Minnan phrasebookSouthern Fujian and has spread from there to other areas. It is known by several different names: in mainland China, it is Minnan hua (South Fujian speech), in Taiwan, Taiwanese (台语/臺語 tâi-gí), in most of Southeast Asia, Hokkien (福建话/福建話 Hok-kiàn-ōe) from the Minnan word for Fuijan, and in the Philippines, the overseas Chinese call it "Our People's Language" (咱侬话/咱儂話 Lán-lâng-ōe).
Each of the major cities of Fujian's Minnan-speaking areas — Xiamen, Quanzhou and Zhangzhou — and each overseas region where the language is spoken has its own slightly different variant. The overseas variants are influenced by other local languages; Taiwanese has some Japanese loanwords, Hokkien some from Malay/Indonesian and Cantonese, and so on. All these variants, however, are mutually intelligible to a great extent. The prestige dialect of Minnan is the Xiamen dialect in mainland China, and the Tainan dialect in Taiwan.
Minnan is not mutually unintelligible with Mandarin, Cantonese or other Chinese "dialects", not even with the other Min (Fujian) languages such as Mindong (Fuzhou Hua), Minbei and Puxian. Languages classified as closely related to Minnan are Teochew, which has only partial mutual intelligibility with Minnan, and Hainanese which has almost none.
All Chinese languages, in general, use the same set of characters in reading and writing in formal settings, based on standard Mandarin. This means that a Minnan speaker and a Mandarin speaker cannot talk to each other, but either can generally read what the other writes. However, when writing Minnan in a more colloquial form, there are significant lexical differences from standard Mandarin, meaning that a Mandarin speaker will not be able to make everything out. Use the Chinese phrasebook for reading most writing in Minnan-speaking areas.
Mandarin is an official language in China, Taiwan and Singapore, and widely used in education and media. Today, most Minnan speakers in mainland China and Taiwan also speak Mandarin, and most foreign residents of those areas choose to learn Mandarin rather than Minnan.
Minnan is written with simplified Chinese characters in mainland China, and with traditional Chinese characters in Taiwan. In this phrasebook, where differences exist, simplified characters are written before the slash (/), and traditional characters after the slash.
Like all other Chinese languages and their dialects, Minnan uses Chinese characters but employs its own 'unique' pronunciation. However, similar to Japanese kanji, most characters have two or more pronunciations in Minnan, which means that many characters would be pronounced differently depending on context, even if their Mandarin pronunciation remains the same in both instances. The two different pronunciations of characters are often called the literary reading (文读/文讀 bûn tha̍k), which is based on the pronunciation of Tang Dynasty Chinese, and the colloquial reading (白读/白讀 pe̍h tha̍k), which is based on the pronunciation of Han Dynasty Chinese.
But while different pronunciations for characters are a minor phenomenon in Mandarin or Cantonese, colloquial and literary pronunciations are a prevalent feature of Minnan. Most characters have at least two pronunciations, and some have more:
“一”： 白 vs. 文
“大”： 白 vs. 文
“学/學”： 白 vs. 文
For example, the words ài and beh both roughly mean 'want', so they are usually written with the character 要 (although they are also written with 愛 and 欲 respectively). Consequently, the pronunciation of the character 要 can change between ài, beh and iàu depending on context.
The ordinary word for person, lâng, is usually written with the character 人, which also has the reading jı̂n or lîn. The character 生 is is pronounced seⁿ or siⁿ as a verb used alone, but the word 人生 is pronounced lı̂n-seng.
Words written with the same Chinese characters often employ different pronunciations to convey different meanings; for instance, in Xiamen (but not in Taiwan, which only uses the latter reading), 大学/大學 is pronounced tōa-o̍h to mean "university", but pronounced tāi-ha̍k to refer to one of the Four Books of Confucianism.
Also, note how the words m̄ (is not, does not) and bē/bōe (cannot) are all often written with 不, so while 不要 might be read as m̄-ài or m̄-beh, 不能 or 不可 can be read as bē-sái or bōe-sái.
For referring to oneself, 我 góa is used in more informal contexts while 阮 gún is more formal and 恁爸 lı́n-pē (male) / 恁母 lı́n-bú (female) is very derogatory but used very commonly. (No cognates exist in Mandarin or Cantonese although phrases with the same meaning do.) Similar to Malay, there are two equivalents of the English word "we", with lan-nang including the listener in the group, and goa-nang used to exclude the listener from the group.
