Hoklo (Hokkien-Teochew) in Thai Land, reports from the field

Discussions on the Hokkien (Minnan) language.
amhoanna
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Re: Hoklo (Hokkien-Teochew) in Thai Land, reports from the f

Postby amhoanna » Wed Apr 13, 2011 10:11 pm

Happy Songkraan!

Not too much of interest since leaving Jiáu'a.

The immigration officer at the airport in Thô'áhn̂g (Tâi'oân) addressed me in Hoklo when I arrived there, definitely a first. Maybe my orange batik shirt "signalled" that I was a Hoklophone.

Back in Bangkok a.k.a. Thàikiaⁿ. When dialog in Siamese breaks down, some will talk to me in bits and pieces of Cantonese, esp in Baangrak (Baang-rak), which is a Canto neighborhood. I like being spoken to in Canto. I guess it makes me feel like a "perfect stranger". Others, esp. the light-skinned and Chinese-featured, get impatient and insist on English. Contrast with Jogja and Bali: some Indonesians switched to Eng on me, but always encouraged my efforts to speak b. Indo, whereas many Bangkok-lâng have no patience for foreigners getting tongue-tied over Siamese sentences.

Generally I don't try switching to Hoklo anymore unless it's inside a business and there are Hoklo cues. Even then, surprisingly few people can speak Teochew/Hoklo. Absolutely no one in Thailand has ever spoken to me in TC first, i.e. before I start talking Hoklo. I should add though that I don't hang around Yaowarat.

When I first got here this time around, I was wired to speak all Malay (Indo) all the time. I would catch myself with my mouth open and Malay words about to come out. Then my brain would call up Vietnamese words. :oops: Well-intentioned, but no good. A hell of a strain too since I speak all of these languages so poorly. :lol: One interesting dimension is that there are actually thousands upon thousands of Malay spkrs in Bangkok, many (or all?) of the women marked by their clothing.

I made a side trip to Chanthaburi yesterday. 尖竹汶, the durian capital of the world, is pretty cosmopolitan for a country town. Siamese is the main language. There's a lot of VNese too. I rented a bike from a Siamese-VNese (mixed) guy that spoke fluent VNese and was very proud of it. This made communication a little easier for me (see last paragraph). He said only 5% of the town spoke VNese. As in Bangkok, there's abundant Tn̂glâng, I'm guessing mostly Teochew and "Hainamese". According to what I've read, there's another major tribe here, the Shan, who made the local gemstone industry into what it is, or has been. Then U have all the Indian Ocean and African traders in town for the stones. The motorbike acek's wife, who didn't speak VNese, was entertained by my efforts to speak both Siamese and VNese. She stated flatly that Chanthaburi gets no visitors from TW. ... Mandarin education is widespread in Chanthaburi. Even people who don't look like Tn̂glâng may have learned how to speak AND READ some Mandarin. Maybe a Sabah situation?

Now, I didn't spend any time in Sừsúi except in transit. In 180º contrast to the bus terminal, the airport was packed with sure-fire, loaded-looking (hógia̍h) sinkheh Tn̂glâng. Tapo͘ and cabó͘, they all had pale skin ... thanks to mansions, servants, drivers, and malls? Their mannerisms, expressions, and hairstyles were 100% similar to similar groups in Manila, Cebu, L.A. and elsewhere, i.e. any place where Hokkiens are a business-class minority. I just looked at these people and thought to myself, "And they speak Javanese at home? No way!!"

Soon enough, before boarding, I met a retired local Tn̂glâng couple. In their mannerisms, outlooks and religious beliefs (Christian), they were identical to my parents' friends in the U.S. Only difference was, they spoke b. Indo instead of Mando and Canto or Hoklo. They were Hokkien, but didn't seem to know for sure if their parents spoke Hoklo or not. They said they only used b. Jawa w/ their servants and w/ uneducated local people who couldn't function in Malay; in fact, the only form of b. Jawa they spoke was the low form, which would be socially incorrect in most situations. Like educated Chinese everywhere, they had a taste for speaking English. Since the mister didn't speak English that well, tho -- his Eng was maybe just a little better than my Malay -- we naturally stuck to mostly b. Indo. It was my first time talking to such stereotypically "Chinese" older folks in a non-Han language. :mrgreen:

OK, time to go scout for some wet T-shirts. :mrgreen:

amhoanna
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Re: Hoklo (Hokkien-Teochew) in Thai Land, reports from the f

