Min Chinese

Primary branch of Chinese spoken in southern China and Taiwan / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Min (simplified Chinese: 闽语; traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: Mǐnyǔ; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Bân-gú / Bân-gír / Bân-gí / Mân-ú; BUC: Mìng-ngṳ̄) is a broad group of Sinitic languages with about 70 million native speakers. These languages are spoken in Fujian province as well as by the descendants of Min-speaking colonists on the Leizhou Peninsula and Hainan and by the assimilated natives of Chaoshan, parts of Zhongshan, three counties in southern Wenzhou, the Zhoushan archipelago, Taiwan, and Singapore.[1] The name is derived from the Min River in Fujian, which is also the abbreviated name of Fujian Province. Min varieties are not mutually intelligible with one another nor with any other variety of Chinese (such as Mandarin, Cantonese, Wu, Gan, Xiang, or Hakka).

Quick facts: Min, Ethnicity, Geographic distribution, Ling...
閩語 / 闽语
EthnicityFuzhou people, Putian people, Minnan people, Teochew people, Hainan people, etc.
Mainland China: Fujian, Guangdong (around Chaozhou-Shantou and Leizhou peninsula), Hainan, Zhejiang (Shengsi, Putuo and Cangnan), Taiwan, Singapore; overseas Chinese communities in Japan, Northeastern United States, Southwestern United States and Southeast Asia.
Linguistic classificationSino-Tibetan
ISO 639-6mclr
Linguasphere79-AAA-h to 79-AAA-l
Distribution of Min languages in mainland China and Taiwan[image reference needed]
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese閩語
Simplified Chinese闽语
Hokkien POJBân gú

There are many Min speakers among overseas Chinese in Southeast Asia. The most widely spoken variety of Min outside of mainland China is Hokkien, a variety of Southern Min which has its origin in southern Fujian. Amoy Hokkien is the prestige dialect of Hokkien in Fujian, while a majority of Taiwanese speak a dialect called Taiwanese Hokkien or simply Taiwanese. The majority of Chinese Singaporeans are of Southern Min-speaking background (particularly Hokkien and Teochew), although the rise of Mandarin as a home language in that country has led to a decline in the use of Min Chinese. Communities speaking Eastern Min and Pu-Xian Min can also be found in parts of the Chinese diaspora.

Many Min languages have retained notable features of the Old Chinese language, and there is linguistic evidence that not all Min varieties are directly descended from Middle Chinese of the SuiTang dynasties. Min languages are believed to have a significant linguistic substrate from the languages of the inhabitants of the region prior to its sinicization.