Modern Literal Taiwanese (MLT)

 

 

Contents

 

 

1.        Introduction... 3

1.1       MLT Web Site.. 4

1.2       Contact.. 4

2.        MTL Writing System... 5

2.1       MTL Alphabet.. 5

2.2       Syllabic Patterns in MTL.. 5

2.3       Three Special Symbols.. 6

2.3.1         Apostrophe (') 6

2.3.2         Hyphen (-) 6

2.3.3         Back-quote (`) 6

3.        Consonant.. 7

4.        Vowel.. 8

4.1       Simple Vowel.. 8

4.2       Compound Vowel.. 8

4.3       Special Vowel.. 8

4.3.1         Special vowel in high tone. 8

4.3.2         Special vowel in shouting-out tone. 9

4.4       Front nasal-vowel.. 9

4.5       Rear nasal-vowel.. 9

5.        Tone.. 12

5.1       Long tone.. 12

5.1.1         Basic tone. 12

5.1.2         High tone. 12

5.1.3         Low-falling tone. 12

5.1.4         Shouting-out tone. 13

5.1.5         Curving tone. 13

5.2       Short tone.. 13

5.2.1         Mouth-Open stop. 13

5.2.2         Bilabial stop. 14

5.2.3         Alveolar stop. 14

5.2.4         Velar stop. 14

5.3      MTL Seven-tone examples.. 14

6.        Tone Sandhi. 15

6.1       Tone change in articulation of a sentence.. 15

6.1.1         Long tone. 16

6.1.2         Short tone. 18

6.2       Tone change in accentuation of a word.. 19

7. Articles.. 20

 

Table: MTL Table I Consonant Example (including audio files) ......................................................... 7

Table: MTL Table II Special Vowel Examples .................................................         9

Table: MTL Table III Vowel Examples ............................................................        10

Table: MTL Table IV Seven-tone Examples ..........................................................         14

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


1.       Introduction

Language is the foundation of all human communication, without which no civilization is possible; therefore, all historical records of human activities cannot but rely on the use of language, be it in spoken or written form. As one of the many valuable languages on earth, spoken Taiwanese, which is still used by the majority on the island of Taiwan, is deemed as a fortunate cultural relic from the Formosan ancestors. Just as many spoken tongues in Asia, spoken Taiwanese is typically a tone language that is not only rich in vowel sounds, but also has a set of seven tones accompanied with particular tonal variations (i.e. Tone Sandhi). Of interest is the fact that a vowel sound, which is produced without friction or stoppage, can carry musical pitch far better than consonants; furthermore, the niceties of tonal variations in spoken Taiwanese are such as to increase the euphony of the sentences. In brief, spoken Taiwanese is an interesting and beautiful sounding language in its own right, as if it were a gift from Heaven.

 

As human activity is forever changing, so language changes with it.  To ensure the survival of any spoken tongues a good written language must be created in time. Currently many Asian languages, such as Chinese and Japanese, use Harnji (a written character or an ideogram) as the basic unit for writing sentences. Each written character represents an object, an idea, an action, or a relationship, but these characters give no indication of proper sound quality.  Aside from the difficulty in writing and learning so many relatively complicated ideographs, there are three other major problems confronting the usage of Harnji as the basic unit of written Taiwanese. First, there are many homonyms, that is, characters that sound identical but have different meanings; second, there are many homographs, characters that are written alike but that differ in meaning and pronunciation; third, spoken Taiwanese imbued with a deep affection cannot adequately be expressed by the recourse to ideograms.  To remedy these difficulties, Church Romanized Phoneticism (CRP) first emerged as early as 1832 and later was progressively improved through the work of such respected scholars as Talmage, Doty, Douglas, Campbell, and Barclay. 

 

The development of CRP was indeed a great contribution to the Taiwanese people in the areas of religious belief, culture, as well as language; however, CRP has some limitations. First, it appears that CRP is merely a phonetic system of alphabetic writing. As is well known, written language is an expression of thought rather than a recording of sound. Yet, CRP uses a set of subsidiary phonetic symbols, such as accent marks, macrons, dots, and circumflexes, over vowels to indicate a modified pronunciation of the script in question. It also uses many hyphens to connect syllables in the words, and for that matter, the entire article thus written looks fragmentary at best. 

In view of the shortcomings as described above, and the cumbersomeness of processing Romanized scripts or Harnji with modern technology, Prof.  Liim Keahioong, formerly of the Cheng-Kung University in Taiwan, pioneered the Taiwanese Modern Spelling System (TMSS) in the year 1943.  Since then TMSS has become the foremost building block for written Taiwanese, which will be designated as Modern Taiwanese Language (MTL).

By adopting the English alphabet and making use of no subsidiary scripts or symbols in MTL, each word is cleanly constructed by attaching a tone indicator to a basic sound to signify its proper variation of pitch; in this regard, it integrates its pronunciation with the spelling into a new definite, meaningful word. The cleanliness and tidiness of an essay as created by such words is quite impressive.  By and large, MTL is an internationally compatible written language, as it possesses the striking features of simplicity and integrity.  Last but not least, it lends itself very well to computer applications and Internet technology. The emergence of MTL stands out so particularly among many ideographic or phonetic systems of writing in that it unfolds as a refreshing breakthrough of the traditional Asian languages. Indeed, MTL has thus far proved to be an excellent written form for the Taiwanese language. It is worthy of promotion and even further development. We hope that those of you just embarking on its study now will bring it to greater heights of development in the future.

