niuc wrote:If only Hokkien can be popularized as "Sinitic French"!
My feelings exactly! We can "cash in" on the prestige that French has.
niuc wrote:I only came to know it during my mid-teens when I tried to spell Hokkien words in Indonesian version of Latin alphabets, realizing the "beautiful" difference between 'i' vowel of 詩 si1 and 生 si*1.
Exactly the same with me. Actually, nowadays, whenever I start to feel irritated with the people who write (for example) "sni" (I start to feel irritated because this strategy doesn't work for syllables with no initial consonant), I console myself that the people who are doing it at least actually detect the difference between 詩 and 生 - whereas a large number of other people are not sufficiently consciously
aware of the distinction to reflect it in writing at all. [I'm talking about "popular" renditions of Hokkien, by people who don't do it much. And I say "consciously" because of course they are (sub-consciously) aware of the difference (in speaking), being native speakers of the language where the distinction is important.]
BTW, niuc: How did
you write the difference between 詩 and 生 when you first 'tried to spell Hokkien words in Indonesian version of Latin alphabets' ?
niuc wrote:It's normal that we forget some rarely used words, right?
To forget the exact meanings
of rare words one "knows", or to forget rare words completely is "normal" enough. What I think is unique to the Chinese script (and related 'character' scripts) is that one forgets how to write even words which are "medium common" (just not very
common), for which one fully knows their pronunciation, meaning, and usage. There are numerous anecdotes about this, like how, in a group of 3 (Chinese, Mandarin native-speaker) PhD students from Beijing University, all 3 were unable to remember how to write the 噴
. Or how a Taiwanese university graduate couldn't remember how to write 雞
. The closest equivalent is how educated native-speakers of English might be unsure if it's "dependent" or "dependant", but in the Chinese situation, people can sometimes forget to the extent of not even being able to put the first stroke on paper, whereas in the English situation, even the wrong spelling will still be understood by someone else. (Most of these "ideas" are paraphrased from an article I once read about the Chinese script.)
niuc wrote:Your sentence (adjusting some vowels) is the way we say it too. For emphasis, many would add 'kau2' (not sure about its particular meaning) -> bo5-bi7-kau2-sor3.
Nice. My mother's Amoyish variety says "bo5-bi7-bo5-sor3" as an intenser form of "bo5-bi7-sor3".
The "bi3" I'm pretty sure is 味, but I don't know the character (or meaning) of "sO3/7" in this context - I don't use it anywhere else than in the combination "bi-sO".
Yes, bi7 is 味
, and sor3/sO3 is 素
Thanks. I felt a bit embarrassed at having asked this, as I checked up in Douglas on the weekend, and "sO" is quite clearly given there (and indeed, as 素
). I should at least check in Douglas/Barclay before asking here on the Forum, but still, nice to have it confirmed, because even Douglas isn't 100% infallible (or at least some claims for characters might be subject to doubt or discussion).
niuc wrote:Thanks! Thinking about it again, actually "rasa" in Bahasa Indonesia can mean both taste and also feeling. So now I am not sure if "rasa" there is a taste or a feeling of the texture, probably the latter.
I'm sure you're right. It's only initially sounded strange because English makes this distinction. In Italian, "sentire" means any of "feel", "hear", "sense", "taste" (i.e. covers a whole range of perceptions/senses), and one has to work out which one is meant from context! [But then, as Italian doesn't make this distinction, probably no Italian thinks of it as "having to work out something from context which is obscure / badly distinguished in their language" - it's only "obscure/unclear" from the point of view of English. The other way around, no native speaker of English, when hearing another native speaker of English say "That woman is my aunt", wonders whether the latter meant his "a i5" or his "a kO1". The obscurity/unclarity only exists from a Chinese speaker's point of view.]
Can biscuits be "che3"? Can peanuts be "che"?
Sure, in my variant's usage. We also use cher3 for things such as a tree branch, stick or a piece of wood that easily breaks.
Again, I should have checked Douglas before asking, as he gives the meaning as "brittle", with character 脆
, which indeed covers your other usage for branches etc. I'll have to check with my parents if they use "che3" in this sense too. [In that sense, English "brittle" doesn't cover biscuits and peanuts. Perhaps English "brittle" contains some slight resonances of "something which should
be hard, something which should not easily break apart when force is applied", which is why biscuits and peanuts are excluded, as they are meant to break apart when one chews on them.]
niuc wrote:Would khiu7 be rubbery? Both cured jellyfish and bok8-ni2 also feel rubbery/leathery.
Yes, but I think there has to be a sort of crunch to it too (at least, in my usage). I can imagine sheets of (overly tough / poor quality) bah-kuaN to be very rubbery, but I wouldn't consider "khiu" to be appropriate for that (because of the lack of crunch, or perhaps - more accurately - because it is not supposed
to have crunch).
niuc wrote:In my mom's opinion, bok8-ni2 is cher3 (crunchy) instead of khiu7.
Interesting that your mother doesn't consider bok-ni to be "khiu". Probably because it's not rubbery/leathery enough
. But, I hasten to add that I think my own feeling for and use of "khiu" is not quite accurate. For quite a long time, I felt that very
crunchy tau-gE (in soup) could be described as "khiu", and it was only after those long discussions with my parents (and their disagreement) that I refined my usage to include the "leathery" part of the definition. [After reading your and your mother's opinions, I'm very happy to add "rubbery" too.]
If your mother considers "che(r)" to be more appropriate for "bok-ni", then she apparently doesn't require the "dry" part of my definition of "che". Very interesting. Certainly, English "brittle" has resonances of being "dry" - I find it hard to think of anything wet or even damp as "brittle".
Niuc: would you
put "bok-ni" under "che" or "khiu" (if you hadn't heard your mother's opinion)?
niuc wrote:Khiu7 in my variant is also used for e.g. if ker2-a8 粿仔 (similar to kwetiau but transparent) contains too much flour, it feels khiu7 i.e. rubbery but certainly not crunchy in English.
I understand, and for this reason, I will add "rubbery" to the definition, and tone down (though not quite remove) the requirement for "crunchy" (see next point).
niuc wrote:It is khiu7 in my variant, so the sandhi/RT of khiu7-khiu7 is khiu3_khiu7. Douglas lists it as tenacious, yet zhongwen.com list 韌 as tenacious. 韌 jun7/dun7/lun7 is different from khiu7. An overcooked squid is jun7/dun7 and not khiu7. It seems that in my variant, khiu7 refers to rubbery feel due to too much flour, while jun7 is used to describe meat/seafood.
Excellent, thanks. I had forgotten this word (we pronounce it "lun7", which is one of the alternatives you give). I use it indeed for "rubbery" (where there is absolutely no "crunchy" component). Exactly overcooked squid is "lun"!
And I think I'd be tempted to describe (overly tough) tough/rubbery/leathery bah-kuaN as "lun" rather than "khiu" (precisely because, for me, it lacks the crunchy aspect) . So, it looks like the usage of che/khiu/lun in our varieties is definitely slightly and subtly different.