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.

Jinan dialect

Jinan dialect is a dialect of the language family, which in turn constitutes one of the . It is spoken in Jinan in the Shandong province.


Geographic distribution


Phonetics and Phonology






Citation tones

Tone Sandhi






Jin Chinese

Jin , or Jin-yu, is a subdivision of . Its exact status is disputed among linguists; some prefer to classify it under , while others set it apart as an independent branch.

Jin is spoken over most of Shanxi province, except for the lower Fen River valley; much of central Inner Mongolia; as well as adjoining areas in Hebei, Henan, and Shaanxi provinces. Cities covered within this area include Taiyuan, Zhangjiakou, Hohhot, Jiaozuo, and . In total Jin is spoken by roughly 45 million people.

Like all other varieties of , there is plenty of dispute as to whether Jin is a language or a dialect. See Identification of the varieties of Chinese for the issues surrounding this dispute.


The speech of Shanxi province is, alone among the various dialects of North China, unique enough to warrant the label of "language" from some linguists. This may well be due to the geographic isolation of Shanxi. The entire province is a plateau surrounded by mountains on all sides. This may well have contributed to the differences between Jin and all the dialects that surround it.

The evolution of the language in the area has made it more or less mutually unintelligible with all dialects of mainstream Mandarin, including that of neighboring Shaanxi province. However, it is not as difficult for Mandarin speakers to pick up after a period of time, compared to other varieties of Chinese such as , largely because of the grammatical and lexical similarities between Jin and Mandarin.


Jin can be divided into the following 8 subdivisions
* Bingzhou, or that spoken in central Shanxi, including Taiyuan
* Lüliang, or that spoken in western Shanxi and northern Shaanxi
* Shangdang, or that spoken in southeastern Shanxi
* Wutai, or that spoken in parts of northern Shanxi and central Inner Mongolia
* Datong-Baotou, or that spoken in parts of northern Shanxi and central Inner Mongolia
* , or that spoken in northwestern Hebei and parts of central Inner Mongolia
* Handan-Xinxiang, or that spoken in southeastern Shanxi, southern Hebei and northern Henan
* Zhidan-Yanchuan


Unlike most varieties of , Jin uses the final glottal stop. This is in common with many southern varieties of Chinese. Jin has also kept the entering tone, which is the tone that goes with the final glottal stop.

Jin employs extremely complex tone sandhi, or tone changes that occur when words are put together into phrases. The tone sandhi of Jin is remarkable in two ways among Chinese dialects:

* Tone sandhi rules depend on the grammatical structure of the words being put together. Hence, an adjective-noun compound may go through different sets of changes compared to a verb-object compound.
* There are tones that merge when words are pronounced alone, but behave differently during tone sandhi.


Jin readily employs prefixes such as 圪 /k??/, 忽 /x??/, and 入 /z??/, in a variety of constructions. For example:

入鬼 "fool around" < 鬼 "ghost, devil"

In addition, there are a number of words in Jin that evolved, evidently, by splitting a mono-syllabic word into two. For example:

p?? l?? < 蹦 p?? "hop"

t??? lu? < 拖 t?u? "drag"

ku?? la < 刮 kua "scrape"

x?? l?? < 巷 x?? "street"

A similar process can also be found in Mandarin , but it is especially common in Jin.


Some dialects of Jin make a three-way distinction in demonstratives.

Jian'ou dialect

Jian'ou dialect is a dialect of the . It is spoken in Jian'ou in the north of the Fujian province.


Geographic distribution


Phonetics and Phonology






Citation tones

Jian'ou has four tones, which are reduced to two in checked syllables.

