PGHK #18 Sit Bus Laugh HaHa

Dec 11, 2005 | Podcast | 21 comments

Guest: Sua Hu

We talked about bus. Who knew a form of public transportation can bring such great fun and laughters!
I think this episode can be enjoyed by non-Hokkien speakers too. They just have to laugh along.
We went crazy!

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  1. Penangknia

    Hah, been waiting for this podcast since morning. Very well done!!

    Pulau Tikus in Chinese is written as”????”. It won’t make sense if you pronounce it in Mandarin since the Chinese name was given based on Penang Hokkien pronunciation, ?pu3 ?lo3 ?ti3 ?kut1. Pulau in Malay is often pronounced as pulo in many Malay variants in Kedah and Indonesia. The other Hokkien pronounced Chinese characters for Malay place name is: ?? ?(Bayan Lepas, pronounced as Bayan Lepai in Penang/Kedah Malay). ????(Kepala Batas, pronounced as Kepala Batai in Penang/Kedah Malay).

  2. John Ong

    Thank you very much for your contribution to explaining the usage of Penang Hokkien. I really appreciate it. And I’m learning a lot too. Please continue doing this as long as you want to.

  3. Vincent Yu

    John, I think you can get Penangknia to join in the show.

  4. John Ong

    I agree. Penangknia, I received an email asking me to link you to your site, what is your site?
    I’d love to chat with you on the show. Please email me with your info if you get this. 🙂 Thanks! And thanks for the suggestion Yu.

  5. Penangknia

    My apology. Pulau Tikus in its proper Chinese characters form should be ????, as ? is pronounced as ‘kut1’. Another famous Hokkien pronounced place name is Pulau Langkawi, written as ????, pronounced as pu3lo3kao3yi2 (not 100% sure). Not that Hokkien people were ‘smart’ or ‘lazy’ as they often shorten the otherwise lenghty Malay place name. My favorite Hokkien pronounced place name is ????, actually have to listen to native Penang Hokkien speaker to understand the rational for writting it as ???? from Kepala Batai. It sounds like ka1ba3ba3di4 (again, not 100% sure, especially the pronounciation of ? in Penang Hokkien) but pronounced very quickly. Chinese characters transliterated from Penang Hokkien actually preserve many native Kedah/Penang Malay pronounciation, like batai, lepai, which we don’t hear very often nowadays in Malay.

    When I wrote Penang Hokkien, I actually mean Northen Malaya Hokkien; also Kedah Malay also implies Penang Malay too. I think the locals understand this implicitly.

    Lastly, many Malay loan words from Hokkien actually have to be pronounced in Penang Hokkien when dealing with their etymologies. For example Malay word “kuih” comes from Hokkien, specifically Zhangzhou Hokkien. Penang Hokkien derives most of its pronounciation from Zhangzhou Hokkien, and no surprise “kuih” is pronounced as “kuih” too in Penang Hokkien. Southern Malay Hokkein, Amoy & most Taiwan Hokkiens, however, pronounces it differently, something like “ke”. This is one of the many reason why Penang Hokkien is considered very special to me.

    Glad that people like what I posted. Sometimes I feel that I am too longwinded but the urge to write just, beyond control. Also Ah John, thanks for asking me to chat with you in the show, but I am too ?? pnai1seh3 speaking on the air and be listened by thousands of listeners you have. May be I will do it in the future, when I am more prepared mentally , OK? Soli ah!

  6. John Ong

    Aiyoh, knia1 pai1 seh3 pula!
    Nevermindlah, only when you are ready. I think you are doing a wonderful job by written words. Can I put a link of your site? Or do you have one? Someone was asking me to link you. I can do some research myself too. But, keep doing what you’re doing. I love your input. Of course, when i do my show, I’ll still use my half shit tank Hokkien. I’m just one voice. I’d love to hear from more Penang voices!

    If anyone wants to do a show for, please let me know. The only rule is, it has to be in Penang Hokkien. Any topic will be obliged. You produce the show, I’ll take care of posting it for you, and even hosting the file on my server. I’m sure there’s someone out there very gatai about making your own show! Try it. Don’t commit ot it. If you have a show, send that ot me, I’ll post it if it’s good.

