Teochew: How Do You Say – Country Names

by | Jun 27, 2019 | Teochew, Teochew - How Do you Say

Listen to Podcast | Teochew: How Do You Say – Country Names

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

New Words

EnglishTeochewFormal RomanizationOur Romanization
Singapore新加坡Sing gia boSing gia por
Malaysia州府Ziu huJiu hu
Hong Kong香港Hiang gangHiang gang
Taiwan台湾Tai uangTai wang
China中国 / 唐山Dong gog / Deng suanDong gok / Dng swa
Japan日本Rig bungZig pung
Australia澳洲O ziuOr jiu
Europe欧洲Ao ziuAo jiu
America美国Mui gogMui gok

Podcast Transcript | Teochew: How Do You Say – Country Names

Hi there! Welcome back to our Teochew – How Do You Say Podcast. My name is Eugene from As promised, I will be touching on names of various countries in today’s podcast. Here we go!

To begin, let’s start off with where is based, Singapore. Singapore in Teochew is pronounced as 新加坡. Next, we have Singapore’s neighbour, Malaysia. Instead of using the Chinese characters of Malaysia’s name and translating it into Teochew, Singaporean Teochews and Hokkiens typically call Malaysia 州府 as it was a term used under the British colonial rule.

Further up north is Hong Kong or 香港 in Teochew, which is a country well known for tax-free shopping and dim sum. Just a short flight away is Taiwan – pronounced as 台湾 – where people speak Hokkien, otherwise known as Southern Min language locally. The Southern Min language is in fact where Teochew was derived, but Teochew and Southern Min language have since become different languages after so many years of evolution and changes.

Teochew, similar to Hokkien and Cantonese, originated from China. China is known as 中国 but you may also hear senior Teochew speakers still referring to the country as 唐山, literally translated as the Tang mountain. This is due to the prominence of the Tang dynasty in Chinese history where Chinese culture is widespread. China, is also regarded as a prosperous country during the Tang dynasty. This is why Chinatowns in countries outside China are often known as 唐人街 in Mandarin, literally translated as “Tang people street”.

Personally, my favourite country for travel within Asia is Japan or 日本 in Teochew, as it has a good balance of city life, nature and good food. Looking outside Asia, I would consider travelling to Australia, Europe or America, respectively known as 澳洲, 欧洲 and 美国 in Teochew. This would allow me to experience and interact with people of a different culture.

Hope the above list covers a country that you like. If not, please leave a comment and share with me the country that you would like to travel to. My name is Eugene from and see you the 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 Teochew in Singapore

While we include formal romanization for Teochew words, we are advocates of easy learning. Hence, we encourage you to form your own phonics so that you make an association with these Teochew words quickly. To illustrate, the formal romanization of “Teochew” is “diê ziu“. However, in our ”Can You Teach Me” podcast transcript, you’ll find that we use “teo chew”, which we think relates to us better. That said, you may use other romanization (e.g “dio chew”, “dio jiu“, etc), as long as it helps you to make sense of what you hear.


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