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Encyclopedia
The Southern Min languages, or Min Nan , are a family of Chinese languages spoken in southern Fujian
Fujian
' , formerly romanised as Fukien or Huguing or Foukien, is a province on the southeast coast of mainland China. Fujian is bordered by Zhejiang to the north, Jiangxi to the west, and Guangdong to the south. Taiwan lies to the east, across the Taiwan Strait...

, eastern Guangdong
Guangdong
Guangdong is a province on the South China Sea coast of the People's Republic of China. The province was previously often written with the alternative English name Kwangtung Province...

, Hainan
Hainan
Hainan is the smallest province of the People's Republic of China . Although the province comprises some two hundred islands scattered among three archipelagos off the southern coast, of its land mass is Hainan Island , from which the province takes its name...

, Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

, and southern Zhejiang
Zhejiang
Zhejiang is an eastern coastal province of the People's Republic of China. The word Zhejiang was the old name of the Qiantang River, which passes through Hangzhou, the provincial capital...

 provinces of China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, and by descendants of emigrants from these areas
Overseas Chinese
Overseas Chinese are people of Chinese birth or descent who live outside the Greater China Area . People of partial Chinese ancestry living outside the Greater China Area may also consider themselves Overseas Chinese....

 in diaspora
Diaspora
A diaspora is "the movement, migration, or scattering of people away from an established or ancestral homeland" or "people dispersed by whatever cause to more than one location", or "people settled far from their ancestral homelands".The word has come to refer to historical mass-dispersions of...

.

In common parlance, Southern Min usually refers to Hokkien
Hokkien
Hokkien is a Hokkien word corresponding to Standard Chinese "Fujian". It may refer to:* Hokkien dialect, a dialect of Min Nan Chinese spoken in Southern Fujian , Taiwan, South-east Asia, and elsewhere....

, in particular the Amoy and Taiwanese. Amoy and Taiwanese are both combinations of Quanzhou
Quanzhou
Quanzhou is a prefecture-level city in Fujian province, People's Republic of China. It borders all other prefecture-level cities in Fujian but two and faces the Taiwan Strait...

 and Zhangzhou
Zhangzhou
Zhangzhou is a prefecture-level city in southern Fujian province, People's Republic of China. Located on the banks of the Jiulong River , Zhangzhou borders the cities of Xiamen and Quanzhou to the northeast, Longyan City to the northwest and the province of Guangdong to the southwest.Zhangzhou...

 speech. The Southern Min family also includes Teochew and Hainanese. Teochew has limited mutual intelligibility
Mutual intelligibility
In linguistics, mutual intelligibility is recognized as a relationship between languages or dialects in which speakers of different but related languages can readily understand each other without intentional study or extraordinary effort...

 with the Amoy. However, Hainanese is generally not considered to be mutually intelligible with any other Southern Min variants.

Southern Min forms part of the Min language group
Sino-Tibetan languages
The Sino-Tibetan languages are a language family comprising, at least, the Chinese and the Tibeto-Burman languages, including some 250 languages of East Asia, Southeast Asia and parts of South Asia. They are second only to the Indo-European languages in terms of the number of native speakers...

, alongside several other divisions. The Min languages/dialects are part of the Chinese language
Chinese language
The Chinese language is a language or language family consisting of varieties which are mutually intelligible to varying degrees. Originally the indigenous languages spoken by the Han Chinese in China, it forms one of the branches of Sino-Tibetan family of languages...

 group, itself a member of the Sino-Tibetan language family. Southern Min is not mutually intelligible
Mutual intelligibility
In linguistics, mutual intelligibility is recognized as a relationship between languages or dialects in which speakers of different but related languages can readily understand each other without intentional study or extraordinary effort...

 with Eastern Min
Min Dong
The Eastern Min language, or Min Dong is the language mainly spoken in the eastern part of Fujian Province in China, in and near Fuzhou and Ningde. Fuzhou is the province's capital and largest city...

, Cantonese, or Mandarin
Standard Chinese
Standard Chinese, or Modern Standard Chinese, also known as Mandarin or Putonghua, is the official language of the People's Republic of China and Republic of China , and is one of the four official languages of Singapore....

. As with other varieties of Chinese
Chinese language
The Chinese language is a language or language family consisting of varieties which are mutually intelligible to varying degrees. Originally the indigenous languages spoken by the Han Chinese in China, it forms one of the branches of Sino-Tibetan family of languages...

, there is a political dispute as to whether the Southern Min language should be called a language
Language
Language may refer either to the specifically human capacity for acquiring and using complex systems of communication, or to a specific instance of such a system of complex communication...

 or a dialect
Dialect
The term dialect is used in two distinct ways, even by linguists. One usage refers to a variety of a language that is a characteristic of a particular group of the language's speakers. The term is applied most often to regional speech patterns, but a dialect may also be defined by other factors,...

.

Geographic distribution


Southern Min is spoken in the southern part of Fujian
Fujian
' , formerly romanised as Fukien or Huguing or Foukien, is a province on the southeast coast of mainland China. Fujian is bordered by Zhejiang to the north, Jiangxi to the west, and Guangdong to the south. Taiwan lies to the east, across the Taiwan Strait...

 province, three southeastern counties of Zhejiang
Zhejiang
Zhejiang is an eastern coastal province of the People's Republic of China. The word Zhejiang was the old name of the Qiantang River, which passes through Hangzhou, the provincial capital...

 province, the Zhoushan archipelago
Zhoushan
Zhoushan or Zhoushan Archipelago New Area; formerly transliterated as Chusan, is a prefecture-level city in northeastern Zhejiang province of Eastern China. The only prefecture-level city of the People's Republic of China consisting solely of islands, it lies across the mouth of the Hangzhou Bay,...

 off Ningbo
Ningbo
Ningbo is a seaport city of northeastern Zhejiang province, Eastern China. Holding sub-provincial administrative status, the municipality has a population of 7,605,700 inhabitants at the 2010 census whom 3,089,180 in the built up area made of 6 urban districts. It lies south of the Hangzhou Bay,...

 in Zhejiang, and the eastern part of Guangdong
Guangdong
Guangdong is a province on the South China Sea coast of the People's Republic of China. The province was previously often written with the alternative English name Kwangtung Province...

 province (Chaoshan
Chaoshan
Cháoshàn refers to the linguistic and cultural region in the east of Guangdong, a southeastern province of China. This region is the origin of the Min Nan dialect Teochew. The area is known as Teochew for most people overseas, although it also consists of the cities of Shantou and Jieyang...

 region). The Qiong Wen variant spoken in the Leizhou
Leizhou
Leizhou City is a county-level city in Guangdong province, in southern China.It is under the jurisdiction of Zhanjiang prefecture-level city.-See also:* Leizhou dialect...

 peninsula of Guangdong
Guangdong
Guangdong is a province on the South China Sea coast of the People's Republic of China. The province was previously often written with the alternative English name Kwangtung Province...

 province, as well as Hainan
Hainan
Hainan is the smallest province of the People's Republic of China . Although the province comprises some two hundred islands scattered among three archipelagos off the southern coast, of its land mass is Hainan Island , from which the province takes its name...

 province, which is not mutually intelligible with standard Minnan or Teochew, is classified in some schemes as part of Southern Min and in other schemes as separate.

A form of Southern Min akin to that spoken in southern Fujian is also spoken in Taiwan, where it has the native name of Tâi-oân-oē or Hō-ló-oē. The (sub)ethnic group for which Southern Min is considered a native language is known as the Holo (Hō-ló) or Hoklo, the main ethnicity of Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

. The correspondence between language and ethnicity is generally true though not absolute, as some Hoklo have very limited proficiency in Southern Min while some non-Hoklo
Hoklo
Hoklo can mean the following:* The Hoklo people, a geographically widespread cultural-linguistic group originating in southeast China , also called Hokkien.* Min Nan, the Chinese language group spoken by the Hoklo....

s speak Southern Min fluently.

There are many Southern Min speakers also among overseas Chinese
Overseas Chinese
Overseas Chinese are people of Chinese birth or descent who live outside the Greater China Area . People of partial Chinese ancestry living outside the Greater China Area may also consider themselves Overseas Chinese....

 in Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia, South-East Asia, South East Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea and north of Australia. The region lies on the intersection of geological plates, with heavy seismic...

. Many ethnic Chinese
Chinese people
The term Chinese people may refer to any of the following:*People with Han Chinese ethnicity ....

 emigrants to the region were Hoklo
Hoklo
Hoklo can mean the following:* The Hoklo people, a geographically widespread cultural-linguistic group originating in southeast China , also called Hokkien.* Min Nan, the Chinese language group spoken by the Hoklo....

 from southern Fujian, and brought the language to what is now Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

 (the former Dutch East Indies
Dutch East Indies
The Dutch East Indies was a Dutch colony that became modern Indonesia following World War II. It was formed from the nationalised colonies of the Dutch East India Company, which came under the administration of the Netherlands government in 1800....

) and present day Malaysia and Singapore
Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

 (formerly Malaya
British Malaya
British Malaya loosely described a set of states on the Malay Peninsula and the Island of Singapore that were brought under British control between the 18th and the 20th centuries...

, Burma, and the British Straits Settlements). In general, Southern Min from southern Fujian is known as Hokkien, Hokkienese, Fukien or Fookien in Southeast Asia, and is very much like Taiwanese. Many Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia, South-East Asia, South East Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea and north of Australia. The region lies on the intersection of geological plates, with heavy seismic...

n ethnic Chinese also originated in the Chaoshan
Chaoshan
Cháoshàn refers to the linguistic and cultural region in the east of Guangdong, a southeastern province of China. This region is the origin of the Min Nan dialect Teochew. The area is known as Teochew for most people overseas, although it also consists of the cities of Shantou and Jieyang...

 region of Guangdong
Guangdong
Guangdong is a province on the South China Sea coast of the People's Republic of China. The province was previously often written with the alternative English name Kwangtung Province...

 province and speak Teochew, the variant of Southern Min from that region. Southern Min is reportedly the native language of up to 98.5% of the community of ethnic Chinese
Chinese Filipino
A Chinese Filipino derived from two words: "Tsino" and "Pinoy" ) is a Philippine national of Chinese ethnicity but born/raised in the Philippines....

 in the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

, among whom it is also known as Lan-nang
Lan-nang
Lan-nang is the Philippine variant of Hokkien. It is a subdialect of the Amoy dialect of Xiamen, Fujian, China. Lan-nang is spoken among the Chinese and Filipino residents of the Philippines. It is characterized by loanwords from Tagalog, Spanish, and Cantonese, as well as its emphasis on...

or Lán-lâng-oē ("Our people’s language"). Southern Min speakers form the majority of Chinese in Singapore with the largest being Hoklo
Hoklo
Hoklo can mean the following:* The Hoklo people, a geographically widespread cultural-linguistic group originating in southeast China , also called Hokkien.* Min Nan, the Chinese language group spoken by the Hoklo....

s and the second largest being the Teochews
Teochew people
The Chaozhou people are Han people, native to the Chaoshan region of eastern Guangdong province of China who speak the Teochew dialect. Today, most Teochew people live outside China in Southeast Asia especially in Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia. They can also be found almost anywhere in the...

