Help with a few words

Discussions on the Hokkien (Minnan) language.
FutureSpy
Posts: 167
Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2012 6:23 pm

Help with a few words

Post by FutureSpy »

I think I already had a similar thread from one year ago, but since I'm not sure whether it's okay to revive it or not, I'm now creating a new one. I've been taking classes with a teacher from Cebu. She writes dialogues for every class, but she uses her own romanization + Mandarin. I'm having trouble to find a few words. Could someone give me a hand with them? The worst part is that I can't identify the tones by myself, but I can post here some audio snippets if needed.

What's that "an" in the beginning of the sentence?
?路(頂)拄著朋友欲講啥?
an lō͘(-téng) tú-tio̍h pêng-iú beh kóng siá?
(Translated from Taiwanese: 佇路裡拄看朋友愛講啥? tī lō͘--lí tú khòaⁿ pêng-iú ài kóng siáⁿ?)
Another word is chiu-e, synonym of an2-choann2.
陳先生:這兒的環境怎麼樣
Tsia eh huan keng si tsiu eh?
How is the environment here?

王:你是怎麼啊?覺得身體不舒服是無?
Di si tsiu eh ah? Kam kak sin teh boh song si boh?
What’s wrong? Are you not feeling well?
Johnny C. Young's book from Manila has
你太太好嗎?
Deen tie4 tie4 chew wah?
How is your wife?
After a quick research, seems like Quanzhou has chiunn3-a2 (my teacher's Hokkien doesn't have nasals, except in names and perhaps toponymies).

Then I found that: http://koui.blogcn.com/articles/quanzho ... rrier.html

Apparently he's talking about pun2-ji7 for tsuann3 (I can't really read Mandarin), but the important detail here is that he seems to suggest some dialect also have 怎的(个), which is perhaps the word my teacher is using.

Any ideas? Thanks!

PS: I have more words to ask, but I guess it's enough for now :mrgreen:

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

Re: Help with a few words

Post by amhoanna »

F-Spy, U have found your word. I'm not very sure about the tone myself, since it's a very Coanciu word. The TTCCIJL (alt.reasoning.cs.ucla.edu/jinbo/dzl/) has it down as "chiunn3". The "a" on the end MIGHT be the same animal as the one on the end of "siâng-a" and "tólo̍h-a". I usually it doesn't seem to be "chiunn-a", though, but rather "chiunn-nga" (not sure about the tones).

"Chiunn3" is related to "choann2" -- one of them is a 合音 of the other, plus another sound. I can't remember which way it was.

"Àn" is a word meaning TO or FROM or INTO. An "àn" clause can occur either before or after the verb, usually before, seems like. Àn is used in Taiwan, but not by everybody -- tùi and ùi, meaning the same thing, seem to be more popular. My guess is that àn is Coanciu-type vocab and the other two are from Ciangciu. The semi-official kanji for it is 按 but I think the etymology is very, very dubious.

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

Re: Help with a few words

Post by amhoanna »

Thanks for the link, BTW. An interesting blog. The article U linked to is written in Hokkien, not Mandarin.

FutureSpy
Posts: 167
Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2012 6:23 pm

Re: Help with a few words

Post by FutureSpy »

Thanks, amhoanna!
amhoanna wrote:The "a" on the end MIGHT be the same animal as the one on the end of "siâng-a" and "tólo̍h-a".
Funny thing she says siâng-a, but never chiunn3-a. I'll try to watch what she says to see if there's another example for -a or -e after this kind of words... :lol:
amhoanna wrote:"Chiunn3" is related to "choann2" -- one of them is a 合音 of the other, plus another sound. I can't remember which way it was.
Is it perhaps choann2-iunn7 perhaps?
The article U linked to is written in Hokkien, not Mandarin.
Oops :oops:

Another tricky word to me: mai.
陈:我打了好多次电话,总是打不进去。
Gua ka koh loh mai dian oy, tsong si ka boy dik ki.
I tried to call him several times but I couldn’t reach him.
This morning, I messaged my teacher and she confirmed my suspicious of it being a synonym of pài (擺) and being interchangeable. She usually says chit8-pai2, but in this sentence, for some reason in this sentence, she uses mai. She also gave me these examples this morning:
"E em nah ki tsi mai" or "E em nah ki tsi pai".
My guess:
陳:我敲(kha3)閣(koh)了擺(mai3?)電話,總是敲(kha3)袂(boe7)入去。
This loh 了 she uses all the time also tricks me. Sometimes she uses -loh after a verb instead of -liáu as well, so it's not only a final particle. She says they're the same, but I'm not sure why sometimes she prefers one over the other.

