Hokkien: How Do You Say “Slower” & “Faster”

by | Apr 18, 2019 | Hokkien, Hokkien - How Do You Say

Listen to Podcast | Hokkien: How Do You Say “Slower” & “Faster”

Psst… You can find our How Do You Say Podcasts on Spotify too! Head to Spotify – or search for on Spotify.

New Words

EnglishHokkienOur Romanization
Slower慢慢Ban ban
Ka gin

Podcast Transcript | Hokkien: How Do You Say “Slower” & “Faster”

Hello everyone, welcome back to our Hokkien – How Do You Say Podcast on If you have been listening to our podcast, 你有学着什么物件无? 有什么爱我讲加一次无? 你掠有球无? Was I speaking too fast or too slow for your liking? How do you ask someone to talk slower or faster in Hokkien then? My name is Eugene and let’s find out how to do that today!

Hokkiens use the word 慢 to mean “slow”. Hence, to emphasize the need to slow down, the word is repeated twice. For example, 慢慢讲 means “speak slower”, 慢慢行 means “walk slower” and 慢慢食 means “eat slower”. On the contrary, if you need someone to be faster, Hokkiens use the words – 较紧. As such 较紧讲 means to “speak faster”, 较紧行 means to “walk faster” and 较紧食 means to “eat faster”.

Now, here’s a fun fact for you. Did you know that while Hokkiens, Teochews and Cantonese people in Singapore use similar Chinese characters to represent “slower”, they have different ways of expressing “faster”? If you are keen to find out how Teochews and Cantonese people in Singapore express “faster”, do check out our Teochew and Cantonese podcasts too!

So in today’s podcast, we have learnt 慢 means “slow”, 紧 means “fast” while 慢慢 means “slower” and 较紧 means “faster”. Try using and practising these words in your daily Hokkien conversations. My name is Eugene from and look forward to seeing you next week!

Love what you are reading? We’ve got lots more to share during our Hokkien, Teochew and Cantonese express workshops. Join us to pick up words and phrases for everyday use in Singapore. More importantly, you can help to keep these languages alive!

Our Philosophy for Learning Hokkien in Singapore

The pronunciation of Hokkien words varies from one region to another. For example, Penang Hokkien sounds different from Taiwanese Hokkien. At, we want to make learning Hokkien fun, easy and practical for daily conversations in Singapore. As such, we think it is important to listen to how Singaporeans speak Hokkien. To do that, we have an ongoing process of collecting audio recordings from at least 100 Hokkien-speaking seniors in Singapore and thereafter based our audio pronunciation on the most commonly-heard version.

In similar nature, rather than trying to figure out which Hokkien romanization system to use (e.g. Pe̍h-ōe-jī or Taiwan Romanization System), we encourage you to form your own phonics, so that you make an association with these Hokkien words in the quickest way possible. To illustrate, the formal romanization of the English word, “eat”, is “chia̍h” in Hokkien. However, in our “Have You Eaten” podcast transcript, you’ll find that we use “jiak”, which we think relates to us better. That said, you may use other romanization (e.g “chiah”, “jia”, etc), as long as it helps you to make sense of what you hear.


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