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Merge Proposal[edit]

The word "Hokkien" (more correctly pronounced as "Hok-kiàn-oē") is merely the Southern Min equivalent of the word "福建話" which means the "Fujian language".

This is nonsense because there is no such thing as the Fujian language. In Fujian province, the Min languages can be further divided into the Northern Min Language, Central Min Language, Eastern Min Language, and the Southern Min language.

Each of those Min branches are mutually unintelligible and can be classified as separate languages in their own right. Besides, the Hakka language (which is totally unintellible with the Min languages) is also spoken in Fujian province. I propose that this article be redirected to the Southern Min language.

Here is some anecdotal evidence from a Singaporean traveller to Mainland China who supposedly spoke the Hokkien language! [1] --A-eng (talk) 09:29, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

Indeed, there is no single "Fujian language", however, this is not really of importance. Equally there is no single French language (there is the langue d'oil - modern standard French, langue d'oc, Breton, Basque, Alsatian, &c.), no single Italian language (Tuscan - modern standard Italian, Venetian, Neapolitan, Sicilian, &c.), no single Guangdong language (Guangzhou - standard Cantonese, Hakka, Hainanese, &c.). What matter is what the language is called in English - usually it is the most spoken language in a country or province that would take this name and there is often some precedent for the language being called by this name by native speakers. Just because other languages may exist in the territory from which the language takes its name does not mean that that name is invalid. "Hokkien" is by far the most common name in the English-speaking world, it is used by many native speakers - "Hokkien" by S.E. Asians, "Hoklo" by Taiwanese, and it is the most important of the Min (Fujianese) languages. Other than in Taiwan and Mainland China and by some linguists the term Southern Min is not used - most speakers of Hokkien I know have never heard the terms "Min Nan", "Southern Min", or "Ban Lam"!

Indeed, "Min Nan" is a relatively new linguistic concept and my language professor has told me that before the founding of modern China in 1949, there's no such thing as Min Nan language or Min Nan dialect. Every city or county in the Fujian province called it's vernacular language by the name of the place. Eg. 厦门话、漳州话、泉州话、龙岩话、莆田话、仙游话、福州话、福清话、宁德话、福鼎话、建瓯话 etc. It's only after the founding of modern China in 1949 that Chinese linguists began to study the different dialects in detail and classify them into different families and sub-families. For example, 厦门话、漳州话、泉州话 together with a few smaller dialects such as 安溪话、南安话、惠安话、漳浦话、永春话、南靖话 etc are classified into the Min-Nan sub-family, which means southern Min. Dialects such as 福州话、福清话、宁德话 etc are classified into the Min-Dong sub-family, which means eastern Min. Overseas Chinese, especially those who migrated out of China before 1949 as well as those born overseas, are not exposed to the concept of Min-Nan, Min-Dong, Min-Bei, Min-Zhong or Puxian-Min. Take the case of Singapore, most Chinese in Singapore trace their roots to Xiamen, Zhangzhou, Quanzhou and some surrounding counties and villages. When they migrated to Singapore, they brought with them their many slightly different but mutually intelligible dialects and called them 福建话, named after the Fujian province from which they originated. An interesting thing to note is that due to the overwhelming majority of Chinese people from southern Fujian province, those migrants from eastern and northern Fujian will tend to integrate into the southern Fujian community and learn to speak their dialect. By the 1980's, 厦门话、泉州话、漳州话 and various southern Fujian varieties have undergone dialect levelling to become a uniquely accented Singaporean Hokkien, which bears a lot of similarities to southern Malaysian Hokkien and 厦门话. This is in contrast to Penang Hokkien, which is closer to 漳州话 due to a higher percentage of 漳州 immigrants to northern part of peninsular Malaysia. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Huangmintao (talkcontribs) 06:10, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

The use of the term "Hokkien" is also appropriate as "Hokkien" is not synonymous with Southern Min Language. Southern Min also includes Teochew (limited intelligibility with Hokkien) and Hainanese (unintelligible with Hokkien) and the term "Hokkien" is never used to describe these languages. "Hokkien" refers solely to the forms of Southern Min that are found in Southern Fujian and which has since been spread elsewhere and thus could be considered to include Changchew, Choanchew and Amoy speech, all of which are mutually intelligible.

