Penang Hokkien lessons

Discussions on the Hokkien (Minnan) language.
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Penang Hokkien lessons

Post by FutureSpy » Tue May 21, 2013 11:33 pm

Last weekend, I found this wonderful resource for Penang Hokkien on FB. He uses his own romanization, but it's very easy to understand and he does indicate the tones unlike those books by Choon Hoe Tan.

The guy is still posting lessons, so more lessons are probably coming soon :mrgreen: Another nice thing is that he also has a section on names for some Penang streets in Hokkien.

I saw a few posts by Cathy there, so I checked first with Sim to make sure I wasn't double-posting this here :mrgreen:
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Re: Penang Hokkien lessons

Post by SimL » Wed May 22, 2013 4:01 am

Hi FutureSpy,

The "crime" of double posting is far, far less than that of NOT posting :mrgreen:!

We've re-hashed some topics, repeating our (bigotted!) opinions here over and over again, for more than 10 years. I'm sure putting the same link twice is not going to get you banned from the Forum :P :P :P. [But thank you for being thoughtful anyway.]

Yeah, nice site. Very heart-warming to see Tim promote Penang Hokkien in this way. The internet is the future!!!

Also such a relief to see someone write the Hokkien aspirated consonants as "ph-", "th-", "kh-"; the unaspirated ones as "p-", "t-", "k-"; and the voiced ones as "b-", "g-" (i.e. the "POJ" convention). These days it's common for Malaysians and Singaporeans to use "p-", "t-", "k-" for the aspirated ones; and "b-", "d-", "g-" for the unaspirated ones; and 'don't know' / 'mix them up with the unaspirated ones and write them "b-", "g-" ' for the voiced ones (i.e. the "pinyin" convention). The "POJ" convention was well known and understood (by the few people who were interested in writing Hokkien) in my youth, and the "pinyin" convention didn't exist at all, because pinyin wasn't widely known in Malaysia in those days.

The "pinyin" convention makes me cringe, and frustrates me when I see (modern day) Malaysians and Singaporeans use it, because it makes it impossible to distinguish the Hokkien unaspirated consonants from the voiced ones. (And also because the old "POJ" convention used to be known in Malaysia and Singapore, for example, for the spelling of personal names in Hokkien.)

Tim obviously is linguistically quite well informed (and has a sensitive ear), because he uses the "POJ" convention (and is hence able to distinguish the unaspirated consonants from the voiced ones) on his site., And furthermore he knows and explains about tone sandhi. In my experience, most "linguistically naive" native speakers of Hokkien are not (consciously) even aware of tone sandhi in Hokkien, and are quite amazed and intrigued when I point it out to them. Of course - when pointed out - they agree it happens, but then I often get "Oh, but you must do that - it's not [humanly!] possible to pronounce it unchanged."

Cathy noticed and pointed out to me that Tim uses Mandarin tone indications for Hokkien in EXACTLY the same way / system that I thought up for myself in my youth, and which I used for most of my life. That is, even for a few years after I had been reading this Forum, after which I finally *forced* myself to master the POJ tones.

Tim's (and my old) system is namely:

Penang Hokkien tone-1: ba = Mandarin tone-1
Penang Hokkien tone-5 : bâ = Mandarin tone-2
Penang Hokkien tone-3/7 : bà/bā = Mandarin tone-3
Penang Hokkien tone-2 : bá = Mandarin tone-4
Penang Hokkien tone-4 : bah = Mandarin tone-3 (with postvocalic stop)
Penang Hokkien tone-8 : báh = Mandarin tone-1 (with postvocalic stop)

That way, Penang Hokkien appears to have "only 4 tones".

The reason for the mapping is obvious. The tone-contours of the Penang Hokkien tones are roughly the same as the Mandarin ones. As it happens, Penang Hokkien tone-4 is lowish (and hence sounds like a short version of Penang Hokkien tone-3); and Penang Hokkien tone-8 is highish (and hence sounds like a short version of Penang Hokkien tone-1). I emphasize "roughly", because many Penang Hokkien speakers would say "very similar" or "exactly the same" as the Mandarin tones. But I think this is a paradoxical illusion. It is precisely because Penang Hokkien speakers "hear" the Mandarin tones as Hokkien tones, that they pronounce their Mandarin that way. And so that becomes a sort of "self-fulfilling prophecy". Once they pronounce and think of Mandarin that way, then indeed, Penang Hokkien tones are identical to Mandarin tones, under the above mapping.

