References and Bibliography

This page is being revised on an on going basis. Most of the works here are bilingual, being publications of historic interest in the field of Hakka language research and learning. Sadly, the majority of these books still lie within a state of copyright protection, unless it has been made digitally available publically somewhere. Copyright issues varies across the world. Where books have been digitised and restricted, it is due to not being able to establish if a copyright is still binding or not. In some places, copyright extends past the author’s date of death for fifty or in some cases longer.

Below, where digitised copies are available, I do not know if they are subject to copyright or not. The links provided to them are for reference only, that is, to show that such a book does exist.

Books and sources I have

A Hakka index to the Chinese-English dictionary of Herbert A. Giles, and to the Syllabic dictionary of Chinese of S. Wells Williams … (1904)
Donald MacIver
Get this PDF and ignore the books being sold by LLC Books online – these are print-on-demand con artistes.

A Chinese – English Dictionary, Hakka-Dialect As Spoken in Kwantung Province.
Prepared by D. MacIver, M.A.
by M.C. McKenzie, E.P. Mission, Wu-King-Fu (1905)
A digital copy can be found online here from Hong Kong University Library :  as well as the National Library of Singapore for download here :

This edition has phrases where a character was found within a phrase rather than at the beginning of the phrase. In the later expanded dictionary (see immediately below) these phrases were rearranged, relocated or removed. The layout in this volume would have been much more useful for the student of Hakka, as it showed the character in action within a phrase.

A Chinese – English Dictionary, Hakka-Dialect As Spoken in Kwantung Province.
Prepared by Donald MacIver
Revised and rearranged with many aditional terms and phrases by Manfred Mackenzie
Presbyterian Mission Press, Shanghai 1926
(Reprinted by SMC Publishing 南天書局 : in 1982, 1991, 2007)
ISBN 957-638-077-4 (The 1991 edition is 1.2kg in weight, a red hardback.)
ISBN 978-957-638-077-8 (The book is 1.4kg in weight, a blue hardback.)

D. MacIver 1926, 1982, 1991

1982 edition, reprint 1991

D. MacIver 1926, 1982, 1991, 2007

1982 edition, 2007 reprint

The Min-Hakka Archives Project has digitised the 1926 dictionary, and I’ve created a syllable to page number clickable index for easy browsing here

English-Hakka Dictionary
啟光出版社 (1959)
“MarGar 1958”
= Guersino Marsecano, Otillo Garcia, Liang Mu-Sen, Ch’en Chun-Mao, Ch’iu Chin-Chang.
This is the product of Taiwanese missionaries, and surveys the Siyen dialect. 13271 words with 20000 phrases, romanisation based upon Fr. Rey’s Hakka-French Dictionary. The Nation Taichung University has a scanned copy online.  Here is the link to the index of the English-Hakka Dictionary Scanned Copy Online . I have found that there are a number of pages missing from this resource though.



The Lu-Feng Dialect of Hakka.
English translation by Bennett M. Lindauer
Tokyo: Inst. for the Study of Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa, 1979.
( Original in Dutch : Het Loeh-Foeng-Dialect (1897) by Simon Hartwich Schaank )

Hakka Pinyin Dictionary (in Chinese)
Lau Chun-fat
The Chinese University Press 1997
Includes one 1.44Mb diskette with Chinese IME
ISBN 962-201-750-9

Hag Ngi Pin Yim Si Fui

Hag Ngi Pin Yim Si Fui

ISBN 7-218-01504-2/H.48

Zhang Wei Geng

Zhang Wei Geng

ISBN 957-638-359-5

Pang Det Siu

Pang Det Siu

李榮 黃雪貞
ISBN 7-5343-2506-4

Li Rong

Li Rong

The Hakka Chinese – Their Origin & Folk Songs
by Tin-yuke Char (Hsieh T’ing-yu) 謝廷玉
with translation by C.H. Kwock (Kuo Ch’ang-ch’eng) 郭長城
Jade Mountain Press, San Francisco
(I am indebted to Mr. Thomas Chan for locating a copy of this work for me in Nov. 2003.)
The book contains two sections in which the author, Char writes about the History of the Hakka, and in the second part, thirty five Hakka songs are given. Both sections are admirably translated by Kwock with the English translations for the songs also in rime.

統一書號 : 9111.2
(I am grateful to Prof. James Erwin Dew for giving me this copy which he got whilst in China in his early days there. He has since retired from teaching a few years ago.)
The author Rao Bing-cai outlines how Hakka speakers can learn the standard national language, Putonghua. In the hundred and twenty pages, there are lists of characters and their pronunciations in pre-1958 pinyin, differences in vocabulary, syntax and grammar.

