PGHK #17 Jamban Talk

Dec 4, 2005 | Podcast | 18 comments

Guest: Sua Hu

Corrections from our Xiamen Ah Long teacher.

Talk about Jamban. And everything about Jamban.

Some stories are pretty geli. Don’t eat when you listen to this episode! LOL!

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18 Comments

  1. ah loon

    aiya, think we don’t have to care much about what the “standard” hokkien word is, what we have in Penang is a special blend with Malay and alot of English words thrown in. I find that even different families pronouce words differently, 1 example,
    “pan gee” ? or “pan jee” ?

    🙂

    cheers

  2. Penangknia

    Ah3John2 ah3, lu4 jit1 chut3 eh3 show4 jin1 si3 ge3li4, ta3pi4 ho1chio3.

    After listening to your show, I won’t even try to have kopi or chocolate cake next morning!

    ???? = guan3jiap1guan3bi3, ?as in ??(bi3soh3).
    Many local Penang Hokkien sayings actually have equivalent in Mandarin, just that the proununciation is in hokkien style.

    When unsure of pronunciation of certain Penang Hokkien phrase, we can also infer from other phrases that have the same word. For example many of us know that in Penang Hokkien, “problem”(??) is pronounced as “boon3 te2” (hope that I’m not wrong, hehe). Hence when trying to pronounce a new phrase that also ends in ?, like ?? , we can safely pronounce it as “ua3te2”, since we infer the pronunciation of ? from ??. We also know ? is pronounced as ua3 from a very common pharse ?? “kong4ua3”

    Also, I wish to suggest that our sin3 sneh1 ???? from Amoy might not be right by saying that there is only one way to pronounce tek ka ki. I am not 100% sure how tek ka ki is commonly pronounced in Penang but through my study I know that it is very common for Penangites to pronounce differently when there is an “a” after the first word. For example in Amoy “today” is pronounced as “Kin--ji?t”, three words, but in Penang it is pronounced as “kin na jit”/”kin jit”/”knia jit”, with the “a” in between “assimilated” by the first word. Similarly Ah John’s tek ka ki might just be the “right” pronunciation a la Penang style, not Amoy. I would not say either are”incorrect” but rather I would treat it as a natural linguistic development by shortening words to be concise. The truth is that all languages in the world, no matter how each thinks how “pure” it is, undergoes this kind of development in the past. The safest way to make sure the pronunciation of Penang Hokkien is to observe the most common pronunciation in Penang, not pronunciation from Amoy.

    Ironic as it is, Amoy Hokkien is actually as rojak as Penang Hokkien is. Immigrants from two neighbouring prfectures, Zhangzhou and Quanzhou, migrated to Amoy starting 16th century. As a result Amoy Hokkien is actually a product of Zhangzhou and Quanzhou dialects mixing together, not too different from Penang Hokkien. Also Amoy Hokkien has developed its own unique differences, just like Penang Hokkien. So everyone please bear this in mind when thinking that Amoy Hokkien pronunciation is always more correct.

    Most words’ proununciation of Penang Hokkien is based on Zhangzhou dialect in China, but also have some influence from Tongan from Quanzhou. Amoy is much closer to Quanzhou. The pronunciation of “door” as mui, and “rice” as pnui, is actually as Zhangzhou legacy Penang Hokkien inherited. For more information please refer to:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penang_Hokkien

    Just be wary when some so-called “experts” offered their advice. Some of them are linguistic chauvinist who insist that Penang Hokkien is “unpure” and “wrong”. The truth is all languages evolve and Penang Hokkien is no exception. No one should impose their pronunciation from other places like Amoy or Taiwan or even Southern Malaya. I have not seen such chauvinist here so far, but I have seen many more in forums. For example there was a native Penangite who strongly oppose the use of “wa” as first-person pronoun and think instead “gua” should be used. The truth is most people in Penang (>95%) use “wa” and many hokkien people in Taiwan and China also use “wa” too, and in terms of “originality” some dialect experts claim that “gua” preceeded “wa” but this is never absolute since many dialects similar to Hokkien also use “wa” as first-person pronoun as long as “gua” has been used, long before the current boundary of dialects have been drawn. After saying all this I just want to make it clear that as a Penangite I do not discriminate those who speak differently from Penang Hokkien, just that don’t “corrent” the Penang Hokkien I have been speaking for five generations while claiming that yours is more “correct”.

