Retaining Hokkien Language

Discussions on the Hokkien (Minnan) language.
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我是中国人!

Re: Retaining Hokkien Language

Post by 我是中国人! » Fri Nov 29, 2002 2:43 am

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Wei

Re: Retaining Hokkien Language

Post by Wei » Mon Dec 02, 2002 11:20 am

hi all,

it's becoming a trend, ppl in penang... no matter where his/her ancestor originated, he will know how to speak hokkien. i am not a hokkien, but i do speak fluent hokkien.on the other hand, ppl in kuala lumpur will automatically speak cantonese due to the environment.

this is caused by the history : many cantonese came to SE asia and work as tin miner 100 years ago. hence, u can see ppl in Ipoh and kuala lumpur (which were famous of it's tin mining industry) speak cantonese. Many fujianese came to Malaysia and worked as fishermen. hence, u can see almost the whole northern malaysian chinese, Klang (somewhere near KL, and southern Malaysian chinese speak hokkien (most of southern malaysian speak mandarin more nowadays, maybe they r not aware of retaining their mother tongue, forgetting their roots)

Some ppl will think that hokkien is dying. but i how about cantonese? I do feel that ppl that understand cantonese is getting more (due to Hongkong TV series). anyway, i dun think that more and more ppl r using it. i dun think that cantonese will be a live language when nobody speaks but only understand it. do u feel that Cantonese is also DYING in Kuala Lumpur? when u walk on the road in Kuala lumpur, try to observe what language do the parents of KL speak to their children? it's MANDARIN!!! what will happen to cantonese after 50 years? ppl juz understand but dun wanna use it... can we still consider cantonese as a live language?!

Another IMPORTANT thing is that : the satelite TV in malaysia (ASTRO) is starting to air other dialect programmes(other than cantonese) such as hokkien language documentaries. i hope they can air more interesting programmes in other dialects other than mandarin, hokkien and cantonese.

I dun think that hokkien dialect will die in Northern Malaysia. (I am a penangite, currently staying in penang). everyone speaks that. if u dunno how to speak, u will be isolated by other 1,300,000 ppl in Penang. and i observed that some Cantonese family speak hokkien at home rather than cantonese.

i still DO feel that, other chinese dialect should be liven up such as hainanese,cantonese,teochew,fuchew,hakka. (coz hokkien really dominates the whole northern malaysia from Perlis,Kedah,Penang and Northern Perak)

wei
from penang
Wei

Re: Retaining Hokkien Language

Post by Wei » Mon Dec 02, 2002 11:21 am

hi all,

it's becoming a trend, ppl in penang... no matter where his/her ancestor originated, he will know how to speak hokkien. i am not a hokkien, but i do speak fluent hokkien.on the other hand, ppl in kuala lumpur will automatically speak cantonese due to the environment.

this is caused by the history : many cantonese came to SE asia and work as tin miner 100 years ago. hence, u can see ppl in Ipoh and kuala lumpur (which were famous of it's tin mining industry) speak cantonese. Many fujianese came to Malaysia and worked as fishermen. hence, u can see almost the whole northern malaysian chinese, Klang (somewhere near KL, and southern Malaysian chinese speak hokkien (most of southern malaysian speak mandarin more nowadays, maybe they r not aware of retaining their mother tongue, forgetting their roots)

Some ppl will think that hokkien is dying. but i how about cantonese? I do feel that ppl that understand cantonese is getting more (due to Hongkong TV series). anyway, i dun think that more and more ppl r using it. i dun think that cantonese will be a live language when nobody speaks but only understand it. do u feel that Cantonese is also DYING in Kuala Lumpur? when u walk on the road in Kuala lumpur, try to observe what language do the parents of KL speak to their children? it's MANDARIN!!! what will happen to cantonese after 50 years? ppl juz understand but dun wanna use it... can we still consider cantonese as a live language?!

Another IMPORTANT thing is that : the satelite TV in malaysia (ASTRO) is starting to air other dialect programmes(other than cantonese) such as hokkien language documentaries. i hope they can air more interesting programmes in other dialects other than mandarin, hokkien and cantonese.

