Buddhist sermons in Penang Hokkien

Discussions on the Hokkien (Minnan) language.
SimL
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Buddhist sermons in Penang Hokkien

Postby SimL » Fri Mar 27, 2009 3:24 pm

Hi there,

I've been transcribing some Buddhist sermons in Penang Hokkien, and came across a couple of terms I haven't been able to find in Douglas-Barclay, nor on the internet. Some of them seem to be known expressions (on the internet), I just haven't managed to get a meaning for them.

I wonder if anyone could help me? Here they are:

#) "gua3-toh4-kau3": some sort of religion. It's mentioned in connection with other ancient religions, like Buddhism.

#) "hO-hue sim" or "hO-hue e sim". This is a very undesirable state of mind or heart to have, and can be a condition one has, if one doesn't practice one's religion regularly.

#) "huan5-lo2" and "huan5-ho2". Both mean "to worry" (I'm only familiar with "huan5-ho2"). The first character is apparently 煩. Does anyone know the characters for "lo2" and "ho2"?

#) "lo2-mO3/7": The first character is apparenetly 老. Does anyone know the second character?

BTW, Douglas-Barclay says this means "aged and infirm". But in my usage of Penang Hokkien, it is specialized to mean "demented" and then weakened to "very forgetful" (used even for a young person). In my usage, it cannot be used for a very weak and old person, if that person's mental faculties are still fine.

#) "pO2-si1": What does this term mean, and what are the characters for it?

The context is "co3 pO-si" = 做 XXX.

#) "thuan5-kiet4": Is this 轉結, and if so, what does it mean?

The context is "tioh-be e-hiau thuan-kiet" = "has to be able to (or 'to know how to') XXX".

#) "tiau5-ti5". Douglas says that this can also be pronounced "tiuN1-ti5", and gives the characters as 張持.

Now, "tiuN1" could be pronounced "tiauN1" in some varieties, so I'd accept 張 as the character for either "tiuN1" or "tiauN1" (i.e. nasalized and tone-1). But, what is the character for "tiau5" (not nasalized and tone-5)?

#) "thiN1 e to7/to3". What might "to7/3" mean in this context, and what is the character for it?

The context that this occurs in is: "chut-si ti thiN e to" = "to be born in Heaven's XXX".

Thanks in advance,
SimL

duaaagiii
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Re: Buddhist sermons in Penang Hokkien

Postby duaaagiii » Fri Mar 27, 2009 6:34 pm

  • 煩惱 huan5-lo2
    to worry; worries
  • Might be 後悔 hoo7-hue2 or hio7-hue2 (I usually hear the latter in Taiwan)
    to regret; regretful
    but this doesn't match the description you gave
  • 老耄 lo2-moo7
    old and senile
  • 布施 or 佈施 poo3-si1
    to give alms; giving alms
  • 團結 thuan5-kiat4
    to unite; united
  • 特持 tiau1/5-ti5 / thiau1/5-ti5
    on purpose; intentionally

SimL
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Re: Buddhist sermons in Penang Hokkien

Postby SimL » Mon Mar 30, 2009 11:16 am

Hi duaaagiii,

Thanks a lot!

SimL

SimL
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Re: Buddhist sermons in Penang Hokkien

Postby SimL » Mon Mar 30, 2009 11:18 am

duaaagiii wrote:Might be 後悔 hoo7-hue2 or hio7-hue2 (I usually hear the latter in Taiwan)
to regret; regretful
but this doesn't match the description you gave


No, indeed. Neither from contextual meaning, nor from tones. He says it something like "hO1(sandhied)-hue3 sim1".

SimL

SimL
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Re: Buddhist sermons in Penang Hokkien

Postby SimL » Mon Mar 30, 2009 11:48 am

These are from the next sermon :-).

#) hE1/5/7(non-sandhied)-ran1, hE7/3(sandhied)-ran1.

Strange thing is that he uses a real "r" here, for the beginning of the second syllable. I thought perhaps he's borrowing a word from Mandarin (he sometimes does this).

Context: "tan-si wa <hE1/5/7-ran1>, peh-cap hue liau, i ko cin-nia kiaN1".

He's talking about an 80-year-old man who is still afraid (of dying). I wonder whether he's saying "赫然", with a quite unusual pronunciation?

#) "to3/7"

Context: "i be chut-si khO e to" = "he will be reborn [in] a bitter X".

This seems to be the same "to3/7" as in the previous sermon. There it was "thiN1 e to" (positive), and here it is "khO2 e to" (negative).

