Talk:Southern Min
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Talk:Southern Min
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The name "Min Nan"

I don't like Min Nan or Min-nan. I think under (mainland Chinese) pinyin spacing conventions Minnan is the most appropriate, although I could put up with Min-nan as that suits the Taiwanese. But I have never seen Min Nan used, and I think it's ugly. Andrew Yong 22:48, 8 Jun 2004 (UTC)

See MediaWiki talk:Chinese language. -- ran 23:18, Jun 8, 2004 (UTC)

Isn't Min Nan foremost the name of a region, synonomous with "Southern Min"? A-giau 13:05, 10 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Min Nan (or Minnan or Min-nan) is the accepted translation for 閩南話. Similarly we use Wu for 吳語, Xiang for 湘語, etc. -- ran 13:27, Aug 10, 2004 (UTC)
The question is whether it is also the accepted name of a cultural/linguistic region in Fujian, i.e. Xiamen, Quanzhou, Zhangzhou, to name a few of the cities. See minnan:Bân-lâm for native usage (referring to the region, not language). A-giau 20:55, 3 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Well, that I don't know — isn't it just short for "South Fujian"? If it also refers to a cultural concept, then feel free to move Min Nan to Minnan (linguistics). -- [[User:Ran|ran (talk)]] 20:30, Sep 4, 2004 (UTC)

I suggest that instead of using "Minnan" or "Min Nan", we call it "Banlamgu/Banlamgi" to reflect how native speakers of this language would pronounce it in this language. Many languages in the world are named in English in this way. "Minnan" or "Min nan" is the pronunciation of Mandarin, not that of the language itself. Daamoy (talk) 03:35, 11 January 2015 (UTC)


Is Min Nan intelligible w/ Cantonese? It should be indicated, for comparison, whether it is or is not. Thanks! ~ 07:26, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)

No, they generally aren't mutually intelligible. --Beirne 10:55, Apr 26, 2005 (UTC)

I disagree with that, there is some level of mutual intelligibility. There are some words that sound the similar because they are all have been sinicised throughout history. But they are generally very different.--Visik 05:28, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

Please read the article mutual intelligibility, if you have not already done so. The situation that you have described is true for many languages that are not mutually intelligible (ex. Spanish and French), which renders your argument not particularly useful from a linguistics point of view. In short, it is too vague a statement to say that language A has some level of mutual intelligibility with language B. Here is a scenario that may help in determining mutual intelligibility between Cantonese and Min Nan (presumably, referring to Amoy Min Nan):
  1. A Cantonese speaker with no knowledge of Min Nan.
  2. A Min Nan speaker with no knowledge of Cantonese.
  3. The Cantonese speaker is speaking to the Min Nan speaker in Cantonese
  4. The Min Nan speaker is speaking to the Cantonese speaker in Min Nan
If under the above conditions:
  1. The Cantonese speaker does not need to simplify or alter his speech or writing (i.e. the writing reflects spoken Cantonese, not Mandarin), and still be fully understood by the Min Nan speaker (even for advanced levels of discourse).
  2. The Min Nan speaker does not need to simplify or alter his speech or writing (i.e. the writing reflects spoken Min Nan, not Mandarin), and still be fully understood by the Cantonese speaker (even for advanced levels of discourse).
If the above two were true, then Cantonese and Min Nan could be said to be mutually intelligible. Otherwise, the languages are part of a dialect continuum, hence the numerous cognate words. British English and American English are mutually intelligible. Taiwanese and Amoy are mutually intelligible. However, by the above criteria, Cantonese and Min Nan are not mutually intelligible. -- A-cai 05:59, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
Wow, forget about this a long time ago. Just checking the minnan article and remembered I forgotten about this. A-Cai I can see where you are coming from. I read the mutually intelligible and the Dialect continuum. Min-nan (referring to Quanzhou and Xiamen variants) and Cantonese definitely fits the mutually intelligible in some respect. As you see from the article, it has listed european countries such as Croatian: Bosnian, Montenegrin, and Serbian. Cantonese and Hokkien came from the same root such as from the qin dynasty. File:Chinese_language_tree.png. It diverge and now the written form is mutually intelligble. I can see you come from a Minnan background. If you take the word for time . In cantonese it is si gan and in minnan its also si gan. You can't deny there are no cognate words in both these variants of Chinese. The article on dialect continumm is not really useful in verification of this as the article only refers to European languages and the only Chinese section requires expansion. But I do agree the variety spoken in Fujian is more diversified as it is more mountainous and isolated from other areas which have a free flowing population.Visik (talk) 10:47, 21 June 2010 (UTC)

15:33 -- 28 October 2005(AEST) Intelligibility is a question both of degree and of the amount of contextual information available. Under conditions where contextual information is available and relatively unambiguous (e.g. in a simple act of buying and selling a souvenir item), it is possible for speakers of the two dialects to understand each other. This applies to other pairs of dialects and potentially languages. --The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk o contribs) 06:38, October 28, 2005 (UTC)

  The above comment is nonsense and should be deleted, for in the simple act of 
  buying and selling a souvenir item, even speakers of English and and speakers of
  Mandarin are possible to understand each other.
  Minnan is mutually unintelligible with Cantonese and Mandarin, period. --
  --Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk o contribs) 

The intelligibility among different divisions of Min Nan (e.g. Amoy, Teochiu, Zhanjiang, Haifeng/Lufeng) should better be elaborated in the article. :-) — Instantnood 20:26, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

I have added an intelligibility section. -- A-cai 12:42, 27 March 2007 (UTC)


Tones of ChaoZhou differs very much from other Min Nan. see: Teochew_dialect --The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk o contribs) 08:31, August 16, 2005 (UTC)

Cellophane noodles question

Hello, there's some controversy about the origin of the name saifun to refer to cellophane noodles. It was earlier thought that this was a Japanese name (i.e. harusame saifun) but it now seems it might be related to the Mandarin "fen si." Is it possible that "saifun" is a Min Nan pronunciation? It doesn't seem to be Cantonese. Thank you, Badagnani 05:13, 19 September 2006 (UTC)


Someone just added "(Hokkien)" after the name of the language in the box up top. But if Chaozhou is a dialect of Min Nan and there are many variants and dialects, is it proper to put "Hokkien" (one particular form) as the alternate name of the language? I don't think that's correct. Badagnani 00:06, 30 September 2006 (UTC)

Actually "Hokkien" is the more proper name for this language, or dialect if that is what you prefer. "Hokkien" is a Min nan word that has been in use for hundreds of years by native speakers in Southern Fujian, the motherland of Min nan, and by vast number of emigrants therefrom. "Min nan" is a relatively new Mandarin word coined by the ruling class Mandarin officials around fifty years ago. ----Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk o contribs)

Hokkien is a term used by Malaysians, Singaporeans and Indonesians to describe Minnan. It is not used elsewhere. People in Taiwan use "Taiwanese" to describe their own variation of Min-nan. The proper name should always be Min-nan hua. Hokkien is the min-nan word for Fujian. This connotation is incorrect if it is only used to describe Min-nan because there is also Minbei (Hokchiu).--Visik 05:25, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

