Penang Hokkien-English Dictionary With An English-Penang Hokkien Glossary
Tan Siew Imm
Sunway University Press
526 pag. paperback 15 x 21 cm
Penang Hokkien is spoken in the northern states, from Perlis down to Kedah and Penang and Taiping and the east coast states of Kelantan and Trengganu. However, the status of the language as a mother tongue has been threatened by political events and social engineering. Hokkien, for example, has not been taught in schools in Penang since the establishment of the Republic of China in 1911, when Mandarin was made the Chinese national language. A recent study done by Sim (2010) suggests that the use of non-Mandarin Chinese languages has declined as many Chinese Malaysians use Mandarin as their lingua franca and do not teach their children their own language. Of those who use Hokkien, as high as 70% of them communicated in Hokkien with their grandparents, and not their parents. This meant that when grandparents passed on, the younger generation will stop using the language.