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Friday, January 16, 2009

Hokkien's connection with Tang Dynasty...

This is totally new to me. I am more astonished at the Korean similarities (Dr. Isabelle Lee should be able to confirm this) and the bit to do with Japanese (over to you, Cheng) though I have always wondered about shimbun and Hokkien's sin boon. I have always tend to confuse my little knowledge of Mandarin with Hakka which I find them very similar. The following is what I have received from a friend:

To all Hokkien nangs out there, you must be proud of your dialect.

Ancient Imperial Language of China – 2,000 Years Ago

How Did it Sound Like? (Mind you, it's no way similar to Mandarin)
Has this Ancient Language Survived?
Who Speaks it Today?
You'll be Surprised. You have heard it. You, your parents, or grandparents may still be speaking this ancient, archaic language!

Yes, it's HOKKIEN (Fujian/Minnan Hua)

Hokkien is:
1. The surviving language of the Tang Dynasty (618-907AD), China 's Golden Age of Culture.
Note: The Hokkien we hear today may have "evolved" from its original form 2,000 years ago, but it still retains the main elements of the Tang Dynasty Language.
2. Hokkiens are the surviving descendants of the Tang Dynasty -- When the Tang Dynasty collapsed, the people of the Tang Dynasty fled South and sought refuge in the Hokkien ( Fujian ) province. Hence, Hokkien called themselves Tng-lang (Tang Ren or People of the Tang Dynasty) instead of Hua Lang (Hua Ren).
3. Hokkien has 8 tones instead of Mandarin's 4. Linguists claim that ancient languages tend to have more complex tones.
4. Hokkien retains the ancient Chinese pronunciation of "K-sounding" endings (for instance, Hak Seng (student), Tua Ok (university), Thak Chek (read a book/study) -- the "k" sounding ending is not found in Mandarin.
5. The collection of the famous "Three Hundred Tang Dynasty Poems" sound better when recited in Hokkien/Teochew if compared to Mandarin.
6. Consider this for a moment: Today, the Hokkien Nam Yim ochestral performance still has its roots in ancient Tang dynasty music. Here's the proof: The formation of today Nam Yim ensemble is typically seen in ancient Tang dynasty paintings of musicians.

More Astonishingly:

Although not genetically-related, Hokkiens, Koreans and Japanese share many similar words (which are different from Mandarin). That's because Hokkien was the official language of the powerful Tang Dynasty whose influence and language spread to Japan and Korea (just like Latin – where many words were borrowed by the English, French, Italian, etc).

Here are just a few words in Hokkien, Japanese & Korean for your comparison:

Hokkien ...................................Korean .....................Japanese

Sin Boon (news) .....................Sin Mun ..................Shinbun - newspaper

Cheng Hu (government) ......Chong Bu

Pang (room) ............................Pang

Chhia (car/vehicle) ................Ch'a

Mui/M'ng (door) ...................Mun

P'hio (ticket) ...........................P'yo

Eng Wan (eternal) ................Yong Won

Chaek (book) .........................Ch'ae

Ki (flag) ..................................Ki ................................Ki

Kang river) ............................Gang/kang

Poh Hiam (insurance) ..........Poh Ham

Sio Sim (caution) ..................Cho sim

Mo Kui (demon) ..................Ma gui

Cham (attend/join/mix) .......Ch'am sok

Kantan (simple) ...................Gan Dan

Sin Sei Kai (new world) ......Shin Sae Gae

Kok Ka (nation) ....................Kuk Kka

Hya (elder brother) ..............Hyaeng

Choon Pi (prepare) ...............Jun Bi

Si Kan (time) ..........................Si Kan

Kam tong (emotion, feeling) Kam Jong ................Kanjoo

Kamsia (gratitude, thanks) ..Kam Sa .....................Kansha

Keat Hoon (marriage) ..........Kyol Hon ..................Kekkon

Oon Tong (exercise) ............Un Dong ...................Undoo

Tua Ok (university) .............Tae Hak .....................Daigaku

Aun Chuan (safety) ............An Jon .......................An Zen

Mua Chiok(satisfaction) ....Man Jok .....................Manzoku

Ai Lang (lover) ....................Ae In ..........................Aijin

Seng Kong (success) ........Song Kong .................Seikoo

Chhiu Sat (suicide) ............Cha sal ........................Jisatsu

Pu Do (grapes) ...................P'o d'o .........................Budoo

Chin Por (progress) ...........Chin bo .......................Shinpo

To all 49 Million Hokkien Speakers:

Be Proud of Your Ancient Hokkien Heritage & Language! Speak it Loud and Clear. Teach Your Future Generation this Imperial Language, Lest it Fades Away.

Be Proud Children of the Tang Emperors.

To all Mandarin-speaking friends out there -- do not look down on your other Chinese friends who do not speak Mandarin – whom you guys fondly refer to as "Bananas". In fact, they are speaking a language which is much more ancient & linguistically complicated than Mandarin.

