joined: Mon Aug 21, 2006 8:10 am
Location: Somewhere in the Hokloverse

Re: Hokkien alternative names for Technology Stuff

Post by Ah-bin »

I've been avoiding replying to this thread for a while, because I too once had strong feelings of what "ought to be" and "should be" in my native language, and now I just accept what "is". I spent hours in the university library looking through English dialect dictionaries trying to construct a purely Germanic version of English. It was fun to do, and I still have my notebooks for it. But no-one (except for one equally eccentric friend) ever listened to my opinions, so the language was born and died within the confines of my own mind. It was fun, but ultimately pointless. People still continue to say "science" instead of "loreseech", and "pronunciation" instead of "outspeech"....sigh. Had the internet existed at that time, I would have put my Wordbook of outcleaned English on a speechmootboard for all to see, but I bet everyone else in the world would have kept on calling a speechmootboard a forum, no matter how much I argued.

The point I'd like to add is that, not matter what the arguments are on internet forums, the standards most people will end up using for living languages will be set by the people who actually write and publish the dictionaries :mrgreen:.

I am now going to commit the cardinal sin and admit that I don't even have a problem with written Cantonese and its 口 characters either, I think they're especially good for writing Malay loan words. Anyone who gets too annoyed with my choices needs to start compiling a dictionary of their own! Maybe I should just choose bad characters to encourage people who speak Hokkien better than me or natively to get to work more quickly :mrgreen: (again!)

On the other hand, I do take good advice about original characters seriously. Where there is a good fit in sound or meaning I will use it even if it isn't "original" (bah, for example, I write as 肉). Some of the old classical words give Hokkien a respectable pedigree that Mandarin sometimes lacks (like 鼎, 行, 走etc. ). I've just gone and borrowed a whole lot of original character literature from the library, to fill in some of my blank boxes. I am going to subject it to rigorous analysis before I use it, though.

Finally, here are some of my grumbles about what has been written on this thread so far.

𠢕----I wish this character would work in my dictionary, but it keeps coming out as a blank space in some versions of word!
U guys say "bô chiāuⁿ"? Interesting.
Some people are writing bô-siâng as 無像, but I will never be one of them. I actually think the word is a contraction of sio-tang 相同 anyway, and I would write it as single character if I could with a top/bottom construction, like in the Amoy dialect dictionary. 像 has the wrong tone, and is unlikely to be the original character.
What if ê 仒 is non-Sino? Come on, acknowledge this possibility. Come over to the dark side.
There is this mythology that Hokkien is somehow pure ancient Chinese, that just refuses to die. I think it is a reaction against the Mandarinisers' equally ridiculous assertions that Mandarin is somehow intrinscally better, or has a longer history, or is the mother tongue of people who can‘t even speak it.
Anyway, I'm just going to write it invariably as 个, that character has been doing a good job in Taiwanese and Hakka and Teochiu for long enough now, I think it deserves a bit of recognition for all its hard work.

And finally, saying "Hanji" annoys the pants off me. It is a Mandarinism pure and simple. All types of Southeast Asian Hokkien have a perfectly good word for it: 唐儂字, so why not use it?

SimL
Posts: 1407
Joined: Mon Jun 26, 2006 8:33 am
Location: Amsterdam

Re: Hokkien alternative names for Technology Stuff

Post by SimL »

Looks like everyone's buttons are being pushed in this discussion.

I agree with bits of almost everything everyone has said on this topic. I also strongly disagree with bits of almost everything everyone has said on this topic. I don't really think any detailed thoughts I might have on any specific question will convince anyone, nor change the direction of the discussion in any way.

What I would like to do is say that even up to now, I think everyone has been very considerate and careful in expressing their opinions. What some people consider (of themselves) as being "harsh" or "blunt" language (and for which they "apologise" before launching into it), would - on other internet forums - hardly be considered to be so at all! It's a measure of how much respect and concern we have for one another's feelings, opinions, and ideas, even when they are very different from our own. The degree of difference in opinion in this area would have led to flame wars within 2 hours on any other forum, IMHO.

