Teochew originated in the Chaoshan region of Guangdong province, China.
Teochew is also spoken in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam,
Cambodia and Thailand.
Teochew is a dialect of Southern Min, a Sinitic
language. It preserves a three-way distinction between unvoiced unaspirated,
unvoiced aspirated and voiced unaspirated plosives that is absent in Mandarin
Chinese. Oral and nasalised vowels form contrasting minimal pairs in Teochew.
Note on consonants
Syllables can only end in the following sounds: [p], [k], [m], [ŋ] and [ʔ].
The glottal stop never appears in the word-initial position. It can be
viewed as a weakened form of the velar stop [k] in the final position. Some
speakers pronounce the glottal stop where others pronounce the velar stop.
Unlike Hokkien, another closely related Southern Min dialect, Teochiu
words do not end in [t] or [n].
Teochew has two syllabic nasals: [m] and [ŋ].
Note on vowels
Vowel sounds can either be oral or nasal.
There is a great variation in vowel sounds among Teochew speakers. Some
speakers pronounce [ɛ] as [e], [ɨ] as [ɜ] or [i], [iɔ] as
[iɛ], and [iəu] as [iou] or [iɑu].
Some of the information on this page was provided by Wenkai Tay.