Hokkien words in Thai

Discussions on the Hokkien (Minnan) language.
AndrewAndrew
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Re: Hokkien words in Thai

Postby AndrewAndrew » Fri Oct 15, 2010 11:02 pm

I think the forum owners are doing a very bad job - it is not just this forum but every single forum on chineselanguage.org that is being spammed. It is the same usernames that have been posting spam for the past 3-4 days. They are even posting announcements, which ordinary users can't normally do. Many of us on this forum probably visit it every day or every other day - do the owners visit it once a month?

Add to that the times when this forum is completely down or when the layout is broken. We should definitely think about archiving all our material on here and moving to a more reliable forum.

amhoanna
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Re: Hokkien words in Thai

Postby amhoanna » Sat Oct 16, 2010 2:26 am

Interesting. So we have gùlái (PgHK) vs kalí (TW) vs kēng / kalí (Bagan).

niuc
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Re: Hokkien words in Thai

Postby niuc » Sat Oct 16, 2010 10:46 pm

Yes, gulai is a Malay word for curry.

The spammers are very irritating. How come they are so diligent? Using software? Hope their accounts will be disabled soon...

AndrewAndrew
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Re: Hokkien words in Thai

Postby AndrewAndrew » Sun Oct 17, 2010 6:57 am

Curry in Penang is gu1/5/7-lai2 or sometimes ka2-li2. It depends on the dish - gu-lai-ke but ka-li-hu-thau.

SimL
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Re: Hokkien words in Thai

Postby SimL » Mon Oct 18, 2010 8:32 pm

Hooray! The moderators cleaned up that ugg spam! Weird is that there's a major advertising campaign going on in Amsterdam at the moment for these ugg-boots. I knew them when I was living in Australia, but didn't know that they were distinctly Australian.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ugg_boots

Yes, there's also "ka3-li2-mai7-fan5", which is noodles in curry soup, where the "mai7-fan5" is (I think) just "bi-hun" in Cantonese.

niuc
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Re: Hokkien words in Thai

Postby niuc » Tue Oct 19, 2010 2:07 pm

Yes, thanks a lot to moderators for removing the spams! :mrgreen:

SimL wrote:Yes, there's also "ka3-li2-mai7-fan5", which is noodles in curry soup, where the "mai7-fan5" is (I think) just "bi-hun" in Cantonese.

Sim, so in Penang you call "ka3-li2-bi2-hun2" as "ka3-li2-mai7-fan5"? In Bagan I used to wonder about the meaning of 'chiong3-pan5' and 'han5-ci3-ping3/5', and only in Singapore I came to know that they were corrupted pronunciation of Cantonese 豬腸粉 and 鹹芝餅.

We also call wonton noodles 雲吞(餛飩)麵 as 'uan5-than1-mi7' (the first two TLJ follow Cantonese pronunciation), either as often or slightly more often than 扁食麵 'pian2-sit8-mi7' (original Hokkien term). But without 麵, we always call wonton as 扁食 'pian2-sit8' e.g. 扁食湯 'pian2-sit8-thng1' . This term in Indonesian becomes pangsit e.g. mie pangsit.
Last edited by niuc on Wed Oct 20, 2010 1:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

SimL
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Re: Hokkien words in Thai

Postby SimL » Tue Oct 19, 2010 8:20 pm

Hi niuc,

niuc wrote:Sim, so in Penang you call "ka3-li2-bi2-hun2" as "ka3-li2-mai7-fan5"?

I'll have to check with my parents as it's a long time since I've eaten it (or perhaps Andrew or Mark can tell us for sure). My memory of "ka3-li2-mai7-fan5" is a mix of egg noodles and rice noodles (i.e. the yellow ones and the white ones - "mee" and "bee-hoon", to use the popular Malaysian spellings), with deep-fried tofu ("tau-hu-phok"), bean-sprouts ("tau-gE"), blood-cockles ("(si)-ham"), in a reddish-yellowish curry soup. [BTW, I've never known what the "si" in "si-ham" meant. As a child, I used to think it was just the English word "sea"!]

So, despite the "mai7-fan5" in the name, I think there are also egg noodles in the dish.

We also call wonton noodles 雲吞(餛飩)麵 as 'uan5-than1-mi7' (the first two TLJ follow Cantonese pronunciation), either as often or slightly more often than 扁食麵 'pian2-sit8-mi7' (original Hokkien term). But without 麵, we always call wonton as 扁食 'pian2-sit8' e.g. 扁食湯 'pian2-sit8-thng1' . This term in Indonesian becomes pangsit e.g. mie pangsit.

