kiăm-siăp (stingy) and khiām-iŏng (thrifty)

Discussions on the Hokkien (Minnan) language.
SimL
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Re: kiăm-siăp (stingy) and khiām-iŏng (thrifty)

Postby SimL » Fri Apr 29, 2011 11:43 pm

amhoanna wrote:They both mentioned the use of a word "山巴/山芭", meaning 鄉下 COUNTRYSIDE (Bangkok Teochew) or 山林/農村 VILLAGE/WOODED HILLS (Yangon Hoisan).

Yippee! :mrgreen:. But nevertheless quite different from Malaysian usage, which covered mostly *plantations*.

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Re: kiăm-siăp (stingy) and khiām-iŏng (thrifty)

Postby amhoanna » Sun May 01, 2011 4:37 am

On the Easter weekend, I revised all the kanji I theoretically knew (I think it must be around 1500 characters), and since my last major revision (about 6 months ago), perhaps 5% had slipped from my mind.


Ka'iû lo͘! Goá sī 12 hoè khaisí jīncin o̍h ê, hittangsî iáu hāuseⁿ lah!

niuc
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Re: kiăm-siăp (stingy) and khiām-iŏng (thrifty)

Postby niuc » Mon May 02, 2011 1:44 am

Hi Sim

SimL wrote:I am unable to "hear" this "nasalness" (though I am of course aware that - from the point of view of descriptive linguistics - these nasalized vowels are very common in Hokkien - "The 'French' of the sinitic variants"? :mrgreen:***).

French sounds romantic to me! I really like nasalized vowels in Hokkien. If only Hokkien can be popularized as "Sinitic French"! Hahaha :lol: Many of my Bagan friends also didn't realize about the nasalness of those vowels. 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.

On the Easter weekend, I revised all the kanji I theoretically knew (I think it must be around 1500 characters), and since my last major revision (about 6 months ago), perhaps 5% had slipped from my mind.

1500 is a good amount already, Sim, 加油! :mrgreen: Amhoanna surely knows much more & better than I do. Nowadays I read 漢字 less, and I find myself taking more time to recognize some of them. It's normal that we forget some rarely used words, right? Sometimes I also forget how to express certain things in Indonesian!

SimL wrote:Sorry it's taken so long, but I'll try and reconstruct the last parts of my lost reply - the ones which weren't covered in my later reply to Ah-bin. You'll see from this why I was rather frustrated at losing it. (There was even more, but I'll leave that for another time, as it isn't directly related to anything in this thread.)

No worry about the timing. Many thanks for taking time to rewrite your interesting sharings!

What's the tone? Does it have anything to do with "bi3-sO3/7", which is the word I use for "taste":

It is sor1/sO1 (?), not sor3/sO3 in bi7-sor3 ("taste" in my variant too).

"i cu e thng phaiN ciah ka puaN-si - bo bi-sO e" (= "his soup is horrible - there's no taste").

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.

The "bi3" I'm pretty sure is , 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 , and sor3/sO3 is .

Yes, I wouldn't consider either of these to be a "taste" - interesting that Bahasa Indonesia does.
...So, I think your 脆 chèr = crisp, [落]風 làuhuang = soggy would fit into the category of "texture".

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.

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.

Both of these are "wet" and "crunchy" in English, but both my parents decided that they would definitely not be described as "khiu7" in Hokkien - the additional "leathery" feel - present in "hai-the" and "bok-ni" - are needed, before something can be called "khiu7".

Would khiu7 be rubbery? Both cured jellyfish and bok8-ni2 also feel rubberry/leathery. In my mom's opinion, bok8-ni2 is cher3 (crunchy) instead of khiu7. 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.

1. Douglas lists "khiu7" with the appropriate meaning, but there is no character given in the edition with handwritten characters. Interestingly, he gives the tone as "khiu7" (which is why I write is as such here), whereas I would have said it was "khiu3". [As I've mentioned earlier, these two tones sound identical to me, but I give it "khiu3" because when replicated, I say "khiu1-khiu3" rather than "khiu3-khiu7" (sandhi tone written for the respective first syllables).]