I dun think that hokkien dialect will die in Northern Malaysia. (I am a penangite, currently staying in penang). everyone speaks that. if u dunno how to speak, u will be isolated by other 1,300,000 ppl in Penang. and i observed that some Cantonese family speak hokkien at home rather than cantonese.

i still DO feel that, other chinese dialect should be liven up such as hainanese,cantonese,teochew,fuchew,hakka. (coz hokkien really dominates the whole northern malaysia from Perlis,Kedah,Penang and Northern Perak)

wei
from penang
James Campbell

Re: Retaining Hokkien Language

Post by James Campbell » Sun Dec 08, 2002 4:34 pm

I thought 餛飩 come from wenzhou 溫州 which is halfway up the chinese coast, not close to Guangdong at all. And I don't know what 鍋貼 are in English, but potsticker is probably about as close to it (actually that's a direct translation!) and I never seen or heard of 'potsticker' in the US, so I'm not really sure what it's referring to.
Lim Eng Di

Re: Retaining Hokkien Language

Post by Lim Eng Di » Sun Dec 08, 2002 10:34 pm

Jeez you people are prolific. My eyes are taxed reading the 80+ entries in this this thread! (but, don't stop on my account =).

Anyway, I want to correct a message posted by the smiley face person [ :-) ]
on 10-02-02.

As someone who is living in New York City right now, it is totally false that Hokkiens are on East Broadway (a certain side of the main Chinatown in New York City). In fact in the last 10 years, East Broadway has and is being settled by 10s of thousands of Hokchius! Yes, from Fuzhou (and surrouding areas), the capital of Fujian Province. They are MinDong people not Minnan. I myself am Teochiu, and can't speak the Hokchiu of these new people, or the Cantonese of the older Chinese or the Toysan of the even older ones (somewhat) rare to meet Toyson. Teochiu and Hokchiu are not even close! I can't understand anything they say. In fact Hokchius are becoming a major force in NYC's chinatown.

In nearby Flushing, Queens (another Chinatown), is where there are a significant population of Taiwanese. These people can speak Hoklo. But mandarin and cantonese dominate here. Hoklo is only spoken with friends and at home as far as I can tell. Also, scattered all over the city are Indochinese diaspora folks who speak hoklo,hokkien,minnan,teochiu, and whatever else you want to call minnan languages who have migrated from various places in SEAsia.

Lim Eng Di
gamsia
a hua

Re: Retaining Language

Post by a hua » Thu Dec 12, 2002 6:08 pm

facts all wrong,
East Broadway is all Fuzhounese, no southern min spoken there, no Taiwanese population in Manhattan. E B'way is known in mandarin as Fuzhou jie, everyone is from Fuzhou City, or Chang Le City, speaking Northern Min, or N. Fujianese. They couldn't communicate with a Taiwanese or minnan speaker, southern min speaker if their life depended on it. The Cantonese populaton is growing out of control in Manhattan's Chinatown. I live and work there. So, the most knowledgeable on dialects are probably those from the place. The Cantonese that get to the other locations usually have the cash, if not, you gotta pay the now rate of 70 US grand to get boated or flown into the US illegally, and the trip could take months. Good Luck.
a hua

Re: Retaining Hokkien Language

Post by a hua » Thu Dec 12, 2002 6:41 pm

Lim Eng Di, my mesage is not responding to yours, it is responding to the earlier one we both responded to. You got it right, and it is amazing all the dialects spoken among the people of the diaspora. I know some Cambodian Chinese here who are Chaozhou- Teochiu, and don't know Cantonese. Really in NY, there is every possible combination. Note the growing pop. og Wenzhounese in Flushing, and the fake cd hawkers on Canal St. are alot of Wenzhou ren.
Other comments, potsticker is direct trans. I never heard it in the US, just from Taiwanese speaking English, where many times I encountered English speaking Taiwanese always insisting on there being a translation for Mandarin terms. A fallacy, just a language politic, many foreigners know of the term jiao zi, everyone knows won ton, and who would ever say let gets some little hearts, small somethings, little treasures, treats, we all say dim sum. Even a Taiwanese is better off saying dim sum before dian xin, or little whatevers. But that is an external problem, meaning if you are Taiwanese and never been to the US, you have no way to know that yes, we translate dou jiang inot soy milk, but leave jiao zi alone. I read the menus in NYC, jiao zi can be steamed pork buns, (though there is a popular steamed pork bun which is better said as rou bao) or water dumplings, steamed dumplings, pork dumplings, and little pork friends. Even more difficult and amazing are the seemingly house made translations of Cantonese, where shrimp dumplings as in mandarin, xia jiao, cantonese ha gao, becomes something like har kow, hark kow, how cow, har kaw, halk gar, and on. When the waiter comes over, he asks if you want shrimp dumplings in English.
Not to digress, but in NYC Chinatown, to hear Chaozhou hua, you have ti read Chinese, as many Vietnamese restaurants are Chaozhou, as written on the sign, but they all speak Cantonese, Chaozhou among themselves, and mandarin. I went to a place and my friends looked at me in shock, saying how did you learn Vietnamese, and were more shocked to learn that they always been going to a Chinese place, and I was speaking Cantonese with the workers. If you don't know the dialects at all, you have no idea who is who.
Last, when I went to Thaliand, in the Bangkok Chinatown. I coukldn't find Cantonese (though it is there) but always Chaozhou speakers, who didn't understand my minnanhua, as learned in Taiwan, so with those who could, we spoke in Mandarin.
Lim Eng Di

