Hokkien words in Thai

Discussions on the Hokkien (Minnan) language.
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SimL
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Re: Hokkien words in Thai

Post by SimL » Mon Sep 20, 2010 3:32 pm

amhoanna wrote:...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.
Hi amhoanna,

Welcome to the Forum. Thanks for your really interesting contributions.

Two reactions to what you said:

1. These days, the most internationally famous (and perhaps most spectacular) Kiu Ong Ia / Nine Emperor Gods festival in the world seems to be the one in Phuket. And indeed, the Kiu Ong Ia is a uniquely Hokkien festival, which would imply that there is a very strong Hokkien influence in Phuket.

2. When I was studying, in the mid 1970's, one of my fellow students took a trip to Penang. He came back with an amazing statement (a revelation to me at the time). He said: "Before I went to Penang, I thought your face was just 'your' face - i.e. unique to Sim - but when I was wandering around in Penang, I had such a strong feeling that 60% of the people looked like you! I.e. apparently, you have 'typically Hokkien' features".

Years later, I had a very similar experience, the other way around. In the late 1980's I was living in Darwin, Australia, and a friend of mine there - Ian - was from rural Scotland (around Ayr). After I had known him for about 5 years I went to that part of Scotland as part of a work assignment. Suddenly, I noticed that facial features which I had always thought of as being "unique to Ian" were shared by a very large proportion of the population.

So (but perhaps this is not a world-shattering revelation!), there appear to be facial features which can be considered to be "typically X".
SimL
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Re: Hokkien words in Thai

Post by SimL » Mon Sep 20, 2010 3:43 pm

xng wrote:... I don't know why people always like to distinguish between this dialect and that dialect.
Perhaps they do it because there are differences between the various forms, and it's interesting to talk about the differences, and speculate / try to trace the reasons, origins, history, etc of them.

As far as I can see, we all distinguish the one from the other, but (yet again) there is only one Forum member who constantly criticises the one form or the other, or (in the case of Teochew) tries to say that "it's just Hokkien". All the other members just respect all the different forms, allow others to speak them and speak about them, call them what most people call them, etc, etc, without this constant whining negativity.

I'm sorry for putting it so bluntly, but to be honest, I find this negativity really irritating. Where I come from, a nice rule-of-thumb is: "If you don't have anything pleasant to say, don't say anything".
amhoanna
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Re: Hokkien words in Thai

Post by amhoanna » Tue Sep 21, 2010 2:31 am

Hi, Niuc. When you say Bagan Hokkiens, do you mean Hokkiens that migrated to Bagansiapiapi, then spread out from there all over the islands?

Do the Bagan Hokkiens have ties or similarities to the Hokkiens across the Straits in Klang or Melaka?

I think I misused the word Lâm'iûⁿ. I wanted to say Ìnnî without saying Ìnnî, or Hoanpêng. :lol: The Vietnamese call it Namdương = 南洋. What I meant to say was that whereas pop Hokkienology ("Holology"?) is widespread in Malaysia——probably much more than in China or Taiwan, even——there doesn't seem to be anything similar coming out of Sumatra. But then again the Malay-Indonesian-language webscape doesn't cover Malay-Indonesian-speaking society to the same extent that the English- or Chinese-speaking webscape does, so maybe people just talk about it? In the meantime, I've never been to Sumatra and I'm curious how widely Hokkien is spoken, how it is spoken, etc. Or maybe there's a thread on it on this forum. I should check. :P

My handle is Àmhoanná. Stealth Savage, if you will. :mrgreen: Goá sī Tâi'oân lâng, m̄ koh goá hibāng kaji̍p ASEAN. :wink: Cin hoaⁿhí kap lín ta̍kgê se̍ksāi.
amhoanna
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Re: Hokkien words in Thai

Post by amhoanna » Tue Sep 21, 2010 2:45 am

Thanks, SimL! It's good to be here.

Your post reminded me: I went to Phuket right after the Kiu'ong'ia festival. There were Kiu'ong'ia banners hanging everywhere. Considering the scale of the thing, it probably means that there's people who are culturally Thai for the most part but incorporate one or more Hokkien dieties into their beliefs or rituals.

I came across a paper some time ago talking about the Hokkiens in Kelantan. There's a peranakan / sinkheh split. The sinkheh Hokkiens are joined by Cantonese, Hakka, etc., the usual suspects. The peranakans live in the countryside and call themselves Tn̂glâng as opposed to Tn̂gsoaⁿ lâng, which is what they call the sinkheh. The interesting thing is that they have a third, Thai element in their cultural mix, so that they are in a sense religiously Thai. There's also been a good bit of intermarriage between them and the local Thais.