I speculate that it might be just "way" 道.

#) "pak4/pah4(not sandhied)-ak4"

"lang2 bo than control liau lo. bo than... bo pak/pah-ak liau lo." = "We have lost control, not able to... no XXX any more".

Here he's talking about the moments just before death, when we have lost control of speech, hearing, movement etc.

#) "phO1(sandhied)-thOng1" and "cu3/7(sandhied)-ien5"

Context: "i ta-ta jit e sim - i phO-thong e sim - a-mO kong i-e 'natural frequency'. i cu-ien e siauN" = "his 'everyday heart' - his X-X heart - in English, his 'natural frequency'. his X-X thoughts.

#) "se1(sandhied)-cun3" and "chut(8)-siaN3" and "thO7(sandhied)-hui1"

Context: "i kong 'se-cun a', wa ti siauN, na-si kong ci jit, wa hong-hiam si, na kong wa chut-siaN, hO lau-hO ka wa si la. a-si bo, thO-hui phah wa si' " = "he said: 'X-X a, iI was thinking, f say one day I meet a dangerous/violent death, like, say I X-X, and get bitten to death by a tiger. Or else a X-X beats me to death.

This is from a story he's telling, about a disciple asking the Buddha some questions.

"se-cun" seems to be the way the disciple addresses the Buddha.

"hong-hiam" I've found in Douglas-Barclay as meaning "dangerous", but "a dangerous death" doesn't make much sense, so I've translated it as "a violent death".

"chut-siaN". I wonder whether it means "to LEAVE the CITY" 出城?

Thanks again in advance,
SimL

Andrew

Re: Buddhist sermons in Penang Hokkien

Postby Andrew » Mon Mar 30, 2009 12:33 pm

SimL wrote:These are from the next sermon :-).

#) hE1/5/7(non-sandhied)-ran1, hE7/3(sandhied)-ran1.

Strange thing is that he uses a real "r" here, for the beginning of the second syllable. I thought perhaps he's borrowing a word from Mandarin (he sometimes does this).

Context: "tan-si wa <hE1/5/7-ran1>, peh-cap hue liau, i ko cin-nia kiaN1".

He's talking about an 80-year-old man who is still afraid (of dying). I wonder whether he's saying "赫然", with a quite unusual pronunciation?


Could this be the Malay 'hairan', i.e. surprised, amazed

#) "phO1(sandhied)-thOng1" and "cu3/7(sandhied)-ien5"

Context: "i ta-ta jit e sim - i phO-thong e sim - a-mO kong i-e 'natural frequency'. i cu-ien e siauN" = "his 'everyday heart' - his X-X heart - in English, his 'natural frequency'. his X-X thoughts.



This is surely 普通, "normal/standard" as in "Putonghua", and 自然, "natural" (need to check if "ien" is a standard pronunciation though), although Wikipedia has an article about the concept of "Ziran" in Taoism

SimL
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Re: Buddhist sermons in Penang Hokkien

Postby SimL » Mon Mar 30, 2009 3:34 pm

Hi Andrew,

Oh, this is wonderful. Thanks a lot!

http://www.internationalscientific.org/ ... =Etymology
and
http://www.internationalscientific.org/ ... =Etymology

give "chu7-jian5" ("cu7-jien" in my orthography) for 自然, so that's very close. I'll listen again very closely, but the similarity of the sound, and the fitting into the context seem to suggest that this is correct.

"hairan" seems to be the right solution too.

Thanks. (Learning some Buddhist theology in this process too!).
SimL

SimL
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Re: Buddhist sermons in Penang Hokkien

Postby SimL » Mon Mar 30, 2009 5:18 pm

Another few questions. (Sorry there are so many!)


#) "co3-ci(t)8-E7"

Douglas gives this as "making one lot, all at once; all in one". However, in one sermon, the monk seems to use it to mean "to get together".

Does anyone know of this usage?

Example:

o) "ci-le-pai ci-pai - le-pai jit - i-lang to lai <co-ci-E>"
= "once a week - (on) Sunday - they hence come <to get together>"

o) "hue-kau, i-lang pai-gO - ta-ta e pai-gO - tiaN-tioh tioh be lai <co-ci-E>"
= "[In] Islam, they (on) Friday - every Friday - definitely have to come <to get together>"

o) "hut kah lang2 - ci-le-pai ci-pai - lang2 lai <co-ci-E>"
= "the Buddha taught us - once a week - we come <together>"


#) ki3-ti5: 記持 "memory, the mental powers of memory"

This is known from Douglas, and my parents know it too. However, it struck me that the *spleen* of a chicken is also pronounced identically "ki3-ti5", sandhied form in PgHk would be "ki1-ti5" (because tone-3 => tone-1, rather than the standard Hokkien rule of tone-3 => tone-2). This was yet another item which I found quite revolting in the soup when I was young!