Anyway, I'd just like to point that out. Keep the thoughts coming, and the discussion flowing, but don't expect anyone else to be convinced! :P.

AndrewAndrew
Posts: 174
Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2010 10:26 am

Re: Hokkien alternative names for Technology Stuff

Post by AndrewAndrew »

Yeleixingfeng wrote:As mentioned above, I did not say 舟 is a 異體字 to 船; I was merely saying that 舟 was the “word” (as opposed to character) for the idea ‘boat’ for a thousand year before Han. After Han, the preferred word gradually shifted to 船. (This is still a hypothesis though; I still need some time to work it out – the right part of 船 seems to refer to the estuary of a river. Hence, 沿 too. Maybe 鉛 can only be found at the estuary. Just sharing my guess. Haha.)
Please look at http://140.111.1.40/yitib/frb/frb03776.htm

We are really comparing apples and oranges.
since 艸 belongs to the 舟犬曰首目 archaic set of characters
I have no problem with the statement that 艸 is an archaic character. I am simply pointing out to you that the characters you cite are not archaic forms of current words, like 艸 is. They are distinct words pronounced zhou, quan, yue, shou and mu, many of whom are still regularly used in modern Chinese, e.g. 獵犬, 首頁, 題目, etc.

船 is obviously a semantic-phonetic construct.
Last edited by AndrewAndrew on Wed May 25, 2011 4:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

AndrewAndrew
Posts: 174
Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2010 10:26 am

Re: Hokkien alternative names for Technology Stuff

Post by AndrewAndrew »

Yeleixingfeng wrote:character out of nothing, and finding plenty of historic proofs to support your proposed character. Why do we need historic proofs to substantiate every character we write? For example, whether or not 睏 has historic proof, it is neither more correct nor more wrong than 睡. 睏 is the word for sleep in Hokkien, and 睡 is the word for sleep in Mandarin. They are both phonosemantics – I remember you mentioning 困 relates to sleep somehow; my argument here is based on the assumption that 睏 is a pure phonosemantic.
However, in目 vs 眼, 目 is more correct than 眼, as 目 is a pictograph of an eye, and 眼 is simply a phonosemantic. Thus, it is very plausible – in this case obvious – that 目 is the original, and 眼 is the latter variant. This can be further described using ChuNom of the Vietnamese – 眼 is like the ChuNom of the original character 目. And, 睏 and 睡 are both ChuNoms of 目. For ChuNoms, you don’t need historical proofs; you just create.
Hope you understand my point…
Your point is valid for a non-Sinitic language like Vietnamese or Japanese. If you need a hanzi for "inu", 犬 is just as good as 狗 and much simpler to write. However, for Hokkien, we know that káu is etymologically/historically 狗 gou and not 犬 quan, and because 犬 already has the Hokkien pronunciation khián. Therefore, we don't have the luxury of choosing the simpler character.

There are some characters which are clearly phonetic constructs like 儂 which I am not sure whether they are genuinely represent a different word to 人 or whether they were invented at a later stage to represent a distinct 楚國 pronunciation. If the latter, and in general, I would prefer to write 人. I think I share with most people on this forum the dislike of phonetic inventions that are unjustified because there is already an existing character.

For words where the benzi is obscure such as ê, or where there is no benzi because it is non-Sinitic like bah, you can use whatever you like. But generally choosing a preferred character is a question of convention, convenience and historical accuracy. We would like to get the character right, and we would prefer simpler over more complicated characters, but both factors give way to convention. If everyone else uses a particular character, and if Taiwanese government adopts it as standard, it is difficult to resist the trend. So while I would personally use 個/个 for both possessive and classifier ê, the Taiwanese standard is now to use 的 for possessive and 個 for classifier. It shouldn't stop us speculating, though: it is interesting that Wikipedia lists the two earliest Chinese classifiers as 個 and 介 - the latter would fit better in a lot of Southern languages.