Here's a books.google link in case anybody is interested (might be good to scroll to the table of contents first):
http://books.google.com/books?id=B-wlX4 ... &q=hokkien kelantan&f=false
SimL
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Re: Hokkien words in Thai

Post by SimL » Tue Sep 21, 2010 11:42 am

Hi amhoanna,

Fascinating stuff you know and write about. Please let me say that I really appreciate your postings.

For a number of years I was in contact with a guy whose parents migrated from Taiwan to the US when he was 5 years old. As he's probably now in his early to mid 40's, he must have been born in the late 1960's / early 1970's, and so his parents were possibly part of the same 'wave' of Taiwanese migrants that you mentioned.

His background however was possibly very different from yours. Both his parents were "Mainlanders" (or perhaps more accurately, of Mainland descent). As they had left Taiwan so long ago, I had the feeling that they had preserved many of the attitudes of (some) Taiwanese from the 70's (a common feature of migrants, who often hold on to the customs and attitudes of their home country at the time they left). For example, even though he was relatively young, and born in Taiwan, he was definitely of the opinion that Taiwan was a part of China (though probably not of the PRC). He felt nothing for Taiwanese independence, and he felt nothing for Hokkien or Hakka (he could never remember if I spoke Hokkien or Hakka).

Yes, in Penang in my youth (in the 1960's and 70's), the split between peranakan and sinkheh was still quite strong. In those days, peranakan NEVER spoke Mandarin (or if they did, then very haltingly - as a badly learned foreign language), they sent their children to English school (and hence to higher education in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, NZ), whereas sinkheks generally didn't speak English very well (though many could speak it reasonably). Many sent their children to Chinese school (though many sent their children to English school too). There were of course all sorts of other differences in food and custom and language usage.

Interesting to hear that there is still quite a split in Kelantan. I had the feeling the last 2 times I was back in Penang (mid and late 2000's) that the distinction was more or less obliterated nowadays, in urban Penang. Lots of my Baba cousins married non-Babas (whereas in my father's generation, he was the only one of all his siblings and cousins who married a non-Baba), and a certain number of these cousins of mine (particularly the ones married to non-Babas) sent their children to Chinese school (unthinkable for a Baba in my youth). Basically, the Babas have become "more Chinese", and the sinkheks eat more Malay/Indian food and probably use more Malay words in their vocabulary, so the two groups become less distinct. I can relate another small fact which shows the strength of the split in my parents' generation, but I'll leave that for another time.

PS. There are quite a lot of Kiu-Ong-Ia spirit medium clips on youtube. Mostly from Phuket, but also from other temples in Malaysia. There was a thread on this some time back - if I get some time, I'll look for it for you.
niuc
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Re: Hokkien words in Thai

Post by niuc » Tue Sep 21, 2010 2:01 pm

Hi Amhoanna

Yes, usually just called "Bagan-lang". Bagan Hokkiens may not have much (direct) blood ties with Hokkiens in Klang or Melaka, but linguistically Bagan Hokkien-ue is more similar to Hokkien in Southern Malaysia and Singapore than to Penang (Northern Malaysia). Our variant is basically Tang-ua*-ue 同安話.

O i c, personally I think of Lâm'iûⁿ as to mean South East Asia, especially Indonesia, Malaysia & Singapore. Hoan-a 番仔 in Bagan usually refers to Indonesian natives, so I usually think of huan-pin (Hoanpêng) as Indonesia and Malaysia (since Malaysian Malays are related to Indonesia Malays).

In Sumatra, Medan Hokkien is very similar to Penang Hokkien and they still actively use it. Chinese in Bagan and some surrounding towns & villages (including smaller number of Teochews, Hainanese and Hakka) still speak Hokkien. However, children of those who moved to Jakarta or elsewhere usually are losing their ability to speak Hokkien due to their environments. You can visit Medan or Bagan to see it :mrgreen:
Ah-bin
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Re: Hokkien words in Thai

Post by Ah-bin » Wed Sep 22, 2010 6:54 am

and Thai words in Hokkien....

I bought a copy of 泰国的三个汉语方言 (Three Chinese Dialects of Thailand) by 陈晓锦 Chen Xiaoqin on my way through Canton, Like the author's book about Malaysian Chinese it describes Teochiu, Cantonese and Hakka. giving 3800 character readings, 2200 vocabulary items and a section on the grammar of each dialect.

What I found interesting was that she notes the "pa" in "soaN-pa" (jungle or forest) as a borrowing from Thai into Teochiu, Hakka, and Cantonese. I recall this was mentioned somewhere before. I wonder if this word got down as far as Indonesia, and I wonder how it got into Penang Hokkien? It is used there in one of my favourite insults "soaN-pa-kau" - literally a "jungle monkey" referring to a boorish person.
SimL
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Re: Hokkien words in Thai

Post by SimL » Wed Sep 22, 2010 6:59 am

Ah-bin wrote:It is used there in one of my favourite insults "soaN-pa-kau" - literally a "jungle monkey" referring to a boorish person.
ROTFL!!!

