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Taiwanese Hokkien phrasebook

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Taiwanese Hokkien is the Hokkien dialect of Min Nan as spoken by about 70 percent of the population of Taiwan. Other language variants/dialects are spoken in Taiwan as well.

Pronunciation guide[edit]

Vowels[edit]

Consonants[edit]

Common diphthongs[edit]

Phrase list[edit]

Pseudo-phonetization[edit]

The following uses an unconventional romanization and does not describe tones, but just tries to be phonetically accurate from an (American) English speaking standpoint. 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 Taiwanese. Unfortunately, it is difficult to cover all tones this way, especially nasal and breath differences, and thus cannot be completely accurate.

  • Asterisk precedes words that are very hard to phonetize. It would be nice to get some audio on here for these, if not all.
  • Also to note is the phoneme for "* L" or "* D" used below. It is best described as a transition between an "N", "L" and "D" sound. It is not as hard as a "D", but keep your tongue flat on your palette (as opposed to tip as in "L").

Basics[edit]

Common signs

OPEN 
CLOSED 
ENTRANCE 
EXIT 
PUSH 
PULL 
TOILET 
MEN 
WOMEN 
FORBIDDEN 


Hello. 
你好. (* Li ho — literally, "you good?")
Hello. (informal) 食飽未?
chiah8 pa2--boe. (')
How are you? 
 ? (你好無* Li ho-ba; OR 食飽未 Jia bah bo — literally, "eat full?")
Fine, thank you. 好,多謝。(informal
. (Huh, duh shiah)
Fine, thank you. 好,感謝。(formal
. (Huh, gahm shiah)
Not bad. 
. (Mbay mbai)
What is your name? 
 ? (* Li-ay myah shee sa?)
My name is ______ . 
______ . (Wah-ay mya shee _____ .)
Nice to meet you. 
. ( )
Please. 
. (Pbai toh)
Thank you. 
. 感謝( Gam-Xia)
You're welcome. / That's OK. 
. (Me-en Kayki)
Yes. 
. (She)
No. 
. (Mmm-She)
Excuse me. (getting attention
. ( )
Excuse me. (begging pardon
. (Pai say)
I'm sorry. (informal
. (Pai say)
I'm sorry. (formal
. (* Shid eh)
Goodbye 
再見. (chau)
Goodbye (informal
. ( )
I can't speak Taiwanese. 
[ ]. (Wah mbay hyow gong dai-yi)
Do you speak English? 
 ? (* Li gah-ay hyow gong eng-yee)
Is there someone here who speaks English? 
 ? (Jiah gah oo * lahng ay hyow gong eng-yee)
Help! 
 ! ( !)
Look out! 
 ! (Sheo shim !)
Good morning. 
. ( )
Good evening. 
. ( )
Good night. 
. ( )
Good night (to sleep
. ( )
I don't understand. 
. (Wah tyah bo)
Where is the toilet? 
 ? (Ben so dee-dwe)

Problems[edit]

Go away! 
. (kia kwee!)
Don't touch me! 
 ! (Mai gah-wah mo!)
I'll call the police. (informal
. (Wah kah gien tsah.)
I'll call the police. (formal
. (Wah ay kah hoh gien tsah.)
Police! 
 ! (Gien tsah!)
Stop! 
 ! ! (Dohng Diam!)
I need your help. 
. (Wah soo-yow * dee-ay bahm-mahng)
It's an emergency. 
. ( .)
I'm lost. 
. (Wah mbo-key.)
I lost my bag. 
. ( .)
I lost my purse/wallet. 
. (Wah pahng-key wah-ay pay bow)
I'm sick. 
. (Wah pwah bee or Wah gahng koh)
I've been injured. 
. (Wah dyuh shohng)
I need a doctor. 
. (Wah dah-ai ee-shun)
Can I use your phone? 
 ? (Wah gah-ay sai yen * li-ay dyeng-way)

Numbers[edit]

(jeet)
(nun)
(sa)
(shee)
(go)
(* lahk)
(cheet)
(bway)
(gow)
10 
(tsahp)
11 
(tsah-eet)
12 
(tsah- * dee)
13 
(tsah-sa)
14 
(tsah-she)
15 
(tsah-go)
16 
(tsah-lahk)
17 
(tsah-cheet)
18 
(tsah-bway)
19 
(tsah-gow)
20 
(* lee-tsahp)
21 
(* leetsahp-eet)
22 
(* leetsahp- * dee)
23 
(* leetsahp-sa)
30 
(sa-tsahp)
40 
(she-tsahp)
50 
(go-tsahp)
60 
(* lahk-tsahp)
70 
(cheet-tsahp)
80 
(bway-tsahp)
90 
(gow-tsahp)
100 
(jee-bah)
200 
(nun-bah)
300 
(sa-bah)
1,000 
(jee-cheng)
2,000 
(nun-cheng)
10,000 
(jee-mahng)
100,000 
(tsahp-mahng)
1,000,000 
(jeebah-mahng)
1,000,000,000 
(jeecheng-mahng)
1,000,000,000,000 
( )
number _____ (train, bus, etc.) 
( )
half 
(* bwah)
less 
(kah jyuh)
more 
(kah tsay)