Re: Retaining Hokkien Language

Post by Lim Eng Di » Thu Dec 12, 2002 11:08 pm

Yes, to talk more about New York City: Yeah there are quite a few Southeast asian restaurants that are owned by Teochiu people. But, you are right a hua, most staff in the restaurant can't speak a lick of teochiu, most waiters speak Cantonese, and sometimes the language of that particular cuisine (Viet, Thai, etc.) , and then there are the mexican help who speak spanish. The only time I've heard teochiu is when I speak to the "tao3 ge1" person of these restaurants, or by chance in the streets. Otherwise, I often have to make the decision whether I will talk to people in mandarin or english. I know almost no cantonese. pathetic! I think I know more taiwanese/hokkien from listening to taiwanese music.

Oh, and one interesting thing too, in my mandarin class at CUNY, we had some fuzhounese slackers (they of course knew how to speak mandarin, but were taking the course just for an easy credit), and they knew how to speak cantonese too. Apparently the ones living in or near chinatown have taken it up.

The Wenzhounese have been around for a while in NYC Everyone thinks they are super shrew businness people.
a hua

Re: Retaining Hokkien Language

Post by a hua » Fri Dec 13, 2002 3:02 am

Lim Eng Di:
Fast response, nice.
you are right on. The Mexican kitchen help does add to the global twist of it all. Hit Nha Trang Restaurant on the street two blocks south of Mott, off of Canal, there you have Mexicans, Vietnamese waiters speaking no Chinese, and the Cantonese and Mandarin speaking bosses. Plus, as I think you mentioned before,watching video tapes, with characters intact, leads to Fuzhounese accessing cantonese quiclkly. As you have seen in Chinatown, and 8th ave in Brooklyn, numerous video rental stores for pasttime viewing. I asked many Fuzhounese how did they learned Cantonese that fast, they all said the same thing, from endless watching of tapes, and then working side by side with Cantonese in Chinatown. Especially, before, i worked in an afterschool prgram where new immigrant Fuzhounes are in class with Cantonese kids, and they just pick it up, like all kids do with language, my only regret, for starting to learn dialects after 25. But you yourself know, since it seems you too had class in college, more power to ya. On Doyer Street in Chinatown, a Chinese Indonesian place in the basement where they speak Minnan, and Mandarin, I don't know if Cantonese, so many variables in NYC. The place I mentioned before is on Bayard, right off of Mott, called Bo Ky, Chaozhou in characters, trilingual menu of Vietnamese, Chinese and English.
Hey, it's not pathetic what dialect you can say you lack, there are dozens.
If I go to a Teochiu place, and they know Mandarin, but Cantonese is their dominant tongue, I have to do it in Mandarin, being that my Cantonese is limited, and I have never received slack for it. I know no teochiu, but I would like to. And in Nha Trang, I stay at Mandarin, they never ask or revert to Cantonese, like I was pulliing a hierarchy call on them and keeping it elite (as a perception of Mandarin to be) besides, these guys are working, no academic quarrels there. There are other hard core Cantonese joints, actually Toisanesee, like Mei Sum, in mandarin, Mei Xin, Coffee shop on Pell Street, and I always keep it Mandarin, and there is no slack, they are just glad to have people around, if I throw in some Cantonese, people perk up, but everyone is a foreigner here. One perplexing thing. Along Canal, many Cantonese speaking small shop owners, history as of 88' on claims of a large Vietnamese population, that is non-Chinese, but they speak Cantonese due to assimalation, if you ask them are you Chinese/a yes is response, further inquiries as to Viet-Chinese or just Vietnamese that picked up Cantonese is not answered, just, yea, Chinese. any insights?
Keep in touch.
Lim Eng Di

Re: Retaining Hokkien Language

Post by Lim Eng Di » Fri Dec 13, 2002 3:33 pm

About the Cantonese speaking Viets on Canal. I wasn't aware that they were Viet. I thought that they were just cantonese or canto-viet (meaning Chinese who once lived in Vietnam). But the fact that they just say that they are Chinese.... that's weird. Maybe they don't want to admit it to you that they are indeed Viets... or maybe they are mixed like sino-viets (mixed blood). Perplexing...