Rao Bing Cai 1957

Rao Bing Cai 1957

The Hakka Dialect
A Linguistic Study of its Phonology, Syntax and Lexicon
Mantaro J. Hashimoto
Cambridge University Press
ISBN 0-521-20037-7
See my review in Amazon here.
Most invaluable for it’s review of publications on the Hakka language up to 1973. Includes 2 maps.

Parts of the book seem to be available to view online. The Hakka Dialect

Hashimoto 1973, 2010

Hashimoto 1973, 2010

Sathewkok Hakka Phonology
Henry Henne
Norsk Tidskrift For Sprogvidenskap
Bind XX
(I am grateful to C.H. Tsang for giving me a copy of this work. It helped immensely in understanding the local dialect and subsequent changes since the 1950’s/60’s.)
As a side note, the life of Henry Henne was rather sad to hear that his wife died at home in Norway during his tenure in China. He didn’t return because of the difficulties of travel during that time when nationalists and communists were waging a civil war in China.

Studia Serica Bernhard Karlgren Dedicata
Sinological Studies Dedicated to Bernhard Karlgren
On his Seventieth Birthday
October 5th 1959
Edenda curaverunt Søren Egerod et Else Glahn
Ejnar Munksgaard Copenhagen
A Sampling of Chungshan Hakka
Søren Egerod (p. 36 – p.54)
(I am indebted to Thomas Chan for sparking an interest not only in linguistics but for all the time he spent enabling me to understand it and being a good friend as well as obtaining a copy of this work too)

客家誤會的歷史, 歷史的誤會
Hakka: misunderstanding history and historical misunderstanding
(I owe a great deal of thanks to Professor Lau Chunfat, I helped to gathered data for the Longchuan dialect of Hakka for him in 2001/2002 and he has been at the vanguard of preservation of local Hong Kong Hakka and other indigenous local languages. It was an honour for him to have come to my wedding too. The book has no ISBN assigned to it.)

暨南大學出版社 (2001)
ISBN 7-81029-996-4

Lau Chunfat

Lau Chunfat

李如龍, 周日健 主編
ISBN 7-81029-565-9 (1998)

Kejia Fangyan Yanjiu

Kejia Fangyan Yanjiu

ISBN 957-35-1074-x

Beginning Hakka
A Maryknoller. (Rev. J. Downs)
Stanley, Hong Kong : Maryknoll House, 1948, 1952.

I am lucky to have obtained a second printing volume privately, and it is not  attributed to George Harkin. The author is remains anonymous, and is attributed modestly as “A Maryknoller”, someone who worked within the Maryknoll congregation of catholic missionaries and followers in Hong Kong (I assume). The Imprimatur was granted by Antonius Riganti, Ordinarius Dioeceseos Hong Kong on Sept 12 1952, and printed in HK by Nazareth Press for this edition. On the green paperback cover is Chinese character title to this work  客話讀本. The author gives acknowledgement to the style in which this book is written, following loosely the work in Thomas A. O’Melia’s First Year Cantonese, another Maryknoll publication. There are two sections to the book, the first part : Lessons (1-60) with 10 characters per lesson introduced with a light peppering of faith related entries, and  the second part : details briefly an outline of Hakka grammar. The romanisation used is similar to that found in Charles del Rey’s  Dictionnaire Français – Français Chinoise Dialecte Hac-Ka.
Except for a Maryknoll publication by the Rev. J. Downs, 1948, 2nd printing 1952, which is also from the Nazareth Press and which consists of sixty grammatical topics with abundant example sentences, well chosen vocabulary and short grammatical notes for the first part and some advanced grammar for the second part, missionary publications after World War II are restricted to those from Taiwan.
-Hashimoto, 1973.

The University of Hong  Kong has a scanned copy of the 1948 edition of Beginning Hakka available online for download.

Beginning Hakka - Maryknoller

Beginning Hakka – Maryknoller

A Grammar and Lexicon of Hakka: Historical Materials from the Basel Mission Library
Hilary Chappell and Christine Lamarre
This book can only be purchased directly from this site, and not available via other bookstores. Follow this link look for ‘Order Form’ at the bottom. It costs €30, plus extra for postage and packaging.