1.1     MTL Web Site

http://LearnTaiwanese.org

1.2     Contact

Modern Literal Taiwanese Foundation (MLTF)

            kloa@netzero.net

 

 

 


2.       MTL Writing System

2.1     MTL Alphabet

MTL alphabet adopts the English alphabet that has 26 letters.

2.2     Syllabic Patterns in MTL

A MTL word, like each English word, can be formed by only one syllable or several syllables, with the two syllables being the most typical.  Each syllable in MTL follows either one of the two underlying patterns:

 

1.      [Consonant] + [front nasal-sound] + vowel + [tone indicator]

2.      [Consonant] + vowel + [tone indicator] + [rear nasal-sound]

 

A vowel has important features: not only is it an indispensable phoneme in a syllable, but also it can stand by itself as a syllable. It is worthy of note that there can exist no two nasal-vowels simultaneously in a syllable.  Here, phoneme is defined as unit of the system of sounds of a language. Note: Those phonemes inside the bracket [] are optional. 

 

A nasal-sound is a sound produced by letting the air pass through the nose.  There are two nasal-sounds: front nasal-sound and rear nasal-sound.  Refer to section 4.4 and 4.5 for details.

 

A tone indicator is devised for the indicating of tonal pitch variation in a syllable.  There are various tone indicators, which are represented by some symbolic letters, (such as f, r, x, etc.), each of which is right after the vowel. Refer to section 5, and 6 for details.

Examples:

·         sviu (think) - pattern1
s”is a consonant. “v” is a front nasal-sound, and "iu" is a compound vowel.

·         goarn (us) - pattern 2
g” is a consonant. “oa” is a compound vowel. “r” is a tone-indicator. “n” is an ending nasal-sound.

 

 

 

2.3     Three Special Symbols

2.3.1  Apostrophe (')

The spelling of a multi-syllable word in MTL can sometimes have two totally different meanings by pronouncing the word in two different sets of syllables; therefore, to make such a spelling to possess two distinctive meanings (and thus creating two different words), an apostrophe is added to demarcate the proper pronunciation.  There is no need for an apostrophe in the spelling, if the word can be naturally pronounced without ambiguity.

 

Examples: ok'ix (bad intention), okix (black mole).

2.3.2  Hyphen (-)

A hyphen is used to join two, or more isolated words to make a new compound word with its own meaning.

 

Examples: Taioaan-laang (Taiwanese); Bykog-kongbiin(American citizen).

2.3.3  Back-quote (`)

When a word contains a back-quote, all the syllables behind the back-quote are accented in a weaker tone -- either a low-falling tone or a low stop. Refer to section 6.2 for more details.

 

Example: au`jit (the day after tomorrow) vs. auxjit (some other day).

 


3.       Consonant

There are 18 consonants.

 

Bilabial

p

ph

m

b

Alveolar

t

th

n

l

Velar

k

kh

h

g

Palatal

c

ch

s

j

Dental

z

zh

s

j

Table I: MTL Consonant Examples

 

MTL

Example

English

Bilabial

p

papaf

father

ph

phaq

hit

m

mi

noodle

b

baq

meat

Alveolar

t

tit

straight

th

theh

take

n

nii

year

l

laang

person

Velar

k

kaf

add

kh

khix

go

h

hii

fish

g

go

five

Palatal

c

ciaf

here

ch

chiaf

vehicle

s

si

yes

j

jit

day

Dental

z

zef

this

zh

zhaix

vegetable

s

svaf

clothes

j

joah

hot

Note: More examples with audio are available by clicking on each consotant category.

4.       Vowel

There are simple, compound, special, front-nasal, and rear-nasal vowels in MTL.

 

4.1     Simple Vowel

The simple vowels in MTL are a, i, u, e, o, Q, m, ng, among which the vowel Q (an upper case “Q” ) is unique in its pronunciation – it has the similar vowel sound as in the English word 'girl'. The vowel Q was originally represented by a letter o super-imposed by a backslash, but which does not exist on an ordinary computer keyboard yet.  Later, a number '0' (zero) was once used to represent this vowel; however, the number zero is a digit and does not facilitate the computer processing of the spelling checks.  To remedy this difficulty, the MLTF (Modern Literal Taiwanese Language Foundation) has temporarily adopted Q in the MTL system. Both m and ng are nasal-vowels.

 

Examples: ka (bite); ti (chopstick); u (have/has); ke (low); lo (road); tQar (knife); png (rice); m (no).

4.2     Compound Vowel

A compound vowel in MTL is formed from joining two or three simple vowels.  There are eleven of such vowels: ai, au, ia, iu, iQ, iau, ui, oa, oe, Qe, and oai.  The vowel Qe can be pronounced as either oe or e, depending on regional dialects. As a result, “miphQe” (comforter) can be pronounced as “miphoe” or “miphe”.

Examples:  lai (sharp); nau (noisy); ia (spread)

 4.3    Special Vowel

A special vowel possesses two functions: it is a vowel and has a characteristic tone as well.  There are two groups of special vowels: special vowels in high tone and shouting-out tone respectively.

 

4.3.1  Special vowel in high tone

·         y is the high tone of “i. Examples ty (pig), and kym (gold).

·         w is the high tone of “u Examples: kw (turtle), and zw(book)   

            Refer to section 5.1.2 for details.

4.3.2  Special vowel in shouting-out tone

There are five special vowels in shouting-out tone: ae, ie, uo, ea, ao

            Table II Special Vowel Examples

 

Special vowels in shouting-out tone

Basic tone

Shouting-out tone

Example

English

ai

ae

hae

sea

i

ie

lie

you

u

uo

kuo

a while

e

ea

bea

 horse

au

ao

kao

dog

                  Refer to section 5.1.4 for details.

