Hokkien alternative names for Technology Stuff

Discussions on the Hokkien (Minnan) language.
amhoanna
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Re: Hokkien alternative names for Technology Stuff

Post by amhoanna »

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".
Here comes the cooler head. Here ye the voice of reason. :P

I've felt the same urge at times to discover or use a "purer" kind of English, and to learn me some other Germanic languages. I've shied away from this for "social reasons". Anyway, it's been great talking about loreseech on this here mootboard...
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?
Objection. I'm working off the Nippo-Saxon word KANJI. I Hokkienized it to avoid annoying the pants off, well, most of U. :|

In a Straits of Formosa context, I think hanji were called 孔子字 Khóngcújī before they were called hànjī, and before that they were just "jī". :lol:
the Taiwanese standard is now to use 的 for possessive and 個 for classifier
Actually, in TW I usually see either ㄟ or A, as in "係金A!" (=sī cin--ê!) :lol:

And, up theirs with 的 and 個! :twisted:
I hear you, and I fully agree that in the first place, Chinese characters are far from being an ideal writing system. ... 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.
我無話通講아。 :mrgreen:
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).
I know U're just using this as an example to explain something else. But yeah, I don't get how they could do that to themselves. "Ta dik samlơưi"(他的心裡) and so on. Where's the icon for throwing up? :shock:
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.
Mandarin and Japanese are "homonym city", but is Hoklo really that bad? For people who read the tone marks? ... That said, I know lots of people won't touch tone marks with a ten-foot pole. Educating the educated is a tricky business. And it would take an act of God to get 20 million TWese Hoklo speakers to write Hoklo using romaji.

In the spirit of Ah-bin's post, I'll say that whatever works, works. I'll bet Hong Kong screenplays come with the dialog written out in all its colloquial, 口-ing glory, but Hoklo-TWese telenovela screenplays probably come in Mandarin. The first works, despite all the 假借s and tacky phono-semantics and phono-non-semantics. The second doesn't work. Hanji or POJ, I hope they work it out.
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
Siāng and 像 do fit by meaning and sound, but register (colloq/lit) is off and all the evidence points elsewhere. It reminds me of most TWese Hoklo activists using 你 to write lí/lú/lứ, and if U disagree, then U're a dumb-ass. (I realize 汝 is a "phono-non-semantic". :P ) Check it out. In TW I hear bô kâng, bô kāng, and bô siâng. The 台日大 also has bô siāng. It also has bô sâng and bô sāng. Bringing "sio-kâng" and "sio-siâng" into the fold, the "sum of the evidence" seems to back up "siāng" coming from "sio-kāng", "sâng" coming from "saⁿ-kâng", and so on. Sio-siâng, which I use outside of TW, is "etymologically redundant", like a "chai tea latte".
How could 的,嘅,仒 be coincidently all non-Sino?
In one sense, that's got nothing to do with anything. 仒 is non-Sino and non-Tai and non-whatever until proven otherwise, even if it's the same etymon as what they use in Canto and Hakka. Same with "m̄" / NOT. But U're on to something. Just as it's possible for an etymon to be non-Sino and have a hanji (e.g. 囝), it's probably possible for an etymon to be Sino and not have one. Latin had Vulgar Latin. Why wouldn't Classical Chinese have vulgar versions, scattered through space and time and infested with characterless syllables? :idea: 8)

aokh1979
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Re: Hokkien alternative names for Technology Stuff

Post by aokh1979 »

sio-siâng / sio-siāng is used in Taiwan, but maybe Mandarin...... 相像~

Ah-bin
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Re: Hokkien alternative names for Technology Stuff

Post by Ah-bin »

Thank you for the comments on siâng Aokh. I have to say that I have never heard siāng myself, but I have a very small pool of people (probably less than ten) who I hear speaking Penang-slyte Hokkien on a regular basis. I'll put it in as a variant of siâng. I suspect from the number of people on the podcast who say siâng, that siāng is on its way out.

The sandhied siâng in siâng-kà will sound exactly like siāng-kà.

I notice also Mr. Cheah's vocabulary has chhin-chhiāuⁿ 親像 (chhin-chhiūⁿ in Taiwanese) which seems to have been replaced for the most part in the Penang colloquial with siâng-kà, perhaps through the influence of Malay constructions with "macam sama".

Just as an announcement - to make sure I get off my kha-chuiⁿ and actually do it, I have borrowed a couple of Taiwanese 本字 books from the library, and intend to scan them when I'm on the night watch next week so everyone can enjoy them. The only problem is that the university scanners tend to break things up into 30-page segments, which is rather annoying.

amhoanna
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Re: Hokkien alternative names for Technology Stuff

Post by amhoanna »

Kāngkhoán / bô-kâng / sio-kâng are "first-line" vocab in TW as far as I can make out. Chinchiūⁿ 親像 is common but seems to be heard less b/c it's a narrower usage. Another common word is sêng. The only one of these that shows up in music is 親像 chinchiūⁿ. I can't help thinking it has something to do with it having "a hanji pedigree". Also, I'm under the impression that "heavily Mandophone" speakers tend to "over-use" chinchiūⁿ, rearranging their sentences to use it instead of sio-kâng, etc. (Not sure if this ties into Aokh's comment.) On visits to KL, Melaka and Sabah, I've noticed that people there don't understand "kāng/kâng" -- that's why I switch to siâng.

