Ep06: 1, 2, 3... | Tsi̍t, nn̄g, sann...

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Bite-size Taiwanese | Newbie
Ep06: 1, 2, 3... | Tsi̍t, nn̄g, sann...

In this episode, we’ve learned how to count from 1-10 in Taiwanese and some idioms and phrases that use numbers. (These show notes use tables and rich formatting. Please visit the episode webpage for an optimal viewing experience.)

tsi̍t nn̄g sann gōo
one two three four five
la̍k tshit peh káu tsa̍p
six seven eight nine ten
Ū tsi̍t hó, bô nn̄g hó. Everything has its advantages and disadvantages. (literally: there’s one good thing; there aren’t two good things)
gōo-sì-sann talking nonsense, trivial or frivolous chatter, unimportant things (literally: 5-4-3)
tshit-tsá-peh-tsá very early in the morning; much earlier than planned (literally: 7 early 8 early)
Tsa̍p tshuì káu kha-tshng. There are too many people talking making it difficult to reach an agreement; There are “too many cooks in the kitchen.” (literally: 10 mouths, 9 butts)

*Syllables that require tone changes are greyed out.


Tone 4 is a Mid Stop tone, which means it starts in the mid-range of your voice and then stops abruptly. Tone 4 and Tone 8 (High Stop tone) are the two “stop” tones in Taiwanese and those syllables generally sound shorter than other tones. In writing, Tone 4 syllables end in -p, -t, -k, or -h, and do not have any tone mark. You can think of it like in English when you learn something that you weren’t expecting, you might go, “huh” as in “huh....well, that’s interesting.” Or, if you suddenly catch someone staring at you, you might say, “what?” as in “what….what are you looking at?” We’ve learned a few words that are Tone 4 in this episode: “tshit” (seven) “peh” (eight) We encourage you to re-listen and pay special attention to “tshit” and “peh”. You can also check out our workbook for some exercises on Tone 4. If you want to know what tones the other syllables have changed to, we’ve marked them for you in our downloadable workbook. You'll also find additional vocabulary with characters, pronunciation notes, grammar explanations, culture tips, and fun exercises to help your practice. Go check it out!

Music Credit: TeknoAXE

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