Southern Min

Southern Min
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 Southern 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.
Ethnicity Hoklo people
Teochew people
Hainanese people
Native speakers
47 million (2007) [1]
Chinese characters; Latin
Official status
Official language in
None; one of the statutory languages for public transport announcements in Taiwan [2]
Regulated by None ( The Republic of China Ministry of Education and some NGOs are influential in Taiwan)
Language codes
ISO 639-3 nan
Glottolog minn1241 [3]
Linguasphere 79-AAA-j
Min dialect map.svg
  Southern Min
Subgroups of Southern Min
Chinese name
Simplified Chinese 闽南语
Traditional Chinese 閩南語
Literal meaning "Language of Southern Min [Fujian]"
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.

Southern Min, or Minnan ( simplified Chinese: 闽南语; traditional Chinese: 閩南語), is a branch of Min Chinese spoken in certain parts of China including southern Fujian (the Minnan region), eastern Guangdong, Hainan, and southern Zhejiang, and in Taiwan. [4] The Minnan dialects are also spoken by descendants of emigrants from these areas in diaspora, most notably the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. Southern Min is the most widely distributed and the most influential of all Min varieties.

The Quanzhang (泉漳) variety ( HokkienTaiwanese), otherwise known as the speech of Southern Fujian region, where it has traditionally been the linguistic center of Southern Min language, is the most prevalent and the representative variety in the Southern Min cultural sphere. Therefore, the Quanzhang (泉漳) variety ( HokkienTaiwanese) is considered the mainstream variety of Southern Min language.

In common parlance and in the narrower sense, Southern Min refers to the Quanzhang variety of Southern Min spoken mainly in Southern Fujian in Mainland China, 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). The standard form of Minnan Proper is based on Amoy dialect spoken in the city of Xiamen and Taiwanese dialect spoken around the cities of Tainan, Kaohsiung and Taitung in Taiwan. Both standard forms of Minnan Proper are a combination of Quanzhou and Zhangzhou speeches.

In the wider scope, Southern Min also includes other Min Chinese variants that are related to Minnan proper (Quanzhang). Southern Min variants include Teochew, Longyan Min, Zhenan Min, Zhongshan Min, Qiong-Lei (Leizhou dialect and Hainanese).

Southern Min variants such as Teochew, Longyan and Zhenan have limited mutual intelligibility with Quanzhang varieties.

Southern Min variants such as Datian, Zhongshan and Qiong- Lei are significantly divergent from Quanzhang varieties, thus have little mutual intelligibility with Minnan Proper. Linguists tend to classify them under separate Min languages.

Southern Min is not mutually intelligible with Eastern Min, Pu-Xian Min, any other Min branch, Hakka, Cantonese, Shanghainese or Mandarin.

Geographic distribution

China and Taiwan

Southern Min dialects are spoken in the southern part of Fujian, three southeastern counties of Zhejiang, the Zhoushan archipelago off Ningbo in Zhejiang, and the Chaoshan (Teo-swa) region in Guangdong. The variant spoken in Leizhou, Guangdong as well as Hainan is Hainanese and is not mutually intelligible with mainstream Southern Min or Teochew.[ citation needed] Hainanese is classified in some schemes as part of Southern Min and in other schemes as separate.[ example needed][ citation needed] Puxian Min was originally based on the Quanzhou dialect, but over time became heavily influenced by Eastern Min, eventually losing intelligibility with Minnan.

A forms of Southern Min spoken in Taiwan, collectively known as Taiwanese, Southern Min is a first language for most of the Hoklo people, the main ethnicity of Taiwan. The correspondence between language and ethnicity is not absolute, as some Hoklo have very limited proficiency in Southern Min while some non-Hoklo speak Southern Min fluently.[ citation needed]

Southeast Asia

There are many Southern Min speakers also among Overseas Chinese in Southeast Asia. Many ethnic Chinese immigrants to the region were Hoklo from southern Fujian and brought the language to what is now Burma, Indonesia (the former Dutch East Indies) and present-day Malaysia and Singapore (formerly British Malaya and the Straits Settlements). In general, Southern Min from southern Fujian is known as Hokkien, Hokkienese, Fukien or Fookien in Southeast Asia and is mostly mutually intelligible with Hokkien spoken elsewhere. Many Southeast Asian ethnic Chinese also originated in the Chaoshan region of Guangdong and speak Teochew language, the variant of Southern Min from that region. Philippine Hokkien is reportedly the native language of up to 98.5% of the Chinese Filipino community in the Philippines, among whom it is also known as Lan-nang or Lán-lâng-oē ("our people’s language"), although Hoklo people consist of only around 60% of the Chinese Filipino population.[ citation needed][ dubious ]

Southern Min speakers form the majority of Chinese in Singapore, with the largest group being Hokkien and the second largest being Teochew. Despite the similarities the two groups are rarely seen as part of the same "Minnan" Chinese subgroups.

Other Languages
አማርኛ: ደቡብ ሚንኛ
العربية: مين نان
Bân-lâm-gú: Bân-lâm-gú
brezhoneg: Mineg ar su
català: Min nan
dansk: Minnan
Deutsch: Min Nan
español: Chino min nan
Esperanto: Minnana lingvo
فارسی: مین نان
français: Minnan
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Mén-nàm-ngî
한국어: 민난어
Bahasa Indonesia: Bahasa Min Selatan
italiano: Lingua min nan
Kapampangan: Min Nan
Kiswahili: Kimin-Nan
مازِرونی: مین نان
Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄: Mìng-nàng-ngṳ̄
Nederlands: Minnanyu
日本語: ビン南語
norsk: Minnan
norsk nynorsk: Sør-min
پنجابی: من نان
português: Min Nan
Simple English: Min Nan
suomi: Minnan
svenska: Minnan
Tagalog: Min Nan
Türkçe: Güney Min
اردو: من نان
Vahcuengh: Vahminjnanz
Tiếng Việt: Tiếng Mân Nam
文言: 閩南語
吴语: 闽南语
粵語: 閩南話
中文: 闽南语