Requests for new languages/Wikipedia Teochew

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Teochew Wikipedia

main page Requests for new languages (Wikipedia Teochew)
submitted verification final decision
Crystal Clear mimetype file temporary.png Discuss the creation of this language project on this page. Votes will be ignored when judging the proposal. Please provide arguments or reasons and be prepared to defend them (see the Language proposal policy).

This proposal is on hold:

There is no ISO 639-1/3 code. Request will be on hold until at least ISO 639-3 code would be assigned. Please take a look at the SIL page which describes formal process for submitting request: --Millosh 15:45, 29 October 2010 (UTC)

Proposal summary
Please read the handbook for requesters for help using this template correctly.
  • Speakers: 10 million
  • Location(s) spoken: China's eastern Guangdong province including Chaozhou, Shantou, Jieyang, Chaoyang, Puning, Chao'an, Raoping, Huilai, and Shanwei.
  • Writing system to be used: Although a modified version of the Guangdong romanization system called Peng'im is used by some overseas Teochew groups such as Gaginang, Other online Teochew communities like Hái-kîⁿ Mâng-gúr Lŭng-tuâⁿ(海墘闽语论坛 or Seaside Min Languages Forum, a forum focusing on the Seaside Min languages like Foochow, Hokkien and, of course, Teochew) and 百度闽南语吧(a post-café, or tieba 贴吧 of baidu,like the Google Groups), where there are many mainland Teochew people, they adopt other romanization systems modified from the missionary-time Tiê-chiu Pêh-uē-jī, a system that resembles IPA more than Hanyu Pinyin. The Tiê-chiu Pêh-uē-jī system will be used as the standard for Teochew Wikipedia.

