Easy Conversations in the Formosan Vernacular


                            Efng-Taai Kafn'vi Hoexoe




                        Tailaam Sinlaau Zhehpaang Ixn




                                         INTRODUCTORY NOTE 


       This little Handbook has been prepared by the Rev. Edward Band and Mr. Taan Ienleeng as a brief introduction to the study of Taiwanese Colloquial.  It is hoped that it may also be of service to Taiwanese students in acquiring some knowledge of English Conversation.


                                                                                          Andrew B. Nielson

                                                                                                            Tailaam, February, 1927





      Citpurn seapurn zheq si Ban Enghoaa Bogsw kab Taan Ienleeng Siensvy pixpan ee. U nngxkhoarn ee bogteg.  Seviuu-laang beq Qh Taioaan-oe iafsi Taioaan-laang beq Qh Engguo, cyn-lixpien.  Muyiah si ciofng Engkog-oe kab Taioaan-oe sva'tuieciQx.  Na thak citpurn kaux sek, e bad cinze chiern kQq siong'iong ee khawthauguo, ciu e khahkhoaix kab laang hoexoe.

                                                                                           Tailaam Sinlaau

                                                                                           1927-nii, 2-goeh

                                                                                           Liaam Tekliet




      I    Things                    I    Mih


What is this?

That is a book.

Cit’ee si symmih?

Hit’ee si zheq.


What is that?                   

This is a pencil.          

Hit’ee si symmih?

Cit’ee si ienpid.


Which is a chair?

That is a chair.

TQflQh cidtex ie?

Si hittex.


Is this the chair? 

Yes,that is it.

Si cittex ie, ar mxsi?

Si, si hittex.


Is not that the chair?

No, that is not it.

Karm mxsi hittex ie?

Mxsi, mxsi hittex.


Which is it?

This is it. 

Si tQflQh cidee?

Si cit’ee.


What are these?

Those are books.

Ciah'ee si symmih?

Hiah'ee si zheq.


What are those?

These are pencils.

Hiah'ee si symmih?

Ciah'ee si ienpid.


Which is the chair?

That is the chair.                             

TQflQh cidtex ie?

Si hiaf hittex.


Are these the chairs?     

Yes, those are they.                                

Si ciah'ee ie, ar mxsi?

Si, si hiah'ee.


Are not those the chairs?

No, those are not they.             

Karm mxsi hiah’ee ie?

Mxsi, mxsi hiah’ee.


Which are they?  

These are they.              

Si tQflQh cidui ee?

Si ciah’ee.



     II    Persons                                  II    Laang


Who is that boy?

That is my brother.

Hit'ee zapof-gyn'ar si symmih laang?

Hit'ee si goar ee hviakQf (siQfti).


Who is that girl?

That is my sister.

Hit'ee zabor-gyn'ar si symmih laang?

Hit'ee si goar ee toaxcie (siQfmoe).


Do you know that man?

Yes, I know him.

Lie bad hit'ee laang ar mxbad?

Bad, goar bad y.


What is his name?

He is called KQf Thiensux.

Y ee miaa si symmih?

Y kiQrzQx KQf Thiensux.


Do you know that woman?

No, I do not know her.

Lie bad hit'ee huxjiin-laang ar mxbad?

Mxbad, goar mxbad yi.


Do you see that gentleman and lady?

Yes, I see them.

Lie u khvoarkvix hit'ee laang kab huxjiin-laang ar bQo?

U, goar u khvoax`kvix yn.


Who are they?

They are husband and wife.

Hef si symmih laang?

Hitnngxee si ang'afbor.


What is their name?

They are Mr. and Mrs. KQf.

Yn ee svex, kiQx symmih?

Si svex KQf.


What is your name?

My name is Taan Togheeng.

Lie ee toaxmiaa kiQx symmih?

Goar ee siQfmiaa si Taan Togheeng.


Are you a Chinese?

No, I am a Formosan.

Lie si Tiongkog-laang ar mxsi?

Mxsi, goar si Taioaan-laang.


Please tell me your name?

I am called William Campbell.

Zhefngkaux lie ee toaxmiaa?

Goar si kiQrzQx Kafm Uiliim.


Are you an American?

No, I am an Englishman.

Lie si Bykog-laang ar mxsi?

Mxsi, goar si Engkog-laang.


      III   Places                                          III   Sofzai


What place is this?

This is the park.

Cit’ee symmih sofzai?

Cit’ee si konghngg.


What place is that?

That is the Market.

Hit’ee symmih sofzai?

Hit’ee si chixtviuu.


What is that place there?

That is the Station.

Ti hiaf hitsofzai si symmih?

Hit’ee si thengchiatviuu.


What place is that over there?

That is the Post Office.

Tuiebin si symmih sofzai?

Hit’ee si iupiexnkiok.


Where is there a book shop?

Here it is.

Symmih sofzai u zhehtiaxm?

Ti ciaf u cidkharm.


Where are the principal Japanese shops?

There they are.

Symmih sofzai khahze Loextexlaang ee tiaxm?

Ti hiaf, hiah’ee.


Where are you?

I am here.

Lie ti tQfui?

Goar ti ciaf.


What is the matter?

Please come here.

U symmih kuiesu?

Chviar laai ciaf.


Where do you live?

I live outside the East Gate.

Lie ti tQfui khia?

Goar toax ti Tangmngg-goa.


Where is your house?

My house is near the South Gate.

Kuiehuo symmih sofzai?

Peasiax kin ti Lammngg.


Where are you going?

I am going to the town.

Lie beq khix tQfui?

Goar beq khix kef`nih.


Where have you been?

I have been to the town.

Lie khix tQfui?

Goar khix kef`nih tQx`laai.


