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Learn Teochew

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Learn Diojiu!

Part of Gaginang’s new GagiMedia initiative, Learn Diojiu! is a videopod series created to teach basic Diojiu to English-speakers. Featured above, is Lesson One, a pilot episode teaching some common greetings.

We hope that you enjoy and learn from “Learn Diojiu!”

- The Learn Diojiu! Team

Nadine Duong
Marilyn Liang
Ty Eng Lim
Duy Ta

Help us improve by filling out this short 5-question survey.



With Marilyn Liang (M) and Duy Ta (D).

M: Daige ho.
D: Daige ho.
M: Welcome to Learn Diojiu a Gaginang videopod for learning basic conversational Diojiu’ue. My name is Marilyn.
D: And, my name is Duy. Make sure you log on to www.gaginang.org/learndiojiu for all the accompanying materials.
M: Okay, let’s start Lesson 1.
D: Let’s do it!

D: Hey Marilyn, if you could tell me a little bit about the background of Diojiu?
M: Sure, Diojiu is a city and a region that is located in the eastern part of Guangdong Province.
D: Mm-hmm.
M: It is also the dialect that people speak there.
D: So where exactly in China is that?
M: It is right here. Sometimes you hear the word Diosuan, which refers to this entire region.
D: Oh wow.
M: Yes, there are over 30 million people who speak Diojiu in the world. Half of those people live in China, and the rest are spread all over the world.
D: That’s pretty cool. That means that Diojiu people are everywhere.
M: Yes, yes, they are all over China, Southeast Asia, and western countries like the US, Australia, and other places.
D: I heard somewhere that Diojiu spoken in other places compared to Diojiu spoken in China is a little bit different. So what kind of Diojiu are we learning here today?
M: We’re gonna cover two to three common ways of saying certain things so you can communicate with people who speak Diojiu from all over the world.
D: That sounds pretty cool.
M: Yes, let’s get started.
D: Let’s do it!

D: Hey Marilyn, how do you say hi in Diojiu?
M: Well if you are talking to one person you can say leu’ho.
D: Leu’ho.
M: Leu’ho. Exactly.
D: Leu’ho!
M: Exactly!
D: Cool.
M: It literally means “you good", but it means hello.
D: So how do you respond to that? So let’s say I say Leu’ho.
M: You say the same thing back - you say Leu’ho.
D: Wow!
M: And sometimes you repeat it two or three times just to be friendly.
M: So you say: Leu’ho leu’ho!
D: Leu’ho leu’ho!
M: Exactly.
D: Okay, how do you say how are you?
M: Well in Diojiu it’s common to ask what people are doing, so you say Leu lo jo mitgai?, Leu lo jo mitgai?.
D: So it’s, Leu lo jo mitgai?
M: Yes.
D: Leu lo jo mitgai?
M: Yes.
M: The particle lo is asking people, it’s refering to something that is happening right now. And the reply could be anything.
M: You could say I am reading, Ua lo toin jeu, or I am eating, ua lo jiat.
D: Cool.
M: Yes. And to follow-up people usually ask you “What are you reading?” or “What are you eating?".
M: And that would be, Toin si mit jeu or Jiat mitgai?
D: So I can probably say Leu lo jo mitgai? to say What are you doing right now?
M: Yes, and if I say Ua lo toin jeu it means I’m reading or Ua lo jiat means I am eating.
M: And then you can ask me Toin si mit jeu? Jiat mitgai?. It literally translates to “Read what book” and “Eat what".

D: Hey Marilyn, I didn’t hear you use the word leu last time.
M: Yeah, in Diojiu, when you are clear who you are talking to, you can drop the pronouns like ua which means I or me, or leu which means you.
M: So if you want to say “What are you eating", you say Lo jiat mitgai?. You wanna give it a try?
D: Sure, its: Lo jiat mitgai?, Lo jiat mitgai?”.
M: Yes, it means “What are you eating?".
D: So how do I reply to that?
M: Well you can tell them what you’re eating. For example I had porridge for breakfast this morning so let’s learn the word for it.
M: Porridge is mue, mue.
D: So it’s mue, mue.
M: Yes.
D: I heard mue is pretty popular among Diojiu people, is that true?
M: Yes, it’s very common for Diojiu people to have porridge, or mue, for breakfast.
D: So how do I say, I’m eating, I dunno, mue, right now?
M: It’s Ua lo jiat mue.
D: So it’s Ua lo jiat mue.
M: You go it.
D: Ua lo jiat mue.
M: Yes.

M: Another common thing for people to ask is “Where are you going?",
D: And how do you say that?
M: It’s Leu ain keu digo?
D: Leu ain keu digo?
M: Yes, or Leu keu digo?”
D: Or Leu keu digo?
M: Yes, Leu keu digo?
D: Leu keu digo?
M: Yes. And if you’re going home you can say Ua deung keu lai. Deung keu means return, lai means home. Wanna give it a try?
D: Sure, so its Ua deung keu lai, Ua deung keu lai.
M: Yes, you go it.
D: That’s pretty cool.
M: Yeah, you go it.

D: Well, how do you say goodbye?
M: Well, the most common way to say goodbye is chian, you can say that to one person or a couple of people.
D: So its, chian.
M: Chian.
D: Chian.
M: So let’s review what we have learned today by going through the whole conversation.
D: Alright, let’s do it!


M: Leu’ho leu’ho! (Hi!)
D: Leu’ho leu’ho! (Hi!)

M: Lo jo mitgai? (What are you doing?)
D: Lo jiat. (Eating.)
M: Jiat mitgai? (What are you eating?)
D: Lo jiat mue. (I’m eating porridge.)
M: Ho. (Good.)

D: Leu keu digo? (Where are you going?)
M: Ua deung keu lai. (I’m going back home.)
D: Chian! (Bye!)
M: Chian! (Bye!)