Arguments in favour

  1. Supprot-"潮州話"是一門獨立而又優秀的語言,並且它的受眾也很廣,亦非常典雅美妙,完全可以成立潮州話维基百科。Teochew-Chinese is a very beautiful language,and its users are a great huge number of people.
  2. Support - According to Glossika, Teochew has an overall 50.4% of mutual intelligibility with the Xiamen dialect (Southern Min Language). (This can be contrasted with the Galician language having an 85% intelligibility with the Portuguese language [1]) --Jose77 05:56, 12 July 2008 (UTC)
  3. SupportKaihsu 09:58, 15 July 2008 (UTC)
  4. Support Casting my vote as above. Mr Tan 05:58, 25 July 2008 (UTC)
  5. Support Support important language.--Ffaarr 06:39, 25 July 2008 (UTC)
  6. Support This language seems has a lot of online users who do not repel the latinized writing system. Luuva 16:03, 25 July 2008 (UTC)
  7. Support. Teochew is the branch of one of the seven major local languages (so called dialect) of China according to zh-yue:中國方言. Among them, Cantonese, Wu, Min, Hakka, Gan has their Wikipedia. I do not see any reason to deny the Teochew Wikipedia.--WikiCantona 16:56, 25 July 2008 (UTC)
  8. Support Enough people to create a Wiki-community. Timpul 12:32, 26 July 2008 (UTC)
  9. Support I am all for Teochew wikipedia. The Diojiu-we dialect have substantial number of speakers. There are more than 3 million in Thailand and tens of millions elsewhere. As you know, Thailand is the nation with the 2nd largest ethnic Chinese population in the world, with more than 5 million Thais of ethnic Teochew roots. Unlike in the Nusantara-Nanyang (Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia), Huayu (Mandarin) is not the lingua-franca of the Thai-Chinese, as Diojiuwe remains such. It should not be classified as the "same language" as Taiwanese Minnan under ISO. As you know, the five major branches of Minnan: Zhangzhou, Quanzhou, Hainan, Teochew, and the Zhang-Quan hybrid of Xiamen-Taiwan have substantial differences as standards on their own, and have separated from each other as early as 1000 years ago. I am a speaker of Teochew myself and can see why it is not colloquially intelligible with the broad dialect standard of Xiamen-Taiwan. I'd love to see the Teochew encyclopedia structured in the dual-script format developed by Gan and Cantonese wikipedians: Gan Yue . I am very comfortable with reading Romanized Teochew and can easily understand it, even though it is not my native language. As you can see, Teochew Romanization is definitely not the same as Taiwanese Minnan Romanization. They can't be. These two languages are just so phonetically different from each other. Its Wikipedia code should be zh-diojiu or zh-chaozhou Penkyamp
  10. Support One of major languages in Kwangtung and Hong Kong. A lot of documents and dictionaries indicate it usages. HenryLi 04:02, 27 July 2008 (UTC)
  11. Support But at the same time I see that the Teochew Romanization used in test pages is not the one used in missionary history, which is a lot closer to POJ. So I would like to know whether this modern romanization is regulated by any organization at all. --GnuDoyng 03:44, 31 July 2008 (UTC)
    I think it is zh:潮汕話拼音方案 of the Guangdong Provincial Government, 1960. – Kaihsu 14:41, 31 July 2008 (UTC)
  12. Support--Johney 15:23, 31 July 2008 (UTC)
  13. Support The romanization here is that modified and used by,not the original Guangzhou Provinicial 潮州话拼音方案 proposed in 1960. Details can be found here And though I support the idea that Teochew should have its own wikipedia, I do not support that the modified Peng'im be established as the sole standard of Teochew romanization used in this wikipedia. I think only the Chinese characters will be accepted by all Teochew people, and as far as romanization system is concerned, no one now can claim that his or her system is the standard. Gaginang has done a great deal of work to promote our great mother tongue, Teochew, via its Peng'im system, but other Teochew people also have made contributions to this beautiful language via their systems, such as the Pêh-uē-jī system (NOT Pe̍h-ōe-jī of Amoy, though similar in some sense). Users here have offered us some useful links like Mark Lew's Mogher site, a Chinese-Teochew dictionary, but the link here is the outdated link, not the upgraded one. Here is the latest http of Mark Lew's Mogher, which has shifted from the 60 Peng'im to Pêh-uē-jī: And it is now both Chinese-Teochew and Teochew-Chinese. In our forum (due to server upgrading, it is currently inaccessible, but you can visit from the caches of Google or Baidu), many Teochew people there, all living in mainland China, like Bodhisatua (Mark Lew,from Hú-siâⁿ府城),輶轩使者(sarnjaava,from Kik-iêⁿ揭阳),宁之囝(from Phóu-lêng, 普宁),lee(from Jiâu-phêng 饶平),enjee(from Swatow汕头),have chosen to write in MTR,a modified version of the missionary-time PUJ(Pêh-uē-jī) romanization system.And in 闽南语吧 of 百度贴吧,where there are also many a Teochew brother, like the head of that post bar, Brapian, or Hooimuhtan, 岭海听潮,chenyu,etc,who also adopt a romanization system similar to the MTR/PUJ, though not identical.Thus, in my opinion, I don't think it is rightful to estabish the authority of Peng'im as the sole romanization writing system here. I guess we can handle it like this: Chinese characters are shared and all accepted, but romanization system is not restricted and confined to the Gaginang Peng'im. By the way, the way of indicating the tones of Teochew via numbers hanging after the word is quite awkward, for it makes the romanization more a sound-indicating system than a full-function writing system. That is also one of the reason that we choose to adopt the MTR/PUJ system,since MTR/PUJ adopts diacritics rather than numbers to indicate the 8 tones in Teochew, hence a better choice. --sarnjaava 02:58, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
Sarnjaava, you have said what I wanted to say. 輶轩使者 and I, together with Lîm Kiàn-hui from Chiang-chiu, have served as administrators of Seaside Min Forum for more than a year. As far as I know, 輶轩使者 and other Teochew members of our forum don't seem to be in approval of Peng-im, and neither do I. My argument is: by simply suffixing characters with an Arabic numeral the Peng-im looks more like a phonetic notation rather than a formal writing system. --GnuDoyng 05:15, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
I have edited the mogher link given in the proposal summary, changing it to the updated one. sarnjaava 03:34, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
So generally speaking, I support the future creation of Teochew Wikipedia; but before we come to the final decision, a thorough discussion must be made about which kind of romanization should be adopted in that project. --GnuDoyng 05:15, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
I agree with both of you. Due to the above reasons, Teochew Wikipedia should use the Pêh-uē-jī system which was introduced by the missionaries over 150 years ago. --Jose77 05:23, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
  1. Support I Support! --ArttuS 05:14, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
  2. Support --junafani (Hccmqqr) 14:37, 3 August 2008 (UTC)
  3. Support if Corsican can have its wikipedia, why not Teochew? --Symane 12:04, 6 August 2008 (UTC)
  4. Support Seems like a rare language indeed, online that is, so lets make it more visable!Qrc2006 17:33, 10 August 2008 (UTC)
  5. Support Support. Teochew Native has got lots of unique words and expressions. --user:phoeagon
  6. Support Conditional support. Teochew and Hainan dialects can be grouped under Minnan dialect group. If all subgroups under the seven (some other number depending on grouping) major dialect groups all have their own wiki, it can create a somewhat chaotic situation for the Chinese wikipedias (e.g., 四川話 is not on the same level as 粵語). However, because the Minnan dialect version of wikipedia is written in the latin script(白話字),the Minnan dialect does not yet have a 漢字 version and seems weak in some sense. If a Teochew wikipedia is created using 漢字,this would serve to enhance the significance of Minnan dialect (in the wider sense) version of wikipedia. Therefore I support a Chinese character version of Teochew but not a Romanized version. Abc root 00:49, 28 September 2008 (UTC)
    I could be wrong but it's not a written language to begin with, so all you would be doing if you put it in 漢字 would be reorganizing grammar and using inappropriate characters to convey ideas. I think an alphabet would be more appropriate. Rbritt518 06:55, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
  7. Support A Pêh-uē-jī (潮语白话字) version, no Simplified Chinese Script or Traditional Chinese Script. The Hak-kâ (客家) version is not using two scripts. Hak-kâ (客家) version mainly use Pha̍k-fa-sṳ (客语白话字), check it. If Mìng-dĕ̤ng (闽东) has its own Wikipedia, why not a Tiê-chiu (潮州). --Uncyc 10:41, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
    1. Support-- Mikhailov Kusserow (talk) 07:40, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  8. Support-- telggn I've just joined this conversation after reading the outcome dated January 26, 2009. How can we appeal this decision against creating a Teochew wiki. There are many repercussions if we can't get a Teochew Wiki or a Teochew ISO: Other language initiatives will constantly doubt the validity of Teochew as a language separate from "nan". In fact, I've run into a roadblock with trying to get a Teochew language submitted to the website: (pronounciations of various words in the world's languages). They won't create a Teochew section without an ISO, and have stated that Teochew doesn't even have a Wiki. This is very problematic. Feel free to email me: (Posted 03 February 2009).
  9. Support-- a sizable population speak this language, and the creation of a Wikipedia for it allows the gradual development of an encyclopedia for it. -- 李博杰  | Talk contribs 05:17, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
  10. Support有足够的使用者保证--冰热海风 16:27, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
  11. Support--Digimon Adventure 07:34, 15 January 2010 (UTC)
  12. Support--Jsjsjs1111 18:00, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
  13. Support Wikipedia bahasa Teochew mesti dicipta kerana mempunyai ramai bilangan penutur di China dan seluruh dunia (Malay language) --Md. Farhan 06:36, 25 June 2010 (UTC)

