Penang Hokkien lessons

Discussions on the Hokkien (Minnan) language.
amhoanna
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Re: Penang Hokkien lessons

Postby amhoanna » Thu Sep 05, 2013 6:41 pm

Adding IPA was a good choice.

AndrewAndrew
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Re: Penang Hokkien lessons

Postby AndrewAndrew » Sat Sep 07, 2013 9:01 pm

Yes, definitely support the addition of IPA.

Ah-bin
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Location: Somewhere in the Hokloverse

Re: Penang Hokkien lessons

Postby Ah-bin » Fri Jan 17, 2014 10:50 pm

Okay, time for a return to this thread.

The spellings in the Penang Hokkien lessons have not improved with age. Now they are such a mess with exceptions everywhere, and it gets worse by the week By the time you have learnt all of the pointless exceptions to rules which are barely stuck to to start with, you could have learnt POJ and Tailo adapted for Penang Hokkien twenty times over, would be able to pronounce a word as soon as look at it, and would be able to take advantage of all the other great Hokkien resources out there, as well as input methods, the de Gijzel dictionary, and many other resources for Taiwanese and Amoy, which although different, are still useful at least 70% of the time for anyone learning any kind of Hokkien.

The vocabulary presented in the dictionary is useful however, and there is nowhere else in the world at present where the tones on the Malay words are laid out. Even with all the vocabulary, I do wonder whether it isn't more a constructed rather than a preserved Hokkien, since I doubt that people who have such a wide native vocabulary as presented in the dictionary have such highly creolised or 紅毛屎 grammar patterns as are given in the example sentences.

My advice to a prospective learner of Penang Hokkien is to use the dictionary with caution. Ignore the spellings in the dictionary altogether, copy the words you want, and delete the spelling, save only the IPA and the tone, and compile your own dictionary with them. If you look them up by POJ (assuming the IPA is correct to start with) then you can access the Chinese character as well.

AndrewAndrew
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Re: Penang Hokkien lessons

Postby AndrewAndrew » Sun Jan 19, 2014 12:26 am

Well, no point complaining. You'll just have to publish your dictionary!

The number of entries is quite impressive. The most common errors in the IPA seem to be [-k] in places that should be [-?], e.g. lots of [-ok] endings which are impossible in Hokkien.

amhoanna
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Re: Penang Hokkien lessons

Postby amhoanna » Tue Jan 21, 2014 2:55 pm

My advice to a prospective learner of Penang Hokkien is to use the dictionary with caution. Ignore the spellings in the dictionary altogether, copy the words you want, and delete the spelling, save only the IPA and the tone, and compile your own dictionary with them. If you look them up by POJ (assuming the IPA is correct to start with) then you can access the Chinese character as well.

Beautiful, súi, đẹp.

tamoe
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Joined: Sat Mar 22, 2014 12:20 am

Re: Penang Hokkien lessons

Postby tamoe » Sat Mar 22, 2014 3:51 pm

Hi everyone,

I'm chinese indonesian. I would like to learn hokkien. In indonesia, the most used hokkien dialect is medan or sumatran hokkien that I believe is closesly near to penang hokkien which is based on zhangzhou dialect if I'm not wrong.

I found the penang hokkien tutorial in penang-traveltips website is very useful for beginner like me. I like how in the dictionary, the tone number is already written in sandhied form, where in other hokkien dictionary, I have to know the sandhi formula if I want to pronounce it correctly.

I also like the simplified intonation system. However I'm still a little confused of how to pronounce the intonation correctly.

For example, the 4th tone in TJ system (hokkien tone-2): bá. Does it really mean I have to pronounce it from low to high? I feel it's more like falling down tone like 4th mandarin tone.

In summary, my perception of the TJ's four tonal system is like this:

1. ba = High flat: sounds like mandarin tone-1 but more higher note

2. bâ = Rising: sounds like mandarin tone-3

3. It's divided into two:
a. Low falling down: bà = this is kinda hard, sometimes I pronounce it wrong. I imagined the tone is
flowing downward curvely from mid to low. If I could draw, it's like this:
Image
b. Mid Flat: bā = it should be like tone-1 but in lower note.