Yeah, the most interesting thing about the Mexican help in Chinese and other Asian establishments is hearing them communicate. For example: Korean greengrocers and Chinese fishmongers often make it a point to learn spanish... I rarely hear english. Sometimes I'll hear Korean, or Cantonese though. Ain't that the most awesomest thing???

Oh, thanks for the info on the "canto-language video-tape learning fuzhou people".... so that's how they do it. I guess if I had the time (or interest), I could learn Cantonese from videotapes too. But man, some of those series are freaking long... like 30+ tapes!

Oh, and about Boky. Unfortunate news, the owner who is teochiu-viet recently had medical problems and actually passed away while travelling in Vietnam (that's the word down the teochiu grapvine). It's really a shame.

About dialect dominance. I'm only ashamed at not knowing Cantonese because I grew up going to Chinatown a lot, and feel a little remorse at not knowing more cantonese... actually learning mandarin helps in understanding Canto. from listening. Besides Mandarin and Cantonese, all other dialects have low prestige and low value (atleast in NYC). Fuzhounese might become important, but they are still looked down upon by other Chinese. Minnan dialects? Nope. Hakka? no.... Shanghainese? I hear it sometimes but rarely. And I can't even distinguish what Wenzhounese or other dialects sound like. I wonder what the dialect situation is in other NorthAmerican, European and AustralAsian cities....

LimEngDi
ps: a hua are you in NYC right now?
pps: Check out my Teochiu site:

http://teochiu.tripod.com
BHYeo

Re: Retaining Hokkien Language

Post by BHYeo » Sat Dec 14, 2002 11:56 am

Hi A Hua,

I was told that Wenzhounese speaks a weird mixture of Hokkien and Wu dialects. Is it true? I wonder how it sounds like and to what extent a Hokkien or Minnan speaker understands what is spoken by a Wenzhounese.
a hua

Re: Retaining Hokkien Language

Post by a hua » Wed Dec 18, 2002 9:18 pm

Lim sin sei,
BoKy owner died?, was he the guy around 40-plus, very friendly, amateur photography buff? Food there delicious, that's too bad
BHYeo

Re: Retaining Hokkien Language

Post by BHYeo » Sun Mar 09, 2003 5:32 am

Hi everyone,


This topic has the largest number of postings under the Hokkien (Minnan) Language Forum i.e. about 86 but the list show zero reply. The mix-up could have happened when the administrator deleted the offensive postings. Hope the administrator could rectify this.

By the way, I hope to get some new info on measures being pursued by the Hokkien community to promote the Hokkien language be it in Taiwan or in other parts of the world where there is Hokkien community. I used to get info on promotion of Hakka language and culture but hardly any on Hokkien language and culture even in Taiwan where Hokkiens predominate. Look like the Hokkiens generally are very complacent and non-aggressive to the extent that it has led to Mr. KYLee an ex-PM of Singapore to consider Hokkien as not a living language unlike Cantonese which is very alive and kicking not only in Hong Kong but in many parts of the world where there is large Chinese community.
Na Ren

Re: Retaining Hokkien Language

Post by Na Ren » Sun Mar 09, 2003 7:26 pm

Hello, I am just confused. I had always thought of Teochew (or Chaozhou) to be part of the greater Min Nan family, including Hokkien, Hainan Dialect, and Fujianese. I know that Cantonese has an influence on the Teochew language because the Teochew are in Guangdong, but is it not still Min Nan? There are many similarities between Teochew and Hokkien, so I just always thought that meant they were related in the same family. Could any one clarify that for me?
Kobo-Daishi

Re: Retaining Hokkien Language

Post by Kobo-Daishi » Sun Mar 09, 2003 11:02 pm

Dear Na Ren,

Yes, the Teochew (Chaozhou) dialect does belong to the Minnan family of dialects.

The following passage comes from "Chinese" by Professor Jerry Norman published by Cambridge University Press:

"Geographically speaking, Min dialects are spoken in all of Fujian province except for the southwestern corner, which is a part of the Kejia-speaking region. The northeastern part of Guangdong, located immediately to the south of Fujian, is also Min-speaking; the dialect of this area is often referred to by the former prefectural name of Chaozhou. Min-speaking islands are found at many points on the Guangdong coast and even in some inland areas; the Leizhou Peninsula and Hainan Island are also home to a number of dialects belonging to this group."

Click on the following link to see how the Min dialect group is broken down geographically:

http://www.glossika.com/en/dict/dialectmn.htm

Note: "Minnan" means "Southern Min".

Note: "Kejia" is the Mandarin pronunciation for "Hakka".

Kobo-Daishi, PLLA.
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