Hokkien is widely recognised as a distinct language in the English-speaking world, much as is Cantonese. Both names could be considered misleading, referring only to one of many languages in their respective provinces of origin, but their use is FIRMLY established amongst native English speakers and are used equally by those of Chinese background living in English speaking countries.

Vox latina (talk) 13:01, 2 September 2008 (UTC)

Besides, you would have to prevent people from using "Chinese" when they mean "Mandarin" then, or insist on qualifiers for "English" to be consistent. I think it's fine as long as there is sufficient explanation. Icedwater (talk) 01:58, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

There is already a disambig. at the top of the page dealing with any confusion relating to the name Hokkien. English usage supports this article using the name Hokkien. To my knowledge none of the other S. Min or Min languages are called Hokkien by many native speakers or by English speakers.

-- (talk) 05:19, 4 September 2008 (UTC)

If Min Nan is Hokkien, Teochew, and Hainanese, and Teochew and Hainanese are now split off as separate varieties of Min in our Wikipedia setup (Teochew Min, Hainan Min), should we rename this article Hokkien Min? kwami (talk) 05:39, 21 September 2008 (UTC)

I’d Support this article living at Hokkien as I think common usage supports it, although if anyone can tell me the difference between Min Nan (Mandarin name) and Hokkien, I’d love to know. —Wiki Wikardo 10:39, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

The way it's defined in the article, Hokkien is one branch of Min Nan (Quanzhou-Zhangzhou), along with Teochew and Hainanese. In the map in the infobox at Min Nan, Hokkien is the dark green. kwami (talk) 00:10, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

"Hokkien dialect" really isn't appropriate as it makes a statement about its linguistic categorisation which really isn't correct. Whilst many Chinese people may say that speak a "dialect" this naming is more from a combination of a Chinese nationalism that prefers to see all Chinese as belonging to a single culture and a common Western misunderstanding of the nature of Chinese language based upon the fact that there has always been a generally unified national written standard (first literary then Mandarin). A similar situation persists in Italy where the various forms of speech are commonly called "dialetti" (dialects) again largely due to the state trying to promote a single Italian language. However, these are generally seen by linguists as languages and Wikipedia follows this practice. To say that Hokkien, Teochew, and Hainanese are merely dialects of a single S. Min language doesn't really accord with how linguistic classifications are usually drawn due to their low levels of mutual intelligibility. Language divisions are usually drawn on far lesser differences with languages often having far higher levels of mutual intelligibility than there is between the varities of S. Min, e.g. Catalan and Occitan, Swedish and Norwegian. To me it seems far more appropriate to see S. Min as a language group rather than a language, for if it is seen as a language we are left having to classify dialects of dialects, a nonesensical classification. Indeed, by the method of dividing Chinese variants being used were to be applied to the language of Europe we might see English and its Anglo-Frisian relatives classified as such:

Indo-European (language family)

- Germanic (language group)
 - Anglo-Frisian (language)
  - Frisian (dialect)
   - West Frisian (dialect of dialect)
   - North Frisian (dialect of dialect)
   - Saterland Frisian (dialect of dialect)
  - Anglic (dialect)
   - Scots (dialect of dialect)
   - English (dialect of dialect)
    - Australian Eng. (dialect of dialect of dialect)
    - NZ Eng. (dialect of dialect of dialect)

etc. etc. etc.