In reality, I've now realised - and this has been mentioned elsewhere in this Forum - the Mandarin tone-4 - e.g. 會/会/hùi(pinyin) - falls much more dramatically (and perhaps begins higher) than the Penang Hokkien tone-2 - e.g. 火/hóe(POJ), which is only "highish", and doesn't fall at all, or only a little.

For that matter, (to me) that is one of the most striking differences even between Penang Hokkien "hó" (good) and other forms of Hokkien "hó" (ignoring for the moment that many other forms have the vowel "ö" nowadays) - the non-Penang Hokkien forms also drop much more dramatically.

Another "nice" aspect of using this "pseudo Mandarin" tone system is that the tone-sandhi rules for Penang Hokkien are very easy to remember:

- tone-1 and tone-2 => tone-3
- tone-3 and tone-4 => tone-1

Really, it works, even for the ru-tones! :mrgreen: (But only for Penang Hokkien, because only in Penang Hokkien does tone-3 sandhi to tone-1; in most other varieties of Hokkien, it sandhies to (Hokkien) tone-2.)

The only thing that causes trouble with these "rules" is that tone-7 (which sounds identical to tone-3 in Penang Hokkien) "doesn't sandhi". [Strictly speaking, it does sandhi (to tone-3), but to a tone which sounds identical to tone-7.]

I guess Penang Hokkien native speakers just "(subconsciously) internalize" and "know" these two "tone-1 and tone-2 => tone-3" and "tone-3 and tone-4 => tone-1" rules, and then have to "memorize" (when mastering the language, say between the ages of 1 and 4) a subset of tone-3/tone-7 which "don't sandhi" (namely, the tone-7 ones). Indeed, when I was young and first heard about tone sandhi (maybe when I was about 18), I used to wonder why small/细/se and big/大/toa "both had tone-3", but one sandhied, and the other didn't. It was only after quite a few years of reading on this Forum (and other sources), that I came to understand about this merger of Hokkien tone-3 and tone-7 in Penang Hokkien.
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Re: Penang Hokkien lessons

Post by FutureSpy » Wed May 22, 2013 10:30 pm

I think I had come across Tim's website before, but I don't remember having seen such well laid out lessons with audio and tone marks before. Seems like they're pretty much recent. They're really nice. I'm not going to learn Penang Hokkien now, but passive learning isn't a bad idea, I guess! :lol:
But I think this is a paradoxical illusion. It is precisely because Penang Hokkien speakers "hear" the Mandarin tones as Hokkien tones, that they pronounce their Mandarin that way.
So you mean if I was to pronounce these tones Beijing or Taiwan way, that wouldn't sound right in Penang Hokkien? I remember having read such a discussion on Penang Hokkien <-> Hokkien tones mapping before here, but I don't really remember what you guys said exactly. But when I saw Tim's system, I really thought: hey, that's much easier than, say, Taiwanese! But now it's: oh, I think I went too fast... haha
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Re: Penang Hokkien lessons

Post by AndrewAndrew » Wed May 22, 2013 11:07 pm

Yes, what most Penangites mean when they refer to Mandarin tones 1, 2, 3, 4 are in fact 44, 24, 22, 53, when in fact the Beijing tones are 55, 24, 213, 42.

Cathy, aokh and I have all been providing our input. The romanisation by no means perfect - there is no way to distinguish POJ -h and -k, for instance, but at least some thought has gone into it.

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Re: Penang Hokkien lessons

Post by FutureSpy » Thu May 23, 2013 5:44 am

Thanks Andrew! That was very informative :lol:
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Re: Penang Hokkien lessons

Post by Ah-bin » Thu May 23, 2013 3:26 pm

Another interesting thing I've noticed about TT's spelling is how it shows how many people pronounce words in Penang Hokkien. Since he does not read Chinese characters or POJ, what he writes is purely what he hears. So there are interesting variations such as thau for "head" but tha-mor for "hair". For me the character 頭 fixes the whole syllable in my head as an unchangeable element thau but TT and other native speakers may not even realise that they are eliding an original Thau to Tha in this compound when they say it. Another example would be those who do not realise that the word they pronounce as "am-mO" (westerner) was originally made of the elements ang and mO.