Time[edit]

now 
(jeemah or jeetzoon)
later 
(kah dahng-ay or shuh dahng)
before 
(ee jun)
morning 
(tao dtsah)
afternoon 
(ay boh)
evening 
(ay ahm)
night 
(ahm)
Clock time[edit]
one o'clock AM 
(tao tza jeet diam)
two o'clock AM 
(tao tza nen diam)
noon 
(dyong dow)
one o'clock PM 
(ay boh jeet diam)
two o'clock PM 
(ay boh nen diam)
midnight 
( )
Duration[edit]
_____ minute(s) 
(whhun)
_____ hour(s) 
(diam jun)
_____ day(s) 
(* leet)
_____ week(s) 
(* lay bai)
_____ month(s) 
(whay * leet)
_____ year(s) 
(nee)
Days[edit]
today 
(gyah * de * deet)
yesterday 
(dtsah-ung)
tomorrow 
(miyah tsai)
this week 
(tsi * day bai)
last week 
(den * day bai)
next week 
(ow * lay bai)
Sunday 
(* lay-bai)
Monday 
(bai-eet)
Tuesday 
(bai- * dee)
Wednesday 
(bai-sa)
Thursday 
(bai-shee)
Friday 
(bai-go)
Saturday 
(bai- * lahk)
Months[edit]
January 
(ee-whad — sounds like "what" but with "d" sound not "t")
February 
(* lee-whad)
March 
(sa-whad)
April 
(shee-whad)
May 
(go-whad)
June 
(* lahk-whad)
July 
(chee-whad)
August 
(bway-whad)
September 
(gow-whad)
October 
(tsahb-whad)
November 
(tsahb-eet-whad)
December 
(tsahb- *de-whad)
Writing time and date[edit]

Colors[edit]

black 
(oh shid)
white 
(bay shid)
gray 
(whey shid — literally "ash color")
red 
(ahng shid)
blue 
(na shid)
yellow 
(ung shid)
green 
(chyee shid)
orange 
(gahmah shid)
purple 
(gyuh shid — literally "eggplant color")
brown 
(toh-shid — literally "dirt color")

Transportation[edit]

More transport vocabulary

Ticket. 
(dyu pyuh)
One ticket. 
(jeet-pyuh)
How much is one ticket? 
(Jeet-pyuh shee gwee-koh? — literally "one ticket is how many dollars?")
Bus. 
(kay-wun)
Train. 
(whey-chiah)
Where does this bus go? 
(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! 
(Pbai-toh, dong!)


Bus and train[edit]
How much is a ticket to _____? 
( )
One ticket to _____, please. 
( )
Where does this train/bus go? 
( )
Where is the train/bus to _____? 
( )
Does this train/bus stop in _____? 
( )
When does the train/bus for _____ leave? 
( )
When will this train/bus arrive in _____? 
( )
Directions[edit]
How do I get to _____ ? 
(mbay ahndswah kee _____ ?)
...the train station? 
(whey chiah dyoo?)
...the bus station? 
(kay-wun dyoo?)
...the airport? 
(whey-deng-gee dyoo?)
...downtown? 
(chee dyong sheemg?)
...the youth hostel? 
( )
...the hotel? 
(* lee-guang?)
...the restaurant? 
(bung-diam?)
...the American/Canadian/Australian/British consulate? 
( )
Where are there a lot of... 
(Dway oo jote-tsay...)
...hotels? 
( )
...restaurants? 
( )
...bars? 
( )
...sites to see? 
( )
Do you have a map? 
(* lee gah-oo day-doh?)
Can you show me on the map? 
( )
street 
(* loh)
Turn left. 
(duh wah)
Turn right. 
( )
left 
(duh)
right 
(jyah)
straight ahead 
(dee-deet kee or dee-deet gyah)
towards the _____ 
( )
past the _____ 
( )
before the _____ 
( )
Watch for the _____. 
( )
intersection 
( )
north 
( )
south 
( )
east 
( )
west 
( )
uphill 
( )
downhill 
( )
Taxi[edit]
Taxi! 
(gay-dyen chiah!)
Take me to _____, please. 
(dzai wah kee _____)
How much does it cost to get to _____? 
(mbay kee _____ gwee koh?)
Take me there, please. 
( )

Lodging[edit]