"Min-nan hua" is the official "mandarin" name; so it is no really correct neither. IMO, the tongue itself doesn't have a local formal name, as they simply call it by their location! eg. taiwan call it "taiwan tongue", whereas fujian and overseas call it "fujian tongue"... XP Akinkhoo 13:55, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

btw, anyone know why they call the common chinese, "Tang's Man Tongue" why not Han? or were we still independence back then? O_o Akinkhoo 13:55, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

The following discussion is an archived debate of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the debate was no move. -- tariqabjotu 22:40, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

Requested move

Min Nan -> Minnan and:

Correct pinyin spelling rules (cf. Jiangnan, Shanbei, Nanzhong, and half the provinces in China). Use of pinyin per WP:MOS-ZH --  AjaxSmack  08:04, 18 November 2006 (UTC)


Add "* Support" or "* Oppose" followed by a brief explanation, then sign your opinion with ~~~~

  • Support as nominator. --  AjaxSmack  08:04, 18 November 2006 (UTC)
  • opppose Min Dong -> Mindong it should be Mindong (language). 01:49, 25 November 2006 (UTC)
    • Comment - I believe the convention for languages would indicate Mindong language, not Mindong (language). Mike Dillon 01:53, 25 November 2006 (UTC)
      • I think Min Nan definitely needs changing, but I'd also like to see more different points of view before I vote. I think either Minnan language or southern Min language sounds fine to me. Shingrila 14:45, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
  • Comment - I'd like to see more input from bilingual Minnan-speaking Wikipedians about this first. Min Nan does seem to be a widely used spelling and I wonder why the article was created with this name in the first place. We don't always use the pinyin if there is a better known or more widely used English spelling. Badagnani 07:59, 26 November 2006 (UTC)
Justification and motivation are correct pinyin usage. The basics of pinyin rules on word formation can be found at Pinyin#Capitalization_.26_formation and more details are in the ABC Chinese-English Dictionary by John DeFrancis and similar books. In Chinese, by covers this. As seen in the examples above, all other geographical terms follow the one word format (e.g., Beijing, not Bei Jing, Jiangnan, not Jiang Nan). The Chinese government's official English website uses Minbei and Minnan (here). I am interested in justication and motivation for opposition to the move. --  AjaxSmack  07:50, 26 November 2006 (UTC)


Add any additional comments

    1. If Min Nan were truly based on Pinyin spelling, I might agree with the above logic (that it should be Minnan instead of Min Nan). However, we cannot be definitive on that point. Min Nan might also be based on Wade-Giles or Yale, in which case Pinyin spelling rules would not necessarily apply.
    2. If we really want to change it, which means changing a lot of entries on Wiktionary, why not change it to Southern Min (Min Nan), Eastern Min (Min Dong) etc? It seems to me, that this would be more helpful to an English speaking audience.

A-cai 08:57, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

  • Comment - Isn't the argument that the spelling "Minnan" (not "Min Nan") is the one based on pinyin? I'm confused. Badagnani 09:03, 26 November 2006 (UTC)
  • Comment - Oh, when you say "If Min Nan were truly based on Pinyin spelling," you mean "If the POJ romanization used to render Min Nan text," not the word Min Nan. Good point. So, in the POJ romanization, how is the word Min Nan spelled? Badagnani 09:15, 26 November 2006 (UTC)
"...Why not change it to Southern Min", etc. That is certainly a possibility. However, "Southern Min" in English carries the implicit meaning of "Southern form of the Min language," something not (necessarily) meant by (M?nnány?) which is more correctly "the speech of Southern Fujian" (Min being an abbreviation for Fujian rather than a language name).
M?nnány? is Bân-lâm-gú, Bân-lâm-gí, Bân-lâm-?e, H?-ló-?e or Hok-kiàn-?e in Minnan but none of these is widely used in English and use of them carries some political baggage.
If the Min language articles were based on Wade-Giles, the current titles would be Min-nan, Min-tung, Min-pei, and Min-chung which is not the case. --  AjaxSmack  10:30, 26 November 2006 (UTC)
Comment - I don't quite understand how "southern form of the Min language" is inappropriate. The nan of Minnan certainly refers to the geographical relationship/location with reference to other Min languages, and the Minnan languages are indeed spoken in the south (compared with Mindong or Minbei or Minzhong).
Also, Minnan languages are not only spoken in Min (Fujian), but also in Taiwan, Guangdong and Hainan. It does not make much sense to think of Minnan as referring only to the languages of southern Fujian. Min is indeed the abbreviation for the Fujian province; however, if Min in Minnan did mean "the speech of Southern Fujian" (i.e. merely geographical reference instead of linguistic, or a combination of both), the Chaoshan languages would be more correctly called Northeastern Yue languages and Hakka Northern Yue languages, and we would have as many Chinese dialect groups as there are Chinese provinces. Shingrila 15:12, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
You are correct that Min can also be used to refer to Fujian (Hokkien) province. However, it seems that the convention is to not translate the province word when it comes to dialects (see: Xiang). It may also be useful to think of Min as the Min River which divides Fujian province at Fuzhou. In this sense, Minnanyu would be translated as the speech to the south of the Min River (primarily centered around Quanzhou, Xiamen and Zhangzhou). According to this interpretation, it may be easier to understand how Fuzhou speech came to be called Min Dong (the speech at the east end of the Min River). However, I still think Southern Min is best.

A-cai 22:49, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

  • Comment We are talking about the name of the language(s) in English; the ISO standard uses (e.g) "Min Nan". There is an important reason here: Min Nan will be pronounced by a native speaker of English who is unfamiliar with it as ~ "min nan". Minnan will be pronounced ~ "minun" ... the English names used in IS 639 are very well thought out. And I do think it should be called Min Nan and not Southern Min for essentially the same reason that the English name of the capitol of China(PRC) is not "Northern Jing". Robert Ullmann 11:53, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the debate. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Voyager Amoy clip

Dear A-cai,

You provided the POJ for the Voyager Amoy clip as: "?-êng, to?h lâi gún chia ch? ô·!" However, on [[1]], Heruler gives "? êng, tióh lâi gún chia ch?!" Did you mean to use "tioh" instead of "toh"? Tøsia! Oniows 01:04, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

Sorry for not responding sooner, I don't check this page as often as I should. There are some minor spelling and pronunciation differences in the Amoy dialect. This is an example of such a difference. The two words to?h and tio?h actually are the same word, but based on different accents. To the best of my knowledge tio?h is based on the Quanzhou accent, whereas to?h is based on the Zhangzhou accent. In Xiamen, both pronunciations seem to be interchangeable. To me, the voice on the recording is too slurred at that point to say definitively, but it sounds like to?h rather than tio?h to me. The person at the above website does not appear to be overly concerned with absolute faithfulness to the pronunciation on the original recording. For example, he spells chia?h-pá b? (Xiamen accent) as chiáh pá b?e (Zhangzhou accent). It means the same thing, but it is not what the voice on the recording says. The recording clearly says b?, which makes sense, because both gún (we) and b? (question particle) are based on the Xiamen accent. If it were b?e, the person would have more likely pronounced we as góan. However, since Min Nan is not my native language, I would love to hear the opinion of a native speaker (especially someone from the Xiamen area). I hope this response was not too long winded. -- A-cai 13:47, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

Do we need new pages?