Wow, very interesting for me to learn this, thanks! In Penang, I had never heard the term 扁食 'pian2-sit8'. Like you, we call the noodle dish with wontons "uan-than mi", but we also call the actual things themselves "uan-than". Because if this, I've always thought it was a Hokkien word. Furthermore, I only learnt of the word "pangsit" when I came to live here in Holland, where it is used exclusively for the *deep-fried* wontons. I used to wonder where this Indonesian/Dutch word came from, and now I know!

[In fact, when I first came to live in Holland in the late 80's, there were - to my utter amazement - *no* noodle soups of any kind in Chinese(-Indonesian) restaurants - noodles were only ever served fried in Chinese-Indonesian restaurants. Nowadays one can get noodle soups, but that is a result of globalization, and only introduced in the course of the (late) 90's / early 2000's. I suppose that even in the 80's one could have got noodle soups in the heart of Chinatown, but these would not have been on the menu, and one would have had to ask for them in Cantonese - in the "typical" Chinese-Indonesian restaurant (there was one in *every* suburb - the 'local/corner Chinese restaurant', where the menu was in Dutch (plus Chinese characters) - and where many Dutch families would eat say once a month - there were no noodle soups. Like I said, I was amazed to find this when I first got here - I guess it could have been an adaptation to Dutch tastes, where a "soup" would never constitute a "main meal" (on the other hand, it wasn't ever on the menu as a "starter"/"appeterif" either).]

On the subject of noodle dishes with Cantonese names, there was a noodle dish served in Penang when I was young called "kuan-lo mi". It was made with a thin, slightly (but only very slightly) translucent/waxy type of noodle - not as thick as egg noodles, but not as thin as rice noodles, and it was served with a very thick, oily sort of sauce/gravy (from memory, with thin slices of "cha-siu"). In contrast to the word "uan-than", I've always had the idea that this "kuan-lo" was not a Hokkien word, but a Cantonese one.

Is this a well-known dish in the rest of the (South) Chinese diaspora?

AndrewAndrew
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Re: Hokkien words in Thai

Postby AndrewAndrew » Tue Oct 19, 2010 11:04 pm

SimL wrote:On the subject of noodle dishes with Cantonese names, there was a noodle dish served in Penang when I was young called "kuan-lo mi". It was made with a thin, slightly (but only very slightly) translucent/waxy type of noodle - not as thick as egg noodles, but not as thin as rice noodles, and it was served with a very thick, oily sort of sauce/gravy (from memory, with thin slices of "cha-siu"). In contrast to the word "uan-than", I've always had the idea that this "kuan-lo" was not a Hokkien word, but a Cantonese one.

Is this a well-known dish in the rest of the (South) Chinese diaspora?


Kon-lo miN is indeed Cantonese - I think it just means "dry" noodles. The noodles, wan-than, chha-siu and vegetables are the same as in the "wet" wan-than miN, only the sauce is different. Like many Cantonese dishes, I still think it's better made in Penang than anywhere else! I haven't been able to get it in London.

SimL
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Re: Hokkien words in Thai

Postby SimL » Tue Oct 19, 2010 11:27 pm

Hi Andrew,

Excellent, thanks! Indeed, it was "kOn-lo", not "kuan-lo". Once you said it, I realised that my memory hadn't been completely accurate. I guess the non-Hokkien phonology of "kOn" might been on of the reasons that even back then I subconsciously knew that it wasn't a Hokkien word.

Very interesting that it's not available in London, as London Chinatown is very very Cantonese...

niuc
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Re: Hokkien words in Thai

Postby niuc » Wed Oct 20, 2010 5:43 pm

Hi Sim

Based on your description about "ka3-li2-mai7-fan5", except the egg noodles, it is very similar to laksa in Singapore (not the Penang asam laksa). Bagan version of laksa is called 'lak4-sai1-uan1'. I am not sure what is 'uan1', 'lak4-sai1' is laksa+i. Tang-ua* 同安 Hokkien often adds "-i" e.g. 'thor5-kha1' (ground) + 'a8' = 'thor5-khai1-a8'; guava 'na-a-puat' is 'nai2-a2-puat8'. It is basically similar to Singapore laksa but instead of thick rice noodles, we only use thin ones. Bagan laksa doesn't have deep-fried tofu, but deep-fried pig-skin (ba4-pher5) or deep-fried fish stomach (hy5-pio7) or none. Sometimes blood-cockles can be replaced with chicken or pork. O yeah, and a lot of potatoes. :mrgreen:

SimL wrote:Furthermore, I only learnt of the word "pangsit" when I came to live here in Holland, where it is used exclusively for the *deep-fried* wontons. I used to wonder where this Indonesian/Dutch word came from, and now I know!

