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Chinese Language – Hakka Chinese

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Hakka (English: Hakka, Hakka vernacular characters: Hak-kâ-ngî, Hag5-ga1-ngi1), abbreviated as Hakka, is a tonal language in the Chinese family under the Sino-Tibetan family. Yes, One of the common languages of Han and Hakka people and a tool for identification, International language code: ISO 639-3 hak. It is one of the seven major Chinese dialects.

Hakka is also called Hakka on informal occasions. According to different accents, it can be divided into Meizhou dialect, Huiyang dialect, Huizhou dialect, Heyuan dialect, Gannan dialect, Tingzhou dialect, etc. In some areas, it is also called Cantonese, Shuiyuanyin, Ya dialect, Xinmin dialect, Moge dialect, and Huaiyuan dialect.  In language academic research, the Meixian dialect is the representative,  Huiyang dialect is more influential in reality; Taiwan is represented by the Sixian dialect.

Hakka is one of the official languages of Taiwan, China (the official language), and one of the official languages of the Republic of Suriname   . It was once one of the main languages ​​in circulation in the Lanfang Republic; it was once the “national language” of the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom and was widely used in official documents.

Hakka is mainly distributed in Meizhou, Huizhou, Heyuan, Shenzhen, and Shaoguan in Guangdong; Ganzhou in Jiangxi; Longyan and Sanming in Fujian; Hong Kong New Territories  and Hsinchu, Miaoli, Taoyuan in Taiwan and other places.  The scope mainly includes southern Jiangxi, western Fujian, eastern Guangdong, northern Guangdong, and the area on the east bank of the Pearl River Estuary , and is widely used in more than 180 areas in more than 10 provinces (cities, autonomous regions) in southern China Counties and cities and overseas Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, America, etc. More than 80 countries and regions. Hakka is spoken by approximately 65 million people worldwide.

The Hakka language is the “living fossil” of ancient Chinese in the Central Plains, retaining the pronunciation characteristics of many ancient Chinese words and common words in the Central Plains. A movement to return to my mother tongue occurred in Taiwan in 1988, which promoted the birth and development of Hakka modern media, Hakka pop music, and the emergence of language services in public life, which enabled Hakka to continue to be passed on in modern society and integrated into the trend of the times.


Some experts believe that the Hakka people first migrated from the north to southern China following the wave of immigration during several wars and turbulent times in ancient times. Their ancestors migrated from Henan, Shanxi, and other places today, and at the same time brought the characteristics of the language where they were at that time.

The ancestors of the Hakka people were originally the Han nationality in the Central Plains. Many ancient Chinese phonetic features still used in modern Hakka, including the ending consonants [-p][-t][-k] that can also be found in other southern dialects, have disappeared in some northern dialects.

Due to the migration of the Hakka people, the Hakka language will be affected by the dialects that Hakka ancestors migrated to the region. For example, many common words can be found in Hakka, Hokkien, and Cantonese.


Hakka was initially finalized during the Southern Song Dynasty. On the basis of inheriting ancient Chinese, its pronunciation has undergone regular sound changes. For example, among Middle Chinese, “people”, Chinese initials “day” part (ie day mother ), in Mandarin and Chinese dialects made for the most (r), IPA [ʐ], Hakka, compared with (ng), IPA [ŋ] or [ȵ]; the Middle Chinese pronunciation of “武” is [mvu], while in Hakka, the pronunciation becomes [vu].


Since the Song Dynasty at the latest, the languages of Meizhou and Tingzhou, the Hakka base camps, have attracted people’s attention at that time.

Southern Song Qingyuan between any Tingzhou Professor Chen Yixin in ” Postscript age support learning Stele ” goes: “Min eight counties, Ting o Five Ridges, and then the wind to learn – rather like Plains .” Almost contemporary Liu Chuang in the chant Zhangzhou verse folk music Among them: “Wind and smoke are not like Zhongzhou.” The comparison between the two shows that the dialects and cultural features of the residents of Ting and Zhang, which are adjacent to each other in the eyes of the Song people, are completely different. It shows that Minxi has formed a unique language in Song Dynasty.

The ” Yongle Dadian ” of the Ming Dynasty quoted a poem from a certain family in the Song Dynasty from “Roaming Collection” and “Guo Tingzhou”: “The terrain is wide in the west, and the local tone is different from Fujian in the north”. It shows that the dialect of the language of Tingzhou in the Song Dynasty was close to the northern ancient Chinese at that time, but different from the Min dialect.

The ” Yongle Dadian ” of the Ming Dynasty quoted the Song Dynasty’s “Tujingzhi” as saying: “The division of tides is in Guang, and it is in ancient Fujian and Yue regions. Its language appetite is quite similar to the four states under Fujian, Guang, Hui, Mei, and Xuncao. And the language, most of them cannot be translated. However, the Haifeng of Hui is close to Chao, and the pronunciation is different. Between Chrome, his voice customs are the same as those of Meiyang.” It shows that Chaozhou and Meizhou had their own local accents, which were different from each other. The local sounds played by Mei Chao are the same as Mei. Between Chaomei in Song Dynasty, which is equivalent to today’s Dapu, Fengshui, and other places, they are all Hakka regions. This reveals that the distribution of dialects at that time is roughly the same today. It can be inferred that the Hakka dialect was formed as early as the Song Dynasty.