I think we should consider reorganizing the pages related to Min Nan. In my opinion, the Min Nan article should describe the Min Nan family of languages:

  1. Amoy (linguistics)
  2. Southern Zhejiang
    • I'm not as familiar with these.
  3. Chaoshan
  4. Hainan

The numbered items each represent mutually unintelligible branches in the Min Nan family tree. The bullets underneath each number represent the various mutually intelligible accents that belong to that branch (not comprehensive). Part of the problem is that Min Nan is colloquially associated with Xiamen speech or Taiwanese (which are mutually intelligible). This is similar to how Chinese is colloquially associated with Standard Mandarin, despite the fact that it really represents a family (ex. Sinitic) of mutually unintelligible families (ex. Min) of mutually unintelligible families (ex. Min Nan) of languages/dialects! I think the articles we have now should stay, but should be more narrowly focused on their topic. For example the Taiwanese article should not spend time on basics common to all Amoy speech forms, such as orthography, tones and grammar (except to the extent that these things vary from Quanzhou, Xiamen, and Zhangzhou speech). To use English as an analogy:

  1. German language
    • whatever
  2. English language

Including the grammar explanations in the Taiwanese article, but not in the Xiamen (linguistics) article (which does not exist), or in the Amoy (linguistics) article, would be akin to including a grammar section in the American English, but not in the British English article (which would not exist in our scenario), or in the English article (which would redirect to Germanic in our scenario). One problem is that we do not have a standard term that everyone can agree upon for the language which is spoken in Quanzhou, Xiamen, Zhangzhou and Taiwan. Min Nan is popularly used, but is also a family of mutually unintelligible languages/dialects. In summary, I think we need separate articles, but I'm not sure what to call them. The following are mutually intelligible: Quanzhou, Xiamen, Zhangzhou, Taiwanese. Each should be treated in a separate article. My vote would be to put most of the basic information about the language (Quanzhou, Xiamen, Zhangzhou, Taiwanese --- not Teochew (dialect), Qiongwen etc.) in a single article (not Min Nan). You could call it Amoy (linguistics). Quanzhou (linguistics), Xiamen (linguistics), Zhangzhou (linguistics), and Taiwanese (linguistics) would only contain information that is unique to those areas. At some point, I would like to work on the above, but am curious if there are any opinions about my proposal. -- A-cai 13:59, 3 April 2007 (UTC)


Xng (talk) 10:41, 18 June 2015 (UTC)

Agree. Your suggestion is logical and has been incorporated in the revised family tree section. Minnan should be seen as mutually unintelligible but related languages which branched off a common root.

This will solve all the previous disputes about Hainanese and include the forgotten Puxian. -- Preceding unsigned comment added by Xng (talk o contribs) 10:39, 18 June 2015 (UTC)

Literary vs. Colloquilal (vernacular) readings

The Amoy (linguistics) article touches on this issue but does not give reasons for literary vs colloquial readings. From [2], "During the South Song dynasty, the officials from the north brought the official language. Anyone studying to take the exam must know the official pronunciation of the Hanzi. Hoklo acquired its literary sublanguage during this time. Unlike earlier, the northern influence was restricted to the literary usage: reading an official document, people's names, reading digits (while counting in colloquial way)." It also says colloquial Amoy is sourced from ancient Han language and coastal aborignal language. I don't have any published sources to back this up, but I think it would be nice to point this out.Oniows 14:40, 7 April 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for your feedback. I agree that the literary/colloquial section of the Amoy article needs fleshing out. First, we need some historical background which explains the phenomenon. Second, we need more examples of how this phenomenon plays out in everyday usage. For the second one, I'm still trying to think about the best approach to this. I'm trying (without much luck so far) to identify discernable rules for when to use which one. So far, I have come up with (loosely):
  • single syllable words -> colloquial (ex. ? miâ name, ?/? o?h to learn, ? t?a big)
  • multi-syllable words -> mostly literary (ex. / bêng-sû noun, / t?i-ha?k university)
The problem is that there seem to be a lot of exceptions to the above generality. For example, / goes by the colloquial reading in some places (t?a-o?h), or even a mixture of the two (t?a-ha?k). It would be good if we could find some academic research about this. My gut feeling is that it's not so much about precise rules as it is about how the word came into the language and the relative lack of standards organizations compared to languages like English. Of course, English has a lot of standards organizations, and it still has its inconsistencies :) -- A-cai 09:40, 8 April 2007 (UTC)

Mutual intelligibility (again)

This seems to be getting unnecessarily heated. The question is, does mutual intelligibility mean actually sitting down and trying to speak together, or sitting down and comparing words and phrases (You say "ni hao"? I say "Nei ho"! That's similar)? And how fast would each participant in the conversation be speaking. I have witnessed Mandarin speakers trying to understand rapid-fire restaurant Cantonese, for example, and not understanding anything at all. So it would depend on the circumstances, and the above variables. Let's have discussion rather than heated revert wars. Badagnani 05:00, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

I agree, but let's also stop with the anecdotes and quote credible sources. No one on wiki should be citing their own supposed expertise in a language as the sole support for their position. If the person who deleted my cite would have replaced it with a credible cite, I would not have objected. If I did object to the new cite, it would be my task to find a better cite which supports my position.
Now, to specifically answer your question; Please read the mutual intelligibility article. Also, the cite that I listed is quite detailed with respect to what is meant by mutual intelligibility. Simply put, if a language is 50% mutually intelligible with another language, the speakers of those two languages are unlikely to be able to communicate with each other in any meaningful way. So, the two arguments are not contradictory. Perhaps, a person reading the 50% stat might mistakenly assume that the two speakers can understand each other half of the time, but that is not what the cited article is suggesting. Again, read the cited web article in full, and see if you still disagree. -- A-cai 20:06, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

I did ask whether the hypothetical individuals conversing would be speaking at their normal speed, or would they be slowing down, repeating words, rephrasing unclear phrases, etc.? These are important questions that you should address, because this lack of background is at the very root of why the cited figure is being disputed. Badagnani 20:15, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

Let me reiterate, I'm not disputing Edmundkh's claim that a Mandarin speaker and a Min Nan speaker cannot communicate in any meaningful way. I'm saying that the only way to move past this is to cite a credible source. Removing a source, and replacing it with personal opinion is counter-productive. I will grant that the stats are potentially misleading. But that means we should replace it with a better cite (or a better explanation of the stats). I like the cited article because it gives hard numbers, and tells you specifically what it is measuring. However, this might be confusing to some. Read the following, and see if you like it any better:
What do you think? -- A-cai 20:27, 10 June 2007 (UTC)
P.S. Let's put this into perspective: German and English are 60% mutually intelligble, according to the article. Therefore, 50% mutual intelligibility between Min Nan and Mandarin means that these two languages have less in common with each other than English and German. -- A-cai 20:30, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