4.4     Front nasal-vowel

The letter v, that substitutes the originally devised Greek letter v for convenience in computer processing, represents a front nasal-sound. It is always followed by a vowel to form a front nasal-vowel. 

 

Examples: va (filling); hvi (ear); pvi (disease); phvi (nose)

4.5     Rear nasal-vowel

There are three rear nasal-sounds (m, n, ng).  Each of them is always preceded by a vowel to form a rear nasal-vowel. The rear nasal-sounds are always at the end of a syllable.

·         m: bilabial - a sound produced by bringing the lips together. It has three ending forms: am, im, and iam.

Examples: lam (mix); imgak(music); liam (nagging)

·         n - a sound produced by positioning the tip of the tongue at or near the upper teethridge. It has 5 ending forms: an, in, un, ien, oan.

Examples: an'uix (to comfort); kin (near); unto (temperature);  tien (electric); Taioaan (Taiwan)

·         ng - sounds produced by raising the tongue rather high without touching the teethridge. It has 5 ending forms: ang, eng, ong, iang, iong.

Examples: angtau(red bean); enghioong(hero); onglaai(pineapple); liang (bright); iong (use);

 

Table III: MTL Vowels Examples

 

 

MTL

Example

English

Simple

a

ka

bite

i

hvi

ear

u

u

have/has

e

ke

low

o

lo

road

Q

hQr

good

m

m

no

ng

hng

far

Compound

ai

lai

sharp

au

au

back

ia

ia

spread

iu

chviu

elephant

iQ

kiQo

bridge

iau

tiau

tone

ui

ui

stomach

oa

toa

big

oe

hoe

meeting

Qe

Qe

able

oai

koaix

weird

Special high tone

y

kym

gold

w

titw

spider

Special shouting-out tone

ae

hae

sea

ie

lie

you

uo

Taiguo

Taiwanese language

ea

bea

horse

ao

kao

dog

 

 

 

MTL

Example

English

         Front

     nasal-vowel

  

va

va

filling

vi

hvi

ear

ve

gve

stiff

vo

kiaugvo

proud

vai

vai

to cary on the back

vau

liengvau

the lotus root

via

thviaf

listen

viu

sviu

think

viau

nviau'ar

cat

voa

voa

exchange

voai

kvoaimngg

close door

vy

tvy

sweet

voay

kvoay

close

vuy

kvuy

close

viw

kviw

ginger

viaw

gviaw

tickle

vae

          zvae

finger

vie

pvie

flat

viuo

hauxtivuo

principal

vea

kvea

choke

 

        Rear

     nasal-vowel

 

am

lam

mix

im

akim

aunt

iam

liam

nagging

an

ban

slow

in

kin

near

un

tun

dull

ien

lien

practice

oan

goan

wish

ang

bang

dream

eng

teng

hard

ong

gong

dumb

iang

liang

bright

iong

iong

use

 

5.       Tone

·         Taiwanese is a tone language.  The assignment of different tones to a sound creates different words. 

Examples: sy (poetry); si (yes); six (four); sie (dead); sii (time)                                          kaw (ditch), kau (thick); kaux (arrive); kao (dog); kaau (monkey)

·         According to the pitch, length, and strength of a vowel sound, there are seven tones in Taiwanese: five of them are long tones and the other two are short tones.

·         Long tones are basic tone, high tone, and low-falling tone, shouting-out tone, and curving tone.

·         Short tones are high stop, and low stop.

5.1     Long tone

5.1.1  Basic tone

A basic tone is a mid level tone.  Not only it is the base of intonation in MTL, but also a monotonous tone by itself, which is neither too high nor too low, and it does not contain a tone indicator.

 Examples: kaki (self), kihoe (opportunity), thotau (peanuts).

5.1.2  High tone

A high tone is derived from raising a basic tone, and is represented by adding a tone indicator "f" after a vowel, except “i” and u”, in a syllable. The high tone of "i" and "u" are "y" and "w" respectively.  Note that the tone indicator "f" is voiceless.

Examples: mamaf (mother); katQf (scissors); khykhQf (dentist);                titw (spider); haypvy (seashore).

5.1.3  Low-falling tone

A low-falling tone is derived from lowering a basic tone, and is represented by adding a tone indicator "x" after a vowel.  Note that the tone indicator "x" is voiceless. 

 

 Examples: pax (leopard); zhaix (vegetable)

 

5.1.4  Shouting-out tone

A shouting-out tone is derived from shouting out a basic tone, and is represented by adding a tone indicator "r" after a vowel, except “ai”, “i”, “u”, “e”, and “au”, in a syllable. 

 

Examples: zar (early); bor (wife); seakie (century); siukae(correct); thiaobuo (dancing). 

 

Refer to section 4.3.2 for details.

5.1.5  Curving tone

A curving tone is derived from first lowering the basic tone and then slightly raising and prolonging simultaneously of a vowel. The rules are:

·         Simple vowel: simply repeat the vowel.

·         Compound vowel: repeat the last vowel letter except when it contains an “a, then repeats “a.

Examples: hii (fish); hee (shrimp); anzoaan (safety)

 

5.2     Short tone

A short tone is derived from the act of stopping the outgoing breath.  There are two groups of short tone: high stops and low stops.

·        High stop -- abruptly stopping at the high-pitch with tone indicators: h, p, t, and k.

·        Low stop -- abruptly stopping at the low-pitch with tone indicators: q, b, d, and g.