Chappell, Lamarre

Chappell, Lamarre

Early Hakka corpora held by the Basel Mission Library : an introduction.
Christine Lamarre
Link :

Bible (both Old and New Testaments) in Hakka
客家舊新約聖經 / Ke jia jiu xin yue sheng jing
British and Foreign Bible Society.
Ta Ying Sheng Shu Gong Hui [i.e. British and Foreign Bible Society], 1923.
Link :

Compares vocabulary between these three dialects (Cantonese, Hakka and Chao-Shan) of Guangdong with that of Putonghua, the national language.

Guangzhouhua, Kejiahua, Chaozhouhua and Putonghua Comparison

Guangzhouhua, Kejiahua, Chaozhouhua and Putonghua Comparison

ISBN 9787811354652
This book describes three prominent Chinese dialects that can be found in Thailand today. They are Chaozhouhua 潮州话, Ban-Shan Hakka 半山客 and Cantonese 粤语. Understandably, each dialect has been influenced by the national language of Thailand.

Three Chinese dialects in Thailand

Three Chinese dialects in Thailand

Fui⁵ Tung¹ Pau³ Ten³ T’i³ Hak⁷ Ka¹ Ts’u² Ten³

(原 [客家詞典] 修訂本 Sep 2008)
陳志明 編纂 C.M. Chin-A-Woeng
ISBN 978-90-8192950-9
Publisher : Benelux Tsung-Tsin Vereniging
May 2012
xix pp, 1043 pp.

This heavy hardback book is a character dictionary set out using the traditional 214 Kangxi radicals for ordering the entries by residual stroke count. It references MacIver’s Hakka Index (see top) pronunciation in most entries where found and the bibliography mention most of the sizeable dictionaries found on listing, and supplies the readings in Hakka of the entry for the area of southern Guangdong stretching from Hong Kong to Huizhou areas. It represents the Hakka v as ‘w’, merges the n- initial characters with l- pronunciations. It also lacks the -iut rime. This work is impressive in its scope of vocabulary. The entry for the the first character alone 一, jit⁷ spans more than eight columns of dense text in Chinese characters which equates to nearly three pages of text. There are other characters with brief entries, and some noting that the entry is a variant of another main character. The dictionary also include a number of photographs in black and white. It can be purchased here, however due to the weight and international postage cost may seem high.

C.M. Chin-A-Woeng 2012

C.M. Chin-A-Woeng 2012

Dictionnaire Français – Français Chinoise Dialecte Hac-Ka.
Charles Del Rey
Société des missions étrangères (Hongkong), 1926
Reprint: SMC Publishing 南天書局 1988

I found an on-line copy of this here:
The copy would be very useful to those who understand French. From my own cursory look through, there seems to be more entries than found in the McKenzie-MacIver Hakka-English dictionary mentioned above. A physical page numbering flaw in Rey is noted as follows

PNG > Printed
791 = 748
792 = 749
793 = 750
794 = 751
795 = 752
796 = 749*
797 = 750*
798 = 751*
799 = 752*
800 = 753

where the asterisked (*) printed page numbers reappear. For this online resource I have also created an online clickable syllable-page index  for you to use.

Phonologie du dialecte Hakka de Sung Him Tong
Sagart, L.
Paris, Langages Croises, 1982. 154 p.
“Sung Him Tong” is located near Luen Wo Market/Fanling in the New Territories of Hong Kong.

I found that the person he used for his study has a lot of Cantonese mixed into her vocabulary. This was noted in Lau Chunfat’s 2000 thesis on the differences in Hakka between old and mid and younger styles of Hakka in Hong Kong speech.

The author of this work has made it available here for public download.


Laurent Sagart. Phonologie du dialecte Hakka de Sung Him Tong

Voor Het Praktisch Gebruik
Van Het
Br. Canisius Van de Ven (congregatie van Huybergen)
met medewerking van
P. Pacificus Bong O.M.C.
Then Si-Tshioeng (Chinees onderwijzer)
Peking – Drukkerij der Lazaristen – 1938

This is interesting, as it gives a variety of Hakka with six tones, spoken in the Dutch East Indies, which is now Indonesia. It clearly states [v] has become a voiced bilabial [b]. I.e. 黃 bong, rather than vong.

Hashimoto (1973) translates the title as being “A Textbook of the Hakka Dialect for Practical Use”.


Leerboek voor het praktisch gebruik van het Hakka – Dialect. Canisius van de Ven, Pacificus Bong

I have had access to the following:

A Sketch of Sathewkok Hakka Grammatical Structure.

HENNE Henry (1966).
Acta Linguistica Hafniensia, Vol. X(l), pp. 69-108.