It just doesn't make sense - the Anglic varities of Anglo-Frisian are certainly not mutually intelligible with the Frisian varities and even within the Anglic and Frisian groups there are varying degree of intelligibility between variants. When there is dispute it make sense to call a speech variant a language rather than a dialect, much as is the case with Scots language on Wikipedia as the word "dialect" can carry negative connotations, i.e. that its speakers are uneducated, not knowing a real language, and is often a politically-loaded term. Thus "Hokkien language" would be more appropriate than "Hokkien dialect". However, to avoid this problem altogether "Hokkien" is probably the best name for the page as it avoids statements as to its linguistics categorisation. Whilst "Hokkien" can also be used to refer to the province, the use of the term in English is overwhelmingly in reference to the language and any confusion could be clarified with a disambig. --Vox latina (talk) 23:28, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

I haven't bothered to read all that, but since Hokkien and Teochew are mutually intelligible, it's valid to call them dialects of Min Nan. However, this may be a marginal case, where it's hard to make the call. Because of the single ethnic identity of the Chinese, we don't call each mutually unintelligible variety of Chinese a "language". There is no such sociolinguistic constraint in the case of English and Frisian. (And yes, you can have a dialect of a dialect, sometimes called a "sub-dialect". Nothing unusual with that.) However, there is no reason we can't just move the Hokkien (Quanzhou-Zhangzhou) lect to Hokkien and move that page to Hokkien (disambiguation). Given normal English usage, that makes good sense to me. kwami (talk) 00:23, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

I wish to elaborate the discussion regarding the terms used for the Minnan and Hokkien in "TALK PAGE".

MIN > MINNAN or Bân-lâm-gí / 閩南語 (Southern Min)> 1)Teochew; 2)Hainanese; 3)Hokkien or Taiwanese(also sometimes known as Hoklo/Holo/Lanang/Taiwanese Minnan etc)

I support the idea of merging the Hokkien and Taiwanese Language articles. Basically, Hokkien and Taiwanese Language means the same language which originated from the prestige speech of Xiamen (Amoy or Ē-mn̂g ). Hoklo or Holo is the different term for the same Ē-mn̂g language, depending on who and where the speakers apply it to represent their spoken speech, i.e. in Taiwan (Taiwanese or Holo/Hoklo), South East Asia (Hokkien/Ē-mn̂g), Philippines (Lán-lâng-oē), China (Minnan, Bân-lâm-gí / 閩南語, Hokkien or Ē-mn̂g).

Minnan (Bân-lâm-gí) article does give more emphasise to Hokkien and Taiwanese because I believe that among the other Minnan dialect group (esp Teochew, Hainanese); the popularity and importance of the Amoy Speech in the trade and commerce since ancient times even before Marco Polo voyages, when Zaytun (Quanzhou) Port was the biggest trading centre of the world. (Ref: As Amoy is the principal city of southern Fujian, its dialect is considered the most important, or even Prestige Accent). In fact this was the first language foreigners learn when they trade with Chinese in the 15th or 16th century esp. in Zaytun.

Another reason is the mass availability of mass media, TV Drama, songs etc in Taiwanese or Hokkien from Xiamen, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia and US etc. Even in Xiamen, there is a TV Station that broadcast 100% in Xiamen, Quanzhou etc. The same applies for Taiwan's private and public TV Stations. All broadcasts were in Taiwanese (or Hoklo/Hokkien Ē-mn̂g) but dialects like Teochew and Hainanese broadcast media were limited or almost non-existence. Many world ranked university in USA and Europe, (including Harvard University etc) is teaching “Taiwanese Language Course” with the professor from Taiwan. Apparently the course was quite popular with foreign students and overseas Minnan students.

The most important reason is that, among the Minnan speaking population group of estimated 49.0 millions worldwide; the "Hokkien-oē/Tâi-oân-oē/Hō-ló-oē/Ē-mn̂g (Amoy / Xiamen 廈門)" speaking group make up the majority of the Minnan widely disperse diasporas in South East Asia and USA. Based on the articles written in Wikipedia and other reference sources; the populations breakdown estimated are:

Hokkien/Taiwanese/Hoklo = 35.0 millions*; Teochew = 12.9 million; Hainanese = 1.1 million.

