Hokkien: How Do You Say “Wait”

by | Mar 21, 2019 | Hokkien, Hokkien - How Do You Say

Listen to Podcast | Hokkien: How Do You Say “Wait”

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New Words

EnglishHokkienOur Romanization
Wait a moment请等一下Qia tan zit eh
Him / Her
I will call him/her to the phone我叫伊(他/她)来听电话Wa gio yee lai tia dian weh

Podcast Transcript | Hokkien: How Do You Say “Wait”

Hello everyone! Welcome back to our Hokkien – How Do You Say Podcast. People often say, time and tide wait for no man. We are now coming to almost a quarter of the year 2019. Have you been making good use of your time to practise Hokkien? Well, my advice is, get going and don’t wait any longer!

In fact, in today’s podcast, we will be learning how to use the word 等, which means “wait”. I’ll also form sentences using words that you have learnt in previous podcasts before, so there will be opportunities for you to revise and practise! Ok, let’s start!

Have you ever been in a conversation where it gets a little too fast for you? Well, here’s a handy phrase for you in Hokkien that I often use it myself – 等等等, 你可以讲加一次无?

If you notice, I deliberately repeated the word – 等 – a few times, so that I can catch the attention of the speaker as well as to express that the pace is a tad too fast for me. As for the rest of the sentence, well…. we’ve learnt the words before. Can you figure out what it means? You can pause the audio here to gather your thoughts, while I 等一下.

Now, the phrase – 等等等, 你可以讲加一次无? – means “Wait wait wait, can you say it one more time?” Did you get it right? I hope so!

Another common scenario where Hokkien speakers use 等 is when we pick up a call on someone else’s behalf. In this case, we will say 请等一下, 我叫伊(他/她)来听电话. The only new word here is 伊, which means “him” or “her”. Once again, are you able to figure out what the whole sentence means? Please give it a try and resume the audio only when you are ready!

The first part of the phrase means “Please wait a moment” and the second part means “I will call him or her to the phone”.

Once again, the 2 phrases today are:

等等等, 你可以讲加一次无? and

请等一下, 我叫伊(他/她)来听电话.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s Hokkien – How Do You Say Podcast. Feel free to share with us your thoughts by leaving us a comment. My name is Eugene from and 请等 one week for our next podcast!

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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