       IV    Number                                                 IV    Sorji


How many brothers have you?

One, two, three, four, and myself, five.

Lie kuyee hviati?

Cit, nng, svaf, six, kab goar, goxee.


How old is the youngest?

Only six years old.

Kaix-seahaxn u kuyhoex?

Laghoex naxtvia.


How old is the eldest?

Over twenty.

Kaix-toaxhaxn u kuyhoex?



And the others?

The second is nineteen, the third is seventeen, I am the fourth.

Iao hiah’ee?

Texji si zabkao, texsvaf zabchid, goar si texsix.


How old are you this year?

Thirteen. What is your age, sir?

Lie kinnii kuyhoex?

Zabsvaf.  Siensvy, kuiekefng?


I am not yet seventy, just sixty-eight.

Oh! You look very strong.

Iawboe chitzap, twtuo lagzabpeq.

O aq!  Cyn-khongkien.


At what age did you first go to school?

Seven, that is six years ago.

Lie kuyhoex khix thagzheq?

Chit’hoex, ciuxsi lagnii-zeeng.


Have you ever been to Japan?

I have been once. And have you been?

Lie bad khix Loexte ar bQo?

Bad khix cidpae. Ia lie bad khix`m?


I have been two or three times.

When did you go?

Goar khix nngxsvapae.

Tixsii khix?


Two years ago, I stayed there a year and a half.

Is that so, I stayed only half a year.

Nngxnii-zeeng, goar toax ti hiaf nipvoax kuo.

Afnny! Goar khix toax pvoarnii naxtvia.


That being so, I was three times as long as you.

Yes, and I was a third of you.

Chinchviu afnny, goar pie lie kef svapoe kuo.

TiQh, goar ciaq u lie svahwn-cit.


How much luggage had you?

Two boxes and one small leather bag, three pieces in all.

Lie ee henglie u kuyee?

Nngxkhaf sviw, cidee phoete’ar, lofngzorng svakvia.


      V     Time                                                    V     Sikafn


What time is it?

It is eight o'clock.




What time is it now?

It is just nine o'clock.

Cittiap kuytiarm?

Twtuo kawtiarm.


Please tell me the time?

It is half past five.

CiQhmng, u kuytiafmzefng?

Goxtiafmpvoax laq.


Is it six o'clock yet?

It is a quarter to six.

Iawboe lagtiarm maq?

Khiaxm cidkheg ciu lagtiarm.


Is it after four o'clock?

It is ten minutes past four.

Sietiarm koex, ar boe?

Sietiarm koex zabhwn laq.


Is your clock right?

It is about two minutes fast.

Lie ee sizefng zurn`bQo?

ZhaputtQf khahkirn nngxhwn.


Is your watch slow?

Not much, only a few seconds different.

Lie ee sipiQr e khahban`be?

SiQfkhoar, zengzhaf ti kuybiQr naxtvia.


What does the train start?

At nine forty-five A.M.

Hoefchiaf kuytiarm khykviaa?

Tefngpof kawtiarm siezabgo-hwn.


What time does the express arrive?

At six-twenty P.M.

Kip’hengchiaf kuytiarm kaux?

Expof lagtiarm jixzap-hwn.


Is that clock correct?

No, it gains three minutes a day.

Hit'ee sizefng e tuix`be?

BQo, tagjit khahkirn svahwn.


Has your watch stopped?

No, it loses one hour a day.

Lie ee sipiQr u theeng`khix bQo?

BQo, tagjit khahban cidtiafmzefng kuo.


Shall we be in time for the train?

Oh yes, it is quite early. Don't be afraid, we shall not be late.

Larn beq laai hux hoefchiaf e tiQh`be ?

BQo iaokirn, laikhix huohux. Mxbiern kviaf bexhux.


       VI    Dates                                                     VI    Goeqjit


What day of the week is it?

Today is Monday.

Kin'afjit Paekuie?

Kin'afjit Pae’id.


What day of the month is it?

It is the twenty-first.

Kin'afjit symmih jit?

Jixzab’id jit.


What month is it?

This month is April.

Citgoeh symmih goeh?



What year is it?

It is the second year of Showa.

Kinnii symmih nii?

CiauhQo jixnii.


When did you come to Formosa?

I arrived on 17th November, 1912.

Lie tixsii laai Taioaan?

Cidzhefng-kawpaq-zabji-nii zab’id-goeh 17-jit kaux ciaf.


How long have you been here?

Nearly fifteen years.

Toax ti ciaf u loaxkuo?

Tehbeq kaux zabgo-nii laq.


May I call on you tomorrow?

Please come the day after tomorrow.

Goar min'afzaix khix kuiehuo paehau, hQr`m?

Chviar au`jit ciaq laai, hvex.


Did you go to school yesterday?

No, I went the day before yesterday.

Zaxjit lie u khix haghau`bQo?

BQo, zQh`jit u khix.


I have not seen you for a long time.

No. I have been ill for six weeks.

Cinkuo bQo khvoax`kvix.

Si laq. Goar phoarpve laglefpaix kuo.


When did you fall ill?

I went to hospital on the tenth of last month.

Tixsii phoarpve khie?

Zenggoeh zabjit ciu jib’vi.


Can you come and see me on Wednesday or Thursday of next week?

Wednesday is my birthday, I will come on Thursday.

Au-lefpaix ee Paesvaf-six chviar laai chitthQo, hQr`m?

HQr, Paesvaf goar ee svejit, Paesix ciaq laai.


When were you born?

On May 1st, in the 18th year of Meiji(1885).

Lie tixsii toa svejit?

Bengti zabpeh-nii goxgoeh it-jit.


       VII   Teacher and Pupil                               VII   Siensvy kab Hagsefng


Good day, Sir!  It is very kind of you to become my teacher.

