In this episode, we’ve learned some higher numbers in Taiwanese and talked about the “red envelope” and weddings. Also, earlier this year, Taiwan became the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage!
(These show notes use tables and rich formatting. Please visit the episode webpage for an optimal viewing experience.)
Let’s take a look at the numbers between 100 and 10,000:
*Syllables that require tone changes have been greyed out.
For numbers higher than “ten thousand”, there is a new term for every four places in Taiwanese. In contrast, in the western numbering system, it’s based on every 1000, or every three places:
|Taiwanese||1 0000||10 0000||100 0000||1000 0000||1 0000 0000|
Here are some numbers mentioned in this episode:
|tsi̍t-tshing tsi̍t-pah = tshing-it||1,100|
|nn̄g-tshing nn̄g-pah = nn̄g-tshing-jī||2,200|
(the estimate number of people who attended Taiwan Pride on Oct 26, 2019)
2 300 0000
(the population of Taiwan)
|la̍k-tsa̍p-káu-bān peh-tshing la̍k-pah-káu-tsa̍p-sì
(the National Palace Museum in Taiwan has a collection of 698,694 pieces of art and historic work)
|pān-toh||Literally “arrange a table” or “prepare a table”
Culture note: “pān-toh” is a traditional Taiwanese banquet held outdoors usually in a covered tent with lots of round tables of 10 or 12. Also, called a “roadside banquet“. People might “pān-toh” for all sorts of occasions like funerals, birthdays of local gods, company year-end events, or weddings. A lot of traditional Taiwanese cuisine originated from the “roadside banquet” dishes.
The amount to be put into the red envelope for weddings can be complicated. Here is a quick guideline for you:
- Avoid 4s because it sounds similar to “death” (sí), and avoid odd digits like 1, 3, 5, 7, 9.
- The first two digits ideally should end in 2, 6 or 8 for good luck.
- Some people avoid 8 because it sounds like “to leave” (pia̍t), but others think it’s lucky because it’s similar to “to become rich” or “to flourish” (huat).
- Try to get a rough table price of the restaurant you are going. Divide the number by 10 so you get the price per person. Your red envelope has to be more than that number (e.g. double the amount).
- The amount also depends on how close you are to the couple, did you bring a plus one (or your family), are you more senior to the couple (in which case you would contribute more), and so on.
Below are some more widely acceptable amounts:
1,200 tshing-jī = tsi̍t-tshing nn̄g-pah
1,600 tshing-la̍k = tsi̍t-tshing la̍k-pah
2,600 nn̄g-tshing-la̍k = nn̄g-tshing la̍k-pah
3,200 sann-tshing-jī = sann-tshing nn̄g-pah
3,600 sann-tshing-la̍k = sann-tshing la̍k-pah
6,600 la̍k-tshing-la̍k = la̍k-tshing la̍k-pah
For additional vocabulary with characters, pronunciation notes, grammar explanations, culture tips, and fun exercises to help your practice, go check out our downloadable workbook!
Music Credit: TeknoAXE