Let’s Learn Hakka (1)

Have you eaten yet?

In the Hakka language, “食飽吂?”, which means “have you eaten yet?”, is a common greeting phrase. It can be used whenever people meet each other, in the morning, at noon, or in the evening. Literally, this phrase is used to inquire people whether they have had their meals or whether they have eaten enough. Figuratively, it is an expression synonymous with “how are you?”.

It is said that filling one’s stomach was the primary concern for Hakka people when there were scarce resources in ancient times. Nowadays, asking people if they had an adequate diet becomes a friendly greeting in the Hakka community.

When Hakka people came to Taiwan in earlier times, they lived in conditions of severe poverty. They had to work very hard to improve their lives. At that time, people often bumped into their neighbors after work at mealtimes in the same Hakka settlement, and they would usually greet each other with a simple phrase “have you eaten yet?” to show some consideration and kindness.

When being greeted with the question “Have you eaten yet?”in the Hakka language, one can simply answer “𠊎食飽吔” meaning “I have eaten to my content.”
Have you eaten yet?
(Photo: 惜客食滋味)

Listen to various accents

Sixian accent (四縣腔) 
Q: siid bauˋ mangˇ
A: ngaiˇ siid bauˋ eˇ

Hailu accent (海陸腔)
Q: shidˋ bauˊ mang?
A: ngai shidˋ bauˊ leˋ

Dapu accent (大埔腔)
Q: shidˋ bau^ mangˇ?
A: ngaiˇ shidˋ bau^ le+.

Raoping accent (饒平腔)
Q: shed bauˋ mangˇ?
A: ngaiˇ shed bauˋ leˋ.

Zhao-an accent (詔安腔)
Q: shiedˋ bau^ mangˇ?
A: ngaiˋ shiedˋ bau^ aˇ.