Dialect of Min 闽语

Dialect of Min (闽语 mǐnyǔ) is an important part of Chinese. Min varieties of Chinese are spoken by some 75 million individuals primarily in Fujian (福建 Fújiàn) province in China, and also in some parts of Jiangsu (江苏 Jiāngsū), Zhejiang (浙江 Zhèjiāng), Jiangxi (江西 Jiāngxī), Guangdong (广东 Guǎngdōng), Hainan (海南 Hǎinán) and Guangxi (广西 Guǎngxī), at the same time as in Taiwan (台湾 Táiwān) and Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Burma as well as other cities in Southeast Asia, and inside the USA, especially in New York City.

The traditional Chinese title for Fujian, originates from the Kingdom of Minyue (闽越 Mǐnyuè) was positioned in what is now Fujian province between about 334-110 BC. The name Min was possibly an ethnic title and associated with all the Chinese word for barbarians , and Yue comes from the State of Yue, a kingdom in Zhejiang Province in the course of the Spring and Autumn Period (771 – 476 BC).

Varieties of Min are divided in line with mutual intelligibility into five to nine separate groups. A distinction can also be made between Inland Min varieties and Coastal Min varieties.

Inland varieties of Min
1、Northern Min
Northern Min (闽北 Mǐnběi) or Min Bei has about 10.3 million speakers in the northern of Fujian Province, particulary close to Nanping (南平 Nánpíng) and Xiaxian (夏县 Xiàxiàn) city. There are also speakers in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia along with other cities of South East Asia.

2、Shaojiang Min
Shaojiang Min (绍江闽语 Shàojiāng mǐnyǔ) or Shao-Jiang is a group of Min subvarieties spoken about Nanping in the northeast of Fujian province. They may be often categorized as dialects of Northern Min, but aren’t mutually intelligible with it.

3、Central Min
Central Min (闽中 Mǐnzhōng) or Min Zhong is spoken by about 3.5 million individuals in central Fujian Province, particularly close to Yong’an (永安 Yǒngān) city , Sanming (山明 Shānmíng) city and Sha County (沙县 Shāxiàn).

Coastal varieties of Min
1、Soutern Min
Southern Min (闽南 Mǐnnán) or Min Nan varieties are spoken by about 49 million folks in the south of Fujian province, in Guangdong, Hainan, Zhejiang and Jiangxi provinces, as well as in Taiwan, Singapore, Brunei, Indonesia, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Thailand and Malaysia. Min is an additional name for Fujian province and Nan signifies ‘south’ or ‘southern’.

Main varieties of Southern Min consist of:
Quanzhou (泉州 Quánzhōu)
Xiamen (厦门 Xiàmén)
– contains Taiwanese
Zhangzhou (漳州 Zhāngzhōu)
Chaozhou (潮州 Cháozhōu)
Quanzhou, Xiamen and Zhangzhou varieties of Southern Min are much more or less mutually intelligible with every single other, but not with Chaozhou varieties.

2、Eastern Min
Eastern Min (闽东 Mǐndōng) or Min Dong is spoken by roughly 9.1 million people mainly in east central Fujian province, notably in and around Fuzhou and Ningde, as well as in Brunei, Indonesia (Java and Bali), Malaysia (Peninsular) Singapore, Thailand.

Pu-Xian (莆仙 Púxiān) or Puxian Min is spoken by about 2.6 million people generally in Putian City and Xianyou County in Fujian province, you’ll also find speakers in parts of Quanzhou, Shacheng, Fuding in northern Fujian, as well as in Malaysia and Singapore. The name Pu-Xian combines the first characters of Putian and Xianyou. This assortment of Min can also generally be known as Henghua or Xinghua.

There are two main subvarieties of the Qiong-Lei (琼雷 Qióngléi) selection of Min:Leizhou (雷州 Léizhōu), which is spoken by about four million people in Leizhou city and neighbouring regions in western Guangdong province; and Hainanese, which is spoken primarily in Hainan by about 1.1 million people. The subvarieties are not mutually intelligible with other varieties of Min.

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