Pronunciation varies from region to region (e.g. 你 (you) can be either lı́ and lú). This can make comprehension slightly difficult sometimes even between 'native' speakers from Quanzhou and Zhangzhou. It should also be kept in mind that most speakers of the dialect often mix Mandarin phrases into their speech due to the influence of Standard Mandarin.
Pronunciations in this guide will make use of the Pe̍h-ōe-jī (POJ) Romanization system, which was developed by Christian missionaries working in Xiamen, Tainan and overseas Chinese communities in the 19th century. While learning POJ is useful for foreigners trying to learn Minnan, it is virtually never learned by native speakers, so stick to Chinese characters for written communication.
Like other varieties of Chinese, Minnan is tonal; tones must be correct in order to convey the correct meaning. Tone sandhi is particularly common and rather complex in Minnan, which makes it a little harder to learn than Mandarin and Cantonese, where tone sandhi is only used in very limited situations.
The following table shows the values of the different tones in some places, and does not show the pronunciation of the tones or tone sandhi of many areas, but may give an idea of the approximate values.
|Number||Name||POJ||Pitch||Description||After tone sandhi|
|3||yin departing||à||31~21||low falling||2|
|4||yin entering||ah||32||mid stopped||2 (h final), 8 (otherwise)|
|5||yang level||â||14~24||rising||3 (Taipei), 7 (Tainan)|
|8||yang entering||a̍h||4||high stopped||3 (h final), 4 (otherwise)|
Minnan has many different consonants, even more so than standard Mandarin or Cantonese, and pronouncing them all correctly is a challenge for English, or even Mandarin speakers. While Mandarin only distinguishes between aspirated and unaspirated (unvoiced) consonants, and English only distinguishes between voiced and unvoiced consonants meaning-wise, Minnan makes a distinction in both cases. This means that aspirated unvoiced (pʰ, tʰ, kʰ, tsʰ), unaspirated unvoiced (p, t, k, ts), and unaspirated voiced (b, g, dz) are all separate phonemic consonants in Minnan. However, unlike in Mandarin, there is no "tongue rolling" (pinyin zh, ch, sh, r) initial consonant.
To highlight the distinction, the words for "open" (開) and "close" (關), in some pronunciations (khui and kuiⁿ respectively) sound almost identical to a native English speaker, the difference being that "open" uses an aspirated initial consonant, and "close" uses an unaspirated initial consonant with a nasalised vowel.
Like Cantonese but unlike Mandarin, Minnan retains all the final consonants (m, n, ŋ, p, t, and k) of Middle Chinese. In POJ, the nasal consonants m, n and ng are pronounced the same as English, but the others are different.
The stop consonants p, t and k are unreleased. This means that the mouth moves into the position of making the consonant, but no burst of air is released.
Furthermore, an h at the end of a syllable in POJ represents a glottal stop (ʔ); this is the sound in the middle of the English word 'uh-oh'.
The vowels a, e, i, o, u are pronounced as they are in many languages, such as Spanish. Minnan also has the vowel written as o͘ (with a dot) or oo.
Vowels in Minnan can be nasalized, and in POJ this is indicated with a superscript n 'ⁿ' after the vowel. It can also be indicated with a capital n (N) or a double n (nn). IPA notes this with a tilde (~) above the last vowel.
There are many diphthongs in Minnan, and their pronunciations from the POJ spellings are generally fairly obvious. However, note that oe is "ui/uei" and oai is "uai".
For some of the following phrases, there is an unconventional romanization shown in parentheses and this does not describe tones, but just tries to be phonetically accurate from an (American) English speaking standpoint. The goal is to have an English speaker's first try be fairly close, without reading a bunch of rules for phonetization nor trying to distinguish between the 7 tones in Minnan. Unfortunately, it is difficult to cover all tones this way, especially nasal and breath differences, and thus cannot be completely accurate.
- Asterisks precede words that are very hard to phonetize. It would be nice to get some audio on here for these.
To be or not to be?Minnan, as in Mandarin, does not have words for "yes" and "no" as such; instead, questions are typically answered by repeating the verb. Common ones include:
; To be or not to be: 是 sı̄, 毋是 m̄-sı̄
; To have or not have / there is or is not: 有 ū, 无/無 bô
; To be right or wrong: 着/著 tio̍h, 毋着/毋著 m̄-tio̍h
; How are you? : 你好无？/你好無？ lı́ hó bô?
; How are you? : 食饱未？/食飽未？ chia̍h-pá-bē / chia̍h-pá-bōe ()("have you eaten?")
