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zh-cn:闽南语 zh-tw:閩南語

Min-nan (閩南(語); native name Bân-lâm(-gú); (sometimes Hokkien or Hok-kiÓn especially in Southeast Asia) literally means "Southern Min" or "Southern Fujian" and refers to the local language/dialect of southern Fujian province, China.

Northern and Southern Min can be grouped together as Min. Both are often classfied as dialects of the Chinese language (itself part of the Sino-Tibetan language family). However, Min-nan, Northern Min and Mandarin (the Chinese official dialect) are not mutually intelligible.

Min-nan is spoken in the southern part of the southeastern Chinese of Fujian as well as by migrants from this province in Taiwan, Guangdong (around Chaozhou-Swatou, and Leizhou peninsula), Hainan, two counties in southern Zhejiang and Zhoushan archipelago offshore Ningbo. There are many Min-nan speakers also among overseas Chinese in Southeast Asia. In Taiwan, it also has the native name of Hō-lˇ-oē.

Table of contents
1 Classification
2 Tones
3 Miscellanea
4 External links


There are three main dialects of Min-nan in southern Fujian, corresponding to the areas of:

As Amoy is the principal city of southern Fujian, its dialect is the most important variant. Outside Fujian, the following major variants of Min-nan can be found:

The variant(s) spoken in Taiwan, though similar to the three southern Fujian variants, are collectively known as Taiwanese. See Taiwanese language for a more extensive description.


Min-nan retains seven of the eight Middle Chinese toness, namely:

  1. 陰平 Yin-ping (44)
  2. 上聲 Shang-sheng (51)
  3. 陰去 Yin-qu (31)
  4. 陰入 Yin-ru (3)
  5. 陽平 Yang-ping (24)
  6. 陽去 Yang-qu (33)
  7. 陽入 Yang-ru (5)

The numbers given are tone contours where 1 is the lowest and 5 is highest. Unlike some Chinese languages, such as Cantonese, all tones in Min-nan are subject to tone sandhi, that is a given character's tone changes when it appears in front of another character.


The language is registered per RFC 3066 as zh-min-nan [1].

See also:

External links