Hoklo people

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Hoklo People.jpg
Total population
Around 60 million (est. worldwide)
Regions with significant populations
ChinaMainland China Fujian
 Taiwan Majority of Taiwanese
 Hong Kong A minority population
 Macao A minority population
 Malaysia Largest group of Malaysian Chinese
 Singapore Largest group of Chinese Singaporeans
 Indonesia Largest group of Indonesian Chinese
 Myanmar One of the 3 largest groups of Burmese Chinese
 Philippines Majority of Chinese Filipinos
Hokkien dialect of Minnan and/or Mandarin. Diaspora also speak their respective home country's language(s)
Chinese folk religions (including Taoism, Confucianism, ancestral worship and others), Mahayana Buddhism and non religious. Minority: Christianity.
Minnan-speaking areas in South China and Taiwan. Only the speakers of Quanzhou Zhangzhou (also known as Hokkien) are seen as Hoklos.

The Hoklo people or Hokkien people (endonym Hok-ló lâng, Hō-ló lâng, or Ho̍h-ló lâng) are Han Chinese people whose traditional ancestral homes are in southern Fujian of South China. They are also known by various endonyms (above), or other related terms such as Min-nan people (閩南人) or Hokkien Lang (福建人).

In a narrow scope, "Hoklo people" refers mainly to people who speak and use the Hokkien dialect of Min Nan Chinese spoken in southern Fujian, Taiwan, and by many overseas Chinese throughout Southeast Asia.

In a wider scope, "Hoklo people" can include speakers of other Min Nan languages, such as Zhongshan Min, Zhenan Min, Teochew dialect, and Hainanese.[1]


In general, the Hoklo people can refer to one of the following:

Malaysia Hoklo or Malaysian Hokkien[edit]

Main article: Malaysian Chinese

The Hoklo or Hokkien make up one of the Malaysian Chinese groups. There are also Hokkien or Hoklo among the Chinese Indonesians.

Haifeng, Lufeng and Leizhou in Guangdong, China[edit]

The people of Leizhou and the non-Hakka people in Haifeng and Lufeng are Hoklo people, in a narrow scope, but are often being mistaken as Chaozhou/Teochew people in Hong Kong and Southeast Asia.

Chinese characters for Hoklo[edit]

In Taiwan, there are three common ways to write Hoklo in Chinese characters (Min Nan pronunciations are given in POJ), although none have been established as etymologically correct:

  • 福佬 (Hok-ló; lit. "Fujian folk") – emphasizes their connection to Fujian province. This is not an accurate transliteration in terms of the Hokkien language itself, although it may correspond to an actual usage in Hakka.
  • 河洛 (Hô-lo̍k; lit. "Yellow River and Luo River") – emphasizes their purported long history originating from the area south of the Yellow River. This transliteration is a phonologically inaccurate folk etymology; the noun Hô-lo̍k does not exist, although the Mandarin pronunciation Héluò has gained currency through the propagation of this inaccurate transliteration.
  • 鶴佬 (Ho̍h-ló; lit. "crane folk") – emphasizes the modern pronunciation of the characters (without regard to the meaning of the Chinese characters); it is a phonologically accurate transliteration. This variant is used by the Chinese Wikipedia version of this article.

In Hakka, Teochew, and Cantonese, Hoklo may be written as 學老 (lit. "learned aged") and 學佬 (lit. "learned folk").

Despite many ways to write Hoklo in Chinese, many Taiwanese will use the term Hō-ló to refer to the language and Hoklo culture.

Age of Discovery[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ben Sia, 《新加坡的漢語方言》 (The Chinese Languages and Dialects of Singapore),1988