Hakka is a variety of Chinese spoken in south eastern China, parts of Taiwan and in the New Territories of Hong Kong. There are also significant communities of Hakka speakers in such countries as the USA, French Guiana, Mauritius and the UK. The total number of Hakka speakers is roughly 43 million. The name of the language, 客家话 [客家話] - (hak7ga1wa3 or kèjiāhuà in Mandarin) means 'guest language'.
The Hakka people have a long history of migration. Hakka history states that their ancestors originated from Shāndōng (山东) or Shānxī (山西) provinces in northern China. They began their first wave of migration between the 4th and 9th centuries, traveling from Hénán (河南) and the adjoining northern provinces into Ānhuī (安徽) and its vicinity.
A second wave of migration took place between the 9th and 12th centuries, when the Hakka migrated along the mountains and foothills of eastern Jiāngxī (江西) into south Jiāngxī and inland Fùjiàn (福建).
A final wave of migration took place between the 12th and 17th centuries, as Hakka moved into northeast Guǎngdōng (广东) province. The Cantonese of Guǎngdōng saw the Hakka as poor, uneducated and uncultured. The Hakka considered the Cantonese greedy, unrefined southerners.
Ngin-ngin sang yi cii-iu, coi zun-ngiam tung kienli song id-lid pin-den. Gi den ngin fu-iu li-xin tung ho-xim tien, bin en i hiung-ti guan-he ge jin-siin xiong dui-tai.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)
Online Hakka dictionaries
Hakka (and Taiwanese) input method
華語廣播-客家話 (Radio in Hakka)
BCC (中國廣播電台) - online radio in Mandarin, Taiwanese and Hakka
Taiwanese Hakka Association of the USA
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Page last modified: 15.11.22
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