Do you have any rooms available? 
(Oo bahn-gyun mbo?)
How much for one room? 
(Jeet gyun, wah-tsay gyee?)
Does the room come with... 
(Gah oo..)
...bedsheets? 
( )
...a bathroom? 
(beng soh?)
...a telephone? 
(dyung way?)
...a TV? 
(dyung ah?)
May I see the room first? 
(Gah-ay-dahng shung kwah?)
Do you have anything... 
(Gah oo kah...)
...bigger? 
(dwah-ay)
...cleaner? 
(cheng-kee )
...cheaper? 
(shohg-ay)
OK, I'll take it. 
( )
I will stay for _____ night(s). 
(Huh, mbay kuhng ____ ahm.)
Can you suggest another hotel? 
(Gah oo bahg-ay * lee-guang?)
Do you have a safe? 
( )
...lockers? 
( )
Is breakfast/supper included? 
( )
What time is breakfast/supper? 
(Dzah-dun gwee-diam?)
Please clean my room. 
(Pbai toh kyeng wah-ay bahn-gyun)
Can you wake me at _____? 
(_____ gah wah gyuh kiah, huhbuh?)
I want to check out. 
( )

Money[edit]

Do you accept American/Australian/Canadian dollars? 
( )
Do you accept British pounds? 
( )
Do you accept Euros? 
( )
Do you accept credit cards? 
( )
Can you change money for me? 
( )
Where can I get money changed? 
(Dway ay-dahng wah jyee?)
Can you change a traveler's check for me? 
( )
Where can I get a traveler's check changed? 
( )
What is the exchange rate? 
( )
Where is an automatic teller machine (ATM)? 
( )

Eating[edit]

A table for one person/two people, please. 
( )
Can I look at the menu, please? 
( )
Can I look in the kitchen? 
( )
Is there a house specialty? 
( )
Is there a local specialty? 
( )
I'm a vegetarian. 
( )
I don't eat pork. 
(wa-bo-jiat-di-mbah )
I don't eat beef. 
(wa-bo-jiat-goo-mbah )
I only eat kosher food. 
( )
Can you make it "lite", please? (less oil/butter/lard
( )
fixed-price meal 
( )
a la carte 
( )
breakfast 
(dzah-den)
lunch 
(dyong-den)
tea (meal
( )
supper 
(ahm-den)
I want _____. 
(wah-mbay _____)
I want a dish containing _____. 
( )
chicken 
(gay-mbah)
beef 
(goo-mbah)
fish 
(hee-ah)
ham 
( )
sausage 
( )
cheese 
( )
eggs 
(nun)
salad 
( )
vegetables 
(tsai)
fruit 
(dzwee-guh)
bread 
(pahng)
toast 
(bbang )
noodles 
(mee)
rice 
(buhng)
beans 
( )
May I have a glass of _____? 
( )
May I have a cup of _____? 
( )
May I have a bottle of _____? 
( )
coffee 
(gah-bee)
tea (drink
(day)
juice 
( )
(bubbly) water 
( )
(still) water 
( )
beer 
(bee- * doo)
red/white wine 
( )
May I have some _____? 
( )
salt 
(yahm)
pepper 
(hyahm)
butter 
( )
Excuse me, waiter? (getting attention of server)
( )
I'm finished. 
(jyah- * lyow)
It was delicious. 
(huh-jyah)
Please clear the plates. 
( )
The check, please. 
( )

Bars[edit]

Do you serve alcohol? 
( )
Is there table service? 
( )
A beer/two beers, please. 
( )
A glass of red/white wine, please. 
( )
A pint, please. 
( )
A bottle, please. 
( )
_____ (hard liquor) and _____ (mixer), please. 
( )
whiskey 
( )
vodka 
( )
rum 
( )
water 
(Zui )
club soda 
( )
tonic water 
( )
orange juice 
( )
Coke (soda
( )
Do you have any bar snacks? 
( )
One more, please. 
( )
Another round, please. 
( )
When is closing time? 
( )
Cheers! 
(Gam-Bei )

Shopping[edit]

Do you have this in my size? 
( )
How much is this? 
(Gwee koh/Wah dzay jyee?)
That's too expensive. 
(shyoo-gwee)
Would you take _____? 
( )
expensive 
( )
cheap 
( )
I can't afford it. 
( )
I don't want it. 
(mbwai)
You're cheating me. 
( )
I'm not interested. 
(..)
OK, I'll take it. 
( )
Can I have a bag? 
( )
Do you ship (overseas)? 
( )
I need... 
(Wah dah-ai...)
...toothpaste. 
( )
...a toothbrush. 
(kee-mbeeng)
...tampons. 
. ( )
...soap. 
(day koh)
...shampoo. 
(say tow-mun — literally "wash hair")
...pain reliever. (e.g., aspirin or ibuprofen
( )
...cold medicine. 
( )
...stomach medicine. 
... ( )
...a razor. 
( )
...an umbrella. 
( )
...sunblock lotion. 
( )
...a postcard. 
( )
...postage stamps. 
( )
...batteries. 
( )
...paper. 
(dzwah)
...a pen. 
(mbeetd)
...books. 
(dzoo)
...English-language books. 
( )
...English-language magazines. 
( )
...an English-language newspaper. 
( )
...an English-English dictionary. 
( )

