My girlfriend is from Fujian and speaks 闽南语, so I am trying to learn so I can communicate with her family better.

The struggle is finding any useful resources (even in Chinese), so I'm wondering if anyone has any good suggestions for sites, books, or anything else to improve my skills?

  • Totally valid question, but just wanna ask whether you've considered standard Mandarin? Or you already speak Mandarin and find it difficult to communicate with them in Mandarin? As I've understood it most people in Fujian can speak Mandarin? Or at least understand it. Commented Jan 26, 2014 at 12:19

4 Answers 4


There is an American guy (I think) who teaches people how to speak Taiwanese on Youtube. He even teaches the native Taiwanese people how to speak 闽南语. You can see the videos here.

EDIT: Looks like the playlist is dead. This is the guy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJo2OHi6hgs

  • That's just the kind of thing I'm looking for - thanks for the link!
    – Ciaocibai
    Commented Dec 14, 2011 at 20:36
  • The link to the playlist is broken! And I was so excited, too! :(
    – Blakomen
    Commented Jul 23, 2014 at 9:27
  • See my updated post. Looks like the old link is broken.
    – StarCub
    Commented Jul 24, 2014 at 4:16

Go to the most reliable source -- order the Maryknoll Fathers' set of 3 textbooks with CDs. While it is not exactly comprehensible input in its best form (it's predictible, since it's a book and the order doesn't change), it is the best set of materials currently available, and certainly the most comprehensive. If you have the patience to work through all three volumes, you'll have a very good basic knowledge. (Maryknoll has a really far-reaching knowledge of Taiwanese language...As they told me at their Taipei language center once: "Well, let's get going. When we finish these three books [each one is like an inch thick], we can really start learning the language!")

The Minnan-English and English-Minnan dictionaries of theirs, which is excellent, is available for free download as well: http://www.taiwanesedictionary.org/

  • That sounds really helpful - I'll go through and have a good look now. Much appreciated.
    – Ciaocibai
    Commented Jan 19, 2012 at 5:04

XiaMen University publishes a couple books on MinNanHua, they use their own pinyin which will make sense if you have studied some Mandarin but in any case is often clearer than the Peh-oh-je the Taiwanese missions use. The amazon.cn link is here (Not an associate link)

You can also look at these:


Learn Hokkien


There is a more recent textbook (published after the other answers were written!), called "Southern Hokkien: An Introduction", by Bernhard Fuehrer and Yang Hsiu-fang. It focuses on Taiwanese Hokkien. It's in English, makes many comparisons with Mandarin, and is well written.


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