; Not bad : 袂歹 bōe-phái (buay pai)
; Fine, thank you. (informal) : 好，多谢。/好，多謝。 hó，to͘-siā (Hoh, duh shiah.)
; Fine, thank you. (formal): 好，感谢。/好，感謝。 hó，kám-siā. (Hoh, gahm shiah)
; Thank you: 感谢/感謝 kám-siā (in Xiamen and Singapore) / 多谢/多謝 to͘-siā (in Taiwan)
; What is your name? : 你叫什么名？/你叫什麼名？ lı́ kiò sím-mih miâ? (in Xiamen and Singapore) 你叫啥物名？/你叫啥物名？ lı́ kiò siáⁿ-mı̍h miâ? （in Taiwan and Penang)
; My name is ... . : 我的名是... góa ê miâ sı̄...
; Nice to meet you. :
; Please... (before a request): 请.../請... chhiáⁿ...
; Please. : 拜托/拜託 Pài-thok (Bai-toh) or 好心ㄟ(hó-sim ē)
; You're welcome : 免客氣 bián kheh-khı̀ ("don't be polite")
; Excuse me. (getting attention) : 劳驾/勞駕 lô-kà
; Excuse me. (begging pardon) : 歹势/歹勢 phái-sè (pai say)
; I'm sorry. (informal) : 歹势/歹勢 phái-sè (pai-say)
; I'm sorry. (formal): 失礼。/失禮。sit lé. (shit-leh)
; Goodbye : 再见/再見 chài-kiàn (tsai gian).
; I can't speak... . : 我袂晓讲.../我袂曉講... góa bōe-hiáu kóng...
; I don't know how to speak English : 我袂晓讲英语。/我袂曉講英語。 góa bōe-hiáu kóng Eng-gú (Wah mbay hyow gong eng-gu)
; Do you speak English? : 请问你会晓讲英语袂？/請問你會曉講英語袂？ chhiáⁿ-mn̄g lı́ ē-hiáu kóng Eng-gú bōe? (Li gah-ay-hyow gong eng-yee)
; Is there someone here who speaks English? : 请问有人会晓讲英語无？/請問有人會曉講英語無？ chhiáⁿ-mn̄g ū lâng ē hiáu kóng Eng-gú bô? (Jiah gam ou lung eh hiao gong eng gyi?)
; Help! : 救人！ kìu-lâng!
; Look out! : 小心！ sió sim!
; Good morning. : 賢早。 gâu-chá.
; Good evening. : 好暗暝。 hó-àm-mî (Amoy Hokkien)
; Good night. :
; Good night (to sleep) : 好睏。 hó khùn (sleep well)
; I don't understand. : 我听无。/我聽無。góa thiaⁿ bô.
; Where's the bathroom? : 便所佇佗? Piān-só· tī toh? (Ben so dee-da)
; You are beautiful : 你真媠 lı́ chin suí
; Go away : 走 cháu/chó͘ (tzow/zao)
; Don't touch me! : 莫摸我 mài mo góa (mai mo1 wa) / (Mai gah-wah mbong)
; I'll call the police. (Informal): 我叫警察 (Wah kah gien tsah.)
; I'll call the police (Formal): (Wah ay kah hoh gien tsah.)
; Police! : 警察 kéng-chhat (gien tsah) / ma-ta (from malay)
; Stop! : 擋 tòng (dohng) / 停 thêng (tng2)
; I need your help. : 我需要你的幫忙 góa su-iàu lı́-ê pang-bâng (Wah soo-yow *dee-ay bahm-mahng) or 我需要你替我斗相共 óa su-iàu lı́ tek góa tau sann kang
; I'm lost. : (Wah mbo-key)
; I lost my purse/wallet. : 我不見我的皮包 Wah pahng-key wah-ay pay-bow
; I'm sick. : 我破病了 góa phòa-pīⁿ liáu (Wah pwah bee liao) or Wah gahng koh
; I've been injured. : 我著傷 (Wah dyuh shohng)
; I need a doctor. : 我醫生 (Wah dah-ai ee-sheng)
; Can I use your phone? : 我甘可用你的電話 (Wah gah-ay sai yen * li-ay dyeng-way)
; Don't lie to me! : 勿假！ mài ké!
Numbers in Minnan are basically the same as numbers in other varieties of Chinese.
Please note the rules about when to use the two different words for 2 (nn̄g and jī). Jī is used in the ones, tens and hundreds place, whereas nn̄g is used for multiples of numbers 100 and greater, as well as before counter words. This is analogous to the use of 兩 and 二 in mandarin.