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 as tenacious. 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.

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Re: kiăm-siăp (stingy) and khiām-iŏng (thrifty)

Postby SimL » Mon May 02, 2011 7:52 pm

amhoanna wrote:Ka'iû lo͘! Goá sī 12 hoè khaisí jīncin o̍h ê, hittangsî iáu hāuseⁿ lah!

Ah, I won't feel so inadequate then! I only started after the age of 45!

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Re: kiăm-siăp (stingy) and khiām-iŏng (thrifty)

Postby SimL » Tue May 03, 2011 12:29 am

niuc wrote:If only Hokkien can be popularized as "Sinitic French"!

My feelings exactly! We can "cash in" on the prestige that French has. :mrgreen:


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 of 噴嚏. Or how a Taiwanese university graduate couldn't remember how to write . 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".


niuc wrote:
The "bi3" I'm pretty sure is , 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 , and sor3/sO3 is .

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 ). 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.]


niuc wrote:
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 , 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 as tenacious. 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.

niuc
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Re: kiăm-siăp (stingy) and khiām-iŏng (thrifty)

Postby niuc » Tue May 03, 2011 6:04 pm

SimL wrote: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

I agree with you. The subscript 'n' looks nice but I find it hard to type (usually just copy & paste); while 'sni' is worse than sinn, though I don't prefer the later either. If I remember correctly, some double the vowel (sii) to indicate nasal (or tone 5??). Your usage, e.g. siN or kuaN, is quite clear, but if due to some reasons all text are converted to small or all caps, the distinction will be gone.

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' ?

If I used 'nn', IMHO most Indonesian would think that it was still 'n' but pronounced longer. In handwriting, I used small circle (borrowing maru/handakuten in Japanese kana & temperature degree circle sign), but it is hard to type. So I used * (asteriks) as it looked a bit similar and a common sign on keyboard. So for the time being I still prefer to spell it as 'si*'. Btw, 'si~' looks nice too but the sign ~ looks more like tone indicator to me.

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 of 噴嚏. Or how a Taiwanese university graduate couldn't remember how to write .

Bingo! It is much easier to read 漢字 than to write. I didn't remember how to write also, and many more! Recently I forgot how to write , although it is quite simple. But I always remember how to write (simplified to ), because I found it interesting and practised many many times. May be when we keep writing any character for certain times, we will remember it for a much longer time even if we hardly use it anymore.

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 ). 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).

No problem for me, as I often asked a question without checking further too, especially if the dictionary (hardcopy) or other sources are not readily near to me, including sometimes I am lazy to check online resources! :P

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!

Ah, thanks, that's even broader than "rasa"! I can sense "sentire" in sentiment & sentimental (sentimen & sentimental in Bahasa Indonesia). :mrgreen:

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.]

Yes, so true!

Niuc: would you put "bok-ni" under "che" or "khiu" (if you hadn't heard your mother's opinion)?

I think I would incline towards khiu7, as nowadays most 木耳 (bok8-ni2 literally means wood's ear 8) ) I ate are not very 脆 cher3, though some really are obviously crunchy.

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"!

Interesting! I thought Penang variant would have it as jun7. In my variant it is d/lun7 too.

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).

In my variant tough/rubbery ba4-kua*1 is also lun7 instead of khiu7. To me tough jellyfish also fits lun7 better than khiu7, but crunchy jellyfish is cher3. So it seems that khiu7 in my variant refers to food with too much flour.

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Re: kiăm-siăp (stingy) and khiām-iŏng (thrifty)

Postby SimL » Tue May 03, 2011 10:59 pm

niuc wrote:I agree with you. The subscript 'n' looks nice but I find it hard to type (usually just copy & paste); while 'sni' is worse than sinn, though I don't prefer the later either. If I remember correctly, some double the vowel (sii) to indicate nasal (or tone 5??). Your usage, e.g. siN or kuaN, is quite clear, but if due to some reasons all text are converted to small or all caps, the distinction will be gone.

