Hakka Chinese

Last updated
Native to China, Taiwan
RegionMainland China: Guangdong, adjoining regions of Fujian, Jiangxi, Southern Hunan and the midwest of Sichuan
Hong Kong: New Territories and Malaysia (older generations since younger Hakkas mostly speak Cantonese due to language shift and social assimilation)
Ethnicity Hakka
Native speakers
47.8 million (2007) [1]
Written Chinese
Latin (Pha̍k-fa-sṳ)
Official status
Official language in
Flag of the Republic of China.svg  Taiwan [lower-alpha 1]
Recognised minority
language in
Flag of the Republic of China.svg  Taiwan (a statutory language for public transportation; [3] government sponsor of Hakka-language television station)
Flag of Thailand.svg  Thailand
Language codes
ISO 639-3 hak
Glottolog hakk1236
Linguasphere 79-AAA-g > 79-AAA-ga (+ 79-AAA-gb transition to 79-AAA-h)
Idioma hakka.png
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.
  1. National language in Taiwan; [2] also statutory status in Taiwan as one of the languages for public transport announcements [3] and for the naturalisation test. [4]

Related Research Articles

The Hakka, sometimes also referred to as Hakka Han, or Hakka Chinese, or Hakkas are a Han Chinese subgroup whose ancestral homes are chiefly in the Hakka-speaking provincial areas of Guangdong, Fujian, Jiangxi, Guangxi, Sichuan, Hunan, Zhejiang, Hainan, Guizhou in China, as well as in Taoyuan City, Hsinchu County, Miaoli County, Pingtung County, and Kaohsiung City in Taiwan. The Chinese characters for Hakka literally mean "guest families". Unlike other Han Chinese subgroups, the Hakkas are not named after a geographical region, e.g. a province, county or city, in China. The word Hakka or "guest families" is Cantonese in origin and originally refers to the Northern Chinese migrants fleeing social unrest, upheaval and invasions in northern parts of China during the Qing dynasty who then sought sanctuary in the Cantonese provinces such as Guangdong and Guangxi, thus the original meaning of the word implies that they are guests living in the Cantonese provinces. Of course, over the centuries, they have since more or less assimilated with the Cantonese people. Modern day Hakka are generally identified by both full Hakka and by different degrees of Hakka ancestry and usually speak Hakka Chinese.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Yue Chinese</span> Primary branch of Chinese spoken in southern China

Yue is a group of similar Sinitic languages spoken in Southern China, particularly in Liangguang.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Min Chinese</span> Primary branch of Chinese spoken in southern China and Taiwan

Min is a broad group of Sinitic languages spoken by about 30 million people in Fujian province as well as by the descendants of Min speaking colonists on Leizhou peninsula and Hainan, or assimilated natives of Chaoshan, parts of Zhongshan, three counties in southern Wenzhou, Zhoushan archipelago, and Taiwan. 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.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Varieties of Chinese</span> Family of local language varieties

Chinese, also known as Sinitic, is a branch of the Sino-Tibetan language family consisting of hundreds of local varieties, many of which are not mutually intelligible. Variation is particularly strong in the more mountainous southeast part of mainland China. The varieties are typically classified into several groups: Mandarin, Wu, Min, Xiang, Gan, Hakka and Yue, though some varieties remain unclassified. These groups are neither clades nor individual languages defined by mutual intelligibility, but reflect common phonological developments from Middle Chinese.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hakka hill song</span> Music genre

Hakka hill songs are rural songs sung in the Hakka language by the Hakka people. They are probably one of the better known elements that reflect Hakka culture, regarded by many as the 'pearl of Hakka Literature'.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Xingning, Guangdong</span> County-level city in Guangdong, Peoples Republic of China

Xingning is a county-level city, under the jurisdiction of Meizhou City, Guangdong Province, China. The second largest city in eastern Guangdong, Xingning has an area of 2,104.85 square kilometres (812.69 sq mi) and a population of 1.13 million.

Teochew or Chaozhou is a dialect of Chaoshan Min, a Southern Min language, that is spoken by the Teochew people in the Chaoshan region of eastern Guangdong and by their diaspora around the world. It is sometimes referred to as Chiuchow, its Cantonese rendering, due to the English romanisation by colonial officials and explorers. It is closely related to some dialects of Hokkien, as it shares some cognates and phonology with Hokkien. The two are mutually unintelligible, but it is possible to understand some words.

