China and Taiwan
Southern Min dialects are spoken in the southern part of
Fujian, three southeastern counties of
Zhoushan archipelago off
Zhejiang, and the
Chaoshan (Teo-swa) region in
Guangdong. The variant spoken in
Leizhou, Guangdong as well as
Hainanese and is not mutually intelligible with other Southern Min or Teochew. Hainanese is classified in some schemes as part of Southern Min and in other schemes as separate.
Puxian Min was originally based on the
Quanzhou dialect, but over time became heavily influenced by
Eastern Min, eventually losing intellegility 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.
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
Indonesia (the former
Dutch East Indies) and present-day
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 intellegible 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.
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.