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Introduction to Min Nan

Updated : 2015-03-17

Min Nan, literally, refers to the dialect in southern Fujian province, which is also spoken widely in Taiwan. It is one of the most important dialects in China, as it retains some features of the official language in the inland, which mainly covered Henan during the Jin Dynasty (265-420) and Tang Dynasty (618-907). It is claimed “a living fossil of ancient Chinese language”.

To date, there are 60 million people speaking Min Nan across the world. The speakers are mainly from Xiamen, Zhangzhou, and Quanzhou of Fujian province, Taiwan, Chaoshan and Leizhou Peninsula of Guangdong province, parts of Hainan Island, and some township of Wenzhou of Zhejiang province within China. Especially in Southeast Asia, if you can speak Min Nan language, you don’t have to speak English or local dialects, you can communicate with the local Chinese immigrates with Min Nan.

The rhythm of Min Nan is so beautiful that it plays like a song. During the 1980s, the two songs “Tianheihei” (literally "Cloudy Day") and “Jiu gan tang mai wu” (literally “Any Empty Wine Bottles for Sale") in Min Nan hit the whole Country, and “ai pin cai hui ying” (literally“Fighting Matters”) also became the household motto of the hardworking ethnic Chinese across the world.

Nowadays, the world has become a global village. The familiar greeting of Min Nan can be a bridge for communication between non-speaking and speaking Min Nan people, which can bring unexpected opportunities in life and business alike.

Min Nan (Southern Fujian dialect) is commonly used in Jinjiang city. It is mainly derived from ancient Chinese and an integrated dialect of the first generation of Fujian residents. The language has absorbed various cultures and was named one of dozens of major Chinese dialects by UNESCO. It was also considered one of the 60 major global languages. The language was recorded and brought into outer space by spacecrafts in 1977.




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