. Finally, Southern Min is also being spoken in increasingly larger communities in the Chinatowns of New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

.

Classification


Southern Fujian
Fujian
' , formerly romanised as Fukien or Huguing or Foukien, is a province on the southeast coast of mainland China. Fujian is bordered by Zhejiang to the north, Jiangxi to the west, and Guangdong to the south. Taiwan lies to the east, across the Taiwan Strait...

 is home to three main Hokkien
Hokkien
Hokkien is a Hokkien word corresponding to Standard Chinese "Fujian". It may refer to:* Hokkien dialect, a dialect of Min Nan Chinese spoken in Southern Fujian , Taiwan, South-east Asia, and elsewhere....

 dialects. They are known by the geographic locations to which they correspond (listed north to south):
  • Quanzhou
    Quanzhou
    Quanzhou is a prefecture-level city in Fujian province, People's Republic of China. It borders all other prefecture-level cities in Fujian but two and faces the Taiwan Strait...

     (Chinchew
    Quanzhou dialect
    The Quanzhou dialect is a Hokkien dialect which originally comes from Southern Fujian province , in the area centered around the city of Quanzhou. Among the Taiwanese who migrated came from Fujian province since the 17th century onwards, 44.8% were originally from Quanzhou whereas 35.1% were from...

    , 泉州)
  • Xiamen
    Xiamen
    Xiamen , also known as Amoy , is a major city on the southeast coast of the People's Republic of China. It is administered as a sub-provincial city of Fujian province with an area of and population of 3.53 million...

     (Amoy, 廈門)
  • Zhangzhou
    Zhangzhou
    Zhangzhou is a prefecture-level city in southern Fujian province, People's Republic of China. Located on the banks of the Jiulong River , Zhangzhou borders the cities of Xiamen and Quanzhou to the northeast, Longyan City to the northwest and the province of Guangdong to the southwest.Zhangzhou...

     (Changchew
    Zhangzhou dialect
    The Zhangzhou dialect is a Hokkien dialect originating from southern Fujian province , in the area centered around the city of Zhangzhou. Among the Taiwanese who migrated from Fujian province starting in the 17th century, 35.1% were originally from Zhangzhou whereas 44.8% were from Quanzhou...

    , 漳州)


As Xiamen is the principal city of southern Fujian, the Xiamen dialect is considered the most important, or even prestige dialect
Prestige dialect
In sociolinguistics, prestige describes the level of respect accorded to a language or dialect as compared to that of other languages or dialects in a speech community. The concept of prestige in sociolinguistics is closely related to that of prestige or class within a society...

. The Xiamen dialect is a hybrid of the Quanzhou and Zhangzhou dialects. The Xiamen dialect (also known as the Amoy dialect) has played an influential role in history, especially in the relations of Western
Western world
The Western world, also known as the West and the Occident , is a term referring to the countries of Western Europe , the countries of the Americas, as well all countries of Northern and Central Europe, Australia and New Zealand...

 nations with China, and was one of the most frequently learned of all Chinese languages/dialects by Western
Western world
The Western world, also known as the West and the Occident , is a term referring to the countries of Western Europe , the countries of the Americas, as well all countries of Northern and Central Europe, Australia and New Zealand...

ers during the second half of the 19th century and the early 20th century.

The variants of Southern Min spoken in Zhejiang
Zhejiang
Zhejiang is an eastern coastal province of the People's Republic of China. The word Zhejiang was the old name of the Qiantang River, which passes through Hangzhou, the provincial capital...

 province are most akin to that spoken in Quanzhou. The variants spoken in Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

 are similar to the three Fujian
Fujian
' , formerly romanised as Fukien or Huguing or Foukien, is a province on the southeast coast of mainland China. Fujian is bordered by Zhejiang to the north, Jiangxi to the west, and Guangdong to the south. Taiwan lies to the east, across the Taiwan Strait...

 variants, and are collectively known as Taiwanese. Taiwanese is used by a majority of the population and is quite important from a socio-political and cultural perspective, forming the second most important, if not the more influential pole of the language due to the popularity of Taiwanese Hokkien media. Those Southern Min variants that are collectively known as "Hokkien" in Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia, South-East Asia, South East Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea and north of Australia. The region lies on the intersection of geological plates, with heavy seismic...

 also originate from these variants. The variants of Southern Min in the Chaoshan
Chaoshan
Cháoshàn refers to the linguistic and cultural region in the east of Guangdong, a southeastern province of China. This region is the origin of the Min Nan dialect Teochew. The area is known as Teochew for most people overseas, although it also consists of the cities of Shantou and Jieyang...

 region of eastern Guangdong province are collectively known as Teochew or Chaozhou. Teochew is of great importance in the Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia, South-East Asia, South East Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea and north of Australia. The region lies on the intersection of geological plates, with heavy seismic...

n Chinese diaspora, particularly in Malaysia, Thailand
Thailand
Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

, Cambodia
Cambodia
Cambodia , officially known as the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia...

, Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam – sometimes spelled Viet Nam , officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam – is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea –...

, Sumatra
Sumatra
Sumatra is an island in western Indonesia, westernmost of the Sunda Islands. It is the largest island entirely in Indonesia , and the sixth largest island in the world at 473,481 km2 with a population of 50,365,538...

 and West Kalimantan
West Kalimantan
West Kalimantan is a province of Indonesia. It is one of four Indonesian provinces in Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of the island of Borneo. Its capital city Pontianak is located right on the Equator....

. The Philippines variant is mostly from the Quanzhou area as most of their forefathers are from the aforementioned area.

The Southern Min language variant spoken around Shanwei
Shanwei
Shanwei is a prefecture-level city in Guangdong province of Southern China, People's Republic of China. It borders Jieyang to the east, Meizhou and Heyuan to the north, Huizhou to the west, and looks out to the South China Sea to the south...

 and Haifeng
Haifeng
Haifeng County is a county of Shanwei prefecture, southeastern Guangdong province, Southern china.The people there speak a Teochew dialect related to Hoklo and Hakka....

 differs markedly from Teochew and may represent a later migration from Zhangzhou. Linguistically, it lies between Teochew and Amoy
Amoy
Xiamen, or Amoy, is a city on the southeast coast of China.Amoy may also refer to:*Amoy dialect, a dialect of the Hokkien lects, which are part of the Southern Min group of Chinese languages...

. In southwestern Fujian
Fujian
' , formerly romanised as Fukien or Huguing or Foukien, is a province on the southeast coast of mainland China. Fujian is bordered by Zhejiang to the north, Jiangxi to the west, and Guangdong to the south. Taiwan lies to the east, across the Taiwan Strait...

, the local variants in Longyan
Longyan
Longyan is a prefecture-level city in southwestern Fujian province, China.-Geography:It is situated in the upper reaches of the Jiulong and Tingjiang rivers...

 and Zhangping
Zhangping City
Zhangping is a city in the southwest of Fujian province of Southeast China. It is under the administration of Longyan Prefecture....

 form a separate division of Min Nan on their own. Among ethnic Chinese inhabitants of Penang
Penang
Penang is a state in Malaysia and the name of its constituent island, located on the northwest coast of Peninsular Malaysia by the Strait of Malacca. It is bordered by Kedah in the north and east, and Perak in the south. Penang is the second smallest Malaysian state in area after Perlis, and the...

, Malaysia and Medan
Medan
- Demography :The city is Indonesia's fourth most populous after Jakarta, Surabaya, and Bandung, and Indonesia's largest city outside of Java island. Much of the population lies outside its city limits, especially in Deli Serdang....

, Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

, a distinct form of Zhangzhou
Zhangzhou
Zhangzhou is a prefecture-level city in southern Fujian province, People's Republic of China. Located on the banks of the Jiulong River , Zhangzhou borders the cities of Xiamen and Quanzhou to the northeast, Longyan City to the northwest and the province of Guangdong to the southwest.Zhangzhou...

 (Changchew) Hokkien has developed. In Penang
Penang
Penang is a state in Malaysia and the name of its constituent island, located on the northwest coast of Peninsular Malaysia by the Strait of Malacca. It is bordered by Kedah in the north and east, and Perak in the south. Penang is the second smallest Malaysian state in area after Perlis, and the...

, it is called Penang Hokkien
Penang Hokkien
Penang Hokkien is a local variant of Hokkien spoken in Penang, Malaysia. It is the lingua franca among the majority Chinese population in Penang as well as other northern states of Malaysia surrounding it, and is characterised by the pronunciation of words according to the Zhangzhou dialect,...

while across the Malacca Strait in Medan
Medan
- Demography :The city is Indonesia's fourth most populous after Jakarta, Surabaya, and Bandung, and Indonesia's largest city outside of Java island. Much of the population lies outside its city limits, especially in Deli Serdang....

, an almost identical variant is known as Medan Hokkien
Medan Hokkien
Medan Hokkien is a local variant of Hokkien spoken in Medan, Indonesia. It is the lingua franca in Medan as well as other northern city states of North Sumatra surrounding it, and is characterised by the pronunciation of words according to the Zhangzhou dialect, together with widespread use of...

.

Cultural and political role


The Min Nan (or "Hokkien") language can trace its roots through the Tang Dynasty
Tang Dynasty
The Tang Dynasty was an imperial dynasty of China preceded by the Sui Dynasty and followed by the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period. It was founded by the Li family, who seized power during the decline and collapse of the Sui Empire...

. Min Nan (Hokkien) people call themselves "Tang people," (唐人, tn̂g lâng) which is synonymous to "Chinese people". Because of the widespread influence of the Tang culture during the great Tang dynasty, we find today still many Min Nan pronunciations of words shared by the Korean
Korean language
Korean is the official language of the country Korea, in both South and North. It is also one of the two official languages in the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture in People's Republic of China. There are about 78 million Korean speakers worldwide. In the 15th century, a national writing...

 and Japanese
Japanese language
is a language spoken by over 130 million people in Japan and in Japanese emigrant communities. It is a member of the Japonic language family, which has a number of proposed relationships with other languages, none of which has gained wide acceptance among historical linguists .Japanese is an...

 language. For example, the Hokkien term for bridge (橋) is "kiô" (Korean 교, kyo), book (冊) is "chheh" (Korean 책, chaek), student is "ha̍k-sing" (學生) (Korean 학생, haksaeng), dangerous (危險) is "guî-hiám", "wiheom" (Korean 위험), and insurance (保險) is "pó-hiám" (Korean 보험, boheom).

Phonology



The Southern Min language has one of the most diverse phonologies of Chinese variants, with more consonants than Mandarin or Cantonese. Vowels, on the other hand, are more or less similar to those of Mandarin. In general, Southern Min dialects have five to six tone
Tone (linguistics)
Tone is the use of pitch in language to distinguish lexical or grammatical meaning—that is, to distinguish or inflect words. All verbal languages use pitch to express emotional and other paralinguistic information, and to convey emphasis, contrast, and other such features in what is called...

s, and tone sandhi
Tone sandhi
Tone sandhi is a feature of tonal languages in which the tones assigned to individual words vary based on the pronunciation of the words that surround them in a phrase or sentence. It is a type of sandhi, or fusional change, from the Sanskrit word for "joining".-Languages with tone sandhi:Not all...

 is extensive. There are minor variations within Hokkien, but the Teochew system differs significantly.

