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To-day we start with the first posting of "Penang Streets in Penang Hokkien Dialect (PHD)"
I don't claim to be very knowledgeable on this subject. My little knowledge would be no better than an average Penangite. It's a situation of I happened to be growing up in that area; that's all. So my comments are open to criticisms and corrections; and hopefully some of you could shed more light to this interesting subject.
Another caution is that for the non-Penang Hokkien speaking readers, it is most unlikely that you will get the pronunciation correct. This problem may resolve somewhat if we use Hanyu Pinyin; but then again I don't really know it and so are many of my readers. Three terms you should know. "Kay" is street. "Lor" is road. "Harng" is lane. Most of the traders doing similar business would operate along the same street. So in a way, you could say George Town was once the biggest Hypermall in the world! As I said in my previous post, the street distance is usually very short. This was particularly very useful for the trishaw-men as they would know the exact section of the road to go to.
Ok, here we go.
Let us start from where I was born and grew up. Lebuh Pantai. Lebuh Pantai has 4 different sections in Penang Hokkien Dialect (PHD). The stretch of Lebuh Pantai from the Esplanade clock tower to the junction of Lebuh Chulia is called T'or K'or Kay. The Star translates it as Wholesale Street. This section, used to be the place where you would find all the big "European" trading companies where they acted as sole agents for imported European goods. I have forgotten the exact names/spellings of these companies. Two of them are Jardin Waugh and William Jacks. Maybe the more appropriate translation for this street should be "Big Companies Street". This was and still is the place where all the banks and law firms converge.