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Book source: De Hakka's van Suriname, aspecten van het verbale systeem van hun taal, Helen Chang, OSO, jaargang 7, nummer 1, Mei 1988.

Subject: [History] Chinese Dialects in Suriname

Article:

Hakkas are Han Chinese. Since the 4th century AD to the second half of the 19th century, they began to migrate from the center of China in five waves southward. They first settled in Kwangtung province and from there they spread all over the world. they brought their language with them including to Suriname. The word 'I' is typical for Hakka as it translates to 'ngai'. Hakkas are some times called 'ngai-ngin' or ngai people.

As we know the Chinese came to Suriname as contract workers from 1853-1874. Some of those stayed and inter-married with the other ethnic groups. The original Chinese immigrants use for themselves the expression 'tjien-ap' or 'pure duck'. Their descendants born in Suriname are 'lai-ap' or mixed-breed duck or 'fan-ap' meaning foreign duck. In some instances the expression 'lai-ap' is used in a derogatory way to mean 'bastard duck'.

Chinese dialects found in Suriname are: (1) Sin-On Hakka (2) Pundhi spoken by Chinese in Hong Kong (3) Mandarin spoken by Chinese at the embassy Where there were no words in Chinese they used Dutch or Sranan Tongo. Some words are also different than in China. For example:
police is 'lutli' in Suriname and kimzhat in China Telephone is 'dungsen' in Suriname and 'dhenwa' in China.

It is outside the scope of this posting to discuss a difficult language such as Hakka in detail but more information can be found in below reference.

Albert









Met dank aan Albert Buys







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