Not at all.                  

Siensvy, peng'afn!  Lie beq zQx goar ee siensvy, cyn-tQsia.



What book had I better read? 

First of all you must practise pronunciation.            

Mxzay thak symmih zheq, khahhQr?

Texid taixsefng tiQh liexnsip khawym.


Yes, that is important. 

When your tones are clear, then you can read.         

TiQh, tiQh, zef si iaokirn.

Khawym e beeng, ciaq thagzheq.


If my tones are wrong, please correct me strictly. 

Your nasal tone is not good, let me hear it again.                           

Ym na zengzoah, chviar siensvy khahgiaam karsi.

Phvixym bQbeeng, kQq korng cidpae ho goar thviaf.


Please speak more slowly.

I am speaking in the usual way.             

Chviar siensvy korng khahban teq.

Goar korng afnny si pengsioong.


Am I saying this word right? 

Let your voice come out more lightly.  

Citkux oe, korng afnny, hQr`m?

Sviaf, paxng khahkhyn leq.


Do you understand?

I understand a little.                            

Lie exhiao`tid be?

SiQfkhoar exhiao`tid.


Do you understand everything?

There is still a little I don't understand.  

Lie lorng exhiao`tid be?

Iao siQfkhoar bexhiao`tid.


If there is anything you don't know, ask me.

Yes, I will beg you to instruct me.                                       

Na mxbad ee sofzai, tiQh mng.

HQr, goar ciaq zhefngkaux.


What do you call this in Taiwanese?  

That is called "Zoar".                      

Cit’ee, Taioaan-oe korng symmih?

Hit’ee si korng "Zoar".


What shall we study today? 

Let us practise conversation.

Kin'afjit beq thak symmih?

Beq liexnsip hoexoe.


Today I have an important engagement. Please excuse my absence.  

Very well then, come again tomorrow.                                                     

Goar kin'afjit u iaokirn taixcix, beq chviar korkex.

Na afnny, min'afzaix ciaq kQq laai.


      VIII  Paying a Call                                  VIII  Svathaxm


Is anyone in?

Yes, please come in and sit down.

Uxlaang ti`teq bQo?

U`aq, chviar jiblaai ze.


Thank you very much.

Please take a seat.                               

Putcie tQsia.

Chviar ze.


When did you come? 

I have just come.                                

Lie tixsii laai?

Goar twar ciaq laai.


I think I have kept you waiting.

No, only a little while.

Kvar ho lie tarn cinkuo?                 

Be, tiap'ar-kuo naxtvia.


What is your business? 

I have no business.  I heard you had come back, so I came to call.         

Oh, that is very kind of you.

U symmih kuiesu?

BQo symmih taixcix.  Thviakvix korng lie tQx`laai, ciaq laai paehau.

Khykarm, putcie tQsia.


I haven't seen you for some time.  How have you been lately?

Thanks to you, very well.

Ciahkuo bQo svakvix, kixnlaai hQr`maq?

Thok’hog, peng'afn.


At any rate, have a cup of tea. 

Thank you.                            

Chviar eng tee, suipien.



Help yourself to another cookie.

Oh!  This is plenty.                

Cit’ee pviar kQq khylaai eng.

HQr, cinze laq.


Have another, don't stand ceremony.

Enough, thank you, this will do.

KQq cidee, mxbiern seaji!

Kaogiah laq, afnny ciu hQr.


I have stayed a long time, now I must go.

No, no, stay a little longer.                        

Ze cinkuo laq, tvaf tiQh laikhix.

Be noq, kQq ze.


But you are busy, I am bothering you.

Not at all, you come so seldom.                            

Lie kvar bQ'eeng, goar cyn-kiawjiao.

Be noq, hafntid tixsii lie laai.


Please come and have a cup of tea with me in your leisure time.     

Thank you.  Good bye.               

Eeng ee sii chviar laai peasiax hoxngtee.


HQr, hQr! Tvaf baxnkviaa.


     IX    Polite Greetings                                        IX    SiQciQhmng

               (Not a literal translation)                                        (BQo tidciab hoan'ek)


Good day, sir.

Good day.                    

Siensvy, peng'afn!



You are up early!

But you are earlier!


Lie iao khaq-gauzar!


Have you fed yet?

Oh yes, have you?                                

Lie ciah`boe?

Goar ciah`laq!  Lie ciah`boe?


It is very hot today!

Yes, very hot.

Kin'afjit cinjoah!

Si, kin'afjit cinjoah!


Where are you going?

Nowhere, just a stroll.                         

Beq tQfkhix?

BQo, siekex sarnpo.


Why don't you come to our house?

Very well.  I will come and call.

Thaix m laikhix goarn-taw ze?

HQr, ciaq laikhix paehau.


If you don't dislike me, come to my poor dwelling  and have a cup of tea.

Very well, you speak very humbly!

Na bQo khiehiaam mxcviaa sofzai, chviar laai hoxngtee.

HQr, hQr, lie korng cyn-seaji.


I will wait in for you Saturday afternoon. 

You honor me!  I will certainly come and pay my respects.                          

Goar Paelak expof tiaxm zhux`nih thernghau.

Khykarm!  Tekkhag laikhix zhefng'afn.


It is exceedingly rude of me to waste your time so.

Don't say that!  It is a long time since we met.             

Cyn-kiawjiao lie ee sikafn, putcie sitlea!

Korng sviafhoex!  Taixkef cinkuo bQo sionghoe.


Well, I must come and hear you another day.

That is right, please do so. 

Tvaf, lexngjit ciaq kQq zhefngkaux.

HQr, hQr! Afnny lie chviar.


Excuse me.

Don’t hurry.

