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Hainanese phrasebook

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Hainanese is the local language of the island of Hainan, the most southerly part of China. It is also fairly common among overseas Chinese, especially in Southeast Asia.

Linguistically, Hainanese is related to Minnan Hua and Teochew, but it is not mutually intelligible with either of those or with any other Chinese dialect. Hainanese also has dialectal variation throughout the island, and it is not uncommon for people from different parts of Hainan to converse with each other in Mandarin instead. The dialect spoken in Wenchang is the de-facto standard and used in news broadcasts, though the Qionghai dialect is typically used in Hainanese opera performances.

Pronunciation guide[edit]

Written Hainanese uses simplified Chinese characters, but is romanised using the Guangdong Romanzation System.

Vowels[edit]

Consonants[edit]

I can speak Thai.

Phrase list[edit]

Basics[edit]

Common signs


Written text is the same as mainland China - simplified Chinese. See the relevant pages for more information.

OPEN 
开(门)
CLOSED 
关(门)
ENTRANCE 
入口
EXIT 
出口
PUSH 
PULL 
TOILET 
厕所 / 洗手间 / 卫生间
MEN 
WOMEN 
FORBIDDEN 
无 / 勿 / 别
Hello. 
. ( du ho ) 你好
Hello. (informal
. (du ho bo ? ) 你好无 ?
How are you? 
 ? ( du dai dou)
Fine, thank you. 
ho, dia dia. ( 好谢谢 )
What is your name? 
(lu kio mi mia ? 你 叫么名 ?)
My name is ______ . 
(nong kai mia kio to name) - 侬的名叫做 (name)
  • Formal vs Informal
    • Nong - Formal
      • Used with elders (parents, grandparents, etc), teachers, strangers, etc
    • Wa - Informal
      • Used with siblings, friends, etc
Nice to meet you. 
. ( )
Please. 
dia dia. ( 谢谢 )
Thank you. 
bok gai
You're welcome. 
. ( bo yong khek khui ) 无用客气
Yes. 
. ( ti ) 是
No. 
. ( bo ti ) 无是 / 不是: . (bo) works just fine
. (bo oo (ah)) - to deny something/ like I didn't do that type of thing.
Excuse me. (getting attention
. ( sia mui ) 请问
Excuse me. (begging pardon
. ( dui bo khi ) 对不起
I'm sorry. 
. (gomenasai ), wa ho sor
Goodbye 
. ( bye bye ) 拜'拜'
Goodbye (informal
zai gii. (再见)
I can't speak name of language [well]. 
[ ]. ( [wa bo oi gong [language](if english, eng boon ]) 我不会讲 / 英文
Do you speak English? 
 ? ( lu oi gong eng boon bo?) 你会讲英文无 ?
Is there someone here who speaks English? 
 ? ( zhe lè oo nang oi gong eng boon bo?) 这里有人会讲英文无 ?
Help! 
 ! ( kiu mia / kiu nang !) 救命/救人
Look out! 
 ! ( !)mor hor
Good morning. 
. ( )hor yet
Good evening. 
. ( )hor mair
Good night. 
. ( )
Good night (to sleep
. ( )ku koi hor
I don't understand. 
. (wa bo oi )wa bor dai
Where is the toilet? 
 ? (xet toh du dair ?)gong bung du dair -  厕所在处 ? 公房在处 ?

Problems[edit]

Leave me alone. 
. ( .)wa bor dor du hoi war
Don't touch me! 
bo jiong mo wa - 无用摸我 !
I'll call the police. 
wo kio keng sat - 我叫警察
Police! 
keng sat - 警察
Stop! Thief! 
 ! ! ( ! !)kiup nung
I need your help. 
. ( .)hoi wa
It's an emergency. 
. ( .)
I'm lost. 
. ( .)wa bor but wa di du dair
I lost my bag. 
. ( .)wa bor dwair wa gai tung diet
I lost my wallet. 
. ( .)wa bor dwair wa gai kior gee
I'm sick. 
. ( .)wa onai
I've been injured. 
. ( .)wa hiar
I need a doctor. 
. ( .)wa sum dwair eedair
Can I use your phone? 
 ? ( ?)wa yong du kai dian hué/siu ki dio bo ? - 我用汝的电话着无