; 0: 空 khong (kong)
; 1 : 一 it / chi̍t (chjit)
; 2 : 二 jī (li/ji/di) / 兩 nn̄g (nng)
; 3 : 三 saⁿ (sa)
; 4 : 四 sì (si)
; 5 : 五 gō͘ (gaw)
; 6 : 六 la̍k (lak)
; 7 : 七 chhit (chit)
; 8 : 八 pueh / peh (bpui)
; 9 : 九 káu (kau)
; 10 : 十 cha̍p (tzhap)
; 11 : 十一 cha̍p-it (tzhap-it)
; 12 : 十二 cha̍p-jī (tzhap-li)
; 13 : 十三 cha̍p-saⁿ (tzhap-sa)
; 14 : 十四 cha̍p-sì (tzhap-si)
; 15 : 十五 cha̍p-gō͘ (tzhap-gaw)
; 16 : 十六 cha̍p-la̍k (tzhap-lak)
; 17 : 十七 cha̍p-chhit (tzhap-chit)
; 18 : 十八 cha̍p-peh (tzhap-peh)
; 19 : 十九 cha̍p-káu (tzhap-kau)
; 20 : 二十 jī-cha̍p (li-tzhap)
; 21 : 二十一 jī-cha̍p-it (li-tzhap-it)
; 22 : 二十二 jī-cha̍p-jī (li-tzhap-li)
; 100 : 一百 chi̍t-pah (chit-pah)
; 200 : 兩百 nn̄g-pah (nng-pah)
; 222: 兩百二十二 nn̄g-pah-jī-cha̍p-jī (nng-pah-li-chap-li)
; 1000 : 一千 chi̍t-chheng (chit-cheng)
; 2000 : 兩千 nn̄g-chheng
Like Mandarin, Minnan groups numbers starting from 10,000 into units of four digits starting with 萬 bān. "One million" would therefore be "one hundred ten-thousands" (一百萬) and "one billion" would be "ten hundred-millions" (十億).
; 10,000 : 一萬 chi̍t-bān
; 20,000 : 兩萬 nn̄g-bān
; 100,000 : 十萬 cha̍p-bān
; 1,000,000 : 一百萬 chi̍t-pah bān
; 10,000,000 : 一千萬 chi̍t-chheng bān
; 100,000,000 : 一億 chi̍t-ik
; 1,000,000,000 : 十億 cha̍p-ik
; 10,000,000,000 : 一百億 chi̍t-pah ik
; 100,000,000,000 : 一千億 chi̍t-chheng ik
; 1,000,000,000,000 : 一兆 chi̍t-tiāu
; number _____ (train, bus, etc.) : _____號 hō
; half : 半 pua
; less : 少 síu
; more : 多 tzui
Ordinal numbers in Chinese are expressed by prepending the number with '第', pronounced tē in Minnan.
; First : 第一 tē-it (day-it)
; Second : 第二 tē-jı̄ (day-ji)
; Third : 第三 tē-saⁿ (day-sa)
; Fourth : 第四 tē-sı̀ (day-si)
; Fifth : 第五 tē-gō͘ (day-go)
And so on, for any number:
; Twentieth : 第二十 tē-jı̄-cha̍p (day ji-tzap)
; Hundredth : 第一百 tē-chı̍t-pah (day chit-pah)
; Thousandth : 第一千 tē-chı̍t-chheng (day chit-cheng)
; what time is it? : 幾點 kúi tiám (kwee tiam)?
