檳城新報 Penang Sin Poe

Discussions on the Hokkien (Minnan) language.
SimL
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Re: 檳城新報 Penang Sin Poe

Post by SimL »

Hi Mark,

Excellent! Now that you explained the usage, it sounds very right to me. My provisional rendering of "lap" was way off!

Mark Yong
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Re: 檳城新報 Penang Sin Poe

Post by Mark Yong »

aokh1979 wrote:
義興街 is the one right in front of Penang Chinese Town Hall. The Hokkien name of Church Street, walking distance from court house.
That was very, very bad and lazy of me :oops: It's actually listed here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_st ... wn,_Penang

Besides, I know that area. It's right next to Little India, where I used to have my masala thosai and iced cow's milk on Penang Street regularly on weekends.

SimL
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Re: 檳城新報 Penang Sin Poe

Post by SimL »

Mark Yong wrote:iced cow's milk on Penang Street regularly on weekends.
You have a different default for milk... :shock:???

Mark Yong
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Re: 檳城新報 Penang Sin Poe

Post by Mark Yong »

:lol: ... Okay, I should explain...

There are a few Indian stalls around Penang that sell goat's milk, which I actually enjoy drinking (fattening as it may be) with a little sugar and ice cubes thrown in. Many people find the smell totally off-putting, but I went through the better part of my teenage life with severe sinusitis, so that probably numbed my senses somewhat! That said, I do admit that goat's milk, like blue cheese, is an acquired taste... :P

AndrewAndrew
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Re: 檳城新報 Penang Sin Poe

Post by AndrewAndrew »

胰皂 î-tsō / íh-tsō is also used to mean soap, in a "Sunlight soap" / 日光胰皂 advert from 1907

Ah-bin
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Re: 檳城新報 Penang Sin Poe

Post by Ah-bin »

䟜着儂之尾 lap tioq lang e boe, i.e. the act of stepping (on something)
To step on a person's tail? Does that phrase have some other meaning I am unaware of?

SimL
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Re: 檳城新報 Penang Sin Poe

Post by SimL »

Mark: Ah! Haha. Thanks! Sorry, I shouldn't be so Eurocentric and behave as if the only normal milk to drink is cow's milk. Your explanation makes perfect sense. I know what you mean though: I didn't like goat's cheese when I first came across it (here in the Netherlands, goat's cheese and honey seems to be a very popular combination). I do like it nowadays though.

Ah-bin: ROTFL! It didn't occur to me, how odd that sentence was. So, I too would like to know if there's a meaning other than the apparent sum of the individual words...

Mark Yong
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Re: 檳城新報 Penang Sin Poe

Post by Mark Yong »

Ah-bin wrote:
To step on a person's tail? Does that phrase have some other meaning I am unaware of?
SimL wrote:
Ah-bin: ROTFL! It didn't occur to me, how odd that sentence was. So, I too would like to know if there's a meaning other than the apparent sum of the individual words...
I first heard it in Penang (Ah-bin - it was from our mutual friend Eleen), and strongly suspect that yes, it is a direct borrowing from the common English phrase ‘to step on someone's tail’, i.e. to inadvertently offend someone. The borrowing seems to be prevalent in Cantonese, too.

Mark Yong
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Re: 檳城新報 Penang Sin Poe

Post by Mark Yong »

aokh1979 wrote:
...like 雪文 although etymologically it does not make much sense. ^^
AndrewAndrew wrote:
胰皂 î-tsō / íh-tsō is also used to mean soap, in a "Sunlight soap" / 日光胰皂 advert from 1907
Yup, just saw it. 18th February 1907. I mentioned in a previous post that I once heard a KL (Kepong) Hokkien speaker say 肥皂 pui5 co7 for soap.

The more I read the advertisements and articles, the more apparent it becomes the vast difference between the literal language and colloquial spoken Hokkien lexicon. I am now starting to wonder whether Penang Hokkien speakers in those days actually spoke very differently, employing much more use of standard literary words in Hokkien conversations (compared to their descendents today) – given that they would have been taught to read characters in Hokkien.

