Hakka, also rendered Kejia, is one of the major groups of varieties of Chinese, spoken natively by the Hakka people throughout southern China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau and throughout the diaspora areas of East Asia, Southeast Asia, and in overseas Chinese communities around the world.
Due to its primary usage in scattered isolated regions where communication is limited to the local area, Hakka has developed numerous varieties or dialects, spoken in different provinces, such as Guangdong, Guangxi, Hainan, Fujian, Sichuan, Hunan, Jiangxi and Guizhou, as well as in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. Hakka is not mutually intelligible with Yue, Wu, Southern Min, Mandarin or other branches of Chinese, and itself contains a few mutually unintelligible varieties. It is most closely related to Gan and is sometimes classified as a variety of Gan, with a few northern Hakka varieties even being partially mutually intelligible with southern Gan. There is also a possibility that the similarities are just a result of shared areal features.
Taiwan, where Hakka is the native language of a significant minority of the island's residents, is a center for the study and preservation of the language. Pronunciation differences exist between the Taiwanese Hakka dialects and Mainland China's Hakka dialects; even in Taiwan, two major local varieties of Hakka exist.
The Meixian dialect (Moiyen) of northeast Guangdong in China has been taken as the "standard" dialect by the People's Republic of China. The Guangdong Provincial Education Department created an official romanization of Moiyen in 1960, one of four languages receiving this status in Guangdong.
|客家話 / 客家话|
Hak-kâ-fa/Hak-kâ-va (Hakka/Kejia) written in Chinese characters
|Native to||Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, overseas communities|
|Region||Mainland China: northeastern Guangdong, adjoining regions of Fujian, Jiangxi, southern Hunan and the midwest of Sichuan|
Hong Kong: New Territories (older generations since younger Hakkas mostly speak Cantonese due to language shift and social assimilation)
|Ethnicity||Hakka people (Han Chinese)|
|47.8 million (2007)|
Official language in
The name of the Hakka people who are the predominant original native speakers of the variety literally means "guest families" or "guest people": Hak 客 (Mandarin: kè) means "guest", and ka 家 (Mandarin: jiā) means "family". Among themselves, Hakka people variously called their language Hak-ka-fa (-va) 客家話, Hak-fa (-va) 客話, Tu-gong-dung-fa (-va) 土廣東話, literally "Native Guangdong language", and Ngai-fa (-va) 我話, "My/our language". In Tonggu county (铜鼓县), Jiangxi province, people call their language Huai-yuan-fa 怀远話.
It is commonly believed that Hakka people have their origins in several episodes of migration from northern China into southern China during periods of war and civil unrest dating back as far as the end of Western Jin. The forebears of the Hakka came from present-day Central Plains provinces of Henan and Shaanxi, and brought with them features of Chinese varieties spoken in those areas during that time. (Since then, the speech in those regions has evolved into dialects of modern Mandarin). The presence of many archaic features occur in modern Hakka, including final consonants -p -t -k, as are found in other modern southern Chinese varieties, but which have been lost in Mandarin.
Laurent Sagart (2002) considers Hakka and southern Gan Chinese to be sister dialects that descended from a single common ancestral language (Proto-Southern Gan) spoken in central Jiangxi during the Song Dynasty. In Hakka and southern Gan, Sagart (2002) identifies a non-Chinese substratum that is possibly Hmong-Mien, an archaic layer, and a more recent Late Middle Chinese layer. Lexical connections between Hakka, Kra-Dai, and Hmong-Mien have also been suggested by Deng (1999).
Due to the migration of its speakers, Hakka may have been influenced by other language areas through which the Hakka-speaking forebears migrated. For instance, common vocabulary is found in Hakka, Min, and the She (Hmong–Mien) languages. Today, most She people in Fujian and Zhejiang speak Shehua, which is closely related to Hakka.