Goar cyn-sitpoee.

Tvaf, baxnban kviaa.


Good by.

Good bye, and kind regards to you all.


Peng’afn! Soax ka lirn taixkef zhefng'afn.


      X     A New Year Call                               X     HQxcviaf


Is the teacher in?

Yes, who is it?  I am coming.

Siensvy u ti`teq bQo? 

U, symmih laang? Goar laai`laq.


Congratulations! A Happy New Year to you!

A Happy New Year to you.

Siensvy, ka lie kionghie!

Aq, Taixkef kionghie!


Many thanks for your kindness last year.

Not at all. You also treated me very well.                                

Kuxnii ho lie putcie svaciaokox, cyn-tQsia.

Khykarm! Goar ia siu lirn putcie hQr-khoafnthai.


This year I hope for a continuance of all your favors.

Not at all. I, too, hope to receive your kindness.  Please sit down.         

Kinnii iah ngrbang hoaxnsu siQkhanseeng.

Khykarm! Iah ngrbang lie svaciaokox. Tvaf, chviar ze.


Many thanks.

Will you smoke? 

HQr, hQr! Cyn-loflat.

Chviar ciaqhwn?


I find it difficult to take to smoking. 

You are very humble and economical. At any rate, have a cup of tea.                              

Goar hamban, bexhiao ciah.

Lie cyn-seaji, kQq kengzex. Na bQo, chviar eng tee.


I am sorry to trouble you. I am greatly obliged.

Not at all. These are not very good, but try one.

Cyn-phvaysex, laai teq siuxhui.


Be noq! Zef mxsi hQfmih, chviar theh-khylaaai eng.


That is plenty. Are you not going out, sir?


Yes, I think I too will go and pay some calls.

U, cinze laq.  Siensvy uxbeq zhud`khix bQo?

Boeq, goar ia sviuxbeq laikhix kab laang erngsiuu.


If you are passing, please drop in at our house.

Yes, I will come and visit you.                             

U suxnpien, chviar laikhix goarn-taw ze.

HQr, ciaq laikhix kuiehuo paehau.


When you say that, I am quite overwhelmed by your kindness.     

Oh, that is nothing extraordinary.

Khykarm, korng afnny goar mxkvar tngf.

Hef, engkaijieen.


I have troubled you a long time. I must go.

Why not stay longer?  Thanks for coming.                         

Tvaf kiawjiao cinkuo, goar tiQh laikhix.

Thaix m kQq ze?  Putcie hoankax.


Congratulations! A very prosperous New Year!

Thank you very much. I hope it will turn out according to your good wishes.

Kionghie!  Ho lirn kinnii senglie toa hoattat.


Putcie tQsia, ngrbang thaxn lie ee hQfoe.


      XI    The Weather                                        XI    Thvikhix


It’s very hot today!

Oh no! It is cooler than formerly.

Kin'afjit cinjoah.

Be`aq!  Pie efngsii khaq-chiuchixn.


It rained hard last night, today I don't know whether it will rain or not?

I'm afraid it will rain again this morning.

Zaxmee ho lQh cintoa, kin'afjit mxzay u ar bQo?

Zafkhie kvar iao u ho.


Yes, it is still very sultry, I think it will.


If you go out, take your umbrella.                           

Si`laq, iao cyn-utjoah, phahsngx u.

Lie na beq zhud`khix, tiQh toax hoxsvoax.


I don't know if it will be fine this afternoon.

It rained so hard this morning, I daresay it won't this afternoon.

Expof mxzay e hQfthvy`be?

Zafkhie lQh hiahtoa, expof kvar bQo.


Although the rain stops, the road will still be damp.

Yes, the roads are very slippery, you had better take a rickshaw.

Ho suijieen theeng, mxkuo lo cintaam.


Si`noq, lo cinkut, ze chiaf khahhQr.


The rainfall of Formosa is very abundant.

Yes, in the rainy season it rains the whole month, without clearing up.

Taioaan hoxzuie khaq-chiongciog.

Si`laq, khiaxchiw ee sii, lQh-gaq  nngxgoeqjit lorng bQzvee.


In the South and North of Formosa is the rainfall the same?

No, there is some difference.       

Taioaan ee lampo kab pakpo, hoxzuie  siQsiaang ar bQo?

BQo, u zengzhaf`teq.


How is it different? 

In the North it rains more oftener, but only lightly.  In the South, in the rainy season it rains hard.

Zengzhaf arnzvoafviu?

Pakpo khahsioong u ho, mxkuo siQfkhoar.  Lampo na khiaxchiw ciu cintoa.


How about the cold winter time?                                         

In winter and spring the South has almost no rain, in the North it always rains a little.     

Tangthvy kvoaa ee sii arnzvoafviu?

Tangthvy kab zhunthvy, lampo khaq-bQho, pakpo siQfkhoar siongsioong u.


What places in Formosa have the most rain? 


Taxmzuie and Koelaang.  A Formosan proverb says, "Taxmzuie has such weather that you must keep your umbrella leaning against the door."

Taioaan texid-ze ho ee sofzai si tQfui?

Si Taxmzuie kab Kelaang.  Taioaan siogguo korng, "Taxmzuie ze hoxthvy, hoxsvoax oar mngpvy."


       XII   Travelling                                          XII   Zhutgoa


I am going away tomorrow.

Where are you going?

Min'afzaix goar beq zhutgoa.

Beq khix tQfui?


I am going round to visit some churches.                           

From where will you start?

Beq khix suun kaohoe, kuyna ui leq.

Tuy tQfui sengkhix?


First I take the train to Sinchi, and from there into the hills to Kong'afnaa.

Is that so? Then you will need to take a chair, won't you?         