Numbers[edit]

jiak
noh
da
di
nogh
lak
seet
boi
gao
10 
dap
11 
dap yit
12 
dap ji
13 
dap da
14 
dap di
15 
dap nogh
16 
dap lak
17 
dap seet
18 
dap boi
19 
dap gao
20 
ji dap
21 
ji dap yit
22 
ji dap ji
23 
ji dap da
30 
da dap
40 
di dap
50 
nogh dap
60 
lak dap
70 
seet dap
80 
boi dap
90 
gao dap
100 
jiak beh
200 
nogh beh
300 
da beh
1,000 
jia sai
2,000 
nogh sai
1,000,000 
1,000,000,000 
( )
1,000,000,000,000 
( )
number _____ (train, bus, etc.) 
( )
half 
( )ya bwa
less 
( )
more 
( )doi

Time[edit]

now 
( )en nar
later 
( )eh gan
before 
( )
morning 
( )gen yet
afternoon 
( )
evening 
( )gen mair
night 
( )

Clock time[edit]

one o'clock AM 
( )eit dium
two o'clock AM 
( )nor dium
noon 
( )
one o'clock PM 
( )
two o'clock PM 
( )
midnight 
( )

Duration[edit]

_____ minute(s) 
( ) on ziang
_____ hour(s) 
( )
_____ day(s) 
( )ziet
_____ week(s) 
( )bai
_____ month(s) 
( )wair
_____ year(s) 
( )he

Days[edit]

today 
( )gen nwa
yesterday 
( )
tomorrow 
( )en nwar
this week 
( )
last week 
( )
next week 
( )
Sunday 
( )
Monday 
( )bai iet
Tuesday 
( )bai yi
Wednesday 
( )bai dar
Thursday 
( )bai di
Friday 
( )bai ngou
Saturday 
( )bai luk

Months[edit]

January 
( )
February 
( )
March 
( )
April 
( )
May 
( )
June 
( )
July 
( )
August 
( )
September 
( )
October 
( )
November 
( )
December 
( )

Writing time and date[edit]

Colors[edit]

black 
( )oh
white 
( )beh
gray 
( )
red 
( )ang
blue 
( )
yellow 
( )
green 
( )liak
orange 
( )
purple 
( )
brown 
( )

Transportation[edit]

Bus and train[edit]

How much is a ticket to _____? 
( ) Yiak kai pio ku ..... kai di phang ou uatoi chee ? - 一个票去....的地方有多少钱
One ticket to _____, please. 
( )wa dior boi ya gai dwa koo
Where does this train/bus go? 
( )yum mor wair siar/ siar koo wo doi dium
Where is the train/bus to _____? 
( )yum mor wair siar/ siar koo doo dair?
Does this train/bus stop in _____? 
( )yum mor wair siar /siar yar?
When does the train/bus for _____ leave? 
( )ge mee dium yar mor wair siar/siar sot ?
When will this train/bus arrive in _____? 
( )ge mee dium yar mor wair siar siar lai ?

Directions[edit]

How do I get to _____ ? 
( )war dior koo yar lai?
...the train station? 
( )wair siar tam - 火车站
...the bus station? 
( ) gong gong khui sia tam - 公共汽车站
...the airport? 
( )boi gee dio - 飞机场
...downtown? 
(chio tiasi) 上城市
...the youth hostel? 
( )soo giar kiar diet
...the _____ hotel? 
( )
...the American/Canadian/Australian/British consulate? 
( )ungmor nung soo
Where are there a lot of... 
( )oo ya di pung oo war doi
...hotels? 
( )soo
...restaurants? 
( )dompow
...bars? 
( )
...sites to see? 
( )
Can you show me on the map? 
( )
street 
( )
Turn left. 
( )koo ngung
Turn right. 
( )koo jek
left 
( )ngung
right 
( )jek
straight ahead 
( )
towards the _____ 
( )koo olair
past the _____ 
( )
before the _____ 
( )
Watch for the _____. 
( )sum mor or gai
intersection 
( )
north 
( )
south 
( )
east 
( )
west 
( )
uphill 
( )
downhill 
( )