A regular pattern of sound change can generally be detected in Hakka, as in most Chinese varieties, of the derivation of phonemes from earlier forms of Chinese. Some examples:
Hakka has as many regional dialects as there are counties with Hakka speakers as the majority. Some of these Hakka dialects are not mutually intelligible with each other. Surrounding Meixian are the counties of Pingyuan, Dabu, Jiaoling, Xingning, Wuhua, and Fengshun. Each is said to have its own special phonological points of interest. For instance, Xingning lacks the codas [-m] and [-p]. These have merged into [-n] and [-t], respectively. Further away from Meixian, the Hong Kong dialect lacks the [-u-] medial, so, whereas Meixian pronounces the character 光 as [kwɔŋ˦], Hong Kong Hakka dialect pronounces it as [kɔŋ˧], which is similar to the Hakka spoken in neighbouring Shenzhen.
As much as endings and vowels are important, the tones also vary across the dialects of Hakka. The majority of Hakka dialects have six tones. However, there are dialects which have lost all of their checked tone (Ru Sheng), and the characters originally of this tone class are distributed across the non-Ru tones. Such a dialect is Changting which is situated in the Western Fujian province. Moreover, there is evidence of the retention of an earlier Hakka tone system in the dialects of Haifeng and Lufeng situated on coastal south eastern Guangdong province. They contain a yin-yang splitting in the Qu tone, giving rise to seven tones in all (with yin-yang registers in Ping and Ru tones and a Shang tone).
In Taiwan, there are two main dialects: Sixian and Hailu (alternatively known as Haifeng; Hailu refers to Haifeng County and Lufeng County). Most Hakka dialect speakers found on Taiwan originated from these two regions. Sixian speakers come from Jiaying Prefecture (Chinese: 嘉應), mainly from the four counties of Chengxiang (now Meixian District), Zhengping (now Jiaoling), Xingning and Pingyuan. Most dialects of Taiwanese Hakka, except Sixian and Dabu, preserved postalveolar consonants ([tʃ], [tʃʰ], [ʃ] and [ʒ]), which are uncommon in other southern Chinese varieties.
Ethnologue reports the dialects as Yue-Tai (Meixian, Wuhua, Raoping, Taiwan Kejia: Meizhou above), Yuezhong (Central Guangdong), Huizhou, Yuebei (Northern Guangdong), Tingzhou (Min-Ke), Ning-Long (Longnan), Yugui, Tonggu.
Like other southern Chinese varieties, Hakka retains single syllable words from earlier stages of Chinese; thus a large number of syllables are distinguished by tone and final consonant. This reduces the need for compounding or making words of more than one syllable. However, it is also similar to other Chinese varieties in having words which are made from more than one syllable.
|𠊎||[ŋai˩]||me / I||In Hakka, the standard Chinese equivalent 我 is pronounced [ŋɔ˧].|
|渠 or 𠍲||[ki˩]||he / she / it||In Hakka, the standard Chinese equivalents 他 / 她 / 它 are pronounced [tʰa˧].|
Hakka uses [sit˥] 食, like Cantonese [sɪk˨] for the verb "to eat" and 飲 [jɐm˧˥] (Hakka [jim˧˩]) for "to drink", unlike Mandarin which prefers chī 吃 (Hakka [kʰiɛt˩]) as "to eat" and hē 喝 (Hakka [hɔt˩]) as "to drink" where the meanings in Hakka are different, to stutter and to be thirsty respectively.
|阿妹，若姆去投墟轉來唔曾？||[a˦ mɔi˥, ɲja˦ mi˦ hi˥ tʰju˩ hi˦ tsɔn˧˩ lɔi˩ m˦ tsʰɛn˩]||Has your mother returned from going to the market yet, child?|
|其老弟捉到隻蛘葉來搞。||[kja˦ lau˧˩ tʰai˦ tsuk˧ tau˧˩ tsak˩ jɔŋ˩ jap˥ lɔi˩ kau˧˩]||His/her younger brother caught a butterfly to play with.|
|好冷阿，水桶个水敢凝冰阿。||[hau˧˩ laŋ˦ ɔ˦, sui˧˩ tʰuŋ˧ kai˥˧ sui˧˩ kam˦ kʰɛn˩ pɛn˦ ɔ˦]||It's very cold, the water in the bucket has frozen over.|
Various dialects of Hakka have been written in a number of Latin orthographies, largely for religious purposes, since at least the mid-19th century.