AndrewAndrew
Posts: 174
Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2010 10:26 am

Re: Hokkien alternative names for Technology Stuff

Post by AndrewAndrew »

Mark Yong wrote:will see vestiges of the terser Classical model and less of the vulgar grammar in the earlier issues. One significant change that I estimate took place around 1955 was the complete replacement of the copula with . And, of course, you will see less-and-less and more-and-more as you progress through the years. My point is, it would probably have been easier (or, at least, more natural) for Sim's grandparents to read a Chinese newspaper in 1920 than in 1960.
I had no idea 係 was used as a cupola in classical Chinese (which used the A B 也 construct), or indeed in modern Chinese. I always thought it was just a Cantonese sound borrowing ...

Mark Yong
Posts: 684
Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2005 3:52 pm

Re: Hokkien alternative names for Technology Stuff

Post by Mark Yong »

Mark Yong wrote:
...will see vestiges of the terser Classical model and less of the vulgar grammar in the earlier issues. One significant change that I estimate took place around 1955 was the complete replacement of the copula 係 with 是. And, of course, you will see less-and-less 之 and more-and-more 的 as you progress through the years. My point is, it would probably have been easier (or, at least, more natural) for Sim's grandparents to read a Chinese newspaper in 1920 than in 1960.
AndrewAndrew wrote:
I had no idea 係 was used as a cupola in classical Chinese (which used the A B 也 construct), or indeed in modern Chinese. I always thought it was just a Cantonese sound borrowing ...
Apologies for the confusion, the two sentences referring to Classical Chinese and the copula respectively were meant to be non-sequitur. Yes, you are correct - the correct sentence structure in Classical Chinese is <subject> <predicate> .

Initially, I thought that the appearance of as a copula was due to Cantonese influence, too. However, I actually spotted in in an article in the 檳城新報 Penang Sin Poe. Penang being predominantly Min-speaking (by that, I am referring to both the top two most prevalent dialects - Minnan and Teochew - with Cantonese coming in a minority 4th place after Hakka), I would have thought that if anything, would have dominated if there was any vernacular intrusion - which led me to believe that the use of the copula was already commonplace in informal writing by the turn of the century, warranting its accepted use.

Mark Yong
Posts: 684
Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2005 3:52 pm

Re: Hokkien alternative names for Technology Stuff

Post by Mark Yong »

Hi, amhoanna,

I hear you, and I fully agree that in the first place, Chinese characters are far from being an ideal writing system. L. Weiger and J. DeFrancis' books are pretty nasty in their criticisms on the imperfections of the character formulation. With conservatively more than three-quarters of characters being phono-semantic, it practically becomes a 30,000-alphabet language.

My only argument against the use of the character 𠢕 in regular reading/writing today is that it is not a generally-recognised character by the masses. Apart from that, my reason for using it is simply because it is the accepted character uniquely mapped to the Hokkien word gáu, disambiguating it from, e.g. 聰明. But if we want to talk about the pointlessness of the character on the basis of its illogical construction, then it is about as pointless as (heck, when I first learnt the word, I had to regularly chant its components as 亡口月貝凡 just to remember how to write it!) and say "Why not just use ? Synonymous and simplified - how about that!"

To further clarify my stance on the use of Chinese characters in Hokkien: I would endeavour* to use the 'etymologically-correct' characters, when the situation requires me to demonstrate that the sentence is to be read ad verbatim as a colloquially-spoken Hokkien sentence (and that is where the 's, 's, 第一's, 相同's and 會使's would come in). But if were formal writing, then I would write using standard characters from Classical Chinese, being (once upon a time) the accepted lowest common denominator of the dialects, and expect our non-existent Hokkien-speaking reader to read it as such (i.e. as jin, as bin, as chu, 男女 as lam-lu, etc.), or paraphrase into colloquial Hokkien on the fly if the situation requires it.