I am also wondering whether, compared to my idealistic notion of Hokkien speakers reading everything strictly in 讀册音, whether there was, in reality, an accepted practice of sub-consciously glossing over words in 訓讀 or 擬讀. E.g. the last line in the soap advertisement - would a typical Hokkien reader have glossed past the words 更加 in his mind as keng3 ka1 or simply in his native ko3 ka1?

Mark Yong
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Re: 檳城新報 Penang Sin Poe

Post by Mark Yong »

Check out the advertisement 鐵管放水筒出售 Boiler Tubes & Water Pipes - Gilfillan, Wood & Co. in the 31st August 1895 issue, Page #2, top half:

“...請到土庫街集安後尾...”

「後尾」 ău-bôe... have I finally spotted a bone fide intrusion of Hokkien vernacular into Literary Chinese? :mrgreen:

SimL
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Re: 檳城新報 Penang Sin Poe

Post by SimL »

Mark Yong wrote:「後尾」 ău-bôe... have I finally spotted a bone fide intrusion of Hokkien vernacular into Literary Chinese? :mrgreen:
Wow! Exciting! Please do post any other such examples you come across :P.

SimL
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Re: 檳城新報 Penang Sin Poe

Post by SimL »

Hi Mark,

I think I've found another example of Hokkien-influenced Mandarin for you, this time from a very modern publication; namely, in a little book for kids to learn Mandarin. I bought it as one of a series published by United Publishing House (M) Sdn. Bhd. They're all very simple stories about animals, and have pinyin under the characters. This particular one has the title "大象的功劳".

The following paragraph occurs in it (it's about some animals in a forest):

雨季又来了。今年的雨比往年的大。林中许多树木都被狂风暴雨吹倒了。大家都逃到较高的地方去。

It seems to me that the "较高" was written under the influence of "kha <adjective>" construct for the comparative in Hokkien.

What do you think? Even in my large and excellent Chinese-English dictionary, there are no examples of before an adjective in the sense of the comparative "-er".

Mark Yong
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Re: 檳城新報 Penang Sin Poe

Post by Mark Yong »

Hi, Sim,

You had me thinking there for a while! :lol:

Unfortunately, in this case, it appears to be bona fide Mandarin. The <adj.> form is equivalent to the English suffix -er, i.e. of the form <adj.>-er. A quick Google search of the phrase “較高的地方” (I kept the search string as short as possible, even dropping the , in order to get more hits) yields quite a few results from China-based websites. Unless, of course, this is one instance where the Southerners have had an influence on the Northerners! But I best defer this to someone whose Mandarin is better than mine...

I suspect what you are probably thinking of is 比較 <adj.>, i.e. the equivalent of the English “<adj.>-er compared to <something specific>”. Now, in that instance, the construction is different between Mandarin and Hokkien, the latter having the form “<adj> kùe...”. From my observation, the latter does not occur in printed matter, even in Malaysia. However, in informal conversations in Malaysia, you do get the locals occasionally reverting to the “Southern” form when speaking in Mandarin.

SimL
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Re: 檳城新報 Penang Sin Poe

Post by SimL »

Hi Mark,

I've been away for quite a while, but back now.

Thanks for checking this. I hadn't thought to google "較高的地方", but this was exactly the right thing to do to find Mandarin sentences with this construct. So this disproves my conjecture.

Am I correct in thinking that Penang Hokkien has two known constructions for English "<adj>-er than <noun>/<pronoun>", namely "kha <adj> ka <noun>/<pronoun>" and "<adj> kue <noun>/<pronoun>"? I thought Ah-bin mentioned this in an earlier thread.

In any case, I use the first only, and the second I only recognize passively. I think I said at the time that my usage might be due to English influence.

Mark Yong
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Re: 檳城新報 Penang Sin Poe

Post by Mark Yong »

SimL wrote:
Am I correct in thinking that Penang Hokkien has two known constructions for English "<adj>-er than <noun>/<pronoun>", namely "kha <adj> ka <noun>/<pronoun>" and "<adj> kue <noun>/<pronoun>"? I thought Ah-bin mentioned this in an earlier thread.
In this instance, Sim, I would be the antithesis of you! :lol: I use the latter, i.e. <adj> kue <noun>/<pronoun>, or at most, kha <adj>[/i] kue <noun>/<pronoun>. In both instances, kue is used. I am not familiar with the use of ka in this context.

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