Previously, the single largest work in Hakka was the New Testament and Psalms (1993, 1138 pp., see The Bible in Chinese: Hakka), but since 2012 that has been surpassed by the publication of the complete Hakka Bible known as the Today's Taiwan Hakka Version and includes the Old Testament along with audio recordings. These works render Hakka in both romanization (pha̍k-fa-sṳ) and Han characters (including ones unique to Hakka) and are based on the dialects of Taiwanese Hakka speakers. The work of Biblical translation is being performed by missionaries of the Presbyterian Church in Canada.
The popular The Little Prince has also been translated into Hakka (2000), specifically the Miaoli dialect of Taiwan (itself a variant of the Sixian dialect). This also was dual-script, albeit using the Tongyong Pinyin scheme.
The world's only primarily Hakka-language television channel is Hakka TV in Taiwan, a state-run broadcasting service started in 2003.
Changting dialect (Chinese: 长汀话) is a dialect of Tingzhou Hakka mainly spoken in Changting County of northwest Fujian. It is generally regarded as the representative dialect of the Hakka spoken in western Fujian province.Chinese Jamaicans
Chinese Jamaicans are Jamaicans of Chinese ancestry, which include descendants of migrants from China to Jamaica. Early migrants came in the 19th century; there was another wave of migration in the 1980s and 1990s. Many of the descendants of early migrants have moved abroad, primarily to Canada and the United States. Most Chinese Jamaicans are Hakka and can trace their origin to the coolies and labourers who came to Jamaica in the mid-19th to early 20th centuries.Ching's Secret
Ching’s Secret is an Indian brand of Indian Chinese cuisine aka Desi Chinese cuisine with a product portfolio which includes instant noodles, instant soups, cook up soups, Desi Chinese masala, sauces and schezwan chutney. Ching's Secret is owned by Capital Foods Pvt. Ltd.
In 2017 it launched a new product category called Snacky-Oats and the face of this campaign is the bollywood legend Sridevi as the Cool Mom.
The brand has today become synonymous with Desi Chinese cuisine.Dapeng dialect
Dapeng dialect (simplified Chinese: 大鹏话; traditional Chinese: 大鵬話) is a Chinese dialect, a variant of Cantonese with a strong Hakka influence that was originally only spoken on the Dapeng Peninsula of Shenzhen, Guangdong, China. The Chinese diaspora has spread the dialect to places with large populations whose ancestral roots are originally from Dapeng, Shenzhen, Guangdong. Today, their descendants living in Hong Kong, as well among overseas Chinese living in the Randstad region of The Netherlands, Portsmouth, UK and New York City, United States have a lot of Dapeng dialect speakers.
The dialect is a form of junhua, created as a lingua franca by soldiers at the Dapeng Fortress, who spoke various forms of Cantonese and Hakka. Despite strong influence from Hakka, some, including Lau Chun-Fat, have classified it as a Guan–Bao dialect.Guangdong Romanization
Guangdong Romanization refers to the four romanization schemes published by the Guangdong Provincial Education Department in 1960 for transliterating Cantonese, Teochew, Hakka, and Hainanese. The schemes utilized similar elements with some differences in order to adapt to their respective spoken varieties.
In certain respects, Guangdong romanization resembles pinyin in its distinction of the alveolar initials z, c, s from the alveolo-palatal initials j, q, x, and in its use of b, d, g to represent the unaspirated stop consonants /p t k/. In addition, it makes use of the medial u before the rime rather than representing it as w in the initial when it follows g or k.