Southern Min's nasal finals consist m and -ŋ, it previously had an n final in ancient times.

Varieties


Xiamen speech is a hybrid of Quanzhou
Quanzhou
Quanzhou is a prefecture-level city in Fujian province, People's Republic of China. It borders all other prefecture-level cities in Fujian but two and faces the Taiwan Strait...

 and Zhangzhou
Zhangzhou
Zhangzhou is a prefecture-level city in southern Fujian province, People's Republic of China. Located on the banks of the Jiulong River , Zhangzhou borders the cities of Xiamen and Quanzhou to the northeast, Longyan City to the northwest and the province of Guangdong to the southwest.Zhangzhou...

 speech. Taiwanese is also a hybrid of Quanzhou and Zhangzhou speech. Taiwanese in northern Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

 tends to be based on Quanzhou speech, whereas the Taiwanese spoken in southern Taiwan tends to be based on Zhangzhou speech. There are minor variations in pronunciation and vocabulary between Quanzhou and Zhangzhou speech. The grammar is basically the same. Additionally, Taiwanese includes several dozen loanwords from Japanese
Japanese language
is a language spoken by over 130 million people in Japan and in Japanese emigrant communities. It is a member of the Japonic language family, which has a number of proposed relationships with other languages, none of which has gained wide acceptance among historical linguists .Japanese is an...

. In contrast, Teochew speech is significantly different from Quanzhou and Zhangzhou speech in both pronunciation and vocabulary.

Vowel shifts


The following table provides words that illustrate some of the more commonly seen vowel shifts. Characters with same vowel are shown in parentheses.
English Chinese character
Chinese character
Chinese characters are logograms used in the writing of Chinese and Japanese , less frequently Korean , formerly Vietnamese , or other languages...

Accent

{{Chinese|title=Southern Min|t={{linktext|閩南語}}|s={{linktext|闽|南|语}}|poj=Bân-lâm-gú|p=Mǐnnányǔ|buc=Mìng-nàng-ngṳ̄|h=Mîn-nàm-ngî|gan=Mîn-lōm-ngî|wuu=min noe nyuu|y=man5 naam4 jyu5|order=st}}

The Southern Min languages, or Min Nan ({{zh|t=閩南語|s=闽南语|p=Mǐnnán Yǔ|poj=Bân-lâm-gí/Bân-lâm-gú|l=Southern Fujian language}}), are a family of Chinese languages spoken in southern Fujian
Fujian
' , formerly romanised as Fukien or Huguing or Foukien, is a province on the southeast coast of mainland China. Fujian is bordered by Zhejiang to the north, Jiangxi to the west, and Guangdong to the south. Taiwan lies to the east, across the Taiwan Strait...

, eastern Guangdong
Guangdong
Guangdong is a province on the South China Sea coast of the People's Republic of China. The province was previously often written with the alternative English name Kwangtung Province...

, Hainan
Hainan
Hainan is the smallest province of the People's Republic of China . Although the province comprises some two hundred islands scattered among three archipelagos off the southern coast, of its land mass is Hainan Island , from which the province takes its name...

, Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

, and southern Zhejiang
Zhejiang
Zhejiang is an eastern coastal province of the People's Republic of China. The word Zhejiang was the old name of the Qiantang River, which passes through Hangzhou, the provincial capital...

 provinces of China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, and by descendants of emigrants from these areas
Overseas Chinese
Overseas Chinese are people of Chinese birth or descent who live outside the Greater China Area . People of partial Chinese ancestry living outside the Greater China Area may also consider themselves Overseas Chinese....

 in diaspora
Diaspora
A diaspora is "the movement, migration, or scattering of people away from an established or ancestral homeland" or "people dispersed by whatever cause to more than one location", or "people settled far from their ancestral homelands".The word has come to refer to historical mass-dispersions of...

.

In common parlance, Southern Min usually refers to Hokkien
Hokkien
Hokkien is a Hokkien word corresponding to Standard Chinese "Fujian". It may refer to:* Hokkien dialect, a dialect of Min Nan Chinese spoken in Southern Fujian , Taiwan, South-east Asia, and elsewhere....

, in particular the Amoy and Taiwanese. Amoy and Taiwanese are both combinations of Quanzhou
Quanzhou
Quanzhou is a prefecture-level city in Fujian province, People's Republic of China. It borders all other prefecture-level cities in Fujian but two and faces the Taiwan Strait...

 and Zhangzhou
Zhangzhou
Zhangzhou is a prefecture-level city in southern Fujian province, People's Republic of China. Located on the banks of the Jiulong River , Zhangzhou borders the cities of Xiamen and Quanzhou to the northeast, Longyan City to the northwest and the province of Guangdong to the southwest.Zhangzhou...

 speech. The Southern Min family also includes Teochew and Hainanese. Teochew has limited mutual intelligibility
Mutual intelligibility
In linguistics, mutual intelligibility is recognized as a relationship between languages or dialects in which speakers of different but related languages can readily understand each other without intentional study or extraordinary effort...

 with the Amoy. However, Hainanese is generally not considered to be mutually intelligible with any other Southern Min variants.

Southern Min forms part of the Min language group
Sino-Tibetan languages
The Sino-Tibetan languages are a language family comprising, at least, the Chinese and the Tibeto-Burman languages, including some 250 languages of East Asia, Southeast Asia and parts of South Asia. They are second only to the Indo-European languages in terms of the number of native speakers...

, alongside several other divisions. The Min languages/dialects are part of the Chinese language
Chinese language
The Chinese language is a language or language family consisting of varieties which are mutually intelligible to varying degrees. Originally the indigenous languages spoken by the Han Chinese in China, it forms one of the branches of Sino-Tibetan family of languages...

 group, itself a member of the Sino-Tibetan language family. Southern Min is not mutually intelligible
Mutual intelligibility
In linguistics, mutual intelligibility is recognized as a relationship between languages or dialects in which speakers of different but related languages can readily understand each other without intentional study or extraordinary effort...

 with Eastern Min
Min Dong
The Eastern Min language, or Min Dong is the language mainly spoken in the eastern part of Fujian Province in China, in and near Fuzhou and Ningde. Fuzhou is the province's capital and largest city...

, Cantonese, or Mandarin
Standard Chinese
Standard Chinese, or Modern Standard Chinese, also known as Mandarin or Putonghua, is the official language of the People's Republic of China and Republic of China , and is one of the four official languages of Singapore....

. As with other varieties of Chinese
Chinese language
The Chinese language is a language or language family consisting of varieties which are mutually intelligible to varying degrees. Originally the indigenous languages spoken by the Han Chinese in China, it forms one of the branches of Sino-Tibetan family of languages...

, there is a political dispute as to whether the Southern Min language should be called a language
Language
Language may refer either to the specifically human capacity for acquiring and using complex systems of communication, or to a specific instance of such a system of complex communication...

 or a dialect
Dialect
The term dialect is used in two distinct ways, even by linguists. One usage refers to a variety of a language that is a characteristic of a particular group of the language's speakers. The term is applied most often to regional speech patterns, but a dialect may also be defined by other factors,...

.

Geographic distribution


Southern Min is spoken in the southern part of Fujian
Fujian
' , formerly romanised as Fukien or Huguing or Foukien, is a province on the southeast coast of mainland China. Fujian is bordered by Zhejiang to the north, Jiangxi to the west, and Guangdong to the south. Taiwan lies to the east, across the Taiwan Strait...

 province, three southeastern counties of Zhejiang
Zhejiang
Zhejiang is an eastern coastal province of the People's Republic of China. The word Zhejiang was the old name of the Qiantang River, which passes through Hangzhou, the provincial capital...

 province, the Zhoushan archipelago
Zhoushan
Zhoushan or Zhoushan Archipelago New Area; formerly transliterated as Chusan, is a prefecture-level city in northeastern Zhejiang province of Eastern China. The only prefecture-level city of the People's Republic of China consisting solely of islands, it lies across the mouth of the Hangzhou Bay,...

 off Ningbo
Ningbo
Ningbo is a seaport city of northeastern Zhejiang province, Eastern China. Holding sub-provincial administrative status, the municipality has a population of 7,605,700 inhabitants at the 2010 census whom 3,089,180 in the built up area made of 6 urban districts. It lies south of the Hangzhou Bay,...

 in Zhejiang, and the eastern part of Guangdong
Guangdong
Guangdong is a province on the South China Sea coast of the People's Republic of China. The province was previously often written with the alternative English name Kwangtung Province...

 province (Chaoshan
Chaoshan
Cháoshàn refers to the linguistic and cultural region in the east of Guangdong, a southeastern province of China. This region is the origin of the Min Nan dialect Teochew. The area is known as Teochew for most people overseas, although it also consists of the cities of Shantou and Jieyang...

 region). The Qiong Wen variant spoken in the Leizhou
Leizhou
Leizhou City is a county-level city in Guangdong province, in southern China.It is under the jurisdiction of Zhanjiang prefecture-level city.-See also:* Leizhou dialect...

 peninsula of Guangdong
Guangdong
Guangdong is a province on the South China Sea coast of the People's Republic of China. The province was previously often written with the alternative English name Kwangtung Province...

 province, as well as Hainan
Hainan
Hainan is the smallest province of the People's Republic of China . Although the province comprises some two hundred islands scattered among three archipelagos off the southern coast, of its land mass is Hainan Island , from which the province takes its name...

 province, which is not mutually intelligible with standard Minnan or Teochew, is classified in some schemes as part of Southern Min and in other schemes as separate.

A form of Southern Min akin to that spoken in southern Fujian is also spoken in Taiwan, where it has the native name of Tâi-oân-oē or Hō-ló-oē. The (sub)ethnic group for which Southern Min is considered a native language is known as the Holo (Hō-ló) or Hoklo, the main ethnicity of Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

. The correspondence between language and ethnicity is generally true though not absolute, as some Hoklo have very limited proficiency in Southern Min while some non-Hoklo
Hoklo
Hoklo can mean the following:* The Hoklo people, a geographically widespread cultural-linguistic group originating in southeast China , also called Hokkien.* Min Nan, the Chinese language group spoken by the Hoklo....

s speak Southern Min fluently.

There are many Southern Min speakers also among overseas Chinese
Overseas Chinese
Overseas Chinese are people of Chinese birth or descent who live outside the Greater China Area . People of partial Chinese ancestry living outside the Greater China Area may also consider themselves Overseas Chinese....

 in Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia, South-East Asia, South East Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea and north of Australia. The region lies on the intersection of geological plates, with heavy seismic...

. Many ethnic Chinese
Chinese people
The term Chinese people may refer to any of the following:*People with Han Chinese ethnicity ....

 emigrants to the region were Hoklo
Hoklo
Hoklo can mean the following:* The Hoklo people, a geographically widespread cultural-linguistic group originating in southeast China , also called Hokkien.* Min Nan, the Chinese language group spoken by the Hoklo....

 from southern Fujian, and brought the language to what is now Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

 (the former Dutch East Indies
Dutch East Indies
The Dutch East Indies was a Dutch colony that became modern Indonesia following World War II. It was formed from the nationalised colonies of the Dutch East India Company, which came under the administration of the Netherlands government in 1800....

