Hokkien/Common Phrases

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Chinese, Min Nan / Taiwanese (Sinitic)[edit]

The Han characters provided below are for reference and are consistent with the Taiwanese Minnan Recommended Hanzi Usage (台灣閩南語推薦用字) which has been promoted by the government of Taiwan. Individual usage may vary from speaker to speaker based on preference.

Translation Characters Romanization Remarks
Min Nan 閩南語 Bân-lâm-gú
Taiwanese 臺灣話 Tâi-oân-oē
Hokkien 福建話 Hok-kiàn-oē
Hello. 食飽未? Chia̍h pá boeh? (literally, Eaten full yet? Note: This greeting came about at a time when most of Taiwan was in poverty, so to say that one has had enough to eat would be to imply that the person is “doing well”.)
Goodbye. 平安 Pêng-an. (literally, Peace, can also be used as a greeting; primarily Christian usage.)
Please 拜託 Pài-thok
Thank you 勞力 Ló·-la̍t 感謝 (Kám-siā) (literally, "be grateful for, praise") or 感恩 (Kám-ún) is more common in Taiwan.
That one 彼个 Hit-ê
how much? 偌濟? goā choē?
is
not 毋是 m̄-sī (literally, "not is")
Sorry 失禮 Sit-le
Embarrassed! 歹勢! Pháiⁿ-sè! (often used in response when offered/given something by a host)
I don't understand. 我聽無. Goá thiaⁿ bô. (literally, "I hear not")
Where's the bathroom? 便所佇佗? Piān-só· tī toh? (literally "bathroom is where?")
Cheers! 予焦啦! Hō· ta lah! (literally, Let it [the cup/glass] be dry [empty]!)
Do you speak English? 你敢講英語? Lí kám kóng Eng-gú?