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A wonderful selection of articles on Singapore Hokkien, Cantonese and Teochew. Our How-Do-You-Say podcasts help you to pick up new vocabulary within minutes.

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Hokkien Swear Words: 7 Words & Phrases You Should Know (Better)

“Kan!” You exclaimed, after accidentally kicking your toe against a wall. You probably did not give it much thought, but you involuntarily uttered a Hokkien swear word. In Minnan language or what is locally known as Hokkien, ‘swear words’ are known as 垃圾话 lah sap weh,...

Common Singlish Phrases that are Hokkien

Singlish is the unofficial lingua franca in Singapore. It is a local version of English that is peppered with grammar and phrases from vernaculars such as Malay, Tamil, Hokkien and Cantonese. This is a testament to Singapore’s immigrant heritage, where the...

Is Hokkien a Dying Language in Singapore?

Hokkien is a dying language and we may lose more than just words. Hokkien is a dying language in Singapore. One foot is in the grave, that is for sure. In fact, very soon, we may find no new speakers of Hokkien. Recently, at a intergenerational community event, I had...

Singapore Place or Street Names that are actually Hokkien

“Next station, Tiong Bahru!” In Singapore, hearing such public transport announcements is a daily occurrence to many of us. We are no strangers to these familiar places and streets, but did you know that some of these names are in Hokkien? Behind each of these street...

People’s Choice Award · Leap for Good 2018

Leap for Good: Addressing Social Needs in Singapore We've been on an inspiring journey for the past couple of months. Our LearnDialect.sg team took part in Leap for Good Programme, with the intent of creating a better future for seniors and caregivers. We attended...

Is there still a place for Chinese dialects in Singapore?

With Chinese dialects slowly going obsolete among the younger generation, three youths fluent in their respective dialects share the importance of dialect in their lives. Once ridiculed by her peers for speaking in dialect, Student Quek Ji Kiat loathed speaking Hakka...

Teochew Swear Words: 7 Words & Phrases You Should Know (Better)

If you ask people in Singapore (and possibly Southeast Asia) what they think about the Teochew language, their responses are likely to be, “When people speak Teochew, they sound like they are singing!” While the Teochew language sounds refined and has a melodious ring...

Ti Or Or · 天乌乌 Hokkien Song (天黑黑 Tian Hei Hei)

When was the last time you sang a Hokkien song together with your grandparents? When I was growing up, my grandmother, aunt and mum would sing the Hokkien song 天黑黑 as they took turns to coax me to sleep. interestingly, everyone had their own version! Have you heard...

Singapore Hokkien Film: Ixora Flower (Behind the Scenes)

Hokkien Film: Ixora Flower Ixora Flower is a Hokkien film produced by a group of students - 61 Adolescence Films - from Temasek Polytechnic, Digital Film & TV, as part of their Final Year Project. Inspired by the real-life events of the director's grandaunt, the...

Cantonese: An Introduction, and its Singaporean Context

I am a third generation Singaporean born to a Cantonese family on my dad’s side and a Teochew family on my mum’s. Growing up, I was surrounded by these languages (I hate calling them ‘dialects’!), but because my paternal grandparents were more insistent on “handing...

Celebrity Interviews

Inside Scoop: How Romeo Tan Conquered Dialect Drama, Ho Seh Bo

Celebrity Interview with Romeo Tan, 陈罗密欧 When we interviewed Romeo Tan, he was upfront in admitting that he speaks neither Hokkien nor other dialects prior to filming Ho Seh Bo. Yet, in the dialect drama, he delivered his lines in Hokkien, alongside other co-stars who...

Why Cynthia Koh speaks such fluent Teochew in dialect drama, Ho Seh Bo

Celebrity Interview with Cynthia Koh, 许美珍 Everyone knows Cynthia Koh speaks fluent English and Mandarin. Since her first screen debut in The Dating Game in 1992, Cynthia has acted in at least 70 productions, many of which are aired on local television, including...

Multi-talented Wallace Ang thinks speaking dialect is cool and fun! Here’s why.

Celebrity Interview with Wallace Ang, 洪圣安 We must admit, our disdain for Ma Deliang (马德良) grows with each episode of the dialect drama, Ho Seh Bo. His career-mindedness and self-centeredness landed his father into a depression. But can you blame us? Wallace Ang...

Teen actor, Ivan Lo, on learning dialects: Never be afraid!

Celebrity Interview with Ivan Lo, 卢楷浚 Barely 16 years old, Ivan Lo is already a familiar face in Singapore's entertainment scene. Ivan has starred in many television dramas (Mind Matters, Playground, etc) and several movies, including Jack Neo's, We Not Naughty. One...

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