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Category Archives: Teochew

Teochew: How Do You Say “Favourite Country for Travel”

Listen to Podcast | Teochew: How Do You Say “Favourite Country for Travel”

New Words   
English – Mandarin – Formal Romanization – Ours 
Most – 上(最) – Siang – Siang
Country – 国家 – Gog gê – Gok geh
Play – 𨑨迌(玩) – tig to – Tick tor 


Podcast Transcript | Teochew: How Do You Say “Favourite Country for Travel”

Arrgh… would you agree with me if I say that holidays are always too short? So how do you usually spend your holidays? Personally, the one thing that I look forward to during holidays is to travel and experience different cultures. Speaking of travelling overseas, do you know how to ask someone what is their favourite country for travel? My name is Eugene from LearnDialect.sg and in today’s Teochew “How Do You Say” podcast, we will be exploring more on this topic. 

So first up, here are some new words that you will be learning today –  

“最” which means “most”;  

“国家” which means “country” and 

“𨑨迌” means “play”. 

To ask someone where is their favourite country for travel, I would tap into words we have learnt on the podcast previously and say,  

“你最舒合去底个国家𨑨迌?”. This translates literally into “You most like go which country play?” 

Now, we’ve learnt “舒合” in one of our earlier How Do You Say “I Love You” podcast. Just a quick recap for you, “舒合” means “like” or “love”. Combining this with the new word, “最”, we literally get “most like” and hence, “最舒合” is one way to express “favourite” in Teochew!  

Apart from “舒合” which Singapore Teochews borrow from the Malay language, did you also know that “𨑨迌” is a term unique to Min language speakers, including Teochews and Hokkiens? If you are keen to learn more about the unique language features of Teochew, let me sidetrack a little and shamelessly throw in an ad here… do join us on our Teochew Classes for Beginners. Just visit our website at LearnDialect.sg and look under the tab on “Upcoming Classes”. 

Ok, back to today’s podcast. “Where is your favourite country for travel?”, translated to Teochew will be “你最舒合去底个国家𨑨迌?”  

We’ve now learnt that the phrase, “𨑨迌” means “play”. So why do we use this phrase to infer travel in this scenario? This is simply a colloquial language shortcut. After all, similar to playing, you’ll be having lots of fun travelling to a country that you like, isn’t it? 

So I really want to know, 你最舒合去底个国家𨑨迌? Please share with me in the comments. In our next podcast, I will teach you the names of some countries in Teochew. My name is Eugene from LearnDialect.sg and 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. 

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Teochew: How Do You Say “School Holidays”

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

New Words   
English – Mandarin – Formal Romanization – Ours 
School – 书斋(学校) – ze zê – zih zare
Holidays – 放假(假期) – Bang gê – Pang gare
Go – 去 – Ke – Kir
Study – 读书 – Tag ze – Targ zih
Play – 耍(玩) – Seng – Sng 


Podcast Transcript | Teochew: How Do You Say “School Holidays”

As a child, don’t we just love the June and December school holidays? It’s a time when we can look forward to a long break from school, head out for the latest movies during weekdays and travel overseas to our dream destination. Hi there! If you are still studying, how has your school holidays been? I’m Eugene from LearnDialect.sg and in today’s How Do You Say podcast, we will be learning how to say a few school-holiday related phrases in Teochew. 

Well, growing up, my dad speaks Teochew to me. I recalled that whenever it came to the school holidays and if he happened to be at home, I would have to ask him for permission to play with my neighbour, Aaron. Here’s what it would sound like in Teochew. “书斋放假免去读书,我可以佮Aaron去耍无?”.  

Let me break it down for you.  

Firstly, “书斋“ means “school” while “放假” means “break for holidays”. Combining them together, we’ll get “书斋放假”, that is, “school holidays”. 

“免去读书” literally means “no need to study”.  

Thus, putting them together, the first half of the phrase becomes, “书斋放假免去读书”. This literally translates to, “school holidays no need to study”.  

Now, the second half of the phrase, “我可以佮Aaron去耍无?” means “Can I play with Aaron?”. 

There you go! I’ll repeat the whole sentence for you again – “书斋放假免去读书,我可以佮Aaron去耍无?”. Do it with a nice smile and I’m sure you’ll pretty much get your way! 