Guangdong Romanization refers to the four romanization schemes published by the Guangdong Provincial Education Department in 1960 for transliterating Cantonese, Teochew, Hakka and Hainanese. The schemes utilized similar elements with some differences in order to adapt to their respective spoken varieties.

The subgroups of the Han Chinese people are defined based on linguistic, cultural, ethnic, genetic and regional features. The terminology used in Mandarin to describe the groups is: "minxi", used in Mainland China or "zuqun", used in Taiwan. No Han subgroup is recognized as one of People's Republic of China's 56 official ethnic groups.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sinitic languages</span> Major branch of the Sino-Tibetan language family

The Sinitic languages (漢語族/汉语族), often synonymous with "Chinese languages", are a group of East Asian analytic languages that constitute the major branch of the Sino-Tibetan language family. It is frequently proposed that there is a primary split between the Sinitic languages and the rest of the family. This view is rejected by a number of researchers but has found phylogenetic support among others. The Greater Bai languages, whose classification is difficult, may be an offshoot of Old Chinese and thus Sinitic; otherwise Sinitic is defined only by the many varieties of Chinese unified by a shared historical background, and usage of the term "Sinitic" may reflect the linguistic view that Chinese constitutes a family of distinct languages, rather than variants of a single language.

Pha̍k-fa-sṳ is an orthography similar to Pe̍h-ōe-jī and used to write Hakka, a variety of Chinese. Hakka is a whole branch of Chinese, and Hakka dialects are not necessarily mutually intelligible with each other, considering the large geographical region. This article discusses a specific variety of Hakka. The orthography was invented by the Presbyterian church in the 19th century. The Hakka New Testament published in 1924 is written in this system.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Languages of Taiwan</span> Languages of the country and its peoples

The languages of Taiwan consist of several varieties of languages under the families of Austronesian languages and Sino-Tibetan languages. The Formosan languages, a branch of Austronesian languages, have been spoken by the Taiwanese indigenous peoples for thousands of years. Owing to the wide internal variety of the Formosan languages, research on historical linguistics recognizes Taiwan as the Urheimat (homeland) of the whole Austronesian languages family. In the last 400 years, several waves of Han emigrations brought several different Sinitic languages into Taiwan. These languages include Taiwanese Hokkien, Hakka, and Mandarin, which have become the major languages spoken in present-day Taiwan.

The history of Gan Chinese, a variety of Chinese spoken in modern-day China, stretches back to the beginning of the Qin dynasty. This long stretch of time is divided into Old Gan, late Old Gan, and Middle Gan periods.

The Wuhua dialect is a major dialect of Hakka Chinese spoken in Wuhua County, Jiexi County, Shenzhen, eastern Dongguan, Northern Guangdong around Shaoguan, Sichuan Province, and Tonggu County in Jiangxi Province.

The Meixian dialect, also known as Moiyan dialect, as well as Meizhou dialect (梅州話), or Jiaying dialect and Sixian dialect, is the prestige dialect of Hakka Chinese. It is named after Meixian District, Guangdong.

Raoping Hakka, also known as Shangrao Hakka, is a dialect of Hakka Chinese spoken in Raoping, Guangdong, as well as Taiwan.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Taiwanese Hakka</span> Chinese topolect spoken in Taiwan

Taiwanese Hakka is a language group consisting of Hakka dialects spoken in Taiwan, and mainly used by people of Hakka ancestry. Taiwanese Hakka is divided into five main dialects: Sixian, Hailu, Dabu, Raoping, and Zhao'an. The most widely spoken of the five Hakka dialects in Taiwan are Sixian and Hailu. The former, possessing 6 tones, originates from Meizhou, Guangdong, and is mainly spoken in Miaoli, Pingtung and Kaohsiung, while the latter, possessing 7 tones, originates from Haifeng and Lufeng, Guangdong, and is concentrated around Hsinchu. Taiwanese Hakka is also officially listed as one of the national languages of Taiwan. In addition to the five main dialects, there are the northern Xihai dialect and the patchily-distributed Yongding, Fengshun, Wuping, Wuhua, and Jiexi dialects.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sixian dialect</span> Hakka dialect of Taiwan

The Sixian dialect, also known as the Sixian accent, is a dialect of Hakka used by Taiwanese Hakkas, and it is the most spoken dialect of Taiwanese Hakka, being used in Hakka broadcasting in many public occasions. The Sixian dialect is generally spoken in northern and southern Taiwan, with main representative regions being Taoyuan and Miaoli in the north, as well as the Liudui Region in Kaohsiung and Pingtung in the south.