Both high and low stop can further be divided into the following four categories:

 

5.2.1  Mouth-Open stop

 An mouth open stop is derived from giving out a puff of breath with the mouth remaining open and is represented by adding a tone indicator "h" or “q” after a vowel, where “h” is a high stop, and “q” is a low stop.

 

Examples: ciah (eat); phaq (hit)

Exceptions: If the vowl "m" followed by these two stops, the mouth remains closed.  Examples: hmq (hit); hmhlaang (hit someone)

 

5.2.2  Bilabial stop

A bilabial stop is derived from stopping the air stream between the lips, and is represented by adding a tone indicator "p" or “b” after a vowel, where “p” is a high stop, and “b” is a low stop.

Examples: hap (close); ciab (catch)

5.2.3  Alveolar stop

An alveolar stop is made with the tip of the tongue touching against the gum behind the upper front teeth, and is represented by adding a tone indicator "t" or “d” after a vowel, where “t” is a high stop, and “d” is a low stop.

 

Examples: kut (slippery); kud (bone)

5.2.4  Velar stop

A velar stop is made with the back of the tongue near the soft palate, and is represented by adding a tone indicator "k" or “g” after a vowel, where “k” is a high stop, and “g” is a low stop.

Examples:  lok (deer); kog (country)

5.3            MTL Seven-tone examples

Table IV MTL Seven-tone Examples

 

High

Basic

Low-Falling

Shouting-out

Curving

High stop

Short  stop

say

(lion)         

chviu

(elephant)

pax

(leopard)

hor

(tiger)

hiim

(bear)

lok

(deer)

piq

(snapping turtle)

 

6.       Tone Sandhi

The tones of syllables in MTL when spoken in succession are different from those of the same syllables when spoken in isolation.  This kind of tone change is called tone sandhi, which is an important feature in spoken Taiwanese.  Rules of tone changes are applied to the following two different categories:

 

·        Articulation of a sentence

·        Accentuation of a word

6.1     Tone change in articulation of a sentence

For a beginner in learning Taiwanese, this category of tone change is the most important concept to grasp, because a sentence is not pronounced as what is written. In conversation, there are natural fluctuations in pitch to make the speech stream easier for the human mind to process. Subsequently, each word may be subject to a tone change in spoken Taiwanese except when there is a pause in speech; however, there are exceptions, namely, the words ciaf(here), hiaf (there), zef(this), and hef(that) are always pronounced as written.  The following example will demonstrate where the tone changes take effect in a series of sentences proceeding step by step: (Note: the words in bold require tone changes. The pronunciation is denoted in brackets.)

Goar [goar]

goar ee [goaf ee]

goar ee siQfti [goaf e siQfti]

Goar kab goar ee siQfti  [Goar, kap goaf e siQfti]

khix [khix]

khix [khie]

khvoax tiexnviar [khvoar tiexnviar]

khix khvoax tiexnviar [khie khvoar tiexnviar]

Goar kab goar ee siQfti khix khvoax tiexnviar. [Goar, kap goaf e siQfti khie khvoar tiexnviar]

(I and my younger brother went to watch movie.)

In the above example, each word in standard, wherein there is a short pause, is pronounced without a tone change; those words in boldface (kab, goar, ee, khix and khvoax) undergo tone changes in conversation.

 

·        kab is pronounced as [kap]

·        the second goar is pronounced as [goaf]

·        ee is pronounced [e]

·        khix is pronounced [khie]

 

The rules of tone changes are explained in the following two sections:

 

6.1.1  Long tone

There is a unique logical sequence behind long tone changes. The first four tone changes forms the unique “tone circle", the one and only phenomenon in human language history. The following diagram illustrates this sequence:

 

 

As shown in the above diagram, the rule of tone changes follows the arrow schematically:

·        A high tone will change to a basic tone when tone change is required.

·        A basic tone will change to a low-falling tone when tone change is required.

·        A low-falling tone will change to a shouting-out tone when tone change is required.

·        A shouting-out tone will change to a high tone when tone change is required.

·        A curving tone will change to a basic tone when tone change is required.

 

 

Examples:

·        goar is a word of shouting-out tone. It changes to high tone [goaf] when there is no short pause during the conversation.

·        ee is a word of curving tone. It changes to basic tone [e] when there is no short pause during the conversation. 

·        khix is a word of low-falling tone. It changes to shouting-out tone [khie] when there is no short pause during the conversation.


 

6.1.2  Short tone

The rule of short tone changes is illustrated in the following diagram:

 

As shown in the above diagram, the high short tone and low short are swapped when tone change is required.

 

Example: kab is a word of low stop tone. It is pronounced in a high stop tone [kap] when there is no short pause during the conversation.


6.2     Tone change in accentuation of a word

When a word contains a back-quote, all the syllables behind the back-quote are accented in a weaker tone -- either a low-falling tone or a low stop.

Examples:

·        Khia`khylaai (stand up): The syllables behind back-quote “khy and “laai are both pronounced in low-falling tone. “Khia” is pronounced as written.

·        Kviaa`zhutkhix (walk away): The syllables behind back-quote zhut and khix are pronounced in low stop, and low-falling tone respectively. Kviaa is pronounced as written.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. Articles

 
TQe-1 KhQx
(Lesson 1)  
 
Zef si symmih?
(What is this?)  
 
Zef si tee.
(This is tea.)  
 
Hef si symmih?
(What is that?)  
 
Hef si gulefng.
(That is milk.)   
 
Zef si-mxsi tee?
(Is this or is this not tea?) 
 
Si, zef si tee.
(Yes, this is tea.)  
 