Another example is "bart chew" for "eye", where the final -k has become influenced by the initial consonant of the following syllable. For TT (and I guess for other speakers too) the phonology of the word has been altered by association with this common compound, and has retained its "new" final consonant -t, even in "bart-bai" (eyebrow) where there is no alveolar consonant following which would influence change. This has happened with chi-le "this", originally chit-e, where the e has altered to le and then gone off to live a life of its own in saN-le lang "three people' and gO-le mih-kiaN "five things".

So the inconsistancy in the spelling, although I find it a little frustrating (why is it sometimes arm and sometimes am?), is actually a very interesting record of phonological features typical of spoken Penang Hokkien, that someone like me who tends to think in POJ and characters might not notice otherwise.
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Re: Penang Hokkien lessons

Post by SimL » Mon May 27, 2013 4:55 am

Hi Ah-bin,

I agree with you totally, that Tim writing them out purely phonetically is a wonderful way for you to get insight into how they are pronounced in reality.

I too never ever say "bák-chiu" (eye), only "bát-chiu" (though I do restore the "-k" for "eyebrow"). And I never ever say "pàng-jiō" (to pee), only "pàn-jiō". Both assimilations of the final consonant of the first syllable to the initial consonant of the second.

And indeed, I often say "thâ-mô•", but equally often "thâu-mô•" too..

Nevertheless, I think it's better to write them as "bák-chiu", "pàng-jiō", and "thâu-mô•". Learners of Hokkien just need to know to say them in the assimilated way. Perhaps a bit like writing "cupboard" and "handkerchief", when people only say "cubberd" and "hankerchi(e)f"...?
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Re: Penang Hokkien lessons

Post by niuc » Mon May 27, 2013 3:09 pm

In Bagan, many people also say "thâ-mêrng" (tha5mng5) & "thàk-khak" instead of "thaû-mêrng" & "thaû-khak".
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Re: Penang Hokkien lessons

Post by timothytye » Thu Jul 04, 2013 9:24 am

Hi Everybody,

Well, this is Tim of himself. I was searching online for resources on Penang Hokkien, to find out what other people have done on this area, and by good fortune I stumble upon this forum.

It is always flattering to read about yourself, particularly when most of the comments appear to be so encouraging. Thank you!

The "Learn Penang Hokkien" section of my Penang Travel Tips website is my personal attempt to encapsulate and share my knowledge of Penang Hokkien to anybody who is interested to learn it, from visitors to Malaysians of other states. My objective is to make the language easy for casual learners to pick it up, and yet retain all the necessary elements.

I admit that I have to water down some rules, but not till it makes Penang Hokkien unintelligible. One of those rules, which I see being discussed here, is that POJ tone 7 sandhis to tone 3, whereas in my lesson, I regard them as "Regular Words that don't change tones" because of close similarity in the two tones, as far as Penang Hokkien speakers like me are concerned.

I am still posting lessons. Today I completed an article explaining my system of romanisation in greater detail ( ... sation.htm) explaining why I decided not to make use of Peh-ōe-jī, but instead create my own system of romanisation.

I thank you all for creating this forum thread.
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Re: Penang Hokkien lessons

Post by timothytye » Fri Jul 05, 2013 11:37 am

It's quite something to be goggling through the web and stumbling on a forum where you are being discussed!

Thank you very much all for your positive appraisal of my Learn Penang Hokkien effort. I am greatly encouraged.

I thought it would be interesting for you to get an insight, straight from the horse's mouth, to understand and appreciate the depth of preparation that went into creating the lessons.

My name is Tim. Penang Travel Tips is one of some 70 websites I write. It's the one where I describe
everything about Penang, my home island. The Learn Penang Hokkien portion of this website is where I attempt to make Penang Hokkien easy to learn for casual learners, from visitor and tourists to expatriates as well as other Malaysians. To make that possible, I watered down the number of tones in Hokken from 7 existing tones down to 4 for teaching Penang Hokkien. That is the maximum I can go will still retain intelligibility.

To teach Penang Hokkien, I created my own system of romanisation. (Since yesterday, following the feedback from members of my Facebook Group, this system is now called the Timothy Tye System of Penang Hokkien Romanisation, or in Hokkien, Tye3 Ji3, and abbreviated TJ) The purpose of TJ is to preserve the writing style that is already in use in Penang that appears on our dishes, street names and personal names. It exhibits elements from several sources including Malay, English, Mandarin, Pe̍h-ōe-jī and the International Phonetic Alphabet.