    I am not against the use of “foreign” words in Penang Hokkien, but it should not be too prevalent to the extent of Penang Hokkien being a pidgin of English or Malay or Mandarin. Also the definition of “foreign” is not absolute. I have seen some people frantically looking for he “original” Hokkien words for sabun. The truth is sabun is the first words in Hokkien, here or most part of China or Taiwan, that uses to describe the object sabun. Similarly our “lui” might comes from Malay “duit” but so what? We have hokkienized it pronunciation and used it for generations and I say that it should be considered native.

    And I think Ah John and others’ Penang Hokkien in the show is pretty good and standard, in the sense that most Penangite will understand perfectly. I am a Penangite not in Penang hence I always looking forward to his show, and I feel at home immediately listening to it.

  3. Penangknia

    Ah3John2 ah3, lu4 jit1 chut3 eh3 show4 jin1 si3 ge3li4, ta3pi4 jin1 ho1chio3.

    After listening to your show, I won’t even try to have kopi or chocolate cake next morning!

    ???? = guan3jiap1guan3bi3, ?as in ??(bi3soh3).
    Many local Penang Hokkien sayings actually have equivalent in Mandarin, just that the proununciation is in hokkien style.

    When unsure of the pronunciation of some Penang Hokkien phrases, we can easily guess it from other phrases that have the same word. Most of the time it will be correct. For example many of us know that in Penang Hokkien, “problem”(??) is pronounced as “boon3 tae2” (ae as in English letter ‘A’ ). Hence when trying to pronounce a new phrase that also ends in ?, like ?? , we can safely pronounce it as “oa3tae2”, since we infer the pronunciation of ? from ??. We also know ? is pronounced as oa3 from a very common pharse ?? “kong4oa3”

    Also, I wish to suggest that our sin3 sneh1 ???? from Amoy might not be right by saying that there is only one way to pronounce tek ka ki. I am not 100% sure how tek ka ki is commonly pronounced in Penang but through my study I know that it is very common for Penangites to pronounce differently when there is an “a” after the first word. For example in Amoy “today” is pronounced as “Kin--ji?t”, three words, but in Penang it is pronounced as “kin na jit”/”kin jit”/”knia jit”, with the “a” in between “assimilated” by the first word or another consonant and not stand alone. Similarly Ah John’s tek ka ki pronunciation might just be the “right” pronunciation a la Penang style, not Amoy. I would not say either are”incorrect” but rather I would treat it as a natural linguistic development by shortening words to be concise. The truth is that all languages in the world, no matter how each thinks how “pure” it is, undergoes this kind of development in the past. The safest way to make sure the pronunciation of Penang Hokkien is to observe the most common pronunciation in Penang, not pronunciation from Amoy.

    I am always happy when people suggest a pronunciation, but not when they are trying to impose it by saying mine is “wrong”. We don’t see sensible American and British “correcting” each other’s Englishes, do we?

    Ironic as it is, Amoy Hokkien is actually as rojak as Penang Hokkien is. Immigrants from two neighbouring prfectures, Zhangzhou and Quanzhou, migrated to Amoy starting 16th century. As a result Amoy Hokkien is actually a product of Zhangzhou and Quanzhou dialects mixing together, not too different from Penang Hokkien. Also Amoy Hokkien has developed its own unique differences, just like Penang Hokkien. So everyone please bear this in mind when thinking that Amoy Hokkien pronunciation is always more correct.