Driving[edit]

I want to rent a car. 
( )
Can I get insurance? 
( )
stop (on a street sign
( )
one way 
( )
yield 
( )
no parking 
( )
speed limit 
( )
gas (petrol) station 
( )
petrol 
( )
diesel 
( )

Authority[edit]

I haven't done anything wrong. 
( )
It was a misunderstanding. 
( )
Where are you taking me? 
( )
Am I under arrest? 
( )
I am an American/Australian/British/Canadian citizen. 
( )
I want to talk to the American/Australian/British/Canadian embassy/consulate. 
( )
I want to talk to a lawyer. 
( )
Can I just pay a fine now? 
( )

Peh-oē-jī phonetization[edit]

Basics[edit]

Common signs

OPEN 
CLOSED 
ENTRANCE 
EXIT 
PUSH 
PULL 
TOILET 
MEN 
WOMEN 
FORBIDDEN 


Hello. 
. ( )
Hello. (informal
. ( )
How are you? 
 ? ( ?)
Fine, thank you. 
. ( )
What is your name? 
 ? ( ?)
My name is ______ . 
______ . ( _____ .)
Nice to meet you. 
. ( )
Please. 
. ( )
Thank you. 
. ( )
You're welcome. 
. ( )
Yes. 
. ( )
No. 
. ( )
Excuse me. (getting attention
. ( )
Excuse me. (begging pardon
. ( )
I'm sorry. 
. ( )
Goodbye 
. ( )
Goodbye (informal
. ( )
I can't speak Taiwanese Hokkien [well]. 
[ ]. ( [ ])
Do you speak English? 
 ? ( ?)
Is there someone here who speaks English? 
 ? ( ?)
Help! 
 ! ( !)
Look out! 
 ! ( !)
Good morning. 
. ( )
Good evening. 
. ( )
Good night. 
. ( )
Good night (to sleep
. ( )
I don't understand. 
. ( )
Where is the toilet? 
 ? ( ?)

Problems[edit]

Leave me alone. 
. ( .)
Don't touch me! 
 ! ( !)
I'll call the police. 
. ( .)
Police! 
 ! ( !)
Stop! Thief! 
 ! ! ( ! !)
I need your help. 
. ( .)
It's an emergency. 
. ( .)
I'm lost. 
. ( .)
I lost my bag. 
. ( .)
I lost my wallet. 
. ( .)
I'm sick. 
. ( .)
I've been injured. 
. ( .)
I need a doctor. 
. ( .)
Can I use your phone? 
 ? ( ?)

Numbers[edit]

( )
( )
( )
( )
( )
( )
( )
( )
( )
10 
( )
11 
( )
12 
( )
13 
( )
14 
( )
15 
( )
16 
( )
17 
( )
18 
( )
19 
( )
20 
( )
21 
( )
22 
( )
23 
( )
30 
( )
40 
( )
50 
( )
60 
( )
70 
( )
80 
( )
90 
( )
100 
( )
200 
( )
300 
( )
1,000 
( )
2,000 
( )
1,000,000 
( )
1,000,000,000 
( )
1,000,000,000,000 
( )
number _____ (train, bus, etc.) 
( )
half 
( )
less 
( )
more 
( )

Time[edit]

now 
( )
later 
( )
before 
( )
morning 
( )
afternoon 
( )
evening 
( )
night 
( )
Clock time[edit]
one o'clock AM 
( )
two o'clock AM 
( )
noon 
( )
one o'clock PM 
( )
two o'clock PM 
( )
midnight 
( )
Duration[edit]
_____ minute(s) 
( )
_____ hour(s) 
( )
_____ day(s) 
( )
_____ week(s) 
( )
_____ month(s) 
( )
_____ year(s) 
( )
Days[edit]
today 
( )
yesterday 
( )
tomorrow 
( )
this week 
( )
last week 
( )
next week 
( )
Sunday 
( )
Monday 
( )
Tuesday 
( )
Wednesday 
( )
Thursday 
( )
Friday 
( )
Saturday 
( )
Months[edit]
January 
( )
February 
( )
March 
( )
April 
( )
May 
( )
June 
( )
July 
( )
August 
( )
September 
( )
October 
( )
November 
( )
December 
( )
Writing time and date[edit]

Colors[edit]

black 
( )
white 
( )
gray 
( )
red 
( )
blue 
( )
yellow 
( )
green 
( )
orange 
( )
purple 
( )
brown 
( )