Guangdong romanization makes use of diacritics to represent certain vowels. This includes the use of the circumflex, acute accent, and diaeresis in the letters ê, é, and ü, respectively. In addition, it uses -b, -d, -g to represent the coda consonants /p t k/ rather than -p, -t, -k like other romanization schemes in order to be consistent with their use as unaspirated plosives in the initial. Tones are marked by superscript numbers rather than by diacritics.Hagfa Pinyim
Hagfa Pinyim or HagFa PinYim (客家話拼音, literally "Hakka Pinyin") is a system of romanization used to transcribe Chinese characters as used in Hakka into Latin script. Hagfa Pinyim was developed by Lau Chun-fat (劉鎮發) for use in his Hakka Pinyin Dictionary (客語拼音字彙, literally "Hakka Pinyin Vocabulary") that was published in 1997. The romanization system is named after the Pinyin system used for Mandarin Chinese and is designed to resemble Pinyin.Hailu dialect
Hailu dialect also known as Hoiluk dialect (traditional Chinese: 海陸客語; simplified Chinese: 海陆客话）is a dialect of Hakka Chinese that originated around Shanwei, Guangdong. It is also spoken across Taiwan in various areas, particularly Taoyuan (Yangmei District), (Xinwu District), Hualien, and Taitung.Hakka Transliteration Scheme
The Hakka Transliteration Scheme (Chinese: 客家話拼音方案) refers to a romanization scheme published by the Guangdong Provincial Education Department in September 1960 as one of four systems collectively referred to as Guangdong Romanization. The scheme describes the Meixian dialect spoken in Meizhou, Guangdong which is considered to be the prestige dialect of Hakka. This system utilizes the Latin alphabet with superscript numbers to represent tone.Hakka people
The Hakka (Chinese: 客家), sometimes Hakka Han, are Han Chinese people whose ancestral homes are chiefly in the Hakka-speaking provincial areas of Guangdong, Fujian, Jiangxi, Guangxi, Sichuan, Hunan, Zhejiang, Hainan and Guizhou. The Chinese characters for Hakka (客家) literally mean "guest families". Unlike other Han Chinese groups, the Hakkas are not named after a geographical region, e.g. a province, county or city, in China. Modern day Hakka are generally identified by different degrees of Hakka ancestry and usually speak the Hakka language.
The Hakkas are thought to have originated from the lands bordering the Yellow River (the modern northern Chinese provinces of Shanxi, Henan, and Hubei). In a series of migrations, the Hakkas moved and settled in their present areas in Southern China, and from there, substantial numbers migrated overseas to various countries throughout the world. As the most diasporic among the Chinese community groups, the worldwide population of Hakkas is about 75 million to 120 million. The Hakkas moved from northern China into southern China at a time when the Han Chinese people who already lived there had developed distinctive cultural identities and languages from their northern Han Chinese counterparts. The Tunbao and Chuanqing people are other Han Chinese subgroups that migrated from north China to south China while maintaining their northern Han Chinese traditions which differentiated them from their southern Han neighbours.