Taxi[edit]

Taxi! 
( )
Take me to _____, please. 
( )war dior koo ya lai, dai dia
How much does it cost to get to _____? 
( )dee wo doi gee koo ya lair?
Take me there, please. 
( )war dior koo ya lair, dai dia

Lodging[edit]

Do you have any rooms available? 
( )do oo bung bor?
How much is a room for one person/two people? 
( )dee wor doi gee ior ya gai bung ya nung/nor nung?
Does the room come with... 
( )ze mo bang oo?
...bedsheets? 
( )depoo kol?
...a bathroom? 
( )go bang?
...a telephone? 
( )tolorsup?
...a TV? 
( )nien di?
May I see the room first? 
( )war dior gee bung
Do you have anything quieter? 
( )
...bigger? 
( )dwa
...cleaner? 
( )he goi
...cheaper? 
( )boh gwui
OK, I'll take it. 
( )ho, wa ior diet
I will stay for _____ night(s). 
( )wa dior koi ya lair ..... me
Can you suggest another hotel? 
( )oo soo sul
Do you have a safe? 
( )do oo nien hung?
...lockers? 
( )
Is breakfast/supper included? 
( )
What time is breakfast/supper? 
( )gair mee dium giar?
Please clean my room. 
( )dor wai gai bung hair goi
Can you wake me at _____? 
( )doo sair wa diet?
I want to check out. 
( )war dior sot

Money[edit]

Do you accept American/Australian/Canadian dollars? 
( )
Do you accept British pounds? 
( )do ior gee ungmor?
Do you accept Euros? 
( )do ior gee Euro?
Do you accept credit cards? 
( )
Can you change money for me? 
( )
Where can I get money changed? 
( )wa ior wa gai gee do dengnung do dair?
Can you change a traveler's check for me? 
( )
Where can I get a traveler's check changed? 
( )
What is the exchange rate? 
( )
Where is an automatic teller machine (ATM)? 
( )oo gee gairhe doo dair?

Eating[edit]

Hainanese, like Teochew, does not distinguish between eating and drinking. Strange as it may sound to speakers of other languages, the verb 食 (chiah) is used to refer to both eating and drinking.-----shwe = sip or drink

A table for one person/two people, please. 
( )wa dior ya saw ya nung/nor nung, dai diar
Can I look at the menu, please? 
( )
Can I look in the kitchen? 
( )wa gee dompow diet?
Is there a house specialty? 
( )oo soo gai horgium bor?
Is there a local specialty? 
( )oo yar mor di pung hor oowar bor?
I'm a vegetarian. 
( )war nah zia sai
I don't eat pork. 
( )wa bor zia ndoo (It's a combination of n and d. It's one syllable.)
I don't eat beef. 
( )wa bor zia goo yuok
I only eat kosher food. 
( )wa bar char ungmor gium
Can you not add too much oil/butter, please? 
( ) Du ho ze bo jiong bang hai doi ew (oil)/ goo ew (butter - really translates to cow oil i guess) dia dia.
fixed-price meal 
( )gium bor bai gee
a la carte 
( )gium doo
breakfast 
( )sair gium
lunch 
( )bwa yet gium
tea (meal
( )dair
supper 
( )
I want _____. 
( )wa dior
I want a dish containing _____. 
( )wa dior ze gai oowa oo
chicken 
( )goi
beef 
( ) goo yuok
fish 
( ) woo
ham 
( )dooba
sausage 
( )
cheese 
( )
eggs 
( )nooi
salad 
( )sai
(fresh) vegetables 
( )sai hot
(fresh) fruit 
( )seeiuw gee
bread 
( ) bao
toast 
( )loo dee ywar
noodles
()won
rice 
( )buwi
beans 
( )sai giar
May I have a glass of _____? 
( )war ior giow
May I have a cup of _____? 
( )
May I have a bottle of _____? 
( )war ior gwat
coffee 
( )go bee
tea (drink
( )dair
juice 
( )siew gee dooi
(bubbly) water 
( )
(still) water 
( ) dui
beer 
( )gee iuw
red/white wine 
( )ung gee iuw
May I have some _____? 
( )wa ho zee ior dee dee
salt 
( )iam
black pepper 
( ) ho gio won (w is a bit silent. O is emphasized.)
butter 
( ) goo ew
Excuse me, waiter? (getting attention of server)
( )
I'm finished. 
( )wa ho la
It was delicious. 
( )gien ho cha
Please clear the plates. 
( )kee ior ywa diet
The check, please. 
( )bai gee la

