Hokkien words in Thai

Discussions on the Hokkien (Minnan) language.
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Ah-bin
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Re: Hokkien words in Thai

Post by Ah-bin » Sat Apr 17, 2010 5:41 am

This is interesting. Do you still remember the source? Zhongwen.com says it was pictograph of a female monkey! I never knew it either!
I can't remember offhand, but it was a thick academic work based on the oracle bone script. Zhongwen.com is an English translation of the Soát-bûn-kái-chū 說文解字, which was written 1900 years before the oracle bones were dug up, so although it was written closer to the time of the oracle bones, the people of the time didn't actually have access to the characters on the bones like we do.
If you look at the map here. Austroasiatic lies outside China proper. So Bai Yue in ancient times mostly refer to the Tai Kadai and Miau Yau group.
I'm not going to argue with this, but I'll just point out that the Red River Delta was considered part of the various Chinese Empires from the Han to the T'ang for over nine hundred years, and central government administrators were sent there for over 700 years before Chiang-chiu was founded in 686 by the general Tân Goân-kong 陳元光.
The facial features of pure North vietnamese and pure south vietnamese are considerably different. North vietnamese usually are fair skin, oval shape eyes, which is similar to the Tai people while south vietnamese are darker skin, rounder eyes similar to the Khmer people. We should exclude migration of northerners to south vietnam and intermarriages.
Hmmm.... this sort of thing doesn't really work for determining language families and who spoke what in the past. Sinhalese Sri Lankans speak an Indo-european language like English but they don't look like English people.
xng
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Re: Hokkien words in Thai

Post by xng » Mon Apr 19, 2010 8:54 pm

Ah-bin wrote: I'm not going to argue with this, but I'll just point out that the Red River Delta was considered part of the various Chinese Empires from the Han to the T'ang for over nine hundred years, and central government administrators were sent there for over 700 years before Chiang-chiu was founded in 686 by the general Tân Goân-kong 陳元光.

Hmmm.... this sort of thing doesn't really work for determining language families and who spoke what in the past. Sinhalese Sri Lankans speak an Indo-european language like English but they don't look like English people.
I do agree that the Red River Delta was part of China but I am arguing that they are actually tai-kadai in ancestry but are now mon-khmer speaking for some unknown reason. Note that the core mon-khmer languages eg. cambodian, don't have tones.

Sinhalese are not the natives of Sri lanka but are immigrants from North India ie. aryan people who are related to the Iranians. The Indo and the european part of indo-european are too diverse and huge in numbers unlike mon-khmer (with a possibly 'adopted' north vietnamese) who are similar in physical features.
xng
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Re: Hokkien words in Thai

Post by xng » Wed Apr 21, 2010 4:53 pm

Found two more that is similar to cantonese.

Horse - Ma
Old - Kau 舊

If these aren't basic words, I don't know what is. Maybe tai-kadai should be put back into sino-tibetan language family the 'third' branch. :lol:
xng
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Re: Hokkien words in Thai

Post by xng » Fri Apr 23, 2010 3:25 pm

The famous Tom Yam is actually sinitic.

炎 - Iam or Yam (minnan)
Last edited by xng on Wed May 12, 2010 12:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
xng
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Re: Hokkien words in Thai

Post by xng » Wed May 12, 2010 12:06 pm

I just found another chinese origin word

Suai - 衰

bad luck in thai.
b_z_z
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Re: Hokkien words in Thai

Post by b_z_z » Sun May 23, 2010 7:54 pm

I'm a Thai and and happen to see this Thai language relating thread while I searching for the way to pronounce phonetic symbols (which still mysterious to me).
The well-known Tomyam has nothing to do with the 炎. in fact, yam means any sour chilli-hot salad-liked dish in Thai and tom means to boil. so, Tomyam means a boiling dish with yam-liked taste.
however, although it is true the Teochiu out-numbering the other groups of chineses in Thailand I found a Thai word that apparently borrow from minnan. The Thai calls peony botan though the teochiu calls it moutan. besides, all characters of Romance of the Three Kingdom are called by Thai in minnan-based pronunciation e.g. Lao Pi (劉備), guan'u (關羽), Tiao Hui (張飛), Jo Sho (曹操) etc. . (The title is called Sam Gok.) I strongly believe if I am fluent in Minnan, I will find more words borrowed from it.