Arguments against

  1. Oppose Against romanized version of Teochew. Please see 18 above. Abc root 00:52, 28 September 2008 (UTC)
  2. Oppose Against calling Teochew anything but Teochew. "Chaozhou" is the Mandarin term for Teochew and if Teochew has to be given a Mandarin name then it shouldn't be called a language of its own. Nameless123456 11:33, 3 August 2009 (UTC)
  3. Oppose The current proposals ignore the existence of Teochews outside of China. In each part of the world where Teochew people are found, you will find a different variety of Teochew spoken, and some of these may be closer to Hokkien or Hainanese due to language contact. If the Teochew spoken in China deserves its own code, so do the varieties in Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia, the USA and so on. Nameless123456 12:19, 3 August 2009 (UTC)
  4. Oppose Teochew is mainly a spoken language and not a written language. There is no point in having a Wikipedia if the majority of Teochews, including the older speakers who might be illiterate, are unable to participate. Nameless123456 12:25, 3 August 2009 (UTC)

General discussion

Teochew does not have an ISO-639-3 recognition, according to the information it is a dialect of Min-Nan. For Min-Nan we have a Wikipedia.. If the information for Teochew is correct, it should be possible to get a recognition for it as a language. This would allow for a Wikipedia. Thanks, GerardM 07:35, 13 July 2008 (UTC)

I think nan represents Min-Nan Language. So if a Chaozhou Dialect(=Teochew) Wikipedia should be started, an ISO-639-3 language code should be given. My English level is really low, I don't know how to get an new ISO-639-3 code (I don't know how to fill in the requesting form.)--eyoung 15:28, 19 July 2008 (UTC)

Perhaps for now it is adequate to combine the ISO 639-3 code “nan” and the ISO 3166-2 codeCN-44”, to give “nan-CN-44”, representing Southern Min as it is spoken in Guangdong, namely the Teochew tongue? – Kaihsu 08:35, 21 July 2008 (UTC)