We agree more or less on all these points! I like the superscript (I think you meant superscript rather than subscript) 'n' best of all too. In terms of the "look" of a convention, I actually prefer "sni" to "sinn", my only objection to it (mentioned earlier) is that it can't be used to record nasal syllables with no initial consonant. Also (to be honest), I find -nn slightly ugly (and misleading, as you do)), but it at least solves the problem of the syllables with no initial consonant. Aside from aesthetics, one advantage of the "sni" convention is that one is actually warned in advance that the syllable is nasal. In my mental processing, as I read, I often don't quite notice the "-nn" until sort of 'too late', and then have to sort of 'adjust my mental pronunciation' to make it nasal. I don't have this problem with the "sni" convention.


niuc wrote:... I used * (asteriks) as it looked a bit similar and a common sign on keyboard. So for the time being I still prefer to spell it as 'si*'. Btw, 'si~' looks nice too but the sign ~ looks more like tone indicator to me.

Yes, I've noticed the * convention before, and quite like it. It doesn't have any problems with casing. Actually, I'm comfortable with the "~" because that's the IPA symbol for nasalization anyway...

As for your point on casing, I think that that's a very important objection to my use of "O" and "E" for "o•" and "e•". The reason I avoid the latter pair is that I can never find the "•" when I want it (I'm sure the one I'm using here isn't even the correct one to use). The annoying side of my using "O" and "E" is that when I'm transcribing long passages of Hokkien (as I did for quite a few of the lectures on Buddhism on the internet), I have to use a lowercase letter for the first letter of the first word in all my sentences, which makes the sentences look horrible. This is in case I *really* need an "O" or "E" at the start of a sentence. How much simpler life would have been if "ɔ""and "ɛ" had just been part of the regular Roman alphabet!


niuc wrote:But I always remember how to write (simplified to ), because I found it interesting and practised many many times.

Haha! Yes, I like this character too, and I can also write it from memory, because of having practiced it many times. I first learnt it as the first character of 鬱金香, before I learnt its meaning of "dense" or "melancholy"***. I know it's unusual for a fan of Hokkien but I'm actually quite a strong supporter of simplified characters. is one of the characters which I use to argue for the advantages of simplification :mrgreen:.

Lastly, thanks for your feedback on the "che/khiu/lun" issue. I'll run these all past my parents some time.

PS. Regular Forum members: Please don't hate me for supporting simplified characters - I understand and respect the point of view of all the people who hate them, both their aesthetic objections (= "ugly"), and cultural objections (= "loss of historical continuity"), but I just happen to have a different point of view.

***: Does anyone have a theory (or knowledge!) about why "dense/melancholy gold fragrant/fragrance" should be the name for "tulip" in Mandarin?

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Re: kiăm-siăp (stingy) and khiām-iŏng (thrifty)

Postby Ah-bin » Wed May 04, 2011 1:21 am

You don't need to copy and paste superscript n into word documents, just make a shortcut key for it. Mine is control + alt then n! Same with the •, (control+alt+shift then '). It's easier to do when you are writing on your own computer. I can type in full POJ with tones and dots and n's very quickly now by doing it like this.

I'm actually quite a strong supporter of simplified characters. 鬱 is one of the characters which I use to argue for the advantages of simplification :mrgreen:.


郁 is not just the simplified character for 鬱 (meaning tulip/stagnant/luxuriant), it actually had an existence of its own as a separate character before simplification, and has a distinct meaning of its own (adorned, refined), as well as a distinct sound (郁 = hiok 鬱 = ut) in every language except Mandarin. Someone actually chose a name for a friend of mine based on ignorance of this (like the kind of people who write 頭發 or 髮現, I have seen both of these), and I had to inform her that you just can't trust PRC educated Chinese to choose Chinese names any more.