* By saying ' endeavour', I am implicitly acknowledging that on an average of every 3 out of 10 words, I will run into the inevitable problem of not being able to identify or use the etymologically-correct characters. In these instances, I suppose 假借字 will have to be the fall-back (and where applicable, I annotate as such). Writing Hokkien with only Chinese characters is not, and will never be, a perfect system (Ah-bin has also pointed that out, and I fully agree). It is just an ideal that I personally strive towards (and not everyone has to agree with me.

If I had to draw a parallel today with the above, my best example would be lyrics and subtitles in Hong Kong Cantonese entertainment. Lyrics are almost always written and sung ad verbatim in Modern Standard Chinese vocabulary and grammar, not colloquial Cantonese (the possible exception being 許冠傑 Samuel Hui's 1970's/80's songs). Subtitles are generally displayed using Modern Standard Chinese even though the dialogue is spoken in Cantonese, but in some movies, the subtitles appear printed ad verbatim in colloquial Cantonese - complete with all the 's, 's and 呢個's (and I shall reserve my comments on the gross incorrectness of those characters for a thread outside of the Minnan Forum!)

One example I can think of where it would be apt to write Hokkien using the correct Chinese characters, is for scripts for Hokkien stage plays (and here, I make the gross assumption that all the actors can read Chinese). Why?

1. Writing in Peh-Oe-Ji would be a nightmare to read, given all the homonyms. I have flipped through a copy of a Peh-Oe-Ji Bible before, and quite frankly, I may as well have been attempting to read Greek.

2. Writing in Modern Standard Chinese would not allow the capturing of Hokkien-unique words and grammar, resulting in a loss of context. Translating on the fly will only capture the general essence of the sentences, but not the nuances. For want of a better example, it would be like trying to capture the humour of Cockney in writing using Queen's English. By writing it ad verbatim, the actual sentences are spoken out exactly as they were intended.

3. There may be situations where a single sentence happens to contain both the colloquial and literal versions of the same word, and the distinction had to be made between the two when reading it out.

4. Writing them as they were meant to be spoken on-stage captures the true spirit of the drama for posterity. Try reading Charles & Mary Lamb's vernacular transcriptions of Shakespeare's plays, and contrasting them with Shakespeare's original Elizabethan English words - there is a huge difference in the spirit and character.

From the angle of Hoklo adopting Classical Chinese, in much the same way that Vietnam adopted Classical Chinese and adopted much of its vocabulary during its 1,000-year reign under China, then yes, I agree with you that Hoklo 'borrowed' 矛盾, just as much as any of the Southern dialects absorbed Classical Chinese. What I wanted to clarify to Yeleixingfeng is that in my opinion, to say "矛盾 is from Mandarin" is incorrect.

So, Ah-bin, in answer to your last comment - if I were writing a Hokkien stage play, and I had to write the phrase 不懂漢字, I would probably write it as 呣捌唐人字! :lol:

Ah-bin
Posts: 830
Joined: Mon Aug 21, 2006 8:10 am
Location: Somewhere in the Hokloverse

Re: Hokkien alternative names for Technology Stuff

Post by Ah-bin »

I know both of them, and unless mistaken the punji for siao is either 犭肖 or 痟 – suggested by xng in another forum. As I said earlier, the whole part was meant to be read with sarcasm. >.< By the way, how do you type 𠢕? It is not available on my input system…
It should be one of the choices in the in the Taigi input system. You can type it into a document or a website, if it is blank in the document, make sure the font is set to Mingliu HKSCS ext B, then it will appear just fine. I'm glad I've finally worked it out, it's helped me enter a whole load of characters that were once just squares. but there are still a few missing characters from unicode like (足白)and those nice single characters for siâng 相同 and māng 莫用 that are impossible to type in. I wonder if they are in extension c...I just checked and it appears not.