Tone Sandhi






Han tu

Han tu is the term for Chinese characters, which was used to write classical Chinese, in contrast to ''ch? N?m'', which was used to write the Vietnamese language. In imperial Vietnam, formal writings were, in most cases, done in classical Chinese, while Vietnamese was only used for recording literature. These writings are indistinguishable from those classical Chinese works produced in China, Korea, or Japan. The readings of ''Hán t?'', like Kanji and Hanja, reflect that of Middle Chinese, and provide valuable data for the study of historical Chinese phonology. The use of classical Chinese, and its written form, ''Hán t?'', died out in Vietnam during the 20th century, after the and . A system of modified and invented characters modeled loosely on Chinese characters called ''ch? N?m'', which, unlike the system of ''Hán t?'', allowed for the expression of purely Vietnamese words, was created in Vietnam at least as early as the 13th century. While designed for native Vietnamese speakers, it required the user to already know Chinese characters, and thus ''ch? N?m'' was used primarily for literary writings by cultural elites , while all other official writings and documents continued to be written in ''Hán t?'' until the 20th century.

Huizhou Chinese

Huizhou, or ''Huizhou-hua'' , also known as ''Hui-yu'' , is a subdivision of . Its exact status is greatly disputed among linguists. Some prefer to classify it under , others prefer to classify it under , still others set it apart as an independent primary branch of Chinese.

Hui is spoken over a small area compared to other Chinese varieties: in and around the historical region of , in about ten or so mountainous in southern Anhui, plus a few more in neighbouring Zhejiang and Jiangxi. Despite its small size, Hui displays a very high degree of internal variation. Nearly every county has its own distinct dialect unintelligible to a speaker a few counties away. It is for this reason that bilingualism and multilingualism are common among speakers of Hui.

Like all other varieties of , there is plenty of dispute as to whether Hui is a language or a dialect. See Identification of the varieties of Chinese for the issues surrounding this dispute.


Hui can be divided into five dialects:

* Jixi-Shexian, spoken in , , , , and Ningguo, Anhui province, as well as , Zhejiang province
* Xiuning-Yixian, spoken in , , , , and , as well as , Jiangxi province
* Qimen-Dexing, spoken in and , Anhui province, as well as , Dexing, and , Jiangxi province
* Yanzhou, spoken in and Jiande, Zhejiang province
* Jingde-Zhanda, spoken in , , , , and Ningguo, Anhui province


Phonologically speaking, Hui is noted for its massive loss of s, including -i, -u, and s:

Many dialects of Hui have diphthongs with a , lengthened first part. For example, 話 "speech" is in Xiuning County , 園 "yard" is in Xiuning County ; 結 "knot" is in , 約 "agreement" is in . A few areas take this to extremes. For example, Likou in Qimen County has for 飯 "rice" , with the appearing directly as a result of the lengthened, .

Because s have mostly dropped off, Hui reuses the ending as a diminutive. For example, in the Tunxi dialect, there is 索 "rope" < + .

Horizontal and vertical writing in East Asian scripts

Many East Asian scripts can be written horizontally or vertically. The , and scripts can be oriented in either direction, while the traditional script and its offshoots are written vertically.

In , horizontal writing is known as hengpai , while vertical writing is known as shupai . In , horizontal writing is called yokogaki and vertical writing is called tategaki . In , horizontal writing is called ''garosseugi'' or ''hoengseo'' , and vertical writing is called ''serosseugi'' or ''jongseo'' .

Traditionally, , Japanese, and Korean are written vertically in columns going from top to bottom and ordered from right to left, with each new column starting to the left of the preceding one. The stroke order and stroke direction of Chinese characters , Japanese kana, and Korean Hangul are all designed to facilitate writing in this manner. In addition, writing in vertical columns from right to left facilitated writing with a brush in the right hand while continually unrolling the sheet of paper or scroll with the left. In modern times, it has become increasingly common for these languages to be written horizontally, from left to right, with successive rows going from top to bottom, under the influence of European languages such as English.

Differences between horizontal and vertical writing

Chinese characters, Japanese kana, and Korean hangul can be written horizontally or vertically, although there are some styles of calligraphy, such as , that are not suitable for horizontal writing. There are some small differences in orthography. In horizontal writing it is more common to use , whereas Chinese numerals are more common in vertical text.

