Eastern Min

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"Mindong" redirects here. For information about the Eastern region of Fujian Province, China, see Fuzhou and Ningde.
Eastern Min
Min Dong
Native to Southern China, Taiwan, Vietnam, United States (chiefly New York City)
Region Eastern Fujian (Fuzhou and Ningde), Matsu; parts of Taishun and Cangnan, Wenzhou, Zhejiang
Native speakers
9.5 million (2007)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 cdo
Glottolog mind1253[2]
Min Dong (violet)
Fuzhou, the center for the Eastern Min dialect group

Eastern Min, or Min Dong (simplified Chinese: ; traditional Chinese: 閩東語; pinyin: Mǐndōngyǔ; Foochow Romanized: Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄), is a branch of the Min group of varieties of Chinese. The prestige form and most-cited representative variety is the Fuzhou dialect, the speech of the capital and largest city of Fujian province.[3]

Geographic distribution[edit]


Eastern Min varieties are mainly spoken in the eastern part of Fujian Province in People's Republic of China, in and near the cities of Fuzhou and Ningde. They are also widely encountered as the mother tongue on the Matsu Islands, Republic of China. Additionally, the inhabitants of Taishun and Cangnan to the north of Fujian in Zhejiang also speak Eastern Min varieties. Eastern Min generally coexists with the official standard Mandarin in all these areas.


As the coastal area of Fujian has been the historical homeland of a large worldwide diaspora of overseas Chinese, varieties of Eastern Min can also be found across the world, especially in their respective Chinatowns. Cities with high concentrations of such immigrants include New York City,[4] especially Little Fuzhou, Manhattan; Sunset Park, Brooklyn; and Flushing, Queens.


They are also found in various Chinatown communities in Europe, including London, Paris, and Prato in Italy.[5]

East Asia[edit]

Chinese communities within Ikebukuro in Tokyo, Japan[6] as well as Sibu, Sarawak, Malaysia have significant populations of Eastern Min speakers. Fuzhou communities can also be found in Sitiawan, Perak and Yong Peng, Johor in West Malaysia.


Branches and influences[edit]

The Eastern Min group is conventionally divided into three branches:[7]

  1. Houguan dialect subgroup (侯官片), including the Fuzhou dialect, Fuqing dialect, Lianjiang dialect and the dialect of the Matsu Islands.
  2. Funing dialect subgroup (福寧片), including the Ningde dialect and the Fu'an dialect.
  3. Mango dialect (蠻講), spoken in parts of Taishun and Cangnan, Wenzhou, Zhejiang.


  1. ^ Mikael Parkvall, "Världens 100 största språk 2007" (The World's 100 Largest Languages in 2007), in Nationalencyklopedin
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Min Dong Chinese". Glottolog. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  3. ^ 李如龙 Li Rulong (1994). 福州方言词典 Fuzhou Fangyan Cidian (Rev. 1st ed.). Fuzhou: 福建人民出版社 Fujian Renmin Chubanshe. p. 1. ISBN 7211023546. 
  4. ^ Guest, Kenneth J. (2003). God in Chinatown: Religion and Survival in New York's Evolving Immigrant Community ([Online-Ausg.]. ed.). New York: New York University Press. p. 48. ISBN 0814731546. 
  5. ^ Pieke, Frank. "Research Briefing 4: Transnational Communities" (PDF). Transnational Communities Programme, Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Oxford. Retrieved 2 March 2015. 
  6. ^ Wong, ed. by Bernard P.; Chee-Beng, Tan (2013). Chinatowns around the world gilded ghetto, ethnopolis, and cultural diaspora. Leiden [etc.]: Brill. p. 251. ISBN 9004255907. 
  7. ^ Kurpaska, Maria (2010). Chinese language(s) : a look through the prism of the great dictionary of modern Chinese dialects ([Online-Ausg.]. ed.). Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton. p. 71. ISBN 9783110219142. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Norman, Jerry (1977–1978). "A preliminary report on the dialects of Mintung". Monumenta Serica 33: 326–348. JSTOR 40726246. 
  • Yan, Margaret Mian (2006). Introduction to Chinese Dialectology. LINCOM Europa. ISBN 978-3-89586-629-6.