; now : 這馬 chit-má (jeemah) / 這陣 chit-tsūn (jeetzoon)
; later : kah dahng-ay or shuh dahng
; before : ee jun
; early : 早 chá (dtsah)
; earlier : 較早 kah chá (kah dtsah)
; morning : 下晡 / (tao dtsah)
; in the morning : 早起 chá-khí (tzai kee)
; afternoon : 下晡 (ay boh)
; in the afternoon :
; evening : ay ahm
; in the evening :
; night : 暗暝 àm-mı̂
; in the night : 暗時仔 àm-sî-á (ahm-sheea)
; tonight : 今暝 kim-mı̂
; noon : 中晝 tiong-tàu (dyong dow)
; midnight : 半暝 puàⁿ-mî (bpua mi)
;1:00 : 一點 it-tiám
;2:00 : 二點 jı̄-tiám
;3:00 : 三點 saⁿ-tiám
; _____ minute(s) : _____ 分鐘 hun-ching (whhun-ching)
; _____ hour(s) : _____ 點鐘 tiám-ching / (diam-jun)
; _____ day(s) : _____ 日 ji̍t (*leet)
; _____ week(s) : _____ 禮拜 lé-pài (*lay bai)
; _____ month(s) : _____ 月 gue̍h (whay)
; _____ year(s) : _____ 年 nî (nee)
; today : 今日 kin-jit / 今仔日 kin-á-jit
; yesterday : 昨日 chah-jit
; tomorrow : 明仔載 miâ-á-chài
; the day after tomorrow : 後日 āu-ji̍t
; this week : 這禮拜 chit lé-pài
; last week : (den *lay-bai)
; next week : 下禮拜 hě-lé-pài
; Sunday : 禮拜日 lé-pài-jı̍t / 禮拜 lé-pài
; Monday : 拜一 pài-it
; Tuesday : 拜二 pài-jı̄
; Wednesday : 拜三 pài-saⁿ
; Thursday : 拜四 pài-sı̀
; Friday : 拜五 pài-gō͘
; Saturday : 拜六 pài-la̍k
; January : 一月 it-go̍eh
; February : 二月 jı̄-go̍eh
; March : 三月 saⁿ-go̍eh
; April : 四月 sı̀-go̍eh
; May : 五月 gō͘-go̍eh
; June : 六月 la̍k-go̍eh
; July : 七月 chhit-go̍eh
; August : 八月 poeh-go̍eh
; September : 九月 káu-go̍eh
; October : 十月 cha̍p-go̍eh
; November : 十一月 cha̍p-it-go̍eh
; December : 十二月 cha̍p-jı̄-go̍eh
; color : 色 sek
; black : 烏色 o·-sek
; white : 白色 pe̍h-sek
; grey : 灰色 hoe-sek
; red : 紅色 âng-sek
; blue : 藍色 nâ-sek
; yellow : 黃色 n̂g-sek
; green : 青色 chhiⁿ-sek
; orange : 柑仔色 kam-á-sek : ("mandarin orange color")
; purple : 茄色 kiô-sek : ("eggplant color")
; brown : 土色 thó·-sek : ("dirt color")
Bus and train
; Ticket : 票 phiò (dyu pyuh)
; One ticket : 一票 chit phiò (jeet-pyuh)
; How much is one ticket? : 一票是幾箍？ chit phiò sī kuí khoo (Jeet-pyuh shee gwee-koh?)
; bus : 公車 / 客運 (kay-wun)
; train : 火車 hóe-chhia (whey-chiah)
; Where does this bus go? : chit-ê (Dze-day kay-wun kee-dah?)
; Does this train go to ____? : (Dze-day whey-chiah gah-oo kee ____?)
; What time does this train leave? : (Dze-day whey-chiah gwee diam tsooh-whaht?)
; What time will this bus arrive? : (Dze-day kay-wun gwee diam ay gow-wee?)
; Please stop! : 拜託，擋！ pài thok，tòng (Pbai-toh, dong!)
; How do I get to ____? : 按怎去 (mbay ahndswah kee ____?)
; ...the train station? : 火車站 hué-chhia-chām / (whey chiah dyoo?)
; ...the bus station? : (kay-wun dyoo?)
; ...the airport? : (whey-deng-gee dyoo?)
; ...downtown? : (chee dyong sheemg?)
; ...the hotel? : 旅館 lú-kuán (*lee-guang?)
; ...the restaurant? : 飯店 pn̄g-tiàm (bung-diam?)
; Where are there a lot of ____? : (Dway oo jote-tsay ____?)
; Do you have a map? : (*lee gah-oo day-doh?)
; street/road : 路 lō͘/lo̍h (*loh)
; left : 倒 tò (duh)
; right : 正 chiàⁿ (jyah)
; turn left : 斡倒手 oat-chiàⁿ-chhiú (wat toh chyu)
; turn right: 斡正手 oat-tò-chhiú (wat chia chyu)
; straight ahead : 直直去 tı̍t-tı̍t khı̀ (dee-deet kee) / 直直行 ti̍t-ti̍t kiâⁿ (dee-deet gyah)
; Taxi : 計程車(gay-dyen chiah)
; Drive me to ____ : 載我去____ 。 dzai wah kee ____
; How much to go ____ : 去幾箍？ mbay kee ____ gwee koh?
; Do you have any rooms available? : 有房間無 ū pâng-king bô? (Oo bahn-gyun mbo?)
; How much for one room? : 一間? (Jeet gyun, wah-tsay gyee?)
