Taiwanese Hokkien (Tâi-gí / 台語) in list of languages

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Taiwanese Hokkien (Tâi-gí / 台語) in list of languages

Postby Woods » 2021-01-02, 11:38

How do I add Taiwanese Hokkien (Tâi-gí / 台語) to my list of desired languages? Can you add it to the options, please? It's got like 16 million speakers.

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Re: Taiwanese Hokkien (Tâi-gí / 台語) in list of languages

Postby vijayjohn » 2021-01-02, 13:55

Taiwanese Hokkien is part of Minnan, so you could just add Minnan.

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Re: Taiwanese Hokkien (Tâi-gí / 台語) in list of languages

Postby Woods » 2021-01-02, 18:00

Well, I want to make it clear that it's Taiwanese I'm interested in. Many languages are part of something, but have their entries (including with far fewer speakers).

PS Did you move to Taiwan now???

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Re: Taiwanese Hokkien (Tâi-gí / 台語) in list of languages

Postby vijayjohn » 2021-01-02, 18:52

Woods wrote:Well, I want to make it clear that it's Taiwanese I'm interested in. Many languages are part of something, but have their entries (including with far fewer speakers).

Sure, but it's not likely that anyone is going to assume that you're specifically interested in, say, Teochew. :hmm:
PS Did you move to Taiwan now???

Almost a year ago. I'm moving back in a little over a month.

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Re: Taiwanese Hokkien (Tâi-gí / 台語) in list of languages

Postby Woods » 2021-01-02, 19:17

I personally had to google Minnan when you mentioned it to confirm that it's Southern Min. And then I don't even know if all the Southern Min dialects are mutually intelligible. Also I would associate the term with dialects spoken in the People's Republic of China and not in the Republic of China. So I think the Taiwanese version - as a language spoken by 70% of the population of another country - totally deserves its own version.


vijayjohn wrote:
Woods wrote:Did you move to Taiwan now???

Almost a year ago. I'm moving back in a little over a month.

Would you like to share what you are doing there? It's a great place!

And did you learn any Taiwanese? :)

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Re: Taiwanese Hokkien (Tâi-gí / 台語) in list of languages

Postby vijayjohn » 2021-01-02, 19:58

Woods wrote:I personally had to google Minnan when you mentioned it to confirm that it's Southern Min. And then I don't even know if all the Southern Min dialects are mutually intelligible. Also I would associate the term with dialects spoken in the People's Republic of China and not in the Republic of China. So I think the Taiwanese version - as a language spoken by 70% of the population of another country - totally deserves its own version.

I mean, OldBoring's profile says he's native in "Wu," so...
Would you like to share what you are doing there?

Teaching English at Hess (it's basically a buxiban or cram school)
It's a great place!

What makes you think so? Have you been here before?
And did you learn any Taiwanese? :)

Not really, I barely even hear any Taiwanese, and even when people do speak it, they seem to code-switch with Mandarin.

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Re: Taiwanese Hokkien (Tâi-gí / 台語) in list of languages

Postby Woods » 2021-01-03, 19:19

vijayjohn wrote:
Woods wrote:I personally had to google Minnan when you mentioned it to confirm that it's Southern Min. And then I don't even know if all the Southern Min dialects are mutually intelligible. Also I would associate the term with dialects spoken in the People's Republic of China and not in the Republic of China. So I think the Taiwanese version - as a language spoken by 70% of the population of another country - totally deserves its own version.

I mean, OldBoring's profile says he's native in "Wu," so...

Doesn't matter - I think nobody would disagree that it makes perfect sense to have Taiwanese Hokkien (Tâi-gí / 台語) in list the list of options. As a moderator, can you request it from those who can implement it?


vijayjohn wrote:
Woods wrote:It's a great place!

What makes you think so? Have you been here before?

Yes, and I loved it. I'd like to go back any time I can afford it.

Does that school require some diploma or can an amateur like me with good English and teaching skills get a place someday? And does it pay well?


vijayjohn wrote:
And did you learn any Taiwanese? :)

Not really, I barely even hear any Taiwanese, and even when people do speak it, they seem to code-switch with Mandarin.

Really? Well, I don't even speak Mandarin so it was kind of surreal when I was there. Almost all the time I had a friend with me who speaks Mandarin though, so she was my personal interpreter. Before I go next time I need to learn either Mandarin or Taiwanese though. I don't know which one will be easier - Mandarin is insane with all the characters, whereas for Taiwanese I haven't found that many ressources. But it could be a shortcut if I learn it through Pe̍h-ōe-jī and skip the characters. Don't know if it will work for other than casual conversations though?