Perhaps “nan-tc” could be adopted as an appropriate ISO-639-3 language code for Teochew. --Jose77 04:55, 26 July 2008 (UTC)
Nan actually only means "South" in Chinese. Southern Wu dialect (Wenzhou etc.) would be called Nan Wu, as opposed to Bei Wu (Suzhou, Shanghai etc.) Min-nan is substantially different from its neighboring languages of Min-bei (North Fujian, namely Jian-Ou), Min-dong (East Fujian, namely Fuzhou) and Putian (often considered an intermediary between Min-dong and Minnan if my memory serves). The mountainous province of Fujian (Land of Min) houses these three archaic branches of the Sinitic family plus the later arrival of Hakka, which belongs to the same cluster, supposedly, with Mandarin, Cantonese and Gan. However, the Minnan dialect, although probably not as archaic as Wu, Min-dong and Minbei, is certainly archaic enough. Historical records show the origins of modern day Chaozhou and Hainan Qiong-Lei dialect speaking populations settling their current regions as early as mid-Tang Dynasty, as colonists from Minnan areas. These populations certainly split off from other Minnan regional groups earlier than Tang Dynasty. The mutual unintelligibility among Fujian Minnan groups, Chaozhou and Qiong-Lei is big. A Song period split will not produce such big difference. As we know, the Song period split only produced the difference between Jianghuai-Sichuan Mandarin and the Northeastern Mandarin groups, with Northwestern Manrin probably more archaic. Besides, Qiong-Lei and Chaozhou have been heavily influenced by indigenous groups such as the She (a Miao-Yao group local to Chaozhou) and Hlai (a Kadai group in Hainan) as showing in their phonetics. While outside of Fujian, Qiong-Lei and Chaozhou received literary influences from Mandarin or Cantonese, as Guangzhou was the administrative center that also commanded these two far-reaching regions, thus developing literary pronunciations quite different from those of Fujian Minnan groups, which independently receive Mandarin literary influences through Fujian provincial centers. Despite this, the earliest split within the Minnan family occurred between the two major Fujian Minnan dialects: Zhangzhou and Quanzhou. These two dialects have been adjacent to each other and mutually influencing each other despite this early split much before Tang Dynasty. As a result Zhangzhou and Quanzhou have greater mutual intelligibility despite great phonetic variations. However, for a language standard to be considered a "standard", length of natural separation should not be the foremost criterion. It can be said that modern Zhangzhou and Quanzhou share the same standard: Xiamen-Taiwan. Such is not the case with Chaozhou and Qiong-Lei. This said, the codename of the Chaozhou dialect should follow the same format as Yue and Minnan: it should be zh-chao or zh-chaozhou. "Chao" is a usual abbreviation of this dialect group or the region, which never labels itself with "Min" despite linguistic affinity. It is also called Chao-Shan, as Shantou is a secondary regional center in the Chaozhou region. Penkyamp
These are the subdivisions of the macro language Chinese.. Note that all are considered languages in their own right. GerardM 11:57, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

Penkyamp, thanks for your comment, but we are discussing ‘nan’ as a code for ‘the Southern Fujian tongue(s)’ (or whatever you want to call it) in ISO 639-3, not ‘nán’ the Mandarin word for ‘south’. [As to why ‘nan’ was assigned rather than something better like ‘lam’ (mnemonic for the endonym ‘Bān-lâm-gú’), it’s a long story in which I had a part....] – Kaihsu 13:12, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

The code ‘nan-CN-44’ would be more formal, but ‘nan-tc’ can be an ‘internal’ code to tide over with. – Kaihsu 13:14, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

The nan code is used already. So that one is not available. GerardM 13:15, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
That’s why I said either ‘nan-CN-44’ or ‘nan-tc’ would be suitable. – Kaihsu 13:18, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
The language proposal policy doesn't allow "constructed codes". SPQRobin (inc!) 19:50, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
So there must have been a change in policy since be-x-old:, simple:, zh-classical:, and tokipona: were created. – Kaihsu 14:22, 31 July 2008 (UTC)
Indeed, see for example Requests for new languages/Wikinews Simple English; rejected although a Simple English Wikipedia exists, because now a valid code is needed, but in the past not. SPQRobin (inc!) 15:18, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

Apparently an RFC 4646 tag is as good as an ISO 639-3 code for this purpose. I suppose someone should apply for ‘nan-CN-44’ or ‘nan-tc’ per RFC 4646. – Kaihsu 14:37, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

ISO-693-3 Code Application for Teochew

The current Language proposal policy states that: "If there is no valid ISO-639 code, you must obtain one". The current organisation which sets the ISO-639 codes is SIL International.