Now, suppose I would like to ask for Dad’s permission to head out and have a meal with Aaron instead. Do you know how to say that in Teochew? Pause the audio and have a think about it. When you are ready, play the audio again and listen to how I would say it.  

Ready? Ok, I would make a tweak in the latter part of the phrase by saying, ”我可以佮Aaron去食无?” So here’s the full sentence for you, “书斋放假免去读书,我可以佮Aaron去食无?”. Did you get it? 

Before we end the podcast today, here’s a quick recap of the new words that we’ve learnt today: 

  • “书斋放假” means “school holidays”;  
  • “读书” means “studies”; and, 
  • “耍” means to “play”. 

Hope you have picked up a phrase or two from this Teochew podcast. The team at LearnDialect.sg wishes you happy school holidays!


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. 



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Teochew: How Do You Say “No Problem”

Listen to Podcast | Teochew: How Do You Say “No Problem”

New Words   
English – Mandarin – Formal Romanization – Ours 
No problem / No questions – 无问题 – Bho mung doi – Bor mng doy 


Podcast Transcript | Teochew: How Do You Say “No Problem”

Hi everyone! My name is Eugene and once again, welcome to  How Do You Say on LearnDialect.sg. In today’s podcast, we will be covering a useful Teochew phrase for daily conversations that has dual meaning. This Teochew phrase is “无问题”. Once you learn how to pronounce this phrase, you can either use it to express “no problem” or to indicate that you have “no question”. Talk about killing 2 birds with 1 stone!  

Now, let’s start by learning how to express “no problem”. For example, if I wasn’t able to help you buy fishball noodles, but yet you are totally fine with it, this is how our conversation would sound like,  

I’ll say, “对唔住,我无买你要食个鱼圆面”. 

You’ll say, “无问题”! Well, by now, you should be quite familiar with this word, “无”, as I’ve taught it a couple of times. “无” means “no” and “问题” – the new phrase today – refers to “problem”. So “无问题” literally means “No problem”. 

Or the next time someone tells you that he/she is running a little late but you are ok to wait, you can practise saying, “无问题”! 

Besides referring to a problem, another meaning for “问题” is “question”. So sometimes, you may hear someone saying, “有问题无?” This translates into, “Any questions?”. If yes, you can respond by simply saying “有”. However, if you have no further question, you will say “无问题”.  

So how? 有问题无? I hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s Teochew – How Do You Say Podcast. Feel free to share with us your thoughts by leaving us a comment. My name is Eugene from LearnDialect.sg and 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. 

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Teen actor, Ivan Lo, on learning dialects: Never be afraid!

Celebrity Interview with Ivan Lo, 卢楷浚

Barely 16 years old, Ivan Lo is already a familiar face in Singapore’s entertainment scene. Ivan has starred in many television dramas (Mind Matters, Playground, etc) and several movies, including Jack Neo’s, We Not Naughty. One of his latest show is the popular dialect drama, Ho Seh Bo. With the younger generation speaking less of dialects in Singapore, we asked Ivan for his secrets to pick up dialects quickly.

LearnDialect.sg: Can you tell us more about your dialect background? Do you speak dialect frequently at home or with your peers?

Ivan Lo: My father’s a Cantonese and my mother’s a Teochew. In my household, we usually speak in Chinese and English but, from time to time, we will mix in a bit of Cantonese, Hokkien and Teochew in our daily conversations.

How did you feel when you first knew that you will be acting in the dialect drama, Ho Seh Bo, as Dai Zhengxiong?

At first, I was a bit worried as I thought I would need to converse entirely in dialect. However, I was also very elated to know I would be acting in this show as it would be mostly in dialects. The show has an interesting concept as it connects with the older generations.

In Ho Seh Bo, you acted alongside Chen Li Ping who speaks mainly in Teochew and Zhu Houren who speaks mainly in Hokkien. Did these different languages pose as an additional challenge for you when preparing for your role? How did you overcome it?

Luckily for me, I didn’t have to speak full sentences in either Teochew or Hokkien in the show. As such, speaking wasn’t the main problem. The main problem, I guess, was not being able to fully understand what they were saying. This resulted in me not knowing when it was my turn to speak. I overcame this by trying my best to remember what the end of each sentence sounded like, so that I would be able to continue with my lines.

