Listen to Podcast | Hokkien: How Do You Say “Nice to Meet You”
Watch – 手表 – chiu pio
Really / Very beautiful – 真美 – jin swee
Nice watch – 手表真美 – chiu pio jin swee
John is a nice person – John 的人真好 – John eh lang jin ho
Really / Very happy – 真高兴 – jin hua hee
Meet – 见 – kee
Nice to meet you – 真欢喜见着你 – jin hua hee kee dio li
Nice to see you – 真欢喜看着你 – jin hua hee kua dio li
Maintain – 保持 – poh cee
Contact – 联络 – lian lok
Podcast Transcript | Hokkien: How Do You Say “Nice to Meet You”
Let’s start with the word, “Nice”. Even in English itself, “nice” is a very flexible word as it can be used to describe many things – beautiful, good, and the list goes on. As such, there are many ways to express it in Hokkien too. For example, how do you say that a watch is nice?
In Hokkien, the term “nice watch” can be translated into “手表真美”. Literally, this means, “the watch is very beautiful”. Now, let’s break it down word by word.
“手表” refers to “watch”;
“真” – as we have learnt in the last episode – can mean “really” or “very”;
“真美” means “really beautiful”;
There you go, the watch is very nice. 手表真美.
You may ask, can I use “真美” to describe a person and the answer is yes! However, by using “真美”, you are specifically referring to that person looking beautiful. So it works best if you are complimenting a lady, “My girlfriend真美 “. Hey guys, are you listening to this?
What if – beyond physical looks – you wish to compliment someone for having a nice character? Well, for example, if I want to say, “John is a nice person”, I’ll express in Hokkien as “John的人真好”. It roughly translates into “John’s personality is very good”.
Get it? Great! Let’s move on!
So now, how do we say “nice to meet you”?
This is expressed in Hokkien as “真欢喜见着你”. Let’s break it down again,
“真欢喜” means “really happy”.
“见” refers to “meet” but local Hokkiens in Singapore commonly replace it with “看”, which we have learnt it last week to mean “see”.
As such, there are 2 expressions that you can use interchangeably.
“Nice to meet you” is “真欢喜见着你” while “Nice to see you” is “真欢喜看着你” in Hokkien. I would suggest for you to choose one that you are most comfortable with pronouncing. One more time,
Nice to meet you – “真欢喜见着你”
Nice to see you – “真欢喜看着你”
Are you still with me? Great! I’ve just got one more phrase to teach you today, which is commonly heard in Singapore. How do you say “Stay in touch”? We express this by saying “保持联络”.
“保持” refers to “maintain or remain”;
While ”联络” refers to “contact”.
As such, ”保持联络” means “stay in touch”.
Let me repeat, “保持联络”.
Now, let’s put everything together! How do you say, “Nice to meet you! Stay in touch!”
Go on, pause the audio and give it a try. Learning a language works best if you keep practising. Play the audio only when you are ready to listen to the answer.
“Nice to meet you! Stay in touch!”
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 LearnDialect.sg, 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.