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Qiong wen
海南話, Hhai3 nam2 ue1, Hái-nâm-oe
Pronunciation[hai˨˩˧ nam˨˩ ue˨˧] (Haikou dialect)
Native toChina, Singapore, Thailand
Native speakers
Around 5 million in China (2002)[1]
Chinese characters[citation needed]

Hainanese Pinyin

Hainan Romanized
Language codes
ISO 639-3(hnm is proposed[2])
Varieties of the Hainanese spoken in Hainan.
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.
Bible in Hainan Romanised (Genesis), published by the Bible Society of Great Britain.

Hainanese (Hainan Romanised: Hái-nâm-oe, Hainanese Pinyin: Hhai3 nam2 ue1,simplified Chinese: 海南话; traditional Chinese: 海南話; pinyin: Hǎinánhuà), also known as Qióngwén, Heng2 vun2 (simplified Chinese: 琼文; traditional Chinese: 瓊文) or Qióngyǔ, Heng2 yi2 (琼语; 瓊語),[3] is a group of Min Chinese varieties spoken in the southern Chinese island province of Hainan and Overseas Chinese such as Malaysia. In the classification of Yuan Jiahua, it was included in the Southern Min group, being mutually unintelligible with other Southern Min varieties such as HokkienTaiwanese and Teochew.[4] In the classification of Li Rong, used by the Language Atlas of China, it was treated as a separate Min subgroup.[5] Hou Jingyi combined it with Leizhou Min, spoken on the neighboring mainland Leizhou Peninsula, in a Qiong–Lei group.[6] "Hainanese" is also used for the language of the Li people living in Hainan, but generally refers to Min varieties spoken in Hainan.


Hainanese has seven phonemic vowels[citation needed].

Front Central Back
Close /i/ /u/
Close-mid /e/ /o/
Open-mid /ɛ/ /ɔ/
Open /a/

Hainanese notably has a series of implosive consonants, which it acquired through contact with surrounding languages, probably Hlai.

Labial Dental Alveolo Velar Glottal
Nasal /m/
目 mak
念 niam
乐 ngak
Plosive voiceless /p/
爸 pa
洗 toi
公 kong
啊 a
aspirated (//)
婆 pho
去 khu
北 ɓak
茶 ɗei
我 gua
Affricate /ts/
食 tsia
日 jit
Fricative voiceless /f/
皮 fi
事 sei
去 xu
海 hai
voiced /v/
文 vun
欲 zok
Approximant (/w/)
发 wat
老 lao
肉 yok

The phonological system of Hainanese corresponds well with that of Hokkien, but it has had some restructuring. In particular, etymological *anterior plain stops have undergone implosivization (*p > [ɓ], *t > [ɗ]), etymological *aspirated stops have spirantized (*pʰ > [f], *tʰ > [h], *cʰ > [ɕ] *kʰ > [x]), and etymological *s have hardened into stops (*s > [t]), and *h > [ɦ]. Additionally, some dialects have [ɡ], and [ʑ] is allophonic with /j/. These changes also make Hainanese fairly close to the Chinese-based vocabulary within Vietnamese. For example 邪, 仙, 散, 迹, 神, 痴 (xié, xiān, sàn, jì, shén, chī) in Mandarin or (siâ, sian, suànn, jiak, sîn, chi) in Hokkien is (dia2, din1, dan4, di1, din2, si1) in Hainanese and (da, tiên, tàn, ty, tích, thần, si) in Sino-Vietnamese.

Tone chart of the Hainan dialect
Tone number Tone name Tone contour Example
1 yin ping (阴平) ˨˦ (24)
2 yang ping (阳平) ˨˩ (21)
3 yin shang (阴上) ˨˩˩ (211)
4 yin qu (阴去) ˧˥ (35)
5 yang qu (阳去) ˧ (33)
6 yin ru (阴入) ˥ (5)
7 yang ru (阳入) ˧ (3)
8 chang ru (长入) ˥ (55)


Hainanese Pinyin[edit]

Hainanese Pinyin (海南话拼音方案) was a phonetic system announced by the Education Administration Department of Guangdong Province in September 1960. It mark tones with numbers.


IPA Hainanese Pinyin Bǽh-oe-tu Example
/ɓ/ b b
/p/ b p
// p ph
/ɸ/ p f
/m/ m m
/b/ v b ?
/v/ v v
/t/ d t
/ɗ/ dd d
/n/ n n
/l/ l l
/k/ g k
/ŋ/ ng g
/x/ h kh
/h/ hh h
/ɠ/ gh g
/ts/ z c
/s/ s s
/z/ y j


IPA Hainanese Pinyin Bǽh-oe-tu Example
/a/ a a
/o/ o o
/ɛ/ e e
/i/ i i
/u/ u u
ai ai ai
ɔi oi oi
au ao au
ia ia ia
io io
ua ua oa
ue ue oe
ui ui oi
uai uai oai
ɔu ou ou
iu iu iu
iau iao iau
iam iam iam
im im im
am am am
an an an
in in in
un un un
uan uan oan
ang ag
eng eg
ɔŋ ong og
iaŋ iang iag
uaŋ uang oag
iɔŋ iong iog
ip ib ib
iap iab iab
at ad at
it id it
ut ud ut
uat uad oat
ak ag ak
ek eg ek
ok og ok
iok iog iok
uak uag oak
-h -h

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hou, Jingyi 侯精一 (2002). Xiàndài Hànyǔ fāngyán gàilùn 现代汉语方言概论 [An Introduction to Modern Chinese Dialects]. Shanghai Educational Press 上海教育出版社. pp. 207–208.
  2. ^ "Change Request Documentation: 2021-045". 31 August 2021. Retrieved 30 May 2022.
  3. ^ "为新加坡琼属"寻根"的热心人——王振春". Hainan.gov (in Chinese). 中新海南网. Archived from the original on 22 March 2020. Retrieved 22 March 2020. 他组织演出琼语话剧《海南四条街》,搬上新琼舞台,引起两地海南人的共鸣。
  4. ^ Simons, Gary F.; Fennig, Charles D., eds. (2017). Ethnologue: Languages of the World (20th ed.). Dallas, Texas: SIL International. Chinese, Min Nan.
  5. ^ Kurpaska, Maria (2010). Chinese Language(s): A Look Through the Prism of "The Great Dictionary of Modern Chinese Dialects". Walter de Gruyter. pp. 54–55, 86. ISBN 978-3-11-021914-2.
  6. ^ Hou, Jingyi 侯精一 (2002). Xiàndài Hànyǔ fāngyán gàilùn 现代汉语方言概论 [An Introduction to Modern Chinese Dialects]. Shanghai Educational Press 上海教育出版社. p. 238.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]