) and present day Malaysia and Singapore
Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

 (formerly Malaya
British Malaya
British Malaya loosely described a set of states on the Malay Peninsula and the Island of Singapore that were brought under British control between the 18th and the 20th centuries...

, Burma, and the British Straits Settlements). In general, Southern Min from southern Fujian is known as Hokkien, Hokkienese, Fukien or Fookien in Southeast Asia, and is very much like Taiwanese. Many Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia, South-East Asia, South East Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea and north of Australia. The region lies on the intersection of geological plates, with heavy seismic...

n ethnic Chinese also originated in the Chaoshan
Chaoshan
Cháoshàn refers to the linguistic and cultural region in the east of Guangdong, a southeastern province of China. This region is the origin of the Min Nan dialect Teochew. The area is known as Teochew for most people overseas, although it also consists of the cities of Shantou and Jieyang...

 region of Guangdong
Guangdong
Guangdong is a province on the South China Sea coast of the People's Republic of China. The province was previously often written with the alternative English name Kwangtung Province...

 province and speak Teochew, the variant of Southern Min from that region. Southern Min is reportedly the native language of up to 98.5% of the community of ethnic Chinese
Chinese Filipino
A Chinese Filipino derived from two words: "Tsino" and "Pinoy" ) is a Philippine national of Chinese ethnicity but born/raised in the Philippines....

 in the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

, among whom it is also known as Lan-nang
Lan-nang
Lan-nang is the Philippine variant of Hokkien. It is a subdialect of the Amoy dialect of Xiamen, Fujian, China. Lan-nang is spoken among the Chinese and Filipino residents of the Philippines. It is characterized by loanwords from Tagalog, Spanish, and Cantonese, as well as its emphasis on...

or Lán-lâng-oē ("Our people’s language"). Southern Min speakers form the majority of Chinese in Singapore with the largest being Hoklo
Hoklo
Hoklo can mean the following:* The Hoklo people, a geographically widespread cultural-linguistic group originating in southeast China , also called Hokkien.* Min Nan, the Chinese language group spoken by the Hoklo....

s and the second largest being the Teochews
Teochew people
The Chaozhou people are Han people, native to the Chaoshan region of eastern Guangdong province of China who speak the Teochew dialect. Today, most Teochew people live outside China in Southeast Asia especially in Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia. They can also be found almost anywhere in the...

. Finally, Southern Min is also being spoken in increasingly larger communities in the Chinatowns of New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

.

Classification


Southern Fujian
Fujian
' , formerly romanised as Fukien or Huguing or Foukien, is a province on the southeast coast of mainland China. Fujian is bordered by Zhejiang to the north, Jiangxi to the west, and Guangdong to the south. Taiwan lies to the east, across the Taiwan Strait...

 is home to three main Hokkien
Hokkien
Hokkien is a Hokkien word corresponding to Standard Chinese "Fujian". It may refer to:* Hokkien dialect, a dialect of Min Nan Chinese spoken in Southern Fujian , Taiwan, South-east Asia, and elsewhere....

 dialects. They are known by the geographic locations to which they correspond (listed north to south):
  • Quanzhou
    Quanzhou
    Quanzhou is a prefecture-level city in Fujian province, People's Republic of China. It borders all other prefecture-level cities in Fujian but two and faces the Taiwan Strait...

     (Chinchew
    Quanzhou dialect
    The Quanzhou dialect is a Hokkien dialect which originally comes from Southern Fujian province , in the area centered around the city of Quanzhou. Among the Taiwanese who migrated came from Fujian province since the 17th century onwards, 44.8% were originally from Quanzhou whereas 35.1% were from...

    , 泉州)
  • Xiamen
    Xiamen
    Xiamen , also known as Amoy , is a major city on the southeast coast of the People's Republic of China. It is administered as a sub-provincial city of Fujian province with an area of and population of 3.53 million...

     (Amoy, 廈門)
  • Zhangzhou
    Zhangzhou
    Zhangzhou is a prefecture-level city in southern Fujian province, People's Republic of China. Located on the banks of the Jiulong River , Zhangzhou borders the cities of Xiamen and Quanzhou to the northeast, Longyan City to the northwest and the province of Guangdong to the southwest.Zhangzhou...

     (Changchew
    Zhangzhou dialect
    The Zhangzhou dialect is a Hokkien dialect originating from southern Fujian province , in the area centered around the city of Zhangzhou. Among the Taiwanese who migrated from Fujian province starting in the 17th century, 35.1% were originally from Zhangzhou whereas 44.8% were from Quanzhou...

    , 漳州)


As Xiamen is the principal city of southern Fujian, the Xiamen dialect is considered the most important, or even prestige dialect
Prestige dialect
In sociolinguistics, prestige describes the level of respect accorded to a language or dialect as compared to that of other languages or dialects in a speech community. The concept of prestige in sociolinguistics is closely related to that of prestige or class within a society...

. The Xiamen dialect is a hybrid of the Quanzhou and Zhangzhou dialects. The Xiamen dialect (also known as the Amoy dialect) has played an influential role in history, especially in the relations of Western
Western world
The Western world, also known as the West and the Occident , is a term referring to the countries of Western Europe , the countries of the Americas, as well all countries of Northern and Central Europe, Australia and New Zealand...

 nations with China, and was one of the most frequently learned of all Chinese languages/dialects by Western
Western world
The Western world, also known as the West and the Occident , is a term referring to the countries of Western Europe , the countries of the Americas, as well all countries of Northern and Central Europe, Australia and New Zealand...

ers during the second half of the 19th century and the early 20th century.

The variants of Southern Min spoken in Zhejiang
Zhejiang
Zhejiang is an eastern coastal province of the People's Republic of China. The word Zhejiang was the old name of the Qiantang River, which passes through Hangzhou, the provincial capital...

 province are most akin to that spoken in Quanzhou. The variants spoken in Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

 are similar to the three Fujian
Fujian
' , formerly romanised as Fukien or Huguing or Foukien, is a province on the southeast coast of mainland China. Fujian is bordered by Zhejiang to the north, Jiangxi to the west, and Guangdong to the south. Taiwan lies to the east, across the Taiwan Strait...

 variants, and are collectively known as Taiwanese. Taiwanese is used by a majority of the population and is quite important from a socio-political and cultural perspective, forming the second most important, if not the more influential pole of the language due to the popularity of Taiwanese Hokkien media. Those Southern Min variants that are collectively known as "Hokkien" in Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia, South-East Asia, South East Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea and north of Australia. The region lies on the intersection of geological plates, with heavy seismic...

 also originate from these variants. The variants of Southern Min in the Chaoshan
Chaoshan
Cháoshàn refers to the linguistic and cultural region in the east of Guangdong, a southeastern province of China. This region is the origin of the Min Nan dialect Teochew. The area is known as Teochew for most people overseas, although it also consists of the cities of Shantou and Jieyang...

 region of eastern Guangdong province are collectively known as Teochew or Chaozhou. Teochew is of great importance in the Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia, South-East Asia, South East Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea and north of Australia. The region lies on the intersection of geological plates, with heavy seismic...

n Chinese diaspora, particularly in Malaysia, Thailand
Thailand
Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

, Cambodia
Cambodia
Cambodia , officially known as the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia...

, Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam – sometimes spelled Viet Nam , officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam – is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea –...

, Sumatra
Sumatra
Sumatra is an island in western Indonesia, westernmost of the Sunda Islands. It is the largest island entirely in Indonesia , and the sixth largest island in the world at 473,481 km2 with a population of 50,365,538...

 and West Kalimantan
West Kalimantan
West Kalimantan is a province of Indonesia. It is one of four Indonesian provinces in Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of the island of Borneo. Its capital city Pontianak is located right on the Equator....

. The Philippines variant is mostly from the Quanzhou area as most of their forefathers are from the aforementioned area.

The Southern Min language variant spoken around Shanwei
Shanwei
Shanwei is a prefecture-level city in Guangdong province of Southern China, People's Republic of China. It borders Jieyang to the east, Meizhou and Heyuan to the north, Huizhou to the west, and looks out to the South China Sea to the south...

 and Haifeng
Haifeng
Haifeng County is a county of Shanwei prefecture, southeastern Guangdong province, Southern china.The people there speak a Teochew dialect related to Hoklo and Hakka....

 differs markedly from Teochew and may represent a later migration from Zhangzhou. Linguistically, it lies between Teochew and Amoy
Amoy
Xiamen, or Amoy, is a city on the southeast coast of China.Amoy may also refer to:*Amoy dialect, a dialect of the Hokkien lects, which are part of the Southern Min group of Chinese languages...

. In southwestern Fujian
Fujian
' , formerly romanised as Fukien or Huguing or Foukien, is a province on the southeast coast of mainland China. Fujian is bordered by Zhejiang to the north, Jiangxi to the west, and Guangdong to the south. Taiwan lies to the east, across the Taiwan Strait...

, the local variants in Longyan
Longyan
Longyan is a prefecture-level city in southwestern Fujian province, China.-Geography:It is situated in the upper reaches of the Jiulong and Tingjiang rivers...

 and Zhangping
Zhangping City
Zhangping is a city in the southwest of Fujian province of Southeast China. It is under the administration of Longyan Prefecture....

 form a separate division of Min Nan on their own. Among ethnic Chinese inhabitants of Penang
Penang
Penang is a state in Malaysia and the name of its constituent island, located on the northwest coast of Peninsular Malaysia by the Strait of Malacca. It is bordered by Kedah in the north and east, and Perak in the south. Penang is the second smallest Malaysian state in area after Perlis, and the...

, Malaysia and Medan
Medan
- Demography :The city is Indonesia's fourth most populous after Jakarta, Surabaya, and Bandung, and Indonesia's largest city outside of Java island. Much of the population lies outside its city limits, especially in Deli Serdang....

, Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

, a distinct form of Zhangzhou
Zhangzhou
Zhangzhou is a prefecture-level city in southern Fujian province, People's Republic of China. Located on the banks of the Jiulong River , Zhangzhou borders the cities of Xiamen and Quanzhou to the northeast, Longyan City to the northwest and the province of Guangdong to the southwest.Zhangzhou...

 (Changchew) Hokkien has developed. In Penang
Penang
Penang is a state in Malaysia and the name of its constituent island, located on the northwest coast of Peninsular Malaysia by the Strait of Malacca. It is bordered by Kedah in the north and east, and Perak in the south. Penang is the second smallest Malaysian state in area after Perlis, and the...

, it is called Penang Hokkien
Penang Hokkien
Penang Hokkien is a local variant of Hokkien spoken in Penang, Malaysia. It is the lingua franca among the majority Chinese population in Penang as well as other northern states of Malaysia surrounding it, and is characterised by the pronunciation of words according to the Zhangzhou dialect,...

while across the Malacca Strait in Medan
Medan
- Demography :The city is Indonesia's fourth most populous after Jakarta, Surabaya, and Bandung, and Indonesia's largest city outside of Java island. Much of the population lies outside its city limits, especially in Deli Serdang....