Yeleixingfeng
Posts: 110
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2011 12:50 am

Re: Hokkien alternative names for Technology Stuff

Post by Yeleixingfeng »

Mark Yong wrote: Okay, I will be more precise in my terminology, and say "today's Modern Standard Chinese or 白話文 baihuawen", modelled upon (but is not necessarily identical to) the vocabulary and grammar of the Northern dialect of Beijing.
The term predates "Mandarin" (which achieved its final stable form in the 16th century) by at least a millennium and a half.
You contradicted your definition for Mandarin. 矛盾 is a Modern Standard Chinese term, despite its existence predating the formation of Mandarin itself. If ‘Mandarin’ denotes the official language of Modern China, then obviously its history is irrelevant. (My raising of 矛盾 as an example was prior to your definition of Mandarin. Hence, I am sorry but 矛盾 is no longer applicable.) That which distinguishes borrowing or not is fundamentally what we consider Mandarin and what isn’t.

Take 警察 vs 捕快. Should a Sinitic term be agreed upon to substitute the Malay-borrow ‘mata’, which to choose? 警察 is a Modern Standard Chinese word, while 捕快 originated from 捕役 and 快手 and the term refers to, during Ming/Qing Dynasty, police-like officials. Both terms are sinitically coined; plus, 警察 is used in Hong Kong and Taiwan. Other examples include, 失陪 vs 再見; 示下 vs 敎我(lol); 笑納 vs 收下 etc.

Should Hokkien deliberately avoid Mandarin-associated terms and choose the other way? (I was hoping for the latter – since I hate 學s anyway. >.< By the way, I agree with you on the 矛盾 thing being both Hokkien’s and Mandarin’s, since they were coined before the formation of both languages.
In the case of Sim's mother reading 科學 as khO hak, or any Modern Standard Chinese terminology coined only after 4 May 1919 (to put a date to things) in general, then yes, I would classify it as borrowing.
科學 is a Modern Standard Chinese terminology coined by the Japanese during the Meiji Era, along with the other Western concepts like 社會, 政治, 主義 etc. Rather than being Chinese, 科學 is shared in the larger pool called the Sinitic languages. (矛盾 belongs there too.)
矛盾
Viet: Mâu thuẫn
Korean: 모순mo sun
Japanese: 矛盾 (mu jun)

科學
Viet: Khoa học
Korean: 과학 (kwa hag)
Japanese: 科學 (ka gaku)