Postby amhoanna » Wed Apr 13, 2011 10:30 pm

Oh, yeah. Sừsúi hit ê apeh kah asím ho͘ⁿ, goá kā in tàu khachiú liáu'āu, in tō tùi goá kecin hó, káná goá sī in hó pêng'iú ê hāuseⁿ. In ū saⁿ ê gínná, lóng chhaputto hâm goá pêⁿ hoè, tongjiân lóng íkeng kè tio̍h ang, choā tio̍h bó͘, li̍p tio̍h hó sūgia̍p. In kóng choā Ìnnî bó͘ bēbái, in kóng goá ēsái choē tio̍h ci̍t ê sìn Kitok ê, goá sûi ìn kóng goá píkāu khah siūⁿ'ài choē ci̍t ê sìn Hoêkàu ê (tòng bē tiâu lah!), hoâiⁿti̍t goá bô te̍kpia̍t ài cia̍h tưbah. Hoānsè in ū tāmpo̍h'á kiaⁿ tio̍h ah, liáu'āu tō bô koh kā goá kóng saⁿh!

niuc
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Location: Singapore

Re: Hoklo (Hokkien-Teochew) in Thai Land, reports from the f

Postby niuc » Fri Apr 15, 2011 2:43 am

Hi Amhoanna

Happy Songkraan! Thank you for sharing the stories! Did you join them in splashing water? :mrgreen:

Is Thô'áhn̂g the Taiwanese Hoklo pronunciation of 桃園 (Tho5hn̂g5)? If this is the original pronunciation, what is the original 字 for áhn̂g? Is this the case like Cīnbér (盡尾?) becoming 集美; or Ē-m^n̂g 下門 becoming 廈門?

I didn't meet any Cantonese speaking Chinese in Bangkok. Some of the colleagues there could speak Teochew, also a few Chinese (e.g. eatery owner) around Chong Nonsi BTS. There was also an elderly lady who owned a snack shop with her husband (TC). She was from 廈門 and talked to me in Hokkien mixed with TC.

Great to see you use hógia̍^h. It's the most common word for rich in my variant, the opposite of pháigia̍^h. My Singaporean friends are not familiar with these two. And you are right that Bahasa Jawa used by Surabayan (especially Chinese?) are well known for being "rude" (ngoko/kasar).

Your "apeh kah asím", is asím there 阿嬸 (acím)? In my variant, gínná only means young children. Guá mā kámkah kîkuài kóng áncuáⁿ in kiò lír chuā ci̍^t ê sìn Kitok ê. Khuàⁿ in hànni "lia̍^tcîng", ingkai khahtuābīn sī "Lîng-unphài" e`! :P

SimL
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Re: Hoklo (Hokkien-Teochew) in Thai Land, reports from the f

Postby SimL » Fri Apr 15, 2011 7:04 am

Hi amhoanna,

As usual, I really enjoy reading about your travels, with all the cultural, historical, and linguistic observations which only someone with as much detailed knowledge as you could make.

amhoanna wrote:OK, time to go scout for some wet T-shirts. :mrgreen:

Because I didn't know anything about this festival until I read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Songkran, I actually had a totally different image when I first read this statement :lol: (but perhaps both interpretations - simultaneously - are possible!). It was only because niuc asked "Did you join them in splashing water?" that I thought perhaps there was something other than my original image.

niuc
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Location: Singapore

Re: Hoklo (Hokkien-Teochew) in Thai Land, reports from the f

Postby niuc » Fri Apr 15, 2011 4:53 pm

Ah! Only now I realize that áhn̂g is á-hn̂g 仔園! Though felt wierd about 'h' there, I mistaken it for áng, since the mark between n & g in hn̂g didn't show up on my PC screen.

amhoanna
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Re: Hoklo (Hokkien-Teochew) in Thai Land, reports from the f

Postby amhoanna » Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:27 pm

Thanks, Sim and Niuc!

