26 Facts About Hokkien


Hokkien variety of Chinese is a Southern Min language native to and originating from the Minnan region, where it is widely spoken in the south-eastern part of Fujian in southeastern mainland China.

FactSnippet No. 630,305

The Hokkien 'dialects' are not all mutually intelligible, but they are held together by ethnolinguistic identity.

FactSnippet No. 630,306

Taiwanese Hokkien is mutually intelligible with the 2 to 3 million speakers in Xiamen and Singapore.

FactSnippet No. 630,307

In Southeast Asia, Hokkien historically served as the lingua franca amongst overseas Chinese communities of all dialects and subgroups, and it remains today as the most spoken variety of Chinese in the region, including in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines and some parts of Indochina .

FactSnippet No. 630,308

In parts of Southeast Asia and in the English-speaking communities, the term Hokkien is etymologically derived from the Southern Min pronunciation for Fujian, the province from which the language hails.

FactSnippet No. 630,309

In Southeast Asia and the English press, Hokkien is used in common parlance to refer to the Southern Min dialects of southern Fujian, and does not include reference to dialects of other Sinitic branches present in Fujian such as the Fuzhou language, Pu-Xian Min, Northern Min, Gan Chinese or Hakka.

FactSnippet No. 630,310

Hokkien is spoken in the southern, seaward quarter of Fujian province, southeastern Zhejiang, and eastern Namoa Island in China; Taiwan; Metro Manila, Metro Cebu, Metro Davao and other cities in the Philippines; Singapore; Brunei; Medan, Riau and other cities in Indonesia; and from Taiping to the Thai border in Malaysia, especially around Penang.

FactSnippet No. 630,311

Hokkien originated in the southern area of Fujian province, an important center for trade and migration, and has since become one of the most common Chinese varieties overseas.

FactSnippet No. 630,312

All hokkien dialects spoken throughout the whole of Taiwan are collectively known as Taiwanese Hokkien, or Holo locally, although there is a tendency to call these Taiwanese language for historical reasons.

FactSnippet No. 630,313

Hokkien has one of the most diverse phoneme inventories among Chinese varieties, with more consonants than Standard Mandarin and Cantonese.

FactSnippet No. 630,314

Hokkien varieties retain many pronunciations that are no longer found in other Chinese varieties.

FactSnippet No. 630,315

Unlike Mandarin, Hokkien retains all the final consonants corresponding to those of Middle Chinese.

FactSnippet No. 630,316

Hokkien language is spoken in a variety of accents and dialects across the Minnan region.

FactSnippet No. 630,317

The Hokkien spoken in most areas of the three counties of southern Zhangzhou have merged the coda finals -n and -ng into -ng.

FactSnippet No. 630,318

The initial consonant j is not present in most dialects of Hokkien spoken in Quanzhou, having been merged into the d or l initials.

FactSnippet No. 630,319

Hokkien is an analytic language; in a sentence, the arrangement of words is important to its meaning.

FactSnippet No. 630,320

Hokkien dialects preserve certain grammatical reflexes and patterns reminiscent of the broad stage of Archaic Chinese.

FactSnippet No. 630,321

Hokkien dialects differ in the pronunciation of some pronouns, and differ in how to form plural pronouns .

FactSnippet No. 630,322

Hokkien dialects have a variety of negation particles that are prefixed or affixed to the verbs they modify.

FactSnippet No. 630,323

Similarly, depending on the region Hokkien is spoken in, loanwords from local languages, as well as other Chinese dialects, are commonly integrated into the vocabulary of Hokkien dialects.

FactSnippet No. 630,324

In 2001, the local Taiwanese language program was further extended to all schools in Taiwan, and Taiwanese Hokkien became one of the compulsory local Taiwanese languages to be learned in schools.

FactSnippet No. 630,325

In 2007, the Ministry of Education in Taiwan completed the standardization of Chinese characters used for writing Hokkien and developed Tai-lo as the standard Hokkien pronunciation and romanization guide.

FactSnippet No. 630,326

The historical changes and development in Taiwan had led Taiwanese Hokkien to become the more influential pole of the Hokkien dialect after the mid-20th century.

FactSnippet No. 630,327

Hokkien dialects are typically written using Chinese characters .

FactSnippet No. 630,328

Hokkien is registered as "Southern Min" per RFC 3066 as zh-min-nan.

FactSnippet No. 630,329

Hokkien was finally made an official language of Taiwan in 2018 by the ruling DPP government.

FactSnippet No. 630,330