Oh, so "piansit" is not used in Penang... Yes, that is "pangsit goreng" which is common in Jakarta but I don't remember seeing that in Bagan.

Thanks, interesting to know about Dutch not having "soup"... not even chicken or mushroom soup?

I had never heard about "kon-lo mi". I suppose the TLJ is 乾撈麵. What we call 'uan-than/pian-sit-mi' is usually served dry (no soup or sauce/gravy) with a separate bowl of clear soup. In Singapore there is Sarawak "kolo mi", which looks the same as Bagan "uan-than-mi"... I suspect "kolo" is a corruption of "konlo".

SimL
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Re: Hokkien words in Thai

Postby SimL » Wed Oct 20, 2010 7:39 pm

Hi niuc,

Hehe! Looks like there are a number of "foodies" on the Forum :mrgreen:. Ah-bin knows enough of my background to know that I could go on about food for ages!

Hmmm... Now I'm really doubtful about my own account of "ka-li-mai-fan". Indeed, what I describe is similar to (non-asam) laksa, except that I'm not sure whether Penang non-asam laksa has blood cockles in it. Anyway, pointless to speculate - I'll ask my parents and report back here. [Or perhaps Andrew or Mark might care to comment...]

Thanks, interesting to know about Dutch not having "soup"... not even chicken or mushroom soup?

No, they have lots of (traditional European) soups. I meant that the (local, very well-integrated since the 60's) *Chinese* restaurants in the Netherlands didn't use to have *noodle* soups. They might have had other sorts of Chinese soup though - thng1 - but I don't remember clearly one way or the other. The only thing thing I remember clearly is the absence of noodle soups from the menu, because I found this totally weird, seeing as noodle soups are so common in Chinese culture.

Three further comments:
1. I'm not familiar with thick rice noodles. The only rice noodles (bi2-hun2) I know are always quite thin (approx 1mm thick). Hmmm... come to think of it, I know of *extra* thin rice noodles, which are almost as fine as "mi7-suaN3". Perhaps what I call "normal" and "extra thin" are what you call "thick" and "thin"...?
2. I found it interesting to hear that for you the "default" form of uan-than-mi is the dried form. For me, it's definitely the soup form, the dried one (as Andrew pointed out - I'd forgotten that there were uan-than in kon-lo mi) is the "exotic", "Cantonese" form. In fact, I hardly think of it as a form of uan-than-mi at all, just as a seperate dish.
3. Interesting, the intrusive -i in 同安 Hokkien. Is it only when the following syllable begins with a vowel?

Further side 'cultural' note: There was another interesting feature of Chinese restaurants in the Netherlands, which I indirectly referred to in my earlier posting. For most of the 80's and 90's, there were two distinct menus in Chinese restaurants. The first was for the Dutch locals: it had the names of the dishes in Chinese characters (often with Cantonese transcription underneath), with the descriptions in Dutch underneath. The second was purely in Chinese characters, and obviously meant only for Chinese. The first sort was standardly put on every table, whereas the second sort you would only get if you asked for it. Very often, they were even of different colours, layout, size etc. The interesting thing was that there were often dishes on the one menu not on the other, and vice versa. (I suppose this made *some* sense, in that things like pig's intestines etc would have been appealing to the Chinese and not to the native Dutch.) I remember something very similar in Chinatown in London. I think this split is much less common nowadays, as Westerners learn to eat more and more "exotic" things (I have white friends who like chicken's feet, for example), and (correspondingly) more and more Chinese find some of the more exotic things repulsive (as a young child, I used to hate seeing the chicken head floating about among the other parts of the chicken in a chicken dish in soup).

AndrewAndrew
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Re: Hokkien words in Thai

Postby AndrewAndrew » Wed Oct 20, 2010 9:26 pm

SimL wrote:Hmmm... Now I'm really doubtful about my own account of "ka-li-mai-fan". Indeed, what I describe is similar to (non-asam) laksa, except that I'm not sure whether Penang non-asam laksa has blood cockles in it. Anyway, pointless to speculate - I'll ask my parents and report back here. [Or perhaps Andrew or Mark might care to comment...]


For some reason, I've never had kali-maifan, or any form of curry mee. My parents were fairly health-conscious and never introduced us to them. We used to have mi rebus or Indian mee (fried leftover of the former), but only when my aunt made her excellent version at home.