  7. Penangknia

    Hi Ah John,

    I don’t have a website, may be I was referring to a forum site in my previous comment/email (don’t remember). Anyway there are a lot of information on the internet that mentions Penang Hokkien. I will just list them below:

    Origin of Penang Hokkien:
    Penang Hokkien words list [note that some factual errors in the essay, for example it says that Penang Hokkien pronunciation of ‘pig’ “shifted” from Amoy ‘ti’ to Penang ‘tu’. This is the right as ‘tu’ is as old as ‘ti’ pronunciation, not the later derives the former. Other than that find the hokkien words collected pretty authentic.]
    Foul words?? in Penang Hokkien [incomplete list, please help update it]:
    GUA/WA usage in Penang:
    and many more……

  8. Kwokie

    Hi all. Just though that I give some comments about the Bus Travelling subject. It is a shame hearing those kind of sexual harrasment cases that could happen in Malaysia. With the recent news between the conflicts of Malaysia and China where chinese tourist was being sexually harrassed by the police officers. I have no idea what is the concept of those people who committed this kind of shameless acts.

    Looking at the Chinese society in China we are way far off being civilized and educated. There aint no society value from those who did such a shameless things to our visitors.

    The above are just comments on sexual harrassement cases that could happen in Malaysia and also to those who committed the crime. Am not sure about other readers comments but we all should at least take responsible of being a citizen of Malaysian and I believe you are doing a good job but just those bastard that are miss behaving.

  9. weeLee

    ‘ye’ *toot* bus is yellow bus rite…? shua hu already gv hint mah.. ui sek eh bus mah si yellow bus lohh..

    i’m also a passenger of *toot* bus (blue bus), i took 102 & 93.
    right now got a new kind of bus called ‘mini bus’, small bus with air con. but i dunno whether it’s under *toot* bus company or not..

  10. sinner

    HEy i FinD youR Site REAlly interesting and would like to contribute to youR SIte. I am Currently LIving in Penang and share an interesting life as well, i also like to talk cock. Just goreng. Email me.

  11. AH "HUA".


  12. Shua Hu

    yeah loh….so “tun” one… tell him…ooi sei eh…also dunno…hahahahahaha
    anyway, great to hear that you all love it… it mean as the guest of PenangHookien, I didn’t make John’s show become the nightmare or disaster…

  13. Shua Hu

    I jsut visited those web site provide by penangknia. I just noticed that there are so many people that really care about the pure hokkien language. It made me feel to “paiseh”.

    I think it is good to promote the pure hokkien language because one day the pure hokkien may be disapper from penang. Penangknia, I think we need to promote more on the pure hokkien liao… may be we can have a public seminar, big one, to tell people what is hokkien..

  14. weeLee

    shua hu.. u really bercita-cita besar..

    but, i’ll SUPPORT u!!! \^_^/

  15. shua hu

    hahahaha…no lah… but after visited those site, it really give me a deep touch… I just noticed that the language that I speak everyday, I thought I know it well but actually I know nothing about it. Some more I feel that those people that talking on it are really like pro…

  16. Shua Hu

    John, I have a suggestion, may be in the end of each episode, we give penangknia to teach a Hokkien leasson about 1 or 2 min. It must be fun…

  17. John Ong

    Shua Hu: I think that idea is an accelent one. I have already been exchanging emails with Penangknia. Whenever he is ready for this. We’ll try to implement it on the show.