    Most words’ proununciation of Penang Hokkien is based on Zhangzhou dialect in China, but also have some influence from Tongan from Quanzhou. Amoy is much closer to Quanzhou. The pronunciation of “door” as mui, and “rice” as pnui, is actually as Zhangzhou legacy Penang Hokkien inherited. For more information please refer to:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penang_Hokkien

    Just be wary when some so-called “experts” offered their advice. Some of them are linguistic chauvinist who insist that Penang Hokkien is “unpure” and “wrong”. The truth is all languages evolve and Penang Hokkien is no exception. No one should impose their pronunciation from other places like Amoy or Taiwan or even Southern Malaya. I have not seen such chauvinist here so far, but I have seen many more in forums. For example there was a native Penangite who strongly oppose the use of “wa” as first-person pronoun and think instead “gua” should be used. The truth is most people in Penang (>95%) use “wa” and many hokkien people in Taiwan and China also use “wa” too, and in terms of “originality” some dialect experts claim that “gua” preceeded “wa” but this is never absolute since many dialects similar to Hokkien also use “wa” as first-person pronoun as long as “gua” has been used, long before the current boundary of dialects have been drawn. After saying all this I just want to make it clear that as a Penangite I do not discriminate those who speak differently from Penang Hokkien, just that don’t “corrent” the Penang Hokkien I have been speaking for five generations while claiming that yours is more “correct”.

    I am not against the use of “foreign” words in Penang Hokkien, but it should not be too prevalent to the extent of Penang Hokkien being a pidgin of English or Malay or Mandarin. Also the definition of “foreign” is not absolute. I have seen some people frantically looking for he “original” Hokkien words for sabun. The truth is sabun is the first words in Hokkien, here or most part of China or Taiwan, that uses to describe the object sabun. Similarly our “lui” might comes from Malay “duit” but so what? We have hokkienized it pronunciation and used it for generations and I say that it should be considered native.

    And I think Ah John and others’ Penang Hokkien in the show is pretty good and standard, in the sense that most Penangite will understand perfectly. I am a Penangite not in Penang hence I always looking forward to his show, and I feel at home immediately listening to it.

  4. Penangknia

    Suggestion for future show: more unreserved chao1oa3??. Actually many of us are using taboo words without relizing it. I just know that SIAO in many common Penang Hokkien phrases like cha1siao2 means semen! I am collecting quite a few of them in a forum. http://chinese.cari.com.my/myforum/viewthread.php?tid=417001&extra=page%3D1&page=1 May be Ah John wil be interested to do a show dedicated to all (if possible) the taboo phrases in Penang Hokkien.

  5. John Ong

    Kew, Ah Loon, and Penangknia:

    First. I want to express how thankful I am to all your support. I know it’s a little project that I started with a couple of friends that turned into a bigger significance. But of course it can only happen with all your support and encouragement, and of course, your suggestions to the show for improvements. I am very lucky to have such a hugh followings since the very beginning. The show is merely 4 months old, and we have already gained so many wonderful listeners. I will strive to make the show as good as possible.

    Regarding the superiority of the language, yes, I agree with everyone. Penangknia made a very good point that Penang Hokkien, just like any other languages, is constantly evolving. The Penang Hokkien that I have on my site is how I, one individual would use Hokkien as I learned how as a kid. Not always pure. Like I said, half-bucket-of-poop, but that’s how I speak. But, we also embrace other people’s usage. I will learn when I know that I made mistakes. But the most important thing is, I try to include Penang Hokkien speakers from show to show. So that we can get a sample of a true, honest, and very candid conversations you will probably overhear in a room of good friends hanging out together. Probably not publicly talking about poop. But close. The more the show is evolving into its own character, the clearer I can see the definition of the show. I really like the fact that we can talk so intimately about everything without any restrictions. Not just for shock sakes, but we all know we don’t always speak properly, in language use and in topics when we hang out with our buddies!

    Lastly, I want to touch base on a forum. I think that is a good idea. It’s not really hard for me to set that up. But I’d like to wait and see how the site is going before I start a forum. I think when the listenership grows larger, I might actually do that. Forum is great, but it is also very easy for dispute and verbal fights. I think if it is a forum, the topic about Language Superiority can be easily misunderstood, and therefore blown out of control. It would harder to control than having comments that is show specific. I DO like the idea of pooling show ideas. I LOVE to have that come from everyone, thanks for the idea again, Kew. For now, you can email me show ideas, and I will add to a list that I have been compiling since the beginning. I’ll even credit you, or even call you if you want, so that you join in the conversation.

    Again, I want to give all of you a big KAM SIAH for making the show worth doing!

  6. Penangknia

    Hi Ah John, sorry for bombarding your site with so many comments this time. I think after listening to your show about pangsai I now haveverbal diarrhea! You should have warned about this before. Just kiddin’ of course.