Transportation[edit]

Bus and train[edit]
How much is a ticket to _____? 
( )
One ticket to _____, please. 
( )
Where does this train/bus go? 
( )
Where is the train/bus to _____? 
( )
Does this train/bus stop in _____? 
( )
When does the train/bus for _____ leave? 
( )
When will this train/bus arrive in _____? 
( )
Directions[edit]
How do I get to _____ ? 
( )
...the train station? 
( )
...the bus station? 
( )
...the airport? 
( )
...downtown? 
( )
...the youth hostel? 
( )
...the _____ hotel? 
( )
...the American/Canadian/Australian/British consulate? 
( )
Where are there a lot of... 
( )
...hotels? 
( )
...restaurants? 
( )
...bars? 
( )
...sites to see? 
( )
Can you show me on the map? 
( )
street 
( )
Turn left. 
( )
Turn right. 
( )
left 
( )
right 
( )
straight ahead 
( )
towards the _____ 
( )
past the _____ 
( )
before the _____ 
( )
Watch for the _____. 
( )
intersection 
( )
north 
( )
south 
( )
east 
( )
west 
( )
uphill 
( )
downhill 
( )
Taxi[edit]
Taxi! 
( )
Take me to _____, please. 
( )
How much does it cost to get to _____? 
( )
Take me there, please. 
( )

Lodging[edit]

Do you have any rooms available? 
( )
How much is a room for one person/two people? 
( )
Does the room come with... 
( )
...bedsheets? 
( )
...a bathroom? 
( )
...a telephone? 
( )
...a TV? 
( )
May I see the room first? 
( )
Do you have anything quieter? 
( )
...bigger? 
( )
...cleaner? 
( )
...cheaper? 
( )
OK, I'll take it. 
( )
I will stay for _____ night(s). 
( )
Can you suggest another hotel? 
( )
Do you have a safe? 
( )
...lockers? 
( )
Is breakfast/supper included? 
( )
What time is breakfast/supper? 
( )
Please clean my room. 
( )
Can you wake me at _____? 
( )
I want to check out. 
( )

Money[edit]

Do you accept American/Australian/Canadian dollars? 
( )
Do you accept British pounds? 
( )
Do you accept Euros? 
( )
Do you accept credit cards? 
( )
Can you change money for me? 
( )
Where can I get money changed? 
( )
Can you change a traveler's check for me? 
( )
Where can I get a traveler's check changed? 
( )
What is the exchange rate? 
( )
Where is an automatic teller machine (ATM)? 
( )

Eating[edit]

A table for one person/two people, please. 
( )
Can I look at the menu, please? 
( )
Can I look in the kitchen? 
( )
Is there a house specialty? 
( )
Is there a local specialty? 
( )
I'm a vegetarian. 
( )
I don't eat pork. 
( )
I don't eat beef. 
( )
I only eat kosher food. 
( )
Can you make it "lite", please? (less oil/butter/lard
( )
fixed-price meal 
( )
a la carte 
( )
breakfast 
( )
lunch 
( )
tea (meal
( )
supper 
( )
I want _____. 
( )
I want a dish containing _____. 
( )
chicken 
( )
beef 
( )
fish 
( )
ham 
( )
sausage 
( )
cheese 
( )
eggs 
( )
salad 
( )
(fresh) vegetables 
( )
(fresh) fruit 
( )
bread 
( )
toast 
( )
noodles 
( )
rice 
( )
beans 
( )
May I have a glass of _____? 
( )
May I have a cup of _____? 
( )
May I have a bottle of _____? 
( )
coffee 
( )
tea (drink
( )
juice 
( )
(bubbly) water 
( )
(still) water 
( )
beer 
( )
red/white wine 
( )
May I have some _____? 
( )
salt 
( )
black pepper 
( )
butter 
( )
Excuse me, waiter? (getting attention of server)
( )
I'm finished. 
( )
It was delicious. 
( )
Please clear the plates. 
( )
The check, please. 
( )

Bars[edit]

Do you serve alcohol? 
( )
Is there table service? 
( )
A beer/two beers, please. 
( )
A glass of red/white wine, please. 
( )
A pint, please. 
( )
A bottle, please. 
( )
_____ (hard liquor) and _____ (mixer), please. 
( )
whiskey 
( )
vodka 
( )
rum 
( )
water 
( )
club soda 
( )
tonic water 
( )
orange juice 
( )
Coke (soda
( )
Do you have any bar snacks? 
( )
One more, please. 
( )
Another round, please. 
( )
When is closing time? 
( )
Cheers! 
( )

Shopping[edit]