I have contacted SIL International regarding the ISO-639-3 recognition for Teochew and this was their reply:

Hello there,
I invite [the Teochew community] to state the case for Teochew through the formal process for submitting a request, which is described here:
Both of the needed forms are linked from this page.
Best regards,
Joan Spanne
ISO 639-3/RA
SIL International
7500 W Camp Wisdom Rd
Dallas, TX 75236

--Jose77 06:13, 4 August 2008 (UTC)

I have submitted the two request forms to SIL International and the following are issues which need to be addressed:

1. The first consideration is that, clearly, Teochew has been considered (by the ISO 639-3 standard) to be within the denotation of [nan]. Thus, Teochew cannot be assigned a new code element without also retiring the existing [nan] code and creating at least two new code elements: one for Teochew and one for the more narrowly defined Min Nan. Thus, a new code element request must also be completed for (more narrowly defined) Min Nan (or whatever more appropriate name it should have). This revised Min Nan needs the same kind of clear description as has been given for Teochew in order for the change request to be complete.

I personally believe that the Minnan (ie. Southern Min) language code 'nan', should be retired and separated into these two branches: The Amoy (a.k.a. Xiamen) language and the Teochew (a.k.a. Chaozhou) language. The language codes could then be 'xim' and 'dzu' for both of them respectively. What do others think? --Jose77 00:38, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
Thank you very much for your effort. Since I am now heavily loaded with the university teaching tasks, I fail to contribute more to this request. I personally agree with you. Actually, Min-nan is quite a large group in which the affiliated languages are, to a great extent, mutually unintelligible. Amoy (including Taiwanese, Xiamen, Quanzhou, Zhangzhou,etc)and Teochew (including Chaozhou, Shantou, Jieyang, etc) are simply two famous ones. In addition to the two, there are still other important Min-nan languages which are of great distance from Teochew or Amoy, like Hainanese, a Min-nan language that has been heavily influenced, especially phonetically, by Lingao language of the Dai/Tai language group.--sarnjaava 31 August 2008

2. A related consideration is the choice to request a code element specifically for Teochew, rather than a larger subgroup of mutually intelligible varieties to which Teochew belongs. Why single out Teochew from Chao-Shan? Where does Shantou (Swatow) stand in relation to Teochew and to (redefined) Min Nan? These questions must be taken into account in making and in evaluating the request. If, after considering this question, you and your co-requesters conclude that requesting Teochew alone is best, I think that the modern spelling Chaozhou should also be requested. It is permissible to have two, or even more, name forms associated with a code element.

Can someone further clarify the relationship between Teochew and Chao-Shan and Shantou? --Jose77 00:38, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
Teochew does not just mean the language of the City of Chaozhou. No. Teochew is a collective term for all Chao-shan people and the language, including Chaozhou, Shantou and Jieyang. Teochew, though from the pronunciation we know it denotes 潮州, is not an equivalent of today's 潮州市.Actually it stands for the previous 潮州府, the prefecture of Teochew in Qing dynasty, boasting nine counties, including 潮安(海阳),澄海,揭阳,普宁,丰顺,饶平,惠来,潮阳,and 大埔.Today's Shantou evolves from a part of 澄海, and 澄海 now has been absorbed into the greater city of Shantou, which also include 潮阳. 潮安 and 饶平 are incorporated into today's Chaozhou city, and 揭阳 now has 普宁,惠来 as its affiliated counties. Parts of Jieyang are taken out to become today's 揭东 and 揭西. 丰顺 and 大埔 have been taken over by the City of Meizhou梅州. Actually even today many elder people in these three Chao-shan cities still refer to their own tongue as 潮州话, not 潮汕话. Though youngsters would also use 潮汕话 so as to distinguish from the narrower 潮州市话, which is formerly known as 府城话. In English, the word "Teochew" is the most appropriate to denote 潮汕话, and Teochew contains many daughter dialects like Chaozhou,i.e. the former Fucheng tongue; Shantou; Chaoyang; Puning; Chenghai; Huilai; Jieyang; etc. Best supporting evidence includes the official names of two influential international associations of Teochew people (=People of the former Teochew Prefecture, not just from today's Chaozhou;hence a near-equivalent of Chao-shan people)---国际潮团联谊年会(Teochew International Convention) and 国际潮青联谊年会(International Teochew Youth Convention). I guess the two official names qualify to make Teochew the most appropriate name for the whole 潮汕 area. References about these two bodies can be found from the following websites: And there are still many more. Anyway, Teochew bodies the world over name their own associations with different transcriptions, for instance we have Chau Chow, Chau-chau, Chaozhou, Chaoshan, etc, etc. But the only two largest international bodies of the Chao-shan people worldwide, nail down their names firmly as Teochew. That speaks, I guess. sarnjaava 1 September 2008

3. Also consider the question of whether Teochew should be treated in isolation or as a part of a larger (Chao-Shan) group. You might also consult (and cite) works of linguists specializing in Min languages to support your arguments, in addition to popular expressions of support. They can be Chinese language works, as Chinese scholars will also review this request.