In these scripts, the positions of punctuation marks, for example the relative position of commas and full stops, differ between horizontal and vertical writing. Punctuation such as the parentheses, quotation marks, book title marks , ellipsis mark, dash, wavy dash , proper noun mark , wavy book title mark , emphasis mark, and ''chōon'' mark are all rotated 90 degrees when switching between horizontal and vertical text.

Where a text is written in horizontal format, pages are read in the same order as English books, with the binding at the left and pages progressing to the right. Vertical books are printed the other way round, with the binding at the right, and pages progressing to the left.

Ruby characters, like ''furigana'' in Japanese or ''zhuyin'' in Traditional Chinese, which provide a phonetic guide for unusual or difficult-to-read characters, follow the direction of the main text. Example in Japanese, with furigana in red:



Inserted text in the Roman alphabet is usually written horizontally, or turned sideways when it appears in vertical text, with the base of the characters on the left.

Right-to-left horizontal writing

Historically, vertical writing was the standard system, and horizontal writing was only used where a sign had to fit in a constrained space, such as over the gate of a temple or the signboard of a shop. This horizontal writing is in fact a special case of vertical writing in which each column contains just one character.

Therefore, before the end of WW2 in Japan, those signs were read right to left.

Today, the left-to-right direction is dominant in all three languages for horizontal writing: this is due partly to the influence of English, and partly to the increased use of computerized typesetting and word processing software, most of which does not directly support right-to-left layout of East Asian languages.

However, right-to-left horizontal writing is still seen in these scripts, in such places as signs, on the right-hand side of vehicles, and on the right-hand side of stands selling food at festivals. It is also used to simulate archaic writing, for example in reconstructions of old Japan for tourists, and it is still found in the captions and titles of some newspapers.



The first printed Chinese text in horizontal alignment was Robert Morrison's "Dictionary of the Chinese language", published in 1815–1823 in Macau.

The earliest widely known Chinese publication using horizontal alignment was the magazine ''Science'' . Its first issue in January 1915 explained the unusual format:

:''This magazine is printed so that it goes sideways from the top left, and is marked with Western punctuation. This is to make the insertion of mathematical, physical and chemical formulae convenient, not for the sake of novelty-hunting. We ask our readers to excuse us.''

With the proliferation of horizontal text, both horizontal and vertical came to be used concurrently. Proponents of horizontal text argued that vertical text in right-to-left columns were smudged easily when written, and moreover demanded greater movement from the eyes when read. Vertical text proponents, on their part, considered horizontal text to be a break from established tradition.

After the success of the in 1949, the People's Republic of China instituted the Simplified Chinese orthographical reform, and also decided that horizontal text should be used. All newspapers in mainland China were changed from vertical to horizontal alignment on January 1, 1956. Singapore later adopted Simplified Chinese characters, and vertical writing also became rare. In Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, and among older overseas Chinese communities, "Traditional Chinese" continues to be used but horizontal writing has been gradually adopted since the 1990s. By the early 2000s, most newspapers in these areas had switched to left-to-right horizontal writing, either entirely or in a combination of vertical text with horizontal left-to-right headings.


Horizontal text originally came in to Japanese in the Meiji era when the Japanese tried to print dictionaries for Western languages. Initially the dictionaries were printed in a mixture of horizontal Western and vertical Japanese text, which meant the book had to be rotated ninety degrees in order to read the Japanese. Because this was unwieldy, the idea of ''yokogaki'' came to be accepted. One of the first publications to partially use ''yokogaki'' was a German to Japanese dictionary published in 1885 .

At the very beginning of the change to horizontal alignment in Japan, in the Meiji era, there was a short-lived form called ''migi yokogaki'' , in contrast to ''hidari yokogaki'', , the current standard. This resembled the right-to-left horizontal writing style of languages such as with line breaks on the left hand side of the page. It was probably based on the traditional single-row right-to-left writing. This form was never widely used, and has not survived.


