Standard hokkien

Discussions on the Hokkien (Minnan) language.
xng
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Standard hokkien

Post by xng »

Yes, minnan people really do need a standard as there are too many variants.
This is to ensure the survival of the language and to have interdialect communication made easier.

Frankly, I prefer the xiamen dialect as the standard although taiwanese is bulldozing it over due to their TV series.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amoy_dialect#Accents

Reason is that in taiwanese 去 ie. K'i sounds like 起 ie. K'i (ignoring tone) which limits the range of uniqueness in the dialect.

I am trying to speak xiamen dialect from now on. :mrgreen:

Are there any tv shows that speak xiamen dialect instead of taiwanese ?

How do we speak 皮,地 in xiamen ? Is it Pay, Tay or Puei, Tuei ?

How about 鞋 ? Is it Ay or Uei ?

niuc
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Re: Standard hokkien

Post by niuc »

xng wrote:Reason is that in taiwanese 去 ie. K'i sounds like 起 ie. K'i (ignoring tone) which limits the range of uniqueness in the dialect.
In Taiwanese Hokkien, 去 sounds exactly the same as 氣 (khi3). Actually I like 'y' of Cuanciu variants, as it means one more vowel beside 'i' and 'u'. If not mistaken, 去 is still 'khi3' in E-mng (Xiamen), 'khu3' only for literary reading.
I am trying to speak xiamen dialect from now on. :mrgreen:
Just curious, what is your native variant?
How do we speak 皮,地 in xiamen ? Is it Pay, Tay or Puei, Tuei ?
How about 鞋 ? Is it Ay or Uei ?
They are 'phe5', 'te7' and 'ue5'.

Ah-bin
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Re: Standard hokkien

Post by Ah-bin »

I would have thought Taiwanese would be "the standard" since it is the only one with any legal status, and the only one made compulsory in schools.

If you want to learn Amoy Hokkien properly then you'll need the following two books:

閩南話教程 (17 RMB)
閩南話口語 (12 RMB)
both by 林寶卿 They both come with a CD. So cheap!

You'll also need to learn the MInnan Fangyan Pinyin Fang'an 閩南方言拼音方案 to be able to use them properly.
There is a new dictionary from Mandarin to Amoy with a blue cover, but I forget its name. I mention this one because it uses the same pinyin system and you can use it to look up all the readings for the characters that you are wondering about.

None of the other (English) books that use the terms "Amoy Hokkien" actually teach what is spoken now in Amoy.

There are a few hours of Amoy programming each night on one channel in Amoy, as I remember it consisted of a current events programme, a period drama and a Hokkien opera. Can't remember the names though.

There is a place in Choan-chiu where the locals can pick up the Taiwanese TV directly from Quemoy 金門, and they spend all their TV viewing time watching it instead of the PRC offerings, and believe me, if you lived there, you would too!

xng
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Re: Standard hokkien

Post by xng »

niuc wrote: Just curious, what is your native variant?
I thought I posted previously that I am more into southern msia/singapore hokkien which I presume is based on quanzhou hokkien.

That's why I was shocked when I heard Taiwanese shows saying 'pig' as Ti instead of Ty or Tu.

I myself get confused sometimes (when we mixed with so many people), whether to use 皮 as Pe, Pay or Puei.

We do need a standard.

xng
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Re: Standard hokkien

Post by xng »

Ah-bin wrote:I would have thought Taiwanese would be "the standard" since it is the only one with any legal status, and the only one made compulsory in schools.

There are a few hours of Amoy programming each night on one channel in Amoy, as I remember it consisted of a current events programme, a period drama and a Hokkien opera. Can't remember the names though.

There is a place in Choan-chiu where the locals can pick up the Taiwanese TV directly from Quemoy 金門, and they spend all their TV viewing time watching it instead of the PRC offerings, and believe me, if you lived there, you would too!
Xiamen was the standard in the past before the emergence of Taiwan.

Like what I said, I don't like the taiwanese dialect merging the Tu/Ty vowel into Ti.

Wish us overseas chinese can receive the amoy channels but we can't. We can only receive CCTV4, CCTV9 etc.

