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Twelve Months


1. In Romanised Teochew (without Tone Indicators)

Zia`gued zia`, chia` kia` sai lai zio` thia`.

Ji gued ji, khan gu kia`lai chng phi`.

Sa` gued sa`, zui kng bo zui ua lai ta`.

Si gued si, bi an bo bi ua lai pi.  

G`ou gued g`ou, sin se` ta` ziod pou.

Lag gued lag, ziam ta` kia` mua chan chad.

Chig gued chig, ou to ni, neg ai` pig.

Poid gued poid, khan tao tin tiad tao koid.

Kao gued  kao, sin se` ta` lan zao.

Zab gued zab, sin bi png tio` pen mag.                                        

Zab ig gued zab ig, kua` kao kha g`an, chiu kheg kheg.

Zab ji gued zab ji, kua` kao kha  g`an, chiu boi hi`g phi`.


2.  In Romanised Teochew

Zia`3gued10 zia`3 , chia`42 kia`42sai5 lai10 zio`20 thia`3 .

Ji20gued10 ji20 , khan3 gu10kia`4 lai10 chng3 phi`0 .

Sa`3gued10 Sa`3 , zui42kng3 bo10 zui4 , ua4 lai10 ta`3 .

Si54gued10 si5 , bi42an5 bo10 bi4 , ua4 lai10 pi5 .

G`ou20gued10 g`ou2 , sin3se`3 ta`3 ziog10pou2 .

Lag10gued10 lag1 , ziam3 ta`3 kia`4 mua42 chan10 chad1 .

Chig01gued10 chig0 , ou3 to3ni1 , neg10ai`42 pig0 .

Poig01gued10 poig0 , khan3 tao0tin1 , tiad0 tao0koig0 .

Kao42gued10 kao4 , sin3se`3 ta`3 lan4 zao4 .

Zab10gued10 zab1 , sin3 bi42png0 tio`54 pen0 mag1 .                           

Zab10ig01gued10 zab10ig0 , kua`10 kao54 kha3 g`an1 , chiu4 kheg01kheg0 .

Zab10ji20gued10 zab10ji20 , kua`10 kao54 kha3 g`an1 , chiu4 boi20 hi`g01 phi`0 .


3. Direct Translation


First month first, invite son-in-law come go up hall.

Second month second, lead calf come pierce nose.

Third month third, water jar no water, I come carry (using shoulder pole).

Fourth month fourth, rice urn no rice, I came carry (using one’s arms).

Fifth month fifth, teachers carry (on shoulder poles) “stones” (meant rice dumplings given by pupils’ parents).

Sixth month sixth, sharp pointed shoulder pole, all over paddy field poke.

Seventh month seventh, black berries, longans cracked.

Eighth month eighth, lead bean creepers, pick bean pods.

Ninth month ninth, teachers carry (on shoulder poles) luggage run.

Tenth month tenth, new steamed rice stuff up to eyes.

Eleventh month eleventh, chilled till legs cold, hands curled curled.

Twelfth month twelfth, chilled till legs cold, hands unable blow nose.


4. Proper Translation


On (Chinese) new year day, invite son-in-law to the home.

In March, fix nose ring to calf.

In April, water jar has no water, I shall fetch (some water).

In May, rice bin has no rice, I shall fetch (some rice).

June, teachers are given lots of rice dumplings.

In July, search the paddy field (for frogs).

In August, berries and longans have over ripened.

September, tidy up bean creepers and harvest the bean pods.

In October, teachers go off with their luggage (i.e. go home).

In November, eat newly harvested rice till very full.

In December, chilled till legs are cold and hands curled (i.e. the weather is cold).

In January, chilled till legs are cold and hands unable to blow nose (i.e. the weather is very cold).


Note: I have translated “Second month second” as March, and so on, because Chinese calendar month is about 1 month after Western (Gregorian) calendar month.  Chinese calendar is lunisolar, i.e. incorporating elements of a lunar calendar with those of a solar calendar. Each month in the Chinese Calendar has 29 or 30 days because each month follows one cycle of the moon.  In order to prevent the Chinese calendar from getting out of phase with the seasons, a leap month is added after every 3 years (occasionally after 2 years) so that Chinese New Year is centred on 4th February, but is adjusted to the 1st day of the nearest month.  Thus Chinese New Year falls on 4th February ± 14 days.


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