ISBN-10 : 4475011582
ISBN-13: 9784475011587
267 pages

A nice little dictionary

客家語基礎語彙集 by 温 戴奎 (オン タイ ケイ On TaiKui/Wen Taikui) is a dictionary of basic vocabulary in the Meixian dialect of Hakka (中國廣東省梅縣客家方言) and geared towards a Japanese speaking audience.

The author has created a romanisation with similar features to Pinyin used for modern mainland mandarin putonghua, but modified with non-pinyin characters to cope with the sounds of Hakka.

After a short introduction and outline of the romanisation used, the dictionary entries are arranged alphabetically according the romanisation scheme, and further arranged by tone then by individual entry compound word syllables.

The layout is formed by three columns of data, the first gives the Hakka word or phrase in Chinese characters, followed by the Hakka pronunciation in 温’s romanisation, and finally a Japanese gloss or equivalent Japanese phrase for the entry (without furigana). The author has supplied many dialectal characters for Hakka, which taken as placehold rather than as a standard character for that word syllable, if it is a dialectal word.

This work should not be confused with an earlier work by Mantaro (Joseph) Hashimoto 橋本慢太郎 1972 of a similar or exact same name.

温戴奎 (編集)
123 pages
大学書林 (April 1, 1999)
ISBN-10: 4475013003
ISBN-13: 978-4475013000

This phrase book is geared towards the Japanese tourist in Hakka speaking areas. The author’s dictionary 客家語基礎語彙集 might be helpful to students studying Hakka via Japanese.

  • The entries are divided into main subject headings,
  • Common greetings and useful consersational phrases
  • Vocabulary for use in :

    * Travel and transportation
    * Hotel and accomodation
    * Food and drink
    * Sightseeing
    * Shopping
    * Letter writing or written communication
    * Health and welbeing
    * Banking and finance

  • Some commond everyday words are found in the final section, e.g. numbers, time words, day and month names, directions, etc.

Hakka-Chinese lessons

Bernard Mercer
Sheldon Press, 1930.

This is a book written by someone who knew the sorts of things a learner would encounter and gives copious advice and notes about the nuances that the language has to offer. You hit the ground running but it is enjoyable, by the end of the first lesson you’re already translating short sentences. You’re guided through the language by grammar topics, which means you can build on sentence structure and vocabulary as you go. The author goes the extra mile by providing not only English to Hakka word lists per lesson, by the Hakka to English word list too. There is no ‘dicttionary’ or glossary of words at the end, you learn the set of vocabulary in-lesson, and you need to go back to other lessons if you forget – a rather ingenious way to get you to recall the content..

Lesson begin with points on grammar and syntax, followed by the word lists mentioned, then the exercises are to translate into English fifteen or so sentences from Hakka, then from the Engish, another fifteen or so sentences back into Hakka. Answers are at the back of the book so you can check how you’re doing.

The vocabulary in itself relates still to modern Hakka, though modern technology terms and developments are understandably lacking, being as it was published in 1930. For every day conversation, it covers a wide range of topics that form a core vocabulary for speaking Hakka well. And if you don’t know how to say something like ‘lasers’ in Hakka, you could ask someone who does. (This review is also on Amazon.)

Easy sentences in the Hakka dialect; with a vocabulary

J Dyer Ball; Herbert Allen Giles
Hongkong, printed at the “China Mail,” 1881.
I have transcribed the sentences and you can download a pdf to print out.
The sentences appear to be used as a basis for the entries found Schaank’s Loeh Foeng Dialect, and the English translation by Bennet M. Lindauer (1979) may have made use of that fact for aiding the bulk of the sentence translations.

The Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa (AA) has produced some materials for learning the Hakka dialect of Meinong or Muinung in Kaohsiung prefecture to the south west of Taiwan. It is a six tone language, and exhibits tone sandhi such that the first syllable is affected by the following such that it’s pitch changes from a mid or mid rising tone to a low falling tone when followed by syllables of particular tones.

Hakka Language for Beginners Download
2nd Edition
田中 智子

Hakka Vocabulary Download
2nd Edition
田中 智子
These are listed in its website here:


P A van de Stadt

Reprinted by the University of Michigan Library (from a scan of the 1912 copy.)

This is a Dutch-Hakka dictionary, based on a six tone Hakka dialect spoken in the Dutch East Indies. There is a reprint available via US Amazon here but the copy I recieved had multiple pages which looked misprinted, and a couple of missing pages too. There are two sections, the Dutch-Hakka section which is larger, and the Chinese character readings with a basic dutch gloss at the end.


The following are from the Basel Mission’s archives. The grammar notes are written in german, whilst the PakFa GauKo 1 to 4 are Chinese character readers in colloquial Hakka.

