Babyish languages are a set of fictional diachronic language from a child story called "Stories in Babycasèny", which can be viewed as a pidgin of Cantonese and English.


IMG 0210

an iron box with war chess inside painted by the kids with Chinese and Babyish (Tsukikoish) text written on it. (1985)

Babyish (/'beibjiʃ/) was originally a language spoken by a certain groups of kids in Hong Kong. They use Cantonese as their mother tongue, and they were taught with extensive amount of English in school as well. On the other hand, some of the kids have their grandparents speaking with another kind of language at home, and some elements were brought into their common language. When they were growing up, some of them learnt French and Japanese and they brought some elements into their common langauge.

The name for "Babyish" have two kinds of saying:

  1. Such common language does not have a name before, and was named as "Babyish" later, for the comments by one of their parents about "Why are you talking in a tone like a baby?"
  2. Another kind of saying is that, the Babyish was originally designed to "simplify" the complicated English as perceived by Primary school children. The word "Babyish" originated from "Baby", and the word "Baby" originated from the Cantonese saying of "Baby" (BB). "BB", however, comes from the result of the "simplified" language that all the "is" "am" "are" was simplified into "be".

Now, these native speakers of Babyish has spread around the world. Some of them lives in Toronto, some of them lives in Boston, some of them lives in Chicago, while most of them lives in Hong Kong, but scattered. I wish to use the portal to link these people up, and share their knowledge about the langauge. We used to have literatures and publications (handwritten or typed) in the past. I think this is quite an interesting way to see how a langauge is being developed.

The maximum number of language population was around 100. There are much less people who can speak this language, as they have forgotten the language when they grown up and speak the "proper language" required by the society.


See also: Babyish dialects

Babyish languages can basically be classified into two branches:

  • Babyish - characterised by its 5 vowels system (ä and ö are considered part of a and o)
  • Sheepness - besides a, e, i, o and u, they considered schwa as the 6th vowel and coded separatedly, while Babyish will distribute them among the 5 vowels as short vowels. For each of the branch, there are further sub-branches, differed by the suffices and articles used in sentences.

Phonology and writing systemEdit

See also: Babyish alphabet and Babyish phonology

Babyish has its own characters, being some geometric shapes, but was not used beyond illustration. It is transcripted in two ways:


The writing system (or Babyish orthography) of Babyish is phonemic (or phonetic, to use a simplier word). There are not many words that do not pronounce the same as it was written, and these words are usually easy to remember. All letters in Babyish are pronounced. Every phoneme in Babyish is represented by a character, and nearly every character in Babyish is represented by only one sound. The word "nearly" need to add here, because it is a language of more than 20 years. Also, as people emigrated and adopted different culture from other places, such impacts caused changes to the language as well.

Babyish vowel chart

Since Babyish is a pidgin of Cantonese, some words are tonal and require indication of tones. Tonal marks from pinyin is borrowed for tone indication. There are still possible ambiguity in the current lexicon, but the approach is believed the best way to represent the language.




English Babyish Origin
Cat Uzaza / Miao Original / Onomotopaeic
Dog Azaza / Wou Original / Onomotopaeic
Rabbit Zaza / Déng Original
Sheep Me Onomotopaeic
Panda Siongmiao Mandarin Chinese
Fish Ör Original
Tortoise (or turtle) Wuggwài Cantonese
not yet mǐ- Cantonese
full (after meal) báo Cantonese
hungry (after meal) mǐbáo Cantonese (= "mǐ-" not yet + "báo")
used Yused English
not used Mǐyused Cantonese+English (= "mǐ-" not yet + "yused")
Elder Brother (le) gor Cantonese
Younger Brother (le) sálou Cantonese
Elder Sister (la) sis English "sis" is not pronounced as /sis/, but is pronounced as /dzit/ instead, a pattern occurred in Korean as well
Younger Sister (la) mui Cantonese
Father Baba Cantonese
Mother Mama / Mami Cantonese
Water Sui Cantonese
Clear water Nanasui from "sui"
Tea Cya Japanese (Cantonese)
Tea for guest Oucya Japanese
Tea for sheep Meorcya derived from "me"+"oucya"


  • miao: cat
  • wou: dog
  • me: sheep


  • uzaza: cat
  • azaza: dog
  • zaza: rabbit
  • ör: fish
  • mu: bear
Mixture of Original and AdoptionEdit
  • muhuŋ: teddy bear (huŋ for all kinds of bears)


Direct AdoptionEdit
  • welkom: welcome
  • plänèt: planet
Indirect AdoptionEdit
  • fikstā: from "fixed-star", a direct translation from the corresponding Chinese term "恆星".


Direct AdoptionEdit

(mostly place names)

  • jü: pig
  • šī: tree (pl. -s)
  • šīyip: leaf (pl. -s)
  • šīhuŋ: koala (pl. -s)
Indirect AdoptionEdit



  • Cya: tea
  • o-: polite form (may be a variant of à, you cannot have polite form for vegetable like o-coi?)


  • le/la: the
  • à: at

Writing Systems Edit

A keyboard layout is available at here for the use with “SC Unipad[1].


See also: Babyish grammar

(syntax and inflectional morphology)


See also: Babyish semantics

(derivational morphology and miscellaneous usage notes)

See alsoEdit


  1. "SC Unipad official website". 2009-12-03. Archived from the original. You must specify the date the archive was made using the |archivedate= parameter. 

External LinksEdit

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