, an almost identical variant is known as Medan Hokkien
Medan Hokkien
Medan Hokkien is a local variant of Hokkien spoken in Medan, Indonesia. It is the lingua franca in Medan as well as other northern city states of North Sumatra surrounding it, and is characterised by the pronunciation of words according to the Zhangzhou dialect, together with widespread use of...

.

Cultural and political role


The Min Nan (or "Hokkien") language can trace its roots through the Tang Dynasty
Tang Dynasty
The Tang Dynasty was an imperial dynasty of China preceded by the Sui Dynasty and followed by the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period. It was founded by the Li family, who seized power during the decline and collapse of the Sui Empire...

. Min Nan (Hokkien) people call themselves "Tang people," (唐人, tn̂g lâng) which is synonymous to "Chinese people". Because of the widespread influence of the Tang culture during the great Tang dynasty, we find today still many Min Nan pronunciations of words shared by the Korean
Korean language
Korean is the official language of the country Korea, in both South and North. It is also one of the two official languages in the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture in People's Republic of China. There are about 78 million Korean speakers worldwide. In the 15th century, a national writing...

 and Japanese
Japanese language
is a language spoken by over 130 million people in Japan and in Japanese emigrant communities. It is a member of the Japonic language family, which has a number of proposed relationships with other languages, none of which has gained wide acceptance among historical linguists .Japanese is an...

 language. For example, the Hokkien term for bridge (橋) is "kiô" (Korean 교, kyo), book (冊) is "chheh" (Korean 책, chaek), student is "ha̍k-sing" (學生) (Korean 학생, haksaeng), dangerous (危險) is "guî-hiám", "wiheom" (Korean 위험), and insurance (保險) is "pó-hiám" (Korean 보험, boheom).

Phonology


{{main|Hokkien|Teochew dialect}}
The Southern Min language has one of the most diverse phonologies of Chinese variants, with more consonants than Mandarin or Cantonese. Vowels, on the other hand, are more or less similar to those of Mandarin. In general, Southern Min dialects have five to six tone
Tone (linguistics)
Tone is the use of pitch in language to distinguish lexical or grammatical meaning—that is, to distinguish or inflect words. All verbal languages use pitch to express emotional and other paralinguistic information, and to convey emphasis, contrast, and other such features in what is called...

s, and tone sandhi
Tone sandhi
Tone sandhi is a feature of tonal languages in which the tones assigned to individual words vary based on the pronunciation of the words that surround them in a phrase or sentence. It is a type of sandhi, or fusional change, from the Sanskrit word for "joining".-Languages with tone sandhi:Not all...

 is extensive. There are minor variations within Hokkien, but the Teochew system differs significantly.

Southern Min's nasal finals consist m and -ŋ, it previously had an n final in ancient times.

Varieties


Xiamen speech is a hybrid of Quanzhou
Quanzhou
Quanzhou is a prefecture-level city in Fujian province, People's Republic of China. It borders all other prefecture-level cities in Fujian but two and faces the Taiwan Strait...

 and Zhangzhou
Zhangzhou
Zhangzhou is a prefecture-level city in southern Fujian province, People's Republic of China. Located on the banks of the Jiulong River , Zhangzhou borders the cities of Xiamen and Quanzhou to the northeast, Longyan City to the northwest and the province of Guangdong to the southwest.Zhangzhou...

 speech. Taiwanese is also a hybrid of Quanzhou and Zhangzhou speech. Taiwanese in northern Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

 tends to be based on Quanzhou speech, whereas the Taiwanese spoken in southern Taiwan tends to be based on Zhangzhou speech. There are minor variations in pronunciation and vocabulary between Quanzhou and Zhangzhou speech. The grammar is basically the same. Additionally, Taiwanese includes several dozen loanwords from Japanese
Japanese language
is a language spoken by over 130 million people in Japan and in Japanese emigrant communities. It is a member of the Japonic language family, which has a number of proposed relationships with other languages, none of which has gained wide acceptance among historical linguists .Japanese is an...

. In contrast, Teochew speech is significantly different from Quanzhou and Zhangzhou speech in both pronunciation and vocabulary.

Vowel shifts


The following table provides words that illustrate some of the more commonly seen vowel shifts. Characters with same vowel are shown in parentheses.
English Chinese character
Chinese character
Chinese characters are logograms used in the writing of Chinese and Japanese , less frequently Korean , formerly Vietnamese , or other languages...

Accent

{{Chinese|title=Southern Min|t={{linktext|閩南語}}|s={{linktext|闽|南|语}}|poj=Bân-lâm-gú|p=Mǐnnányǔ|buc=Mìng-nàng-ngṳ̄|h=Mîn-nàm-ngî|gan=Mîn-lōm-ngî|wuu=min noe nyuu|y=man5 naam4 jyu5|order=st}}

The Southern Min languages, or Min Nan ({{zh|t=閩南語|s=闽南语|p=Mǐnnán Yǔ|poj=Bân-lâm-gí/Bân-lâm-gú|l=Southern Fujian language}}), are a family of Chinese languages spoken in southern Fujian
Fujian
' , formerly romanised as Fukien or Huguing or Foukien, is a province on the southeast coast of mainland China. Fujian is bordered by Zhejiang to the north, Jiangxi to the west, and Guangdong to the south. Taiwan lies to the east, across the Taiwan Strait...

, eastern Guangdong
Guangdong
Guangdong is a province on the South China Sea coast of the People's Republic of China. The province was previously often written with the alternative English name Kwangtung Province...

, Hainan
Hainan
Hainan is the smallest province of the People's Republic of China . Although the province comprises some two hundred islands scattered among three archipelagos off the southern coast, of its land mass is Hainan Island , from which the province takes its name...

, Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

, and southern Zhejiang
Zhejiang
Zhejiang is an eastern coastal province of the People's Republic of China. The word Zhejiang was the old name of the Qiantang River, which passes through Hangzhou, the provincial capital...

 provinces of China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, and by descendants of emigrants from these areas
Overseas Chinese
Overseas Chinese are people of Chinese birth or descent who live outside the Greater China Area . People of partial Chinese ancestry living outside the Greater China Area may also consider themselves Overseas Chinese....

 in diaspora
Diaspora
A diaspora is "the movement, migration, or scattering of people away from an established or ancestral homeland" or "people dispersed by whatever cause to more than one location", or "people settled far from their ancestral homelands".The word has come to refer to historical mass-dispersions of...

.

In common parlance, Southern Min usually refers to Hokkien
Hokkien
Hokkien is a Hokkien word corresponding to Standard Chinese "Fujian". It may refer to:* Hokkien dialect, a dialect of Min Nan Chinese spoken in Southern Fujian , Taiwan, South-east Asia, and elsewhere....

, in particular the Amoy and Taiwanese. Amoy and Taiwanese are both combinations of Quanzhou
Quanzhou
Quanzhou is a prefecture-level city in Fujian province, People's Republic of China. It borders all other prefecture-level cities in Fujian but two and faces the Taiwan Strait...

 and Zhangzhou
Zhangzhou
Zhangzhou is a prefecture-level city in southern Fujian province, People's Republic of China. Located on the banks of the Jiulong River , Zhangzhou borders the cities of Xiamen and Quanzhou to the northeast, Longyan City to the northwest and the province of Guangdong to the southwest.Zhangzhou...

 speech. The Southern Min family also includes Teochew and Hainanese. Teochew has limited mutual intelligibility
Mutual intelligibility
In linguistics, mutual intelligibility is recognized as a relationship between languages or dialects in which speakers of different but related languages can readily understand each other without intentional study or extraordinary effort...

 with the Amoy. However, Hainanese is generally not considered to be mutually intelligible with any other Southern Min variants.

Southern Min forms part of the Min language group
Sino-Tibetan languages
The Sino-Tibetan languages are a language family comprising, at least, the Chinese and the Tibeto-Burman languages, including some 250 languages of East Asia, Southeast Asia and parts of South Asia. They are second only to the Indo-European languages in terms of the number of native speakers...

, alongside several other divisions. The Min languages/dialects are part of the Chinese language
Chinese language
The Chinese language is a language or language family consisting of varieties which are mutually intelligible to varying degrees. Originally the indigenous languages spoken by the Han Chinese in China, it forms one of the branches of Sino-Tibetan family of languages...

 group, itself a member of the Sino-Tibetan language family. Southern Min is not mutually intelligible
Mutual intelligibility
In linguistics, mutual intelligibility is recognized as a relationship between languages or dialects in which speakers of different but related languages can readily understand each other without intentional study or extraordinary effort...

 with Eastern Min
Min Dong
The Eastern Min language, or Min Dong is the language mainly spoken in the eastern part of Fujian Province in China, in and near Fuzhou and Ningde. Fuzhou is the province's capital and largest city...

, Cantonese, or Mandarin
Standard Chinese
Standard Chinese, or Modern Standard Chinese, also known as Mandarin or Putonghua, is the official language of the People's Republic of China and Republic of China , and is one of the four official languages of Singapore....

. As with other varieties of Chinese
Chinese language
The Chinese language is a language or language family consisting of varieties which are mutually intelligible to varying degrees. Originally the indigenous languages spoken by the Han Chinese in China, it forms one of the branches of Sino-Tibetan family of languages...

, there is a political dispute as to whether the Southern Min language should be called a language
Language
Language may refer either to the specifically human capacity for acquiring and using complex systems of communication, or to a specific instance of such a system of complex communication...

 or a dialect
Dialect
The term dialect is used in two distinct ways, even by linguists. One usage refers to a variety of a language that is a characteristic of a particular group of the language's speakers. The term is applied most often to regional speech patterns, but a dialect may also be defined by other factors,...

.

Geographic distribution


Southern Min is spoken in the southern part of Fujian
Fujian
' , formerly romanised as Fukien or Huguing or Foukien, is a province on the southeast coast of mainland China. Fujian is bordered by Zhejiang to the north, Jiangxi to the west, and Guangdong to the south. Taiwan lies to the east, across the Taiwan Strait...

 province, three southeastern counties of Zhejiang
Zhejiang
Zhejiang is an eastern coastal province of the People's Republic of China. The word Zhejiang was the old name of the Qiantang River, which passes through Hangzhou, the provincial capital...

 province, the Zhoushan archipelago
Zhoushan
Zhoushan or Zhoushan Archipelago New Area; formerly transliterated as Chusan, is a prefecture-level city in northeastern Zhejiang province of Eastern China. The only prefecture-level city of the People's Republic of China consisting solely of islands, it lies across the mouth of the Hangzhou Bay,...

 off Ningbo
Ningbo
Ningbo is a seaport city of northeastern Zhejiang province, Eastern China. Holding sub-provincial administrative status, the municipality has a population of 7,605,700 inhabitants at the 2010 census whom 3,089,180 in the built up area made of 6 urban districts. It lies south of the Hangzhou Bay,...

 in Zhejiang, and the eastern part of Guangdong
Guangdong
Guangdong is a province on the South China Sea coast of the People's Republic of China. The province was previously often written with the alternative English name Kwangtung Province...

 province (Chaoshan
Chaoshan
Cháoshàn refers to the linguistic and cultural region in the east of Guangdong, a southeastern province of China. This region is the origin of the Min Nan dialect Teochew. The area is known as Teochew for most people overseas, although it also consists of the cities of Shantou and Jieyang...

 region). The Qiong Wen variant spoken in the Leizhou
Leizhou
Leizhou City is a county-level city in Guangdong province, in southern China.It is under the jurisdiction of Zhanjiang prefecture-level city.-See also:* Leizhou dialect...

 peninsula of Guangdong
Guangdong
Guangdong is a province on the South China Sea coast of the People's Republic of China. The province was previously often written with the alternative English name Kwangtung Province...

 province, as well as Hainan
Hainan
Hainan is the smallest province of the People's Republic of China . Although the province comprises some two hundred islands scattered among three archipelagos off the southern coast, of its land mass is Hainan Island , from which the province takes its name...

 province, which is not mutually intelligible with standard Minnan or Teochew, is classified in some schemes as part of Southern Min and in other schemes as separate.