Ammerkung zum Hakka-Lesebuch No. 1-262

白話教科 卷一

白話教科 卷二

白話教科 卷三

白話教科 卷四

In a similar vein but all-romanised, and without much discussion is

Hak Ka Syuk Wa Pho Hok
First Lessons in Reading and Writing the Hakka Colloquial
Basel 1869
This work is available in full, from the Hathi Trust.;view=1up;seq=1

Conversations Chinoises, Prises sur le Vif avec Notes Grammaticales, Langage Hac-Ka
2 Volume Set; Asian Folklore and Social Life Monographs, Vols. 47 & 48
客家社會生活對話 (四七,四八)
Fr. Charles Rey, 雷却利
Asian Folklore & Social Life Monographs 亞洲民俗·社會生活專刊
The Chinese Association for Folklore 東方文叢
Editor : Professor Lau Tsu-k’uang

Fr. Rey’s other publications include two religious conversation books, Rey 1937, and Rey 1939. The former consists of fourteen rather long conversations of confessions in Hakka with French translations and a few notes each conversation.
-Hashimoto, 1973.

These two volumes were reproduced in 1973 in the copies shown here:

Charles Rey - Conversations Chinoise, Prises sur le Vif avec Notes Grammaticales. Langue Hac-Ka. (1973)

Charles Rey – Conversations Chinoise, Prises sur le Vif avec Notes Grammaticales. Langue Hac-Ka. (1973)

Introduction to Hakka.
James M. Dought
Nazareth Press, 1926

This is another learning material written by Catholic missionaries for their non-Hakka catholic missionaries who wish to administer their faith to converts amongst the Hakka speaking people in China and elsewhere. Like the later Beginning Hakka by Downs (a.k.a. A Maryknoller), it has lessons and at the back a short grammar, but this book has a glossary type dictionary of characters used in the book. Because of its target audience, it tends to be heavy on phrases used in church work, and for non-catholics or non-Christians, or non-religous folks, it can be overbearing, especially the “Statements of Conscience affecting the first four Commandments” found after the lessons to the rear, that reads like a manifesto to suppress a native cultural practices and supplant them with rules for submission to Catholicism. See also: Review : Drought, Introduction to Hakka (opens a new browser window).

The Triglot Vocabulary : English, Malay, Chinese (Hok-Kien, Hak-Ka, Character)
6th Edition, 1913
William Girdlestone Shellabear.
Chinese Renderings by Rev. B.F. West, MD
Methodist Publish House

Preface to the Fifth Edition
A Fifth Edition of the Triglot Vocabulary being required, we have taken the opportunity to change the spelling and tonal marks of the Romanised Hak-ka in order to make it harmonise with MacIver’s Hak-ka Dictionary which has been published since our last edition.

This work can be found in the following links :

Both copies suffer from missing pages towards the end of the book where the scanned digital image failed to be incorporated into the pdf it seems.

An annotated syllabary of Sathewkok Hakka.
HENNE Henry (1964).
Acta Orientalia, Vol. XXVIII(l-2), pp. 61-127.

For words which appear in each rime group in Hakka,  lists of words either in single syllable form or multisyllable form where the latter has an instance of that single syllable in any position in the multisyllable compound is give a gloss in English and it’s characters in Chinese and the IPA rendition of that vocabulary item.

Hakka lessons for Malayan students.
Lee, T. H.
Govt., Federation of Malaya, 1955
Kuala Lumpur

This text book was created for the purpose of training police officers in dealing with the Hakka population in Malaya at the time. It has Malay specific words like ‘mada’ for ‘policemen’.  The text reflects a type of Fuizu Hakka common in this area.

珠江三角洲方言調查報告 = A survey of dialects in the Pearl River Delta /
Zhujiang san jiao zhou fang yan diao cha bao gao = A survey of dialects in the Pearl River Delta
張日昇. 甘於恩. 詹伯慧
新世紀出版社 : 發行津橋出版社

The survey comprises three volumes, of which I have one, which are for the pronunciation of characters across a number of different localities for Cantonese, Hakka and Min dialects.

On my wish list:

Speak Hakkanese Pronounciation drills for Hakkanese

台北語文學院 Taibei yu wen xue yuan.

Hakka One
George Harkin
Maryknoll language Service Center
See their book list, there is also a CD now available :

Stories in Hakka colloquial
Wood, A. E.
Noronha, 1932
Hong Kong

Hakka made easy.
James Dyer Ball
Hongkong : Kelly & Walsh, 1896.



About daylightstar

Passing on the Hakka language to all comers and eager learners.
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