If Hokkien’s usage of khO hak is borrowing, then on the international scale, who borrowed whose in the first place? (Obviously, it was the Japanese, but…) Such clarification would involve complicated racism, thus no one bothered attempt. Using 科學 is therefore not borrowing from Modern Standard Chinese.
It is not a question of advantage.
I like Amhoanna’s reply to this.
amhoanna wrote: Aside from two strokes meaning POWER / TENAGA, the rest of it is just an overblown phonetic. Why NOT replace it with phonetic elements in daily use? Or keep the 力 semantic, but dump the 敖 phonetic for a leaner, meaner phonetic?
I mixed two things up unconsciously; sorry. Really. T_T I do mean to mix them up, I just forgot to say so.
My comparing of gao and 聰明 stems from my wish to create a writing system for Hokkien that is better than the current Baihuawen. But I have never ever suggested for 聰明 to replace gao! *Misunderstandings…* I was just proving that 戇 is no where advantageous than 笨; (In this particular instance 笨 undoubtedly defeats 戆 by stroke count.) I was not asking for 笨 to replace 戇. Zzz… I must have looked like idiot supporting to write khun as 睡. Zzzz…
The case of 戇 corroborates Amhoanna’s urge for the phonetic to be simplified, or even a simple겅
(kOng)would suffice. Nonetheless, I suggest that we replace the whole character with an ideograph capable of relaying the exact same message while requiring less stroke count; the new Hanji would thus be pronounced gOng. The same applies to 爿目 – to be read as khun.
If we want to talk about absolute synonyms, then let us consider the three words occurring in Mandarin for 'sleep' - and .
In my fanatical scheme to revolutionise the Hokkien written system, those three characters would still retain their Hokkien pronunciations – only the most frequently used khun is affected.
even if it was created a couple of millennia ago as one of the 90% of Chinese characters falling under the phono-semantic class (the figure is quoted from Weiger's Chinese Characters)
Nonsense. Phonosemantics are the newest emerging category, flooding Hanji in overabundance only during Seal Scripts – Qin Dynasty, 2200 years ago. The characters prior were 90% pictographs or ideographs, and the remaining 10% represents the minority where no interpretation by any professor was widely accepted, like 室, 姬, 鳯. Even during Qin, I daresay only a maximum of 60% was reformed to phonosemantics. (Stupid 李斯.) Many of the phonosemantics seen now either had not exist then (握, 魅) or had phonetics components added later (聽,壬; 圍,韋).
I know what you are referring to specifically, i.e. those characters that really fall under the 'made up' category.
(FYI - I avoid the above four words like a plague when writing, and normally resort to , , 何處 and 何爲, respectively.)
I always thought 跟 was an extended meaning from heels, to follow. The rest, I am very aware, and avoid them too – until my teacher circled 莫(别) and gave me a B for being too archaic. >.<
I agree with you that we should not adopt a self-fulfilling stance by creating a character out of nothing for the sake of mapping it to a word, and then making a historical case for it after the fact.
I wasn’t suggesting that… 囧. Though I think you would have understood that now. But, to be honest, I would rather a self-created character than Latin alphabets or 口s.
By the way, I apologise if I sound a bit fiery above. It's nothing personal. The older Forumers can tell you that I am quite passionate when it comes to being etymologically-correct when writing Hokkien using 漢字 hanji. :P
SimL wrote: What I would like to do is say that even up to now, I think everyone has been very considerate and careful in expressing their opinions. What some people consider (of themselves) as being "harsh" or "blunt" language (and for which they "apologise" before launching into it), would - on other internet forums - hardly be considered to be so at all! It's a measure of how much respect and concern we have for one another's feelings, opinions, and ideas, even when they are very different from our own. The degree of difference in opinion in this area would have led to flame wars within 2 hours on any other forum, IMHO.
Oh, we are one big loving family. We all know that. ^^

aokh1979
Posts: 180
Joined: Thu Jul 23, 2009 1:32 pm
Location: George Town, Malaysia
Contact:

Re: Hokkien alternative names for Technology Stuff

Post by aokh1979 »

I have been away from the forum even since I moved to KL - and I hate it. Just my 2 cents in 無像 because that's how I write today.

無像 is pronounced bô-siāng. I suppose many people thought the pronunciation was bô-siâng but in actual fact, I grew up hearing bô-siāng and only when one tries to emphasise, one will say bô-siâng.

兩个人兮面無像 nōo-lê lâng e bīn bô-siāng / bô-siâng
伊个面像*佮*豆沙餅 i e bīn siāng-ka / siâng-ka tāu-sa-piáⁿ

When it's tone-sandhid, you basically cannot tell. When it's used separately, both siāng and siâng work. I hear siāng all the time.

Yeleixingfeng
Posts: 110
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2011 12:50 am

Re: Hokkien alternative names for Technology Stuff

Post by Yeleixingfeng »

amhoanna wrote: Since it's so rare for any man to convince any other.
I am actually very easily convinced. As long as you get your facts straight, and you refute my points without misunderstanding it, I would consider. ^^

Seriously, though, let's ride this logic to the bitter end. What does the preference for hiragana tell us about hanji? And which hanji tend to get the cold shoulder? The 指示, 象形, and 會意 ones, or the phono-semantic ones?
Replacing of kanji with Hiragana/Katakana is just a trend among youngsters. Formal writings like essays and newspapers use the proper Kanji, except for koto(事) and you (様). Kanji read in kun’yomi (訓読み)tends to be written in hiragana too. But, almost a rule with 様 excluded, on’yomi (音読み)Kanji are written in Kanji. Besides, most of the Japanese I meet prefer Kanji, and handwrites kanji despite its complicated structure. This is because kanji are symbolic, such that a glance would be enough to understand the main idea. The following was the exact example raised by a Japanese friend.
暖かい vs あたたかい. A simple glance at 暖 suffice for comprehension, while the string of hiragana atatakai requires one to read syllable by syllable to get the same meaning.

