Saturday, October 4, 2008


Literomancy , as its name suggests, is a form of fortune-telling based on letters. Here a letter means an element in a particular written language, such as a Spanish word or a Chinese character. A fortune-teller of this type is known as a literomancer.

As a superstition literomancy is practised in Chinese-speaking communities, known as 測字/测字 . The subjects of a literomancy are traditionally single characters and the requestor's name. In modern times elements such as foreign words or, even more recently, e-mail addresses and instant message handles have come into use as a subject. A wide range of possibilities can be attributed to the nature of written Chinese language.

When practising literomancy, the client puts up a ''subject'', be it a single character or a name. The literomancer then analyses the subject, the client's choice of subject or other information related to the subject, along with other information he sees in the client or that the client supplies to arrive at a divination.

Some literomancers can read the curves and lines of a signature as signed by an individual, just as a professional handwriting analyst might, but uses instinct and divination techniques rather than applied analysis skills.

List of English words of Chinese origin

Words of Chinese origin have entered the English language and many European languages. Most of these were loanwords from Chinese itself, a term covering those members of the of the Sino-Tibetan language family. However, Chinese words have also entered indirectly via other languages, particularly , that used Chinese characters and were heavily influenced by Chinese.

Different sources of loanwords

English words with Chinese origin usually have different characteristics depending how the words were spread to the West. Despite the increasingly widespread use of Mandarin among Chinese people, English words that are based on Mandarin are relatively scarce.

Some words spread to the West ...
*via the silk road, e.g. silk. These have heavy influence from countries along the silk road.
*via the who lived in China. These have heavy Latin influence due the and missionaries.
*via the s who lived in China. These have heavy influence due to the long history of involvement in Sinology.
*via the trade route, e.g. tea, , cumshaw etc. These have heavy influence from the in seaports.
*via the early immigrants to the in the gold rush era, e.g. chop suey. These have heavy influence from the .
*via the multi-national colonization of Shanghai. These have influence from many European countries, also Japan.
*via the colonisation of Hong Kong, e.g. . These have heavy influence from .
*via modern international communication especially after the 1970s when the People's Republic of China opened its iron curtain to let her people emigrate to various countries, e.g. , feng shui etc. These have heavy influence from .
*via Japanese and Korean and Vietnamese. These languages have borrowed large amounts of Chinese vocabulary in the past, written in the form of Chinese characters. The pronunciation of such loanwords is not based directly on Chinese, but on the local pronunciation of Chinese loanwords in these languages, known as , , and . In addition, the individual characters were extensively used as building blocks for local neologisms with no counterpart in the original Chinese, resulting in words whose relationship to the Chinese language is similar to the relationship between new Latinate words and Latin. Such words are excluded from the list.

Though all these following terms originated from China, the spelling of the English words depends on which language the transliterations came from.



; Brainwashing :
Etymology: translation of Chinese
Date: 1950
1 : a forcible indoctrination to induce someone to give up basic political, social, or religious beliefs and attitudes and to accept contrasting regimented ideas
2 : persuasion by propaganda or salesmanship
–brainwash transitive verb
–brainwash noun
–brainwasher noun

Brainwashing is translated from Chinese literally, word by word.
脑 means brain, 洗 means wash.
The word had then been put together in the English language way--Brainwashing.

; Bok choy : 白菜 (baakchoi), a Chinese cabbage: literally 'white vegetable'


; Char : colloquial English word for 'tea', originally from Chinese 茶 .
; Cheongsam : from Cantonese 長衫 , lit. long clothes.
; China : via Latin from the name of the Ch'in Dynasty 秦
; Chop chop : from Cantonese ''gup'' 急, lit. hurry, urgent
; : from Chinese Pidgin English ''chop chop''.
; Chop suey : from Cantonese 雜碎 , lit. mixed pieces
; Chow : from Chinese Pidgin English chowchow which means food, perhaps based on Cantonese 炒, lit. stir fry
; Chow chow : any of a breed of heavy-coated blocky dogs of Chinese origin
; Chow mein : from Taishanese 炒麵 , lit. stir fried noodle, when the first Chinese immigrants, from Taishan came to the United States.
; Confucianism : from Confucius, Latinized form of 孔夫子 'Master Kong'
; Coolie : questionably Chinese 苦力, lit. suffering labor. Some dictionaries say the word came from Hindi ''kull''.
; Cumshaw : from Amoy 感謝, feeling gratitude


; Dalai Lama : the lama who is the chief spiritual adviser of the Dalai Lama. 班禅喇嘛-- Dalai Lama Etymology -- Panchen from Chinese b*nch*n Date-- 1794. The word Lama is used in an English translation of Martini’s Conquest of China in 1654; Dalai-lama in 1698.