Mxsi, si kapy.
(No, this is not.  This is coffee. )  
 
Mxsi, zef mxsi tee, si kapy.
(No, this is not tea, but coffee.)  
 
Hef si-mxsi gulefng?
(Is that or is that not milk?)  
 
Si.
(Yes.)  
 
Si, hef si gulefng.
(Yes, that is milk.)  
 
Mxsi, si pengzuie.
(No, that is not.  That is ice water.)  
 
Mxsi, hef mxsi gulefng, si pengzuie.
(No, that is not milk, but ice water.)  
 
 



TQe-2 KhQx
(Lesson 2)
 
Zef karm si gulefng ?
(Is this milk?)  
 
Si.
(Yes.)  
 
Mxsi, si pengzuie.
(No, this is not.  This is ice water.)  
 
Mxsi, hef si pengzuie.
(No, this is not.  That is ice water.)  
 
Mxsi, hef mxsi gulefng, si pengzuie.
(No, that is not milk, but ice water.)  
 
Mxsi, hef mxsi gulefng, hef si pengzuie.
(No, that is not milk.  That is ice water.)  
 
Hef karm si kQfciab?
(Is that fruit juice?)  
 
Si.
(Yes.)  
 
Si, hef si kQfciab.
(Yes, that is fruit juice.)  
 
Si, hef si phoxngkQr-ciab.
(Yes, that is apple juice.)
.  
Mxsi, hef si Cola.
(No, that is not.  That is Coke.)  
 
Mxsi, hef mxsi kQfciab, si Cola.
(No, that is not fruit juice, but Coke.)  
 
Citpoef karm si kam’ar-ciab?
(Is this a glass of orange juice?)  
 
Si.
(Yes.)  
Mxsi, hitpoef si leborng-pefng.
(No, this is not.  That is a glass of icy lemonade.)  
 
Mxsi, hitpoef mxsi kam’ar-ciab, si leborng-pefng.
(No, that is not a glass of orange juice, but of icy lemonade.)  
 
Mxsi, hitpoef mxsi kam’ar-ciab, hitpoef si leborng-pefng.
(No, that is not a glass of orange juice.  That is a glass of icy lemonade.)
 
Hitpoef karm si phoxngkQr-ciab ?
(Is that a glass of apple juice?) 
 
Si.
(Yes.)  
 
Mxsi, hitpoef si leborng-pefng.
(No, that is not.  That is a glass of icy lemonade.)
.  
Mxsi, hitpoef mxsi phoxngkQr-ciab, hitpoef si leborng-pefng.
(No, that is not a glass of apple juice.  That is a glass of icy lemonade. )
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

TQe-3 KhQx.
(Lesson 3) 
 
Ciaf u yar, chviar laai ciaf ze.
(Here is a chair.  Please come here and sit down.)  
 
Citpeeng u yar, chviar laai citpeeng-ciaf ze.
(There is a chair over this side.  Please come over this side and sit down.)  
 
Hiaf u yar, chviar khix hiaf ze.
(There is a chair over there.  Please go over that site and sit down.)  
 
Hitpeeng u yar, chviar khix hitpeeng-hiaf ze.
(There is a chair over that side.  Please go over that side and sit down.)  
 
Ciaf u tQh'ar.
(Here is a table.)
  
TQh'ar-terng u kam'ar kab phoxngkQr.
(On top of the table, there are oranges and apples.)  
 
Kam'ar kab phoxngkQr ti tQh'ar ee tefngbin.
(There are oranges and apples on top of the table.)  
 
TQh'ar-terng ma u tee kab kapy.
(On top of the table, there are also tea and coffee.)  
 
Chviar iong.
(Please help yourself.)
 
Chviar ciah kam'ar iafsi phoxngkQr.
(Please have some oranges or apples.)  
 
Chviar iong tee.
(Have some tea, please.)  
 
Chviar iong kapy.
(Have some coffee, please.)  
 
Toaxlaang aix lym tee kab kapy.
(Grown-ups like to drink tea and coffee.)  
 
Gyn'ar aix ciah kam'ar kab phoxngkQr.
(Children like to eat oranges and apples.)  
TQe-4 KhQx
(Lesson 4)
 
Goar si hagsefng.
(I am a student.)  
 
Lie si hagsefng.
(You are a student.)  
 
Y maxsi hagsefng.
(He/She is also a student.   He/She is a student, too.)  
 
Taixkef lorng si hagsefng.
(We are all students.)  
 
Taan siQfciar si lauxsw.
 (Miss Chen is a teacher.)  
 
Y si larn ee lauxsw.
(He/She is our teacher.)  
 
Larn si y ee hagsefng.
(We are his/her students.)  
 
Lauxsw kax.
(Teachers teach.)  
 
Hagsefng Qh.
(Students learn.)  
 
Lauxsw kax Taiguo.
(The teacher teaches Taiwanese.)  
 
Hagsefng Qh Taiguo.
(The student learns Taiwanese.)  
 
Larn ze ti yar-terng.
(We are sitting on the chair.)  
 
Lauxsw khia`teq.
(The teacher is standing.)  
 
Lauxsw ti opafng siafji.
(The teacher is writing on the blackboard.)  


TQe-5 KhQx
(Lesson 5)
 
 
Kaoseg-lai u cidtex opafng.
(There is a blackboard in the classroom.)   
 
Lauxsw ti opafng ee tefngbin siafji.
(The teacher is writing on the surface of the blackboard.)  
 
Y eng hwnpid siafji.
(He writes with a piece of chalk.)  
 
