Ep09: A bowl of Chiayi Turkey Rice | Tsi̍t-uánn Ka-gī ke-bah-pn̄g 一碗嘉義雞肉飯

Ep09: A bowl of Chiayi Turkey Rice | Tsi̍t-uánn Ka-gī ke-bah-pn̄g 一碗嘉義雞肉飯
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00:00 / 00:17:20
 
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In this episode, we’ve learned some Taiwanese “measure words” while Phil and Alan figure out the ingredients for a Thanksgiving turkey dinner.

(These show notes use tables and rich formatting. Please visit the episode webpage for an optimal viewing experience.)

NUM + MEASURE WORD + NOUN

In Taiwanese, whenever we use a number to indicate the amount of something, there is always an extra word between the number and the noun. This word is called a “counter”, “measure word”, or “classifier”, because it involves some kind of classification of the noun being counted.

For example, when saying “6 people”, we use “ê”:

la̍k ê lâng
num MW noun

*Syllables that require tone changes have been greyed out.

And when counting animals, e.g. “one/a turkey”, we use “tsiah”:

tsi̍t tsiah hué-ke
num MW noun

Some nouns can be used with more than one measure word depending on the shape or form it takes. You’ll also find that some measure words seem to overlap in meaning. So, there is a level of idiomatic usage. One suggestion is that when you are learning a noun, try to pay attention to the measure word it’s used with.

“Ê”: GENERAL PURPOSE MEASURE WORD

If you aren’t sure which measure word to use, you can default to the general purpose measure word “ê”. It’s the measure word used for people and a catch-all for many nouns that don’t fall into a specific measure word category. Most of the time, you can still be understood, although it may sound less natural when there’s a more common measure word used with certain nouns.

VOCABULARY

Here are the words and phrases used in this episode. Remember to pay attention to the measure words that are used.

TAIWANESE ENGLISH
Kám-un-tsiat Thanksgiving
hué-ke turkey
Ka-ke-bah-pn̄g Chiayi Turkey Rice
tsi̍t tsiah hué-ke one turkey

Grammar note:tsiah” is a measure word for animals, creatures, or ships and boats.

tsi̍t uánn pn̄g a bowl of rice

Grammar note:uánn” bowl; a measure word for bowls of something.

Kuí ê lâng? How many people?
kuí how many; several, a few
la̍k ê lâng 6 people
ê a general purpose measure word used for people and things not already belonging to another category of measure word
tsi̍t pau má-lîng-tsî a bag of potatoes

Grammar note:pau” bag; a measure word for bags of something.

tsi̍t tiâu pháng a loaf of bread

Grammar note:tiâu” a measure word for long, thin objects that can bend.

nn̄g tiâu lōo two roads

Grammar note:tiâu” a measure word for long, thin objects that can bend.

tsi̍t tè pháng a slice or piece of bread

Grammar note:” a measure word for pieces, slices, or chunks.

nn̄g lia̍p tshang-thâu two onions

Grammar note:lia̍p” a measure word for round objects.

tsi̍t tsâng khîn-tshài a bunch/stalk of celery

Grammar note:tsâng” a measure word for a bunch, stalk of something, or for trees and plants.

tsi̍t pau bān-ua̍t- a bag of cranberries

Grammar note:pau” bag; a measure word for bags of something.

Usage note: “cranberries” are not a common fruit in Taiwan and there hasn’t been a widespread Taiwanese translation for it. Some people call it “bān-ua̍t-” or “bān-ua̍t-muî”, which is likely a direct translation from one of its Mandarin names.

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

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