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Re: kiăm-siăp (stingy) and khiām-iŏng (thrifty)

Postby AndrewAndrew » Wed May 04, 2011 2:34 am

For me the most obviously khiu thing is udon noodles - I would say it was a good attribute - chewy in a good way. I don't really know the word lun/jun - I would normally just use teng for hard/tough.

The tni/sni convention does work for vowels - I have seen yni in at least one mainland dictionary. I guess you could also have wnui.

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Re: kiăm-siăp (stingy) and khiām-iŏng (thrifty)

Postby SimL » Wed May 04, 2011 3:23 am

AndrewAndrew wrote:The tni/sni convention does work for vowels - I have seen yni in at least one mainland dictionary. I guess you could also have wnui.

True, thanks for pointing that out. But... one of my pet hates of pinyin IS the y- and w-. It makes the orthography so out of balance with the sound system itself. E.g. "wan2" is actually just "tuan2" without the "t-", and "ye4" is actually just "lie4" without the "l-", but they look dramatically different, etc. Give me POJ any day, with just "i-" and "u-"! :mrgreen:. So, the "wn-" and "yn" solution wouldn't work for me (that's just an expression of personal preference, not a refutation of your point, which is of course totally valid).

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Re: kiăm-siăp (stingy) and khiām-iŏng (thrifty)

Postby niuc » Wed May 04, 2011 6:25 pm

SimL wrote:I think you meant superscript rather than subscript

Thanks, Sim! I was thinking of superscript and I thought I wrote "superscript", yet apparently I typed "subscript"! :lol:

Actually, I'm comfortable with the "~" because that's the IPA symbol for nasalization anyway...

Yes, may be we can use it more if it's easier to understand.

PS. Regular Forum members: Please don't hate me for supporting simplified characters - I understand and respect the point of view of all the people who hate them, both their aesthetic objections (= "ugly"), and cultural objections (= "loss of historical continuity"), but I just happen to have a different point of view.

:lol: No worry, Sim. Personally I don't hate 简体字. Some simplified characters like 尘 or 泪 looks OK for me, although I find 听 misleading, and most of them as ugly. I still prefer 正體字. :mrgreen:

Does anyone have a theory (or knowledge!) about why "dense/melancholy gold fragrant/fragrance" should be the name for "tulip" in Mandarin?

Thanks, I never knew that tulip is 鬱金香. I only knew 鬱卒 ut4-cut4 and 憂鬱 iu1-ut4.

Ah-bin wrote:You don't need to copy and paste superscript n into word documents, just make a shortcut key for it. Mine is control + alt then n! Same with the •, (control+alt+shift then '). It's easier to do when you are writing on your own computer. I can type in full POJ with tones and dots and n's very quickly now by doing it like this.

Ah-bin, how do you do the mapping?

郁 is not just the simplified character for 鬱 (meaning tulip/stagnant/luxuriant), it actually had an existence of its own as a separate character before simplification, and has a distinct meaning of its own (adorned, refined), as well as a distinct sound (郁 = hiok 鬱 = ut) in every language except Mandarin. Someone actually chose a name for a friend of mine based on ignorance of this (like the kind of people who write 頭發 or 髮現, I have seen both of these), and I had to inform her that you just can't trust PRC educated Chinese to choose Chinese names any more.

Ah, thanks for the info about 郁! One I really "hate" is using 面 for 麵.

AndrewAndrew wrote:For me the most obviously khiu thing is udon noodles - I would say it was a good attribute - chewy in a good way. I don't really know the word lun/jun - I would normally just use teng for hard/tough.

Yes Andrew, udon is khiu7 also in my variant. Teng7/ting7 (tai*7 in my variant) is different from lun7. Lun7 is somehow rubbery and yet difficult to bite it off e.g. overcooked squid.

The tni/sni convention does work for vowels - I have seen yni in at least one mainland dictionary. I guess you could also have wnui.

But how to write a*3 (to bend our neck down) or a*7 (a kind of bun's filling) or e*1 嬰 (i*1 in my variant)?

