Welcome to hoyloy.twintl.net

the first Web site ever built where English readers may
learn something about the Hoyloy language and its culture

Please start with any of the following articles as you wish:
(The Hoyloy orthography will be introduced on this site in due time. Until then all texts in Hoyloy come in transcriptive symbols.)

Hoyloy is, in case you were wondering, the nativ language of the majority Taiwanese. Although it is quite usually referred to as Taiwanese, Hoyloy, used as an optional English word or otherwise with the indigenous pronunciation where the digraph 'oy' represents the sound 'o' similar to that for the word 'so' and the stress falls on the second syllable, stands as a time-honored specific name for the people and their language.

Most Hoyloy speaking people in Taiwan are patriarcally descendants of immigrants from the southern coastal areas of Hokkien (Fujen in Mandarin) in China. There were some immigrants from Teochiu (Chaozhou in Mandarin) on the northern border of Canton to Hokkien, but their speech was wrongly considered as belonging to the Hakka family by many who dubbed them Teochiu-Hakka people. Nowadays their descendants speak the same as the common Hoyloys do. Quite a few people of Hakka ancestry even speak Hoyloy far better than Hakka.

The term of Hoyloy -- disregard the confusingly different writtern forms in kanji (Chinese characters) you may come across -- is derived from that of Hoklo in Hakka, which, through the combination of the borrowed sound 'hok' for Hokkien and the indigenous sound 'lo' for fellow(s) of..., means literally 'fellow(s) of Hokkien'. The conversion from Hoklo to Hoyloy is made through pragmatic sound exchange between the two languages. To be sure, the term Hoklo has long since been used by the Hakkas for calling the Teochiu people as it is mentioned in the Dictionary of the Vernacular or Spoken Language of Amoy (1873) by Rev. Douglas Carstairs that ancestors of the people living in the city immigrated many centuries ago from Hokkien and 'to this day they are distinguished from other inhabitants of the Canton province by the appellation 'Hok-lo' that is the persons from Hok-kien or Fuh-kien' (appendix V, p610). The term has also been, nevertheless, readily applied by the Hakkas arriving in Taiwan to the people who speak and behave to their ears and eyes the same as or similar to those living in Teochiu.

The name 'Taiwanese' ('Taiwango' in Japanese) for the language was adopted by the adminstration soon after Japan started ruling the island country in 1895. It is noteworthy that the string of kanji 福老 for 'Hoyloy' appears as an entry in the two valuable dictionaries of the language, though more adequate string of kanji, namely '鶴老', is recommended instead. The definition by Ogawa (published volume one in 1931 and volume two in 1932) sounds presumptive, while the other one by Higashikata (published in 1931) is simple and straightforward.

In the articles of this website, our discussuin will concentrate on Hoyloy as spoken in Taiwan unless otherwise indicated.

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Last updated -- September 3, 2015
Copyright© 2002, 2003, 2008, 2015 Vunshik Zan.