How do you feel about learning dialect? Was it easy for you to pick it up? Are there any interesting or funny stories that you can share when you were learning dialect?

For me, it wasn’t that difficult to learn to speak in dialect as my father and my aunt would sometimes converse in their dialect. Throughout the duration of filming the show, I was able to better understand Hokkien and Teochew. I don’t really think I have many funny stories when I was learning dialect. The only thing that comes to mind is that my pronunciation is very off and my Hokkien and Teochew mixes up very easily.

Can you leave some words of encouragement for young people like yourself to pick up their dialect?  

All I can say is that you really have to pay attention when someone speaks in dialect. Try to converse in dialect with someone whom you know can speak really well in dialect. Never be afraid that your pronunciation is wrong. Basically it’s just practice and you’ll eventually get better and better.

Image Credits: Ivan Lo’s Instagram and Facebook

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Teochew: How Do You Say “Slower” & “Faster”

Listen to Podcast | Teochew: How Do You Say “Slower” & “Faster”

New Words   
English – Mandarin – Formal Romanization – Ours 
Slower – 慢慢 – mang mang – mang mang 
Faster – 猛猛(快点) – mên mên – meh meh 


Podcast Transcript | Teochew: How Do You Say “Slower” & “Faster”

Hello everyone, welcome back to our Teochew – How Do You Say Podcast on LearnDialect.sg. If you have been listening to our podcast, 你有学着底个无? 有底个爱我呾加一次无? 你明白我呾底个无? Was I speaking too fast or too slow for your liking? How do you ask someone to talk slower or faster in Teochew then? My name is Eugene and let’s find out how to do that today! 

Teochew people use the word “慢” to mean “slow”. Hence, to emphasize the need to slow down, you can repeat the word twice. For example, “慢慢呾” means “speak slower”, “慢慢行” means “walk slower” and “慢慢食” means “eat slower”. On the contrary, if you need someone to be faster, Teochews use the words “猛猛”. As such “猛猛呾” means to speak faster, “猛猛行” means to walk faster and “猛猛食” means to eat faster. 

Now, here’s a fun fact for you. Did you know that while Teochews, Hokkiens and Cantonese people in Singapore use similar Chinese characters to represent “slower”, they have different ways of expressing “faster”? If you are keen to find out how Hokkiens and Cantonese people in Singapore express “faster”, do check out our Hokkien and Cantonese podcasts too!

So in today’s podcast, we have learnt “慢” means slow, “猛” means fast while “慢慢” means slower and “猛猛” means faster. Try using and practising these words in your daily Teochew conversations. My name is Eugene from LearnDialect.sg and look forward to seeing you 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. 

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Teochew: How Do You Say “Understand”

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 LearnDialect.sg. 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 LearnDialect.sg 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. 

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Teochew: How Do You Say “Sorry”

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

New Words   
English – Mandarin – Formal Romanization – Ours 
Sorry – 对唔住(对不起) – dui m zu – dui mm zu
Buy – 买 – bhoi – buay
No such intention – 孬意思 (不好意思) – mo i se – more yi se 


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

Hi there! My name is Eugene and welcome to our Teochew – How Do You Say Podcast on LearnDialect.sg. In your daily conversations, how often do you have to apologize? For me, I apologize all the time as I am rather clumsy, often knocking things over. As such, knowing how to say sorry is rather important for me. 

In Teochew, we express sorry as “对唔住”. For example, “对唔住,我无买你要食个鱼圆面” which translates into “Sorry, I did not buy the fishball noodles that you wanted”. I would say “对唔住” generally represents a more serious manner of apology. If the situation is not too serious, you can use “孬意思” to express your apology. For example, “孬意思,我无Facebook”. By saying 孬意思, you convey a sense of embarrassment or shyness too. 

However, younger generation Teochews in Singapore seldom use ”孬意思” but will instead borrow a widely-used phrase “歹势” from the Hokkiens. In fact, even the pronunciation is followed closely. Hokkiens pronounce it as “paiseh” while Teochews pronounce it as “paisare”. As such, to admit that I’m wrong, I would say, “歹势,我 salah了”. “Salah” is also a loan word from Malay that Teochews often use to represent being wrong. 