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Re: kiăm-siăp (stingy) and khiām-iŏng (thrifty)

Postby SimL » Wed May 04, 2011 6:31 pm

Ah-bin wrote:郁 is not just the simplified character for 鬱 (meaning tulip/stagnant/luxuriant), it actually had an existence of its own as a separate character before simplification, and has a distinct meaning of its own (adorned, refined), as well as a distinct sound (郁 = hiok 鬱 = ut) in every language except Mandarin. Someone actually chose a name for a friend of mine based on ignorance of this (like the kind of people who write 頭發 or 髮現, I have seen both of these), and I had to inform her that you just can't trust PRC educated Chinese to choose Chinese names any more.

Very interesting! Did your friend change the character, based on your feedback?

The paternal, Baba side of my family of course doesn't know Chinese characters, so with each new child born (=my cousins, in the 1950's-70's), my Chinese educated, sin-khek maternal grandfather was always consulted. He was quite highly educated in Chinese (by the standards of the time!), so he recommended characters with nice meanings and appearance, based on the sound which the parents wanted. He usually gave a choice of several characters, for the parents to choose from.

amhoanna
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Re: kiăm-siăp (stingy) and khiām-iŏng (thrifty)

Postby amhoanna » Wed May 04, 2011 7:48 pm

I'm actually a big fan of simplification, just not Soviet aesthetics. (1.tawa.asia, 这是廣東,不是蘇联)

I have to challenge the "assumption" that shoddy, anti-aesthetic PRC simplifications can't be "reversed". After all ... why not? Not that I expect "the Party" to see it through. At the same time, most PRC simplifications are in daily use in TW and HK, in writing but not in print. Why do some people use these chars in writing, then recoil when they see them in print? :roll: :lol:

And many so-called "Traditional" kanji are themselves simplified versions of even more intensely "traditional" characters. And some Traditional kanji are mergers of previously unrelated chars ... if I'm not mistaken...

The modern Japanese kanji set is simplified, yet arguably even more visually balanced than the ROC-HK set(s). In any case, it strikes a better balance between ease of use and aesthetics than the ROC set (IMO) -- the PRC set doesn't bother to take aesthetics into account.

I say we just mix them all up, and let the chips fall where they will...

Notice how search engines and translation machines convert between the PRC and ROC sets automatically now? I wish they would do the same with Japanese chars.

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Re: kiăm-siăp (stingy) and khiām-iŏng (thrifty)

Postby Ah-bin » Thu May 05, 2011 11:09 am

Ah, thanks for the info about 郁! One I really "hate" is using 面 for 麵.


Yes, there is one place in a Mall in Canberra (Sim has been there, but I don't think I pointed it out) called "Little Beijing" (the name is dumb enough, as it mostly sells the Australian version of Cantonese dishes) and has "Face Face Face Face" written all over its wall. I want some fried face and some Hokkien face please.

Top of the dumbest simplified character list has to be 叶 for leaf. I think I've said it before.

I think the reason that the PRC simplifications are unlikely to be reversed any time soon is that the regime is ruled by uncultured semi-literates (this is the opinion of at least two Chinese professors of my acquaintance) who view simplification as part of the legitimacy of their rule. Up until 2000 they didn't seem to care about it and the result was that PRC Chinese began to use more traditional script, so the Commies ended up legislating against it in the language law that I've mentioned before.

At the same time, most PRC simplifications are in daily use in TW and HK, in writing but not in print. Why do some people use these chars in writing, then recoil when they see them in print? :roll: :lol:


I think the difference is that running script flows, and the people find the printed simplifications ugly because they are straight and angular. Actually I think in TW at least there was a reaction against writing in running script in TW because of the associations with simplified characters, and now a lot of younger Taiwanese write the characters out fully (if they write at all). Japanese handwriting is the same, people over 50 write the kanji in running script, but younger people write them out fully in what I can only describe as a vaguely cute or cartoony style.