So you're not saying Mandarin and Min Nan are mutually intelligible but that they have about 40 percent of words that are cognate (i.e. identical or nearly identical)? That's a big difference, because I think when the general reader reads "42 percent mutually intelligible" (or whatever the figure was), they'd think that if a Mandarin speaker and a Min Nan speaker sat down to converse, they could get 42 percent of the meaning, when speaking at their normal speed. Badagnani 20:32, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

English is a Germanic language, but when watching German films I can catch only a few words like "Mutter," "Vater," "Hund," "Sprach," "Achtung," etc. Not much more. Yes, this is anecdotal but still a part of understanding what is meant by "mutually intelligible." Badagnani 20:33, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

Yes, now we're seeing eye to eye. That was what I was trying to say before. 50% mutual intelligibility does not mean that speakers of two languages can understand each other half the time. Perhaps, the article is not clear in qualifying the statement. The problem is that we really need Edmundkh to weigh in on this since he was the one who originally objected to the wording. I have already posted a message to his talk page, inviting him to participate in this discussion. -- A-cai 20:38, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

If the figure references the percent of cognate/nearly identical words, then a quick sentence or footnote pointing this out would solve the whole problem. I'm glad the discussion page has fulfilled its purpose: discussion leading to understanding and clarity. I've just been doing some reading in the field of intercultural communication and find that there's a lot of great work being done in this area. Badagnani 20:41, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

While we're waiting for Edmundkh's input, here is another way to approach it. The 50.4% mutual intelligibility stat is based on two separate stats. The first is a phonological comparison between Mandarin and Amoy Min Nan (62% similar[3]). The second is a lexical comparison between Mandarin and Amoy Min Nan (15.1% similar[4]). -- A-cai 20:49, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

Does this take differences in tones into account? I think that even nearly identical phonetic phrases or sentences between northern and southern dialects can be misunderstood (or not understood at all) due to differences in tone, intonation, inflection, accent, etc. Badagnani 20:55, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

According to the article:
Measures the distance of mutual phonological intelligibility between these Minnan dialects: Xiamen, Chaozhou. This measurement takes into account differences in initials, finals, and tones.[5]
So yes, tones appear to be factored into the comparison. -- A-cai 20:58, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

Hi, I'm here! Sorry for being late because I'm quite busy in the Malay Wikipedia and my personal life. It's a good practise to cite a source, but I suspect that the author of that website mistaken "lexical similarity" as "mutual intelligibility". A-cai said that English and German are 60% mutually intelligible. But again, I think you must have mistaken "lexical similarity" and "mutual intelligibility". You can read in the article of LS that:

English was evaluated to have a lexical similarity of 60% with German

while in the article of MI, it is stated:

In linguistics, mutual intelligibility is a property exhibited by a set of languages when
speakers of any one of them can readily understand all the others without intentional study or
extraordinary effort. 

These sentences may be edited by someone else anytime, as I've just copied from the articles in Wikipedia. I know that resource articles are not suitable to be cited, but I think these are good enough to be shown here.

Even though English and German share about 60% of the same or similar vocalbularies, yet I as an English speaker cannot understand German, and I'll have to learn it. Mandarin and Min Nan may even share a high percentage of words, but the pronunciation differences are so many, that I can only catch a few words when my mother talks in Min Nan to my aunt and my father's friend of Min Nan ancestry. And besides that, my mother told me that learning Min Nan is easy for a Teochew speaker like her, but harder for the reverse. So I totally agree with the mutual intelligibility between Teochew and Hokkien. I always cannot distinguish between them when listening to any of them.

So, what do you people think then?--Edmundkh 17:55, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

Oh yes, no matter what happened, please keep in mind that not all online stuff are true. Some may be giving wrong information, you know. Don't believe everything on the net. Those who know nothing may be cheated after reading the articles in Uncyclopedia. --Edmundkh 17:59, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

I'm trying to understand what you are saying. Do you disagree with the information from If so, I'm a little confused. The website actually supports your contention that Mandarin speakers cannot understand Min Nan speakers. I agree that not all online stuff is true, which is why seems like a good cite (I admit that I have not personally checked the references cited at, but they do appear to be rather extensive). Moreover, the information cited at coincides with my personal experience with both Min Nan and Mandarin.
As for your question about Teochew and Amoy Hokkien, I speak Amoy, but find Teochew almost incomprehensible. They do share more in common from a lexical stand point, than Mandarin and Amoy, but the pronunciation is considerably different between Teochew and Amoy. Take a look at Sino-Tibetan Swadesh lists, this will give you a good starting point to compare the two languages. -- A-cai 23:45, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

I am only disagreeing that Mandarin is mutually intelligible with Min Nan. First of all, you have to understand clearly what is mutual intelligibility. It is said to mean the speaker of one language doesn't really have to study the other one in order to understand it. I really wonder why does that site said that Mandarin ang Min Nan have 46.1& of MI. As I said, probably it was supposed to mean lexical similarity. Besides that, why did you said that English and German are 60% MI?

And for Teochew vs Amoy, sorry I've never have anyone around me speaking Amoy. I only have my father speaking Pou Sen (Hin Hua) but a seriously polluted one, polluted by Mandarin, Cantonese and Malay. He used to speak to my grandma who is his mother. And I have also my mom who speaks Teochew to her own family members (eg her mother, sisters, brothers...). My mom also speaks the Min Nan which my father call that "standard Hokkien" to an aunt of mine who is a Hokkien, and also a friend of my father who is also a Hokkien. If I've not mistaken, he is of Anxi ancestry I think... I cannot understand anyone stated in this paragraph. But for my dad, he said that with his knowledge of HinHua, he can also understand "standard Hokkien", Teochew and Fuzhou. --Edmundkh 09:25, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

Your father's use of the term "standard Hokkien" most likely refers to Amoy Hokkien, which is what I am calling Amoy. It is considered by many to be the de facto standard for Min Nan. -- A-cai 13:56, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

I quite agree if you said that you cannot understand Teochew, as I found that for "huang" in Mandarin (yellow), it's "ng" in Hokkien while it's "Ooi" in Amoy and Changchiew. --Edmundkh 09:27, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

Aren't all of these (except for Mandarin) varieties of Min Nan? Badagnani 09:32, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
Wait, what is the Changchiew language? We don't have an article for that. Badagnani 09:42, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

Oops, I mean Changchew. It's another dialect of Min Nan, apart from Amoy. Fuzhou is under Min Dong. Pou Sen is directly under Min. --Edmundkh 09:48, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