Are there any works of linguists specializing in Min languages? --Jose77 00:38, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
There are. But scholars differ in their opinion as regards the relation between Teochew and Minnan. As to the question on Teochew and Chaoshan, I have explained as above. sarnjaava 1 September 2008

I have submitted all three forms to them. Here is their reply:

Thank you for replying so quickly. The index of requests can be found at:
This request is not yet posted, but should be posted by the end of next week. :When it is, it can also be found directly at:
Best regards,
ISO 639-3/RA,
SIL International.

According to their website, "All 2008 series change requests will be posted for community review by September 15. The formal review period will be from September 15 to December 15.....Outcomes of requests will be announced in January 2009 [2]. --Jose77 21:46, 4 September 2008 (UTC)

The outcome (January 26, 2009)
Hello again,
I am sure you have seen the announcement from last week regarding the majority of the requests, and that your request was not among those for which we announced decisions. I am writing to notify you that the decision of the ISO 639-3 review panel was to reject the request as submitted, because it did not adequately deal with all of Min Nan. The panel agrees that Chaozhou and Xiamen warrant separate code elements. However, the request does not address other Min Nan varieties at all that are also part of the denotation of "[nan] Min Nan." Within the discussions and websites cited in support (as well as other sources), there are mentions of the Southern Min varieties of Hainan (Qiongwen) and Longyan that are not directly addressed in the change request. I also brought up this matter (though perhaps not these specific names) even while we were working on the change request. The ISO 639-3 registration authority must account for the full breadth of denotation of a code element to be retired when it considers such a significant change, but it is not our work to fill in such large gaps of a request.
I wrote the RA comment so that it would be clear that the appropriateness of recognizing Chaozhou in the ISO 639-3 standard is not in question for the RA. If you are able, we encourage you to do the background research and submit a new request in which the full breadth of the Min Nan varieties are taken into consideration, as well as the formal name(s) most appropriate for each proposed language code element. Seek the input of linguists, either directly or through research in linguistics literature, or both, as well as the Wikimedia participants who have already contributed to the discussion in that forum.
Best regards,
Joan Spanne
ISO 639-3/RA
SIL International

Hence I will submit a new request within the next few days someone will need to submit a new request which will incorporate ALL of the Min Nan dialects in existence (Amoy, Teochew, Hainanese, Longyan? and possibly others). --Jose77 23:30, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

Request to split the Min-nan macro-language into seven languages
Varieties of the Minnan Macrolanguage.png

After some research, the Min-nan language group in dark green, light green, yellow and pink could be split into these seven "new" languages (ranked by the number of speakers):