Another word: chit-ma-ku meaning 一會兒.
陈:好,我一会儿再给他打电话。
Ho, gua koh tse ma ku koh ka ho e.
Okay, I will call him again later.
Seems like Taiwanese has 一觸久仔 chi̍t-tak(táu)-kú-á, 一霎仔久 chi̍t-tiap-á-kú (and another set of words with the same meaning using ku2, but less similar to that word). So my guess is that
陳:好,我閣(koh)一_久閣(koh)敲(khà)予(hō͘ )伊。
I wonder why she needs "koh" twice there... I remember when I asked her if I could drop any of these koh, she then gave me another alternative:
陳:好,我較(khah)停閣(koh)敲(khà)予(hō͘ )伊。

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

Re: Help with a few words

Post by amhoanna »

"Koh loh mai" sounds like a corruption of "kúilõ pái".

"Mái" may be an alternate form of pái. "Citmái" means NOW.

I believe kúilõ comes from kúijoã. It means A NUMBER OF. Note the tone on the second syllable: it's T6, which is distinct from T7 for almost every Phils speaker I've met or read. They have an eight-tone system.

総是 in this sentence smells like a Mandarism to me, but I can't be sure.

There are many words for A FEW MOMENTS / UN RATICO. Another one is (一)目nih 仔久, sometimes māniákú.

FutureSpy
Posts: 167
Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2012 6:23 pm

Re: Help with a few words

Post by FutureSpy »

Thanks, amhoanna!
amhoanna wrote:"Koh loh mai" sounds like a corruption of "kúilõ pái".
Good one! Since you're considering corruptions... I asked a Taiwanese to give me her version of the sentence a few days ago, and she used kui2-loh8 幾落, or at least that's it according to my notes. Maybe loh is the same loh8 here? What I'm going to do now is ask my teacher for more examples with koh not followed by loh (if she can come up with any) to see if we can get some hints on that...

FutureSpy
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Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2012 6:23 pm

Re: Help with a few words

Post by FutureSpy »

Sorry, amhoanna! I've just checked the audio and, guess what? She says ku and not koh. For some reason, I forgot to change it in her romanization. My bad! Anyway, I still need to find out if she says ku in other contexts instead of kúi. But yeah, it's probably kui2-loh8... :lol:

[EDIT] Okay, seems like she's getting confused with her own romanization. When I asked for examples with just ku (written her way: koh) not followed by loh, all examples she gave me were using koh (again). I'll try to ask her how to say "several days", and if she still uses that ku instead of kúi there, "kui-loh" could be some kind of fossilized expression. TW dictionaries do have kúi-loh8 jit8/kang as well, with "loh8" being dropped or not...

FutureSpy
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Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2012 6:23 pm

Re: Help with a few words

Post by FutureSpy »

A few more questions:

1. A question for those who speak Hokkien variants other than Taiwanese: do you use the expression "猶會得過垃。" "iáu ē-tit kòe--lah." meaning "getting by" to answer "汝好無?". Any synonyms to that expression in your variants?

2. One of my textbooks has tò-ūi with tone 3 in "to". Apparently it's not a typo 'cos the author writes it like that throughout the book. MOE only give the following variants: tó(r)-ūi, toh-ūi, tá-ūi, tah-ūi and toē-ūi.

3. My tutor gave "lí chòe-kīn [ke-leh] chiù-ê?" 汝最近[??]怎樣的"? as a synonym to 汝最近好無? lí chòe-kīn hó--bô? Any ideas of what this ke-leh can mean? Since I have no idea about the tones, I'll try to extract the audio from the recordings and post it here. :mrgreen:

4. My tutor gave me the word "ma hó" for "more or less" or "okay" or "還好" in the context of "how are you doing?". I think it's perhaps "mā-hó". Any ideas?

FutureSpy
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Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2012 6:23 pm

Re: Help with a few words

Post by FutureSpy »

3) It's actually kè 過, so: 汝過咧(leh)怎樣的? lí kè leh chiù--ê?

4) It really is "mā", so "mā hó", so 嘛(mā)好。
That reminds me of this weird pattern of starting sentences with "mā". Tsinoys do say "Mā chin to-siā". I guess that's not used in other variants, right?

PS: She isn't familiar with the expression má-má-hu-hu 馬馬虎虎, but today I found out she uses "hàm-hàm" 譀譀 more or less in the same contexts... :mrgreen:

niuc
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Location: Singapore

Re: Help with a few words

Post by niuc »

Hi FutureSpy

1. My variant also uses 猶會得過啦, but pronounces it as "á-ē-tit-kèr--lah". "kèr" in standing tone, "lah" in neutral (輕聲), others in running tones (sandhi).
2. Mine uses "tór-ūi", "tór-cìt-ūi" or often only "tôr" alone. The tone for latter (T5) is due to its similarity with running tone for former's (T2).
4. "Mā tsin to-siā" 嘛眞多謝 is used in my variant too.

Imho, "hàm-hàm" 譀譀 is more "native" than "má-má-hu-hu" 馬馬虎虎. However, I perceive that the latter is more negative in meaning e.g. [咱做人譀譀着會使了] vs [咱做人呣通馬馬虎虎].

FutureSpy
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Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2012 6:23 pm

Re: Help with a few words

Post by FutureSpy »

Thanks, niuc!

