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About Hokkien In Malaysia

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by Miss Lim Mandarin (MAMA)

Last updated:


Friday, 9 December 2022

Interesting Facts

Hokkien is a Chinese dialect spoken by the Hokkien people, who are one of the largest ethnic groups in Malaysia. It is also one of the most commonly spoken languages in the country, along with Malay and English.

Hokkien originated in the Fujian province of China and was brought to Malaysia by early Chinese immigrants who settled in the country. It is closely related to the Teochew and Taiwanese dialects, but has its own distinct features and vocabulary.

In Malaysia, Hokkien is spoken primarily in urban areas, particularly in the larger cities such as Kuala Lumpur, Penang, and Johor Bahru. It is often used in business and commerce, as well as in social settings among the Chinese community.

Hokkien in Malaysia has also borrowed many words and phrases from the Malay language, resulting in a unique blend of Chinese and Malay vocabulary. For example, the Hokkien word for "hello" is "lai liao," which is derived from the Malay word "selamat."

Despite the widespread use of Hokkien in Malaysia, it is not taught in schools and is considered a non-standard dialect. As a result, many young Chinese Malaysians may not be fluent in Hokkien, and may only be able to understand it to a limited extent.

Overall, Hokkien is an important part of the cultural and linguistic landscape of Malaysia. It is a valuable language for those interested in learning about the country's history and the experiences of its Chinese community.

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Miss Lim has coached over 5000+ students in learning Malaysian Mandarin. She is a certified HRDCorp trainer and able to speak 5 languages which are Mandarin, Hokkien, Bahasa Malaysia, English, and Cantonese.
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