Penang Hokkien–English Dictionary

Penang Hokkien–English Dictionary

With an English–Penang Hokkien Glossary

This dictionary is a user-friendly lexicon for both native speakers and learners of the Penang Hokkien language. It lists Hokkien words and terms, and their definitions in English, as well as literal translations, culture-specific terms and common phrases.


Penang Hokkien–English Dictionary: With an English–Penang Hokkien Glossary is the first comprehensively compiled dictionary of Penang Hokkien and carries over 12,000 entries after more than three years of research using a Sunway University Research Grant.

The unique language of Penang Hokkien is spoken in the Northern States — Perlis, Kedah and Penang — and the east coast states of Peninsular Malaysia. The spoken Hokkien language has now evolved over a significant amount of time and this new dictionary carefully captures the changes that have arisen. Apart from definitions in English, this dictionary offers a glossary for English words and their Penang Hokkien translations, as well as explanations and examples on how words or phrases are used.

This lexicon is suitable for both natural speakers of Penang Hokkien and those who wish to be more familiar with the language.



Key to Dictionary Entries


Penang Hokkien–English Dictionary

English–Penang Hokkien Glossary

Tan Siew Imm was born and bred in Penang and is a native speaker of Penang Hokkien. She studied at Convent Light Street and St Xavier’s Institution, and later pursued her education at Universiti Malaya (UM), where she obtained her B.A. (Hons) in English Literature, Dip. Ed. (TESL) and M.A. (Applied Linguistics). She has been a reporter (with a major English daily), a tutor with UM’s Department of English, a teacher at secondary schools, an invigilator for Malaysia’s national examinations, and an English Editor with a leading book publisher. She also co-authored an Academic English workbook, Write Now! (first and second editions). At Sunway University, she taught academic reading and writing to degree and diploma undergraduates majoring in Business, Hospitality and Psychology, and was also a judge in the university’s Oxbridge essay-writing and public-speaking competitions. Now retired, she is working on a Penang Hokkien picture dictionary.