Taixsefng ze hoefchiaf kaux Sinchi, tuy hiaf beq jibsvoaf laikhix Kong'afnaa.

Afnny, tiQh chviax kiQ ar mxbiern?


No, not at all. I can walk there.

Then you must hire a man to carry your baggage.

Hef, mxbiern, goar kviaa-exkaux.

Na bQo, henglie ia tiQh chviax laang tvaf.


Yes, I must, I can't carry it by myself.                          


I don't know how heavy your baggage is?

Hef tiQh`noq!  BQo, goar kiarm e tvaf maq?

Henglie mxzay u loaxtang?


I'm afraid it is up to 100 kyn. I don't know whether one man will be able to manage it?         

Yes, unless the mountain roads are too bad.

Kvar behkaux cidpaq-kyn. Cidee laang mxzay tvaf u hoad`tid, ar bQo?

U si u, kvialiao svoalo khaq-phvaykviaa.


How much will it cost to hire you to carry a load to Kong'afnaa?

I reckon two and half dollars will be all right.                       

Cittvax tvax chviax lie tvaf-kaux Kong'afnaa beq loaxze cvii?

Sngx nngxkhof-pvoax ciu hQr.


Oh! What an exaggeration! Tell the truth.                          

I am not talking at random, it is about that.                  

O ah! Khuizhuix hiahze! Korng ho sidzai.

Goar bQo laxmsarm korng, afnny zhaputtQf.


I will offer you two dollars, will that do ?

All right, I will carry it. Wait till I've had my food.         

Sngx nngxee giin ho lie, hQr`m?


HQr`noq, goar laai tvaf. Thernghau goar laai ciaqpng.


Put this small package on this side, then it will balance better.

That is so, otherwise the loads will be unequal.

Cit'ee sex`ee theqlaai citpeeng, ciaq khaq-pvitang.

Afnny tiQh!  BQo ciu taxngthaukhyn.


How far is it still to Kong'afnaa?  We must not rest too long, lest it get too dark.     

Not so!  Walking quick, we shall be there before dark.

Kaux Kong'afnaa iao u loaxhng? Kvialiao jit sviuaxm, mxthafng hiQq sviukuo.

Be`noq, khaq-kynkviaa leq, beh'axm ciu kaux.


      XIII  Master and Servant                      XIII  Zwlaang kab Zhe’eng

                1. Food                                                                   1. Jidsit


What time do you want to get up?                                 

Six o'clock.  Please bring some hot water.                          

Siensvy, kuytiarm aix khie`laai?

Lagtiarm.  Hitsii chviar kvoa siQzuie laai.


When do you want breakfast?

At seven prompt.  Don't be late.                               

Kuytiarm aix ciah zafkhytngx?

Twtuo chittiarm, mxthafng khah’voax.


What will you eat?

Boil me two eggs.

Siensvy, beq ciah symmih?

Ka goar sah nngxliap kenng.


Shall I toast some bread?

Cut two slices and toast them.

Beq hafng mixpaw ar bQo?

Chied nngxphvix lQqkhix hafng.


Then must I make tea or not?

Make some coffee.                   

TiQh soax phaotee ar mxbiern?

TiQh, beq phaux kapy.


Is that all?

Have you any fruit, too? 

Afnny ciu hQr, ar mxsi?

Iao u symmih koefcie`bQo?


There is one papaya.

Is it ripe?

U cidliap bogkoef.

U siongsek ar boe?


Yes, almost over-ripe.

If that is so, bring it for me to eat.

U, tehbeq koeahwn laq!

Na afnny, kin’afjit tiQh theqlaai ciah.


Is the meal ready?

All ready, shall I bring it in?

Png u sek`boe?

Zwsek laq, beq khie`boe?


Bring it at once. I am ready to eat now.                         


Then I will bring it at once.       

TiQh liampvy khie, goar citmar uxeeng thafng ciah.

HQr, goar liampvy phaang`laai.


Did you call me to do anything?

You have forgotten the salt.

Lie kiQx goar beq zhoxng symmih?

Lie bexkietid theh iaam laai.


Is there anything else you want?

This toast is burned too much, next time please be more careful.      

Iao beq padmih`m?

Cit’ee mixpaw hangliao sviw-koeahoea, auxpae chviar khaq-cimciog leq.


      XIV   Master and Servant                   XIV   Zwlaang kab Zhe’eng

                 2. Household matters                                     2. Zhux`nih ee taixcix


What shall I prepare for lunch?

Please go to market and buy a fowl.

Extaux beq pixpan symmih?

Chviar khix chixtviuu bea cidciaq kef.


And do you want vegetables?

What vegetables are in season now?

Ia beq symmih zhaix?

Cittiap symmih zhaix khaq-tngsii?


Cabbages and carrots. 

Boil a little cabbage.

KQlezahix afsi angzhaethaau.

Afnny, sah koar kQlezhaix.


Is that all?  Don't you want to order anything else?            

For dinner, buy some fish and fry it.                             

Afnny naxtvia?  BQbeq hoanhux padmih maq?


Exhngf`ee, beq bea hii laai ciefn.


What shall I do with yesterday's remnants?

I'm afraid they are sour and of no use, throw them into the swill-tub.                            

Zaxjit zhwn`ee beq arnzvoafviu?


Hef, kvar e zhaosngf, bQqtid tih, hietlQh phunkngf.


Shall I heat the bath-water today?                             

Yes, change it every day and heat it.                            

Kin'afjit beq hviaa egkefng-zuie ar m?

Boeq, tagjit tiQh voa khylaai hviaa.


To change it every day is too hard work.  How about employing another man to draw water?     

All right, employ a man for a short period every day just to draw water.

