Hakka (kèjiāhuà) is 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. Kèjiā means 'guest' in Mandarin - Hakka means the same thing in Hakka.
The Kèjiā or Hakka people have a long history of migration. Kèjiā history states that their ancestors originated from Shāndōng or Shānxī province in northern China. They began their first wave of migration between the 4th and 9th centuries, traveling from Hénán and the adjoining northern provinces into Ānhuī and its vicinity.
A second wave of migration took place between the 9th and 12th centuries, when the Kèjiā migrated along the mountains and foothills of eastern Jiāngxī into south Jiāngxī and inland Fùjiàn.
A final wave of migration took place between the 12th and 17th centuries, as Kèjiā moved into northeast Guăngdōng province.
The Cantonese of Guăngdōng saw the Kèjiā as poor, uneducated and uncultured. The Kèjiā, considered the Cantonese greedy, unrefined Southerners. There is no love lost between the two groups.
Useful phrases in Hakka
Topics related to learning Hakka Chinese.
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