Traditionally, Korean people also used vertical writing and the columns were read from right to left. After the 1980s, it became popular to use the horizontal writing system, and horizontal writing is usually read left to right.

In 1980s all major Korean newspapers were written using vertical writing, but in 1988, The Hankyoreh newspaper first introduced horizontal writing to newspapers. After 1990 all major newspapers changed writing style to horizontal, and today there are no major newspapers written in vertical writing.


Simplified Chinese

In Mainland China and Singapore, where the Simplified Chinese orthographical reform has been adopted, vertical writing is now very rare. Most publications are now printed in horizontal alignment, like English, and vertical alignment is generally used for artistic or aesthetic purposes, or when space constraints demand it, for example on the spines of books or when labeling maps or diagrams. However, calligraphy - in Simplified or Traditional Chinese - is invariably written vertically. Additionally, vertical text may still be encountered on some and personal letters in Mainland China.

Horizontal writing is written left to right in the vast majority of cases, with a few exceptions such as bilingual dictionaries of Chinese and right-to-left scripts like Arabic, in which case Chinese may follow the right-to-left alignment. Right-to-left writing direction can also often be seen on the right side of tourist buses, as it is customary to have the text run from the front of the bus to its rear.

Japanese and Traditional Chinese

Both horizontal and vertical writing are used in Japan, as well as in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan where the Traditional Chinese orthography is used. Traditional Chinese is also used in mainland China in a few limited contexts, such as some books on ancient literature, or as an aesthetic choice for some signs on shops, temples, etc. In those contexts, both horizontal and vertical writing are used as well.

Vertical writing is commonly used for novels, newspapers, , and many other forms of writing. Because it goes downwards, vertical writing is invariably used on the spines of books. Some newspapers combine the two forms, using the vertical format for most articles but including some written horizontally, especially for headlines. Musical notation for some Japanese instruments such as the shakuhachi is written vertically.

Horizontal writing is easier for some purposes; academic texts are sometimes written this way since they often include words and phrases in other languages, which are more easily incorporated horizontally. and texts are nearly always written horizontally, since in vertical writing equations must be turned sideways, making them more difficult to read.

Similarly, English language textbooks, which contain many English words, are usually printed in horizontal writing. This is not a fixed rule, however, and it is also common to see English words printed sideways in vertical writing texts.

Computer text is usually presented in horizontal format; see Japanese language and computers.

Business cards in Japan are often printed vertically in Japanese on one side, and horizontally in English on the other. Postcards and handwritten letters may be arranged horizontally or vertically, but the more formal the letter the more likely it is to be written vertically. Envelope addresses are usually vertical, with the recipient's address on the right and the recipient's name in the exact centre of the envelope. See also Japanese etiquette.


In East Asian calligraphy, vertical writing remains the dominant direction. This is true even for calligraphy done in Simplified Chinese.


Japanese comics, also known as manga, tend to use vertical direction for text. Manga frames tend to flow in right-to-left horizontal direction. Frames in tend to flow in a vertical direction. Page ordering is the same as books that use vertical direction: from right to left. Frames that are chronologically before or after each other use less spacing in between as a visual cue.

In some cases, horizontal writing may be used to indicate that a character is actually speaking in English instead of Japanese.

Some publishers that translate manga into European languages may choose to keep the original page order , while other publishers may reverse the page flow with use of mirrored pages.


In modern Korea, vertical writing is rare. Modern Korean is usually written in left-to-right horizontally. Vertical writing is only used when the writing space is long vertically and narrow horizontally, for example titles on the spines of books are usually written vertically. When a foreign language film is subtitled into Korean, the subtitles are sometimes written vertically at the right side of the screen.

In the Standard language of South Korea, punctuation marks are used differently in horizontal and vertical writing. Western punctuation marks are used in horizontal writing and the Japanese-style punctuation marks are used in vertical writing. However, vertical writing using Western punctuation marks is sometimes found.


Traditional Mongolian Script and its offshoots including Manchu script are rendered vertically. Characters within Mongolian text that can only be rendered horizontally are rotated by 90 degrees.