Although Pe̍h-ōe-jī has been in use for transliterating Hokkien, I decided not to use it for a number of reasons:

1) A person with a knowledge of Malay and English will not be able to pronounce Pe̍h-ōe-jī with a high degree of accuracy without formal learning. Most Malaysians who are literate will know some Malay and English; they expect to use their existing knowledge to pronounce words that are romanised.

2) POJ uses diacritic marks that are absent in most words written in Malay and English. This requires learners to perform a double hurdle, not only in having to learn Penang Hokkien, but also to memorize those marks.

3) POJ is difficult to type on a standard keyboard. A new form of romanisation, as fulfilled by TJ, overcomes this issue by replacing diacritic marks with numbers that are sequenced to denote four distinct tones. The numbers may be written as subscripts or as regular numbers.

4) POJ distinguishes 8 different tones which were later reduced to 7, when tones 2 and 6 were merged. Although the tones are numbered, the diacritic marks do not offer any clue to the numbering. In comparison, TJ waters down the issue by distinguishing only four different tones that correspond somewhat to those in Modern Mandarin. This simplification facilitates learning without compromising intelligibility.

5) The placement of diacritic marks on vowels to denote tones in POJ creates the issue and debate over the
correct placement of tone marks in the case of diphthongs and triphthongs. Diacritic-based rules (i.e. "if
diphthongs contain i or u, the tone mark goes to the other vowels") are superflous and have no impact on actual pronunciation. No such rule exists in TJ, as the tone numbers are placed at the end of each syllable, helping to split out strings of vowels.

6) Words written in POJ are marked the citation tone (which corresponds with the "basic form" in TJ). Words
written in POJ are not adjusted to reflect tone sandhi. As Penang Hokkien undergoes considerable tone sandhi, text written in POJ requires learners to make inflight self adjustments to account for sandhi. In comparison, TJ requires the basic form (citation tone) and modified form (sandhi tone) to be shown on the text itself, doing away with any need for self adjustments.

7) As POJ was intended for romanising Hokkien in general, there is a risk that it threatens Penang Hokkien's
unique outstanding values, as it irons out the differences. TJ embraces not only words of Hokkien origin, but
all loanwords are given the same treatment, for example, vi1deo4, com3pu1ter4, etc.

I note an observation made on this forum that POJ tone 7 sandhis to POJ tone 3. This group of words are known in my TJ system as "Regular Words that do not change tone". I regard the sandhi to be not sufficiently apparent to matter at all to Penang Hokkien, and treat them as unchanged.

To help learners spell consistently, I compile a dictionary of all the words using the TJ system of

Even now, I am still adding lessons as and when I have time to do so, and hope that eventually, this body of
knowledge will be of great help to people wanting to learn Penang Hokkien.

Best regards,

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Re: Penang Hokkien lessons

Post by Pier » Fri Jul 05, 2013 6:33 pm

Hi, timothytye,
read with interest the comments about using your own system of Penang Hokkien romanisation and ditching the internationally recognised POJ for Taiwanese Hokkien (Minnan/Hoklo).
as far as i knew, it is better to standardise the POJ romanisation rather than creating another writing system. diluting the POJ will confuse more learners and the popularity of the POJ. I know you have explained the reasons, but I suggest you may write 2 system of romanisation (i.e. maintain the POJ).
POJ & Chinese Characters are simultaneously used for the teaching and writing of the Taiwanese/Hokkien in many language colleges and university in Taiwan, Hawaii, Hong Kong, China, USA, France etc. Even Harvard University is teaching Taiwanese/Hokkien using the POJ & Chinese Characters.
Taiwanese Hokkien (Tainan/Tailam) & Amoy Hokkien is the de-facto standard bearer of the Hokkien writing and spoken system with the support of the mass media such as movies, tv drama, songs, varieties shows etc. This standard variety are spoken by more than 30 millions Hokkien native (and non-native) speakers in Taiwan & South Fujian. This variety is also very similar to the Hokkien spoken in Singapore, Central & Southern Malaysia Peninsular and Philippines. Penang Hokkien is closer to Changchew(Zhangzhou) variety but is not difficult to comprehend.
I do not think is is a good idea to use another system of romanisation and ditch POJ just for Penang Hokkien. I will not be happy with your suggestion.Let me put the facts right.
The Penang Chinese population is only about 550,000 speakers. Assuming 100% speak Hokkien that is just the total number of speakers. Medan Hokkien is a close cousin with only about 100,000 speakers. Both the varieties are more like “pasar (market)” type of Hokkien with many borrowed or substituted Malay & English words; substituted whenever they cannot find the right Hokkien words. Penang Hokkien is more like a domesticated sub-dialect not use anywhere else outside Penang/Kedah/Taiping. The vocabularly of Hokkien language by Penang Hokkien speakers are diluting with every generations. Any courses or book on Learning Hokkien must address this issues of using the right (or alternative) words and vocabulary instead of blindly continue to use/promote the wrong words usage esp Malay, English, Cantonese words etc.
This is my honest opinion.
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Re: Penang Hokkien lessons

