Today I Learned: How Now Brown Unicow?

Today I learned that the term “cow” refers not just to your mom, but to a specific status of the animal, and that the proper generic name for those big tanks that give us milk and beef is “cattle”.

How now brown cattle?

Hm…doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.

So here is my dedication to the cattle and their respective statuses!

In Unicattle form, of course.

So yes, in case none of that made sense to you, cow refers to a female that has given birth to a calf. A heifer refers to a female that has not given birth.

A bull refers to a male that is physically able…and intact; while a steer is a male that has been castrated. You know, missing a little sump’m sump’m.

Learn something new every day!

How now brown Unicow?

No Need To Be Polite In Hokkien

Here’s a simple way to respond to thank you (감사합니다) in Korea:

  1.  – Ah
  2.  – Nib (that thing on the end of your pen)
  3.  – Ni (Chinese for you, you sexy person you!)
  4.  – Da (Russian for yes)

In Hokkien, instead of saying “it’s nothing”, you would say “no need to be polite” in response to a thank you. It’s the equivalent of saying “不用客气” in Chinese.

EnglishWritten ChineseHokkien
You’re welcome免客气Mian kek ki

Would You Like Some Hokkien?

In Korean:

  1. Insert item here
  2. 드 – Deu (doo doo doo~)
  3. 실 – Sil (sitting on it)
  4. 래 – Lae
  5. 요 – Yo

In Korean, coffee is 커피 (keopi) and tea is 차 (cha).

In Hokkien, coffee is pretty much the same, albeit with a different accent; tea is “teh”, which could be a loan word from English or Malay.

In Hokkien, this phrase is pronounced as follows:

EnglishWritten ChineseHokkien
Would you like ___?你要___无? Lu ai ___ bo?

In Hokkien: Do You Speak English?

An important phrase for every traveller in every language is asking if their counterpart speaks the universal language, English.

As you’ll recall, this is how to ask in Korean:

  1. 영 – Yeong – (pic reference to Yong Tau Fu)
  2. 어 – Eo
  3. 하 – Ha
  4. 세요 – Seyo

And this is how to ask in Hokkien:

EnglishWritten ChineseHokkien
Can you understand? 你会晓听无(吗)?Lu eh hiao tia bo?
Can you speak English?你会晓讲英文无(吗)?Lu eh hiao gong eng bun bo?
I don’t understand我掠无
Wa liak bo

Please note that the written Chinese column is how the Hokkien words would be written in text, but it is not how you would actually say it in the Chinese language (普通话).

Now in my research, I came across this useful little Hokkien resource (there are quite a few online, to my surprise): this English-Hokkien dictionary!

I gave the search a few tries and the results were rather impressive.

So yeah, go nuts!

Hokkien-Korean Phrases: Sorry

So if you’ll recall how to apologise in Korean, it is:

  1.  – Mi (not you, me!)
  2.  – An
  3.  – Hab
  4. 니다 – Nida

And in Hokkien, there are a few ways to say it:

Sorry对唔住Dui mm zhu
Embarrassed / Excuse me歹势Pai seh

Because we speak a combination of languages in Malaysia, locals tend to use the English term “sorry” quite frequently as well.

Original Korean article is here.

Listen to the audio podcast here!

From Nothing Samtoki Appears

Just like how this recent outbreak materialised out of nowhere, today’s idiom is about creating something from nothing!

  1. 无 – Wu2
  2. 中 – Zhong1
  3. 生 – Sheng1
  4. 有 – You3

So 无中生有 can mean to conjure something from nothing, to make up malicious rumours or fake news. Or it can also mean to create something from nothing, to materialise something where there once was none.

Take it however you like, I just like creating stuff.

Conservation of energy side, sometimes something can come from nothing. You just have to dream it into being.

天天养成良好的习惯 Building Good Habits Daily

Adapting to change is rarely easy, and oftentimes we are forced into it. As much as we may try to, many of life’s circumstances are outside our control; but the way in which we respond, adapt and overcome – that is something we can control.

I’m not talking about curing cancer or making the world a better place, just making your own world a better place, one day at a time.

But how? It’s all so overwhelming!

One day at a time means one step at a time, one moment and one hour, building yourself up. And to do that, you’ll need to start building good habits.

So today’s idiom is about doing just that:

  1. 习 – Xi2
  2. 以 – Yi3
  3. 为 – Wei2
  4. 常 – Chang2

习以为常 means doing it so often that it becomes routine and commonplace, so in essence doing it until it becomes a habit.

The word “习” means to learn or study, to revise and practice, like in “练习”. Basically this idiom means practice until you get used to it, until it becomes a ritual, a habit, a part of your life.

In short, the things you do every single day, no matter how small and significant, go a long way in determining who you become the next, and the next.

Of course this sounds simple and high and mighty, especially if you feel stuck in a rut or down in the dumps. But remember, you have control, not of the things or people around you, and maybe not of your hormones or your feelings, but come what may, you are the master of your fate, and you decide how you live your life and manage your feelings and relationships.

Never forget that.

Now go form some good habits – start today!

Now I should mention that this idiom can also apply in an alternate way – it can also mean something occurring so often that you become numb and indifferent to it. So if we were to experience earthquakes every day, after the first few tremors, we could say “这个我们已经习以为常了”.

It’s also getting used to something, but in a more blase sense. It’s all about perspective I suppose – you can become accustomed to something, or you can adapt and make something good of it!

You can do it! Because this bunny believes in you.

You Want This Samtoki Korean Lesson?

Let’s do…this one today!

  1. 이 – I (pronounced “ee”)
  2. 거 – Geo (pronounced “go”)
  3. 주 – Ju (like piggy in Chinese)
  4. 세요 – Seyo

Today’s phrase is useful for shoppers or when you’re looking to order something. It means “please give me this one“.

이거 (igeo) is “this” in Korean, so if you want to be more direct and can’t recall the rest of it, just “igeo” and maybe some pointing should do the trick. But to be polite, please use “juseyo”. That means “please give me”.

You can pop 이거 into any sentence, but take note that the way the Korean grammar works is that the subject is in front. So while in English or Chinese you might say:

Please give me this one.


In Korean, the “this” will come first:

이거 기억해?

This means “do you remember this?”

Alright, now go have fun!