on the topic if Tai language is akin to Chinese or not, I personally agree with the PRC. Tai may not use pictograph but very limited people can read in old days and the Tai founded independent communities since over a thousand year ago. china listed some tai kingdoms its vasal state but the most rulers of those states seemed to pay tribute just for trading convenience and even more valuable gifts in return from the chinese emperor and china had never really took any action to interfere any kingdom lied below vietnam. the tai of that time might even not know that such thing like letters did exist. if you focus solely on the sound and syntex they are much similar. both are mainly monosyllabic and not many languages are so tonal as these two. besides, in Laotian (the closest kin of thai) the everyday word means not is bo (all of its synonyms are rare words and clearly borrow from others), sound much similar to teochiu dialect of 無.

I don't understand why someone think Tai has fair skin. It is an old Thai proverb saying a pretty girl has Burmese skin and Indian eyes.
niuc
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Re: Hokkien words in Thai

Post by niuc » Mon May 24, 2010 8:40 am

Hi B_Z_Z
b_z_z wrote:The Thai calls peony botan though the teochiu calls it moutan.
Actually Teochew (Teochiu/Tiociu) is classified as a form of Minnan. I think you mean Hokkien Minnan. It is correct that peony in Hokkien is "botan" (bo`2-tan1).
besides, in Laotian (the closest kin of thai) the everyday word means not is bo (all of its synonyms are rare words and clearly borrow from others), sound much similar to teochiu dialect of 無.
It is 'bo5' in Hokkien too. Thanks for this interesting info.
xng
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Re: Hokkien words in Thai

Post by xng » Mon May 24, 2010 9:22 am

b_z_z wrote:
although it is true the Teochiu out-numbering the other groups of chineses in Thailand I found a Thai word that apparently borrow from minnan.
Before the Teochiu migrated to Thailand, the Tai were in contact with its neighbours ie. cantonese much, much earlier in Gwangdong and Gwangxi, China. So the Thai language have influence from both Minnan and Cantonese.

I have already listed quite a few cantonese words like Mah, Kau, numbers etc. Here are more words borrowed from chinese.


1. 'Money'

Ngen (thai), Ngan 銀 (cantonese), Gin (minnan)

2. 'Tea'

Chaa (thai), Chaa 茶(cantonese)

3. Vegetarian

Ce (thai), Cay 齋 (minnan)

4. Chicken

Kai (thai), Kai 雞 (cantonese)

5. Charcoal

Thaan (thai), Thaan 炭 (cantonese)
amhoanna
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Re: Hokkien words in Thai

Post by amhoanna » Sat Sep 18, 2010 1:03 pm

I remember reading a paper on the history of Sino settlement in what became Metro Bangkok. Maybe someone else has a link for it? At one point, most of the Sinos in the area were Hokkien. The Teochews came later. The Hokkiens had all kinds of royal ties :P at that point and they got together to shut the Teochews out of all key licenses, posts, and residential and commercial real estate. Then came a battle royale in the Thai court. The old ruling family was cast out. The Teochews had been schmoozing with the new ruling family for decades. They switched places with the Hokkiens overnight. Cū ánne, Siâmlô Hokkiàn lâng ê siāhoē tiō pangpoâⁿ khì ah.

It seems that a lot of supposed Teochew loanwords in Thai are actually Hokkien loanwords. Take the Thai version of Hokkien koétiâu, for example. If it were a Teochew loanword, wouldn't the second syllable be high-rising instead of low-rising? Since tiâu is high-level in Teochew?

This reminds me of the "Chavacano" "Spanish creole" spoken in western Mindanao. It appears to be actually a Portuguese creole or Portuguese-Spanish creole that got run over by Spanish later on. These things can be very counterintuitive.
xng
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Re: Hokkien words in Thai

Post by xng » Sun Sep 19, 2010 3:45 am

amhoanna wrote:
It seems that a lot of supposed Teochew loanwords in Thai are actually Hokkien loanwords. Take the Thai version of Hokkien koétiâu, for example. If it were a Teochew loanword, wouldn't the second syllable be high-rising instead of low-rising? Since tiâu is high-level in Teochew?
I don't know why people always like to distinguish between this dialect and that dialect.

