Penang Story LecturesTalks

Penang Story Lectures 2016: Penang Hokkien as a Diaspora Language and Regional Lingua Franca

Date: 30th July 2016 (Saturday)

Time: 9.30am

Venue: Penang Teochew Association, 127 Chulia Street, George Town (Diagonally across Eu Yan Sang Medicinal Shop)

Admission fees: RM 20 for members / RM 30 for non-members;

Penang Heritage Trust, in collaboration with Think City Sdn Bhd, is proud to invite you to attend our first lecture in the Penang Story Lecture Series 2016. This first lecture, entitled Penang Hokkien as a Diaspora Language and Regional Lingua Franca, is presented by Catherine Churchman, a lecturer and researcher with a passion in Chinese and Dutch Studies


“Penang Hokkien” is a Southern Min dialect spoken by the ethnic Chinese of the northern Malay Peninsula, namely in Penang and Kedah, and as far south as Taiping in Perak. The origin of this dialect reflects the origins of the Penang Chinese, whereas its hybridity also reflects Penang’s inter-ethnic and intra-ethnic diversity. The evolution and spread of this dialect to Phuket, Rangoon and Medan, reflects the trading connections of the Penang Chinese traders with other port cities in Southeast Asia. Churchman will talk about the unique and essential qualities of the Penang Hokkien dialect. This will be followed by a forum about safeguarding Penang’s linguistic heritage.

Catherine Churchman

Catherine Churchman is a Lecturer in the Asian Studies Programme in the School of Languages and Cultures, Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand. She studied Chinese and Dutch Studies as an undergraduate in New Zealand and Taiwan before receiving her doctorate in Asian History from the Australian National University in 2012. Catherine’s research interests include the history of the Lingnan region of southern China and Mainland Southeast Asia in the first millennium CE, Chinese contact creole languages of Southeast Asia (in particular Malaysian Hokkien), Southern Chinese local identities both within China and amongst the Chinese diaspora, Vietnamese and Tai literature written in Nôm (Chinese-based demotic script), Sino-Vietnamese literature, and the role of the Republic of China (Taiwan) in the Korean War. She is currently working a Penang Hokkien dictionary.