    I think when you say ??? near the end of the show in Hokkien it sounds a bit like Cantonese cha1 mm3 toh1 (toh like Malay ‘toh’) at 27:50 but I remember in Penang I pronounce it as cha3 put1 toh1 (toh like Hokkien ?). I am not sure which one is the common one used in Penang. The difference might also be due to the actual Chinese character behind the phrase as ‘mm’ is ? and ‘put’ is ?? ?and ? both mean the same thing.

    Also on ??, which is not commonly said in Penang Hokkien as I remember which bai bai is more common (for me). On its pronunciation I again infer it from pre-existing Penang Hokkien phrases that use the word ‘?’ in it, like kean1siao3 ??? so if I would substitue “bai bai” with ?? when I speak Penang Hokkien I would say “zai1 kean3”.

    Also some people, particularly those of Quanzhou descent, in Penang actually says “meng”, “peng” for ? & ?, although we don’t hear them all the time. Most Penangites use only mnui & pnui, some meng & mnui interchangebly, very little use meng & peng exclusively.

    OK, I stop here. Soli ah!

  7. Reynard

    Oh My God!!! I was one of the few people out there who used to squat on the toilet lid whenever I use the public toilet…..
    I have to agree w Sua Hu that toilet in Japan is the most “user friendly”!!! To me, “pan sai” in Japan’s toilet(most Japan’s toilets) is some kind of enjoyment in term of “cleanliness”…put those high tech gadgets in the bowl aside, :)…so luxurious. BUT…if u used the Japan’s old fashion style toilet (which u have to squat)….it’s so “confusing”. I was scratching my head when I used it for the first time. Gosh, I can keep on going w this “Jamban” n “Pan Sai” cerita…I better stop here. Will tell u more if we could catch up one day on your Penang Hokkien Podcast, ha!!!
    Thanks for making me laughed again John!!! Great story indeed even though it could kill some people’s “taste bud” but not to me as I have used “Sai Than” all the time when I was a little kid back in Penang….it’s kind of gross but it is also part of our “Tahi” culture Penang style, ha!!!

  8. kshern

    this is just crap…this show is no history lesson, ppl!!! just keep it casual and free-going like how it has always been…exactly the way we like it! who cares if some words are pronounced differently? as long as we understand what is being said, where’s the problem in that? just enjoy the show…

  9. ikanyu

    wah… jamban story so famous now..hahahaha…
    yes, sabun is actually Hokkien words. Malay copy Hokkien one…
    Would like to thanks Ah John for inviting me to the show.

  10. ????

    ah John.. i just found out something almost SHOCK me to death!!!!

    i think i know you. in real life.

    err.. to be more accurate, my parents know your parents, your parents know mine, i know yr parents, yr parents know me, but we (me n u) dun really talk, maybe just once or twice. link to my blog, can u still recognise me??

    i cant imagine i can meet u here!!!! ^_^

  11. Ah Cent

    Hey, So funny this show… hahahah… Sua hu return.. yeah….!

  12. indo-hokkien

    hai ya… in indonesian hokkien … is same say ” Jamban ” or ” Sai Hak Khang ” , Or ” Pang Sai Phun “

  13. John Ong

    Aiyoh, so Lau Juak here. Thank you for all your support. I get to know new friends, and get to rekindle with old friends.

  14. rilex

    Try this out. repeat ok!

    John Ong.. John ong… Jamban Ong.
    HAHAHA…. Rhyme very well 🙂

    Cheers

  15. Miku John

    When you have a surname like Ong, you can be any Ong.
    Jamban Ong, Pangsai Ong, Miku Ong, Gila Ong. Everything works!

  16. shin

    please please teach me how to speak the amoy language!!! anyone??? please i am so interested with that…. tos ya!

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About PGHK

The very first podcast entirely in Penang style Hokkien. Funny and casual chats with no topic restrictions. We talk about things that you will only share with your closest friends. May contain Adult Content and Language. Minor please consult your parents.What does EXPLICIT tag means?
这是播客里的首个槟城福建话节目。无所不谈。话题精彩。大胆突破。又超搞笑。适宜成人听众。儿童不宜

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