A form of Southern Min akin to that spoken in southern Fujian is also spoken in Taiwan, where it has the native name of Tâi-oân-oē or Hō-ló-oē. The (sub)ethnic group for which Southern Min is considered a native language is known as the Holo (Hō-ló) or Hoklo, the main ethnicity of Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

. The correspondence between language and ethnicity is generally true though not absolute, as some Hoklo have very limited proficiency in Southern Min while some non-Hoklo
Hoklo
Hoklo can mean the following:* The Hoklo people, a geographically widespread cultural-linguistic group originating in southeast China , also called Hokkien.* Min Nan, the Chinese language group spoken by the Hoklo....

s speak Southern Min fluently.

There are many Southern Min speakers also among overseas Chinese
Overseas Chinese
Overseas Chinese are people of Chinese birth or descent who live outside the Greater China Area . People of partial Chinese ancestry living outside the Greater China Area may also consider themselves Overseas Chinese....

 in Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia, South-East Asia, South East Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea and north of Australia. The region lies on the intersection of geological plates, with heavy seismic...

. Many ethnic Chinese
Chinese people
The term Chinese people may refer to any of the following:*People with Han Chinese ethnicity ....

 emigrants to the region were Hoklo
Hoklo
Hoklo can mean the following:* The Hoklo people, a geographically widespread cultural-linguistic group originating in southeast China , also called Hokkien.* Min Nan, the Chinese language group spoken by the Hoklo....

 from southern Fujian, and brought the language to what is now Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

 (the former Dutch East Indies
Dutch East Indies
The Dutch East Indies was a Dutch colony that became modern Indonesia following World War II. It was formed from the nationalised colonies of the Dutch East India Company, which came under the administration of the Netherlands government in 1800....

) and present day Malaysia and Singapore
Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

 (formerly Malaya
British Malaya
British Malaya loosely described a set of states on the Malay Peninsula and the Island of Singapore that were brought under British control between the 18th and the 20th centuries...

, Burma, and the British Straits Settlements). In general, Southern Min from southern Fujian is known as Hokkien, Hokkienese, Fukien or Fookien in Southeast Asia, and is very much like Taiwanese. Many Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia, South-East Asia, South East Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea and north of Australia. The region lies on the intersection of geological plates, with heavy seismic...

n ethnic Chinese also originated in the Chaoshan
Chaoshan
Cháoshàn refers to the linguistic and cultural region in the east of Guangdong, a southeastern province of China. This region is the origin of the Min Nan dialect Teochew. The area is known as Teochew for most people overseas, although it also consists of the cities of Shantou and Jieyang...

 region of Guangdong
Guangdong
Guangdong is a province on the South China Sea coast of the People's Republic of China. The province was previously often written with the alternative English name Kwangtung Province...

 province and speak Teochew, the variant of Southern Min from that region. Southern Min is reportedly the native language of up to 98.5% of the community of ethnic Chinese
Chinese Filipino
A Chinese Filipino derived from two words: "Tsino" and "Pinoy" ) is a Philippine national of Chinese ethnicity but born/raised in the Philippines....

 in the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

, among whom it is also known as Lan-nang
Lan-nang
Lan-nang is the Philippine variant of Hokkien. It is a subdialect of the Amoy dialect of Xiamen, Fujian, China. Lan-nang is spoken among the Chinese and Filipino residents of the Philippines. It is characterized by loanwords from Tagalog, Spanish, and Cantonese, as well as its emphasis on...

or Lán-lâng-oē ("Our people’s language"). Southern Min speakers form the majority of Chinese in Singapore with the largest being Hoklo
Hoklo
Hoklo can mean the following:* The Hoklo people, a geographically widespread cultural-linguistic group originating in southeast China , also called Hokkien.* Min Nan, the Chinese language group spoken by the Hoklo....

s and the second largest being the Teochews
Teochew people
The Chaozhou people are Han people, native to the Chaoshan region of eastern Guangdong province of China who speak the Teochew dialect. Today, most Teochew people live outside China in Southeast Asia especially in Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia. They can also be found almost anywhere in the...

. Finally, Southern Min is also being spoken in increasingly larger communities in the Chinatowns of New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

.

Classification


Southern Fujian
Fujian
' , formerly romanised as Fukien or Huguing or Foukien, is a province on the southeast coast of mainland China. Fujian is bordered by Zhejiang to the north, Jiangxi to the west, and Guangdong to the south. Taiwan lies to the east, across the Taiwan Strait...

 is home to three main Hokkien
Hokkien
Hokkien is a Hokkien word corresponding to Standard Chinese "Fujian". It may refer to:* Hokkien dialect, a dialect of Min Nan Chinese spoken in Southern Fujian , Taiwan, South-east Asia, and elsewhere....

 dialects. They are known by the geographic locations to which they correspond (listed north to south):
  • Quanzhou
    Quanzhou
    Quanzhou is a prefecture-level city in Fujian province, People's Republic of China. It borders all other prefecture-level cities in Fujian but two and faces the Taiwan Strait...

     (Chinchew
    Quanzhou dialect
    The Quanzhou dialect is a Hokkien dialect which originally comes from Southern Fujian province , in the area centered around the city of Quanzhou. Among the Taiwanese who migrated came from Fujian province since the 17th century onwards, 44.8% were originally from Quanzhou whereas 35.1% were from...

    , 泉州)
  • Xiamen
    Xiamen
    Xiamen , also known as Amoy , is a major city on the southeast coast of the People's Republic of China. It is administered as a sub-provincial city of Fujian province with an area of and population of 3.53 million...

     (Amoy, 廈門)
  • Zhangzhou
    Zhangzhou
    Zhangzhou is a prefecture-level city in southern Fujian province, People's Republic of China. Located on the banks of the Jiulong River , Zhangzhou borders the cities of Xiamen and Quanzhou to the northeast, Longyan City to the northwest and the province of Guangdong to the southwest.Zhangzhou...

     (Changchew
    Zhangzhou dialect
    The Zhangzhou dialect is a Hokkien dialect originating from southern Fujian province , in the area centered around the city of Zhangzhou. Among the Taiwanese who migrated from Fujian province starting in the 17th century, 35.1% were originally from Zhangzhou whereas 44.8% were from Quanzhou...

    , 漳州)


As Xiamen is the principal city of southern Fujian, the Xiamen dialect is considered the most important, or even prestige dialect
Prestige dialect
In sociolinguistics, prestige describes the level of respect accorded to a language or dialect as compared to that of other languages or dialects in a speech community. The concept of prestige in sociolinguistics is closely related to that of prestige or class within a society...

. The Xiamen dialect is a hybrid of the Quanzhou and Zhangzhou dialects. The Xiamen dialect (also known as the Amoy dialect) has played an influential role in history, especially in the relations of Western
Western world
The Western world, also known as the West and the Occident , is a term referring to the countries of Western Europe , the countries of the Americas, as well all countries of Northern and Central Europe, Australia and New Zealand...

 nations with China, and was one of the most frequently learned of all Chinese languages/dialects by Western
Western world
The Western world, also known as the West and the Occident , is a term referring to the countries of Western Europe , the countries of the Americas, as well all countries of Northern and Central Europe, Australia and New Zealand...

ers during the second half of the 19th century and the early 20th century.

The variants of Southern Min spoken in Zhejiang
Zhejiang
Zhejiang is an eastern coastal province of the People's Republic of China. The word Zhejiang was the old name of the Qiantang River, which passes through Hangzhou, the provincial capital...

 province are most akin to that spoken in Quanzhou. The variants spoken in Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

 are similar to the three Fujian
Fujian
' , formerly romanised as Fukien or Huguing or Foukien, is a province on the southeast coast of mainland China. Fujian is bordered by Zhejiang to the north, Jiangxi to the west, and Guangdong to the south. Taiwan lies to the east, across the Taiwan Strait...

 variants, and are collectively known as Taiwanese. Taiwanese is used by a majority of the population and is quite important from a socio-political and cultural perspective, forming the second most important, if not the more influential pole of the language due to the popularity of Taiwanese Hokkien media. Those Southern Min variants that are collectively known as "Hokkien" in Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia, South-East Asia, South East Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea and north of Australia. The region lies on the intersection of geological plates, with heavy seismic...

 also originate from these variants. The variants of Southern Min in the Chaoshan
Chaoshan
Cháoshàn refers to the linguistic and cultural region in the east of Guangdong, a southeastern province of China. This region is the origin of the Min Nan dialect Teochew. The area is known as Teochew for most people overseas, although it also consists of the cities of Shantou and Jieyang...

 region of eastern Guangdong province are collectively known as Teochew or Chaozhou. Teochew is of great importance in the Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia, South-East Asia, South East Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea and north of Australia. The region lies on the intersection of geological plates, with heavy seismic...

n Chinese diaspora, particularly in Malaysia, Thailand
Thailand
Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

, Cambodia
Cambodia
Cambodia , officially known as the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia...

, Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam – sometimes spelled Viet Nam , officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam – is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea –...

, Sumatra
Sumatra
Sumatra is an island in western Indonesia, westernmost of the Sunda Islands. It is the largest island entirely in Indonesia , and the sixth largest island in the world at 473,481 km2 with a population of 50,365,538...

 and West Kalimantan
West Kalimantan
West Kalimantan is a province of Indonesia. It is one of four Indonesian provinces in Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of the island of Borneo. Its capital city Pontianak is located right on the Equator....

. The Philippines variant is mostly from the Quanzhou area as most of their forefathers are from the aforementioned area.

The Southern Min language variant spoken around Shanwei
Shanwei
Shanwei is a prefecture-level city in Guangdong province of Southern China, People's Republic of China. It borders Jieyang to the east, Meizhou and Heyuan to the north, Huizhou to the west, and looks out to the South China Sea to the south...

 and Haifeng
Haifeng
Haifeng County is a county of Shanwei prefecture, southeastern Guangdong province, Southern china.The people there speak a Teochew dialect related to Hoklo and Hakka....

 differs markedly from Teochew and may represent a later migration from Zhangzhou. Linguistically, it lies between Teochew and Amoy
Amoy
Xiamen, or Amoy, is a city on the southeast coast of China.Amoy may also refer to:*Amoy dialect, a dialect of the Hokkien lects, which are part of the Southern Min group of Chinese languages...