Your vocabulary is really getting good! I haven't heard this one for years (for me, also has some connotations of the person being a hooligan - i.e. there would be some element of "threat of violence" in the person's behaviour as well; but only a connotation, not a "meaning" which is strictly present).

Excellent, excellent!
SimL
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Re: Hokkien words in Thai

Post by SimL » Wed Sep 22, 2010 7:10 am

niuc wrote:... In Sumatra, Medan Hokkien is very similar to Penang Hokkien and they still actively use it. ...
Hi niuc,

You had told us this in earlier postings, so I had known it for a number of years, but it was really brought home to me again when I met this lady from Medan at the EATS conference. With her, I felt 100% comfortable, as I felt that I was simply speaking Penang Hokkien. From memory, there were one or two phrases or terms which were different, and we noticed and talked about them then. Unfortunately, I didn't make notes of that.

Now, thinking back, I recall that I *had* met a guy from Medan in Amsterdam, about 15 years ago. I had forgotten about him until writing this reply. We didn't speak much, but I now realise that when we did say some things to one another in Hokkien, it too was very similar. Somehow it didn't make as much of an impression on me at the time - perhaps because Hokkien hadn't yet become one of my major areas of interest.
niuc
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Re: Hokkien words in Thai

Post by niuc » Thu Sep 23, 2010 2:59 am

Ah-bin wrote:What I found interesting was that she notes the "pa" in "soaN-pa" (jungle or forest) as a borrowing from Thai into Teochiu, Hakka, and Cantonese. I recall this was mentioned somewhere before. I wonder if this word got down as far as Indonesia, and I wonder how it got into Penang Hokkien? It is used there in one of my favourite insults "soaN-pa-kau" - literally a "jungle monkey" referring to a boorish person.
Ah-bin, excellent term indeed! :lol: Yes, 'pa1' is very "natural" in my variant, in fact we usually say 'sua*1-pa1' 山芭 or 'pa1-lai7' 芭內 rather than 'chiu7-na5' 樹林. Around Bagansiapiapi there are islands/villages named 'si3-kak4-pa1' 四角芭 rectangular/square forest, 'chau3-ta1-pa1' 臭乾(焦)芭 scorched forest, 'tua7-pa1' 大芭 big forest.... I think I had posted last time, but no harm to repeat here :mrgreen: , interestingly 'pa1' in Bagan context itself can mean part of the town (which was a forest), we have 'pa1-lia4/jia4' (not sure what is lia/jia here) for the downtown/centre, 'ting2-pa1' 頂芭 southern (upstream) part and 'e7-pa1' 下芭 northern (downstream) part of Bagansiapiapi.

I didn't know 'pa' is a Thai word. Thanks for the info.
SimL wrote: You had told us this in earlier postings, so I had known it for a number of years, but it was really brought home to me again when I met this lady from Medan at the EATS conference. With her, I felt 100% comfortable, as I felt that I was simply speaking Penang Hokkien. From memory, there were one or two phrases or terms which were different, and we noticed and talked about them then. Unfortunately, I didn't make notes of that.
Sim, it must be a very happy occasion to meet someone who speak very similar variant, especially in a place like Europe! :mrgreen: It would be great should you have taken note of that, but I think you are still in contact with her, so next time you still can find out more and share with us! 8)
Now, thinking back, I recall that I *had* met a guy from Medan in Amsterdam, about 15 years ago. I had forgotten about him until writing this reply. We didn't speak much, but I now realise that when we did say some things to one another in Hokkien, it too was very similar. Somehow it didn't make as much of an impression on me at the time - perhaps because Hokkien hadn't yet become one of my major areas of interest.
My experience with Medan Hokkien speakers was typical that I could understand their Hokkien more than they mine. Many of them "complained" that Bagan Hokkien was too "heavy", most probably referring to our accent (lower pitch). My sister can speak Medan Hokkien as she lived there for several years. So far I only could try to highlight (repeat) certain words in Medan variant for them to understand me better. If we still couldn't communicate well, we switched to Indonesian or Mandarin. :oops:

In Singapore, some of my colleagues speak to me in Hokkien, often mixed with Mandarin, Teochew, Cantonese and surely English. Rojak! :mrgreen:
amhoanna
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Re: Hokkien words in Thai

Post by amhoanna » Thu Sep 23, 2010 3:31 am

Thanks, SimL. It's great to be here. I must've stumbled across some of you guys' comments as far back as 2006. Good stuff! I promised myself I would come over and do some reading as soon as I had time.