The columns are read from left to right.

Vertical writing and computers

Early computer installations were designed only to support left-to-right horizontal writing based on the Latin alphabet. Today, most computer programs do not fully support the vertical writing system; however, most advanced word processing and publication software which target the East Asian region support the vertical writing system either fully or to a limited extend.

Even though vertical text display is not well supported, composing a vertical text for print is possible on Windows platform for awhile. On Asian editions of Windows, Asian fonts would also expose a vertical version. Font names are prefixed with "@". User can compose and edit the document as any normal horizontal text. When complete, changing the text font to a vertical font would convert the document text to vertical text.

Hokkien dialect

Hokkien is a dialect of Min Nan spoken in southern Fujian, Taiwan, and by many overseas Chinese throughout South-east Asia. It is related to and , with which it shares only minimal intelligibility.

Hokkien includes a variety of dialects of which and the Tainan variant of Taiwanese are considered standards, being in the middle of dialectic divides and thus enjoying the highest intelligibility amongst the varying dialects.

Geographic distribution

Hokkien originated in the Southern regions of Fujian province, an important centre for trade and migration, and has since been spread beyond China, being one of the most common Chinese languages overseas.

A form of Hokkien akin to that spoken in southern Fujian is also spoken in Taiwan, where it has the native name of T?i-o?n-oē or . The ethnic group for which Hokkien is considered a native language is known as the or , the main ethnicity of Taiwan. The correspondence between language and ethnicity is generally true though not absolute, as some Hoklo have very limited proficiency in Hokkien while some non-Hoklos speak it fluently.

There are many Hokkien speakers also amongst overseas Chinese in Southeast Asia. Many ethnic emigrants to the region were Hoklo from southern Fujian, and brought the language to what is now Indonesia and present day Malaysia and Singapore . Many of the Hokkien dialects of this region are highly similar to Taiwanese and Amoy. Hokkien is reportedly the native language of up to 98.5% of the in the Philippines, among whom it is also known as Lan-nang or Lán-l?ng-oē . Hokkien speakers form the largest group of Chinese in Singapore with the and combined with speakers of other Southern Min languages form the majority of the island’s population.


Southern Fujian is home to three main Hokkien dialects. They are known by the geographic locations to which they correspond :


As Amoy is the principal city of southern Fujian, its dialect is considered the most important, or even accent. The Amoy dialect is a hybrid of the Chinchew and Changchew dialects. Amoy and the Amoy dialect have played an influential role in history, especially in the relations of nations with China, and was one of the most frequently learned of all Chinese languages/dialects by ers during the second half of the 19th century and the early 20th century.

The variants spoken in Taiwan are similar to the three Fujian variants, and are collectively known as Taiwanese. Taiwanese is used by a majority of the population and bears much importance from a socio-political perspective, forming the second major pole of the language. The variants of Hokkien in Southeast Asia also originate from these variants.


Hokkien has one of the most diverse phonologies amongst Chinese languages, with more consonants than standard Mandarin or Cantonese. Vowels, on the other hand, are more or less similar to that of Standard Mandarin.


In general, Hokkien variants have seven to eight s, and tone sandhi is extensive. There are minor variations between the and tone systems. Taiwanese tones follow the schemes of Amoy and Changchew, depending on the area of Taiwan. See also for more examples.



is a hybrid of and speech. Taiwanese is also a hybrid of these two dialects. Taiwanese in northern Taiwan tends to be based on Chinchew speech, whereas the Taiwanese spoken in southern Taiwan tends to be based on Changchew speech. There are minor variations in pronunciation and vocabulary between Chinchew and Changchew speech. The grammar is basically the same. Additionally, Taiwanese includes several dozen loanwords from .

Mutual intelligibility

*Spoken: speech, Xiamen speech, speech and Taiwanese are mutually intelligible.

