If you ever overheard a Chinese conversation in the Philippines, most likely they were speaking the Hokkien dialect. Hokkien or Minnan (閩南語) is a Southern Min language that originated and spread from the Minnan region to the rest of Southeast Asia due to the Chinese Diaspora. It was considered as the lingua franca of the Chinese migrants that is still widely used today in different countries. In the Philippines, our Hokkien variant or Lán-lâng-ōe is largely derived from the Jinjiang (晉江) accent of Quanzhou(泉州), but also has some traces of Nan’an(南安) accent and Amoy(廈門) words.
Here are the two versions of Hokkien with eight tones:
- Taiwan’s Hokkien tones:
1. ◌ Tone | 2. ◌́ Tone | 3. ◌̀ Tone | 4. ◌p ◌t ◌k ◌h Tone | 5. ◌̂ Tone | 6. ◌̌ Tone | 7. ◌̄ Tone | 8. ◌̍p ◌̍t ◌̍k ◌̍h Tone
- China’s Hokkien tones:
1. ◌ Tone | 2. ◌̂ Tone | 3. ◌́ Tone | 4. ◌̌ Tone | 5. ◌̀ Tone | 6. ◌̄ Tone | 7. ◌p ◌t ◌k ◌h Tone | 8. ◌̍p ◌̍t ◌̍k ◌̍h Tone
The IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) have numbers written in superscripts. “1” is the lowest pitch while “5” is the highest pitch. Here is a graph from Jude Tan (@hey.judson) on Instagram to further understand Hokkien Tones. Just swipe right to hear the tones.
View this post on Instagram
And here are the eight traditional tone categories (調類):
◌p ◌t ◌k ◌h Tone
◌̍p ◌̍t ◌̍k ◌̍h Tone