Tagjit voa, goar khaq-kankhor.  Lexnggoa chviax laang laai tvaf, hQr`m?


HQr, chviax cidee tefkafng, muyjit kantvaf tvazuie ciu hQr.


Shall we reckon by the load or by the month?                      

Which way is more suitable? 

Beq sngx tvax`ee, afsi chviax kui'goeqjit?


Symmih khoarn khaq-twhQr?


Reckoning by the load is troublesome, it is better employ by the month.

All right, you go and engage a man.                      

Sngx tvax`ee khaq-huiekhix, chviax kui'goeqjit hQr`m?

Afnny hQr, lie ciaq khix chviax.


A guest has come.  Shall I serve tea and cakes?                                                           

Yes, first wash that thermos flask clean, then put tea into it.

U langkheq laai.  Goar beq phaang tee-pviar zhud`laai, hQr`m?

Afnny hQr, cit’ee pQfunkoaxn taixsefng sea-hof zhengkhix, ciaq thiin tee lQh`khix.


Did you call me to do anything?                                    

The guest has gone.  Clean up these cups, teapot and plates, put on a tray and take them away.      

KiQx goar beq zhoxng symmih?

Langkheq tQx`khix laq.  Hit’ee te'aw, tekoaxn, phiat'ar khiQq he thafngpvoaa`nih,  phaang`jibkhix.


     XV    Master and Servant                       XV    Zwlaang kab Zhe’eng

                3. Cleaning                                                              3. Zhengkied


What work shall I do today?

This morning, clean up inside, this afternoon tidy up the garden.

Kin'afjit beq zQx symmih kafng?

Tefngpof beq pviarsaux laixbin, expof beq zefngtuxn cit’ee tviaa.


Where shall I begin first?

From the guest-room.  Sweep it clean, then dust it all round.     

Taixsefng tuy tQfui zQrkhie?

Tuy langkhehthviaf saux-hof zhengkhix, siekex ia lorng tiQh chid.


After I've done that room, shall I turn out the dining room?           

Yes, wipe the floor, then wash the verandah.                         

Hitkefng zhorngliao, beq pviax ciaqpngxthviaf, si`m?

Afnny tiQh, thokhaf jiuliao, soax sea zawbeflo.


Come and look, Sir, it looks as if white ants are breeding there.

Is that so?  Take me to have a look.

Siensvy, laikhix khvoax, hiaf u chviu peqhia e khoarn.

Afnnysvy! Zhoa goar laikhix khvoax.


Inside that post. I think they are going through to the roof.      

Then get some white ant oil quickly and pour it in.

Ti thiau’ar-lai, phahsngx thaux-kaux zhuoterng khie`lix.

Afnny kvoafkirn zhoxng peqhiaxiuu laai koaxn.


Didn't you tell me to do the garden this afternoon?             

Yes.  Weed the grass on the steps and the path and clean them up.                            

Siensvy, lie korng expof beq zhoxng cit’ee thviaa, si`m?

TiQh!  Hit'ee gimkvii kab loxpvy ee zhao tiQh khaw-hof zhengkhix.


Right !  Shall I do the flower-garden as before?                  

Yes, you can.  After you hoe the weeds, carry two loads of water and water it.

HQr!  Hoehngg ee sofzai ciaozeeng afnny zQx, hQr`m?

HQr, exsae`tid.  Zhao thvoarliao, soax tvaf  nngxtvax zuie laai ag.


That tree has withered, I think it is no use.                        


Yes, cut it up, and make firewood of it.                     

Siensvy, hitzaang chiu taf`khix laq, phahsngx bQo-loxeng.

TiQh, ka y zhQx-khylaai zQx zhaa hviaa.


This road is not very level, shall I repair it?                 

Mend it again, then bring a spade and open up this drain.

Cittiaau lo khaq-bQpvii, beq siulie`boe?


Ciaq kQq siuzerng, iah tiQh eng tithaau khuy cidtiaau zuykaw.


Is there anything else to be done?                               

Yes, take this letter to Dr.Maxwell.                            

Iao u padmih taixcix ar bQo?

U, cittviw phoef theqkhix ho Mar Isefng.


Is there any answer?

Yes, wait for him to reply.         

U hoephoef`bQo?

U, tiQh thernghau y soax hoephoef.


      XVI   Buying and Selling                             XVI   Boea-Boe

                  Boot Shop                                                             Etiaxm


Show me some boots, please.

Certainly! These are high boots. Do you want brown or black?                             

U symmih khoarn ee ee, laai khvoarmai leq!

HQr, hQr.  Hef si tnghiaf. Beq phuo`ee ar  of`ee?


Oh! These are too long. I had better buy ordinary boots.    

Do you like this style?

Hvox! Hef sviutngg.  Tea’ee ciu hQr.

Citkhoarn`ee hQr`m?


Those are troublesome to tie up.  Have you any rubber ones?      

Yes, these are the very latest fashion.

Citkhoarn pak`ee khaq-huiekhix. U chiuxny`ee bQo?

U, citkhoarn kaix-sikviaa.


How much is this pair?

These are twelve yen fifty.

Zef cidsiafng loaxze?

Cit'hQ zabjixkhof-pvoax.


Very dear!  Have you any cheaper?

Well, we have cheap ones, but they are certainly no advantage.

Cinkuix!  U khahsiok`ee bQo?

Siok`ee khiog u, thviaxtiQh bQthafng khahtioong.


After looking at these, they seem rather tight.                              

Indeed not, try them on.

Zef khvoarliao phahsngx khah’aan.

Kvar be, lie zheng khvoarmai leq.


Oh! They pinch my feet too much, they are bad for walking.     

The same style, a half size bigger, try them on.

Oq!  Sviw-kekkhaf, afnny phvaykviaa.