  • Taiwan - 17.0 millions
 Xiamen/Zhangzhou/Quanzhou etc -14.0 millions
 Malaysia/Singapore/Philippines/Indonesia/Brunei/Thailand/Overseas = 4.0 millions 

The term "Taiwanese" and "Hokkien" are widely accepted term internationally. In fact the term Taiwanese language now is even more popular internationally due to the widespread and popularity of Taiwanese language media, TV Drama, Movies, Rock Concerts and songs etc.

I was in Australia applying for jobs few years ago. I was surprised that the application forms, under the other spoken languages box which applicants must ticks, there is a "Taiwanese language" box together with other Asian languages such as Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese etc; but Hokkien was not listed. This shows that “TAIWANESE” is an internationally commonly accepted term for Hokkien/Minnan languages in any major languages such as English, Japanese, German, French, and Spanish etc. You must Google into any websites or encyclopaedias today, to confirm this statement.

I suggest that the terms Hoklo, Minnan, Ban-lam-oe should only be used in the context for Chinese language articles only but SHOULD instead used the commonly used terms of Taiwanese or Hokkien in all major descriptions and main explainations; to emphasise this Minnan language group in articles so as to minimise confusion. For example, one commonly and widely used term "Mandarin' for Chinese and "Cantonese" for Guangdong-hua. So I suggest that the term Taiwanese should be used alternately with Hokkien in all articles and try to resist the usage of "Taiwanese Minnan" which is absurd and long-winded.

I have recently read in Wiki of the new term "Taiwanese Minnan" which is really unnecessary when commonly used and internationally accepted term such as "Taiwanese" is acceptable and understood by western society in most countries or languages. There is even some other new terms created such as “Taiwanese Hoklo, Taiwanese Holo” which I think are confusing. I would suggest that that the word Minnan deleted from Taiwanese Minnan term.

For any changes to the future Wikipedia articles, kindly take note of the points highlighted above as consideration. From: Pier Lee —Preceding unsigned comment added by Pier Lee (talkcontribs) 15:09, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

Need Hokkien names for...[edit]

Need Hokkien name for Dried shrimp. Badagnani (talk) 00:49, 24 September 2008 (UTC)

This article is a content fork[edit]

This article is a recently created content fork and a near duplicate of Minnan and should be merged with that article. I know that Hainanese and Teochew are considered Minnan but not Hokkien but that can be dealt with in the text of the article. I support the merge proposal above. — AjaxSmack 02:13, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

Another possibility would be to merge with Taiwanese. If there's not enough material for three articles, then I suppose this is the one which should go—unless Min Nan covers little more than Hokkien, in which case it could be reduced to a stub. kwami (talk) 18:08, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
This article is not about Taiwanese specifically, it's about Minnan, which is called Hokkien in Southeast Asia. The content was recently copied and pasted from the Minnan article with a few spelling changes to reflect Southeast Asian usage. I have no problem debating the name of the article but there is no reason for a fork — it's the same content in two different places. The appropriate action is to merge any unique content in this article with Minnan and then discuss the appropriate name of the article. — AjaxSmack 06:25, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
As has already been established there is a difference between Minnan and Hokkien. Minnan is a group of languages/dialects sharing varying degrees of mutual intelligibility, in some cases these being completely mutually unintelligible. Hokkien is the common name in English (and that is what is important, not what it may be called in different regions by speakers of other languages) for a group of mutually intelligible Minnan dialects sometimes called Quanzhou-Zhangzhou (in reference to the two main dialects of which the others are combinations or variants) or Min Tai Minnan (in reference to the fact that it is the form of Minnan spoken in Fujian and Taiwan, rather than Guangdong or Hainan). If there is too much cross over between articles, they should be modified to be more specific to their subject, rather than merged. Currently there is much on the Minnan page that is specific to Hokkien, rather than Minnan in general. Maybe it would be better to remove this info. from the Minnan page. --Vox latina (talk) 10:58, 18 October 2008 (UTC)
Whilst I believe that it is best to keep Taiwanese and Hokkien separate as Taiwanese refers specifically to the group of Hokkien dialects spoken in Taiwan, it would make much more sense to merge Hokkien and Taiwanese than Hokkien and Minnan. Taiwanese and Hokkien are the same language and thus if there was not enough material to support two articles they could potentially be merged into a single Hokkien/Taiwanese language article. A merger with Minnan would be inappropriate for whilst when people talk of "Minnan" they usually mean Hokkien, the term also include Teochew (partially intelligible) and Hainanese (unitelligible). Equally, "Hokkien" is never used to refer to the other variants of Minnan, referring only to the variants spoken in Taiwan [2], Southern Fujian [3], and S.E. Asia [4]. --Vox latina (talk) 01:19, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
Those might all be valid arguments but there is a better way of doing than cutting and pasting an article to another location. Instead, you should have initiated a discussion on splitting the article at Talk:Minnan to gain consensus for your views. (There has been a previous similar discussion at Talk:Minnan#Do we need new pages?). Ethnologue seems to support your position but you should gather more outside citations of your position — otherwise it's original research. One of the sources you note above equates Hokkien and Minnan ("Hokkien (河洛語), the language of the southern region of Fujian Province -- more commonly known as Min Nan Hua (閩南話) or Taiwanese"). — AjaxSmack 01:36, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
Since the phonology and orthography sections of Min Nan were limited to Hokkien, I merged them here. There's still significant overlap, but IMO that was the most egregious part. kwami (talk) 06:28, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

