Are there any young Taiwanese that prefer to use only Hokkien instead of Mandarin?

Hmm, I see that it is a thing, excluding Teochew for example, which would be included as a Southern Min subgroup.

As you can see, the earliest European dictionary on the Chinese language is the 1593 Spanish Doctrina Christiana en letra y lengua china (1593), and the Dictionarium Sino Hispanicum (1604), which was discovered back in 2017.

Mandarin Chinese as we know won’t come into existence until the late 1800s, and the original Mandarin (based on the Wu languages) was first recorded by Jesuits such as Matteo Ricci in the Portuguese-Chinese dictionary (1588).

So the first documentation of Holo languages by Europeans was written just 5 years after the first documentation of Old Mandarin.


Thanks for this! It’s been really educational haha I grew up calling it Hokkien/Fookien and lan nang oe (in Philippine Hokkien). Because I’m a fucking moron, I thought other Hokkien speakers called it lan nang oe too :melting_face: Didn’t know it was also called Minnanyu/Minnanhua till I moved to Taiwan.

Lán-lâng-uē is actually a great name, and to my knowledge the only term to refer to the language that’s an endonym. All the other ones, including Hokkien and Taiuanue are all exonyms that’s later internalized.

The Dictionarium Sino Hispanicum (1604) referenced above is actually co-written by Chinese living in Manila at the time.


Thanks for reminding me again of this band. I listened to them a lot when their “Seafood” album came out in 2012…


This MV is pretty amazing

I think Tsiang-tsiu, Tsuan-tsiu, Tong-an, and Amoy languages feel somewhat mutually intelligible, especially in Taiwan and SEA, only because of the high degree of contact and mixture. If speakers actually from these regions in China want to make others not understand them, I think it isn’t too hard to achieve.

Like-wise, Teochew speakers, especially in the SEA could probably understand Taigi or Hokkien simply due to exposure. Teochew is absolutely not mutually intelligible with Taigi or Hokkien, not to mention languages spoken in Hainan like Luichew, which is also in the same language sub-family.

If languages within the family can be so different, once you crossover to Fuzhou or languages in Northern or Easter Fujian it’s a whole different world.

Without the Hanji subtitles, I would understand zero example sentences, not even when they said 會使, which is commonly used in Taigi.

I hear people speaking Fuzhou a lot these days. It’s totally different.

Are you suggesting Min Chinese is 福州話?

I think 福州話 is only spoken in and around Fuzhou.

No, I am saying others are saying there is an umbrella term Min for various related languages, under which 福州話 is part of the Eastern Min branch.

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Usually the language that bares the province’s name would be the language spoken at the capital. Like Cantonese is the language spoken in Guangzhou, and Jiangxihua refers to the language spoken in Nanchang. That’s why actual Tsuantsiu, Tsiangtsiu, Tongan, or Amoy people living in those places would never have way their language is Hok-kiàn-uē because by default that would be reserved for the language spoken in Fuzhou.

In my wife’s family those three apply, plus one more:

  1. randomly switch to Hakka, usually with older family members but possibly any time when talking with family.

So 福州話 is also called 福建話?

It also doesn’t help that Canton in English can mean both the capital and the province.

Anyone want to get into the weeds for me about how much 福州話 varies from the language spoken in Matsu? It’s my understanding they speak “閩北語” there and it’s mutually unintelligible from 閩南語. Quite close to Fuzhou, like how Kinmenese is much closer to (but definitely not the same as) 廈門’s dialect.

Catch one and make them wear an embarassing sign and force them to catch the next person to speak mandarin in order to pass the tag :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

That’s the thing in Fujian. There’s like a different language in every valley and city.


It probably was at some point during the Ming and Qing dynasties.

Wikipedia lists 福建話 as one of the names for the Fuzhou language.


As I’ve noted in my Locating Ryukyu in the Book of Sui thread, the port opened to Ryukyu was Meihua (梅花港), present day Changle city (長樂市) in Fuzhou. Therefore you can find significant Fuzhou influence in Ryukyuan languages.

Since Song dynasty, the dynasties likes to open up just one port to one foreign nation, and they assigned ports further to the South to less familiar foreigners. That’s why Song and Ming dynasties designated Tsuan-tsiu to be the port opened to Muslim traders, and for a while there were significant Muslim population in Tsuan-tsiu. They refered to Tsuan-tsiu as Zayton, from the city’s old name Tshì-tông (刺桐), for all the tiger’s claw trees in the city. There were two major Muslim led rebellions in Tsuan-tsiu. The first time Sunni Muslim leader Pu Shougeng took control of the city and defected to the Mongols, leading to Song generals laying siege to it for 3 months. The second is the more famous Ispah rebellion which lasted a decade, led by two Shia Persians named Sayf ad-Din and Amir ad-Din against the Yuan dynasty. Apparently the since the Sunni gave Tsuan-tsiu to the Mongols, they got favored and oppressed the Shias in town, and provoked the second rebellion.

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By the way, if you want to see how unintelligible the supposed “same language” can get, try out Tsiang-tsiu spoken in Vietnam.

My wife is older, so
-Amis with friend and family, with some switching, and occasionally Japanese thrown in .
-Taiwanese with (usually) older Taiwanese friends and customers, plus local news, and also some Japanese (we’re talking really old).
-Mandarin with younger people, no matter their ethnic backgrounds, and national/international affairs.
-English when she wants to curse me.

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