When I lived in N America, I knew a good number of people from the same background as your acquaintance. No offense intended, but I would describe them as refugees from an imaginary country (the old ROC) which doesn't really exist anymore... The "fusion" ROC that exists today, or even as it existed in the 70s, falls way short of their vision, and I think they've always held it against Taiwan for that. It's true that in the US, esp, you'll meet proto-Blue aSoaⁿ (some prefer "goāséng") emigrées with "unadulterated" viewpoints which reflect the state of the discussion at the time they left. They feel out of touch with modern Taiwan. Gún lāupē tō sī ánne. Since they don't speak Holo, I think they feel naked w/o martial law. :lol: In the US, you also find hardline proto-Green emigrées holding on to a vision of Taiwan which, although arguably better than the status quo, is pretty deluded. But both groups of emigrées live in the US, will probably die in the US, and vote Republican all the way. :lol:

Hi, Niuc. I've been wanting to go to Sumatra for a long time, esp the Minangkabau area to see if I can get cio'd (as in "hō͘'n̂g cio", "hō͘ lâng cio") by a Minang family :P But it seems like bahasa Hokkien doesn't go far on that side of the island.
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Re: Hokkien words in Thai

Post by amhoanna » Thu Sep 23, 2010 3:53 am

Here's a closely related thread over at Thai Language dot com:

http://www.thai-language.com/forums/t/l ... tion/t2170

Interesting discussion of land-based loans vs sea-based loans.

Thai Language hosts probably the best Thai-English-Thai dictionary on the web. Somebody compiled a page of Teochew loanwords:

http://www.thai-language.com/id/589976/

From reading the thread, I'd suspect that the list is the tip of an iceberg...

Based on tone contours, it's "probable" that some of the words on the list were loaned from a Coanciu-type dialect of Holo.

ก๋วยเตี๋ยว = 粿條 koétiâu: second syllable is low-rising (like Hokkien), not high-rising (like the high-flat in Teochew)

บุ๋น = 文 bûn ... has a low-rising tone also.

So on and so forth for anything that comes from 阳平, this is where Hokkien and Teochew differ.

บู๊ = 武 bú ... has a high-rising tone, likely an approximation of the high-flat 阴上 citation tone in some Coanciu dialects. Teochew tone would be high-falling (citation) or high-rising (non-citation), just like in Lo̍kkáng.

หุ้น = 份 hūn (share of stock) ... is high-falling, like the 41 去聲 contour in those same Coanciu dialects... Teochew 份 would be low-level or low-falling at all times.

Then again,

เถ้าแก่ / เถ้าแก่เนี้ย = 頭家/頭家娘 has the expected high-rising approximation of Teochew niâ, but where did they get high-falling and low-level for thâukE? Unsolved mysteries :mrgreen:
amhoanna
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Re: Hokkien words in Thai

Post by amhoanna » Thu Sep 23, 2010 4:03 am

"Hokkien Chinese Loanwords in Tagalog", 1977

http://www.sil.org/asia/philippines/sip ... 17-049.pdf

The list is incredibly long. A lot of them "look" Austronesian, e.g. "huwana", which means Huili̍ppin lâng. 8)
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Re: Hokkien words in Thai

Post by amhoanna » Thu Sep 23, 2010 4:08 am

Back to the Thai list, I noticed the word ซี้ซั้ว /si:45 swa45/ (schwa-ish a)

This has got to be the same word as the one that shows up on http://sisuahlai.blogspot.com/ as the name of the blog. Sisoa or sisoaⁿ (no tones)? I don't think this word is used in Taiwan. Are you guys familiar with it?
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Re: Hokkien words in Thai

Post by Ah-bin » Thu Sep 23, 2010 6:39 am

I'm very grateful to have Amhoanna here to sort out these questions. It's just wonderful to have you able to go into a scientific analysis like this.

Those loanwords that arrived by land, are they from southwestern Mandarin?

It's also fascinating to read about the political background to some of these things. I think I often identified myself with the "Old" ROC. Of course, I put it in perspective by remembering (among other things) that they were much more effective at stamping out non-Mandarin languages in Taiwan than the communists were in China at around the same time. The result is people in Amoy who speak Hokkien to each other are still noticeably younger then those who spoke it to each other in Taiwan - and there were teenage girls who speak it too.

Now that I hear pa is used in Indonesia, I'm beginning to doubt its Thai origins. I know it is a word used in Tai languages in the southwest of China, but if it is not attested in Taiwanese, Amoy, Chiang-chiu or Choan-chiu, it is very unlikely that it is a loan from the original pre-Sinitic languages of southern Fukien. I wonder how it got as far south as Bagansiapiapi?
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