Goar u cidpurn zheq, nngxpurn pho’ar, kab svaky ienpid.
(I have one book, two notebooks, and three pencils.)  
 
Goar eng ienpid siafji.
(I write with a pencil.)  
 
Goar Qexhiao siafji, mxkuo bQexhiao oextoo.
(I can write, but cannot draw.)  
 
Goar ee ahviaf maxsi hagsefng.
(My older brother is also a student.)
.  
Y u zheq, pho’ar kab ienpid.
(He has books, notebooks, and pencils.)  
 
Y ma u kngrpid kab goanzwpid.
(He also has pens and fountain pens.)  
 
Y Qexhiao siafji, ma Qexhio oextoo.
(He can draw as well as write.)  
 
SiQfmoe mxsi hagsefng.
(My younger sister is not a student.)  
 
Y bQexhiao siafji.
(She cannot write.)  
 
Y ma bQexhiao oextoo.
(She can't draw either.)  
 
 
TQe-6 KhQx
(lesson 6)
 
Papaf ti khehthviaf.
(My father is in the living room.)  
 
Y ti hiaf teq khvoax pQrzoar.
(He is reading newspaper there.)  
 
Mamaf ma ti khehthviaf.
(My mother is also in the living room.)  
 
Y teq khvoax tiexnsi.
(He/She is watching television.)  
 
TQh’ar-terng u tee kab kapy.
(On top of the table, there are tea and coffee.)  
 
Tee si papaf ee.
(This is my father's tea.)  
 
Papaf aix lym tee.
(My father likes to drink tea.)  
 
Kapy si mamaf ee.
(This is my mother's coffee.)  
 
Mamaf aix lym kapy.
(My mother likes to drink coffee.)  
 
Goar kab siQfmoe mxaix lym tee, ma mxaix lym kapy,
(My younger sister and I don't like to drink tea, 
nor do we like to drink coffee.)  
 
Goarn aix lym gulefng kab tauxlefng.
(We like to drink milk and soya-bean milk.)  
 
Toaxhviaf mxaix lym tee kab kapy.
(My eldest brother does not like to drink tea or coffee.)  
 
Y ma mxaix lym gulefng kab tauxlefng.
(Likewise, he does not like to drink milk or soya-bean milk.)  
 
 
Y kantvaf aix lym kQfciab.
(He only likes to drink fruit juice.)  
 
Y siong-aelym kam'ar-ciab kab phoxngkQr-ciab.
(He extremely likes to drink both orange juice and apple juice.)  
 
Gulefng kab tauxlefng khaq-u eng'iorng.
(Milk and soya-bean milk have comparatively more nutritive value.)  
 
Papaf kab mamaf nar Qe aix lym tee kab kapy? Goarn sviu-bQo!
(We can’t figure out why dad and mom should like to
drink tea and coffee!)  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
TQe-7 KhQx
(Lesson 7)
 
Chiu'ar-terng u cidee ciawar-siu
(At the top of the tree, there is a bird nest.)  
 
Ciawar-siu ee laixbin u nngxciaq sQeaciaq ciawar.
(In the bird nest, there are two little birds.)  
 
SQeaciaq ciawar iao bQexhiao pQef.
(Little birds still can't fly.)  
 
Ciawar-buo cviagaau ciaokox ciawar-kviar.
(The mother bird takes good care of her little ones.)  
 
Ciawar-buo kaxtiQh cidbQea thaang.
(The mother bird caught a worm.)  
 
Y bQeq ka ho ciawar-kviar ciah.
(She held a worm in the mouth for her little ones to eat.)  
 
Ciawar-kviar ee zhuix khuikhuy.
 (The mouths of little birds are wide open.)
  
Yn teq tarn bQeq ciah thaang.
( They are waiting to eat the worm.)  
 
Ciawar-buo kuijit bQ'eeng zhQe thaang laai ho ciawar-kviar ciah.
(Every day the mother bird was busy searching for
worms for her little ones.)  
 
Armsii, y kab ciawar-kviar zQrhQea khuxn.
(At night she and her little ones sleep together.)  
 
Afnny, ciawar-kviar ciaq bQexkvoaa.
(In this way the little birds won't feel cold.)  
 
Ciawar-buo cinthviax ciawar-kviar.
(The mother bird loves her little ones dearly.)  
 
Papaf kab mamaf ma cinthviax goarn.
(Dad and mom also love us dearly.)  
 
 
TQe-8 KhQx
(Lesson 8)
 
Papaf cviazar tQ khyzhngg.
(My father got out of bed very early.) 
 
Y pQehtiarm tQ aix khix sioxngpafn.
(He has to go to work at eight.)  
 
Mamaf ma cviazar tQ khyzhngg.
(My mother also got out of bed very early.)  
 
Y khylaai zwnpi zaftngx ho taixkef ciah.
(She got up and prepared breakfast for everybody.)  
 
Goar kab toaxhviaf ma cviazar tQ khyzhngg.
(My eldest brother and I also got out of bed very early.)  
 
Goarn pQehtiafmpvoax tQ aix khix haghau sioxngkhQx.
(We have to go to school and attend class at 8:30.)  
 
SiQfmoe mxbiern khix haghau.
(My younger sister doesn't have to go to school.)  
 
Y lorng khuxn-kaq cviavoax ciaq khie`laai.
(She always got up very late.)  
 
Uxsii goarn ciah mixpaw, ienchiaang kab cien'nng.
(Sometimes we ate bread, sausage, and fried eggs.)  
 
Uxsii goarn ciah moee phQex bahhuo, thotau kab chvizhaix.
(Sometimes we ate porridge with dried meat in threads, peanuts and vegetables.)  
 