Do you have this in my size? 
( )
How much is this? 
( )
That's too expensive. 
( )
Would you take _____? 
( )
expensive 
( )
cheap 
( )
I can't afford it. 
( )
I don't want it. 
( )
You're cheating me. 
( )
I'm not interested. 
(..)
OK, I'll take it. 
( )
Can I have a bag? 
( )
Do you ship (overseas)? 
( )
I need... 
( )
...toothpaste. 
( )
...a toothbrush. 
( )
...tampons. 
. ( )
...soap. 
( )
...shampoo. 
( )
...pain reliever. (e.g., aspirin or ibuprofen
( )
...cold medicine. 
( )
...stomach medicine. 
... ( )
...a razor. 
( )
...an umbrella. 
( )
...sunblock lotion. 
( )
...a postcard. 
( )
...postage stamps. 
( )
...batteries. 
( )
...writing paper. 
( )
...a pen. 
( )
...English-language books. 
( )
...English-language magazines. 
( )
...an English-language newspaper. 
( )
...an English-English dictionary. 
( )

Driving[edit]

I want to rent a car. 
( )
Can I get insurance? 
( )
stop (on a street sign
( )
one way 
( )
yield 
( )
no parking 
( )
speed limit 
( )
gas (petrol) station 
( )
petrol 
( )
diesel 
( )

Authority[edit]

I haven't done anything wrong. 
( )
It was a misunderstanding. 
( )
Where are you taking me? 
( )
Am I under arrest? 
( )
I am an American/Australian/British/Canadian citizen. 
( )
I want to talk to the American/Australian/British/Canadian embassy/consulate. 
( )
I want to talk to a lawyer. 
( )
Can I just pay a fine now? 
( )

Pinyin phonetization[edit]

Please note that the Chinese tonal inflection is represented as numbers following each syllable.

Basics[edit]

Common signs

OPEN 
CLOSED 
ENTRANCE 
EXIT 
PUSH 
PULL 
TOILET 
MEN 
WOMEN 
FORBIDDEN 


Some general phrases

  • Hello - Li Huh (LEE-HUH)
  • Thank you - Duo Xia (DOOOO-SHIAH)
  • You are beautiful - Li Jiu Sui (LEE-JOE-SWEE)
  • Don't lie to me! - Mai Gei (MY-GAY)
  • This is delicious (for beverage) - Ho Lim
  • This is delicious (for food) - Ho Jia 好吃 (HO JIYA)
  • Have some tea - Lim De
  • Make tea - Pao Day
  • That's OK / Your Welcome - Me-en Kayki


Hello. 
Lee(1) ho(1) . (literally: You Good?)
Hello. (informal
. ( )
How are you? 
Lee(1) ho(1) boh(3) ? (Literal: You Good Not?)
Fine, thank you. 
sise ni, habahao . (thank you )
What is your name? 
Lee(1) eh(2) mya(2) shi(3) sha(1) mi(2)? ( ?)
My name is ______ . 
Wah(1) eh(2) mya(2) shi(3) ______ . ( Guwa (guwa is one syllable) shi _____ .)
Nice to meet you. 
. ( )
Please. 
Bia Tok. ( )
Thank you. 
Kam(1) siah(1) . ( )
You're welcome. 
. ( )
Yes. 
si(1) . ( )
No. 
mm(3) si(1). ( )
Excuse me. (getting attention
. ( )
Excuse me. (begging pardon
. ( )
I'm sorry. 
Shi(1) Lei(1) . ( )
Goodbye 
Zhai(4) gen(3) . ( )
Goodbye (informal
. ( )
I can't speak name of language [well]. 
Wah(1) buay(2) hiao(4) gong(1) name of language. ( [ ])
Do you speak English? 
Lee(1) gum(1) eh(3) hiao(4) gong(1) eng(2) gyi(1)? ( ?)
Is there someone here who speaks English? 
Gum(1) ou(3) lung(2) eh(3) hiao(4) gong(1) eng(2) gyi(1)? ( ?)
Help! 
 ! ( !)
Look out! 
 ! ( !)
Good morning. 
gow char ( )
Good evening. 
. ( )
Good night. 
. ( )
Good night (to sleep
. ( )
I don't understand. 
tiah boh . (hear not )
I don't understand. 
beh meng pek . (do not understand )
Where is the toilet? 
Ben(3) soh(4) di(2) de(1) We(2)? (Literal: bathroom, where is it?)
wait 
teisya

Problems[edit]

Leave me alone. 
. ( .)
Don't touch me! 
 ! ( !)
I'll call the police. 
. ( .)
Police! 
 ! ( !)
Stop! Thief! 
 ! ! ( ! !)
I need your help. 
. ( .)
It's an emergency. 
. ( .)
I'm lost. 
. ( .)
I lost my bag. 
. ( .)
I lost my wallet. 
. ( .)
I'm sick. 
. ( .)
I've been injured. 
. ( .)
I need a doctor. 
. ( .)
Can I use your phone? 
 ? ( ?)

