Listen to Podcast | Teochew: How Do You Say “Understand”

New Words   
English – Mandarin – Formal Romanization – Ours 
Understand – 明白 – mêng bêh – meng pek
Road – 路 – lou – lou
Understand (Singlish) – 听有路 – tian u lou – tia wu lou

Podcast Transcript | Teochew: How Do You Say “Understand”

Hello everyone, welcome to our Teochew – How Do You Say podcast on Well, would you agree with me that during conversations, the last that we want is miscommunication? To minimize any misunderstandings, I think it’s great if we can make an effort to check if everyone is on the same page. Now what are some Teochew phrases that we can use? My name is Eugene and in less than 5 minutes today, we will explore some ways to ask whether someone understands what is going on in a conversation. 

First, you may want to ensure that the other party can hear you audibly, especially if your background is noisy. You’ll ask, “你听有无?”, which means “Can you hear me?”. The response to this question is either “听有” (which means “I hear you”) or “听无” (which means “I can’t hear you”). 

Now, during the conversation, if you want to ask “Do you understand?” in Teochew, you’ll express it as, “你会明白无?”. If someone understands fully, then the response would be a simple “明白”. If not, you’ll hear, “𠀾明白”. Easy, right? Let’s carry on! 

In Singapore, sometimes, you’ll find people asking, “你听有路无?”. This is a Singlish expression of “Do you understand?” and literally translates into “Are you hearing any roads?”. Does this make any sense to you? Let me sort this out! Have you heard of this phrase, “All roads lead to Rome”? Roads lead us to somewhere, thus when someone asks “你听有路无?”, it means “Are you making any headway in this conversation?”. That’s a cool expression to learn, isn’t it? So, if you understand, you’ll say “听有路”. If not, you can say, “听无路”.  

To sum up, the Teochew phrases today are: 

  • 你听有无? 
  • 你会明白无? and 
  • 你听有路无?  

I hope the above is useful for you to reduce any miscommunication in Teochew. Once again, I’m Eugene from and if 你听无路, feel free to let us know any questions you may have and we will do our best to answer. See you the next week! 

Our Philosophy for Learning Teochew in Singapore

While we include formal romanization for Teochew words, we are advocates of easy learning. Hence we encourage you to form your own phonics so that you make an association with these Teochew words quickly. To illustrate, the formal romanization of “Teochew” is “diê ziu“. However, in our “Can You Teach Me” podcast transcript, you’ll find that we use “teo chew”, which we think relates to us better. That said, you may use other romanization (e.g “dio chew”, “dio jiu“, etc), as long as it helps you to make sense of what you hear.