  18. Penangknia

    Ah John & Shua Hu ah, thank you so much for your suggestion that I give “lesson” of Penang Hokkien at the end of podcast. This shows how you guys are looking up to me, which I really appreciate, but unfortunately my Hokkien is really Quarter tang sai, though I am reallr obsessed with it, and I am actaully learning from this podcast . To be honest I might know in detail on some aspects of Penang Hokkien like its history, some of its usage and established pronunciation of some words, but in terms of fluency I am just terrible, partly because I don’t actually speak a lot of Hokkien before I leave Penang (won’t be so after I return!), and also because I refuse to use Malay, English or Mandarin words that have not been Hokkienized. I mean ‘Hokkienization as in in Hokkien we pronounce the Malay word ‘kahwin’ differently than in Malay, also ?? as in zeng1hu4 not zheng4fu3. Shua Hu is my model in this aspect, as he is able to pronounce a lot of Chinese characters in Penang hokkien, like ‘correction’ deng1zeng3, Ah John also not bad except some English wods like ‘after that'(PenangHokkien: liao4) ‘before that’ (PenangHokkien: ?lao1?sit1?kong4? wa4[?yha3+si3]pun4 ?mm3? zai1, hehe. ?Ai1 ?chnia1 ?mui3 ??Shua3 hu2 ??sin3sneh1 [??]]ba3lu1[?]eh3 ?hiao4). ) Hence I would beg Ah John to give me more time to develop into a proper sinsneh. Currently I am trying to learn the pronounciation of as many Chinese characters as possible in the manner of Penang Hokkien. Besides using Ah John, Shua Hu et al as ‘subjects’, I am also looking into the pronounciations of Zhangzhou , Tongan and possibly also Teochew since Penang Hokkien phonology & Chinese character pronunciation are developed based on predominantly Zhangzhou with significant influence from Tongan and also some from Quanzhou, Amoy & Teochew. Many Penang Hokkien words have two or more synonyms, one come from Zhangzhou and the other one from Quanzhou or Amoy or Tongan. In terms of loan word a lot more from Kedah Malay, British English, some Thai and possibly more exotic sources remained to be uncovered. Also I am not forgetting Penang Hokkien sayings. I started to collect a few in this forem, but native Penangite Raymond Kwok did a better job than I. He has published three books on this subject, which I’ve yet to read.


    Free ??kong1ko3 for Raymond Kwok & Tan Choon Hoe:

    Hokkien rhymes and ditties compiled in book

    Crusade of Penang Hokkien Dialet

    For the free yet excellent dictionary of Penang Hokkien, look for Hugh Lewis’ website:

    In my humble opinion, there is no “pure” hokkien, and what Penang hokkien lacks is standardization.For the past few decades the Taiwanese have been trying hard to do this, and I think they are pretty successful. If we blindly follow Amoy Hokkien as the “pure” Hokkien, we risk losing ourselves by becoming just another Amoy. I am trying to create a pinyin version of Penang Hokkien, using the same tones representation. My goal is still that Penang Hokkien can be written in its root: Chinese characters, since many previously forgotten Hokkien specific Chinese characters, once part of ancient Chinese language ??? have been rediscovered from old texts by scholars. (for example ? & ? was in the past commonly used in China as ‘you’ but now only Hokkien uses it.. In Mandarin they are now ? & ?)

    Proposed Penang Hokkien Tones Notation:
    ?? Yin-ping |44| = ?????
    ?? Yang-ping |24| = ?????
    ?? Yin-qu |21| = ?????
    ?? Shang-sheng |52| = ?????
    ?? Yang-ru |4| = ???????????-k,-p,-t??????
    ?? Yang-qu |22| = ???????????????|21|??|22|????
    ?? Yin-ru |2| = ???????????-k,-p,-t??????

    To preserve Penang hokkien we need to standardize, record (like what this great podcast has been doing), and compile a dictionary of it. By standardization I don’t mean purging of long established and frequently used “foreign” words, like mata,(police) tapi (but), paip (pipe), mana (how can), lui (money) but actually preserving them as a testament of cultural diversity of Penang.

    Some research I have done on Penang Hokkien “mana” word in a Peking U Chinese forum:

  19. John Ong

    Penangknia: Once again, thank you for your wonderful contributions. Even if you want to just do this when you can here in the comment area, it’s good enough for me. I have truly learned and relearned a whole lot from what you write here.

    I am actually going to be reciting some of the ?? on my future shows. I think it’s fun. I’m just so glad that since Penangknia’s input on our comment area that it’s becoming very active in here. Kam siah cheh che, pah jit dui Penang chia lu lim kopi. 😀

  20. Shua Hu

    With all the word in comments column is good but sometime we still hard to pronounce it correctly. Penangknia, don’t worry, just start from few words first.. like those you stated in the comments. Start from word by word is more simple and it will also let you a chance to learn more.

  21. John Ong

    Sinner: I’d love to chat with you. Email me at ongline (at) and we’ll arrange a time for a show or two.

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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?

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