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dialect

Hainanese (海南话 hai-nam-oe) 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 guideEdit

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

VowelsEdit

ConsonantsEdit

Unlike many other dialects of Chinese, Hainanese lacks aspirated consonants. As such, Hainanese only distinguishes between voiced and tenuis (unvoiced, unaspirated) consonants.

Common diphthongsEdit

Phrase listEdit

BasicsEdit

Common signs


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

OPEN 
hui
CLOSED 
kwe
ENTRANCE 
入口
EXIT 
出口
PUSH 
PULL 
TOILET 
厕所 / 洗手间 / 卫生间 kong bang
MEN 
WOMEN 
FORBIDDEN 
无 / 勿 / 别
Hello. 
. ( du o ) 你好
Hello. (informal
. (du o bo ? ) 你好无 ?
How are you? 
? ( du dai dou)
Fine, thank you. 
o, 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
    • Gua - Informal
      • Used with siblings, friends, etc
Nice to meet you. 
. ( )
Please. 
sia. ( 请 )
Thank you. 
bo kai
You're welcome. 
. ( bo jong 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
tai gii. (再见)
I can't speak name of language [well]. 
[ ]. ( [wa bo bat 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 ?

ProblemsEdit

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

NumbersEdit

一 yet / jiak
二 ji / 两 noh
三 ta
四 ti
五 ngo
六 lak
七 siet
八 bui
九 kao
10 
十 tap
11 
十一 tap yet
12 
十二 tap ji
13 
十三 tap ta
14 
十四 tap ti
15 
十五 tap ngo
16 
十六 tap lak
17 
十七 tap siet
18 
十八 tap bui
19 
十九 tap kao
20 
二十 ji tap
21 
二十一 ji tap yet
22 
二十二 ji tap ji
23 
二十三 ji tap ta
30 
三十 ta tap
40 
四十 ti tap
50 
五十 ngo tap
60 
六十 lak tap
70 
七十 siet tap
80 
八十 bui tap
90 
九十 kao tap
100 
一百 jiak peh
200 
两百 noh peh
300 
三百 ta peh
1,000 
一千 jiak sai
2,000 
两千 noh sai
10,000
一万 jiak ban
1,000,000 
一百万 jiak peh ban
1,000,000,000 
( )
1,000,000,000,000 
( )
number _____ (train, bus, etc.) 
( )
half 
一半 jiak bwa
less 
( )
more 
多 tui

TimeEdit

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

Clock timeEdit

one o'clock AM 
(一点) yet diam
two o'clock AM 
(两点) no diam
noon 
(中午) tong ngo
one o'clock PM 
( )
two o'clock PM 
( )
midnight 
( )

DurationEdit

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

DaysEdit

today 
( )gen nwa
yesterday 
( )ta hui
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

MonthsEdit

January 
( )yet gueh
February 
( )noh gueh
March 
( )ta gueh
April 
( )ti gueh
May 
( )ngo gueh
June 
( )lak gueh
July 
( )siet gueh
August 
( )boi gueh
September 
( )kao gueh
October 
( )taap gueh
November 
( )taap yet gueh
December 
( )taap zi gueh

Writing time and dateEdit

ColorsEdit

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

TransportationEdit

Bus and trainEdit

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 ?

DirectionsEdit

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 
( )

TaxiEdit

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

LodgingEdit

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? 
( )gong bang?
...a telephone? 
( )tolorsup/dien ui
...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/ bun yee
OK, I'll take it. 
( )ho, wa ior diet
I will stay for _____ night(s). 
( )wa dior khuwi ya lair ..... me
Can you suggest another hotel? 
( )oo soo doo dair gair bo
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

MoneyEdit

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?

EatingEdit

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.

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? 
( sia mo cai dua )
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

BarsEdit

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! 
( )

ShoppingEdit

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

DrivingEdit

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 
( )

AuthorityEdit

I haven't done anything wrong. 
( )war bor dor mee sor。 - 我沒有做错什么。
It was a misunderstanding. 
( ) zha jiang di ngow hui。这是误会的。
Where are you taking me? 
( )doo ee be sua wa hoo dair ?你要带我去哪里?
Am I under arrest? 
( );wa bi lia la? 我被抓吗?
I am an American/Australian/British/Canadian citizen. 
( )wa dee mui gok nang| ao da li a nung| eng gok nang | gia na dai nang|
I want to talk to the American/Australian/British/Canadian embassy/consulate. 
( )wa dior gan mui gok| ao da li a | eng gok | gea na dai| dua se guan gong mu zuan gong weia .
I want to talk to a lawyer. 
(wo bei gang lut sè gong awei ) 我要跟律师讲话。
Can I just pay a fine now? 
( )war deeior gieaw wad gee do let bo? 我可以付罚款费吗?
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