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Hàn-jī 番仔
Pe̍h-ōe-jī Hoan-á
Tâi-lô Huan-á

Huan-a (Chinese: ; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: hoan-á) is a Hokkien word which means foreigner. 番 means 'foreign', and 仔 is a Hokkien noun suffix. This phrase is commonly perceived as derogatory by most non-Chinese speakers. Chinese Indonesians, Chinese Singaporeans, Chinese Filipinos and Chinese Malaysians use this word to refer to non-Chinese Southeast Asians.[1] During the Japanese occupation of Taiwan, the Japanese were called huan-a by Native Taiwanese, with geisha called hoan-á-ke (番仔雞, lit. "foreign chicken") and the wives of Japanese men called hoan-á-chiú-kan (番仔酒矸, lit. "foreign liquor bottle").[2] Huan-a is now commonly used in Taiwan to refer to indigenous peoples (the Taiwanese aborigines).[3] In Penang, huan-a are used to refer to Malays, whereas ang moh refers to Europeans and Kling na (吉零仔) refer to Tamils.[4]

Back days, the term is used by Han Chinese to refer Mongolians invaders. Basically Huan-a connotes "alien foreigner". In another case, the word fan-kui (Chinese: ; pinyin: fānguǐ) is a Mandarin Chinese word which means evil foreigner. 鬼 means 'ghost' or 'evil'. This phrase is used by overseas Chinese to imply non-Chinese people who known because of their bad habit or rude characters.[citation needed].


  1. ^ Tong, Chee Kiong (2010). Identity and ethnic relations in Southeast Asia. Springer. p. 231. ISBN 978-90-481-8908-3.
  2. ^ Huang, Junjie (2006). Taiwan in transformation, 1895-2005. Transaction Publishers. p. 164. ISBN 978-0-7658-0311-5.
  3. ^ Katz, Paul R.; Murray A. Rubinstein (2003). Religion and the formation of Taiwanese identities. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 279.
  4. ^ DeBernardi, Jean Elizabeth (1 April 2009). Penang: rites of belonging in a Malaysian Chinese community. National University of Singapore Press. p. 262. ISBN 978-9971-69-416-6.