Thanks, I just made several more redirects for the various spellings of Zhangzhou. Badagnani 09:51, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
With respect to the 50%, 60% mutual intelligibility etc., the website ( explains in detail exactly what they mean by "overall mutuall intelligibility" (phonetic and lexical similarities combined). For purposes of clarity, perhaps we should avoid the term "mutual intelligibility" whenever possible. Your comments have proven that the term tends to confuse more often than enlighten. How about if we include a sentence as follows:
  • According to, Mandarin and and Amoy Min Nan are 62% phonetically similar[6] and 15.1% lexically similar[7]. In comparison, German and English are 60% lexically similar[8]
What do you think of the above wording? -- A-cai 15:36, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
That's much clearer. But what is the English-German phonetically similar percentage? Badagnani 16:46, 27 June 2007 (UTC) did not provide that stat. Maybe we can find it somewhere else on the internet. -- A-cai 22:23, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
Good! Use that statement! --Edmundkh 05:44, 28 June 2007 (UTC)
I have incorporated the above wording into a new and (I think) improved paragraph which follows the spirit of this discussion. Please take a look on the main page, and let me know what you think. -- A-cai 13:47, 28 June 2007 (UTC)
Good! I like it! --Edmundkh 08:56, 29 June 2007 (UTC)
With all due respect A-Cai. I know some people who are fluent with Min-nan (Hokkien) and can understand Teochew as they are in fact much closer to each other than Cantonese. Teochew is a variant of Minnan. Obviously, you may not reside in Singapore. But people there who understand Hokkian can probably work out Teochew as I know a few people who can. Now this be said for Hainanese as its probably developed further than its root and also Fuzhou which is isolated from the rest of Fujian province with its own unique brand of Min. Visik (talk) 10:53, 21 June 2010 (UTC)


Why isn't Teochew in the Template:Chinese language? Badagnani 09:56, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

Oh, I see; in the logic of the template it's just considered one of the several languages under the Min Nan heading. I think those could be included somehow, as subheadings, the way we have for some other templates. Badagnani 10:06, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

Such as Template:Ethnic groups in Vietnam, which shows the ethnic groups by language family. Badagnani 10:07, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

Need Hokkien at Pork ball

Need Hokkien name at Pork ball. Badagnani (talk) 04:35, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

Counting Numbers and Tones in Hainanese (Qiongwen)

Hi can someone tell me what 0-10,11,12,20,100,110,1000,10 thousand and the article for two+Noun (eg. 'liang ge' in Mandarin) in the Hainanese dialect is? I am trying to learn Hainanese and I need to pronounce the numbers correctly. Or alternatively someone could just kindly tell me on this discussion page and reply to me with the proper pronunciation of the numbers above. Also, I am confused about the number of tones in Hainanese. I person from a chinese languages forum sent me information stating that Hainanese has 8 tones. But a video teaching Hainanese on Youtube explains there are six tones. Are these just different varieties of Hainanese or what? Can someone tell me the tones of Hainanese, thanks. Vlag (talk) 11:10, 9 March 2008 (UTC)Vlag

Need Min Nan

Need Min Nan spelling (in Chinese characters) and pronunciation of Cellophane noodles in the language box at Cellophane noodles. If there is more than one name, add all of them. Thank you, Badagnani (talk) 18:14, 9 April 2008 (UTC)


Is it possible to get a map of the area(s) that Minnan is spoken? Could this be a standard feature in language articles? It would be a great help to those of us who are geographically challenged. Thank you (talk) 04:33, 7 May 2008 (UTC) Jim Jacobs.


Why was this moved from Min Nan to "Southern Min Language" and where is the discussion and consensus that led to this move? Is "Southern Min Language" more commonly used in English to refer to this language than "Min Nan"? Badagnani (talk) 21:25, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

A response would be greatly appreciated. Badagnani (talk) 00:06, 7 August 2008 (UTC)

Need Min Nan

Need Min Nan name for Cellophane noodles. Badagnani (talk) 00:06, 7 August 2008 (UTC)

Proposal for new Hanji-based Southern Min Wikipedia

Please leave comments at [9]. (talk) 04:54, 11 August 2008 (UTC)

POJ needs to be checked

Can someone check the POJ in the lead of Wu Chuanyu? Badagnani (talk) 21:57, 13 August 2008 (UTC)

"?" is pronounced as "Ngô?" instead of "Gô?" when it is used as a family name. (I'm not very sure) luuva (talk) 05:16, 2 September 2008 (UTC)

OK, so you're sure the name should be changed to Ngô in the lead of the article? Also, what are the tiny dots you're inserting after both romanizations? Badagnani (talk) 05:19, 2 September 2008 (UTC)

I am not very sure, because my Min Nan is just one tone which is spoken in Taiwan. And yes, the tiny dot is a part of the romanization. luuva (talk) 05:23, 2 September 2008 (UTC)
I speak Amoy (Xiamen). "?" is pronounced as "Ngô?" in Amoy. -- Preceding unsigned comment added by Daamoy (talk o contribs) 03:41, 11 January 2015 (UTC)

Well, have you heard of this famous swimmer? If so, how would you read his name in Hokkien/Taiwanese, if you saw the hanzi? Badagnani (talk) 05:24, 2 September 2008 (UTC)

I think I will read it as "Ngô· Thôan Gio?k", just like what you wrote. luuva (talk) 05:44, 2 September 2008 (UTC)

Fantastic--your Hokkien skill enriches English Wikipedia :). Badagnani (talk) 05:45, 2 September 2008 (UTC)

Need POJ

Need POJ reading at Sean Lien. Badagnani (talk) 06:09, 17 August 2008 (UTC)

Naming of Southern Min and its divisions

Shouldn't this article talk of "Southern Min languages" rather a "Southern Min language" as in reality Southern Min can be divided into at least three largely mutually unintelligible languages - 1. Teochew 2. Hainanese 3. Hokkien. I suggest the name Hokkien for the group of mutually intelligible dialects of Amoy, Taiwan, Choan-chiu, and Chang-chiu as this is the only name frequently used in English. It is also a name used by many native speakers (esp. in S.E. Asia) and the language is frequently known by a derived term (Hok-lo/Ho-lo) in Taiwan. There may be some variations in the name for the language amongst native speakers, but "Hokkien" is very much the established term in the English speaking world - "Mandarin" and "Cantonese" are similar examples of established English terms for Chinese languages. It would probably make sense to create an article for "Hokkien" from which there would be links to Amoy and Taiwanese (and articles for any of its other dialects that may be created). Vox latina (talk) 08:13, 20 August 2008 (UTC)

I note also that in places where speakers of Southern Min from different dialect groups live (e.g. Singapore, Malaysia) "Hokkien" only includes speakers of the dialects of Amoy, Chang-chiu, and Choan-chiu. (Taiwanese is a mix of these dialects) Speakers of Teochew and Hainanese are considered as a seperate groups.