Keep in mind that Mandarin is just:

1. A Northern Chinese dialect (heavily influenced by non Han Chinese) that was elevated to the status of National Language by Sun Yat Sen for the sake of China 's national unity.
2. Mandarin was never spoken by your proud, imperial Tang Dynasty ancestors. It was probably spoken by the Northern (Non-Han) Jurchen, Mongols and Manchu minority. Start speaking the language of your ancestors today. Other interesting links: http://www.famouschinese.com/virtual/Penang_Hokkien

Update on March 6, 2013...


Hokkien is:

1. The surviving language of the Tang Dynasty (唐朝, 618 - 907 A.D.), China 's Golden Age of Culture.

Note: The Hokkien we hear today may have "evolved" from its original form 2,000 years ago, but it still retains the main elements of the Tang Dynasty Language.

2. Hokkiens are the surviving descendants of the Tang Dynasty -- When the Tang Dynasty collapsed, the people of the Tang Dynasty fled South and sought refuge in the Hokkien ( Fujian 福建省) province. Hence, Hokkien called themselves Tng-lang (唐人(比喻为唐朝子孙) Tang Ren or People of the Tang Dynasty) instead of Hua Lang (华人 Hua Ren).

3. Hokkien has 8 tones instead of Mandarin's 4. Linguists claim that ancient languages tend to have more complex tones.

4. Hokkien retains the ancient Chinese pronunciation of "K-sounding" endings (for instance, 学生 Hak Seng (student), 大学 Tua Ok (university), 读册 Thak Chek (read a book/study) -- the "k" sounding ending is not found in Mandarin.

5. The collection of the famous "Three Hundred Tang Dynasty Poems" (唐诗三百首) sound better when recited in Hokkien/Teochew if compared to Mandarin.

6. Consider this for a moment: Today, the Hokkien Nam Yim Ochestral performance still has its roots in ancient Tang dynasty music. Here's the proof: The formation of today Nam Yim ensemble is typically seen in ancient Tang dynasty paintings of musicians.

More Astonishingly:
Although not genetically-related, Hokkiens, Koreans and Japanese share many similar words (which are different from Mandarin). Example: News - 新闻 Shim Bun, World - 世界 Se Kai in Japanese)

That's because Hokkien was the official language of the powerful Tang Dynasty whose influence and language spread to Japan and Korea (just like Latin – where many words were borrowed by the English, French, Italian, etc).
To all 49 Million Hokkien Speakers:

Be Proud of Your Ancient Hokkien Heritage & Language! Speak it Loud and Clear. Teach Your Future Generation this Imperial Language, Less it Fades Away. Be Proud Children of the Tang Emperors.

To all Mandarin-speaking friends out there -- do not look down on your other Chinese friends who do not speak Mandarin – whom you guys fondly refer to as "Bananas". In fact, they are speaking a language which is much more ancient & linguistically complicated than Mandarin.

Keep in mind that Mandarin is just:

1. A Northern Chinese dialect 北方话 (heavily influenced by non-Han Chinese) that was elevated to the status of National Language by Sun Yat Sen (孙中山,原名孙逸仙) for the sake of China’s national unity.

2. Mandarin was never spoken by your proud, imperial Tang Dynasty ancestors. It was probably spoken by the Northern (Non-Han 北方民族) Jurchen (女真族), Mongols (蒙古族) and Manchu (满族(女真族的后代)) minority. Start speaking the language of your ancestors today.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

so why are all the hokkiens in KL (and Batu Gajah) speaking Cantonese now?

:P

Beng

KoSong Cafe said...

No harm is there? Just like learning English and Bahasa Melayu.

It is easier to communicate when one can speak the other's language or dialect when you find the other cannot understand yours. It fact, it is a good way of learning language.

Your stint in Penang did put some Hokkien into you. When we are in the company of those who refuse to speak or learn our dialect, so be it.

Normally, mother tongue reigns because she rocks the cradle.

bf2 said...

Hokkien and Japanese spoken words for 'time', 'water pipe', and 'preparation' are identical.

KoSong Cafe said...

Thanks Bf2 for your comment. It would help others if you can be more specific, otherwise like me, I am wondering which hokien word for each of the 3 items mentioned, and worse still, which Japanese words you are referring to!

bf2 said...

. Japanese (Kanji) ..... Hokkien
Time: 時間 ............ si-gan
Water pipe: 水管 ...... Zhui-gwan
preparation: 準備 ...... Zhen-bi

I am pretty sure these are the loanwords from Chinese since I use English to translate to Japanese and the Yahoo Babel Fish translater gave me those Kanji. You need to find someone who can read Japanese to read them for you.

Hokkien spellings may not be correct, but you will get the idea.

KoSong Cafe said...

Thanks Bf2 for your quick and informative reply - more than I expected. I was waiting for Cheng to comment on your examples, but without response, so I will have to just acknowledge with thanks.