; Dim sum and Dim sim : from Cantonese 點心 , lit. little heart

; Doufu and Doufu : from Mandarin 豆腐 , lit. beancurd


; Fan-tan : from Cantonese 番攤 , lit. turns scattering
; Feng shui : from ''feng'', wind and ''shui'', water 風水
; Foo dog : from Mandarin 佛 ''fó'' Buddha


; Ginkgo : mistransliteration of 銀杏 in Japanese
; Ginseng : from Mandarin 人參 , name of the plant. Some say the word came via Japanese , although 人参 now means 'carrot' in Japanese; ginseng is 朝鮮人参 .
; : From the Japanese name ''igo'' 囲碁 of the Chinese board game. Chinese 围棋, Mandarin: .
; Gung-ho : from Mandarin 工合, short for 工業合作社
; Gyoza : Japanese ギョーザ, gairaigo from Chinese 餃子 , stuffed dumpling. Gyoza refers to the style found in Japan.


; Hoisin : from Cantonese 海鮮 , lit. seafood


; Kanji : Japanese name for Chinese characters: 漢字, lit. Chinese characters. Chinese: Hanzi.
; Kaolin : from 高嶺, lit. high mountain peak
; Keemun : kind of tea, 祁門 Mandarin ''qímén''
; Ketchup : possibly from Cantonese or Amoy 茄汁, lit. tomato sauce/juice
; Koan : Japanese 公案 ''kōan'', from Chinese 公案 , lit. public record
; Kowtow : from Cantonese 叩頭, lit. knock head
; Kumquat or cumquat: from Cantonese name of the fruit 柑橘
; Kung fu : the English term to collectively describe Chinese martial arts; from Cantonese 功夫 , lit. efforts


; Lo mein : from Cantonese 撈麵 , lit. scooped noodle
; Longan : from Cantonese 龍眼, name of the fruit
; Loquat : from Cantonese 蘆橘, old name of the fruit
; Lychee : from Cantonese 荔枝 , name of the fruit


; Mao-tai or moutai: from Mandarin 茅台酒 , liquor from Maotai
; Mahjong : from Cantonese 麻將 , lit. the mahjong game
; Mu shu : from Mandarin 木須 , lit. wood shredded


; Nunchaku : Okinawan Japanese, from Min 雙節棍, lit. double jointed sticks


; : from Amoy 烏龍, lit. dark dragon
; : from Amoy 白毫, lit. white downy hair


; Paigow : from Cantonese 排九, a gambling game
; Pinyin : from Mandarin 拼音, lit. put together sounds


; Qi : from Mandarin 氣 , spirit
; Qipao : from 旗袍 , female traditional Chinese clothing


; Ramen : Japanese ラーメン, gairaigo, from Chinese 拉麵 lit. pulled noodle. Ramen refers to a particular style flavored to Japanese taste and is somewhat different from Chinese lamian.


; Sampan : from Cantonese 舢舨, the name of such vessel.
; Shar Pei : from Cantonese 沙皮, lit. sand skin.
; Shih Tzu : from Mandarin 獅子狗, lit. Chinese lion dog
; Shogun : Japanese 将軍, from Chinese 將軍, lit. general military. The full title in Japanese was ''Seii Taishōgun'' , "generalissimo who overcomes the barbarians"
; shantung: from Mandarin 山東,"shantung" is a silk fabric made from the silk of wild silkworms and is usually undyed.
; Shaolin : from Mandarin 少林, One of the most important Kungfu clans.
; Sifu : from Cantonese 师傅, , master.
; Silk : possibly from 'si' 絲, lit. silk
; Souchong : from Cantonese 小種茶 , lit. small kind tea
; : From Japanese shoyu 醤油, Chinese 醬油, .