Lexnggoa, papaf aix  lym cidpoef tee, ar mamaf aix lym
cidpoef kapy, toaxhviaf aix lym cidpoef kQfciab, ar
goar aix lym cidpoef gulefng.
(In addition, my father likes to drink a cup of tea,
and my mother likes to drink a cup of coffee;
my eldest brother likes to drink a glass of fruit juice.  And
for myself I like to drink a glass of milk.)  
 
 
 
Mamaf tagjit lorng bQ'eeng zwnpi svatngx, sQea
voar-ti, kiafm saux laixtQea.
(Every day my mother was busy preparing three meals,
washing dishes, and sweeping the inside of the house as well.)  
 
Papaf tagjit zhutmngg khix sioxngpafn.
(Every day my father is going away from home to work.)  
 
Papaf kab mamaf ciahniq'thviax goarn.
(My father and mother love us so dearly.)  
 
Goarn ma tiQh zunkexng yn.
(We should respect them in return.)  
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BQea Miqkvia

(Buying things)

 

SiQfciar, lie bQeq bQea symmih?

(May I help you?) 

 

Goar kantvaf bQeq khvoarkhvoax leq.

(I just want to look around.) 

 

Chviafmng (ciQh’mng) , lie (lirn) karm u teq bQe toaxtaai ee tiexnsi?

(Do you sell big size TV?)

 

U. Lie si aix jixzabchid-zhuxn`ee? Iafsi aix svazablak-zhuxn`ee?

(Yes, we do.  Do you like 27" or 36" TV?)

 

Goar aix svazablak-zhuxn`ee hittaai.

(I like that 36" one.) 

 

SiQfciar, lie karm u kQq bQeq bQea tiexn'oe, tiexnhofng kab tiexnpengsviw?

(Miss, would you also like to have a telephone, fan, and a refrigerator?)

 

BQeq. Chviar lie sngx`cide. Afnny lofgnzorng si joaxzQe-cvii?

(Yes, please sum it up and let me know how much does the total cost?)

 

SiQfciar, afnny lofngzorng si cidban-khof.

(Miss, the total is 10,000 dollars.) 

 

Hiahniq'kuix! Karm Qexsae phahcied`cide?

(Too expensive! Is possible to have any discount?)

 

HQr laqSngx lie kawcied tiQh hQrSofie zofngkiong si kawzhefng-khof.

(OK.   I'll give you 10% discount. So the total is 9,000 dollars.)

 

TQsia! Chviar lie yau Qextaxng kQq laai kaukoafn.

(Thanks.  Please come again.) 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Siangchiuo                                                         Biaulek, Hoxlioong

(Two Hands)                                              3-nii Ngg Jupheeng                                          

                                          

 

   Papaf ee chiuo cviaa-uxlat, si goarn cidkhawzaux ee thiauar (My father, whose hands are very strong, is a pillar of our family). Y tharncvii chi goarn, kiorng'exng goar kab siQfmoe thagzheq, cviaa-sinkhor (He makes money to support our family, and makes provision for the education of both my sister and me.  He is really hard-working).

 

Mamaf ee chiuo cviaa-unjiuu (My mother’s hands are very gentle and soft).  Goar na u svakhox phoax`khix, y ciu ka goar thvi-hQfsex (When my clothes were ragged, she would mend them).  Goarn paktor iaw ee sii, mamaf tQ zuo cviaa-honghux ee zhaix ho goarn ciah (When I was hungry, she would cook very plentiful and delicious food for me).  Kui'zhuolai ee khangkhQex lorng si mamaf cidchiuo paupan`khylaai ee (Mom single-handedly takes care of the entire family chores).

 

Akofng ee chiuo cviaa-khinlQo (My grandfather’s hands are very untiring).  Muyjit zafsii goxtiafmpvoax, akofng tQ khylaai khauzhao, akzuie (Every morning at 5:30, grandpa would weed the grass and water plants).  Y ka zhuozeeng-zhuo'au tag'ui tQ zefnglie-gaq cviaa-suosi (He would put things in good order everywhere around the house).

 

Amar ee chiuo cviagaau zQx khangkhQex (My grandmother’s hands are very good at work).  Y siong-zoanbuun`ee ciuxsi zerngzhaix, sokto kQq si itliuu`ee (She is most skillful in planting vegetables with the amazing speed).

 

SiQfmoe ee chiuo si oextoo ee koanchiuo (My sister’s hands are dexterous in drawing).  Tagtviw too tQ oe-gaq zabhwn ee byle (Every drawing of hers looks extremely beautiful).

 

Goar ee chiuo ma cviaa-hQfeng, Qextaxng siar cinsuie ee ji (My hands are also very useful: they can write beautiful characters).  Mxkuo, na kiQx goar cviuxtaai khix korng korsu, goar tQ siangchiuo phiqphiq'zhoaq laq (But, if I would be asked to go up on the platform and make a speech, then I would have shaky hands).

 

Goarn-zhux ee laang lorng u cidsiafng cviagaau ee chiuo (Each family member all has two good hands). Cit'kuysiafng chiuo toarlaai hexnghog, chiongsit ee seng'oah (These good hands bring us fortune and worthiness in life). Goarn bQeq tinsiQq goarn ee siangchiuo kab hexnghog (We will cherish our both hands and the ensuing happiness).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aesuie ee Khofngchiog

(A Beauty-Loving Peacock)                                         Gaan Kahui

 

                                                                                        

    U cidciaq ciog-aesuie ee khofngchiog (There was a peacock who loved beauty a great deal).  Tagjit zafkhie ti sQea-zhengkhix liawau, tQ voa cidsw suysvaf ciaq khix goaxbin sarnpo (After washing himself in the morning, he would change into a suit of pretty clothes and would go out to take a walk).

