If you’re a Hokkien, do you know Hokkien is the Ancient Imperial Language of China – 2,000 Years Ago.
If you’re a HOKKIEN Take Note !!
You’ll be surprised. You have heard it. You, your parents, or grandparents may still be speaking this ancient, archaic language!
Yes, it’s HOKKIEN (Fujian/Minnan Hua 福建话/闽南话)
1. The surviving language of the Tang Dynasty (唐朝, 618 – 907 A.D.), China’s Golden Age of Culture.
Note: The Hokkien we hear today may have “evolved” from its original form 2,000 years ago, but it still retains the main elements of the Tang Dynasty Language.
2. Hokkiens are the surviving descendants of the Tang Dynasty — When the Tang Dynasty collapsed, the people of the Tang Dynasty fled South and sought refuge in the Hokkien ( Fujian 福建省) province. Hence, Hokkien called themselves Tng-lang (唐人（比喻为唐朝子孙） Tang Ren or People of the Tang Dynasty) instead of Hua Lang (华人 Hua Ren).
3. Hokkien has 8 tones instead of Mandarin’s 4. Linguists claim that ancient languages tend to have more complex tones.
4. Hokkien retains the ancient Chinese pronunciation of “K-sounding” endings (for instance, 学生 Hak Seng (student), 大学 Tua Ok (university), 读册 Thak Chek (read a book/study) — the “k” sound ending is not found in Mandarin.
5. The collection of the famous “Three Hundred Tang Dynasty Poems” (唐诗三百首) sound better when recited in Hokkien/Teochew if compared to Mandarin.
6. Consider this for a moment: Today, the Hokkien Nam Yim Orchestral performance still has its roots in ancient Tang dynasty music. Here’s the proof: The formation of today’s Nam Yim ensemble is typically seen in ancient Tang dynasty paintings of musicians.
Although not genetically-related, Hokkiens, Koreans and Japanese share many similar words (which are different from Mandarin). Example: News – 新闻 Shim Bun, World – 世界 Se Kai in Japanese), chin jia -真的 in Korea, ki jia 記者 also in Korea, and many more.
That’s because Hokkien was the official language of the powerful Tang Dynasty whose influence and language spread to Japan and Korea (just like Latin – where many words were borrowed by the English, French, Italian, etc).
To all 49 Million Hokkien Speakers:
Be Proud of Your Ancient Hokkien Heritage & Language! Speak it Loud and Clear. Teach Your Future Generation this Imperial Language, Less it Fades Away. Be Proud Children of the Tang Emperors.
To all Mandarin-speaking friends out there — do not look down on your other Chinese friends who do not speak Mandarin – whom you guys fondly refer to as “Bananas”. In fact, they are speaking a language that is much more ancient & linguistically complicated than Mandarin.
Keep in mind that Mandarin is just:
1. A Northern Chinese dialect 北方话 (heavily influenced by non-Han Chinese) that was elevated to the status of National Language by Sun Yat-Sen (孙中山，原名孙逸仙) for the sake of China’s national unity.
2. Mandarin was never spoken by your proud, imperial Tang Dynasty ancestors. It was probably spoken by the Northern (Non-Han 北方民族) Jurchen (女真族), Mongols (蒙古族) and Manchu (满族(女真族的后代)) minority. Start speaking the language of your ancestors today.
[Credits to Leonard Luar for providing this useful historical information. ]