I wanted to bring up this kind of t-/k- mix-up that seems to happen in Hoklo. Could it be that kâng comes from tâng 同? I've noticed that in TW some people pronounce the̍h TO TAKE as khe̍h. Also Aokh mentioned that in PgHK, thâikang = TO CHITCHAT, whereas in TW it's khaikáng. And over in Canto Land, 頭先 becomes "求先".

Ah-bin
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Re: Hokkien alternative names for Technology Stuff

Post by Ah-bin »

Yes, I think there certainly is a t/k mix up in various types of Hokkien.

Kì-sî and tī-sî for "when" (the tone fits when explained in this way, if it is from kúi-sî 幾時 the tone would be different, as Andrew pointed out to me a few years ago.

Kún/tún for "also" (I've commented on this, read it but never heard it)

and now Tâng/kâng

I wonder if there are any more.

Oh yes, Ka-kī/ka-tī 家己

amhoanna
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Re: Hokkien alternative names for Technology Stuff

Post by amhoanna »

One more thing. Aokh, what's the usage in Amoy?

Mark Yong
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Re: Hokkien alternative names for Technology Stuff

Post by Mark Yong »

Ah-bin wrote:
Yes, I think there certainly is a t/k mix up in various types of Hokkien... I wonder if there are any more.
Two candidates off the top of my head:

1. -
2. - kâu

I realise there are have been alternative characters proposed for the 2nd example.

SimL
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Re: Hokkien alternative names for Technology Stuff

Post by SimL »

Ah-bin wrote:Yes, I think there certainly is a t/k mix up in various types of Hokkien. etc
Yes. I've always said "khau7_kiong1" for "spoon", but I think the "correct" (in any case, more common) form is "thau-kiong". Perhaps a bit of folk-etymology with "khau1" (= "scrap"), as that is how one uses a spoon to get the stuff off the plate...? :mrgreen:

SimL
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Re: Hokkien alternative names for Technology Stuff

Post by SimL »

Ah-bin wrote:Thank you for the comments on siâng Aokh. I have to say that I have never heard siāng myself, but I have a very small pool of people (probably less than ten) who I hear speaking Penang-slyte Hokkien on a regular basis. I'll put it in as a variant of siâng. I suspect from the number of people on the podcast who say siâng, that siāng is on its way out.

The sandhied siâng in siâng-kà will sound exactly like siāng-kà.
Exactly.

Actually, I've always said "siāng" and "bô-siāng" for "same" and "different", and never even noticed or suspected the existence of "siâng" until I started reading this Forum regularly.

Ah-bin
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Re: Hokkien alternative names for Technology Stuff

Post by Ah-bin »

Actually, I've always said "siāng" and "bô-siāng" for "same" and "different", and never even noticed or suspected the existence of "siâng" until I started reading this Forum regularly.
Oh no!....now I am just doubting everything I hear....I could have sworn everyone was saying siâng the whole time..I think it was the influence of the podcast and Bhante Dhammavudho, and then I just stopped thinking about it!

SimL
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Re: Hokkien alternative names for Technology Stuff

Post by SimL »

Ah-bin wrote:
Actually, I've always said "siāng" and "bô-siāng" for "same" and "different", and never even noticed or suspected the existence of "siâng" until I started reading this Forum regularly.
Oh no!....now I am just doubting everything I hear....I could have sworn everyone was saying siâng the whole time..I think it was the influence of the podcast and Bhante Dhammavudho, and then I just stopped thinking about it!
Haha! No, don't doubt yourself - you have one of the keenest ears I've ever come across in a linguist. It's entirely possible that I never used the word while we were speaking...

PS. Because the sandhied tone of "siāng" doesn't sound any different from the non-sandhied tone in my variant, I thought for most of my life that "twins" was "siāng-sEN" (= "same birth"). It was only when I was way past 40 that I discovered that it was "siang-sEN" (= "pair birth") - which, sandhied, sounds identical to "siāng-sEN" in Penang Hokkien. Of course, this makes much more sense, though it's also quite understandable why I thought the former.

Ah-bin
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Re: Hokkien alternative names for Technology Stuff

Post by Ah-bin »

Two candidates off the top of my head:

1. 指 - kĬ
2. 到 - kâu

I realise there are have been alternative characters proposed for the 2nd example.
The second one makes a lot more sense now in the context of all the other t/k correspondences.

Just thought of another one too

枝 - ki

I think the initial here was originally the same as that of 豬 and 竹, the unvoiced retroflex 知母. It is still a mystery to me how the word 知 ended up as "chai" in the colloquial stratum.

perhaps 蛭 is another one too.