Very interesting! Did your friend change the character, based on your feedback?


Yes! That was the friend who took the bus back with us when you came last time.

Ah-bin, how do you do the mapping?


If you have Microsoft Word it is easy to input the dot. Just go to “insert” then “symbol” and then when you find it on the table of characters. The small dot is called “middle dot” and the code number is (unicode 00B7). Click on it and you can choose a shortcut key as well, (bottom left hand corner under the grid where all the characters are) and save it so you don’t have to keep on going in and out of “insert symbol” – I use control+alt+’ for my middle dot.

Like the dot, to input the ⁿ. Just go to “insert” then “symbol” and then find it on the table of characters. It’s called superscript Latin small letter n (Unicode 207F). I saved the shortcut keys as Ctrl+’,n (two keys held, then released then n).

I put all the POJ tones in as well for each vowel and m and n. The Taigi Unicode font has all the letters you need, but since most computers still can't read it, I use á in the entering tones rather than the standard vertical stroke and use the middle dot rather than the combined unicode letters (o• rather than ơ) Vietnamese ư and ơ are useful, but can't be combined with the circumflex tone mark (they can, but only in Taigi Unicode)

â = ctrl + shift, then a
á = ctrl+’ then a
à = ctrl+` then a
ā = ctrl+- then a

In Word I learnt to type Penang style Hokkien relatively quickly with full tones and diacritics once I was used to the key strokes. All I have to do is copy and paste the finished text into the internet page...chin-chiàⁿ êng óh lô! I still have to replace  with n^ for internet users. I think that problem will be sorted out in years to come though.

So, the "wn-" and "yn" solution wouldn't work for me (that's just an expression of personal preference, not a refutation of your point, which is of course totally valid).


We need a "win-win solution" instead :lol:

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Re: kiăm-siăp (stingy) and khiām-iŏng (thrifty)

Postby SimL » Thu May 05, 2011 7:00 pm

Ah-bin wrote:
Very interesting! Did your friend change the character, based on your feedback?

Yes! That was the friend who took the bus back with us when you came last time.

Great. Oh, I thought she was *such* a nice person.


Ah-bin wrote:
So, the "wn-" and "yn" solution wouldn't work for me (that's just an expression of personal preference, not a refutation of your point, which is of course totally valid).

We need a "win-win solution" instead :lol:

ROTLF!

Actually, I thought of another objection to "w-" and "y-" for Hokkien. My original objection was that it didn't match "-u-" and "-i-" in words with an initial consonant. Well, that objection could be removed by *always* writing "w-" and "y-" - even after an initial consonant, i.e. (in my example above) "wan" / "twan" and "ye" / "lye". This solution would work for Mandarin (where the two sounds in both members of each pair really are the same), but in Hokkien, the situation is slightly different. "uan1" (= "to turn") and "kuan1" (= "judge") do not differ just by the presence or absence of the "k-". In "uan", there is a slight glottal stop at the beginning. Similarly, "ia2" (= "wild") and "sia2" (= "to write") do not differ just by the presence or absence of the "s-". In "ia2", there is a slight glottal stop at the beginning.

The presence of this glottal stop makes it very inappropriate for them to be written and "wan1" and "ya2" - the "w-" and "y-" stress that the syllable begins "smoothly" (i.e. with a "continuant"). Compare English "won" (the past tense of "to win") to Hokkien "uan1" and English "ya" (informal "yes" in some variants) to Hokkien "ia2" and you will notice that the English pair begin with a "continuant" whereas the Hokkien pair begin with a glottal stop.

Two final remarks:
1. It appears to me that Hokkien is similar to German, in that any word beginning with a vowel has a slight glottal stop before it.
2. It makes Penang Hokkien "wa" (for "I/me") very unusual as a borrowed word, as it is one of the few exceptions, not having a glottal stop at the beginning, but instead really beginning with a continuant. (Standard Hokkien of course doesn't have "[glottal stop]ua" for "I/me", because it's pronounced "gua".)


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