Zef siaxngkhoarn`ee, kef pvoarbuun, lie zhexngmai leq.


Oh, this pair is just right, but still the price is  very dear.

Twelve yen fifty is not charging too much.

Oq, citsiafng twhQr toa, mxkuo keacvii cinkuix.

Zabjixkhof-pvoax, sngx bQo kofngkex.


Reduce it a little and call it eleven yen.                     

That is not cost price.  I'll knock off fifty sent and make it a round sum.

Kiarm`taxmpQh, sngx zab’itkhof,hQr`m?

Afnny bQo kaopurn.  Kiafmsngx goxkag zethaau ciu hQr.


Oh well, I've taken up your time.  I'll buy this pair.

Never mind that, it's business.

HQr, kiawjiao cinkuo, bea citsiafng.

Hef bQo-iaokirn, bea-be-tai.


I give you this fifteen yen.

Right, I give you three yen change.

Cit’ee zabgoxkhaf ho lie.

HQr, goar svakhof zau`lie.


     XVII  Invitations                                   XVII  SiQciQf


Is Mr. Liim at home? 

Yes, please come in and sit down.

Liim`Siensvy u ti zhux`nih bQo?

U, chviar jiblaai ze.


Have you finished your meal? 

Oh yes.  And why have you come today so unexpectedly?             

Lie ciaqpar`boe?

Ciah laq.  Kin'afjit thaix hiahkhafkviaa?


We haven't met for a long time. I have come on purpose to invite you this evening to the Middle Shool.        

What are you going to do at the Middle School?                     

Cinkuo bQo zQrhoea, tiau’ix laai zhe, soax ciQf lie exhngf laikhix Tiong'Qh.


Afnny, khix Tiong'Qh beq zhoxng sviafhoex?


There is to be a lantern lecture held there.                              

Oh, what time will it begin?

Exhngf hiaf beq khuy hoarntefng-hoe.

Hvox, mxzay kuytiafmzefng beq zQrkhie?


I hear it will begin at seven o'clock, it will be all right to go at half past six.                   

Then you come and call for me here.                                                 

Thviakvix korng chittiafmzefng beq zQx, larn lagtiarm-pvoax ciu hQr laikhix.

Afnny lie ciaq tuix ciaf laai ciQf`goar.


That is all this evening, but it has been very nice.         

Many thanks.  I am indebted to you.  It was very interesting coming to see it.      

Exhngf zQrliao iao zhuobi.


Cyn-loflat. Siu lie ee tie'ixm, laai khvoax zef, cyn-simseg.


Are you free this Saturday afternoon?                         

Yes, I have no special business.  What are you going to do?

Citlefpaix ee Paelak-epof lie uxeeng ar bQo?

U, tof ia bQo symmih taixcix. Lie beq zhoxng sviafhoex?


I have a friend Mr. Goo, coming from Japan.  I want you to come and meet him.                       

Oh, Dr. Goo!  It is a very great pleasure to be able to meet him.        

Goar u peng'iuo, Goo`Siensvy tuy Loexte laai.  Beq chviar lirn kab y sionghoe.

Oq, Goo Phoksu!  Goarn extid laikhix poee y iaxsi cyn-baxnheng.


Then please come over at six o'clock prompt.                          

Very well, I will certainly come.

Afnny chviar lie twhQr lagtiarm ciaq koex`laai.

HQr, hQr, goar tekkhag laai.


Many thanks. It has been a great treat.

Oh, that is nothing. You sre quite mistaken, it is only pot-luck.                   

Cyn-tQsia, putcie siuxhui.

Aq, bQo symmih. Phiernzhuix naxtvia.


Good bye, now, I will take leave of you.

Excuse me. Good bye. Don’t hurry.                     

Tvaf, lie chviar!

Khaq-sitlea! Tvaf khvoakhvoa’kviaa.


     XVIII Visiting the Sick                   XVIII Tharmpve


Is Mr. Liau in?

Liau`Siensvy u ti`teq bQo?


Yes, but he is not so well. He is resting.                      

U, zorng`si laang mxtwhQr, teq hiQhkhuxn.


I have called to inquire about his illness.                            

Goar ciuxsi beq laai thaxm y ee pve.


Then please wait a moment. He would like you to come in.

Chviar thernghau`teq. Y teq chviar lie jiblaai ze.


I had heard you had not been so well.  How are you now?

Thviakvix korng lie bQo symmih khvoaroah. Tvaf  arnzvoafviu?


Oh, Thank you. I am a little better now.

Hvax, putcie loflat.  Tvaf khahhQr`taxmpQh.


What has been the matter?

Si symmih phoarpve?


At first I caught cold, and then it turned to some other thing, like fever.            

Taixsefng si karm`tiQh, auxlaai tngr chinchviu kvoajiet.


Oh, then, never mind!         

Afnny khaq-bQo iaokirn.


But there are several others of the family ill.

Mxkuo laixbin kuyna laang u pve.


Oh ! Who else is ill? 

Hvox, symmih laang ia pve?


My wife is dangerously ill. I don't think there is any hope.      

Huxjiin-laang khaq-siongtiong, mxzay u ngrbang`bQo?


That cannot be.  What is her disease?                              

Hef kvar boe.  Si symmih zerngthaau?


She has had consumption for a long time, but now she is much worse.

Hiepve tix loaxkuo laq, citmar khahtang.



Ah!  That is very sad.  And you yourself ill.  But you must not worry.                        

Afnny cyn-khQfsiofng.  Lie kaki phoarpve, tiQh mxthafng hoanlQr.


That is so. It is no use worrying.

Si`laq.  Suijieen si aix hoanlQr ia bQo-hoatto.


Have you any one taking care of her?                            

