Teochew (Diojiu Ue / 潮州話)
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.
of names and phrases
GagiNang - information about Teochiu language and culture
Diojiu Bhung Gak: A Site Teochiu Language
Chaozhou Mogher - includes information about Chaozhou idioms and phonology and a dictionary
Chinese Ink in SE Asia: Dialects
Singapore Teochew Association (in Chinese)