Listen to Podcast | Hokkien: How Do You Say “How Are You?”

New Words
Hello – 汝/你好 – lu/li ho
How are you? – 汝/你好吗? – lu/li ho bo

Podcast Transcript | Hokkien: How Do You Say “How Are You?”

hokkien how do you say hello

Hello everyone, 食未? My name is Eugene and welcome to “How Do You Say” on Today, you will learn 2 more greeting phrases in Hokkien. After which, I’m sure you will be able to say hello and sound like a natural Hokkien speaker immediately!  

Here we go:  

你好 means “hello”

你好吗 means “how are you”

Within the context of Singapore, you may also hear the word 你(li) being pronounced as 汝(lu). This is due to different variants of Hokkien being used by Singaporeans, including Quanzhou’s, Zhangzhou’s, Amoy’s and Taiwan’s. In Singapore, we generally use Amoy Hokkien as the standard for our vocabulary, with our accent predominantly based on a mixture of Quanzhou and Zhangzhou speech. 

As such, 你好 can be pronounced as 汝好 and 你好吗 can be pronounced as 汝好吗. My own personal preference is for 你好 as it is easier to pronounce without a need for the mouth to form an “O” shape as per 汝. 

So once again, here are the 2 phrases: 



In fact, you can also combine these with the greetings that you learnt in the previous post.  

你好, 食好未? 

你好吗? 食未? 

Now head out and practise these greetings with a big smile on your face! In the next post, you’ll learn how to introduce yourself in Hokkien.  

Thank you for listening in to “How Do You Say” on! 

Our Philosophy for Learning Hokkien in Singapore

The pronunciation of Hokkien words varies from one region to another. For example, Penang Hokkien sounds different from Taiwanese Hokkien. At, we want to make learning Hokkien fun, easy and practical for daily conversations in Singapore. As such, we think it is important to listen to how Singaporeans speak Hokkien. To do that, we have an ongoing process of collecting audio recordings from at least 100 Hokkien-speaking seniors in Singapore and thereafter based our audio pronunciation on the most commonly-heard version.

In similar nature, rather than trying to figure out which Hokkien romanization system to use (e.g. Pe̍h-ōe-jī or Taiwan Romanization System), we encourage you to form your own phonics, so that you make an association with these Hokkien words in the quickest way possible. To illustrate, the formal romanization of the English word, “eat”, is “chia̍h” in Hokkien. However, in our “Have You Eaten” podcast transcript, you’ll find that we use “jiak”, which we think relates to us better. That said, you may use other romanization (e.g “chiah”, “jia”, etc), as long as it helps you to make sense of what you hear.