The term Hokkien is only used in Southeast Asia and is not used in Taiwan. It is suitable to describe the dialect(s) in Southeast Asia but not as a name for the whole subgroup of Southern Min dialects not including Teochew and Hainanese, sometimes called Quanzhou-Zhangzhou that is spoken in southern coastal Fujian, in most of Taiwan, and in Southeast Asia. --JWB (talk) 20:13, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

I haven't found any references in this or related articles to substantiate the claim that Hokkien is identified with the Quanzhou-Zhangzhou or non-Teochew non-Hainanese Southern Min dialect groups. All the sources cited have more generic statements that Hokkien is a Southern Min dialect. --JWB (talk) 07:46, 25 November 2009 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

Hokkien dialectHokkien — "Hokkien" as used in English only commonly refers to the Minnan variant. Such a move also ends any language/dialect dispute. — Vox latina (talk) 08:37, 19 October 2008 (UTC)


Feel free to state your position on the renaming proposal by beginning a new line in this section with *'''Support''' or *'''Oppose''', then sign your comment with ~~~~. Since polling is not a substitute for discussion, please explain your reasons, taking into account Wikipedia's naming conventions.
  • Weak support (see discussion) kwami (talk) 19:02, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

Okay, no traffic, so I'm taking silence as consent and moving per Vox latina. kwami (talk) 08:43, 21 October 2008 (UTC)


  • Comment "Hokkien dialect" is useful because it reflects that the article covers a specific dialect of Min Nan, not Min Nan as a whole, which is often confused with Hokkien. The only reason I can see that there might be a dialect/language dispute is that people get confused about this. On the other hand, the term "Hokkien" is sufficiently unambiguous to stand on its own as the title, and it is the normal phrase in English. kwami (talk) 19:02, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

Need POJ[edit]

Need POJ reading at Sean Lien. Badagnani (talk) 20:43, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

Need POJ[edit]

Also need POJ for 鸭母哒仔 and 鴨母笛 at Guan (instrument). Thank you, Badagnani (talk) 20:43, 1 January 2009 (UTC)


It is closely related to Teochew, though mutual comprehension is difficult, and somewhat more distantly related to Hainanese, with which it shares only minimal intelligibility.

I highly doubt this statement. My mom is pure Chaozhou and she knows how to speak it, along with Cantonese and Mandarin and English, fluently. She is able to have conversations with people who speak Hokkien, and she even understands their music and movies (even the Taiwanese dialect). I'm not sure who put this here, but I have always believed the two are mutually intelligible.

My dad's friend is also from Hainan and speaks both Cantonese and his dialect fluently. He doesn't understand Chaozhou or Hokkien at ALL.