Korean is facing an even awkward problem. Hanja education is still necessary, especially for SCIENCE students. Think about it, considering the so many homonyms in all Sinitic languages, and yet the Koreans dropped the tones when they were importing Hanja, how do they resolve misunderstandings – besides relying on the context, since sometimes a few possibilities could fit seamlessly? And, to cope with science, many new terms were coined with Hanja. For example, 多糖 is the term for polysaccharide in Chinese, Japanese and Korean. (Not sure about Vietnamese.) Japanese writes it as 多糖 – no confusion there. But, 다당? Get what I mean?
Though I admit, polysaccharide is a rather weak example, since the homonyms of다당 are not that many.
What if ê 仒 is non-Sino? Come on, acknowledge this possibility. Come over to the dark side.
How could 的,嘅,仒 be coincidently all non-Sino? Nonetheless, such a particle occurred never as frequently in Classical Chinese – they did not repeat 之 all over the place.
Ah-bin wrote:I've been avoiding replying to this thread for a while, because I too once had strong feelings of what "ought to be" and "should be" in my native language, and now I just accept what "is". I spent hours in the university library looking through English dialect dictionaries trying to construct a purely Germanic version of English. It was fun to do, and I still have my notebooks for it. But no-one (except for one equally eccentric friend) ever listened to my opinions, so the language was born and died within the confines of my own mind. It was fun, but ultimately pointless. People still continue to say "science" instead of "loreseech", and "pronunciation" instead of "outspeech"....sigh. Had the internet existed at that time, I would have put my Wordbook of outcleaned English on a speechmootboard for all to see, but I bet everyone else in the world would have kept on calling a speechmootboard a forum, no matter how much I argued.
LOL. Thanks for the advice. I was kinda going to do the same thing as you – transform Hanji completely into ideographs. Haha.
I am now going to commit the cardinal sin and admit that I don't even have a problem with written Cantonese and its 口 characters either, I think they're especially good for writing Malay loan words.
Despising 口, I think, is just me being egotistical.
And finally, saying "Hanji" annoys the pants off me. It is a Mandarinism pure and simple. All types of Southeast Asian Hokkien have a perfectly good word for it: 唐儂字, so why not use it?
[/quote]
Both Hanji and TLJ are Sinitic, not Mandarin. Hanji refers to the characters of Han Dynasty, or the characters of Han as a ethnic. Writings of Han Dynasty is true also, since the basis for the contemporary 楷書 emerged then – I think. Anyway, Han as an ethnic is already enough for me to accept that Hanji is not Mandarin. Besides, all Vietnamese, Japanese and Korean use 漢字. Why not Hokkien?
漢字 and 唐儂字 coexist, like how Influenza and Flu coexist. One is the colloquial variant; the other is used on a more professional scale. Right?
AndrewAndrew wrote: Please look at http://140.111.1.40/yitib/frb/frb03776.htm

We are really comparing apples and oranges.
I wrote this in my previous post:
My point then, was to prove that Hanji is already a messed up script, and if we were to pursue originality, not just 艸 needs to be changed, all of 舟犬曰首目 needs to reclaim their original meanings. And since that is practically impossible and illogical – as you have pointed out 舟 and 船 are totally established and different characters, and since 艸 belongs to the 舟犬曰首目 archaic set of characters, why would we need to discourage the usage of 草? This is where PRC failed when they were creating the new set of SC (Simplified Chinese) – they were inconsistent, even when it comes to their priority objective. (Which is simpler? 強 or 强?)
Just to further illustrate my point, 呂 is a very simplified picture of our vertebra column, where two vertebrae articulate in the centre. 呂 was later borrowed for other meanings, and the new character 膂 took its place. – This I cannot argue, as this falls into the 舟曰 category.
录, originally 彔, was a cloth filter where purer water flows out from the bottom, now written as 濾. Despite SC influences, 彔 is an obsolete character. (The TC counterpart for SC 录 is 錄.) So, should there be a Hokkien expression involving the character 濾, which character? Surely those who did not know beforehand would choose 濾 undoubtedly. Yet, according to Amhoanna’s (and I suppose not only him, since I don’t mean to specifically be against him) originality stand, if a Hokkien Hanji system were to be invented, we would stick to the self-explanatory character – if the current character and the semantically more relevant character shares the same meaning and pronunciation. This rule applies to 艸, then what about 彔? (Sorry, don’t mean to stress my point too much. Just hoping that I get my point across as clear as possible. ^^)

