差不多

In Mandarin, it’s “cha bu duo”.
Translated to English, it means ‘Not far off from”. A more popular but loosely-translated meaning is “More or less”.

Moving on to our mother dialect –

I say – “Ch’a Poot Toh”
He says – “Cham Poei Toh”

He insisted his family has been saying “Cham Poei Toh” his entire life, and I couldn’t stop laughing ‘coz it sounded so damn weird. As far as I remember, it has always been “Ch’a Poot Toh”.

Now that he’s gotten me curious, am so gonna be bugging my Hokkien friends on their version of that phrase.

What is yours?

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2 Responses to “差不多”

  1. For as long as I have lived in Penang, I have always known it as “ch’a put to” 差不多. A variant of it would be “ch’a m to”.

    But then again, who am I to make comment… I am not a born-and-bred Penangite, and not even a native Hokkien speaker, for that matter! 🙂

  2. Yealoh…I’ve always known it as that…and I know “ch’a mm to” as well…but never ever ever heard of “cham poei toh”! LOL

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