There are 8 tones in Teochew. In many resources, you will see a number after each syllable, indicating which tone it is.

Tone Description Example
1 Middle shirt san1
2 Falling hand chiu2
3 Low Falling, Rising vegetables chai3
4 Middle Short meat bhah4
5 High head tao5
6 Rising old lao6
7 Low big dua7
8 High Short white beh(4) sek4 白色

Many words undergo tone change when placed in front of another word. The table below shows the same words as above, but placed in front of another word to demonstrate how their tones change.

Original Tone Changed Tone Example
11 clothes san1 kou3 衫裤
26 finger chiu(6) jain2 手指
32 (or 5) radish chai(2) tao5 菜头
48 dried, shredded pork bhah(8) yong5 肉绒
57 hair (on your head)
67 great grandmother lao(7) ma2 老妈
77 aunt (dad's oldest sister)
84 napa cabbage beh(4) chai3 白菜

In the translations on this site, if a word has undergone tone change, the spoken tone will be displayed in parentheses. If a word originally has tone 3 and undergoes tone change, I will always display tone 2 for it, but my audio clips will vary between actually saying it with tone 2 or tone 5. I'm not consistent 😅