Teochew and Amoy Hokkien speech are 84.3% phonetically similar and 33.8% lexically similar, whereas Mandarin and Amoy Min Nan are 62% phonetically similar and 15.1% lexically similar. In comparison, German and English are 60% lexically similar. In other words, Chao-Shan, including Swatow , has very low intelligibility with Hokkien, and Hokkien is not mutually intelligible with Mandarin.

Scripts and orthographies

Like most ethnic , whether from mainland China, Taiwan, Singapore, or other parts of Southeast Asia, Hokkien speakers write their language with Chinese characters. However, unlike some other Mandarin or Cantonese, Hokkien does not yet have a standardised character set and thus there can be some variation in the characters used to express certain words. Currently, the Ministry of Education of the Republic of China is formulating and releasing a standard character set to overcome these difficulties.


Hokkien is sometimes transcribed into the Latin alphabet using one of several . Of these the most popular is Pe?h-ōe-jī . POJ was developed first by Presbyterian missionaries in China and later by the indigenous Presbyterian Church in Taiwan; use of the orthography has been actively promoted since the late 19th century. The use of a mixed orthography of Han characters and romanization is also seen, though remains uncommon. Other Latin-based orthographies also exist.

Hohhot dialect

Hohhot dialect is a dialect of , one of the subdivisions of spoken Chinese. It is colloquially referred to by native speakers as Hūshì-huà or Cǐdì-huà . It is spoken in the city of Hohhot, in Inner Mongolia, China.

The city's "dialect" is not a singular entity. People in the Jiu-cheng area, especially the Muslim Hui minority speak in a dialect very similar to what is heard in neighbouring Shanxi province and is undoubtedly a branch of the Jin linguistic group. The Mandarin dialect in Xincheng District is a branched combination of the Jin language, Hebei dialect, Northeastern Mandarin, and elements of the Manchu language, caused by the migration patterns to the region. It has thus created an interesting and distinct linguistic style. The two spoken forms of the Hohhot "dialect" is only partially intelligible to each other.

Like most Jin dialects, the Jiucheng Hohhot dialect uses the glottal stop, and is mutually intelligible with many spoken languages in neighboring Shanxi. In its full-fledged form, however, it is only partially intelligible with Standard Mandarin speakers. Arguably the most eccentric sound is the "nge" sound used to express "I". Many expressions in the dialect has crossed over itself with the Mandarin taught in schools to create "Hohhot Mandarin", or what is commonly heard on the street.

Notable features of the Hohhot dialect include:
*A special intonation for yes-no questions, which is characterized by a prolonged contour at the end of the sentence.
*Mandarin completive "ba" is often changed into "và" especially in suggestions.
*Renjia, an expression used to refer to someone in third person, is pronounced "niá".
*The word that corresponds to the Mandarin "wǒ" is pronounced "é" or "wě", which is possibly a weak form of the "nge" form. A vulgar slang term for "I' is "yé 爷 ", which is used mostly by less well-educated men, and those who want to sound tough and manly.
*Notable of ''p'', ''t'', and ''k'' sounds.

The above elements are generally seen in the Jin sub-branch of "raw" Hohhot dialect, which has its own exclusive elements:
*The absence of the "zh", "ch", and "sh" sounds. They are respectively changed into "z", "c" and "s".
*The Mandarin "r" is non-existent. It is replaced with a soft "z" sound.
*"What", , is generally pronounced "seng", or "sheng" by local people.
*Na-li, the expression for "over there" is often pronounced "na-ha-r".


The dialect spoken in Wuchuan County, about an 60km north of the city, has a recognizably different flavour. The same applies to the dialect in Siziwang Banner. The dialect around Tolmud Left Banner, west of the city, is significantly different phonologically, but lexically similar.

Historical Chinese phonology

Historical Chinese phonology deals with reconstructing the sounds of from the past. As is written with , not alphabetic or syllabary, the methods employed in Historical Chinese phonology differ considerably from those employed in, for example, linguistics.