; : from Mandarin 太極
; Tai-Pan : from Cantonese 大班 , lit. big rank
; Tangram : from Chinese Tang + English gram
; Tao  and Taoism : from Mandarin 道 ''dào''
; Tea : from Amoy 茶
; Tofu : Japanese 豆腐, lit. bean rot. from Chinese 豆腐 .
; : from Cantonese 堂
; Tycoon : via Japanese 大官, lit. high official; or 大君, lit. great nobleman
; Typhoon : 颱風 not to be confused with the monster typhon. See also other possible origin.


; Wok : from Cantonese 鑊
; Won ton : from Cantonese 雲吞 , lit. 'cloud swallow' as a description of its shape, similar to Mandarin 餛飩
; : from Mandarin 武術, lit. martial arts
; Wuxia : from Mandarin 武侠 , lit. martial arts and chivalrous


; Yamen : from Mandarin 衙門, lit. court
; Yen : from Cantonese 癮, lit. addiction
; Yen : Japanese 円 ''en'', from Chinese 圓 , lit. round, name of currency unit
; Yin Yang : 陰陽 from Mandarin 'Yin' meaning feminine, dark and 'Yang' meaning masculine and bright


; Zen : Japanese 禅, from Chinese 禪 , originally from Sanskrit / Pali jhāna.

List of Chinese exonyms for places in Russia

Country name and its capital

* 俄罗斯 ?luósī Russia , supposedly from "Орос" .
* 莫斯科 Mòsīkē Moscow

Cities and towns - centres of administrative regions in Russia

''Most cities and towns are the centre of an oblast' , otherwise they are marked in the comment as a centre of a krai , an autonomous republic or an autonomous okrug .''

