Tones

There are 8 tones in Teochew. In many resources, you will see a number after each syllable, indicating which tone it is. On this website, different accent marks are used.

Tone Description Example
1 Middle shirt sa:
2 Falling hand chiù
3 Low Falling, Rising vegetables chăi
4 Middle Short meat bhat
5 High head tāo
6 Rising old láo
7 Low big duạ
8 High Short white bēt

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 sa: kŏu 衫裤
26 finger chiú jài: 手指
32 radish chài tāo 菜头
48 dried, shredded pork bhāt yōng 肉绒
57 hair (on your head) tạo mō 头毛
67 great grandmother lạo mà 老妈
77 aunt (dad's oldest sister) duạ gou 大姑
84 napa cabbage bet chăi 白菜