To simplify, I just go with 3.a. all way around for 3rd tone.

4. bá = High short falling: despite the diacritic mark is going up, it sounds almost like mandarin tone-4 (falling down) but it seems started from higher note and curvely, I imagined it like this:
Image

Any comment for my understanding?

Also, it seems the penang hokkien has limited hokkien vocabulary. That's why there are many loanwords from english or malay language. If I want to borrow hokkien words from other hokkien dialects, which is better to borrow from? Amoy, taiwanese, zhangzhou? I believe zhangzhou is more suitable, but it seems very hard to find the dictionary.

Ah-bin
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Location: Somewhere in the Hokloverse

Re: Penang Hokkien lessons

Postby Ah-bin » Thu Apr 03, 2014 2:22 pm

A lot of reading material has been added to the site recently, and I feel it is time to warn prospective learners that it is not the amazing treasure trove of teaching materials it purports to be. Unfortunately it appears that the more reading material and sample sentence added to this site, the less reliable it becomes as a resource for learning Hokkien as it is actually spoken by the most knowledgable and fluent native speakers.

The author seems to have severe problems with basic Hokkien grammar and sentence structure, and writes many sentences as if they are translated directly word-for-word from English.

Examples:

mien1 tiok3 tan4 a1nae1 ku4 liau4 = "Don't have to wait"

As far as I am aware, the "tiok3" is not used by native speakers, and this is merely an imitation of English usage. Mien alon is suffient for "don't have to"

Ha1mik1 si3 sam3pah4-eh3 kong1ko3? "what are rubbish advertisements"

Here the "Ha-mik" is put at the head of the sentence, again, an imitation of English usage where question words are always put first, and although i have occasionally heard it from people with very broken Hokkien, I would recommend inverting the word order, and perhaps adding "lai" after "ha-mik" - not 100% sure on that one though.

Ti1 Cun3thau2, lu4 e33 ceh3 bas1 khee3 ka1liau4-eh3 sor1cai3 ti1 Penang. "From the Jetty you can take the bus to all places in Panang"

"ka1liau4-eh3 sor1cai3 ti1 Penang" Is again, almost pure English, it just sounds wrong.

Penang e toloh-ui pun e khi might be better… sounds better to me, but maybe I am wrong.

Another one says:

"Yong3 Tau3 Foo3 si3 cit3-hang3 eh3 Khek1 Lang2-eh3 ciak1"

Two measure words in a row - "cit3-hang3 eh3" - not grammatically possible, if the second ê is supposed to be a connector from

A native speaker will say "Yong3 Tau3 Foo3 si3 Khek1 Lang2 ciak1" the extra cit hang sounds like forcing a translation of the indefinite article "a" into Hokkien.

Every reading lesson has syntactical errors and unnatural constructions that are seldom, if ever found in the speech of native speakers,

If you are wanting to learn Hokkien they way native speakers speak it, then you should steer well clear of the reading lessons. Use the dictionary by all means, but with caution. You will need to cross check the meanings with a native speaker, because some of these are incorrect as well. The IPA is also a mess now, and the author doesn't seem to know the difference between a nasalised vowel tilde ~ and the velar nasal ŋ.

I wonder what native speakers think of the above examples. Am I wrong or do they sound warped? Since the site advertises itself as "perhaps the most serous effort yet to preserve Penang Hokkien", I would like to know if we can accuse it of false advertising or not. It is one of the first links you get when googling Penang Hokkien - is it something that should be warned about? I would love to know people's opinions.