Last but not least, you can also use the exact English word “Sorry” to express your apology, but with a slight tweak in pronunciation. Local Teochews in Singapore have adapted the usage of “Sorry” and pronounce it as “Sor-li” so you can say “Sor-li, 我无买你要食个鱼圆面”. 

Did you notice that the multi-cultural aspect of Singapore makes learning Teochew easier, as we can borrow words from other languages? Once again, apologies are expressed by Teochew people via: 
– 对唔住 

– 孬意思 

– 歹势 & 

– Sor-li 

Hope you find the varying degrees and ways of apologizing in Teochew useful. Feel free to share with us your thoughts by leaving us a comment. I’m Eugene from LearnDialect.sg and 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. 

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Teochew: Common Words and Useful Phrases

Listen to Podcast | Teochew: Common Words and Useful Phrases


Podcast Transcript | Teochew: Common Words and Useful Phrases

Hello everybody! This is Eugene from LearnDialect.sg. We are coming towards the end of March, and personally, I feel that the first quarter of 2019 has just flown by! If you had followed our podcast diligently, you would have learnt around 100 Teochew common words and useful phrases by now! How’s that for committing less than 5 minutes a week to listen to our podcast?  

For today’s Teochew – How Do You Say Podcast, we are going to do a recap, so that it’s easier for you to revise what you have learnt so far. Here’s how I am going to do it. I’m going to say a phrase in English, followed by the Teochew translation. Well, I’ll suggest for you to make use of this chance to test yourself by pausing the audio after you hear each English phrase. Ask yourself, how do you say it in Teochew? Remember, you can always refer back to our previous podcasts if you need to understand the context or learn more about the words or phrases. I’ve picked 20 phrases that I think you are most likely to use over and over again in a Teochew conversation. Are you ready? Let’s go!  

There you go. Here’s my list of common words and useful phrases based on what we have learnt in the Teochew – How Do You Say Podcasts thus far. Are you ready to move on to the next level? I’ll see you next week then! 


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. 

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Why Cynthia Koh speaks such fluent Teochew in dialect drama, Ho Seh Bo

Celebrity Interview with Cynthia Koh, 许美珍

Everyone knows Cynthia Koh speaks fluent English and Mandarin. Since her first screen debut in The Dating Game in 1992, Cynthia has acted in at least 70 productions, many of which are aired on local television, including Channel 5 and Channel 8. When we first tuned in to the dialect drama, Ho Seh Bo (好世谋), we were intrigued by how she had effortlessly delivered her lines in Teochew. Wait, did she grow up speaking Teochew? How did she pick up the language?

Cynthia generously shares with us her personal journey in learning and speaking Teochew, as well as how she prepared for her role of Pan Mei Ruo (潘美若) in Ho Seh Bo. Did you know that she can speak other dialects too? Read on to find out!

LearnDialect.sg: You speak very fluent Teochew! When did you pick up Teochew and what inspired you to pick up the language?

Cynthia Koh: Since young, in fact, we converse in Teochew at home with my grandparents, because that’s the only way that they can understand. So my parents taught us – me and my sister – Teochew at a very young age. Even until today, we still speak Teochew at home!

Can you share one or two interesting/funny anecdotes when you were learning Teochew back then?

I really can’t remember because there are so many! Teochew has a sing-song rhythm to it and so even if we are quarrelling at home, it sounds like we are singing a song (laughs). That’s the cute part about Teochew!

Your character, Pan Mei Ruo, speaks mainly Teochew in the show, Ho Seh Bo. How did you feel when you first knew that you had to act in Teochew? What made you want to take up this role, as it isn’t exactly mainstream as compared to a Mandarin production?

Pretty much, when I took up this role, they did tell me that I was supposed to speak more Mandarin than Teochew. And then later on, they changed it. They said, “Could you speak like 70% Teochew and only 30% Mandarin if necessary?”. I remember the first few days on set, I had to mouth my words or I tried to enunciate my Teochew words very carefully. That turned out to be very forceful and I personally felt very uncomfortable. So slowly, day by day, as we were going into the progress of filming, I eased into it. Later on, it became more natural – I spoke as I would at home and it became like a second skin. So it was really really great fun to be on Ho Seh Bo and it was a really really great opportunity!

We can imagine that it must be quite different to prepare for a role in Teochew versus Mandarin. Were the scripts written in Mandarin and then you had to translate it to Teochew yourself? What are some of the challenges that you faced (if any) and how did you overcome it?

