Weitou dialect

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Weitou dialect
Native toSouthern China
Language codes
ISO 639-3
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For a guide to IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.

Weitou dialect (simplified Chinese: 围头话; traditional Chinese: 圍頭話; literally: 'walled (village) language'; Jyutping: Waitau Waa) is a dialect of Yue Chinese. It forms part of the Guan-Bao (莞宝片, Dongguan-Bao'an) branch of Yuehai, sometimes called Cantonese. It is spoken by older generations in Luohu and Futian Districts in Shenzhen, and by those in the New Territories, Hong Kong.

The Weitou dialect can be heard in Hong Kong TV dramas and movies, and is usually used to depict characters who come from walled villages. For example, in the 1992 movie Now You See Love, Now You Don't《我爱扭纹柴》, the chief character, played by Chow Yun-fat who himself grown up in Lamma Island, consistently speaks the Weitou dialect.

In a more general sense, Weitou Hua can refer to any variety of Chinese spoken in the villages of Hong Kong, including Hakka and rural Yue dialects. In contrast, the majority of Hong Kong residents speak standard Cantonese, while the majority of Shenzhen residents speak Mandarin.


Zhang & Zhuang (2003:21-4) records the phonological systems of three varieties of the Weitou dialect spoken in Hong Kong. Following is the one of Fan Tin (蕃田), San Tin (in IPA).

The 21 onsets
p b f w
t d l
tʃʰ ʃ j
k ɡ h
kʷʰ ɡʷ
The 37 rimes
a œ ɔ ɛ i u y
ai ɐi ɵy
au ɐu eu
am ɐm em
æŋ ɐŋ œŋ ɛŋ yœŋ
ap ɐp ep
æk ɐk œk ɛk yœk
m ŋ ɵk ok ek

There are four tone contours, when the "entering tones" (stopped syllables) are ignored:

The 4 tones
tone name contour description
Yin Ping ˨˧ (23) or ˥ (55) low rising or high
Yang Ping ˨˩ (21) low
Shang ˧˥ (35) high rising
Qu ˧ (33) mid


  • (in Chinese) Zhang Shaungqing 張雙慶 & Zhuang Chusheng 莊初昇 (2003). Xianggang xinjie fangyan (香港新界方言 "The Dialects of the New Territories, Hong Kong"). Hong Kong: Commercial Press. ISBN 962-07-1682-5.

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