 

Uxcidjit, khofngchiog zheng cidsw zoeakin twteq liuheeng ee sinsvaf ti lo`nih teq sarnpo ee sii twtiQh zhuociawar (One day the peacock was taking a walk with his lately fashionable clothes.  He came across a magpie)

 

"Khofngchiog Siensvy, lie cioksuie`ee neq! (Mr. Peacock, you are very good-looking!)" Zhuociawar cviaa-himsien, afnny korng (Magpie said in a very envious tone).

 

"Karm afnny? (Oh, really?)" Khofngchiog ka sengkhw tngr-cidliexn, paai cidee iubie ee zusex, jien'au ciu toaxpan-toaxpan kviaa-lixkhuy (Peacock made a full turn of himself with a graceful pose, and then swaggeringly walked away).

 

"Khofngchiog Siensvy, lie nar Qe ciah'ientaau? (Mr. Peacock, how come you are so handsome?)" Vie'ar twtiQh khofngchiog, ia ka y phaq-ciQhof (Coming across the peacock, a swallow also greeted him and said).

 

“Karm afnny? (Oh, really?)" Khofngchiog kQhkhaq safngsex laq (Peacock became even prouder).  Y kekzhud kiaugvo ee zuthaix(He put on arrogant and conceited airs) .

 

Tngf y kviakaux zuyti'ar-pvy ee sii, twtiQh peqlexngsy (When walking near the side of a pond, he saw an egret). Mxkuo peqlexngsy zngzoex bQo khvoartiQh y, ar keasiok teq limzuie (However, the egret pretended not seeing him and thus continued wading across the water).

 

"Oea, oea, peqlexngsy, lie si teq bQ'eeng symmih? (Hey, hey, you egret, what are you busy at?)  Lie thaukhag giah`khylaai, khvoax goar citthQx sinsvaf, khvoax-u suie`bQo ? (Raise your head and have a good look at my new dress, wouldn’t you say it is beautiful?)"

 

"Suie si suie, mxkuo hef karm Qextaxng pangzan lie pQef? (It is pretty all right, but could it make you fly?)"  Peqlexnsy afnny korng (Egret said thus).

 

"Lie nar Qe korng citkhoarn oe? (How could you say such words?)" Khofngchiog u cidsut'ar siuxkhix (Peacock was a little angry).

 

"Goar korng`ee si cviasit`ee ax! (What I said is very true!)" Peqlexngsy korng-soaq, khinkhin'ar pQef`khylaai (After saying so, the egret was lightly flying up).

Khofngchiog khia ti hiaf, kafmkag cviaa-mxsi zubi(Seeing this, the peacock just stood there and felt rather embarrassed)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MLTF Staff

Ms. Ming-Eng Hong    ( Aang Byn'efng Lwsu )

Ms. Jan S. Lin           ( Cia Siokzefng Lwsu )

Ms. Tina Wu             ( Goo Huozuo Lwsu )

Mr. Minze Chien                   ( Karn Bengzuo Siensvy )

Ms. K. T. Hsu            ( Khor Kuietoong Lwsu )

Ms. Ray-Fong Lee       ( Liie Suixhong Lwsu )

Mr. G. F. Lin              ( Liim KQhofng Siensvy )

Ms. Dorthy Lin

Mr. Kwo-Long Lai       ( Loa Koklioong Siensvy )

Ms. Meiyun Huang     ( Ngg Byhuun Lwsu )

Mr. Ngg Zurngpeen    ( Ngg Zurnpeeng Siensvy )

Mr. Yung-San Liang   ( Niuu Efngsafm Siensvy )

Ms.  Margie Lee           ( Paang Ciaukhefng Lwsu )

Mr. Hung Ya Chao       ( Tio Honggvar Siensvy )

Ms. Marita Cheng                ( Tve Siok'ioong Lwsu )

Ms. Ming-Ling Cheng ( Tviw Bynleeng Lwsu )

Mr. Alex Ju                  ( Zw Kiernchiofng Siensvy )

 

 

 

 


 

MLTF Contributors

                Dr. and Mrs. Tsunie Chanchien        

                Dr. and Mrs. Whei Chung Chang

                Dr. and Mrs. Cheng-Nan Chen         

                Dr. and Mrs. Thomas Y. Ko               

                Dr. and Mrs. Chun Sheng Lee          

                Dr. and Mrs. Tung-Pi Lee                  

                Mrs. Li-Yin Lin                                     

                Dr. and Mrs. Gerald H. Lin                

                Dr. and Mrs. Kuen Young Liu            

                Dr. and Mrs. Bernard W. Tsai           

                Dr. and Mrs. James S. Tzeng           

                Dr. and Mrs. Henry H. Yu                   

                Dr. and Mrs. Chun-Ming Tseng         

                Mr. and Mrs. Y.C. Leo Chiang          

                Dr. and Mrs. Shaw T Chen                

                Dr. and Mrs. Shiko Tsai                     

                Mr. H. Y. Chao                                    

                Mr. and Mrs. Ming I. Hsu                    

                Mr. and Mrs. Wu Shuei Huang          

                Ms. Sandy K. Chen                            

                Mr. and Mrs. Mingo Lin                      

                Ms. Miin-Jy Tsai                                 

                Mrs. Margaret Yew                             

                Mr. & Mrs. Sheng Hsiung Yu