~water shrine~ image copyright Kris Lee 2012

~water shrine~
image copyright Kris Lee 2012

The author/owner has also compiled for record, a collection of everyday Penang Hokkien Phrases to capture the essence and spirit of his hoi polloi, a community originating from the southern province of Fujian, China where individuals climbed aboard bum boats, crossing the South China Sea to settle in faraway lands to escape the brewing civil unrest and a way out from hardship carrying along with them in their journey, nothing except their trademark ponytails, a biscuit tin of effects and their beliefs, very much rooted in Confucianism. These phrases are as much as possible being conserved in its purest state despite having some which had been intermixed with other local dialects and languages.







(This compilation is constantly updated. Author wishes to thank all who have generously contributed to this ever growing list.)




5 responses to “Hokkien PHRASES

  1. Hello, I don’t know if this is the right forum but I hope you can help me. I recently discovered the asia/australia production Seragoon Road which is set in 1964 Singapore and I really liked it. I know a few words / phases in Mandarin and Indonesian therefore I really enjoyed listening to it. However in one scene A driver has to get out of the car and open a door for a lady. I am sure she says Bo Li, he opens the door for her and replys Bo Li. Can you please translate?

    Kinds regards and many thanks in advance

    • Hi! I have not seen this show before and therefore I can’t comment on it. I can only tell you that the intonation in these two words may not carry much meaning to us the Penang Hokkiens but it may be to the Singapore accent. I may be wrong but I’d be on the look out for that movie . Thank you for highlighting it and I apologize for the later reply. Rgds.

  2. The full episodes of Serangoon Road series is available on YouTube. Just to find which episode is Sue talking about.

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