AndrewAndrew
Posts: 174
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Re: Penang Hokkien lessons

Postby AndrewAndrew » Sat Apr 05, 2014 9:28 am

I was going to say I thought they sounded like an English-speaker having trouble forming complex Hokkien sentences, and maybe question whether it was not part of the continuum of a creolised/patois language, and whether those of us who knew Mandarin might be stricter on the grammar (e.g. 我去先 is perfectly acceptable Hokkien, but Mandarin-speakers would disapprove) but then I came across this:

Ki3si2 ie1 lai2?
When did he come?

which is so wrong that I don't think even an English-educated Hokkien speaker could ever say it. I can just about accept beginning a sentence with ha-mih, perhaps as part of a question ending in ni? which the speaker then answers, but this just takes the cake.

Systematic mistakes I noticed in the example sentences was:
- location phrases at the end of sentences: te3-it1 tng2 eh3 kio2 ti1 Tang3lam3 A3
- overuse of ê: Pi3nang3 Su3-eh3 sai1-eh3 peng2

Apart from that, direct translations from English, which you've already noted:

Pu3lor2 tok3 si3 Hok1kien1 mia2 hor3 Balik Pulau.
Pu3lo2 is the Hokkien name for Balik Pulau

A3si3 lu4 kau3 poe3ki3tniau2, lu4 e33 ceh3 bas1 kau3 ka1 cun3thau2.
If you arrive at the airport, you can take the bus to the jetty.

Another thing that's symptomatic about the second sentence is the constant placing of 若是 in front of the subject, mirroring English, whereas a native would more commonly place the subject first.

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

Re: Penang Hokkien lessons

Postby amhoanna » Thu May 08, 2014 5:36 am

Tamoe,

Hoan-gêng, hoan-gêng.

Lú sī Ìnnîⁿ tólo̍h ê lâng?

Medan Hokkien and Penang Hokkien are very close indeed. U may want to look into Riau Hokkien.

Also, it seems the penang hokkien has limited hokkien vocabulary. That's why there are many loanwords from english or malay language. If I want to borrow hokkien words from other hokkien dialects, which is better to borrow from? Amoy, taiwanese, zhangzhou? I believe zhangzhou is more suitable, but it seems very hard to find the dictionary.


Where to borrow from -- why not Bagansiapiapi? Their Hokkien vocabulary is real complete. U will have to convert some words to a Ciangciu pronunciation, though.

Incidentally I find that Penang Hokkien is pretty good at inventing new words using old Hokkien words. "Souping up (vehicles)" is called "cng (chia)". In TW folks would say "káicong chia", seems soulless by comparison.

tamoe
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Mar 22, 2014 12:20 am

Re: Penang Hokkien lessons

Postby tamoe » Fri May 09, 2014 10:49 am

amhoanna wrote:Tamoe,

Hoan-gêng, hoan-gêng.

Lú sī Ìnnîⁿ tólo̍h ê lâng?

Medan Hokkien and Penang Hokkien are very close indeed. U may want to look into Riau Hokkien.

Also, it seems the penang hokkien has limited hokkien vocabulary. That's why there are many loanwords from english or malay language. If I want to borrow hokkien words from other hokkien dialects, which is better to borrow from? Amoy, taiwanese, zhangzhou? I believe zhangzhou is more suitable, but it seems very hard to find the dictionary.


Where to borrow from -- why not Bagansiapiapi? Their Hokkien vocabulary is real complete. U will have to convert some words to a Ciangciu pronunciation, though.

Incidentally I find that Penang Hokkien is pretty good at inventing new words using old Hokkien words. "Souping up (vehicles)" is called "cng (chia)". In TW folks would say "káicong chia", seems soulless by comparison.

wa si pa sia lang (sorry if I don't use POJ, haven't fully learned it yet)

Yes, I know that bagansiapiapi hokkien is very similar to taiwanese. Yeah, I think we can borrow from taiwanese or amoy (xiamen) hokkien, although most of their vocabulary sounds a bit foreign to penang/medan hokkien.

Ah-bin
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Location: Somewhere in the Hokloverse

Re: Penang Hokkien lessons

Postby Ah-bin » Fri Aug 01, 2014 3:27 am

Ok, so this is a direct quote from the infallible Pope of Penang Hokkien himself.