Likewise, we were taught always to ask for no bah-iu-phoh and si-ham in our tsha-koe-tiau, the latter because of hepatitis fears. The former would creep in once we acquired a taste for it, but I've never developed a taste for si-ham.

1. I'm not familiar with thick rice noodles. The only rice noodles (bi2-hun2) I know are always quite thin (approx 1mm thick). Hmmm... come to think of it, I know of *extra* thin rice noodles, which are almost as fine as "mi7-suaN3". Perhaps what I call "normal" and "extra thin" are what you call "thick" and "thin"...?


I'm sure that's not true. Every Penangite will be familiar with at least three: laksa noodles, bi-hun and koe-tiau; five if you include other "pasta" shapes: koe-tsap and koe-kak.


2. I found it interesting to hear that for you the "default" form of uan-than-mi is the dried form. For me, it's definitely the soup form, the dried one (as Andrew pointed out - I'd forgotten that there were uan-than in kon-lo mi) is the "exotic", "Cantonese" form. In fact, I hardly think of it as a form of uan-than-mi at all, just as a seperate dish.


I'm quite ready to believe that konlo-mi is an adaptation for non-Cantonese clients. The sweet dark sauce and bah-iu-poh seems quite Hokkien, and the obligatory pickled green chilis could be a Southeast Asian adaptation. The wan-than are often served in a very small side bowl of soup, as a remnant of the dish to which they originally belonged.

SimL
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Re: Hokkien words in Thai

Postby SimL » Wed Oct 20, 2010 10:32 pm

Hi Andrew,

Thanks for your feedback.

Good that you had such health conscious parents. My father was particularly health conscious too, but in the area of Chinese cuisine that manifested itself mostly in the rejection of pork fat (he would avoid many dishes with lumps of pork fat in them, and those he continued eating, he would carefully pick out the lumps). Up to the early 70's (when we left) there wasn't as much fear of hepatitis (or just plain diarrhoea) in connection with si-ham. I know that from the 70's onwards (probably due to increasing population density, poor treatment of sewage, etc) this certainly did become a problem, and I and my parents have never eaten si-ham on any occasion when we were back on holiday in Malaysia.

Do either you or niuc know what the "si" in "si-ham" is? I can understand your not ever developing a taste for them. I used to find them repulsive as well, but actually "converted" about the age of 11 or 12. While Chinese generally don't go in for raw meat-based food (AFAIK, there are no equivalents of Steak Tartare), there is a *slight* parallel to raw oysters (though not that extreme): one of the known ways of eating si-ham is to pour boiling water very quickly over a tray of them, and then eat them with soy (or chilli) sauce or with a mix of sambal and soy. I think the idea of just pouring boiling water over them instead of boiling them in a pot was so that the flavour didn't get boiled out (because the shells open when they die).

Now that you mention the laksa noodles, I do have a very vague memory of them, but it's not anything distinct at all. "koe-tiau" I know very well, indeed. They had just slipped my mind. Even though "koe-tiau" is *very* Hokkien, there's one dish using it which has a Cantonese name: "sa1-hO3-fan5". This (as probably almost everyone on the Forum knows) is koe-tiau strips about 1-2 cm wide, in a slimy-runny sort of gravy (too thick to be called a "soup", and thinner than what I would normally call a "sauce"), with vegetables and strips of chicken or pork, or pieces of fish. While I find that the "hawker" food in Penang is often better than in Singapore (no offence intended towards any Singaporeans reading this, it's just my personal experience), there are lots of places in Singapore which have good "sea-food hor-fun" (as they seem to call it there).

The wan-than are often served in a very small side bowl of soup, as a remnant of the dish to which they originally belonged.

Aha! Perhaps this is the reason that I had forgotten them.

Ah-bin
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Re: Hokkien words in Thai

Postby Ah-bin » Thu Oct 21, 2010 4:47 pm

While we're on the subject of food (I got to sample many nice things in Penang, and I think I stretched my stomach a bit because I feel constantly hungry now that I'm back in Australia) does anyone know what the hard and brown crusted rice on the bottom of a pan is called. Some people like to eat it. I know it has a Mandarin name 鍋巴 guoba and in Japanese it is o-koge, but does Hokkien have a word for it?

SimL
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Re: Hokkien words in Thai

Postby SimL » Thu Oct 21, 2010 7:02 pm

Hi Ah-bin,

Nice to see you again - haven't seen you for a while...

Hmmm... I don't have an answer to that. The term "puiN7-phi2" (= "rice-scab") comes vaguely to mind, but perhaps the others can confirm or refute this.


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