Does anyone know the hanzi for it? The mandarin form 脾脏 pi2-zang4 would appear to be quite unrelated.


#) siong5-siong5

This is given by Douglas as "usually, generally". Can it also mean *regularly*? The monk seems to use it in this way:

"lu na-si siu peh-kai - <siong-siong> siu peh-kai - lu e ki-hue chut-si ti thiN e to cin-nia kuan" = "if you cultivate the Eight Precepts - <regularly> cultivate the Eight Precepts - your chances of being born in Heaven's <to> are very high".

Quite aside from the fact that no one seems to know what "to3/7" means, it appears to me that the monk means "regularly" rather than something as weak as "usually, generally" in his use of "siong5-siong5" here.


#) "tue3" = "to follow". Does anyone know the hanzi for this?


#) "cam5-si5"

Context: "se-kan e khuai-lok lang2 hiong-siu <cam-si> nia - ci-le tiam-siaN nia" = "worldly happiness we enjoy <occasionally?> only - for a (short) time only".

Douglas doesn't give this compound, but does give: "tsam5 lang5 e5 oe" = "to interrupt a man's talk"; "hO7 i1 tsam5" = "to be interrupted by him". Unfortunately, Barclay doesn't give a hanzi for this.

I speculate that this is "cam-時" (literally "interrupted time"), so that it could be translated as "occasionally, every now and again".

Does anyone know this as a Hokkien 詞語? My parents have never heard of it.

Any idea of the correct hanzi?


#) This one is more complicated

I'm quite familiar with "seng3-te7" 性地 = "temper". However, the monk says in a number of spots "chai1-seng1-te7" or "sai1-seng1-te7" (sandhied). Nobody I've asked knows what this first word could be. There is of course "phaiN1-seng1-te" (sandhied) for "bad tempered", but this is clearly not what the monk is saying.

Context:

"lang5 na kong lang2 bo-ho e ua, lang2 pun mai <chai> seng-te, in-ui lu na <chai> seng-te, co lu e sim luan liau, sua be song" = "if people say bad things about us, even then you won't want to <lose your temper?>, because if you <lose your temper?>, [if you] make your heart in turmoil, then your won't feel at ease."

"i na-si cin-nia ok e lang5 - ta-ta jit <sai> seng-te e lang5, i siauN e siauN ka-liau si ok e" = "if he is a very aggressive person - a person who <loses his temper?> every day - [then] the thoughts he would think would all be aggressive ones"

In one sermon, it sounds more like "chai", and in another more like "sai", but i think the same word is meant in all cases. Of course, if anyone both knows the word AND can give the hanzi, I would be *most* grateful!

Furthermore, at one stage he says "na-si kong lu seng-te cin-nia TUA" = "if your temper is very BIG". This is a bit puzzling. There is of course "seng-te cin-nia ho2" and "seng-te cin-nia phaiN1" for "good tempered" and "bad tempered", but *big* tempered is not a phrase I was aware of, either in Hokkien or English. Anyone every come across this usage?


#) "si1-cin2" (sandhied)

This is perhaps a kind of worm. I'm thinking of "ca3-cin2" or "ca3-cing2" (sandhied tones), which is also a kind of very small (aquatic) worm - found in drains (and fed to aquarium fishes). However, I believe that this latter is borrowed from Malay "cacing", so this might not be related in any way.

The context is where the monk is speaking about someone with leprosy: "thai-ko e lang5, i-e phue nua. tapi i ci-le phue nua, cin-nia gatai; in-ui ci-le <si-cin> - ci-le thang a-si ha-mi, ti-ti ka i" = "A leper, his skin goes rotten. But this rotting of his skin [causes him to] itch a lot; because these <si-cin> - these worms or whatever, keep biting at him."


#) "na2 ka1" = "similar to, like"

Anyone know the hanzi for this?


#) "ti7-ti7" + verb = "to keep on, to repeatedly, constantly" + verb. e.g. "ti-ti cau" = "to keep running", "ti-ti ciah" = "to keep eating", etc.

