Introduction continued

This dictionary aims to include all major aspects of the Hakka language in everyday speech, and this will include terms which are slang, borrowings from other languages, and exclamations which may be of foul language, everyday sayings, etc. As such, it is intended to be a record of the Hakka language. This may mean that users, whether young or adult should be wary that some words or phrases may not be used in polite conversation. Some words have no direct translation in English, and I've given a brief phrase interpreting the feeling for the meaning instead.

These pages were made possible by the use of the Fortran 77 programming language. Every time I update the dictionary list, it gets sorted, the second program then splits the file into the resultant HTML pages including the indexes to the left, and the dictionary pages that appear in this window. This has greatly eased the creation and updating of so many files (over 300) as it takes less than a minute for both sorting and file creation on the fly. Adding extra information is, and always has been the most difficult, since one comes across words in one language which may not have a direct meaning in the other. I have often been stumped as to how to translate the item, and I have to fall back on using an impression of the meaning as I see it, for that others may havea different opinion as to the shade of meaning.

Whilst there are plenty of Hakka speakers, it is quite surprising that there is no other comparable Hakka phrase dicitonary on-line. Dr. Chunfat LAU's list of characters with Hakka pronunciation is available on my site for download for those interested in learning the Hakka pronunciation of characters. There is also Thomas Chin's excellent character dictionary which gives Hakka ( also Cantonese, Mandarin, Sino-Japanese, and Sino-Korean) pronunciation to characters, but there are words which are composed of two or more characters, and some items of Hakka vocabulary may not necessarily have characters for themselves.

I have steered away from using characters, primarily because I haven't the time, and this is not a professional undertaking, but rather one that is done in spare time, and out of dear affection for the language of my ancestors, parents, friends and aquaintances. It is a spoken language first and foremost, and I feel that a consistent romanisation such as the one presented is adequate to account for the way the language is spoken by myself and my nearest and dearest.

Comments welcomed, please follow the link by clicking on my name below, and inserting the catchword on my site at the beginning of the subject line, as it has proved to be a good filter from spam.

© Dylan W.H. Sung

This dictionary was created in HTML form on
Saturday 22nd November 2003.