For me, the only subject in English in school is English. The rest is in Bahasa Malaysia. Yet I think in English. I am training myself to get used to thinking in Penang Hokkien now, and am able to do translations from English to Penang Hokkien increasingly smoothly. Having said that, some may say that my Penang Hokkien follows an English syntext. I have no problem with that. To them, I will point out that Penang Hokkien is a creolized language, and each person can bring to the language his own input, and the result is still Penang Hokkien.
(August 2 2014)

If you want to see how far that attitude gets you, here is some reading material:

http://www.penang-traveltips.com/hokkien/funeral.htm

That would be hilariously funny if it were not being seriously presented as an example of good Penang Hokkien for learner.

Ah-bin
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Location: Somewhere in the Hokloverse

Re: Penang Hokkien lessons

Postby Ah-bin » Mon Aug 11, 2014 5:49 am

This time I let him speak for himself. I hope no-one dies in the stampede to learn free TJ.

LIMITED TIME OFFER TO PENANG HOKKIEN TEACHERS
For a limited time only, I will teach my system for writing Penang Hokkien to teachers of Penang Hokkien in Penang for free.
People who are teaching Penang Hokkien should learn the system and ensure their pupils are familiar with it. Anybody learning Penang Hokkien will eventually come across my writing system, online and offline, and they will want to be able to read it. It is therefore a disservice to learners of Penang Hokkien if their teachers are not familiar with the system, ignores the system, and when asked about the system, they misrepresent it.
Of course I can't force people to learn the writing system, but I can provide incentives. And for now, the incentive is, I will teach them for free until they are familiar with the system and can use my dictionary to look up words. And any Penang Hokkien teacher who declines to be taught now will not be taught for free in future.
Teachers who learn the system are free to create their own learning material in the system. In other words, they get free knowledge which they can use to make money. They are also allowed to publish books in Penang Hokkien using this system. However, they must observe two conditions:
a) I am identified as the creator. They can the system the TJ System, Tye System or Tye Ji. They cannot give it a name of their own choosing that does not identify me as the creator.
b) Penang Hokkien teachers are not allowed to modify my system on their own. They can certainly provide me inputs for further refinement, and if their suggestions are accepted, I will communicate the amendments to all teachers of Penang Hokkien using my system.
If you know of anybody teaching Penang Hokkien, please ask him or her to get in touch with me, so that I can get him up to speed on the system.

amhoanna
Posts: 912
Joined: Sat Sep 18, 2010 12:43 pm

Re: Penang Hokkien lessons

Postby amhoanna » Wed Aug 20, 2014 3:36 am

Ah-bin, lú ê WIT sī SHARP AS EVER. :lol:

timothytye
Posts: 29
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Re: Penang Hokkien lessons

Postby timothytye » Sun Sep 28, 2014 4:48 am

Wah, Pope of Penang Hokkien! Thank you, thank you for the undeserving honor, but I won't reciprocate. I am not in the habit of calling people names, even if they call me plenty.

I do acknowledge that there were (and still are) typos in some of the spellings and I am working to fix them, refine them, improve on them. I am thankful for the support that I continue to receive from many, many people. I am a gentleman. And despite everything you have said, I would appreciate help from you too. But if you are only eager to condemn, dismiss and condescend, I will proceed without your involvement. So, a person saving his own mother tongue is condemned as having an attitude. Then so be it.

History has shown that the new is often ridiculed and dismissed. The sad thing is that the people who have the knowledge to help chose instead to dismiss and condemn. A weaker character would have caved in to your condemnation. But a year on, and I'm still standing. And the last that I check, I have no plans to die any time soon. So unless you get used to what I do, I will remain a thorn in your flesh for a very long time to come.

Ah-bin
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Location: Somewhere in the Hokloverse

Re: Penang Hokkien lessons

Postby Ah-bin » Mon Sep 29, 2014 3:32 am

Chûi-chûi kóng ài lú sí? Che sī lú ka-kī sio·ⁿ chhut niā.

Lâng m̄-sī hiâm lú ài kiù Hok-kiàn, lâng sī bô suka lú tāi-iát niā.


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