Chinese scholars, especially those in the Qing Dynasty including Duan Yucai, studied the sound system and sounds of and Old Chinese for years. Based on their results, and armed with his knowledge of Western historical linguistics, the sinologist Bernhard Karlgren reconstructed the sounds of ancient Chinese with Latin alphabet for the first time during the early 20th century. Walter Simon and Henri Maspero also made great contributions in the field during the early days of its development.

The reconstruction of Middle Chinese draws its data from:

* and rime tables of the Middle Chinese era, such as ''Guangyun''
*modern Chinese speaking variants such as Cantonese, , , , & etc.
*Chinese loanwords in other languages such as , and
*the from other languages such as Sanskrit and into Chinese

Insight to the phonology of this era was further gained with the discovery of the fragmentary ''Qieyun'' in the Dunhuang Caves in the 1930s. The work had earlier been considered lost. Karlgren, who based his work on much later rime dictionaries, suggested that Middle Chinese was a live language of the - period. Today, this notion has been replaced by the view that the sound system in ''Qieyun'' represents the literate reading adopted by the literate class of the period throughout the country, not any live language that once existed.

The reconstruction of Old Chinese is more controversial than that of Middle Chinese since it has to be extrapolated from the Middle Chinese data. Phonological information concerning Old Chinese are chiefly gained from:

*the rhymed texts written before the Qin Dynasty, chiefly '''', the earliest anthology of Chinese poetry
*the fact that were homophones or near-homophones when the characters were first created.

Today the reconstruction of Old Chinese is carried out in the light of linguistics.


Hinghwa or Putian is a dialect. It is one of the two of the subdivision of the group of , and it is spoken in the east central Fujian province of southern China.

The language is very different from Hokkien.

According to the , there are approximate 2.5 millions speakers in China, over 66,000 in Malaysia and just over 14,000 in Singapore.

In Malaysia, it is a Chinese minority sometimes known as Hin Hua or Hing Hua.

Most of Hin Hua in Malaysia migrated from China during early 20th century. They are concentrated in certain area of certain towns including Kuching and Sibu, Sarawak. They are associated with fishery and tyre business, which they are known for. In food, their specialty including Hin Hua Noodle, a very thin noodle.

Hanzi Smatter

Hanzi Smatter is a blog that is dedicated to the misuse of Chinese characters in Western culture, or Eihongo.

It was started as a hobby of author Tian Tang in 2004. Most of the site's entries are photos of poorly done tattoos accompanied with often humorous and sarcastic commentaries. The site also features T-shirts and badly translated ad campaign slogans by and McDonald's.

Hanzi Smatter and its founder Tian have been featured in many publications including ''Washington Post'', ''FHM'', and ''''. Although Hanzi Smatter's entries are often about poorly done tattoos, Tian does not have any personal objections to the practice of tattooing.

Tian was interviewed by NPR's Robert Siegel on Jan. 12, 2006, and by '''''s Janet Tzou for the spring 2006 issue.

Hangzhou dialect

The Hangzhou dialect is spoken in the city of Hangzhou and its immediate suburbs, but excluding areas further away from Hangzhou such as Xiāoshān and Yúháng . The number of speakers of the Hangzhou dialect has been estimated to be about 1.2 to 1.5 million. It belongs to the family, which in turn constitutes one of the Sinitic language families. The Hangzhou dialect is of immense interest to and because , it exhibits extensive similarities with the other Wu languages; however, and , it shows many tendencies.


Geographic distribution


Phonetics and phonology






Syllable structure




Citation tones

The Hangzhou tonal system is similar to that of the Suzhou dialect, in that some words with ''shàng'' tone in Middle Chinese have merged with the ''yīn qù'' tone.

Tone sandhi






The most important event to impact on Hangzhou's dialect was its establishment as Ling'an, the capital of the Southern Song Dynasty. When the Northern Song Dynasty was conquered by the Jin Dynasty in 1127, large numbers of northern refugees fled to what is now Hangzhou, speaking predominently of the Henan variety. Within 30 years, contemporary accounts record that immigrants outnumbered natives in Hangzhou. This resulted in Mandarin influences in the pronunciation, lexicon and grammar of the Hangzhou dialect.

