Hong Kong University has made available a number of books from their holdings in pdf format, which means you can view and possibly download them for your own use. Amongst these is the Beginning Hakka coursebook published by the catholic missionary press at Maryknoll House, Hong Kong. This digital copy or ebook is the first edition copy, published in 1948. It therefore contains a few minor printing errors.
This work is for the beginner. It assumes you have a working knowledge of English, particularly of grammatical terms and references, for instance, ‘nominative’, ‘subject’, ‘direct object’, ‘verb’, etc. It not only guides you along acquiring Hakka, but Chinese characters which can be associated with the words in Hakka are also given. These Chinese characters, for the most part correspond to other Chinese dialects, but where there are characters which are used solely as a dialectal character, the Chinese text does not have marks to indicate it is being used so. For example, 我 is given the pronunciation ngâi, but it has a book reading of ngō.
Spellingwise, the book seems to be influenced by Charles Rey’s romanisation scheme for Hakka rather than MacIver’s spellings. This for
Maryknoller : vôuc
Rey : voûc
Maciver : vuk
Notice the difference in position of the tone mark or diacritic, but this sometimes shift to the preceeding vowel if two vowel letters make one sound.
With regards to the tones in Maryknoller, it employs a six tone representation.
Tone 1 ā
Tone 2 â
Tone 3 à
Tone 4 á
The following are also indicated by the syllable ending in c, p and t in this romanised text.
Tone 5 ă
Tone 6 â
The dialect of this work is probably Jiaying, or a sort of Moiyen dialect. Other dialects of Hakka may differ, expecially in some common affixes.