Yeah, one lady blessed me ... with a big bowl of H2O down my backside. Folks here are so good-natured, U can stay dry just by sticking your hand up and shaking your head. I always try to humor the kids in the alleys. This is their big holiday! I carry a big bottle of water around to make sure it's an even exchange. Songkraan is pretty tame in Bangkok, overall. I couldn't find it just now, but there's this great photo online somewhere of a department store parking lot somewhere in the south, sometime during Songkraan, w/ caramel honeys in high heels, red miniskirts and wet T-shirts dancing and schlepping buckets of water in a clearing amongst the Honda Waves and Suzuki Satrias, or whatever they're called here. Was that what U had in mind, Sim? :mrgreen:

In Thonburi, every neighborhood restaurant seems to have an employee that knows Teochew. Then again, that's the restaurant business. ... Being a Kwongfu neigborhood, Baang-rak might be hostile to Teochew businesses in a way that Siamese neighborhoods aren't. (Just a theory.)

Thô'áhn̂g is 桃仔園, right. Back in the day it was probably Thô'áhûiⁿ. Nowadays everybody says Thôhn̂g. But doesn't Thôhn̂g sound kind of un-Hoklo, kind of dry, kind of bô hoeh bô ba̍ksái?

Hógia̍h is the most common word for RICH in TW too. Some say ūcîⁿ sometimes too. What do S'poreans say? Ka'ia̍h? ... Pháiⁿgia̍h sounds to me like a joke, something a comedian would say! It's not used in TW. I think the most common words for POOR are sànchiah and sàn. ... "Asím" and "gínná" are mistakes. Thanks for the correction. What would U say in place of gínná? Kiáⁿ would only refer to sons, right? Ditto for hāuseⁿ...?

Lêng'unphài? Goá bat thiaⁿ koè ci̍t koá iúkoan Lêng'unphài ê chiòkhoe, khósioh thiaⁿ bô saⁿh ū! :P

niuc
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Location: Singapore

Re: Hoklo (Hokkien-Teochew) in Thai Land, reports from the f

Postby niuc » Mon Apr 18, 2011 12:35 am

amhoanna wrote:Thô'áhn̂g is 桃仔園, right. Back in the day it was probably Thô'áhûiⁿ. Nowadays everybody says Thôhn̂g. But doesn't Thôhn̂g sound kind of un-Hoklo, kind of dry, kind of bô hoeh bô ba̍ksái?

Not in my variant, actually, as thô'áhn̂g suggests that the peaches there are small (at least to me). In Bagansiapiapi there are 柑園 kamhn̂g. :mrgreen:

Hógia̍h is the most common word for RICH in TW too. Some say ūcîⁿ sometimes too. What do S'poreans say? Ka'ia̍h?

I c. Ka'iah is sometimes used in my variant to mean abundant. S'poreans say ūlui.

Pháiⁿgia̍h sounds to me like a joke, something a comedian would say!

As in "difficult to lift/bring"? :lol:

It's not used in TW. I think the most common words for POOR are sànchiah and sàn.

These are used in my variant too, a long with others such as kîng, kangkhór(lâng), bôlui/cîⁿ, pháimiā(lâng).

"Asím" and "gínná" are mistakes. Thanks for the correction. What would U say in place of gínná? Kiáⁿ would only refer to sons, right? Ditto for hāuseⁿ...?

Oh, I didn't mean to correct you, thinking they might be used that way in some Taiwanese variants. If not mistaken, (some) Teochews use "asím". In my variant we indeed use kiáⁿ in asking question, although the answer would be ... kiáⁿ (taporkiáⁿ/hāusiⁿ) & ... cabór-a^h (cabórkiáⁿ).

amhoanna
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Re: Hoklo (Hokkien-Teochew) in Thai Land, reports from the f

Postby amhoanna » Mon Apr 18, 2011 3:07 am

Not in my variant, actually, as thô'áhn̂g suggests that the peaches there are small (at least to me). In Bagansiapiapi there are 柑園 kamhn̂g. :mrgreen:


Interesting! Goes to show that non-native-speaker intuition often misfires.

S'poreans say ūlui.


It's got a ring to it!

As in "difficult to lift/bring"?


:lol:

a long with others such as kîng, kangkhór(lâng), bôlui/cîⁿ, pháimiā(lâng).


I think kankhó͘(lâng) is used in TW too. So is pháiⁿmiā(lâng), but I don't know if it means the same thing. Bô cîⁿ is very context-based. I'm guessing it is in Bagan too? I've never heard kêng, though.

Oh, I didn't mean to correct you, thinking they might be used that way in some Taiwanese variants.


No, pàithok, I need the corrections! :P

If not mistaken, (some) Teochews use "asím".


Once again, saved by something that's Made in Kúiⁿtang.


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