U teq ciaokox ee laang`bQo?


Yes, a nurse, and the doctor comes round frequently.          

U, kharnhoxsu kab isefng siongsioong laai suun.


And are all the children well?  

Ki’uu toaxseahaxn gyn'ar lorng peng'afn`bQo?


Thank you.  They were all a little seedy, but are all right now.

Thank you for coming specially all this long way. 

Thok’hog, suijieen u siQfkhoar pve, tof lorng hQr`laq. Hiahhng lie ia tiaukafng laai, putcie loflat.


Not at all!  It is very rude of me not to come oftener.       

Be, goar bextid khahsioong laai khvoax, cyn-sitlea.


      XIX   Consulting the Doctor                 XIX   Khvoarpve


Doctor, I want to consult you.                              

Oh, how is that?  What is the matter?

Siensvy, goar beq laai zhefngkaux lie.

HQr, arnzvoafviu?  Symmih phoarpve?


I get fever every afternoon.

Is that so ? Do you feel cold first?                             

Goar na tagjit exposii, sengkhw ciu hoatjiet.

Afnnysvy, taixsefng u kvoaa`bQo?


A little shivering, but mostly fever.                              

Are your bowels as usual?

SiQfkhoar ka’iafm naxtvia, lorng jiet khahze.

Taixsiawpien u ciaosioong, ar bQo?


No, they are constipated.

Oh! Let me feel your pulse. How is your appetite?              

BQo, taixpien khahteng.

Hoq, meh goar bongmai leq. Png aeciah ar m?


Not very good.

Put out your tongue for me to see.  Oh, it is very dirty. Then how long have you been ill?        

BQo symmih aeciah.

Lie ee cih thor`zhutlaai, goar khvoax`leq. O aq, cyn-kvialaang. Afnny phoarpve loaxkuo laq?


About two years. 

Oh!  If you had come earlier, you would not have been like that.

ZhaputtQf nngxnii-zeeng.

O aq! Na khaq-zaflaai, mxbiern kaux afnny.


That is what I thought, but I have to earn my living, now I can't work, so I have come to see you.                         

Have you any pain elsewhere?       

Goar ia sviu afnny, mxkuo goar si tharnciaqlaang, citmar bexthaxn, sofie ciaq laai.

Ia padui ee sofzai u symmih kankhor`bQo?


Yes, the left side of my stomach feels all round, and as hard as a ball.                  

Take off your clothes.  I will have a look.                        

U, tQrpeeng ee paktor-pvy kui’oaan texngteng.

Svaf thngx`khylaai, goar khvoarmai`teq.


Doctor, can this be cured by taking medicine?                   

Oh, it is very serious, taking medicine won't do it.               

Siensvy, zef ciaqiQh, mxzay e svoax`khix bQe?


O aq, cintang laq, kantvaf ciaqiQh bQhoad`tid.


If not, can you perform an operation.

Yes, I can.  By so doing, there will be more hope.

Ia bQo, e chiwsut`tid boe?

E`noq, laai zQx, khaq-u ngrbang.


If you operate, will I be sure to get better? That is not sure, but, if I don't operate, it will certainly be disastrous.            

Na zQx, kvar tekkhag e hQr maq?

Hef bQo-tekkhag, zorng`si bQzQx wntaxng hai.


      XX    Tailaam Middle School              XX    Tailaam Tiong’Qh


When was this school established?

In 1885, in the 18th year of Meiji.                              

Cit’ee haghau tixsii sietkhie?

Ti Selek 1885-nii, ciuxsi Bengti 18-nii.


Who established it?

An English Presbyterian, called George Ede.                         

Si symmih laang laai zhornglip?

Engkog TviwlQfkaux ee laang, kiQrzQx Ii Jiaulie.


For what purpose was it established?      

It was set up to train the children of believers in the Christian doctrine.

UixtiQh symmih intvoaf laai sietkhie?

In’ui Kitokkaux ee zwgi, beq zaipoee sirnciar ee zwte ciaq laai sied cit’ee.


Then the children of unbelievers would not be allowed to study here?             

That is not so.  Christ loves all men, so we gladly welcome all.                                 

Na afnny, bQo jibkaux ee zwte mxkvar bextitthafng laai thak?

Hef, putzai afnny, ciaux Kitog thviax laang ee iesux hvoahie ciaplap yn.


When were these buildings erected?                           

They were built about eleven years ago.  Formerly we were in the Sinlaau old Middle School, then moved here.

Ciah'ee hauxsiax tixsii khie?

ZhaputtQf zab'itnii-zeeng khyhQr ciaq soaflaai ciaf, goanpurn ti Sinlaau ee ku-Tiong’Qh.


How many scholars have you now?

About two hundred and fifty.        

Cittiap u loaxze hagsefng?

ZhaputtQf nngxpaq-goxzap-laang.


I suppose they are all required to live here?                      

Yes, we don't allow day pupils to study.                         


Lofngzorng toax ti ciaf ciaq exeng`tid maq?

Si`noq, tof bQzurn thonghagsefng laai thak.


How many years must a boy study before graduating?                 

The regular course is four years, with one year preparatory.

Teng kuynii ciaq zhutgiap?


PwnkhQf sienii, cidnii uxkhQf.


About how much are the expenses for one year?

Food, clothing, and all expenses amount to about 250 yen.

Cidnii mxzay tiQh loaxze huie'iong?


Ciah, zheng, lofngzorng ee sofhuix tiQh oar nngxpaq-goxzap-khof.


Oh, really?  Are the expenses as heavy as that?                  

Although considerable, it is altogether cheaper than other schools.

O aq!  Afnny tiQh hiah'siongtiong.


Suisi afnny, pie padee haghau lorng u khahserng.