Yes, we got our scripts in Mandarin, so we had to translate and make it more fun in our own dialect. Luckily, we had help from 陈澍城大哥 (Chen Shu Cheng). So he mentored the three of us who would be speaking Teochew – Li Ping, me and Ya Hui. At any time that I needed help, I would go to Li Ping first, who would help me if she was free. If not, I would leave 陈澍城大哥 a voice message and he would reply. Because there are a lot of states or Teochew clans, every word may have a different kind of enunciation. So that was something that we had to be careful of. I managed to find a Teochew app which helped me in times of emergencies when I couldn’t reach 陈澍城大哥. So far so good! At least my lines were kind of easy because there weren’t much of the Eldershield or related messages. It was pretty straightforward – everything had got to do with Pan Mei Ruo and her husband. So it had been pretty easy.

The younger generations don’t speak as much dialect today. Can you leave some words of encouragement for them to pick them their dialect?

Generally, I would say that it is nice to know another language so that you can communicate with the older generation in times of need. I feel that sometimes, especially with our increasingly aging population now, it is nice to reach out to old folks in a dialect that they are familiar with. Personally I know and I can speak Cantonese, Teochew, very very very little Malay (I can understand but I cannot speak) and of course, Mandarin and English. I find that this has made it easier for me whenever I’m working or when I need to communicate, e.g., ordering food from someone who doesn’t speak Chinese.

Sometimes, when you can speak dialects with the elders, they feel more 亲切 [warm & sincere] with you. You just surprise them and make their day as you are able to understand them. So yes, I think we should revive dialect. Go and learn from your mummy and daddy. Maybe basic stuff like “how are you?”, “have you eaten?”, “where are you going?”, “do you need help?”, simple things like that. You can start from that and slowly build your dialect vocabulary. Hope you have fun!

Image Credits: Cynthia Koh’s Instagram & Facebook

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Teochew: How Do You Say “Wait”

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

New Words   
English – Mandarin – Formal Romanization – Ours 
Wait – 等 – Dang – Dang
Please wait a moment – 请等一下 – Cian dang zêg ê – Qiah dang zeg air
Him/Her – 伊(他/她) – I – Yee
I will call him/her to the phone – 我叫伊(他/她)来听电话 – Ua gio I lai tian diêng uê – Wa gior yee lie tia diang ware 


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

Hello everyone! Welcome back to our Teochew – How Do You Say Podcast. People often say, time and tide wait for no man. We are now coming to almost a quarter of the year 2019. Have you been making good use of your time to practise Teochew? Well, my advice is, get going and don’t wait any longer!  

In fact, in today’s podcast, we will be learning how to use the word “等”, which means “wait”. I’ll also form sentences using words that you have learnt in previous podcasts before, so there will be opportunities for you to revise and practise! Ok, let’s start!  

Have you ever been in a conversation where it gets a little too fast for you? Well, here’s a handy phrase for you in Teochew that I often use it myself, “等等等, 你会得呾加一次无?”.   

If you notice, I deliberately repeated the word “等” a few times, so that I can catch the attention of the speaker as well as to express that the pace is a tad too fast for me. As for the rest of the sentence, well…. we’ve learnt the words before. Can you figure out what it means? You can pause the audio here to gather your thoughts, while I 等一下.   

Now, the phrase “等等等, 你会得呾加一次无?” means “Wait wait wait, can you say it one more time?”. Did you get it right? I hope so! 

Another common scenario where Teochew speakers use “等” is when we pick up a call on someone else’s behalf. In this case, we will say “请等一下,我叫伊(他/她)来听电话”. The only new word here is “伊”, which means “him” or “her”. Once again, are you able to figure out what the whole sentence means? Please give it a try and resume the audio only when you are ready!  

The first part of the phrase means “Please wait a moment” and the second part means “I will call him or her to the phone”. 

Once again, the 2 phrases today are: 

等等等, 你会得呾加一次无? and 

请等一下,我叫伊(他/她)来听电话 

Hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s Teochew – How Do You Say Podcast. Feel free to share with us your thoughts by leaving us a comment. My name is Eugene from LearnDialect.sg and 请等 one week for our next podcast! 


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. 

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