Many non-Chinese do not know there are many different dialects among the Chinese. For instance, I am Hokien and my wife, Hakka. Within Hokien, there are sub-classifications like my Ankwei, Namua, and so on, while Hakka has my wife's Toongkoon, Hopo and so on.
Personally, I find Hokchiew (Fuchow) the most difficult dialect to understand and learn, similar to Greek to the English. Teochew is quite similar to Hokien, while Hainanese sounds Vietnamese to me! My wife even confuses Teochew with Hokchiew, and time and again, I had to correct her for treating them interchangeable! She has two brothers-in-law who are Teochew! Just to show how arrogant some Hakka can be, not taking an interest in learning another dialect. Now that she is learning Mandarin, she is taking it like duck to water in conversational terms, but reads Mandarin in Hakka better than in proper Mandarin! This was because she was taught Mandarin in Hakka by the factory supervisor during lunch time, years ago. Her mum speaks only in Hakka but understands Cantonese, so a conversation with her in Cantonese is similar to the old 'Empat Sekawan' series on radio or Redifusion, where four dialects: Hokien (late Hoi Yong), Hakka (Lai Ming), Cantonese (Hon Ying) and San Leng (late Wong Hor) were spoken by four persons, each speaking his/her own and understanding the others.
I am comfortable with Cantonese because I grew up listening to Redifusion which has two channels: English and Chinese, which at one stage was a source of quarrel between my third brother and third sister because he was English educated and she Chinese educated.
I listened to all kinds of Cantonese news, stories and songs, which were produced a la Hong Kong or by them. I can understand Cantonese dramas better than my wife because of this.
Anyway, when my children were living with my in-laws, Hakka was spoken by their grandparents, Cantonese by the housekeeper, and English or Cantonese spoken among our own family and with my wife's elder sister. One way of teaching my children Hokien was through a song which I used to sing to them... which Cheng found from Youtube and was thrilled to say, 'now everyone can sing this song!'...
For the benefit of those who do not understand Hokien at all, the lyrics when translated is simple (producer should have used old couple instead!) :
The sky is getting dark and it is going to rain, and grand father is taking the cangkul to dig for some yam.
Dig and dig, dig and dig, dug out one earthworm and he found it funny
Grandpa wants to cook it saltish while grandma wants to cook it less so
Two of them fought over it and broke a wok!
According to a speech by Dr Chen Man Hin, DAP life adviser to members of the Hakka Association of Negri Sembilan in Seremban on 13th December 2009:
Hakkas originated from Kwang Chow and Fukkien provinces, and are comprised of several clans, Moi Kong, Fui Choo, Char Yong, Hoi Look Foong, Tai Poo, Moi Yen, ...
Although mandarin is the common language, there are different dialects among the chinese in Malaysia...
Min Bei 373,337
How should we judge a government?
In Malaysia, if you don't watch television or read newspapers, you are uninformed; but if you do, you are misinformed!
"If you're not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing." - Malcolm X
Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience - Mark Twain
Why we should be against censorship in a court of law: Publicity is the very soul of justice … it keeps the judge himself, while trying, under trial. - Jeremy Bentham
"Our government is like a baby's alimentary canal, with a happy appetite at one end and no
responsibility at the other. " - Ronald Reagan