''Normally Russian letter "ь" is not romanised at the end of a word or between consonants, romanised here with an apostrophe as a guide to the Russian pronunciation.
{| class="wikitable"
! Chinese name with Pinyin
! English name
! Russian name
! Comments
| 阿巴坎
| Abakan
| Абакан
| Capital of Khakassia
| 阿金斯科耶
| Агинское
| Centre of Agin-Buryat Autonomous Okrug
| 阿纳德尔
| Anadyr'
| Анадырь
| Capital of Chukotka Autonomous Okrug
| 阿尔汉格尔斯克
| Arkhangelsk
| Архангельск
| 阿斯特拉罕
| Astrakhan'
| Астрахань
| 巴尔瑙尔
| Barnaul
| Барнаул
| 别尔哥罗德
| Belgorod
| Белгород
| 比罗比詹
| Birobidzhan
| Биробиджан
| Centre of the Jewish Autonomous Oblast', the only autonomous oblast'
| 布拉戈维申斯克
| Blagoveshchensk
| Благовещенск
| alternative Chinese name: 海兰泡 Hǎilánpào
| 布良斯克
| Bryansk
| Брянск
| 符拉迪沃斯托克
| Vladivostok
| Владивосток
| Centre of Primorsky Krai, alternative Chinese name: 海参崴 Hǎishēnwǎi
| 弗拉季高加索
| Vladikavkaz
| Владикавказ
| Capital of the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania
| 弗拉基米尔
| Vladimir
| Владимир
| 伏尔加格勒
| Volgograd
| Волгоград
| 沃洛格达
| Vologda
| Вологда
| 沃罗涅什
| Voronezh
| Воронеж
| 戈尔诺阿尔泰斯克
| Gorno-Altaisk
| Горно-Алтайск
| Capital of the Altai Republic
| 格罗兹尼
| Grozny
| Грозный
| Capital of the Chechen Republic
| 杜金卡
| Dudinka
| Дудинка
| 叶卡捷林堡
| Yekaterinburg
| Екатеринбург
| Centre of Sverdlovsk Oblast
| 伊万诺沃
| Ivanovo
| Иваново
| 伊热夫斯克
| Izhevsk
| Ижевск
| Capital city of the Udmurt Republic
| 伊尔库茨克
| Irkutsk
| Иркуцк
| 约什卡尔奥拉
| Yoshkar-Ola
| Йошкар-Ола
| Capital of the Mariy El Republic
| 喀山
| Kazan'
| Казань
| Capital of the Republic of Tatarstan
| 加里宁格勒
| Kaliningrad
| Калининград
| 卡卢加
| Kaluga
| Калуга
| 克麦罗沃
| Kemerovo
| Кемерово
| 基洛夫
| Kirov
| Киров
| 科斯特罗马
| Kostroma
| Кострома
| 克拉斯诺达尔
| Krasnodar
| Краснодар
| Centre of Krasnodar Krai
| 克拉斯诺亚尔斯克
| Krasnoyarsk
| Красноярск
| Centre of Krasnoyarsk Krai
| 库德姆卡尔
| Kudymkar
| Кудымкар
| Centre of Komi-Permyak Okrug
| 库尔干
| Kurgan
| Курган
| 库尔斯克
| Kursk
| Курск
| 克孜勒
| Kyzyl
| Кызыл
| Capital of the Tuva Republic
| 利佩茨克
| Lipetsk
| Липецк
| 马加丹
| Magadan
| Магадан
| 马加斯
| Magas
| Магас
| Capital of the Republic of Ingushetia
| 迈科普
| Maikop
| Майкоп
| Capital of the Republic of Adygea
| 马哈奇卡拉
| Makhachkala
| Махачкала
| Capital of the Republic of Dagestan
| 莫斯科
| Moscow
| Москва
| Moskva is commonly known as ''Moscow'' to English speakers; capital of Russia, federal city
| 摩尔曼斯克
| Murmansk
| Мурманск
| 纳尔奇克
| Nal'chik
| Нальчик
| Capital of the Kabardino-Balkar Republic
| 纳里扬马尔
| Naryan-Mar
| Нарьян-Мар
| Centre of Nenets Autonomous Okrug
| 下诺夫哥罗德
| Nizhny Novgorod
| Нижний Новгород
| 诺夫哥罗德
| Novgorod
| Новгород
| 新西伯利亚
| Novosibirsk
| Новосибирск
| 鄂木斯克
| Omsk
| Омск
| 奥廖尔
| Oryol
| Орёл
| Oryol is the correct and modern English transliteration
| 奥伦堡
| Orenburg
| Оренбург
| 帕拉纳
| Saint Petersburg
| Санкт-Петербург
| Sankt Peterburg is commonly known as ''Saint Petersburg'' to English speakers,
Centre of Leningrad Oblast, federal city
| 萨兰斯克
| Saransk
| Саранск
| Capital of the Republic of Mordovia
| 萨拉托夫
| Saratov
| Саратов
| 斯摩棱斯克
| Smolensk
| Смоленск
| 斯塔夫罗波尔
| Stavropol'
| Ставрополь
| Centre of Stavropol Krai
| 瑟克特夫卡尔
| Syktyvkar
| Сыктывкар
| Capital of the Komi Republic
| 坦波夫
| Tambov
| Тамбов
| 特维尔
| Tver'
| Тверь
| 托木斯克
| Tomsk
| Томск
| 图拉
| Тула
| 秋明
| Tyumen'
| Тюмень
| 乌兰乌德
| Ulan-Ude
| Улан-Удэ
| Capital city of the Buryat Republic
| 乌里扬诺夫斯克
| Ulyanovsk
| Ульяновск
| 乌法
| Ufa
| Уфа
| Capital of the Republic of Bashkortostan
| 哈巴罗夫斯克
| Khabarovsk
| Хабаровск
| Centre of Khabarovsk Krai; alternative Chinese name: 伯力 Bólì
| 汉特曼西斯克
| Khanty-Mansiysk
| Ханты-Мансийск
| Centre of Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug
| 切博克萨雷
| Cheboksary
| Чебоксары
| Capital of the Chuvash Republic
| 车里雅宾斯克
| Chelyabinsk
| Челябинск
| 切尔克斯克
| Cherkessk
| Черкесск
| Capital of Karachay-Cherkess Republic
| 赤塔
| Chita
| Чита
| 埃利斯塔
| Elista
| Элиста
| Capital of the Republic of Kalmykia
| 南萨哈林斯克
| Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk
| Южно-Сахалинск
| 雅库茨克
| Yakutsk
| Якутск
| Capital of the Sakha Republic
| 雅罗斯拉夫尔
| Yaroslavl'
| Ярославль

Autonomous Republics of Russia

''In : Автономная Республика , in : 自治共和国 ''

List of Chinese dialects

The following is a list of Chinese dialects and s.


Linguists classify these languages as the ''Sinitic'' branch of the family. Within this broad classification, linguistics identify between seven and fourteen subgroups.