Vox latina (talk) 10:08, 22 August 2008 (UTC)


Yes, you're right. Just like Western Germanic is group of languages rather than a single language. See the revised family tree section. Xng (talk) 10:47, 18 June 2015 (UTC)

Need Min Nan

Need Min Nan name at Dried shrimp. Badagnani (talk) 00:49, 24 September 2008 (UTC)

Need Min Nan

Need Min Nan name in the box at Kowtow. Badagnani (talk) 18:32, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

Need POJ

Need POJ reading at Sean Lien. Badagnani (talk) 20:42, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

Need POJ

Also need POJ for ? and at Guan (instrument). Thank you, Badagnani (talk) 20:42, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

Transliterations box goes on top...

Hello there... I favour putting the transliterations box on top (small, collapsable)... is there any policy that stipulates it should go bellow the non collapsable linguistics box? Gumuhua (talk) 19:20, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

Need Min Nan hanzi

Need Min Nan hanzi at Kaffir lime. Badagnani (talk) 04:16, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

Need POJ

Need POJ for and at Cordia. Badagnani (talk) 10:35, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

Attention to requests on this page

Timely attention to requests for POJ on this page would be greatlly appreciated. Badagnani (talk) 10:35, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

Proposal to recognize all varieties of the Southern Min language

There is currently a request to split Minnan into eight different divisions and assign new ISO 693-3 codes to them.

You can voice your opinion here. --Jose77 (talk) 08:27, 27 January 2009 (UTC)

written language for Minnan

The following statement in the article need some carification. Written: Southern Min dialects lack a standardized written language. Southern Min speakers are taught how to read Standard Mandarin in school. As a result, there has not been an urgent need to develop a writing system.

All Chinese languages share the same writing system, the different is that they pronounce it differently. The fact one can speak the sound and not about to write it does not mean that it has not got a word for it. As mention in the statement, non Madarin speakers learn to read and write Mandarin, yet speak they own languages at home. I was brought up to speak Teochew at home and learn to read and write in Cantonese at school, when I come across many words, I am unable to pronounce it in Teochew and Mandarin. Similarly, when my mother talk to me in Teochew, sometimes I will have difficulty working out what the writing is.

So, the final statement should be, in my opinion: As a result, there is an urgent need to teach children to read and write in their own languages. Tt48 (talk) 02:32, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

I think the intent of the statement was to point out that there is no consistent way to write Min Nan. Some people use Roman script, some use Chinese characters, and some use a combination of both Roman script and Chinese characters (the most common method). Even if one were to write the language completely in Chinese characters, there is no consistent way to do that either. The Taiwanese government has on various occasions proposed a set of standard characters for Min Nan, but lacks the ability to enforce such proposals.
Secondly, the problem with your proposed final sentence is that, assuming by "their own languages" you mean a local dialect, I have not seen credible evidence that there is in fact an urgent need to teach children to read and write in their own dialects. In the case of Min Nan specifically, the evidence that I have seen suggests that younger people are migrating toward speaking, reading and writing Mandarin (to the exclusion of other dialects) in ever increasing numbers.
For the purpose of our discussion, it might be helpful for you to clarify what you mean by "urgent need." In what sense? Economically? Culturally?
P.S. Incidently, Mandarin had suffered the same problem, perhaps to a lesser extent, in the centuries prior to Standardization efforts in the 20th century. Of course, even Mandarin has simplified and traditional characters. Here is an example from Mandarin:
In Modern Mandarin, we would write ??, not ??. Moreover, in simplified Chinese, it would be . -- A-cai (talk) 11:30, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

How to cite?

Hi, I would like to know if I was going to cite this webpage, how should I do so? Thanks. Kuromiwu (talk) 09:18, 17 May 2009 (UTC)kuromiwu

Video for discussion

Arilang talk 12:45, 14 March 2010 (UTC)

Min Nan Phonology: Nasal Finals

At the moment there is a reference to a study that claims that the /n/ final was lost in Min Nan. Of course there are lots of straight counterexamples (e.g. ); so there must be some form of clarification, for example the context of the study (is it only one of the substrata where the loss has taken place, thus excluding loanwords from the ? stratum or perhaps ?). Michael Ly (talk) 19:20, 23 September 2012 (UTC)

Requested move 4 February 2015

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: moved. Number 57 21:58, 17 February 2015 (UTC)

- These mean the same thing as the Chinese names, but are more accessible to an English-speaking readership, consistent with titles like Southwestern Mandarin, and are preferred by most experts writing in English. (If using a search engine, beware that "Minnan" is also common as a name for southern Fujian as a cultural and economic area.) Kanguole 18:23, 4 February 2015 (UTC)

The English forms are used by such experts as:

  • [Jerry Norman (sinologist)|[Jerry Norman]], who has written extensively on Min dialectology
  • Yan, Margaret Mian (2006). Introduction to Chinese Dialectology. LINCOM Europa. ISBN 978-3-89586-629-6.
  • Lien, Chinfa (2015). "Min Languages". The Oxford Handbook of Chinese Linguistics. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-985633-6.
  • Yue, Anne O. (2003). "Chinese dialects: grammar". In Thurgood, Graham; LaPolla, Randy J. (eds.) (eds.). The Sino-Tibetan languages. Routledge. pp. 84-125. ISBN 978-0-7007-1129-1.CS1 maint: extra text: editors list (link)
  • Baxter, William; Sagart, Laurent (2014). Old Chinese: A New Reconstruction. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-994537-5.

On the other hand Ethnologue (and thus ISO 639-3) and Glottolog use the Standard Chinese forms (which are quite different from the names used by speakers of these languages). Kanguole 18:23, 4 February 2015 (UTC)

  • Support, per WP:USEENGLISH. Here's an ngram. NotUnusual (talk) 06:03, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
    To be fair, "Nam" is the Cantonese form corresponding to Mandarin nán ?, Hokkien/Taiwanese lâm. As this ngram shows, there is substantial use of "Minnan", but that's because the word is also a common name for southern Fujian as a cultural and economic region. Kanguole 08:12, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
Sorry to have to note this but required if turns out to be community banned user: SPI on User:NotUnusual In ictu oculi (talk) 23:41, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Support - WP:USEENGLISH. Min Nan, Min Dong, etc. are also potentially ambiguous, as they're often used to refer to geographical regions in Fujian, as Kanguole noted above. -Zanhe (talk) 09:23, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
  • I'm fine with the proposal but prefer the more common Minnan which already directs here. --  AjaxSmack  01:08, 12 February 2015 (UTC)
    I don't think "Minnan" is more common than "Southern Min" as a name of the dialect group in reliable English-language sources. (I've given some of the expert sources that prefer the latter.) Many of the search results for "Minnan" are concerned with a different topic: southern Fujian as an economic/cultural region. Kanguole 02:00, 12 February 2015 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

Family tree

Family tree section created due to disputes about position of Hainanese, Puxian, Teochew, Datian etc.

All these branches can be considered different languages in their own right if we look at Germanic languages grouping. Western Germanic isn't a single language but a group of related but largely mutually unintelligible languages. There are many cognates shared between these languages even though they sound very different.