The Hakka people have had significant influence on the course of modern Chinese and overseas Chinese history; in particular, they have been a source of many revolutionary, government and military leaders.The Hakka language was the national language of the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom, which had, at one stage, occupied one-third of China in the 19th century. Today, it is one of the official languages of the Republic of China (Taiwan).Huizhou dialect
The Huizhou dialect (simplified Chinese: 惠州话; traditional Chinese: 惠州話; pinyin: Huìzhōuhuà) is a Chinese dialect spoken in and around Huicheng District, the traditional urban centre of Huizhou, Guangdong. The locals also call the dialect Bendihua (simplified Chinese: 本地话; traditional Chinese: 本地話; pinyin: Běndìhuà; literally: 'local speech') and distinguish it from the dialect spoken in Meixian and Danshui, Huiyang, which they call Hakka (simplified Chinese: 客家话; traditional Chinese: 客家話; pinyin: Kèjiāhuà).Meixian dialect
Meixian dialect (Chinese: 梅縣話; Pha̍k-fa-sṳ: Mòi-yen-fa; IPA: mɔi jan fa), also known as Meizhou (梅州話), Moiyen, Jiaying dialect and Yue-Tai, is the prestige dialect of Hakka Chinese and the basis for the Hakka dialects in Taiwan. It is named after Meixian District, Guangdong previously known as Jiaying county.Pha̍k-fa-sṳ
Pha̍k-fa-sṳ (Chinese: 白話字) is an orthography similar to Pe̍h-ōe-jī and used to write Hakka, a variety of Chinese. Hakka is a whole branch of Chinese, and Hakka dialects are not necessarily mutually intelligible with each other, considering the large geographical region. This article discusses a specific variety of Hakka. It was invented by the Presbyterian church in the 19th century. The Hakka New Testament published in 1924 is written in this system.Raoping Hakka
Raoping Hakka (simplified Chinese: 饶平客家话; traditional Chinese: 饒平客家話; Taiwanese Hakka Romanization System: ngiau pin kagˋ gaˇ faˋ), also known as Shangrao Hakka (simplified Chinese: 上饶客家话; traditional Chinese: 上饒客家話), is a dialect of Hakka Chinese spoken in Raoping, Guangdong, as well as Taiwan.She language
The She language (Mandarin: 畲語 shēyǔ, Hakka 山客話 san ha ue [sáŋ xáʔ uə̄̀]), autonym Ho Ne /hɔ˨ ne˥˧/ or Ho Nte, is an endangered Hmong–Mien language spoken by the She people. Most of the over 709,000 She people today speak Hakka Chinese. Those who still speak She—approximately 1,200 individuals in Guangdong province—call themselves Ho Ne "mountain people" (Chinese: 活聶 huóniè). She is nearly extinct today.Taiwanese Hakka
Taiwanese Hakka is a group of Hakka dialects spoken in Taiwan, and mainly used by people of Hakka ancestry. Taiwanese Hakka is divided into five main dialects: Sixian (四縣腔), Hailu (海陸腔), Dabu (大埔腔), Raoping (饒平腔), and Zhao'an (詔安腔). The most widely spoken of the five Hakka dialects in Taiwan are Sixian and Hailu. The former, possessing 6 tones, originates from Meizhou, Guangdong, and is mainly spoken in Miaoli, Pingtung and Kaohsiung, while the latter, possessing 7 tones, originates from Haifeng and Lufeng, Guangdong, and is concentrated around Hsinchu.Tangra, Kolkata
Tangra is a region in East Kolkata that traditionally housed a large number of tanneries owned by people of Hakka Chinese origin.Tingzhou dialect
The Tingzhou dialect (Chinese: 汀州片) is a group of Hakka dialects spoken in Longyan and Sanming (historically Tingzhou), southwestern Fujian. Tingzhou includes the Hakka dialects spoken in the counties originally under the jurisdiction of Tingzhou: Changting (Tingzhou), Ninghua, Qingliu, Liancheng, Wuping, Shanghang, Yongding and Mingxi. The Changting dialect is generally regarded as the representative dialect of this branch of Hakka.WYFR
WYFR was a shortwave radio station located in Okeechobee, Florida, United States. The station was owned by Family Stations, Inc., as part of the Family Radio network, and used to broadcast traditional Christian radio programming to international audiences. WYFR ceased all shortwave transmissions July 1, 2013. In December 2013, another shortwave broadcaster, WRMI of Miami, purchased the WYFR transmmission complex.Wuhua dialect
The Wuhua dialect (simplified Chinese: 五华话; traditional Chinese: 五華話; pinyin: Wǔhuá huà) is a major dialect of Hakka Chinese spoken in Wuhua County, Jiexi County, Shenzhen, eastern Dongguan, Northern Guangdong around Shaoguan, Sichuan Province, and Tonggu County in Jiangxi Province.
Overall, the Wuhua dialect is very similar to the prestige dialect of Hakka, the Meixian dialect.
|Yale Romanization||haak gā wá|
|Jyutping||haak3 gaa1 waa2|
|Hokkien POJ||Kheh-oē (客話)|