. In southwestern Fujian
Fujian
' , formerly romanised as Fukien or Huguing or Foukien, is a province on the southeast coast of mainland China. Fujian is bordered by Zhejiang to the north, Jiangxi to the west, and Guangdong to the south. Taiwan lies to the east, across the Taiwan Strait...

, the local variants in Longyan
Longyan
Longyan is a prefecture-level city in southwestern Fujian province, China.-Geography:It is situated in the upper reaches of the Jiulong and Tingjiang rivers...

 and Zhangping
Zhangping City
Zhangping is a city in the southwest of Fujian province of Southeast China. It is under the administration of Longyan Prefecture....

 form a separate division of Min Nan on their own. Among ethnic Chinese inhabitants of Penang
Penang
Penang is a state in Malaysia and the name of its constituent island, located on the northwest coast of Peninsular Malaysia by the Strait of Malacca. It is bordered by Kedah in the north and east, and Perak in the south. Penang is the second smallest Malaysian state in area after Perlis, and the...

, Malaysia and Medan
Medan
- Demography :The city is Indonesia's fourth most populous after Jakarta, Surabaya, and Bandung, and Indonesia's largest city outside of Java island. Much of the population lies outside its city limits, especially in Deli Serdang....

, Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

, a distinct form of Zhangzhou
Zhangzhou
Zhangzhou is a prefecture-level city in southern Fujian province, People's Republic of China. Located on the banks of the Jiulong River , Zhangzhou borders the cities of Xiamen and Quanzhou to the northeast, Longyan City to the northwest and the province of Guangdong to the southwest.Zhangzhou...

 (Changchew) Hokkien has developed. In Penang
Penang
Penang is a state in Malaysia and the name of its constituent island, located on the northwest coast of Peninsular Malaysia by the Strait of Malacca. It is bordered by Kedah in the north and east, and Perak in the south. Penang is the second smallest Malaysian state in area after Perlis, and the...

, it is called Penang Hokkien
Penang Hokkien
Penang Hokkien is a local variant of Hokkien spoken in Penang, Malaysia. It is the lingua franca among the majority Chinese population in Penang as well as other northern states of Malaysia surrounding it, and is characterised by the pronunciation of words according to the Zhangzhou dialect,...

while across the Malacca Strait in Medan
Medan
- Demography :The city is Indonesia's fourth most populous after Jakarta, Surabaya, and Bandung, and Indonesia's largest city outside of Java island. Much of the population lies outside its city limits, especially in Deli Serdang....

, an almost identical variant is known as Medan Hokkien
Medan Hokkien
Medan Hokkien is a local variant of Hokkien spoken in Medan, Indonesia. It is the lingua franca in Medan as well as other northern city states of North Sumatra surrounding it, and is characterised by the pronunciation of words according to the Zhangzhou dialect, together with widespread use of...

.

Cultural and political role


The Min Nan (or "Hokkien") language can trace its roots through the Tang Dynasty
Tang Dynasty
The Tang Dynasty was an imperial dynasty of China preceded by the Sui Dynasty and followed by the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period. It was founded by the Li family, who seized power during the decline and collapse of the Sui Empire...

. Min Nan (Hokkien) people call themselves "Tang people," (唐人, tn̂g lâng) which is synonymous to "Chinese people". Because of the widespread influence of the Tang culture during the great Tang dynasty, we find today still many Min Nan pronunciations of words shared by the Korean
Korean language
Korean is the official language of the country Korea, in both South and North. It is also one of the two official languages in the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture in People's Republic of China. There are about 78 million Korean speakers worldwide. In the 15th century, a national writing...

 and Japanese
Japanese language
is a language spoken by over 130 million people in Japan and in Japanese emigrant communities. It is a member of the Japonic language family, which has a number of proposed relationships with other languages, none of which has gained wide acceptance among historical linguists .Japanese is an...

 language. For example, the Hokkien term for bridge (橋) is "kiô" (Korean 교, kyo), book (冊) is "chheh" (Korean 책, chaek), student is "ha̍k-sing" (學生) (Korean 학생, haksaeng), dangerous (危險) is "guî-hiám", "wiheom" (Korean 위험), and insurance (保險) is "pó-hiám" (Korean 보험, boheom).

Phonology


{{main|Hokkien|Teochew dialect}}
The Southern Min language has one of the most diverse phonologies of Chinese variants, with more consonants than Mandarin or Cantonese. Vowels, on the other hand, are more or less similar to those of Mandarin. In general, Southern Min dialects have five to six tone
Tone (linguistics)
Tone is the use of pitch in language to distinguish lexical or grammatical meaning—that is, to distinguish or inflect words. All verbal languages use pitch to express emotional and other paralinguistic information, and to convey emphasis, contrast, and other such features in what is called...

s, and tone sandhi
Tone sandhi
Tone sandhi is a feature of tonal languages in which the tones assigned to individual words vary based on the pronunciation of the words that surround them in a phrase or sentence. It is a type of sandhi, or fusional change, from the Sanskrit word for "joining".-Languages with tone sandhi:Not all...

 is extensive. There are minor variations within Hokkien, but the Teochew system differs significantly.

Southern Min's nasal finals consist m and -ŋ, it previously had an n final in ancient times.

Varieties


Xiamen speech is a hybrid of Quanzhou
Quanzhou
Quanzhou is a prefecture-level city in Fujian province, People's Republic of China. It borders all other prefecture-level cities in Fujian but two and faces the Taiwan Strait...

 and Zhangzhou
Zhangzhou
Zhangzhou is a prefecture-level city in southern Fujian province, People's Republic of China. Located on the banks of the Jiulong River , Zhangzhou borders the cities of Xiamen and Quanzhou to the northeast, Longyan City to the northwest and the province of Guangdong to the southwest.Zhangzhou...

 speech. Taiwanese is also a hybrid of Quanzhou and Zhangzhou speech. Taiwanese in northern Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

 tends to be based on Quanzhou speech, whereas the Taiwanese spoken in southern Taiwan tends to be based on Zhangzhou speech. There are minor variations in pronunciation and vocabulary between Quanzhou and Zhangzhou speech. The grammar is basically the same. Additionally, Taiwanese includes several dozen loanwords from Japanese
Japanese language
is a language spoken by over 130 million people in Japan and in Japanese emigrant communities. It is a member of the Japonic language family, which has a number of proposed relationships with other languages, none of which has gained wide acceptance among historical linguists .Japanese is an...

. In contrast, Teochew speech is significantly different from Quanzhou and Zhangzhou speech in both pronunciation and vocabulary.

Vowel shifts


The following table provides words that illustrate some of the more commonly seen vowel shifts. Characters with same vowel are shown in parentheses.
English Chinese character
Chinese character
Chinese characters are logograms used in the writing of Chinese and Japanese , less frequently Korean , formerly Vietnamese , or other languages...

Accent {{Unicode IPA Teochew Peng'Im
two Quanzhou
Quanzhou
Quanzhou is a prefecture-level city in Fujian province, People's Republic of China. It borders all other prefecture-level cities in Fujian but two and faces the Taiwan Strait...

, Taipei
Taipei
Taipei City is the capital of the Republic of China and the central city of the largest metropolitan area of Taiwan. Situated at the northern tip of the island, Taipei is located on the Tamsui River, and is about 25 km southwest of Keelung, its port on the Pacific Ocean...

li˧ nŏ, jĭ (nõ˧˥, zi˧˥)
Xiamen
Xiamen
Xiamen , also known as Amoy , is a major city on the southeast coast of the People's Republic of China. It is administered as a sub-provincial city of Fujian province with an area of and population of 3.53 million...

, Zhangzhou
Zhangzhou
Zhangzhou is a prefecture-level city in southern Fujian province, People's Republic of China. Located on the banks of the Jiulong River , Zhangzhou borders the cities of Xiamen and Quanzhou to the northeast, Longyan City to the northwest and the province of Guangdong to the southwest.Zhangzhou...

, Tainan
Tainan
Tainan City is a city in southern Taiwan. It is the fifth largest after New Taipei, Kaohsiung, Taichung, and Taipei. It was formerly a provincial city, and in 2010, the provincial city merged with the adjacent Tainan County to form a single special municipality. Tainan faces the Taiwan Strait in...

dzi˧
sick 病 (生) Quanzhou
Quanzhou
Quanzhou is a prefecture-level city in Fujian province, People's Republic of China. It borders all other prefecture-level cities in Fujian but two and faces the Taiwan Strait...

, Xiamen
Xiamen
Xiamen , also known as Amoy , is a major city on the southeast coast of the People's Republic of China. It is administered as a sub-provincial city of Fujian province with an area of and population of 3.53 million...

, Taipei
Taipei
Taipei City is the capital of the Republic of China and the central city of the largest metropolitan area of Taiwan. Situated at the northern tip of the island, Taipei is located on the Tamsui River, and is about 25 km southwest of Keelung, its port on the Pacific Ocean...

pīⁿ pĩ˧ pēⁿ (pẽ˩)
Zhangzhou
Zhangzhou
Zhangzhou is a prefecture-level city in southern Fujian province, People's Republic of China. Located on the banks of the Jiulong River , Zhangzhou borders the cities of Xiamen and Quanzhou to the northeast, Longyan City to the northwest and the province of Guangdong to the southwest.Zhangzhou...

, Tainan
Tainan
Tainan City is a city in southern Taiwan. It is the fifth largest after New Taipei, Kaohsiung, Taichung, and Taipei. It was formerly a provincial city, and in 2010, the provincial city merged with the adjacent Tainan County to form a single special municipality. Tainan faces the Taiwan Strait in...

pēⁿ pẽ˧
egg 卵  (遠) Quanzhou
Quanzhou
Quanzhou is a prefecture-level city in Fujian province, People's Republic of China. It borders all other prefecture-level cities in Fujian but two and faces the Taiwan Strait...

, Xiamen
Xiamen
Xiamen , also known as Amoy , is a major city on the southeast coast of the People's Republic of China. It is administered as a sub-provincial city of Fujian province with an area of and population of 3.53 million...

, Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

{{Unicode|nn̄g}} nŋ˧ nn̆g (nŋ˧˥)
Zhangzhou
Zhangzhou
Zhangzhou is a prefecture-level city in southern Fujian province, People's Republic of China. Located on the banks of the Jiulong River , Zhangzhou borders the cities of Xiamen and Quanzhou to the northeast, Longyan City to the northwest and the province of Guangdong to the southwest.Zhangzhou...

nūi nui˧
chopsticks 箸 (豬) Quanzhou
Quanzhou
Quanzhou is a prefecture-level city in Fujian province, People's Republic of China. It borders all other prefecture-level cities in Fujian but two and faces the Taiwan Strait...

tīr tɯ˧ tēu (tɤ˩)
Xiamen
Xiamen
Xiamen , also known as Amoy , is a major city on the southeast coast of the People's Republic of China. It is administered as a sub-provincial city of Fujian province with an area of and population of 3.53 million...

tu˧
Zhangzhou
Zhangzhou
Zhangzhou is a prefecture-level city in southern Fujian province, People's Republic of China. Located on the banks of the Jiulong River , Zhangzhou borders the cities of Xiamen and Quanzhou to the northeast, Longyan City to the northwest and the province of Guangdong to the southwest.Zhangzhou...

, Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

ti˧
shoes 鞋 (街)
Quanzhou
Quanzhou
Quanzhou is a prefecture-level city in Fujian province, People's Republic of China. It borders all other prefecture-level cities in Fujian but two and faces the Taiwan Strait...

, Xiamen
Xiamen
Xiamen , also known as Amoy , is a major city on the southeast coast of the People's Republic of China. It is administered as a sub-provincial city of Fujian province with an area of and population of 3.53 million...

, Taipei
Taipei
Taipei City is the capital of the Republic of China and the central city of the largest metropolitan area of Taiwan. Situated at the northern tip of the island, Taipei is located on the Tamsui River, and is about 25 km southwest of Keelung, its port on the Pacific Ocean...

ue˧˥ ôi (tɤ˩)
Zhangzhou
Zhangzhou
Zhangzhou is a prefecture-level city in southern Fujian province, People's Republic of China. Located on the banks of the Jiulong River , Zhangzhou borders the cities of Xiamen and Quanzhou to the northeast, Longyan City to the northwest and the province of Guangdong to the southwest.Zhangzhou...

, Tainan
Tainan
Tainan City is a city in southern Taiwan. It is the fifth largest after New Taipei, Kaohsiung, Taichung, and Taipei. It was formerly a provincial city, and in 2010, the provincial city merged with the adjacent Tainan County to form a single special municipality. Tainan faces the Taiwan Strait in...

ê e˧˥
leather 皮 (未) Quanzhou
Quanzhou
Quanzhou is a prefecture-level city in Fujian province, People's Republic of China. It borders all other prefecture-level cities in Fujian but two and faces the Taiwan Strait...

phêr pʰə˨˩ phuê (pʰue˩)
Xiamen
Xiamen
Xiamen , also known as Amoy , is a major city on the southeast coast of the People's Republic of China. It is administered as a sub-provincial city of Fujian province with an area of and population of 3.53 million...

, Taipei
Taipei
Taipei City is the capital of the Republic of China and the central city of the largest metropolitan area of Taiwan. Situated at the northern tip of the island, Taipei is located on the Tamsui River, and is about 25 km southwest of Keelung, its port on the Pacific Ocean...

phê pʰe˨˩
Zhangzhou
Zhangzhou
Zhangzhou is a prefecture-level city in southern Fujian province, People's Republic of China. Located on the banks of the Jiulong River , Zhangzhou borders the cities of Xiamen and Quanzhou to the northeast, Longyan City to the northwest and the province of Guangdong to the southwest.Zhangzhou...

, Tainan
Tainan
Tainan City is a city in southern Taiwan. It is the fifth largest after New Taipei, Kaohsiung, Taichung, and Taipei. It was formerly a provincial city, and in 2010, the provincial city merged with the adjacent Tainan County to form a single special municipality. Tainan faces the Taiwan Strait in...

phôe pʰue˧
chicken 雞 (細) Quanzhou
Quanzhou
Quanzhou is a prefecture-level city in Fujian province, People's Republic of China. It borders all other prefecture-level cities in Fujian but two and faces the Taiwan Strait...

, Xiamen
Xiamen
Xiamen , also known as Amoy , is a major city on the southeast coast of the People's Republic of China. It is administered as a sub-provincial city of Fujian province with an area of and population of 3.53 million...

koe kue koi
Zhangzhou
Zhangzhou
Zhangzhou is a prefecture-level city in southern Fujian province, People's Republic of China. Located on the banks of the Jiulong River , Zhangzhou borders the cities of Xiamen and Quanzhou to the northeast, Longyan City to the northwest and the province of Guangdong to the southwest.Zhangzhou...

, Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

ke ke
fire 火 (過) Quanzhou
Quanzhou
Quanzhou is a prefecture-level city in Fujian province, People's Republic of China. It borders all other prefecture-level cities in Fujian but two and faces the Taiwan Strait...

her hué
Xiamen
Xiamen
Xiamen , also known as Amoy , is a major city on the southeast coast of the People's Republic of China. It is administered as a sub-provincial city of Fujian province with an area of and population of 3.53 million...

he
Zhangzhou
Zhangzhou
Zhangzhou is a prefecture-level city in southern Fujian province, People's Republic of China. Located on the banks of the Jiulong River , Zhangzhou borders the cities of Xiamen and Quanzhou to the northeast, Longyan City to the northwest and the province of Guangdong to the southwest.Zhangzhou...

, Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

hoé hue
go 去 (虛) Quanzhou
Quanzhou
Quanzhou is a prefecture-level city in Fujian province, People's Republic of China. It borders all other prefecture-level cities in Fujian but two and faces the Taiwan Strait...

Khir Kʰɯ
Xiamen
Xiamen
Xiamen , also known as Amoy , is a major city on the southeast coast of the People's Republic of China. It is administered as a sub-provincial city of Fujian province with an area of and population of 3.53 million...

, Taipei
Taipei
Taipei City is the capital of the Republic of China and the central city of the largest metropolitan area of Taiwan. Situated at the northern tip of the island, Taipei is located on the Tamsui River, and is about 25 km southwest of Keelung, its port on the Pacific Ocean...

Khu Kʰu
Zhangzhou
Zhangzhou
Zhangzhou is a prefecture-level city in southern Fujian province, People's Republic of China. Located on the banks of the Jiulong River , Zhangzhou borders the cities of Xiamen and Quanzhou to the northeast, Longyan City to the northwest and the province of Guangdong to the southwest.Zhangzhou...

, Tainan
Tainan
Tainan City is a city in southern Taiwan. It is the fifth largest after New Taipei, Kaohsiung, Taichung, and Taipei. It was formerly a provincial city, and in 2010, the provincial city merged with the adjacent Tainan County to form a single special municipality. Tainan faces the Taiwan Strait in...

Khi Kʰi

Spoken mutual intelligibility


Quanzhou
Quanzhou
Quanzhou is a prefecture-level city in Fujian province, People's Republic of China. It borders all other prefecture-level cities in Fujian but two and faces the Taiwan Strait...

 speech, Xiamen
Xiamen
Xiamen , also known as Amoy , is a major city on the southeast coast of the People's Republic of China. It is administered as a sub-provincial city of Fujian province with an area of and population of 3.53 million...

 (Amoy) speech, Zhangzhou
Zhangzhou
Zhangzhou is a prefecture-level city in southern Fujian province, People's Republic of China. Located on the banks of the Jiulong River , Zhangzhou borders the cities of Xiamen and Quanzhou to the northeast, Longyan City to the northwest and the province of Guangdong to the southwest.Zhangzhou...

 speech and Taiwanese are mutually intelligible. Chaozhou
Chaozhou
Chaozhou is a city in eastern Guangdong province of the People's Republic of China. It borders Shantou to the south, Jieyang to the southwest, Meizhou to the northwest, the province of Fujian to the east, and the South China Sea to the southeast...

 (Teochew) speech and Amoy speech are 84.3% phonetically similar and 33.8% lexically similar {{Verify credibility|date=January 2011}} , whereas Mandarin and Amoy Min Nan are 62% phonetically similar and 15.1% lexically similar. In comparison, German and English are 60% lexically similar. In other words, Chao-Shan, including Swatow (both of which are variants of Teochew), has very low intelligibility with Amoy, and Amoy and Teochew are not mutually intelligible with Mandarin. However, many Amoy and Teochew speakers speak Mandarin as a second or third language.

Written mutual intelligibility


{{see also|Written Hokkien}}
Southern Min dialects lack a standardized written language. Southern Min speakers are taught how to read Mandarin
Standard Chinese
Standard Chinese, or Modern Standard Chinese, also known as Mandarin or Putonghua, is the official language of the People's Republic of China and Republic of China , and is one of the four official languages of Singapore....

 in school. As a result, there has not been an urgent need to develop a writing system. In recent years, an increasing number of Southern Min Language speakers have become interested in developing a standard writing system (either by using Chinese Characters, or using Romanized script).

See also

  • Languages of China
    Languages of China
    China's many different ethnic groups speak many different languages, collectively called Zhōngguó Yǔwén , literally, "speech and writing of China", which span eight primary language families. Most of them are dissimilar morphologically and phonetically. Even within each family, most are mutually...

  • Languages of Taiwan
    Languages of Taiwan
    The language with the most native speakers in Taiwan is Taiwanese Hokkien, or "Taiwanese" for short. Hokkien is a topolect of the Chinese family of languages originating in southern Fujian and is spoken by many overseas Chinese throughout Southeast Asia...

  • Malaysian Chinese
    Malaysian Chinese
    Malaysian Chinese is a Malaysian of Chinese origin. Most are descendants of Chinese who arrived between the fifteenth and the mid-twentieth centuries. Within Malaysia, they are usually simply referred to as "Chinese" in all languages. The term Chinese Malaysian is also sometimes used to refer to...

  • Chinese in Singapore
    Chinese in Singapore
    Chinese Singaporeans are people of Chinese ethnicity who hold Singaporean nationality. As of 2010, Chinese Singaporeans constitute 74.1% of Singapore's resident population, or approximately three out of four Singaporeans, making them the largest ethnic group in Singapore...

  • Amoy Min Nan Swadesh list

Related languages

  • Penang Hokkien
    Penang Hokkien
    Penang Hokkien is a local variant of Hokkien spoken in Penang, Malaysia. It is the lingua franca among the majority Chinese population in Penang as well as other northern states of Malaysia surrounding it, and is characterised by the pronunciation of words according to the Zhangzhou dialect,...

  • Southern Malaysia Hokkien
  • Lan-nang
    Lan-nang
    Lan-nang is the Philippine variant of Hokkien. It is a subdialect of the Amoy dialect of Xiamen, Fujian, China. Lan-nang is spoken among the Chinese and Filipino residents of the Philippines. It is characterized by loanwords from Tagalog, Spanish, and Cantonese, as well as its emphasis on...

     (Philippine dialect of Min Nan)
  • Taiwanese Hokkien
  • Fuzhou dialect
    Fuzhou dialect
    Fuzhou dialect , also known as Foochow dialect, Foochow, Foochowese, Fuzhounese, or Fuzhouhua, is considered the standard dialect of Min Dong, which is a branch of Min Chinese mainly spoken in the eastern part of Fujian Province. Native speakers also call it ' , meaning the language spoken in...

     (Min Dong branch)
  • Hakka Chinese
  • Singaporean Hokkien
    Singaporean Hokkien
    Singaporean Hokkien is a local variant of the Hokkien dialect spoken in Singapore. It is closely related to the Southern Malaysian Hokkien spoken in Southern Malaysia as well as Riau Hokkien spoken in the Indonesian province of Riau...


Further reading

  • "Southern Min Grammar" (3 articles), Part V, Sinitic Grammar, Hilary Chappell (ed.), Oxford University Press, Oxford 2001. ISBN 0-19-829977-X.

External links


{{InterWiki|code=zh-min-nan}}
{{Wikibooks|Min Nan}}
{{Wiktionary|Min Nan}}

{{Southern Min Languages}}
{{Chinese language}}

{{DEFAULTSORT:Min Nan}}