Numbers[edit]

Jit(1) ( )
Nung(2) or Li(2) (Please note rules to use Nung(2) or Li(2) when counting.)
Sanh(1) ( )
Shi(3) ( )
Goh(2) ( )
Luk(2) ( )
Chit(2) ( )
Beh(2) ( )
Gao(4) ( )
10 
Tsup(2) ( )
11 
Tzup(2)-yit(1) ( )
12 
Tzup(2)-Li(2) (Notice change from Nung(2) to Li(2) when describe unit of one)
13 
Tzup(2)-Sanh(1) ( )
14 
Tzup(2)-Shi(1) ( )
15 
Tzup(2)-Goh(2) ( )
16 
Tzup(2)-Luk(2) ( )
17 
Tzup(2)-Chit(2) ( )
18 
Tzup(2)-Beh(2) ( )
19 
Tzup(2)-Gao(2) ( )
20 
Li(3)-Tzup(3) (Notice use Li(2) to modify units of ten)
21 
Li(3)-Tzup(3)-it(3) ( )
22 
Li(3)-Tzup(3)-Li(3) ( )
23 
( )
30 
( )
40 
( )
50 
( )
60 
( )
70 
( )
80 
( )
90 
( )
100 
Jit(1)-Bah(1) (Bah = 100)
200 
Nung(2)-Bah(1) (Notice use of Nung(2) to modify multiples of 100)
300 
( )
1,000 
Jit(3)-Ching(1) (Ching = 1000)
2,000 
Nung(2)-Ching(1) ( )
10,000 
Jit(3)-Bhun(2) or Mhun(2) (Buhn(2) = 10000)
20,000 
Nung(2)-Bhun(2) ( )
100,000 
Tzup(2)-Bhun(2)
1,000,000 
Jit(3)-Bah(2)-Bhun(2) ( )
1,000,000,000 
( )
1,000,000,000,000 
( )
number _____ (train, bus, etc.) 
( )
half 
( )
less 
( )
more 
( )

Time[edit]

now 
( )
later 
( )
before 
( )
morning 
( )
afternoon 
( )
evening 
( )
night 
( )
Clock time[edit]
one o'clock AM 
( )
two o'clock AM 
( )
noon 
( )
one o'clock PM 
( )
two o'clock PM 
( )
midnight 
( )
Duration[edit]
_____ minute(s) 
( )
_____ hour(s) 
( )
_____ day(s) 
( )
_____ week(s) 
( )
_____ month(s) 
( )
_____ year(s) 
( )
Days[edit]
today 
( )
yesterday 
( )
tomorrow 
( )
this week 
( )
last week 
( )
next week 
( )
Sunday 
( )
Monday 
( )
Tuesday 
( )
Wednesday 
( )
Thursday 
( )
Friday 
( )
Saturday 
( )
Months[edit]
January 
( )
February 
( )
March 
( )
April 
( )
May 
( )
June 
( )
July 
( )
August 
( )
September 
( )
October 
( )
November 
( )
December 
( )
Writing time and date[edit]

Colors[edit]

black 
( )
white 
( )
gray 
( )
red 
( )
blue 
( )
yellow 
( )
green 
( )
orange 
( )
purple 
( )
brown 
( )

Transportation[edit]

Bus and train[edit]
How much is a ticket to _____? 
( )
One ticket to _____, please. 
( )
Where does this train/bus go? 
( )
Where is the train/bus to _____? 
( )
Does this train/bus stop in _____? 
( )
When does the train/bus for _____ leave? 
( )
When will this train/bus arrive in _____? 
( )
Directions[edit]
How do I get to _____ ? 
( )
...the train station? 
( )
...the bus station? 
( )
...the airport? 
( )
...downtown? 
( )
...the youth hostel? 
( )
...the _____ hotel? 
( )
...the American/Canadian/Australian/British consulate? 
( )
Where are there a lot of... 
( )
...hotels? 
( )
...restaurants? 
( )
...bars? 
( )
...sites to see? 
( )
Can you show me on the map? 
( )
street 
( )
Turn left. 
( )
Turn right. 
( )
left 
( )
right 
( )
straight ahead 
( )
towards the _____ 
( )
past the _____ 
( )
before the _____ 
( )
Watch for the _____. 
( )
intersection 
( )
north 
( )
south 
( )
east 
( )
west 
( )
uphill 
( )
downhill 
( )
Taxi[edit]
Taxi! 
( )
Take me to _____, please. 
( )
How much does it cost to get to _____? 
( )
Take me there, please. 
( )

Lodging[edit]

