Category Archives: Chinese/Mandarin


Raman, S. & Tan, S. H. (2015) on Chinese Education in Malaysia

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For those who are interested in the problems and challenges of Chinese education, here’s a recently published working paper on the Malaysian example:




Farrelly & Olinga-Shannon (2015): Establishing Chinese Life in Myanmar

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This is a write-up on the life of the 2 million ethnic Chinese in Myanmar: their history, interaction with the non-Chinese as well as with China since 1985, economic situations and contributions, identities and sense of belonging. Read on: Chinese life Myanmar


Chinese language publications on Hakka

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The majority of the Hakka people (客家 )(‘Hakka’ literally meaning ‘guest families’)  are said to live in Guangdong province (China) today, but they can be found in many parts of the world as a result of migration.  The Hakka language, history and traditions are different from those of the Cantonese.

Hakka Studies is a journal article written in Mandarin which introduces recent development and research output of studies on the Hakka people in Singapore. There are only two Chinese language publications on the Hakka language in recent years (see inside):



Language planning; script reforms (4)

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I used to follow a “semi-phonetic” transcription convention several years ago when I presented a sociolinguistics paper on the Teochew in Vietnam. The transcription comprised a mixture of phonetic symbols and Roman letters.

I have realized that the Guangzhou Educational Administration standardized the transcription of Teochew as early as in the 1960s.  This transcription facilitates reading and comprehension among those who prefer to read Teochew in the Romanized form. There is another transcription method based on the Chinese script which is used by those who publish in the Chinese language.  For easier typing, I prefer the Romanized transcription.

I am posting materials on the Romanized transcription as well as a description of the dialect and of the difficulties encountered by the Teochew in their learning of Mandarin (Putonghua). The materials are extracted from 普通话  潮汕方言  常用字典 published by  广东人民出版社 in 1979.


Teochew vowels and consonants can be heard at:

(However, some sounds on the chart are not read so you might get confused trying to follow the chart!)



Language policy and planning; script reforms (1)

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This is the first of the four posts relating to language planning and/or the development of some scripts in East Asia. One of the posts will consist only of a picture.

Briefly, the first short article in this post discusses the strategies adopted by the revolutionaries to educate the northern Vietnamese. The second, written in the Chinese language, discusses the promotion of the “national language” (Quốc-ngữ ), and the third presents the past, present and future of Sinographic languages. Read on…