Further influence by Mandarin occurred after the overthrow of the Qing Dynasty in 1912. The local Manchu garrisons were dissolved, adding significant numbers of Beijing dialect Mandarin speakers to the population.

Because of the frequent commerce and intercourse between Hangzhou and Shaoxing, the Hangzhou dialect is also influenced by the Shaoxing dialect.


Han'er language

The Han'er language is a pre-modern Sino-Korean term used to denote a medieval Chinese language heavily influenced by non-Han Chinese languages, especially , during an era of non-Han Chinese domination of China. It roughly means "Han Chinese speech".

Terms and Concepts

Spoken Haner

The term "Haner language" appears in the Korean works ''Nogeoldae'' and ''Bak Tongsa'', and refers to the colloquial Han language of Northern China. "Haner" is an informal form of Hanren and its use can be traced back to the Han Dynasty period. During the Northern and Southern Dynasties, it came to refer to the Han people under non-Han domination. Northern China experienced long and frequent conquests by non-Han including the , the Jurchen and the Mongols. However, Han Chinese language kept its status as the lingua franca. This caused by Altaic languages. At the same time, the Haner language exposed colloquial features that have almost always been obscured by the tradition of Classical Chinese, so it is sometimes considered in relation to modern Mandarin.

Written Haner

There is another concept called the "Crude Mongol- Chinese Translation of Official Documents" by Yekemingghadai Irinchin. It is the written language used in imperial edicts, laws and other official documents during the Yuan Dynasty. These documents were written in highly formalized translation from Mongolian so that they cannot be understood with the grammar and vocabulary of Classical Chinese.

The Haner language and the Crude Mongol- Chinese Translation are different concepts. The latter is a written language but the former is a colloquial language or includes both. However, they clearly share many features in grammar and vocabulary. The development of the written language seems to have been based on the Haner language.


There are two methods to study the Haner language: the comparison of the crude translation with original Mongolian, and the analysis of colloquial style books like the Nogeoldae. Although their similarities have been pointed out, there is not yet any detailed comparison between the two forms. Here we mainly deal with the crude translation.

Word order

The crude translation tries to keep the same word order to Mongolian unless it is too confusing or unnatural. This means reverse order in Han Chinese language because Mongolian is a language while Han Chinese language is basically a language. It also adopts some postpositions.


Mongolian distinguishes singular and plural forms although it is not as strict as in English. In the Haner language, Mongolian plural endings technically correspond to "mei" even if it sounds unnatural in Han Chinese language. For example, Mongolian "?erig-üd" was translated into "junmei" .


Possessive pronouns are postpositioned in Mongolian. The crude translation sometimes translates it in the original order. For example, "jarlig-man-u" is "shengzhi andi" in the crude translation. Due to its ambiguity, however, possessive prounouns were often reversed or simply dropped.


Although the ordinary Han Chinese language does not mark cases or uses prepositions like 把-, the crude translation frequently used postpositions that correspond to the Mongolian ones.

The genitive and comitative case suffixes follow the orinary Han Chinese grammar, but the rest is not. The extensive use of -gendi is one of remarkable features of the crude translation and it can also be found in the colloquial form. There seems a loose distinction between the -gendi and the -li: the -gendi tends to mark dative case whereas the -li marks locative case in general. Note that in ''the Secret History of the Mongols'', -gendi is replaced by the -hang .


Mongolian verbs can be nominalized in some inflected forms and refer to persons performing/having performed the actions. In the Haner language, the character "di" comes after verbal phrases. Depending on tense, "laidi" "ledi" "lailedi" "quledi" were also used. The plural ending "mei" can be added. For example, "changchuan chirou di mei" means "persons who habitually eat meat."


Auxiliary verbs

The Haner language is most known for its use of "有" at the end of a sentence.