Do you have any rooms available? 
( )
How much is a room for one person/two people? 
( )
Does the room come with... 
( )
...bedsheets? 
( )
...a bathroom? 
( )
...a telephone? 
( )
...a TV? 
( )
May I see the room first? 
( )
Do you have anything quieter? 
( )
...bigger? 
( )
...cleaner? 
( )
...cheaper? 
( )
OK, I'll take it. 
( )
I will stay for _____ night(s). 
( )
Can you suggest another hotel? 
( )
Do you have a safe? 
( )
...lockers? 
( )
Is breakfast/supper included? 
( )
What time is breakfast/supper? 
( )
Please clean my room. 
( )
Can you wake me at _____? 
( )
I want to check out. 
( )

Money[edit]

Do you accept American/Australian/Canadian dollars? 
( )
Do you accept British pounds? 
( )
Do you accept Euros? 
( )
Do you accept credit cards? 
( )
Can you change money for me? 
( )
Where can I get money changed? 
( )
Can you change a traveler's check for me? 
( )
Where can I get a traveler's check changed? 
( )
What is the exchange rate? 
( )
Where is an automatic teller machine (ATM)? 
( )

Eating[edit]

A table for one person/two people, please. 
( )
Can I look at the menu, please? 
( )
Can I look in the kitchen? 
( )
Is there a house specialty? 
( )
Is there a local specialty? 
( )
I'm a vegetarian. 
( )
I don't eat pork. 
( )
I don't eat beef. 
( )
I only eat kosher food. 
( )
Can you make it "lite", please? (less oil/butter/lard
( )
fixed-price meal 
( )
a la carte 
( )
breakfast 
( )
lunch 
( )
tea (meal
( )
supper 
( )
I want _____. 
( )
I want a dish containing _____. 
( )
chicken 
( )
beef 
( )
fish 
( )
ham 
( )
sausage 
( )
cheese 
( )
eggs 
( )
salad 
( )
(fresh) vegetables 
( )
(fresh) fruit 
( )
bread 
( )
toast 
( )
noodles 
( )
rice 
( )
beans 
( )
May I have a glass of _____? 
( )
May I have a cup of _____? 
( )
May I have a bottle of _____? 
( )
coffee 
( )
tea (drink
( )
juice 
( )
(bubbly) water 
( )
(still) water 
( )
beer 
( )
red/white wine 
( )
May I have some _____? 
( )
salt 
( )
black pepper 
( )
butter 
( )
Excuse me, waiter? (getting attention of server)
( )
I'm finished. 
( )
It was delicious. 
( )
Please clear the plates. 
( )
The check, please. 
( )

Bars[edit]

Do you serve alcohol? 
( )
Is there table service? 
( )
A beer/two beers, please. 
( )
A glass of red/white wine, please. 
( )
A pint, please. 
( )
A bottle, please. 
( )
_____ (hard liquor) and _____ (mixer), please. 
( )
whiskey 
( )
vodka 
( )
rum 
( )
water 
( )
club soda 
( )
tonic water 
( )
orange juice 
( )
Coke (soda
( )
Do you have any bar snacks? 
( )
One more, please. 
( )
Another round, please. 
( )
When is closing time? 
( )
Cheers! 
( )

Shopping[edit]

Do you have this in my size? 
( )
How much is this? 
( )
That's too expensive. 
( )
Would you take _____? 
( )
expensive 
( )
cheap 
( )
I can't afford it. 
( )
I don't want it. 
( )
You're cheating me. 
( )
I'm not interested. 
(..)
OK, I'll take it. 
( )
Can I have a bag? 
( )
Do you ship (overseas)? 
( )
I need... 
( )
...toothpaste. 
( )
...a toothbrush. 
( )
...tampons. 
. ( )
...soap. 
( )
...shampoo. 
( )
...pain reliever. (e.g., aspirin or ibuprofen
( )
...cold medicine. 
( )
...stomach medicine. 
... ( )
...a razor. 
( )
...an umbrella. 
( )
...sunblock lotion. 
( )
...a postcard. 
( )
...postage stamps. 
( )
...batteries. 
( )
...writing paper. 
( )
...a pen. 
( )
...English-language books. 
( )
...English-language magazines. 
( )
...an English-language newspaper. 
( )
...an English-English dictionary. 
( )

Driving[edit]

I want to rent a car. 
( )
Can I get insurance? 
( )
stop (on a street sign
( )
one way 
( )
yield 
( )
no parking 
( )
speed limit 
( )
gas (petrol) station 
( )
petrol 
( )
diesel 
( )

Authority[edit]

I haven't done anything wrong. 
( )
It was a misunderstanding. 
( )
Where are you taking me? 
( )
Am I under arrest? 
( )
I am an American/Australian/British/Canadian citizen. 
( )
I want to talk to the American/Australian/British/Canadian embassy/consulate. 
( )
I want to talk to a lawyer. 
( )
Can I just pay a fine now? 
( )
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