Can people in xiamen or Quanzhou receive taiwanese shows directly ?

niuc
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Re: Standard hokkien

Post by niuc »

xng wrote: I thought I posted previously that I am more into southern msia/singapore hokkien which I presume is based on quanzhou hokkien.
Cuanciu (泉州 Quanzhou) based variants are plenty and they are not identical, e.g. there are 安溪 An-khue, 南安 Lam-ua*, 晉江 Cin-kang etc. My variant is basically 同安 Tang-ua* that is a variant between Cuanciu and E-mng. While E-mng variant itself is between Cuanciu and Ciangciu. So all Hokkien variants actually form a continuous spectrum. Do you know which specific variant is yours?
That's why I was shocked when I heard Taiwanese shows saying 'pig' as Ti instead of Ty or Tu.
Sorry to disappoint you but I just checked (Douglas' dictionary, 廈門方言詞典 and Amoy Bible) and now can confirm that in daily usage E-mng variant also uses 豬 'ti' instead of 'tu', 去 'khi3' instead of 'khu3' (accepted as literary), 魚 'hi5' instead of 'hu5', so for these words E-mng variant is the same as Ciangciu and (Southern) Taiwanese. But for 車 (in chess) it is 'ku1' and not 'ki1', also 書 'cu1', 煮 'cu2' not 'ci2', 魚 literary 'gu5' not 'gi5'. So E-mng variant is “not consistent” in this aspect.

The variant(s) having 豬 as ‘tu1’ is/are “villages” around E-mng and Tang-ua*. So these two are actually also a group of variants instead of two clearly and perfectly consolidated ones.
I myself get confused sometimes (when we mixed with so many people), whether to use 皮 as Pe, Pay or Puei.
The practical way is to use either the one understood by them or your own.
We do need a standard.
We do, but a standard that serves as a common variant, not the one that will eliminate others. Personally I prefer to retain as many vowels (e.g. 'y' from Cuanciu) and consonants (e.g. 'j' from Ciangciu) as possible to reduce the number of homophones. But I am not sure if that ideal is workable.

xng
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Re: Standard hokkien

Post by xng »

niuc wrote: Sorry to disappoint you but I just checked (Douglas' dictionary, 廈門方言詞典 and Amoy Bible) and now can confirm that in daily usage E-mng variant also uses 豬 'ti' instead of 'tu', 去 'khi3' instead of 'khu3' (accepted as literary), 魚 'hi5' instead of 'hu5', so for these words E-mng variant is the same as Ciangciu and (Southern) Taiwanese. But for 車 (in chess) it is 'ku1' and not 'ki1', also 書 'cu1', 煮 'cu2' not 'ci2', 魚 literary 'gu5' not 'gi5'. So E-mng variant is “not consistent” in this aspect.
The wiki link that I provided says it is 'Tu'. If only I can listen to E-mng news caster who speak standard E-mng to determine whether it is 'Tu' or 'Ti'.

I am really not interested in all the variants as I think its not necessary as there are already too many languages for me to master. I've to master american and british English, std cantonese, std mandarin, minnan (and also malay which you sporean don't have to) etc.

Even std mandarin has its variants which is a headache, the mandarin spoken by mainlander is different from singapore/msian mandarin.

What i am interested is the standard minnan which every minnan should strive to speak (although I know its going to be a miracle given the stubbornness of most people) :lol: . It doesn't matter which variant i'm from. If people still cling to their variant, minnan is going to be a dead dialect in the future amidst the onslaught of mandarin.

I heard the younger generation in china is already losing their proficiency in the language amidst the onslaught of both mandarin and English which are more practical languages.

Yes, I do agree that the less homophone there is, the better the language. Since e-mng is a combination of both quanzhou and zhangzhou, maybe it should adopt the variants of both dialects and be the standard for minnan.

Ah-bin
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Re: Standard hokkien

Post by Ah-bin »

Can people in xiamen or Quanzhou receive taiwanese shows directly ?
Not in Amoy, but in some parts of Choan-chiu they can. Now the PRC has introduced digital TV boxes it might become more difficult to receive them. With those boxes you can choose from 100 channels of some of the world's worst TV.
Sorry to disappoint you but I just checked (Douglas' dictionary, 廈門方言詞典 and Amoy Bible) and now can confirm that in daily usage E-mng variant also uses 豬 'ti' instead of 'tu', 去 'khi3' instead of 'khu3' (accepted as literary), 魚 'hi5' instead of 'hu5', so for these words E-mng variant is the same as Ciangciu and (Southern) Taiwanese. But for 車 (in chess) it is 'ku1' and not 'ki1', also 書 'cu1', 煮 'cu2' not 'ci2', 魚 literary 'gu5' not 'gi5'. So E-mng variant is “not consistent” in this aspect.
I remember people said "ti" for "pig" and "chopsticks" in Amoy, but Douglas notes that there are villages on the island where people use tu etc, instead, but I think it is a case of one or the other.

xng
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Re: Standard hokkien

Post by xng »

Ah-bin wrote:
I remember people said "ti" for "pig" and "chopsticks" in Amoy, but Douglas notes that there are villages on the island where people use tu etc, instead, but I think it is a case of one or the other.
I think because xiamen is a place of immigrants, you can find people from all over fujien living there and that's why there are so many variants.