Ming Dynasty Jiajing Between ” Annals of Guangdong ” contains Huizhou government Jiajingnianjian “Voice” scenario: If Fu Boluo, Heyuan close to the government, the same voice, Haifeng nearly tide, then the class Chaoyin, Longchuan, Xingning, Changle Connected to Gan, it is similar to Gan sound, and the language is different.

In the “Huizhou Fuzhi ” during the Jiajing period of the Ming Dynasty, the dialects and customs of the Xingning and Wuhua areas were recorded: “Speech customs are similar to Gan “, indicating that the language of the region at that time was similar to the dialect of Jiangxi.

In the “Xingning County Chronicles” during the Zhengde period of the Ming Dynasty, there is a more detailed record of the Xingning dialect at that time: “The sound of Qi Yun is ash, and Geng Yun is yang, such as Li is coming, the sound is Shang, and the stone is Shuo. Same as Jiangnan. It’s natural…There are also yang and Huang that are indifferent.” There are also some vocabulary records at that time: “The father said Abba, the mother said A sister, and the brother and sister-in-law put Asia first, like the brother said Brother Ya, sister-in-law called sister-in-law, call Xiaosuo and call Tai, call for children and call Tai, play and call materials, ask what is a curse, ask who is cursing and if no one is cursed, move closer and call buried, and those who do not check call Sanzi, its Huxi said open, Ling said two”.

The old “The Chronicles of Chengxiang County” compiled by Li Shichun at the end of the Ming Dynasty “in the dialect of a county ( Chaozhou Prefecture ), the local sounds of the county people are close to Zhang and Quan (zhou), and the local sounds of Cheng (Chengxiang) people are similar to Ting and Gan ( State)”. It can be seen that until the early 17th century, the dialect of Chengxiang County was still considered to be close to the Ting and Gan areas.

Xu Xuzeng’s “Fenghu Miscellaneous Notes,” says: Although the language of the guests is slightly different from that of the provinces in the Mainland, his voice in reading is quite positive. So in the beginning, I left my hometown and traveled through the interior, and I could communicate everywhere. However, it is still not strong and identical to the native language.

The “Guishan County Chronicles” during the Qianlong period of the Qing Dynasty included more than 20 words, such as “Brother Says Yage”, “Raining Says Falling Water”, etc.

The “Changning County Chronicles” during the Daoguang Period of the Qing Dynasty recorded some words used at that time, such as “Didou” (peanuts) and “Bitter Wheat” (a kind of lettuce with a slightly bitter taste).

Qing Dynasty Tongzhi Between “Ganzhou” records “Ganzhou Fujian and Guangdong border access, multi-language and similar waterways as said Chun, the word book no. Stone said the water phase occasion as sandals, see the” Xiangshan Collection.

The Qing linguistics master Zhang Taiyan’s “Hakka Dialect Preface” said: “For those who are called Hakka in Guangdong, the Jiaying counties are the sect (Meizhou was called Jiaying Prefecture in the Qing Dynasty ).” The sound is also similar to that of Lingbei .” Zhang Taiyan did some research on the Hakka language system, and selected 63 Hakka words, using “Shuowen”, “Erya”, “Dialect”, “Book of Rites” and ” Mao Ancient books such as “Poems”, “Zhan Guo Ce”, and “Lao Zi” have been confirmed to show that the vocabulary of the Hakka dialect is the same as that of ancient Chinese.

Huang Zunxian’s “Preface to the Biography of Meizhou Poems,” said: “This guest came from He and Luo, from Fujian to Guangdong, passed down to the world for 30 years, 700 years, and his language has changed a lot. There are ” Dialects ” and “Erya”. Words, the exegesis family loses its meaning, and the guests still know the ancient meaning; there are rhymes of Shen Yue and Liu Yuan, the ci Zhang family mistakes their pronunciation, and the guests still have the ancient pronunciation; even the voice of the city’s slurs, the words of the sons and daughters To examine its origin, nothing can be written in the book.” “Yu Wenzhi, Mr. Chen Lanfu said that the guest language proves that Zhou Deqing’s ” Zhongyuan Yinyun” is all in harmony .”

Xu Ke’s ” Qing Barnyard Notes” contains Hakka: Many people from Jiaying, Guangdong, Chengdu, Sichuan, and their entry into Shu began when the Guangdong Kou Shidakai led the masses to the west. The stone was defeated, and the crowd was disintegrated. The stone army called for more people, so they traveled to Shu and never returned, marrying a wife and having children, compared to the natives. However, its language has remained unchanged for decades, so Chengdu people call it “Hakka”. However, the language spoken by the Jiaying people on their own islands is called the Hakka dialect by the Cantonese, and Gai is not a native of Jiaying. Hakka: The five genera of Nanxiong, Shaozhou, Lianzhou, Huizhou, and Jiaying in Guangdong, Huaxian, Longmen, Qingyuan in Guangzhou, and Dapu and Fengshui in Chaozhou all speak in Hakka. The native people of Gai are called Hakka afterward, so they are called Hakka. The stanza of the language is not far from the mainland, and it matches the phonology of the Six Dynasties.

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