  • 1. Zhenan Min language /浙南闽语 colored brown; proposed ISO code: znm: Zhenan is used as a collective term for all the speakers of the Longhai dialect/龍海話, Zhangpu dialect/漳浦話, Anxi dialect/安溪話, Hui'an dialect/惠安話, and the Tong'an dialect/同安話. There are approximately 574,000 speakers. Zhenan Min has limited intelligiblity with the other Min-nan languages and is influenced by neighbouring languages such as Eastern Min and Northern Min.
  • 2. Hokkien Min language(aka: Amoy speech colored dark green/福建闽南语; proposed ISO code: xim):(mutually intelligible with the Quanzhou speech/泉州话map & Zhangzhou speech/漳州话 map, Datian/大田话 speeches and Taiwanese). For the purpose of clarity, Hokkien will be used as collective term for all the speeches mentioned above including the Lan-nang dialect/咱儂話 and Penang Hokkien/檳城福建話. This dialect is also referred to as Hokkien/福建話 in Southeast Asia and classified as the Min-Tai division (閩台片). There are approximately 30,000,000 speakers.
  • 3. Longyan Min speech/龙岩话 colored purple; proposed ISO code: lyh: Longyan Min is spoken in Longyan City's Xinluo District and Zhangping City [3]. There are approximately 740,000 speakers. Longyan Min has limited intelligiblity with the other Min-nan languages and is influenced by the Hakka language due to the large Hakka presence in many of the districts.
  • 4. Chaoshan Min language (aka: Teochew speech colored light green/潮汕话; proposed ISO code: dzu): (spoken in Chaoshan and Shantou map) Chaoshan is a collective term for all Chao-shan people and the language, including Chaozhou map, Shantou/汕頭話 map, Jieyang, Chaoyang/潮陽話, Puning/普寧話, Huilai/惠來話. There are approximately 10,000,000 speakers. Chaoshan Min has limited intelligiblity with the other Min-nan languages and is 50% intelligible with Hokkien.
  • 5. Hailufeng Min language/海陆丰閩方言 colored orange; proposed ISO code: hlf: Hailufeng is used as a collective term for all the speakers of the Haifeng dialect/海丰話, Lufeng dialect/陆丰話. There are approximately 3,000,000 speakers [4]. Hailufeng Min straddles between the the Chaoshan Min and the Quanzhou Min language. It has limited intelligibility with Chaoshan Min [5].
  • 6. Zhongshan Min language/中山閩方言 colored blue; proposed ISO code: zsh: Zhongshan is used as a collective term for all the speakers of the Longdu dialect/隆都話, Sanxiang dialect/三鄉話, and the Zhangjiabian dialect/張家邊話. There are approximately 150,000 speakers [6]. Zhongshan Min has limited intelligiblity with the other Min-nan languages and is influenced by neighbouring languages such as Cantonese.
  • 7. Qiongwen Min language (aka: Qiongwen speech colored yellow/琼文闽语; proposed ISO code: hnl): Includes both Leizhou Min and Hainanese which uses the Wenchang dialect as its standard. There are 5,000,000 speakers in Hainan Province, and 3 million Hainanese overseas. Hainanese has the least intelligibility with the other Min-nan languages. There are 4,000,000 Leizhou speakers [7]. Leizhou has limited intelligiblity with the other Min-nan languages and is 80-90% intelligible with Hainanese.

It is hoped that this is an exhaustive list which covers all the Minnan varieties. However, I would like to know whether the Leizhou and Hainanese speeches are intelligible with each other. Also, further information regarding the Longyan speech needs to be obtained. --Jose77 03:18, 27 January 2009 (UTC)

--Jose77 02:06, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
Info & map updated. --Jose77 (talk) 10:13, 7 July 2013 (UTC)

Discussion with the ISO 639-3 Maintenance Agency

Kaihsu sent 3 messages to the ISO 639-3 Maintenance Agency. He copied the messages here and they were interspersed with comments hencebelow.

Message 0

I see that my name has been misused in this change request 2008-083.

I cannot say that I would like ‘nan’ to be retired and ‘xim’ to be created. Much better just to create ‘dzu’ and leave ‘nan’ as is.

Therefore, technically I do not support this change request. Please consider that my name does not appear therein.

(I have sent the above message to the Maintenance Agency.) – Kaihsu 15:26, 27 October 2008 (UTC)

I give my sincere apologies for including your name on that change request (I had implicitly assumed before that you would have agreed to it in the first place; nevertheless I will certainly consult your opinion in advance next time).
I initially only requested to SIL International for the creation of the ‘dzu’ ISO code for Teochew - however the organization coordinator made this statement:
"Teochew cannot be assigned a new code element without also retiring the existing [nan] code and creating at least two new code elements: one for Teochew and one for the more narrowly defined Min Nan. "
I hope you understand. --Jose77 04:47, 28 October 2008 (UTC)
No problem. Your apologies are accepted. I would like to explore the issues further. – Kaihsu 16:33, 29 October 2008 (UTC)

Kaihsu has since sent two more messages to the Maintenance Agency, exploring the issues:

Message 1

Sorry that I have not been able to investigate the matter in detail, but there are several existing applications using the code [nan]. Retiring the code abruptly will cause some disruption, though I understand such action is sometimes required. Please take this into consideration. I appreciate your efforts.

Even if 'nan' was retired and split into the two or three new branches, it is unlikely that the current Minnan Wikipedia would need to be closed down or disrupted. Rather, the new code "xim" (or a more preferable code) could be redirected to that current site; just as "nan" is redirected to "zh-min-nan". --Jose77 03:58, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
Message 2

Again I apologize for entering my comments in a piecemeal fashion. (I was only notified of this change request when a colleague mentioned it in passing whilst we were working on something else.)