The Hakka Transliteration Scheme or Pinfa refers to a romanization scheme published by the Guangdong Provincial Education Department in September 1960 as one of four systems collectively referred to as Guangdong Romanization. The scheme describes the Meixian dialect spoken in Meizhou, Guangdong, which is considered to be the prestige dialect of Hakka, and was later adapted for Gan and Xiang. This system utilizes the Latin alphabet with superscript numbers to represent tone.


  1. Hakka at Ethnologue (19th ed., 2016) Closed Access logo transparent.svg
  2. Fan, Cheng-hsiang; Kao, Evelyn (2018-12-25). "Draft National Language Development Act Clears Legislative Floor". Focus Taiwan News Channel. Central News Agency. Archived from the original on 2018-12-25.
  3. 1 2 "Dàzhòng yùnshū gōngjù bòyīn yǔyán píngděng bǎozhàng fǎ" 大眾運輸工具播音語言平等保障法 [Act on Broadcasting Language Equality Protection in Public Transport] (in Chinese) via Wikisource.
  4. Article 6 of the Standards for Identification of Basic Language Abilities and General Knowledge of the Rights and Duties of Naturalized Citizens Archived 2017-07-25 at the Wayback Machine
  5. Thurgood, Graham; LaPolla, Randy J., eds. (2003). The Sino-Tibetan Languages. Routledge. ISBN   0-7007-1129-5.
  6. "The Hakka People > Historical Background". edu.ocac.gov.tw. Archived from the original on 2019-09-09. Retrieved 2010-06-11.
  7. "[Insert title here]". edu.ocac.gov.tw (in Chinese). Archived from the original on 2004-08-30. Retrieved 2014-10-12.
  8. Sagart (2002).
  9. Deng, Xiaohua 邓晓华 (1999). "Kèjiāhuà gēn Miáo-Yáo-Zhuàng-Dòngyǔ de Guānxì wèntí" 客家话跟苗瑶壮侗语的关系问题 (PDF). Mínzú yǔwén民族语文 (in Chinese). 3: 42–49. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2019-03-27. Retrieved 2021-07-03.
  10. Zhan, Bohui 詹伯慧 (1993). "Guǎngdōng Shěng Ráopíng fāngyán jì yīn" 广东省饶平方言记音. Fāngyán方言 (in Simplified Chinese) (2): 129–141.
  11. Liu, Zhenfa 劉鎮發 (1997). Kèyǔ pīnyīn zìhuì客語拼音字彙[Hakka Pinyin Vocabulary] (in Chinese). Xianggang zhongwen daxue chubanshe. p. xxvi. ISBN   962-201-750-9.
  12. 𠍲. Jiàoyùbù yìtǐzì zìdiǎn教育部異體字字典[Dictionary of Chinese Character Variants of the Ministry of Education] (in Chinese). Retrieved 2021-11-04.
  13. "Méizhōu diànshìtái kāishè quán kèjiā huà píndào (24 xiǎoshí bō chū)" 梅州电视台开设全客家话频道(24小时播出) [Meizhou TV Station Opens an All-Hakka Dialect Channel (24 Hours Broadcast)]. Luófú shān pùbù de bókè罗浮山瀑布的博客 (in Chinese). blog.sina.com.cn. 2011-07-21.

Further reading

  • O'Connor, Kevin A. (1976). "Proto-Hakka". Ajia Afurika Gengo Bunka Kenkyū / Journal of Asia and Africa Studies. 11 (1): 1–64.
  • Sagart, Laurent (1998). "On distinguishing Hakka and non-Hakka dialects". Journal of Chinese Linguistics. 26 (2): 281–302. JSTOR   23756757.
  • (2002). "Gan, Hakka and the Formation of Chinese Dialects" (PDF). In Ho, Dah-an (ed.). Dialect Variations in Chinese: Papers from the Third International Conference on Sinology, Linguistics Section. Taipei: Academia Sinica. pp. 129–153.
  • Schaank, Simon Hartwich (1897). Het Loeh-foeng-dialect (in Dutch). Leiden: E.J. Brill. Retrieved 11 February 2015.
  • Taiwan Language Tool (including Hakka)
Hakka hag5 ga1 fa4
or hag5 ga1 va4