Ep10: Where are the restrooms? | Piān-sóo tī tó-uī 便所佇佗位?

Ep10: Where are the restrooms? | Piān-sóo tī tó-uī 便所佇佗位?
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In this episode, we’ve learned how to describe locations in Taiwanese and some commonly used location suffixes.

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

INDICATING THE LOCATION OF SOMETHING

To indicate the location of something, you can use the sentence pattern below:

something + + location phrase

The verb “” means “to be located in/at”, and can also be used as a preposition. In fact, many prepositions in Taiwanese come from verbs so sometimes they are also called “coverbs”.

The “location phrase” is essentially a noun. It can be formed by adding a general location word or a location suffix to the noun that serves as the reference point.

Here are some examples:

Tshiú-ki-á toh-á -tíng.
cellphone to be located at table top/above/on
“The cellphone is on the table.”
Piān-sóo lâu-tíng.
restroom to be located at upstairs
“The restroom is upstairs.”

*Syllables that require tone changes have been greyed out.

ASKING FOR THE LOCATION OF SOMETHING

As we’ve mentioned before, questions in Taiwanese don’t change the order of the sentence from a regular statement. To ask “where is something?”, you could simply replace the location phrase with the interrogative word “tó-”.

For example, when asking "where is the restroom?", you can say:

Piān-sóo tó-?
restroom to be located at where
SENTENCES AND VOCABULARY

Here are the words and phrases used in this episode.

TAIWANESE ENGLISH
Piān-sóo tī tó-uī? Where is the restroom?
piān-sóo restroom(s)

Cultural note: the Taiwanese word for restroom came from the Japanese word 便所 (べんじょ) (benjo). There are many loanwords from Japanese in the Taiwanese language since Taiwanese was once under the Japanese rule.

to be located somewhere
tó-uī / tueh where, which place

Pronunciation note: “tó-uī” can also be contracted as “tueh”.

Piān-sóo hia. The restroom is over there.
tsia here
hia there
lāi- inside; inside of something
guā-kháu outside; outside of something
lâu-tíng the floor(s) above, upstairs

Grammar note: -tíng” is a suffix meaning above or on the top of

lâu-kha the floor(s) below, downstairs

Grammar note: -kha is a suffix meaning under or beneath; also means “leg” or “foot”

ē-kha a general location term meaning below or under
tī tshù-lāi / tshù lāi- to be in the house, at home

Grammar note: -lāi is a suffix meaning in or inside of

tshù house
tshù-tíng on top of the house; rooftop
tshù-kha tenant or renter
tshiú-ki-á cellphone, mobile phone
toh-á table

For more about how to indicate locations and more location words, go check out our downloadable workbook! It also gives you additional vocabulary with characters, pronunciation notes, grammar explanations, culture tips, and fun exercises to help your practice.

NOTE: We are working through some production issues with our workbooks, so we apologize for the delay. We hope to have this workbook chapter available online by next week. Thank you for your patience.


Music Credit: TeknoAXE

2 replies on “ Ep10: Where are the restrooms? | Piān-sóo tī tó-uī 便所佇佗位? ”
  1. Can I suggest a topic? It would be great if you could cover how to say things like “Do you speak Taiwanese?”, “I can speak Taiwanese a little”, “Do you understand what I’m saying right now?”, and related expressions. Thanks!

    1. Hi Alex,

      Thanks for your suggestion! This was actually a topic we were going to cover in about 2 more episodes, but we went ahead and moved it up ; ) We do have a plan for which topics we’re going to cover this season, but we’re flexible and open to hearing from our listeners about what they’re interested in learning. So, if you have other ideas, please feel free to let us know, and we’ll see if we can work them in! Hope you enjoy the episode!

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