Tradition classification

Traditional Chinese classification lists seven groups, comprising:


Modern linguistic classification

James Matisoff's widely accepted classification is as follows:

's list uses the common English names of the groups, ordered by decreasing number of speakers of languages within the group.


The Ethnologue lists 14 language groups, namely:

See also Campbell's article on classifying Chinese dialects and ChinaDC's chart of Sino-Tibetan languages.

As the above categories illustrate, there are three common approaches to naming categories and languages in English:

* A Romanization of the name in Standard Mandarin
* The common English name, where there is one
* A Romanization of the name in the principal language of the group

The classification used here is a combination of the classifications given above.

Distinction between dialects and languages

In addition to the languages and dialects given below, it is customary to speak informally of languages and dialects belonging to each province, e.g. ''Sichuan dialect'', ''Henan dialect''. These designations do not always correspond to classifications used by linguists, but each nevertheless has approximate characteristics of its own.

The question of whether these should be called dialects or languages in their own right is particularly interesting in Chinese. On the one hand, the designation seems to be as much socio-political as linguistic, reflecting Max Weinreich's comment that "a language is a dialect with an army and a navy." Purely from a linguistic point of view, many of these idioms seem to meet the criteria of a language. On the other hand, to a large degree the various Chinese idioms share a common written language and literature, lending weight to calling them "dialects". Because the written language is grammatically closest to Standard Mandarin, many Chinese speakers view Standard Mandarin as "the Chinese language", and everything else as dialects.

List of dialects and languages

Gan - 赣语/贛語

Guan - 官话/官話

Hui - 徽語

Sometimes subcategory of Wu.

Jin - 晋语/晉語

Sometimes subcategory of Mandarin.

Kejia - 客家話

Min - 閩語/闽语

|   ? Jian'ou dialect || 建甌話
|Min Dong || 閩東語
|   ? Fu'an dialect || 福安話
|    ? Fuding dialect || 福鼎話
|    ? Xiapu dialect || 霞浦話
|    ? Shouning dialect || 壽寧話
|    ? Zhouning dialect || 周寧話
|    ? Ningde dialect || 寧德話
|    ? Zherong dialect || 柘榮話
|   ? Fuzhou dialect || 福州話
|    ? Minhou dialect || 閩侯話
|    ? Yongtai dialect || 永泰話
|    ? Minqing dialect || 閩清話
|    ? Changle dialect || 長樂話
|    ? Luoyuan dialect || 羅源話
|    ? Lianjiang dialect || 連江話
|    ? Fuqing dialect || 福清話
|    ? Pingtan dialect || 平潭話
|    ? Pingnan dialect || 屏南話
|    ? Gutian dialect || 古田話
| Min Nan || 閩南語
| ? ''Mintai division'' || 閩台片
|   ? Quanzhou dialect || 泉州話
|   ? || 廈門話
|    ? Taiwanese || 台灣話
|    ? Lan-nang dialect || 咱人話/咱儂話
|   ? Zhangzhou dialect || 漳州話
|    ? Penang Hokkien || 檳城福建話
| ? ''Zhenan division'' || 浙南片
|   ? Longhai dialect || 龍海話
|   ? Zhangpu dialect || 漳浦話
|   ? Anxi dialect || 安溪話
|   ? Hui'an dialect || 惠安話
|   ? Tong'an dialect || 同安話
| ? ''Chaoshan division'' || 潮汕方言
|   ? || 潮州話
|   ? Shantou dialect || 汕頭話
|   ? Chaoyang dialect || 潮陽話
|   ? Puning dialect || 普寧話
|   ? Huilai dialect || 惠來話
|   ? Hailufeng dialect || 海陸豐話
| ? ''Zhongshan Min division'' || 中山閩方言
|   ? Longdu dialect || 隆都話
|   ? Sanxiang dialect || 三鄉話
|   ? Zhangjiabian dialect || 張家邊話
|Min Zhong || 閩中語
|   ? Yong'an dialect || 永安話
|   ? Sanming dialect || 三明話
|   ? Shaxian dialect || 沙縣話
|Pu Xian || 莆仙話
|  ? Putian dialect || 莆田話
|   ? Xianyou dialect || 仙遊話
|Qiong Wen || 瓊文片
|   ? || 海南話
|Leizhou || 雷語
|   ? Leizhou dialect || 雷州話
|   ? Zhanjiang dialect || 湛江話

Wu - 吴语/吳語

Xiang - 湘语/湘語

Yue - 粵語/粤语


Leizhou dialect

Leizhou dialect is a dialect of the language family, which in turn constitutes one of the . It is spoken in the Leizhou city and its neighbouring areas on the Leizhou peninsula in the west of the Guangdong province.


