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Hakka (客家话 [客家話])

Hakka is a variety of Chinese spoken in south eastern China, parts of Taiwan and in the New Territories of Hong Kong. There are also significant communities of Hakka speakers in such countries as the USA, French Guiana, Mauritius and the UK. The total number of Hakka speakers is roughly 40 million. The name of the language, 客家话 [客家話] - (hak7ga1wa3 or kèjiāhuà in Mandarin) means 'guest language'.

The Hakka people have a long history of migration. Hakka history states that their ancestors originated from Shāndōng (山东) or Shānxī (山西) provinces in northern China. They began their first wave of migration between the 4th and 9th centuries, traveling from Hénán (河南) and the adjoining northern provinces into Ānhuī (安徽) and its vicinity.

A second wave of migration took place between the 9th and 12th centuries, when the Hakka migrated along the mountains and foothills of eastern Jiāngxī (江西) into south Jiāngxī and inland Fùjiàn (福建).

A final wave of migration took place between the 12th and 17th centuries, as Hakka moved into northeast Guǎngdōng (广东) province. The Cantonese of Guǎngdōng saw the Hakka as poor, uneducated and uncultured. The Hakka considered the Cantonese greedy, unrefined southerners.

Hakka pronunciation

Hakka pronunciation

Download an alphabet chart for Hakka (Excel)

Sample text in Hakka



Ngin-ngin sang yi cii-iu, coi zun-ngiam tung kienli song id-lid pin-den. Gi den ngin fu-iu li-xin tung ho-xim tien, bin en i hiung-ti guan-he ge jin-siin xiong dui-tai.


All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

Videos in Hakka

Information about Hakka | Phrases | Numbers | Family words | Tower of Babel


Information about the Hakka language and people (in English and Hakka)

Online Hakka lessons

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Online Hakka dictionaries

Hakka (and Taiwanese) input method

華語廣播-客家話 (Radio in Hakka)

BCC (中國廣播電台) - online radio in Mandarin, Taiwanese and Hakka

Taiwanese Hakka Association of the USA

Glossika Hakka

Glossika Hakka

by Glossika

- Glossika's audiovisual method helps you master comprehension and achieve fluency. Great on its own, or the perfect companion to your ongoing studies.

Buy from: Glossika.com

Sinitic (Chinese) languages

Dungan, Cantonese, Fuzhounese, Gan, Hakka, Mandarin, Puxian, Shanghainese, Taiwanese, Teochew, Wenzhounese, Xiang

Semanto-phonetic writing systems

Akkadian Cuneiform, Ancient Egyptian (Demotic), Ancient Egyptian (Hieratic), Ancient Egyptian (Hieroglyphs), Chinese, Chữ-nôm, Cuneiform, Japanese, Jurchen, Khitan, Linear B, Luwian, Mayan, Naxi, Sawndip (Old Zhuang), Sui, Sumerian Cuneiform, Tangut (Hsihsia)

Other writing systems

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