Teociu ancestors are actually hokkien. It is just like Penang hokkien who has developed its own variant, does that mean they are no longer a hokkien people bcos they can't seem to communicate 100% with their china counterparts ?

Why can't people think of unity rather than differences ?

Back to the topic, when a sound is borrowed from a foreign langauge, the tone or the original sound can be altered slightly. There is not a one-to-one correspondence between the thai sounds and chinese sounds. Eg. Bus is pronounced as 'Pa Si' in chinese.
amhoanna
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Re: Hokkien words in Thai

Post by amhoanna » Sun Sep 19, 2010 6:27 am

I agree with "unity over differences". 100%. As a practical matter, in commerce, education, etc., it helps to think of Teochew, Hokkien, and Penang Hokkien as one language. Whether speakers believe this is another matter.

On borrowing, what you said is generally true. But there's still a method to the madness. The borrowed word tends to approximate the source word as closely as it can, given the constraints and perceptions that are involved.
niuc
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Re: Hokkien words in Thai

Post by niuc » Sun Sep 19, 2010 1:18 pm

Hi Amhoanna

Thank you for the interesting info. Bagansiapiapi was founded by Hokkiens sailing from Songkla. Do you have any references/links about Hokkiens in Siam?
Ah-bin
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Re: Hokkien words in Thai

Post by Ah-bin » Sun Sep 19, 2010 4:44 pm

Thanks Amhuanna for finally providing some proper historical evidence for Hokkien (= Southern MIn speakers from Fujian) rather than the Teochiu (=Southern Min speakers from Guangdong - I put the definitions in here because some people obviously still have trouble telling the difference) origins of some Sinitic loanwords in Thai (many of them got into Lao as well).
amhoanna
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Re: Hokkien words in Thai

Post by amhoanna » Mon Sep 20, 2010 5:13 am

Interesting, Niuc. That sounds like Hokkiens all right, always sailing around. :P You're from Bagansiapiapi? I'd be interested to know more about Hokkien and Teochew down in the Lâm'iûⁿ. Nobody seems to talk about it much. Or maybe they do, but offline. :lol:

I found this interesting article about Hokkiens in Trang, on the other side of the isthmus: http://www.trangonline.com/penangtrangconnection.html

I'll be back if I find anything relating to Singgora/Songkhla. I'll try and find the Bangkok article too, ah-Bin. The whole isthmus from Penang up the tail of Myanmar is really interesting for Hokkienology. People from Tn̂gsoaⁿ were all over the area from early on. Merchants, princesses, what have you. We can safely guess that they were largely if not all Hokkiens. What do you guys think about Phuket Town? I felt that it had this Penang-like vibe. I saw lots of Hokkien faces (I would even say Ciangciu) and met a few people who could speak bits and pieces of Hokkien or had a parent who did.
niuc
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Re: Hokkien words in Thai

Post by niuc » Mon Sep 20, 2010 1:56 pm

Thank you for the info, Amhoanna.

Yes, I grew up in Bagansiapiapi and left for Jakarta to attend Senior High School (different but similar to A level in Singapore), then Singapore since 2001. There are a lot of Bagan Hokkiens in Jakarta & its metropolitan area, also to a lesser number in Medan, Pekan Baru, Cilacap, many other places and even Jayapura (West Papua), and of course some are "scattered" across the world. Another example of Hokkiens "sailing" around? :lol:

About Hokkien (language or people?) in the Lâm'iûⁿ, there are many info here about Penang, right? :mrgreen:

I was in Phuket once but unfortunately never found out about Hokkien people there. While in Bangkok, I met a lot of Teochews, only one Hokkien elderly lady from E-mng whose husband is Teochew.

Btw, your nick name, is it "(I) am Hoanna"? May I know where are you from? Glad to know you here :mrgreen:
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