Geographic distribution


Phonetics and Phonology






Leizhou has six tones, which are reduced to two in checked syllables.

Citation tones

Tone Sandhi






Languages of China

speak many different languages, collectively called ''Zhōngguó Yǔwén'' , literally "speech and writing of China" which mainly span six linguistic families. Most of them are dissimilar ally and phonetically and are mutually unintelligible. ''Zhongguo Yuwen'' includes the many different Han Chinese language variants as well as non-Han minority languages such as and .

Chinese language policy in mainland China is heavily influenced by Soviet nationalities policy and officially encourages the development of standard spoken and written languages for each of the nationalities of China. However, in this schema, Han Chinese are considered a single nationality, and official policy of the People's Republic of China treats the different varieties of the Chinese spoken language differently from the different national languages. For example, while official policies in mainland China encourage the development and use of different orthographies for the national languages and their use in educational and academic settings, the same is not true for the different Chinese spoken languages, despite the fact that they are more different from each other than, for example, the Romance languages of Europe.

Putonghua or Standard Mandarin is the official national spoken language , although autonomous regions and special administrative regions have additional official languages. For example, has official status within the Tibet Autonomous Region and has official status within the Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region. Hong Kong and Macau not only have and as official languages respectively, is the legal official spoken Chinese variant, with the use of traditional characters as the official written language.

Unofficially, there are large economic, social and practical incentives to be functional in Putonghua, a standardised form of the group of dialects spoken in northern and southwestern China, which serves as a lingua franca among the different groups within mainland China. In addition, it is also considered increasingly prestigious and useful to have some ability in , which is a required subject for persons attending university. During the 1950s and 1960s, had some social status among elites in mainland China as the international language of socialism.

The Economist, issue April 12, 2006 reported that up to one fifth of the population is learning English. Gordon Brown, the British Prime Minister, estimated that the total English-speaking population in China will outnumber the native speakers in the rest of the world in two decades.


The spoken languages of nationalities that are a part of the People's Republic of China belong to at least seven families:

*The : 28 nationalities
*The : 17
*The : 4
*The : several languages spoken by the Zhuang, the Buyei, the Dai people, the Dong people, and the .
*The : 2
*The : 1 official nationality , 1 unofficial
*Language isolate: 1


The following languages have traditionally had written forms that do not involve Chinese characters :

*The Mongolians - Mongolian language - Mongolian alphabet
*The Manchus - Manchu language - Manchu alphabet
*The Tibetans - Tibetan language - Tibetan script
*The - Uyghur language - Arabic alphabet
*The Kazakhs - Kazakh language - Arabic alphabet
*The Kyrgyz - Kyrgyz language - Arabic alphabet
*The Koreans - Korean language - Hangul
*The Xibe - Xibe language - Manchu alphabet
*The Dai - Dai language
*The - Yi language -
*The Naxi - Dongba script

Chinese palaces, temples, and coins have traditionally been inscribed in four scripts:

Chinese banknotes contain several scripts in addition to Chinese script. These are:

Ten nationalities who never had a written system have, under the PRC's encouragement, developed phonetic alphabets. According to published in early 2005, "by the end of 2003, 22 ethnic minorities in China used 28 written languages."

Political controversies

Language policy within China is the subject of a number of political controversies mostly having to do with the political status of minority nationalities in China. Some critics of the Beijing government,
such as the Tibetan Government-in-Exile argue that social pressures and political efforts result in a policy of sinicization and often term PRC policies cultural genocide. Supporters of Chinese policies argue that both in theory and in practice that Chinese policies are rather supportive of multilingualism and the development of minority languages, and that China has a far better track record in these issues than some other countries..


