This article or section possibly contains synthesis of material which does not verifiably mention or relate to the main topic. Relevant discussion may be found on the talk page. (January 2011) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.Find sources: "Southern Peninsular Malaysian Hokkien" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (January 2022) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Southern Malaysia Hokkien
Lâm-Má Hok-kiàn-oē (POJ)
Native toSouthern Malaysia
RegionJohor and Malacca
  • Melaka Eng Choon (Yongchun) Hokkien
Language codes
ISO 639-3
Jementah Hokkien Association in Jementah, Segamat, Johor.
Jementah Hokkien Association in Jementah, Segamat, Johor.

Southern Malaysian Hokkien (simplified Chinese: 南马福建话; traditional Chinese: 南馬福建話; pinyin: Nán Mǎ Fújiànhuà; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Lâm-Má Hok-kiàn-oē) is a local variant of the Min Nan Chinese variety spoken in Central and Southern Peninsular Malaysia (Klang, Melaka, Muar, Tangkak, Segamat, Batu Pahat, Pontian and Johor Bahru). Due to geographical proximity, it is heavily influenced by Singaporean Hokkien.

This dialect is based on Quanzhou-accented varieties of Min Nan, including the Eng Choon (Yongchun) dialect.[1][2] It is markedly distinct from Penang Hokkien and Medan Hokkien, which are based on the Zhangzhou dialect.

Similar to the situation in Singapore, the term Hokkien is generally used by the Chinese in South-east Asia to refer to Min Nan Chinese (闽南语). Southern Malaysian Hokkien is based on the Quanzhou dialect with some influence from the Amoy dialect.


This section is based on Eng Choon (Yongchun) Hokkien spoken in Melaka.[3][4]


There are eight phonemic vowels:[2]

  Front Central Back
Close i ɨ u
Close-mid e   o
Mid   ə̠  
Open-mid     ɔ
Open a    


There are seven tones, five of which are long tones and two are checked tones.[1] Like other varieties of Hokkien, these tones also undergo tone sandhi in non-final positions.[1] The tone values (both base tones and sandhi tones) of the long tones are shown below:[5]

Tone number Final/base tone Non-final/sandhi tone
1 ˧ (33) ˧ (33)
2 ˨˧ (23) ˨˩ (21)
3 ˥˨ (52) ˧˦ (34)
5 ˨˩ (21) ˥˧ (53)
6 ˨˩ (21) ˨˩ (21)

Influences from other languages

Southern Malaysian Hokkien is also subjected to influence from various languages or dialects spoken in Malaysia. This is influenced to a certain degree by the Teochew dialect and is sometimes being regarded to be a combined Hokkien–Teochew speech (especially in Muar, Batu Pahat, Pontian and Johor Bahru).[citation needed]

There are some loanwords from Malay, but they are fewer in number than in Penang Hokkien and do not completely replace the original words in Hokkien.[6] It also has loanwords from English.[citation needed]



See also