Read some older disputes here.


Xng (talk) 11:19, 18 June 2015 (UTC)

What is your source for including Puxian in Southen Min? Kanguole 11:21, 18 June 2015 (UTC)


Stop thinking of Southern Min as a single language. There's where all the disputes come about.

1. There are many, many Chinese articles which talked about origin of Puxian as Minnan, search for it. Also go to Puxian Min page.Another reliable source is real-life communication between hing hua people and hokkien people which noted the similarities.

There are also evidences that Chaoshan people came from Putian, so if Chaosan is another Minnan language, why shouldn't its ancestors? It's like saying English is part of Germanic languages but proto-Germanic is not Germanic.

Read origin Teochiu and Puxian in this link

the source is from this book

2. Hailufeng seems like a offshoot of Zhangzhou with high intelligibility with Quanzhang. It should be considered part of Hokkien and not Chaoshan, read below. what do others think?

Xng (talk) 10:30, 19 June 2015 (UTC)

I haven't said anything about Southern Min as a single language.
The reference you give is about history, which would be appropriate for a History section, but to go from there to classification is original research. We need to rely on linguistic sources. In the seminal survey of Pan Maoding and colleagues published in 1963, Min was divided into five groups: Eastern, Puxian, Southern, Central and Northern. This classification was adopted by Yuan Jiahua in his handbook, and was the standard for decades, and still used by some. In the Language Atlas of China, following the classification of Li Rong, Hainan and Leizhou groups were split from Southern Min and a Shaojiang group was added. In the Atlas, Southern Min is divided into three subgroups: Quanzhang (), Datian () and Chaoshan (). Following Pan, they include Zhenan dialect in the Quanzhang subgroup.
The article currently has three sections, "Geographic distribution", "Classification" and "Family tree", with few references, that all cover the same ground in slightly different ways. They need to be combined in a single Classification section and their inconsistencies reconciled, with reference to linguistic sources. At the same time, there is a need for a History section. Kanguole 11:38, 19 June 2015 (UTC)

Didn't you read all the disputes in the past decade? The classification by these linguists assumed that Minnan is a single language which is totally wrong.It's called Minnan language and not Minnan languages. That's why there are disputes of qiong-lei, puxian which were ejected out due to mutual unintelligibility with the minnan language.they weren't ejected out because they didn't have common cognates.

teochiu is as unintelligible as german with english, so we would have somebody eject teochiu out from minnan too? puxîan has influence from mindong and it was ejected out but not zhenan min which also has influence from mindong? how logical is that?

similarly,shaojiang is just a part of minbei language family with influence from gan. it's not a different language grouping, it's a different language than minbei, i agree.

So English should be ejected out of Germanic languages since it has influence from Latin branch? It's neither germanic nor latin in your argument?

Follow what the western linguists do and read the arguments below.


Xng (talk) 13:07, 20 June 2015 (UTC)


If you think that your sources PAN and Atlas are the most 'reliable' , please quote what criteria they used to group the languages ?

Linguists used the following criteria - percentage of lexical similarities - percentage of phonological similarities - % of cognates - ancestral root language

comparison is done with the quan-zhang branch. please do so for puxian, zhenan, chaoshan, qiong-lei, datian etc

If you can't, then your sources are also not reliable as what i read in other sources.

The above criteria determines whether one 'language' is a dialect or a different language. Dialects are like American English and UK English. Different languages are like German and English. To say Chaoshan is a different dialect of minnan is laughable.

I know there are inconsistencies in the sections but that is acceptable whenever there are disputes. You don't agree with what others cited and I don't agree with your citations too.

If you can provide a table of criteria from your sources, then your sources would be more reliable. If not, read more about how western linguists build their tree.

Xng (talk) 14:35, 20 June 2015 (UTC)

It is not appropriate for resource editors to evaluate the work of these experts, or to produce our own classifications. We should use the published classifications, because they are generally followed by other linguists, and because the authors are recognized authorities in the field. These classifications are not based on assuming a single language. In fact they avoid the issue, talking about groups of dialects. Nor are they based on mutual intelligibility, but on shared innovations. Kanguole 14:52, 20 June 2015 (UTC)


You're an extremely stubborn man who don't bother to read what other linguists and other classification said. You don't even know the difference between languages and dialects. I asked you to provide evidence of lexical,phonological differences and none is provided from your so-called 'experts'.Linguists don't based on 'shared innovations' but on the criteria that i gave earlier. Minnan was assumed to be a single language by older linguists, don't go out and cloud the issue by telling lies. Go and read up on chinese version of grouping and how they group European languages which is more logical.Go and listen to the opinions of other readers here again!


I won't bother to argue with you anymore. I will add the citations when I've more time, what makes you think your citations is better than mine? I don't think you know how to read Chinese characters or an expert in Hokkien etc

Xng (talk) 10:08, 23 June 2015 (UTC)


New History section added as many other non-Chinese linguistic pages have a history section.

Bkjalng (talk) 05:14, 28 June 2015 (UTC)


As the article notes, the standard classifications do not include Puxian within Southern Min. The article claims that Western linguists hold a different view, but this does not seem to be the case. Kanguole 13:35, 24 July 2015 (UTC)

Southern Min languages disputes

Months of hard work has been destroyed and vandalised by Kwamikagami (A Japanese) who doesn't know anything about linguistics nor any Southern Min languages proficiently. He couldn't be bothered to read all the sources I quoted.

This Southern Min language page has been reduced to one single branch which is Hokkien or Quanzhang branch. There's no difference between this page and the Hokkien resource page.

We might as well delete this page as it doesn't provide additional information from that page and give wrong relationship between the different branches

These two users (Kanguole and Kwamikagami) don't know the difference between language family, language and dialect. And they don't bother to find out how the western linguists group languages such as North, West Germanic languages etc.

Chaoshan isn't a dialect of Southern Min as many users here have stated. It's a different mutually unintelligible language altogether from Quanzhang which traditionally equates to Minnan. -- Preceding unsigned comment added by Xng (talk o contribs) 12:29, 25 July 2015? (UTC)

Since practically nothing you've said is true, I won't bother debunking it.
If you want to change the classification, provide reliable sources as others have asked you to. Otherwise we will revert whatever you do. -- kwami (talk) 17:23, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
You have claimed the existence of classifications that identify a "Greater Minnan" group, that include Puxian within Southern Min, or that separate Zhenan from the Quan-Zhang subgroup, but have produced pointers to none of these. (Statements about historical population movements are not the same thing.) You have claimed that Western and Chinese linguists disagree on classification, but without evidence.
Finally, although the links do not bear on the above questions, Baidu Baike is not a reliable source (because it is user-generated content like Wikipedia), and newspaper articles are not suitable sources for linguistic matters. Kanguole 09:16, 26 July 2015 (UTC)

xng, I think you did a wonderful job with all the write-up and citation. I was shocked to find it's vandalised by a few narrow-minded, low intelligence people who couldn't understand what you wrote. I also agree and respect A-cai, Jose77, baike and others analysis which was closer to your interpretation.