Ah-bin
Posts: 830
Joined: Mon Aug 21, 2006 8:10 am
Location: Somewhere in the Hokloverse

Re: Hokkien alternative names for Technology Stuff

Post by Ah-bin »

LOL. Thanks for the advice. I was kinda going to do the same thing as you – transform Hanji completely into ideographs. Haha.
I wouldn't advise you against it! No matter how crazy it seems you'll have a lot of fun doing it, and you'll learn a lot more about the structure of Chinese than any of you Chinese teachers do (I'm sure you do already), that sort of knowledge will also come in handy some time in the future when you need to learn something else that you thought wasn't related to it. I think inventing all those words based on compounds helped me later to guess and retain the meanings of many Chinese compound words.
How could 的,嘅,仒 be coincidently all non-Sino? Nonetheless, such a particle occurred never as frequently in Classical Chinese – they did not repeat 之 all over the place.
I think he was suggesting that 嘅 and仒 might be non-Sinitic. However, the 介 seems a very likely explanation for the Cantonese, Hakka, Hokkien, Teochew and Hainanese ke/ke/e/kai/kai (the Hokkien one WAS ke too in the Sixteenth century according to the Manila romanised books).
Both Hanji and TLJ are Sinitic, not Mandarin. Hanji refers to the characters of Han Dynasty, or the characters of Han as a ethnic. Writings of Han Dynasty is true also, since the basis for the contemporary 楷書 emerged then – I think.
I think the word 漢字 is actually a Japanese borrowing into Chinese, and a fairly recent one at that (perhaps post 1900? I am just guessing - actually see below where I have done a bit of research). The 漢 just stands for "China" in Japanese usage, not any particular dynasty (the Han/Kan way of reading the characters is actually from T'ang times). Back before China just became one country among many (rather than believing it was the only centre of the civilised world) there were just 字, later on there were 中國字 (the pre-1950 Mandarin textbooks teach this, they don't teach 漢字).* I'll check in the 四庫全書 whether any of the books contain the word 漢字 (just checked, it appears 644 times, but some of the entries are the end of one owrd and the beginning of another, 唐字 appears 157 times, same problem). The reason why I don't like saying Hanji in a Southeast Asian context is because it is using some other language's standard, when Southeast Asian Hokkien has a perfectly good name for it already. I don't mind if Taiwanese use the word, or Japanese use the word kanji etc., but I think sometimes that Southeast Hokkien speakers should be satisfied with having their own words for things that are different from Taiwan and China. The word Hanji is not authentic Southeast Asian Hokkien, I have never heard anyone use it except Taiwanese and Chinese. It's like saying 羅馬字 instead of 紅毛字 for the Roman alphabet, maybe it is historically more accurate, but it isn't really Southeast Asian Hokkien.


*Just checked MacGillivray (1921) A Mandarin Romanised Dictionary.....no 漢字 only 漢文 meaning "Chinese literature" Mateer "A Course of Mandarin Lessons based on Idiom (1906) no 漢字 Douglas (1899) does have the word however. MacGowan gives only 唐人字 as his definition for Chinese characters, which suggests the word Hanji was not in common use. In Cantonese 中國字 and 唐子 are the usual forms found in books published before the 70's.

I'm not surprised it isn't in ordinary Penang Hokkien....

P.S. so I see it did exist, but I still think its modern popularity is based on Japanese usage and a reborrowing through writing rather than the survival of an old word in Hokkien speech.

Locked