Anonymous said...

Makes me want to laugh, because Wikipedia clearly states that the Min language is the only one NOT to have descended from Middle Chinese.

The Tang capitals were at Luoyang and Chang'an and it makes no sense why Hokkien should be the only language to descend from the Tang language.

One might as well say that Japanese and Korean are the Middle Tang spoken language because they also share common words.

Cannot even differentiate between "influenced by" and "descended from".

Totally insensible.

Anonymous said...

A lot of misleading facts. Even though I am proud of my dialect, not all of these facts are correct.

Anonymous said...

I am a research student; don't trust wikipedia, too many wrong information.

JJJ said...

I promote Hokkien with free lessons online.
http://speak-hokkien-well.blogspot.com/

darkcharm said...

Quote from bf2
Japanese (Kanji) ..... Hokkien
Time: 時間 ............ si-gan
preparation: ...... Zhen-bi

These are the japanese reading which sound similar to hokkien.
時間=jikan
準備=junbi

Linahkong said...

To anonymous,
May I know your field of research?
Can you tell me the meaning of 鳥人 in 水滸專? Perhaps you could visit baidu for more information.

KoSong Cafe said...

Sorry Linahkong, as far as this particular post is concerned, I was just posting from others, which might interest some. I am not even literate in Chinese, just happen to be Chinese and a Hokien.

Anonymous said...

A while ago, I've been studied when I was a Hokkien myself, I don't feel like it's something we should boast about.

Why the heck we so make it so proud of speaking Hokkien, when we can't even use them to read and memorize a poem nowadays. Much more ancient & linguistically complicated than Mandarin, seriously? The Hokkien people nowadays don't even got a clue of any popular Hokkien ancient poem. In long run the Cantonese dominates the ancient Dynasties language and even nowdays people still able to deliver the any ancient poem in Cantonese with the exact meaning and words without improvised or translate them, that's the real effectiveness of the language. The title should be "Min Nan" connection with Tang Dynasty, and Shang Dong got more words connected to Korean language for your info.

Finally, don't be the same low esteem dude like the Malaysia history keep stating that because Malay was being as the lingua franca during the Malacca Sultanate 15th century so you can still be proud and look tall of yourself because people was using your freaking mother tongue for a short historical time for god sake.

There is no point to boast a little achievement of Hokkien and NOTE THAT it doesn't last more than 200 years as the official language due to it's ineffectiveness in the Han language foundation.

The only thing we should be proud of, is it doesn't got lost and huge amount of people is still using it nowadays, that's good enough for me.

Anonymous said...

Trying to elevate the inferior to become superior, nice try, only fools will buy it.

Anonymous said...

This is funny.... tang dynasty 2000 years ago?

Min is not even han, a bunch of asian gypsies that pretend to be han.

Anonymous said...

I attended a course at the Hokkien Huay Kuan last time on advanced hokkien.

Literary Hokkien (as opposed to the vernacular hokkien spoken in Singapore) heavily influenced japanese/korean.

Min Nan was a description hoisted on the people by the guys in the north.

Min nan was stated by the professor of linguistics from Xiamen University to perhaps have been the spoken tongue of Qin Shi Huangdi as well.

Be proud of your heritage.

Tang Shi is to be read in literary hokkien.

Anonymous said...

The content of the article is not true! It was written by someone who did not understand the history of Chinese language at all.

The slang or pronounciation or accent of the current Chinese official language (普通话) can be traced back to as far as Zhou Dynasty (周朝), or even Shang Dynasty (商朝), and the Confucious at that time was speaking in a language with slang or accent similar current Chinese Mandarin. When the written language was unified during Qin Dynasty(秦朝), it meant that there was only one common lunguage in 'China' at that time, albeit with different regional slangs or accent, and Hokkien language is one of them. During Han Dynasty (汉朝), Sui Dynasty(隋朝) they were all speaking a language similar to the current Mandarin. When came to Tang Dynasty, the local Chinese language in the He Luo (河洛)region was made the official language, and a group of the people who later escaped to the Fujian region spreaded the He Luo language to the people over there and became known as Kokkien language. During Song Dynasty (宋朝), the official language spoken was similar to Guangdong language. During Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties, the official language was similar to current Mandarin.

There is only one written language for all the Chinese. The official language during Tang dynasty was also a Chinese language but with different slang or accent, because it was adopted from a local He Luo language. The current Hokkien language basically is the He Luo language with modifications over the years and also assimilated some of the local native language.

To say that " Mandarine is a language probably spoken by the Northern (Non-Han) Jurchen, Mongols and Manchu minority. " is a blatant lie. How can the non-Han speak Mandarin while the Chinese speak Hokkien? As far I know, Jurchen, Mongols and Manchu people have their own languages, and they do not speak Chinese. They later speak Chinese because they were assimilated into the Chinese culture when they came to China.