Chinese, Min Nan


A language of China

Alternate Names
Minnan, Southern Min

27,100,000 in China (2013). Total users in all countries: 48,033,100.


Fujian and Jiangxi provinces: Xiamen; Hainan (Hainan); Guangdong province: Chaozhou-Shantou far east corner (Chao-Shan), Leizhou peninsula (Leizhou), Shaxi and Zhongshan city south of Guangzhou (Longdu dialect island); Zhejiang province: Pingyang and Cangnan area, and Zhoushan archipelago (Zhenan Min).

Language Maps
Language Status

6a (Vigorous). Language of recognized nationality: Han.


Xiamen (Amoy), Leizhou (Lei Hua, Li Hua), Chao-Shan (Chaozhou, Choushan, Teochew), Hainan (Hainanese, Qiongwen Hua, Wenchang), Longdu, Zhenan Min, Quanzhou (Chinchew), Zhangzhou (Changchew), Mai. Amoy is the prestige dialect. Amoy and Taiwanese are easily mutually intelligible. Chao-Shan has difficult intelligibility with Amoy; Hainan quite different from other dialects and mutually unintelligible with Hokkien and Teochew. Most speakers in Thailand use Chaoshou dialect. Min Nan most widely distributed and influential Min variety. A member of macrolanguage Chinese [zho].


SVO; tone sandhi, tonal.

Language Use

Other speakers use it for commerce. Most domains. All ages. Positive attitudes. Also use English [eng], Mandarin Chinese [cmn], Yue Chinese [yue]. Used as L2 by Lingao [onb], She [shx], Tsat [huq].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L2: 91% (2000 census, Han nationality). Highly literate in Chinese and they use that literature. Poetry. Dictionary. Grammar. Bible: 1884–1933.

Bopomofo script [Bopo], used since 1998, used in Taiwan. Katakana script [Kana], 1895–1945, once used in Taiwan. Latin script [Latn], used since 1850.

Other Comments

Traditional religion, Buddhist, Christian, Daoist.

Also spoken in:

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