|閩南語 / 闽南语|
河洛話 / 福老話
Hō-ló-oē / Hô-ló-uē
Koa-a books, Minnan written in Chinese characters
|Native to||China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar and other areas of Southern Min and Hoklo settlement|
|Region||Fujian province; the Chaozhou-Shantou (Chaoshan) area and Leizhou Peninsula in Guangdong province; extreme south of Zhejiang province; much of Hainan province (if Hainanese or Qiongwen is included); and most of Taiwan.|
|47 million (2007)|
|Chinese characters; Latin|
Official language in
|None; one of the statutory languages for public transport announcements in Taiwan|
|Regulated by||None (The Republic of China Ministry of Education and some NGOs are influential in Taiwan)|
Subgroups of Southern Min in China
|Literal meaning||"Language of Southern Min [Fujian]"|
Southern Min, or Minnan (simplified Chinese: 闽南语; traditional Chinese: 閩南語), is a branch of Min Chinese spoken in Taiwan and in certain parts of China including Fujian (especially the Minnan region), eastern Guangdong, Hainan, and southern Zhejiang. The Minnan dialects are also spoken by descendants of emigrants from these areas in diaspora, most notably the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. It is the largest Min Chinese branch and the most widely distributed Min Chinese subgroup.
In common parlance and in the narrower sense, Southern Min refers to the Quanzhang or Hokkien-Taiwanese variety of Southern Min originating from Southern Fujian in Mainland China. It is spoken mainly in Fujian, Taiwan, as well as certain parts of Southeast Asia. The Quanzhang variety is often called simply "Minnan Proper" (simplified Chinese: 闽南语; traditional Chinese: 閩南語). It is considered the mainstream form of Southern Min.
In the wider scope, Southern Min also includes other Min Chinese varieties that are linguistically related to Minnan proper (Quanzhang). Most variants of Southern Min have significant differences from the Quanzhang variety, some having limited mutual intelligibility with it, others almost none. Teochew, Longyan, and Zhenan may be said to have limited mutual intelligibility with Minnan Proper, sharing similar phonology and vocabulary to a small extent. On the other hand, variants such as Datian, Zhongshan, and Qiong-Lei have historical linguistic roots with Minnan Proper, but are significantly divergent from it in terms of phonology and vocabulary, and thus have almost no mutual intelligibility with the Quanzhang variety. Linguists tend to classify them as separate Min languages.
Southern Min is not mutually intelligible with other branches of Min Chinese nor other varieties of Chinese, such as Mandarin.