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hakka in vietnam


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This page list some Guangxi Hakka vocabs. I've copied some below and added the English equivalent in square brackets.


桂南防城港市涯话(客家话)的词汇(1)(2004-2-2 22:24)(hd136302)


涯哋ngai2 di3:我们 [we]

其gi2:他(她)[he / she]

其哋gi2 di3:他(她)们 [they]

咁多gan3 do1:那么多 [that many]

噶ga2:这样 [this]

噶型ga2 hin2:这样 [this]

哋di3:这 [this]

哋兜di3 deu1:这些 [these]

介gai4:那 [that]

介兜gai4 deu1:那些 [those]

乜嘢(埋惹)mai2 nga1:什么 [what]

(脉介mak5 gai2:什么)[what]


满人man3 ngin2:谁 [who]

闲满架han2 man1 ga4:怎么样 [how is it]

(让满ngong4 man1:怎么样)[how is it]

落水lok6 sui3:下雨 [rain]

热头ngiet6 teu2:太阳 [sun]

月光ngiet6 gong1:月亮 [moon]

天时tian1 xi2:天气 [weather]

夜ra4:晚上 [night]

朝早zao1 zo3:早上 [morning]

宴昼an4 jiu4:中午 [noon]

下昼ha1 jiu4:下午 [afternoon]

边唇bian1 sun2:边沿 [side]

黄芽白vong2 nga2 pak6:大白菜 [cabbage]

粟包sluk5 bao1:玉米 [corn]

虾蒙ha2 mung1:虾米 [shrimp]

马骝ma1 leu1:猴子 [monkey]

乌蝇u1 rin2:苍蝇 [mosquito]

台toi2:桌子 [table]

锅(头)vok6:灶 [stove]

屋uk5:家、房子 [house]

天棚tian1 pang2:屋顶晒台 [rooftop balcony]

光管gong1 gon3:日光灯 [light]

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Hi, I've seen info on this minority group and it's definitely not the same "ngai" that my family belong to. I think I might have mentioned in earlier post that my Dad's ancestral home is in little town called Lipo (Li Bo) near Vietnamese border, so Guangxi. We have traced ancestors that lived in Fangcheng, Guangxi.

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The Chinese name for the Ngai minority in Vietnam is 涯, which is apparently the word for "I" in the Ngai language.




These character names are not actually original Chinese names, they're just modern transliterations of the Vietnamese words into Mandarin. 岱 for "Tay" is another one, I've met the scholar who chose the characters to use in the book he wrote about minorities in Vietnam.

Apparently, the Hakka language is called 涯话 in Guangxi, the same 涯 as in the Chinese name for the Ngai minority.

I lived in guangxi for a year, and I often asked about Hakka because I wanted to know if people could understand my Taiwanese-style Hakka (and they usually didn't). I heard referred to it as "mak-kai" or "mag-gai" - in Liuzhou they definitely say "He speaks Mag-gai" instead of "he speaks Hakka", when I said that in Nanning people understood it too. Mak-kai is the Hakka for "what?" so you can imagine why they picked up that name for themselves.

See the Baidu-pedia entry below. It says that Guangxi Hakka has incorporated more Cantonese words, and that among other differences, the words for "three" and "four" are pronounced somewhat differently in Guangxi Hakka and Guangdong Hakka.

I think they are referring here to the difference between sam and si and lham and lhi, but who can be sure? My experience with Baidu is that it's better to ask a monkey about Chinese linguistics.

Actually, the difference between the pronunciations of "three" and "four" isn't a division between Guangdong and Guangxi Hakka, as Taishanese Hakkas use the lham and lhi for "three" and "four" too. It is a division that goes through all different languages and dialects (Sinitic and Tai) and runs along a line slightly south of the West River in Guangdong, and slightly north of it in Guangxi, all the way to Nanning and westwards, but excluding most of the Leizhou peninsula in Guangdong. I'm not making this up either - I went through every local gazetteer for Western Guangdong and the whole of Guangxi and noted down which dialects and languages had lh- and which ones had s-. In the north of the Leizhou peninsula there is even a kind of Southern Min which has picked up the lh- initial.

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Could this song be Southern Guangxi Hakka? It has the "Lh" sound talked about earlier.

There isn't lh in this song. If it were Guangxi Hakka it should appear in 想 (to think, or miss) and 歲 (years of age) and these are s- in this song. The h in hien 賢 seems quite breathy, but it it still isn't lh-/

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Hi Gato,

thanks for the additional links. It looks like there was some discussion there but unfortunately for me it's all in chinese, so I struggled to understand what discussion was about. However, I was able to recognise almost all vocab in glossary, so it just confirms that the Ngai my family speaks is Guangxi Hakka.