2. So you don't use tó-lo̍h there? Interesting. I thought only (most parts of) Taiwan (and at least Cebu in the Philippines) used tó-ūi.

4. I thought starting a sentence with mā wasn't right 'cos once a Taiwanese told me it sound awkward to him. But then today, I came across to the sentence 「嘛會當用手打球。」 in one of my books, so perhaps the problem wasn't the pattern per se, but a specific sentence. :mrgreen: Personally, seeing how much variation there's in Taiwanese, I feel it's really dangerous to take it seriously when a Taiwanese tells me something in a book is wrong...

Are hàm-hàm and má-má-hu-hu still interchangeable, despite these differences you point out? I mean, I still haven't had enough exposition to any of these expressions to actually understand how/when to use them. :|

FutureSpy
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Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2012 6:23 pm

Re: Help with a few words

Post by FutureSpy »

By the way, my teacher said in her dialect she says "khì-un kui" instead of "氣溫高" "khì-un koân". Is that kui is kùi 貴 meaning expensive?

SimL
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Re: Help with a few words

Post by SimL »

Hi FutureSpy
utureSpy wrote:Personally, seeing how much variation there's in Taiwanese, I feel it's really dangerous to take it seriously when a Taiwanese tells me something in a book is wrong...
Yes, the same with Penang Hokkien (with different layers, particularly the Baba vs. non-Baba divide). And Taiwan is a lot bigger than Penang.

Even a language like German - which has been officially standardized for more than 100 years - has a little bit of variation in vocabulary items (within Germany already; the differences are even greater between Germany and Austria). All the more so for non-standardized languages like Hokkien / Taiwanese (though undoubtedly the Taiwan Ministry of Education is working in this too).

I'm sorry that I can never answer your language questions, but I'd like to say that I do read them with interest.

niuc
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Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2005 3:23 pm
Location: Singapore

Re: Help with a few words

Post by niuc »

FutureSpy wrote: 2. So you don't use tó-lo̍h there? Interesting. I thought only (most parts of) Taiwan (and at least Cebu in the Philippines) used tó-ūi.
Tó-lo̍h is acceptable in my variant but sounds not "native" enough, and the ones who use it (if any) may do so due to influence from Medan or other Hokkien variants. Tór-ūi, tór-cìt-ūi, and especially tôr, are the "native" ones for Bā-gán-uē. Tór/tôr 佗 is usually parallel to Mandarin 哪, and often means "which" with construction 佗一(classifier), e.g. 佗一个, 佗一塊, 佗一間, 佗一角(頭), 佗一位 (which position/place -> where), 佗一本, etc. I think 佗位 comes from 佗一位.
Are hàm-hàm and má-má-hu-hu still interchangeable, despite these differences you point out?
Yes, I think they are still interchangable in some if not most contexts.
FutureSpy wrote:By the way, my teacher said in her dialect she says "khì-un kui" instead of "氣溫高" "khì-un koân". Is that kui is kùi 貴 meaning expensive?
Could it be kuîⁿ instead of "kui"? Kuîⁿ, kuân/koân, kuâiⁿ are 泉漳廈 variant pronunciations of 懸 (high = 高 "ko"). My variant uses kuâiⁿ.

FutureSpy
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Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2012 6:23 pm

Re: Help with a few words

Post by FutureSpy »

SimL wrote:All the more so for non-standardized languages like Hokkien / Taiwanese (though undoubtedly the Taiwan Ministry of Education is working in this too).
I'm not sure if they're trying to establish a single standard form. MOE's dictionary actually gives a lot of variations for each word, what comes in very handy. Sometimes, they even give what words people in each region use hte most. What they did was to establish a character for the cases where there was no known 本字. However, they also replaced some not very widespread 本字 for what has been already in use in Taiwan (你, 人, etc.), even if it wasn't etymologically correct. While I don't agree completely with that, I've following it 'cos this way I no longer have to worry about what character to use, at least at this stage. But given current Taiwanese Government is less pro-Taiwanese, I guess we shouldn't expect any moves regarding Taiwanese/Hokkien...
SimL wrote:I'm sorry that I can never answer your language questions, but I'd like to say that I do read them with interest.
No need to apologize, Sim! I really like your posts, especially your stories, so please keep them coming :mrgreen: If wasn't for you, I guess these forums would be already dead long ago! And I also find very interesting reading about Penang Hokkien. I'll try to look carefully Tim's lessons when I have some time...
niuc wrote:
FutureSpy wrote:By the way, my teacher said in her dialect she says "khì-un kui" instead of "氣溫高" "khì-un koân". Is that kui is kùi 貴 meaning expensive?
Could it be kuîⁿ instead of "kui"? Kuîⁿ, kuân/koân, kuâiⁿ are 泉漳廈 variant pronunciations of 懸 (high = 高 "ko"). My variant uses kuâiⁿ.
Yeah! That's probably it! Since her variant has no nasalization (so far I only spotted nasalization on 3 words), that's it! Thanks!

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