Another concern of mine is that the proposed code [xim] is not a mnemonic for the endonym of the language ‘Ē-mn̂g’, but that in another language (namely Mandarin ‘Xiàmén’). Further, the language when spoken in Taiwan is commonly called ‘Taiwanese’ ~ ‘Tâi-oân-oē’. I am not sure whether [xim] will be well-received by the user community there.

  • I am concerned about what I read. For your information, the code that is to be used is not to be considered a mnemomnic. It is a code and has no intrinsic meaning. Thanks, GerardM 19:27, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
  • De jure you are correct: no code is a mnemonic. However, de facto, this is not quite the case. Imagine the mess if [eng] is used for French and [deu] for English. – Kaihsu 11:06, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

Incidentally, the proposed code [dzu] is indeed a mnemonic of the endonym in one of the orthographies ‘Dio-ziu’ (in the other, it is ‘Tiê-chiu’).

Kaihsu 16:34, 29 October 2008 (UTC)

The code 'xim' is intended to represent all the dialects spoken in the Xiamen, Zhangzhou, Quanzhou, and Taiwan (As colored in dark green on this map). The Xiamen dialect was formerly known as Amoy. Amoy is widely considered to be the prestige dialect within Min Nan in general. The difference Amoy and Taiwanese is the similar to that between British and American English. In fact the Taiwanese Bible used today is virtually identical to the Amoy Vernacular Bible translated by missionaries in the 19th century.
It was originally proposed to use the words "Amoy" and "Teochew" to denote the two distinct branches of Minnan colored dark green and light green here, however SIL International preferred using the modern Pinyin names: "Chaozhou" and "Xiamen". --Jose77 03:38, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
If the proposed code [xim] is not a mnemonic for the endonym of the language ‘Ē-mn̂g’, then which new language code (Apart from 'nan') would be more appealing to the speakers of that language? --Jose77 03:58, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
The code-space is quite crowded: I think we will have to accept [xim] if there is no good alternative. – Kaihsu 11:07, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

Teochew Romanization

The following discussion is an archived debate of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Penkyamp said: What do you think of this romanization? Below is an example of a little witty children's rhyme from Thailand:

(sarnjaava,S hereinafter: This should be îⁿ-pa-nî,an adjective to describe fat and round people or things.The first "îⁿ" corresponds to the character 圆, whereas the other two are obscure concerning their characters. Note that îⁿ should be nasalized.)
Gê hãygï
(S:Kè-hái-kîⁿ. Kîⁿ is usually written as 墘, some arguing the original word to be 舷. Kîⁿ is also nasalized.)
Hãygï mboi lèkdàw
(S:Hái-kîⁿ bô lêk-tāu. 无 should be bô, not bŏi)
Gê kêg hàw
(S: Kè khurh hāu. Khurh is pronounced by people from Jieyang as Kheh, Swatow or Tiechiu as Khurh and Chaoyang as Khih. Plus, hāu is not a crab蟹,which should be pronounced as hŏi. hāu is 鲎,limulus, or horseshoe crab)
Hàw mboi bë
(S: hāu bŏi-pê. bŏi is the combination of buē未 and ŏi解, meaning "not able to")
Gê kêg hë
(S: Kè khurh hê)
Hë mboi tiau~
(S: Hê bŏi-thiàu. thiàu is pronounced by people from Chenghai or Tie-chiu as thiòu.)
Gê kêg cêmè
嫁给青目 (盲眼人)
(S: Kè khurh chheⁿ-mêⁿ.Chheⁿ-mêⁿ should be 青盲, a word that can be found in 后汉书)
Gîgü konk kâg kiau~
(S: This sentence is a little bit obscure. Khŏng-kha-khiàu, though literally indicating "fallen flat on one's back", like a turned turtle, is usually used to refer to death. Ki-kû is a whistle, which is pronounced as "hi-hû" in Jieyang. And ki-kû or hi-hû is also sort of euphemism for death. For instance, one may say, "ia lău-pĕ kū-nîⁿ khe hi-hû --khùr", meaning that his father died last year. Likewise, ti-tâ, originally meaning "zurna", a sort of frequently-seen instrument, can also connote death. Thus, here "ki-kû khŏng-kha-khiàu", with two vulgar phrases connoting death, is a little bit sort of a curse.Sarnjaava)


It is decided that we should use a romanization with rich history and culture. In this respect, the Teochew missionary romanization is the best choice. For a detailed information about it please see this page (Chinese). --GnuDoyng 07:27, 6 August 2008 (UTC)