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A Pear Tree on the Hilltop

 

1. In Romanised Teochew (without Tone Indicators)

Sua` ten zeg zan lai.
Sng lai, sng kher, sa` ped kai*.
Ua ke a hia` chua kai bou.
Chua tiod a so bo e hai.

Mng kha zeg zan ka`.
Sng lai, sng kher, sa` ped sa`.
Ua ke a hia` chua kai bou.
Chua tiod a so tng to kha.

Iu bo e hai.
Iu tng to kha.
Uan lai, uan kher, bue nan phua.
A hia` sio` sim, chan boi zod.
Jig jig, me me, tui sim kua`.

“A hia` li mai sio` sim.
Bi li sen png, bad li sen ziu.
Ai` a so oi khng kad oi khiam,
kio` kue a ze, ke tiod a nng,
tam bai kad ped jin”.

Note: “li” is used by some Teochews, can be dropped without affecting meaning.

 

2. In Romanised Teochew 

Sua`3ten4 zeg10 zan10lai1 .

Sng01 lai1 , sng01 kher5 , sa`3ped01 kai1*.

Ua42ke3 a3hia`3 chua0 kai10bou4 .

Chua0 tiod10 a3so4 bo10 e0hai1 .

 

Mng10kha3 zeg10 zan10ka`3 .

Sng01 lai1 , sng01 kher5 , sa`3ped01sa`3 .

Ua42ke3 a3hia`3 chua0 kai10bou4 .

Chua0 tiod10 a3so4 tng10to42kha3 .

 

Iu5 bo10 e0hai1 .

Iu5 tng10to42kha3 .

Uan54 lai1 , uan54 kher5 , bue10nan10phua1 .

A3hia`3 sio`3sim3, chan1 boi10zod0 .

Jig10jig1 , me10me1 , tui10 sim3kua`3 .

 

“A3hia`3 li3 mai54 sio`3sim3 .

Bi4 li3 sen10png0, bad1 li3 sen10ziu3 .

Ai`54 a3so4 oi20khng1 kad0 oi20 khiam2 ,

kio`10kue54 a3ze4 , ke54 tiod10 a3nng1 ,

tam54bai0 kad0 ped10jin1”.

 

 

Note: “li3” is used by some Teochews, can be dropped without affecting meaning

 

3.  Direct Translation

Hilltop one pear tree.
Counted come, counted go, 300 “objects*”.
My family elder brother married a wife.
Married elder sister-in-law no chin.

Door Leg/foot/nearby an orange tree.
Counted come, counted go, 330.
My family elder brother married a wife.
Married elder sister-in-law long short legs.

Again/also no chin.
Again/also long short legs.
Blame come, blame go, matchmaker.
Elder brother hurt heart, paddy field could not work.
Day day, night night, pounded chest.

“Elder brother don’t hurt heart.
Raw rice succeeded cooked rice, ink accomplish cycle.
Want/(going to) elder sister-in-law can diligent and can thrifty,
better than elder sister, married to elder brother-in-law,
good for nothing and a moron.”

 

* Actually a measure word for round objects, no equivalent in English.

 

4.  Proper Translation 

On the hilltop stood a pear tree.
Counted and recounted (there were) 300 fruits.
My elder brother married a wife.
Married elder sister-in-law who has no chin.

In front of the house stood an orange tree.
Counted and recounted (there were) 330 (fruits).
My elder brother married a wife.
Married elder sister-in-law who limps.

Not only has no chin.
But also has legs of unequal length.
Blame the matchmaker.
Elder brother, with pain in his heart, could not work the paddy field.
Every day and night he pounded his chest.

“Elder brother don’t be sad.
Raw rice has become cooked rice, ink has completed its cycle.
As long as elder sister-in-law can be diligent and thrifty,
better than elder sister, who married elder brother-in-law
who is good for nothing and a moron”.

 

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