Is the hanzi for this "直直" or "在在"?


Again, any help would be much appreciated,
SimL

duaaagiii
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Re: Buddhist sermons in Penang Hokkien

Postby duaaagiii » Mon Mar 30, 2009 11:10 pm

  • pa2-ak4 把握 (not sure if this fits)
  • se3-tsun1 世尊
  • hong1-hiam2 風險 (doesn't make sense to me here, might not be a match)
  • tshut4-siann5 出城 (sounds right, because outside of the city is a jungle where tigers roam :) )
  • thoo2-hui2 土匪
  • siong5-siong5 常常 yes, it can mean 'regularly'
  • tue3 綴
  • sai2-sing3-te7 使性地 to lose one's temper
  • I don't know about 'big', but in Mandarin, a big 'temper' (脾氣) means a bad temper
  • tsiam7-si5 暫時
  • tit8-tit8 直直
  • "na2 ka1": in Taiwan, we say ka(nn)2-na2 敢若

Ah-bin
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Re: Buddhist sermons in Penang Hokkien

Postby Ah-bin » Mon Mar 30, 2009 11:39 pm

siong5-siong5 常常 yes, it can mean 'regularly'


I first heard siong-siong last night in the PgHK Podcast. Is that the normal word for regularly? It sounds as if it comes from reading Mandarin texts in Hokkien.

I know there is also tiaN-tiaN 定定 . Does it mean the same? If so, which one is more commonly used?

Thanks,
Ah-bin

SimL
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Re: Buddhist sermons in Penang Hokkien

Postby SimL » Tue Mar 31, 2009 7:44 am

duaaagiii,

Thank you VERY MUCH! This will help immensely in annotating my transcriptions. I'm sharing them with Ah-bin, so *two* people are profitting from your knowledge of Hokkien.

Cheers,
Sim.

SimL
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Re: Buddhist sermons in Penang Hokkien

Postby SimL » Wed Apr 01, 2009 11:30 am

duaaagiii wrote:tsiam7-si5 暫時


Barclay gives 漸 for the first character. Any opinion on the suitability of this?

Also, in my usage, 無理由 means "without reason, unreasonable, illogical, irrational". Consequently,
I suppose that 有理由 could mean "to make sense, hang together, be coherent".

Any opinions on this?

SimL

SimL
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Re: Buddhist sermons in Penang Hokkien

Postby SimL » Wed Apr 01, 2009 11:57 am

Hi duaaagiii,

All of them - including the 把握 pa2-ak4 and 後悔 regret, regretful - fitted very well. (The latter had some discrepancy with tones though).

Thanks again,
SimL

duaaagiii
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Re: Buddhist sermons in Penang Hokkien

Postby duaaagiii » Thu Apr 02, 2009 4:04 am

SimL wrote:
duaaagiii wrote:tsiam7-si5 暫時


Barclay gives 漸 for the first character. Any opinion on the suitability of this?


In my opinion, 漸 (gradual, gradually) does not fit.

SimL wrote:Also, in my usage, 無理由 means "without reason, unreasonable, illogical, irrational". Consequently,
I suppose that 有理由 could mean "to make sense, hang together, be coherent".

Any opinions on this?


Hmm...
In Taiwan, I think we'd tend to say 道理 or just 理 instead of 理由, but 理由 makes sense.
I would tend to interpret '有理由' as 'to have a reason', and '有道理' or '有理' as 'to make sense'.

Ah-bin wrote:I first heard siong-siong last night in the PgHK Podcast. Is that the normal word for regularly? It sounds as if it comes from reading Mandarin texts in Hokkien.
I know there is also tiaN-tiaN 定定 . Does it mean the same? If so, which one is more commonly used?


定定 means the same thing and is more commonly used; it's more colloquial than 常常.

Andrew

Re: Buddhist sermons in Penang Hokkien

Postby Andrew » Fri Apr 03, 2009 8:07 am

Ah-bin wrote:
siong5-siong5 常常 yes, it can mean 'regularly'


I first heard siong-siong last night in the PgHK Podcast. Is that the normal word for regularly? It sounds as if it comes from reading Mandarin texts in Hokkien.

I know there is also tiaN-tiaN 定定 . Does it mean the same? If so, which one is more commonly used?


I've never heard it, but shouldn't it be siang-siang in PgHk?

Also, is tiaN-tiaN the same as PgHk tiam7-tiam7, as in regularly, constantly?


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