(Redacted) Anyway, you could create another page called 'Southern Min languages' instead if you want. If they want to have a narrow view and delude themselves that it's a single language, let them be. I am sure more intelligent people won't read this page anymore. Adios!

Bkjalng (talk) 05:54, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

No-one has claimed that Southern Min is a single language. The issue is that the classifications we use need to come from reliable sources. Kanguole 14:33, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
Yes, it's ironic that you would say others have low intelligence when you don't understand them. -- kwami (talk) 17:21, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

Requested move 26 November 2016

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: not moved. QEDK (T C) 18:22, 3 December 2016 (UTC)

Southern Min -> Minnan - WP:COMMONNAME "Southern Min" may be common in academic literature but it's really not WP:RECOGNIZABLE to most lay people. Google web search results show 7,400,000 for "Min Nan", 776,000 hits for "Minnan", and just 10,300 for "Southern Min". In Google Books it is 13,800 for "Min Nan", 22,400 for "Minnan", and 7,750 for "Southern Min". WP:CONSISTENCY doesn't need to be achieved with the other Min Chinese branches since they are relatively more obscure in English discourse anyways, and in those cases may actually be more commonly referred to by an English directional name.--Prisencolin (talk) 08:09, 26 November 2016 (UTC) Prisencolin (talk) 08:09, 26 November 2016 (UTC)

  • Oppose, per common usage in English-language sources.
    As noted at the previous RM, "Southern Min" is used in English-language texts by experts such as
    It's also more accessible to the English-language target readership of WP. The Mandarin name "Minnan" will be more familiar to Chinese speakers, but then they also know that "nan" means "South".
    This ngram shows "Minnan" occurring a little more than "Southern Min" (and the two-word form "Min Nan" much less), but that is because "Minnan" is also a common name for southern Fujian as a cultural and economic region. Kanguole 10:48, 26 November 2016 (UTC)
WP:USEENGLISH should only be done if the English name is clearly more prevalent than the non-English name or is useful in understanding what a term means. It could even be suggested that we should rename Beijing as "Northern capital" or this page as "Southern Fujian" or even "Southern building happiness". Because "Min" is a foreign term already, it's impossible to avoid in its entirety. Also, the fact that the name means that it originates from southern Fujian is now somewhat trivial since it has spread across Southeast Asia and thus has obscured the original meaning of the term. Also the fact that "Minnan" is the WP:COMMONNAME for the region suggests that this page should be name so too for WP:CONSISTENCY.--Prisencolin (talk) 00:58, 27 November 2016 (UTC)
Unlike "Southern Min", none of the translations you list is used in the literature on those subjects.
As for usefulness, when one is reading about the Min dialects, the subgroup names Southern Min, Eastern Min, Northern Min and Central Min certainly give a helpful indication of their relationship in their homeland - perhaps that's why authors use them. Kanguole 01:28, 27 November 2016 (UTC)
According to this article:

Southern Min speakers refer to themselves as bân-lâm-lâng, which is usually written with sinographs meaning "Southern Min person" , but should actually be written with sinographs meaning "Southern barbarian fellow" . (Hong 1988: 343) The graph pronounced lâm in Taiwanese is the notorious mán ("barbarians [of the south]") as pronounced in MSM. Here is how Xu Shen explains the graph used to write lâm / mán: "Southern barbarians [who are a] snake race. [The character is formed] from [the] insect / serpent [radical and takes its pronunciation from] luàn looks the the ? character, minus the 'shan' at the bottom?." 8 (Xu 100: 282b) The Mán inhabitants of M?n are thus doubly southern, doubly barbarian, and doubly serpentine. Since these explanations have been enshrined in the most authoritative, foundational dictionary of the sinographs, a dictionary which is still invoked with reverence today, there is no denying them."

In other words, Banlam (Minnan) doesn't even originate from "Southern Fujian" thus the fact that Minnan means Southern Fujian doesn't need to be emphasized in English. In this case I'm not sure how Eastern/Central Min originated from, maybe it was a back-formation or it could have originated from "Southern Min" (province) to begin with.--Prisencolin (talk) 01:48, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
No-one is emphasizing "Southern Fujian" in English. The cited authors are distinguishing subgroups of the Min dialect group. Chinese etymologies are not relevant for names in English. Kanguole 02:12, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
  • A better target would be Minnan. It is not ne ces sa ry to se pa rate syl la bles with spa ces. --  AjaxSmack  03:09, 27 November 2016 (UTC)
    • Just changed the target, in any case the prevalence of both terms combined suggests that the current title is inadequate.--Prisencolin (talk) 09:33, 27 November 2016 (UTC)
  • Comment Don't forget WP:CONSISTENCY with Northern Min, Eastern Min and Central Min. Otherwise I'm neutral, but "Southern Min" gets moved the others should as well. Timmyshin (talk) 04:50, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The ngram Kanguole gives refutes the claim that "Minnam" is the common name. "Min" treated as separated word in various other contexts, so consistency suggests doing the same in this context. Pandas and people (talk) 19:54, 2 December 2016 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

Hoklo ethnicity and other problems

Hoklo is not an ethnicity, so the fact that some non-Hoklo speak Southern Min and that some Hoklo don't speak it is complete nonsense. Moreover, the grammar needs to be revised. Some claims probably don't refer to Southern Min, but Min in general. Even people in Northern Fujian don't speak Southern Min. Why should people from Zhejiang suddenly speak it? -- (talk) 11:53, 4 March 2017 (UTC)

Zhejiang does have Min varieties, and there are "dialect islands" of Southern Min there in the southernmost tip of Zhejiang. Baidu has further detail, but in essence it is closer to Southern Min than to Eastern Min. The reason that this dialect exists is due to migration of Southern Min speakers in the Ming and Qing dynasties. Apparently the tonal system is most similar to the Quanzhou dialect, though there are some phonological differences (mainly in consonants). Michael Ly (talk) 21:01, 7 March 2017 (UTC)


The subgrouping in this article has been recently re-organized in a novel way around a notion of "Minnan Proper", which does not seem to appear in the literature. The Chinese form given () is just Southern Min again. The subgrouping should be returned to that of the Language Atlas of China, which is commonly used as a framework. Kanguole 10:23, 9 September 2017 (UTC)

Quanzhang confusion

FYI: Pointer to relevant discussion elsewhere.

Please see Talk:Hokkien#Quanzhang confusion, about resolving a conflict between these two articles and being certain where Quanzhang (a redlink as of this writing) should take the reader. -- SMcCandlish ? ¢ >????< 21:41, 21 November 2017 (UTC)

"Hoklo Boat" listed at Redirects for discussion


An editor has asked for a discussion to address the redirect Hoklo Boat. Please participate in the redirect discussion if you wish to do so. Shhhnotsoloud (talk) 12:41, 6 October 2019 (UTC)

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