Lan-nang, or more properly known as Lán-n?ng-ōe , is the Philippine of . The name "Lán-n?ng-ōe" means 'our people's language '. Its mother dialect is the Amoy dialect of Xiamen, China. Lan-nang is spoken among the Chinese residing in the Philippines. It is characterized by borrowings from , , and Cantonese languages. It is also known by its heavy usage of words which are considered as colloquial or localized forms found in dialects from Amoy and Choan-Chiu. About 592,200 people, or 98.7% of all Chinese in the Philippines speak it as their mother language. Although Lan-nang is not recognized in the linguistic academe, in this article, however, it is treated as a ''variant'' of the Amoy dialect, and not as a dialect, per se.


In some situations, Lan-nang is written in the Latin alphabet. With the direction of the Chinese Congress on World Evangelization-Philippines, an international organization of Overseas Chinese Christian churches around the world, romanization of Lan-nang is leaning highly on the Pe?h-ōe-jī system.


b, ch, chh, g, h, j, k, kh, l, m, n, ng, p, ph, s, t, th


*Vowels: a, i, u, e, o, o?
*Diphthongs: ai, au, ia, iu, io, ui, oa, oe
*Triphthongs: iau, oai
*Nasals: m, n, ng


Tones are expressed by diacritics; checked syllables are followed by the letter h. Where diacritics are not technically available, e.g. on some parts of the internet, tone numbers may be used instead.

# a
# á
# à
# ah
# ?
# ā
# h

Examples for the seven tones: chhiū 象 , pà 豹 , bé 馬 , ti 豬 , ch?a 蛇 , ah 鴨 , lk 鹿

Sample phrases

;Hello!:Dí hō, dí hō?
;I don't know.:Guá zai ya?.
;Do you know how to speak Lan-nang?:Dí eh-hiao kong Lan-nang-oé b??
;Where is the soap?:H?-gé sá-bun tí-to-lò'?
:Note: 'sá-bun', though sounds similar to the Tagalog ''sabon'', is not borrowed from that language. In , which is a variant of Hokkien that is not influenced by Tagalog, it is pronounced as ''sap-b?n''. Etymologically speaking, perhaps both Taiwanese and Tagalog ultimately derive ''sap-b?n''/''sabon'' from the Romance languages that had brought the concept of soap to them .
;Can you get me a glass?:Dí e zuì-dit ká-oá tuè ji pui bo?
:Note: "Ji pui" literally means "one glass" and fluent speakers of the language use this. However, the Tagalog word "baso" is also sometimes used.
;Do you eat noodles?:Dí e ziá' mì b??
:Note: Some people would use the Tagalog "pansit" instead of "mi" for noodles. But this does not happen often.
;Do you eat sweet potatoes?: Dí e ziá' ka-mú-ti b??
:Note: 'ka-mú-ti' is borrowed from Tagalog ''kamote'', and ultimately from Spanish ''camote''.
;When are you going to China?:Dí ti-si beh'-kh? Tňg-soa??
:Note: 'Tňg-soa?', meaning China, is the colloquial term for 'Tiong-kok '. In the Lan-nang variant of Hokkien, the former is more used.
;His friend is in the hospital:Yi e siong-hó ti pi?-chù.
:Note: 'siong-hó' , meaning "friend", is the colloquial term for 'pêng-iú' , while 'pi?-chù' , meaning "hospital" or "house for the sick", is the colloquial term for 'yi-?'.
;Where are you going?:Dí beh'-khí to-lò'?

Geographic Spread

Lan-nang-ōe is spoken throughout the Philippines where there are significant numbers of Hokkien Chinese. Cities in the Philippines that have a significant number of Chinese include Metro Manila, Angeles City, Davao City, Vigan, Ilocos Sur, San Fernando City, Pampanga, Ilagan, Isabela, Cauayan City, Cabatuan, Isabela, , Cebu City, Iloilo City, Bacolod City, Cagayan de Oro City, and Zamboanga City.


Although Lan-nang-ōe is generally mutually comprehensible with , including Taiwanese, certain words in Lan-nang-ōe are only used in the Philippines. Often, this results in confusion in Lan-nang-ōe speakers, especially in China. Other aspects of Lan-nang-ōe's uniqueness is its massive use of Hokkien colloquial words . Because there is an absence of a central agency governing Lan-nang-ōe, various subvarieties have developed. In Cebu, for example, instead of Tagalog, Cebuano words are also incorporated. The vast majority of the Chinese who came to the Philippines had their ancestral roots in China, so Lan-nang-ōe is closer to the Hokkien dialects spoken in China.