Chinese, Min Nan


A language of China

Alternate Names
Banlamgi, Minnan, Southern Min
闽南语‎ (Minnanyu)

27,600,000 in China (2017). Total users in all countries: 50,462,190 (as L1: 50,075,190; as L2: 387,000).


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, Shantou (Swatow). 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. Used by all. 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. Literature. 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.

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