Bars[edit]

Do you serve alcohol? 
( )doo oo geeiuw bor?
Is there table service? 
( )oo nung mor sor bor?
A beer/two beers, please. 
( )ya gai geeiuw/ nor gai gee iuw, dai diar
A glass of red/white wine, please. 
( )ya gai giow ung geeiuw
A pint, please. 
( )
A bottle, please. 
( )ya gwat, dair diar
_____ (hard liquor) and _____ (mixer), please. 
( )hör geeiuw ga dooi
whiskey 
( )
vodka 
( )
rum 
( )
water 
( )dui
club soda 
( )
tonic water 
( )
orange juice 
( ) sing ziap
Coke (soda
( )
Do you have any bar snacks? 
( )do oo neeiow mee cha bor?
One more, please. 
( )ya gai sul, dai diar.
Another round, please. 
( )ya gai dooi sul, dai diar
When is closing time? 
( )doo kwai gair mee dium?
Cheers! 
( )

Shopping[edit]

Do you have this in my size? 
( )doo yar mor war siung diet bor?
How much is this? 
( )yar mor waa doi gee?
That's too expensive. 
( )goo ooi
Would you take _____? 
( )do ior ya mor bor?
expensive 
( )goo ooi
cheap 
( )bor goo ooi
I can't afford it. 
( )waa bor oo gee
I don't want it. 
( )waa bor dung
You're cheating me. 
( )doo dee kiup nung!
I'm not interested. 
(..)boo dee iuw
OK, I'll take it. 
( )ho. war ior
Can I have a bag? 
( )war dior tung
Do you ship (overseas)? 
( )
I need... 
( )waa dior.... more like I want, but wa hâm ioh.... I need to have ..... sounds more demanding and you may come off as spoiled. - in my opinion at least
...toothpaste. 
( )swar paa lee mee
...a toothbrush. 
( )swar paa lee
...tampons. 
. ( )
...soap. 
( ) sa bon
...shampoo. 
( )
...pain reliever. (e.g., aspirin or ibuprofen
( )
...cold medicine. 
( )ee ior bo hor mee sair dai
...stomach medicine. 
... ( )
...a razor. 
( )
...an umbrella. 
( )
...sunblock lotion. 
( )
...a postcard. 
( )
...postage stamps. 
( )
...batteries. 
( )
...writing paper. 
( )dwa
...a pen. 
( )biet
...English-language books. 
( )ung mor doo
...English-language magazines. 
( )
...an English-language newspaper. 
( )ung mor dwa
...an English-English dictionary. 
( )ung nor sair

Driving[edit]

I want to rent a car. 
( )waa dior ee ior ya gai see iar
Can I get insurance? 
( )
stop (on a street sign
( )yee ar
one way 
( )
yield 
( )
no parking 
( )bor jort ya lair diet
speed limit 
( )
gas (petrol) station 
( )ee yeeow har
petrol 
( )ee yeeow
diesel 
( )

Authority[edit]

I haven't done anything wrong. 
( )war bor ou dor gair mee sor - 我无有做个么错
It was a misunderstanding. 
( )
Where are you taking me? 
( )doo ee ior wa koo doo dair
Am I under arrest? 
( )matar lee ar war bo?
I am an American/Australian/British/Canadian citizen. 
( )wa dee ung mor nung
I want to talk to the American/Australian/British/Canadian embassy/consulate. 
( )wa dee ior par liom ga ung mor nung
I want to talk to a lawyer. 
(wo bei kong hué gang lut sè ) 我要讲话跟录事
Can I just pay a fine now? 
( )war deeior bai ya dee gee
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