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Did you know - Tips about Taiwan Languages and Culture  

TEN INTERESTING INSIGHTS

LANGUAGES IN TAIWAN

   

Visiting Taiwan? Here are some interesting insights about the languages used.
   
1. What you will hear at the airport - announcements in English, Mandarin and Taiwanese. If you are on the MTR (Taipei Metro System), you will hear all of these plus Hakka.
   
2. What are the origins of Taiwanese and Hakka? These languages are used primarily by those whose ancestors relocated from Fujian and Guangdong more than four hundred years ago.
   
3. It is estimated that about 85% of Taiwan's population speaks Taiwanese and Hakka.
   
4. A smaller group of immigrants came to Taiwan in 1949 with the Republic of China, bringing Mandarin which became the official language of Taiwan.
   
5. If you are having your business card translated into Chinese, be aware that Taiwan used the "traditional Chinese (fanti zi) characters", whereas The People's Republic of China used simplified characters, adopted in 1956.
   
6. Taiwanese and Mandarin use four tones; Hakka has six.
   
7. Mandarin tends to be used in formal situations while Taiwanese, sometimes blended with Mandarin, tends to be used among friends or in more everyday situations. Also, older generation tend to prefer Taiwanese.
   
8. It is estimated that there are seventeen languages and dialects in Taiwan, including Mandarin, Taiwanese, Hakka and other aboriginal languages.
   
9. Hakka is one of the oldest Chinese dialects, spoken mostly in southeast China. Hakka, in Chinese, means guest. Interestingly, Hakka people invented some special characters to assist in writing that can't be done with traditional Chinese characters.
   
10. English is taught in schools, and it is mandatory in Taipei City, beginning in the first grade.
   

 
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