; One person : 一個人 chı̍t-ê-lâng (dzeday lahng)
; Two persons : 兩個人 n̄ng-ê-lâng (nungay lahng)
; Does it have ____? : 敢有____？ kám-ū ____ ? (Gah oo ____ ?)
; a bathroom : 便所 piān-só͘? (beng soh?)
; a telephone : 電話 tiān-ōe (dyung way?)
; a TV : 電視 tiān-sī
; May I see it first? : 先看？(Gah-ay-dahng shung kwah?)
; Do you have something more ____? : 敢有較____？ kám-ū khah (Gah oo kah)
; big : 大的 tōa-ê (dwah-ay)
; cheap : 俗的 sio̍k-ê (siok-ay) (China and Taiwan) / 偏的 phiⁿ-ê (Singapore)
; OK, I'll sleep here for ____ nights. : 好，暗 Huh, mbay-kuhng ____ ahm.
; Is there another hotel? : 有 旅館 (Gah oo bahg-ay *lee-guang?)
; What time is breakfast? : 早頓幾點？ (Dzah-dun gwee-diam?)
; Please clean my room : 拜託 我的 房間 (Pbai toh kyeng wah-ay bahn-gyun)
; Can you wake me at ... ? : ，好無？... gah-way gyuh kiah, huhbuh?
; Credit card : 刷卡 (swah kah)
; Where can I exchange money? : (Dway ay-dahng wah gjee?)
; drink tea : 飲茶 lim tê
; brew tea : 泡茶 phàu tê
; breakfast : 早頓 chá-tǹg (dzah-dun)
; lunch : 中頓 tiong-tǹg
; dinner : 暗頓 àm-tǹg
; snack : 點心 tiám-sim
; I want... : 我欲 góa beh (gwah beh)
; tea : 茶 tê (teh)
; coffee : 咖啡 ka-pi (kopi) / ko-pi (in Singapore and Malaysia, from Malay)
; chicken : 雞 ke / koe
; duck : 鴨 ah
; beef: 牛肉 gû-bah
; pork: 豬肉 ti-bah / tu-bah
; mutton: 羊肉 iûⁿ-bah / iôⁿ-bah
; eggs : 雞卵 ke-nn̄g / koe-nn̄g / ke-nūi / 卵 nn̄g / nūi (the former specifically refers to chicken eggs, the later can be used generally for any type of egg)
; fruit : 水果 chúi-kó, 果子 kóe-chí / ké-chí
; vegetable : 菜 chhài
; fish : 魚仔 hî-á (hee-ah) / 魚 hî / hû (hhu2/hhw2; sounds like a long 'huh' without the vowel)
; bread : 麵包 mī-pau (mee-bao) / pahng (in Taiwan, from Japanese) / lō-ti (in Singapore and Malaysia, from Malay)
; noodles : 麵 mı̄ (mee)
; rice (uncooked) : 米 bı́ (bee)
; rice (cooked) : 飯 pn̄g (buhng)
; congee / rice porridge : 糜 bê
; milk : 牛奶 gû-ni / gû-leng (in Penang) or 奶 ni (the former refers specifically to cow's milk, while the latter can be used for milk in general)
; water : 水 chúi
; beer : 啤酒 pi-chiú (bee chiu)
; salt : 鹽 iâm (yahm)
; pepper : 胡椒粉 hô͘-chio-hún (hhoh chjio hun)
; sugar : 糖 thn̂g
; soy sauce : 豆油 tāu-iû
; butter : 牛油 gû-iû
; done eating : 食飽了 chia̍h-pá-liáu (jyah pah lyow)
; delicious (eating) : 好食 hó-chia̍h (huh jyah)
; delicious (drinking) : 好飲 hó-lim (huh lim)
; How much? : 幾錢？ (gwee chee)
; How many dollars/yuan? : 幾箍？ kúi kho͘ (gwee koh)
; Too much : 傷 shyoo-(gke4) zwuei3
; Don't want : 莫/勿 mbwai / mmm...-mai3
; I need... : (Wah dah-ai...)
; ...toothbrush : 齒抿 khí-bín (kee-mbeeng)
; ...soap : 茶箍 tê-kho͘ (day koh)
; ...shampoo : 洗頭毛 sóe thâu-mn̂g (suay tow-mun) (literally "wash hair")
; ...paper : 紙 chóa (dzwah)
; ...pen : 筆 pit (mbeetd / pbeet)
; ...books : 冊 chheh (tz-cheh)