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In Taiwan Hakka is the 3rd most popular language, and the MRT in Taipei makes all announcements in 4 languages; Mandarin, Minnan, Hakka, and English.

It is also a minority language in Hong Kong and neighbouring Guangdong.

A Hong Kong Hakka friend of mine said they did not understand the MRT announcements.

Is the Hakka spoken in Taiwan the same as that in Hong Kong and Guangdong?

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Really? I was in Taipei for a month in February 2014 and I was sure the MRT announcements were only in Mandarian, Minnan, and English. –  hippietrail Jul 21 at 3:09

3 Answers 3

up vote 10 down vote accepted

Although I don't speak Hakka (one of my PhD advisors studied a Hong Kong Hakka dialect, so I have a vague idea about it) I live surrounded by Hakka people, in Guangdong, and I go frequently to Taiwan for work. In Taiwan, I noticed that the HSR announcements in Hakka sounded very different from the "regular" Hakka I can hear in Guangdong.

There's a bunch of Hakka dialects, but you can (over)simplify by saying that Guangdong-based Hakka people speak 梅縣 Hakka (Moiyan Hakka: 梅州, 慧州, etc) while Taiwan-based Hakka people speak 海陸 Hakka or 四縣 Hakka, which present large phonetic differences.

Also, Hakka is influenced by the other main language of the region it's spoken in. In HK, and parts of Guangdong, Cantonese influences greatly the local Hakka dialects -- phonetics, vocabulary. In north-eastern Guangdong, 梅州 and around, where Hakka is the standard and the main language, it's probably less influenced by other languages -- rather the Cantonese spoken there sounds more Hakka-influenced.

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Similar to Hokkien, there are many Hakka dlalects in Canton and Taiwan. The 1st large dialect which is used in public announcements in Taiwan called Sixien (Siyen or Xi ien, which means "four counties (near Meixian, Guangdong)") is similar to dialects in Meizhou area. They are classfied to Yuetai (Canton-Taiwan) dialect. However, Hong Kong Hakka is not in Yue-tai dialect.

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I [guess] maybe little difference exists. I do not use Hakka but as a chinese, I know that the accents may even be different for one kind of dialect in a short range.

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I guess/I think/I imagine is not the basis of a good answer. You will need much more than this. –  deutschZuid Jan 31 '13 at 21:38

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