Considering Wikipedia is smart and informational on everything else, the Asian articles seem to be a huge mess. Most of it, I'd even go so far to say, being original research or unreferenced. Dasani 07:35, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

In my experience Teochew and Hokkien speakers who understand each other well are able to do so because of exposure to the other's language, rather than just the similarities between their languages - i.e. a Hokkien speaker raised in Malaysia who has contact with Teochew speakers can understand Teochew but not speak it, but that person's daughter, who was born in the West and did not have contanct with Teochew speakers cannot understand a word of Teochew, although she speaks the same dialect of Hokkien as the rest of her family. Indeed, she understands Cantonese better than Teochew, even though she has never learnt it and never lived in a Cantonese speaking environment. However, she has had a degree of contact with Cantonese that she has not had with Teochew, this being through her mother's speaking of Cantonese with shopkeepers and waiters in restaurants, but never in the home. She could certainly not be called a Cantonese speaker, but by looking at her one may come to the conclusion that Hokkien has greater mutual intelligibility with Cantonese than Teochew!

Judging mutual intelligibility can only really be done with speakers who have no exposure to the other language, as, in many cases, what could be picked up as mutual intelligibility is, in fact, a limited and unconscious knowledge of the other language. Certainly, individual experiences vary, but in my experience the assertion that mutual intelligibility between Teochew and Hokkien is limited stands true and this is supported by most academic literature on the topic. -- (talk) 22:29, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

I would concur with's statement. Badagnani (talk) 22:32, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
The two dialects tend to be very similar, however. It's almost something like German and English. And my mom doesn't have exposure to their dialect, she just heard it one day and was able to understand it. But if that's what the books say, I do believe we will have to leave it at that. Dasani 19:27, 31 January 2009 (UTC)

Need Hokkien hanzi[edit]

Need Hokkien hanzi at Kaffir lime. Badagnani (talk) 04:15, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

Please clarify tone table.[edit]

What does 陽上 sound like in most dialects on the table? What's the hyphen mean? Asoer (talk) 13:03, 29 June 2010 (UTC)

Most of them became 陽去. It's a little curious because 陽上->陽去 happened in almost all Chinese languages except Cantonese.--Tricia Takanawa (talk) 19:13, 2 August 2010 (UTC)

7 October Revision - Cultural Recognition[edit]

This paragraph is solely about the comedy of the Hokkiens.. is it worth having in? I think it's rather unsubstantiated. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:28, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

Naming and classification[edit]

Why should the article say Hokkien and the upper box say Southern Hokkien? This should be clarified for consistency in the classification.

ICE77 (talk) 15:40, 25 March 2012 (UTC)

Chinese for "Hokkien" is wrong[edit]

The box with the native name of the language lists "閩南話" but all of the transcriptions say "Fújiànhuà/Hok-kiàn-oē" etc., which is clearly wrong. "閩南話" is "Min Nan hua" etc., whereas the Hanzi for "Fújiànhuà" etc. is “福建话/福建話”. "Min Nan hua", as the article says, is the name of the language family, whereas "Fujian hua/Hokkian-oe" is the name of the dialect/language that the article describes. Unless this is for some crazy and confusing reason intentional, it should be changed to one or the other, or include both. (I don't know all of the transcriptions or I would do it.) (talk) 07:16, 28 October 2013 (UTC)

Proposed merge with Hokkien profanity[edit]

Uncited article that could easily have selective content merged into the main article. SarahStierch (talk) 05:24, 29 October 2013 (UTC)

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I know the pronunciation /hoʊˈkiːn/ is given by English dictionaries like the Oxford, but I have never heard it used before. Whenever I've heard it said in English, it's been pronounced with an approximation to the native pronunciation, something like /hɒˈkiː.ɛn/ or /ˈhɒ.ki.ɛn/.

From my personal experience this is the most common pronunciation and so it might bear mentioning as an alternative. However, I don't have any citation for it and wouldn't even be sure where to look, so instead of just adding it in there, I thought I'd check other people's opinions here first. D4g0thur 05:59, 19 October 2014 (UTC)