Post by Ah-bin » Sat Jul 06, 2013 12:25 am

Another thing to consider is that most systems for writing Hokkien phonetically are either based very closely on POJ, or close to POJ, because POJ itself is close to the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), this is true at least as far as the representation of vowels and initials is concerned. Tones and nasalisation are the biggest differences here.

As someone has said elsewhere, the rules of POJ can produce a perfect representation of spoken Penang Hokkien, (except for the loanwords), POJ principles can be used to write almost any kind of Hokkien in Chiang-chiu/Choan-chiu/Amoy, as well as those spoken in other countries. Only the tones are a problem , and the tone numbering system is a good solution to the problem for those who want to start learnnig Penang-style Hokkien.

To my mind, the most important thing for any system is that sounds are represented systematically. i.e. where an ordinary Penangite nasalises, the romanisation needs to show nasalisation. Writing knia n one place and kia in another is not really acceptable unless Penangites actually pronounce these differently in differnt places.

Vowel quality is the same, if pronounced the same it should not be written differently in different places, -ah in one place and -a somewhere else implies there is a difference in speech which does not actually exist. The example of Tha-mo I mentioned above makes sense if a true representation of speech is intended, but why "yew" in one place and "eu" another, or "jee" and "ji"? Why make it hard for people to write it out right (pun intended)?
Pier wrote:The vocabularly of Hokkien language by Penang Hokkien speakers are diluting with every generations. Any courses or book on Learning Hokkien must address this issues of using the right (or alternative) words and vocabulary instead of blindly continue to use/promote the wrong words usage esp Malay, English, Cantonese words etc.
This is my honest opinion.
I don't really agree with this. If you say there is a "right" word for something, then whose "right" is it Amoy, Taiwan MOE, Douglas, Bodman, Ong Iok-tek, a Singapore unker?

Is óh-tn̂g "right" for school, or is the Japanese loan "hák-hàu" the "correct" one?

There is a balance to be struck in Penang Hokkien, and it is not a simple issue of replacing vocabulary items. Malay and English words have become fully ingrained into the structure of Penang Hokkien. You might be able to stop people from using certain words which have Hokkien alternatives, but in Penang there simply is no replacement for words like pun, and balu, removing these words from Penang Hokkien (or Northern Malaysian Hokkien) would fundamentally alter the structure of the language, and it would no longer be Penang Hokkien.

Why is it that so many people who speak any kind of Chinese can accept that there are regional and national differences in English vocabulary and grammar, but as soon as it gets to anything to do with their own language they have to say that things are right or wrong? It is an interesting psychological phenomenon. Shall we blame 秦始皇 for this obsession with uniformity?
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Re: Penang Hokkien lessons

Post by timothytye » Sat Jul 06, 2013 7:48 am

Thank you Pier and Ah-bin for your highly appreciated input.

Here are some concessions that I can make. Firstly, per suggestion from Pier, is to provide the corresponding spelling in POJ and Chinese characters in the dictionary that I am in the midst of compiling ( ... nglish.htm) That way, those who are interested can view how the words are spelled in POJ, and what the Chinese characters look like.

I have a fear and concern about using Pe̍h-ōe-jī because the pronunciation of Hokkien is not always the same as that of Penang Hokkien. Even the name Pe̍h-ōe-jī itself is not a Penang Hokkien pronunciation. In Penang Hokkien, I pronounce it as Pek3wa3ji3 (using the system I created). The main fear is that Pe̍h-ōe-jī will open learners to Pe̍h-ōe-jī material that will threaten the survival of Penang Hokkien.