We can only take the pronounciation by the Xiamen news casters as the standard.

niuc
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Re: Standard hokkien

Post by niuc »

Mark Yong wrote:For me, I would - it I had to define my comfort level - choose to retain the distinction between the three major sub-dialects 廈門 Amoy, 漳州 Chiang Chiu and 泉州 Chuan Chiu, and will tolerate standardisation within those groups (which is what the dictionaries tend to do). I respect, and even appreciate how - over the centuries - even the Minnan dialect has diverged and differentiated within itself, and I would be sad to see that variety go away in the name of an artificially-imposed standardisation process.
Mark, I hope you don't mind I move this part to this thread.

Hi all, I agree with Mark here. Is there any online dictionary including those 3 (or better if more) variants? As Xng usually said, http://solution.cs.ucla.edu/~jinbo/dzl/ is quite good. Can we have an online Hokkien dictionary similar to that but for at least those 3 major variants? Surely we have to decide on which romanisation system to be used etc. I know this is not an easy job, but I think it would be great if we can work together to produce one (if none exists yet!). Our kind host (http://www.chineselanguage.org) has good online dictionary for Mandarin, Cantonese and Hakka (with variants!). I noticed there were some Minnan entries. Can that incorporate Hokkien variants? Or is it better to have a separate one due to different romanisation needed (if that is the case)? Will there be any legal issues if we draw data from various sources? These are just initial questions. Hopefully it is workable and we all can take part. What do you think?

Andrew

Re: Standard hokkien

Post by Andrew »

The minnan readings on the dictionary on this site sadly no longer work - I don't know why.

Have you tried http://twblg.dict.edu.tw/tw/index.htm

niuc
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Re: Standard hokkien

Post by niuc »

Andrew wrote:The minnan readings on the dictionary on this site sadly no longer work - I don't know why.

Have you tried http://twblg.dict.edu.tw/tw/index.htm
Thank you, Andrew, for the link! :mrgreen:

Ah-bin
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Re: Standard hokkien

Post by Ah-bin »

We can only take the pronounciation by the Xiamen news casters as the standard.[/quote

http://gb.cri.cn/chinese_radio/minnan.htm

Note that Amoy has merged j and l into l-. So even if they say "tu"for "pig" they most definitely do not say "jit" 日 so what you win in one varient, you'll lose in another.
What i am interested is the standard minnan which every minnan should strive to speak (although I know its going to be a miracle given the stubbornness of most people) :lol: . It doesn't matter which variant i'm from. If people still cling to their variant, minnan is going to be a dead dialect in the future amidst the onslaught of mandarin.
If you're looking for a standard to follow, you might as well go for Taiwanese, it has support in the schools, an almost standardised system of writing, and (unlike Amoy) no governmental restrictions on broadcasting time or genre. Also, the TV is of much better quality and bound to be watched by more people, so unless PRC law changes suddenly, Taiwanese will win by default as standard, and there's nothing an individual can do about it.

PRC language law translated into English.
http://www.asianlii.org/cn/legis/cen/laws/ssawcll414/

SimL
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Re: Standard hokkien

Post by SimL »

Hi Ah-bin,

Very interesting! Thanks very much for posting this, doubly so for finding the link of an English translation, for poor sods like me who wouldn't by any stretch of the imagination have been able to deal with the (formal) Mandarin version!

I'm posting the extract below as being the most relevant to the discussion in this thread:

Article 16 Where the relevant provisions of this Chapter are concerned, local dialects may be used under the following circumstances:

(1) when State functionaries really need to use them in the performance of official duties;

(2) where they are used in broadcasting with the approval of the broadcasting and television administration under the State Council or of the broadcasting and television department at the provincial level;

(3) where they are needed in traditional operas, films and TV programs and other forms of art; and

(4) where their use is really required in the publishing, teaching and research.

xng
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Re: Standard hokkien

Post by xng »

Are there any standardisation process/movement going on in Mainland china and Taiwan so that both regions speak the same dialect ?

If so, it will go a long way towards foreigners (and natives) learning minnan .

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