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Min Nan language resources

Min Nan is spoken on a daily basis in: Hong Kong SAR Min Nan--> --> --> -->

Additional background on Min Nan

Min Nan, Minnan, or Min-nan (Simplified Chinese: ???, Traditional Chinese: ???; pinyin: Minnnyu; POJ: Bn-lm-g; "Southern Min" or "Southern Fujian" language) is the Chinese dialect/language spoken in southern Fujian province, China and neighboring areas, and by descendants of emigrants from these areas in diaspora. Hokkien, Taiwanese, and Teochew are all common names for several prominent variants of Min Nan.

Min Nan (Southern Min) forms part of the Min language group, alongside several other divisions. The Min languages/dialects are part of the Chinese language group, itself a member of the Sino-Tibetan language family. Min Nan is mutually intelligible with neither Eastern Min, Cantonese, nor Mandarin, the official Chinese language, spoken (at least as a second language) by the majority of those in mainland China and Taiwan, as well as large numbers of overseas Chinese.

Min Nan is spoken in the southern part of Fujian province, two southern counties of Zhejiang province, the Zhoushan archipelago off Ningbo in Zhejiang, and the eastern part of Guangdong province (Chaoshan region). The Qiong Wen variant spoken in the Leizhou peninsula of Guangdong province, as well as Hainan province, is classified in some schemes as part of Min Nan and in other schemes as separate. A form of Min Nan akin to that spoken in southern Fujian is also spoken in Taiwan, where it has the native name of Ti-on-oe or Ho-l-oe. The (sub)ethnic group for which Min Nan is considered a native language is known as the Holo (Ho-l) or Hoklo, one of the main ethnicities of Taiwan. The correspondence between language and ethnicity is not absolute, however, as some Hoklo have very limited proficiency in Min Nan while some non-Hoklos speak Min Nan fluently.

There are many Min Nan speakers also among overseas Chinese in Southeast Asia. Many ethnic Chinese emigrants to the region were Hoklo from southern Fujian, and brought the language to what is now Indonesia (the former Dutch East Indies) and present day Malaysia and Singapore (formerly Malaya and the British Straits Settlements). In general, Min Nan from southern Fujian is known as Hokkien, Hokkienese, or Fukien in Southeast Asia, and is extremely similar to Taiwanese. Many Southeast Asian ethnic Chinese also originated in Chaoshan region of Guangdong province and speak Teochew, the variant of Min Nan from that region. Min Nan is reportedly the native language of up to 98.5% of the community of ethnic Chinese in the Philippines, among whom it is also known as Lan-nang or Ln-lng-oe ("Our peoples language").

As with other varieties of Chinese, there is significant dispute as to whether Min Nan is a language or a dialect. (See Identification of the varieties of Chinese for greater detail.)

Min Nan

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All data is derived from UNESCO.


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