Taiwanese Hokkien will survive, but Penang Hokkien will not survive if it is threatened by intrusion created by Pe̍h-ōe-jī. I hope you can understand my fear.
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Re: Penang Hokkien lessons

Post by amhoanna » Sat Jul 06, 2013 1:55 pm


U're hard-working, creative, passionate, focused, and Penang-centric. All this is Grade A stuff. But I wouldn't recommend your site to anybody for learning Hokkien, yet.

The Timothy Tye System is what makes your site useless for learners. Now, I tend to agree that some of your departures from POJ are justified and workable. For instance, you use tone contours instead of tonemes (tone categories). U've traded some elegance for user-friendliness, and it might've been a good trade. I also agree that the diacritics are confusing for learners, and numbers can work in the long run, with the right software, etc., as in Thai.

I agree that since your target audience is Malay-literate, the ideal system would be modified to be more compatible with Malay.

Fortunately, since Malay spelling is consistent and regular, and POJ is too, any writing system inspired by these two would naturally be consistent and regular.

But to then try and incorporate the colonial Angmo "sukah-sukah" spellings (CASSS) of Hokkien names that pepper signs, menus and name rolls in the former British colony of Malaya ... is madness. All the consistency, regularity, and user-friendliness of your system vanishes with that. Can a snake eat a whale? It would choke and die. You are trying to trade both user-friendliness and elegance ... for what?

The CASSS have the advantage of being familiar, but that's all. They were designed to be used in English texts and contexts ONLY -- just like the names "Singapore" and "Malacca". Waktu kita menulis dengan bahasa Melayu, ditulis "Singapore"? Tidak, ditulis "Singapura" itu. Ditulis "Malacca"? Tiada, hanya "Melaka" saja.

Bythe same token, "char kuay teow" and "char koay teow" were only meant to be used in English, NOT in Penang Hokkien itself (nor in real Malay).

Let us de-colonize our minds. :lol:

Familiarity only takes you so far. For instance, someone who's only driven a Proton with an automatic transmission is used to the "gears" all being in a straight line. Now, let's say that person wants to learn stickshift. A hypothetical stickshift car that had all the gears in a straight line WOULD be easier for him or her to learn to drive -- FOR ABOUT FIVE MINUTES. After that it'd just help her get in a wreck. The regular, normal stickshift pattern could be a little hard to digest -- for a few hours. But once our friend gets on the road, it's way easier to shift than a straight-line gearshift (hypothetically) would be.

Bahasa Melayu is consistent and regular through and through. What you read is what you hear. There are just two exceptions, two instances where two different sounds map to one spelling in Malay. One is "e", which can be either a central vowel or a front vowel. The other is final "-k", which is usually a glottal stop but is also a real final -k at times.

My advice to you is to practice what U suggested: make your system friendly to the Malay-literate user. Believe me, U will be a hit on both sides of the Straits of Malacca.

P/S I'm not saying U should use POJ, but I think U misunderstand POJ. Writing in POJ does not mean writing in Amoy Hokkien or Taiwanese Hokkien. You can write in POJ in any dialect of Hokkien or Teochew. It's true that POJ was never really adapted to the Coanciu City-, Engchun-, and Klang-type dialects, but PngHkn isn't affected at all. A gentleman from Alor named Lo̍h Cín'ui writes in Alor / Penang Hokkien in POJ all the time. He does not bow to Amoy or Taiwanese Hokkien at all. Loanwords from Malay, Cantonese, English, Teochew and Thai are included in all their glory, and spelled consistently using POJ -- which he would spell Pe̍eh-uā-jī. That's not an Angmo "ee"; that's a Ciangciu / PngHkn "ee", standing for the open "e" that is used in Penang, Medan, Phuket, and Ciangciu, but not in Klang, Amoy, Taiwan, etc.
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Re: Penang Hokkien lessons

Post by timothytye » Sat Jul 06, 2013 8:43 pm

Thank you amhoanna for your view. Let me share with you the thought process that went into creating my own system of writing.

It will help to provide you insight into why I do it, whom it is supposed to reach, answer some questions and more.

I agree with what you wrote, that writing in POJ does not mean writing in Amoy Hokkien or Taiwanese Hokkien. POJ and TJ are almost identical, if we strip off the diacritic marks from one and tone numbers from the other. Then why create a different system? TJ is meant to preserve the unique outstanding value of Penang Hokkien. And what's that? Well, if you understand what that is, you would not have written your respond the way you have.