I have attached audio for the list that you posted, but there are a couple of differences:

1) we say "mai2 nga1" instead of "mak5 gai2" for "what"

2) we say "sam3 ngong1 ah1" instead of "han2 man1 ga4" for "how is it"

Sound clip 13.wav

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I know that these are the 6 tones for guangxi hakka but not sure how to use. I am familiar with 4 tones of standard Chinese but can't really tell how other 2 additional tones sound. I think best way to learn is just to hear audio. I find tone symbols/numbers really hard to follow if you do not already know how it is spoken.

I will try and upload more audio for remaining words in glossary posted in link from gato's post.

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  • 1 month later...

Here is something interesting I found out. It seems my parents use different vocabulary terms for weekdays. In their Cantonese accent, they use 禮拜 instead of 星期 to refer to days of the week. The odd thing is they pronounce 禮拜日 as Lei2 baai3 (Ngiat) when they speak Cantonese. Its strange that they pronounce 日 as Ngiat (the Ngai pronunciation I assume) and not Yat6. In all other cases they pronounce 日 as yat6. My guess its because it wont get confused with 禮拜一 Lei baai yat1. 肚(stomach) is another example. They pronounce it du (Ngai pronunciation) and not tou5.They have been watching Hong Kong media for years so they are probably aware of the difference but since that is how they always speak Cantonese I assume that its the regular way of speaking Cantonese around where I live. It would be interesting to see if I can find other words that native Ngai speakers mix in with their Cantonese . Is this normal with other Native Ngai speakers you know of, Sh1053? Do you have other examples?

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Just like in Cantonese, both "li pai" and "sing ki" is used in ngai. There is a similar confusion in ngai with "li pai ngit" and "li pai yit" for Sunday and Monday.

I think the pronunciation of "ng" instead of "y" is regional. I read somewhere that HK Cantonese has evolved like this with the younger generation, with "ng" sound almost dissapearing, eg. "o" instead of "ngo".

Not sure about any examples, but I'm often confusing my pronunciation when trying to speak Cantonese. It's not hard to do this:)

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Actually there is one example I can think of:

"ngai haam gi loi lau ngi gong" means "I will call him over to talk to you".

Growing up, I used to incorrectly use "haam" when trying to speak cantonese and only confused people because they didn't understand why I was crying.

"haam"= "to call" in ngai but "to cry" in Cantonese

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  • 1 month later...

we use both "ngoi gung" and "jia gung", although I think jia sounds less formal and is more common in everyday speech.

Another term that isn't found in Cantonese is "nai" for aunt (father's older brother's wife).

Also, we have peculiar terms for parents: calling them older brother and sister-in-law ("ah gor" & "ah sor"). Not sure if this is a ngai thing or just with my family. Interestingly though, I met a family in VN that consist of a number of brothers families and the kids called their mum/dad: "ah suk" & "ah sim" (dad's younger brother and his wife).

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Its strange that "gung" refers to the maternal side in Cantonese. Why is it like that? According to this thread http://www.chinahistoryforum.com/index.php?/topic/5333-dialect-terms-for-paternalmaternal-grandparents/

"Gung" refers to the paternal side in the Fuqing dialect and Taiwanese. While I am on the subject, is Ah Po an alternative to Ah Ma (Paternal Grandmother) in Ngai wa? I recall calling my grandmother that as a child but recently I found out that Po is what wifes call their mother in law. I read a Thread on another forum where someone called their paternal grandmother Ah Po. Was I technically correct or did no one ever bother correcting me?

Another thing is that my mother refers to breast as "Nen". I couldn't not find the pronunciation of breast as nen anywhere except Taishanese. I assume that its an obscure dialectical word. Does anyone know where I can find a list of Hakka exclusive dialectical words?

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Gong (公) just means "grandfather / father" and doesn't mean maternal or paternal. The maternal grandfather / grandmother word you mentioned above might be 外公 / 外婆 (外 means "outside, external"). They are pronounced Wai Gong / Wai Po in Mandarin, but in Shanghainese they are pronounced Nga Gong / Nga Po. The pronunciation in Cantonese or Hakka might be similar.

The paternal grandparents words you might be thinking of are

- 公公, 阿公

- 婆婆, 阿妈

You can see a list here:



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