Mark Yong
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Re: Hokkien alternative names for Technology Stuff

Post by Mark Yong »

amhoanna wrote:
Mandarin and Japanese are "homonym city", but is Hoklo really that bad? For people who read the tone marks?
Admittedly, homonyms in Hoklo are nowhere as bad as Mandarin (or Shanghainese, for that matter). But in general, homonyns are still a characteristic of Chinese in just about any form. I just personally find reading them difficult, because the very fact that there isn't a one-to-one mapping between the written and spoken word means an extra mental step is required to 'deduce' what it is, making it unintuitive.

I am aware that proponents for Romanisation will say that tone markers and sentencial context will resolve the ambiguities, especially for Hoklo which has relatively less homonyms compared to the Northern dialects. While it is true to some extent, my experience (or maybe it is already a knee-jerk reaction from me!) is that it is still quite limited. In most cases, in order to take advantage of the context, you practically have to read and digest the entire sentence first (as compared to 'natural' reading, where you 'take in' the meaning of the sentence real-time as your eyes gloss past the words).

Quite frankly, I am really amazed how the Koreans manage it so well with Hangeul, as well-evidenced in their world-class literacy rates. My favourite example (taken from the Wikipedia article on Hanja) is sudo 수도:

修道 — spiritual discipline
受渡 — receipt and delivery
囚徒 — prisoner
水都 — 'city of water' (e.g. Venice or Hong Kong)
水稻 — rice
水道 — drain
隧道 — tunnel
水道 — rivers, path of surface water
首都 — capital (city)
手刀 — hand-knife

Ah-bin
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Re: Hokkien alternative names for Technology Stuff

Post by Ah-bin »

I am aware that proponents for Romanisation will say that tone markers and sentencial context will resolve the ambiguities, especially for Hoklo which has relatively less homonyms compared to the Northern dialects. While it is true to some extent, my experience (or maybe it is already a knee-jerk reaction from me!) is that it is still quite limited. In most cases, in order to take advantage of the context, you practically have to read and digest the entire sentence first (as compared to 'natural' reading, where you 'take in' the meaning of the sentence real-time as your eyes gloss past the words).
Ah yes, but that is a very new and westernised style of silent reading you are talking about there. The trick to reading Romanised Hokkien is to do it out loud i.e. to 讀 thák or 念 liām it rather than just 看 khoàⁿ it. Then the meaning will come straight to mind. Not as fast as silent reading, though. In the past all Chinese used to be read like that (including the classics, by chanting). It's only over the last century or so that Chinese have fallen silent during reading.

I read somewhere that reading used to be done out loud in European languages as well, and someone told me a quote from Chaucer complaining about people starting to read silently, but I can't remember what it was.

amhoanna
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Re: Hokkien alternative names for Technology Stuff

Post by amhoanna »

Interesting. Generally, I don't speed-read Hoklo. This is b/c I've mostly used written Hoklo to learn the spoken. Even if we switched to Hoklo on this forum, I'd be sounding it out -- at least in my head -- to get a feel for Penang and Bagan Hokkien, etc. So honestly I don't know if I could speed-read Hoklo. One thing, though. I "naturally" speed-read Portuguese, a language I don't even really speak yet, while tending to "sound out" Mandarin, my native language. This is b/c I almost entirely "tha̍k ângmo͘ cheh", in terms of schooling. I've been training myself to speed-read Mandarin, but the words just don't jump out at me the way they do in a Portuguese text.

All this said, I think I'd probably read "han-roma" Hoklo fastest, then pure POJ, then pure hanji w/ punji + phono-semantics, then pure hanji w/ lots of latter-day Standard Chinese characters such as 的彼蔗 etc. (I'm not sure if I've ever seen a text in the third category. :mrgreen: )

Mark, the 수도 example is something to behold. I challenge anybody to find anything along these lines in Hoklo. I think "real-life" Hoklo and Cantonese are pretty lean on the homophones, maybe even leaner than English. In other words, w/o having given it much thought, I'm questioning your statement that homonyms are a characteristic of Hoklo, among other languages. At the same time I acknowledge that if we transliterated classic Chinese (not Hoklo) texts into romaji using the Hoklo-唐 pronunciations, they'd arguably be unreadable.

A note about reading Hokkien out loud as a "proxy" for listening to native-speaker Hokkien. In my "intermediate" stage, I used to read the Barclay Amoy Bible out loud. For years I was usually still mystified by native-speaker Hokkien. I was living way outside the Hoklosphere, and internet radio was still in its infancy. Years later, after I'd become a bona-fide Hoklophone, I met an Amoyan lady in Tâipak who left Amoy with her family as a kid. When she spoke Hoklo, it was straight-up Barclay Bible Hokkien. I could understand every single syllable. I was amazed.

Last, I also have to question cai = 知. Could it be 悉 instead? Could it be non-Sino? Or maybe cai and 知 could be fuzzy cognates, like how a lot of VNese and Siamese words echo Chinese, but don't hold up as cognates under analysis.

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