What makes people say that 70% of the population speaks Tâi-gí then? I can't tell if what I heard was it or Mandarin, cause as a person who speaks neither, they sound similar to me - and they did so even more back then.

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Re: Taiwanese Hokkien (Tâi-gí / 台語) in list of languages

Postby OldBoring » 2021-01-04, 13:14

There is a shortcut to imply that you're learning Taiwanese Minnan/Hokkien: you can set Minnan and Traditional script.
There isn't Taiwanese Mandarin on here either: so people choose Mandarin with traditional script.

How could you not know "Minnan" but you knew "Southern Min"? :para: I thought Minnan was more common than Southern Min.

Keep in mind that if you learn Minnan through Pe̍h-ōe-jī, this writing system is basically not used by anyone anymore, except a minority of Christians.

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Re: Taiwanese Hokkien (Tâi-gí / 台語) in list of languages

Postby Woods » 2021-01-04, 13:38

OldBoring wrote:There isn't Taiwanese Mandarin on here either: so people choose Mandarin with traditional script.

Yeah, but then it's obvious that we're talking about Taiwanese Mandarin. In the case of "Minnan" it's not clear at all.


OldBoring wrote:There is a shortcut to imply that you're learning Taiwanese Minnan/Hokkien: you can set Minnan and Traditional script.

Can we not add "Taiwanese Hokkien (Tâi-gí / 台語)" in the list?


OldBoring wrote:Keep in mind that if you learn Minnan through Pe̍h-ōe-jī, this writing system is basically not used by anyone anymore, except a minority of Christians.

Interesting - how do you see the future of the language? What writing system will be used?

All comments and opinions I found through Google searches state that Pe̍h-ōe-jī conveys the sounds better and looks better, and also has a certain following and body of works published already - why did they have to come up with something new to mess things up even further?

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Re: Taiwanese Hokkien (Tâi-gí / 台語) in list of languages

Postby vijayjohn » 2021-01-04, 18:34

Woods wrote:Doesn't matter - I think nobody would disagree that it makes perfect sense to have Taiwanese Hokkien (Tâi-gí / 台語) in list the list of options.

Okay, but I think it would make just as much sense to have Qingtianese and Wenzhounese given that one of our most active users is native(ish) in both.
As a moderator, can you request it from those who can implement it?

You don't have to be a moderator just to request that. You can ask for it yourself here.
Does that school require some diploma or can an amateur like me with good English and teaching skills get a place someday? And does it pay well?

I think they want native speakers of English, though I'm not 100% sure. They require a bachelor's but nothing more IIRC. It doesn't pay well by American standards and not nearly as much as a good job in China, but it does pay well by Taiwanese standards if that's what you mean.
vijayjohn wrote:
And did you learn any Taiwanese? :)

Not really, I barely even hear any Taiwanese, and even when people do speak it, they seem to code-switch with Mandarin.

Really? Well, I don't even speak Mandarin so it was kind of surreal when I was there. Almost all the time I had a friend with me who speaks Mandarin though, so she was my personal interpreter. Before I go next time I need to learn either Mandarin or Taiwanese though. I don't know which one will be easier - Mandarin is insane with all the characters, whereas for Taiwanese I haven't found that many ressources. But it could be a shortcut if I learn it through Pe̍h-ōe-jī and skip the characters. Don't know if it will work for other than casual conversations though?

For that matter, you could just learn Mandarin with Pinyin and skip the characters, too. People will probably understand both Taiwanese and Mandarin, but IME they use Mandarin by default with everyone, and Taiwanese seem to be pretty shocked at the idea of a foreigner speaking Taiwanese whereas a foreigner speaking Mandarin does not have this effect at all. I've heard that the extent to which you hear Taiwanese depends on where exactly in Taiwan you are and it even varies between different parts of the same city.
What makes people say that 70% of the population speaks Tâi-gí then?

People can speak it, but that doesn't necessarily mean they actually do speak it in practice. I think it's only slightly less endangered than the various language varieties in China.
I can't tell if what I heard was it or Mandarin, cause as a person who speaks neither, they sound similar to me - and they did so even more back then.

As a person who speaks a tiny bit of Taiwanese and quite a bit of Mandarin, they still sound similar to me...especially compared to something really divergent like Wenzhounese!

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Re: Taiwanese Hokkien (Tâi-gí / 台語) in list of languages

Postby Woods » 2021-01-05, 11:16

vijayjohn wrote:
Woods wrote:Doesn't matter - I think nobody would disagree that it makes perfect sense to have Taiwanese Hokkien (Tâi-gí / 台語) in list the list of options.

Okay, but I think it would make just as much sense to have Qingtianese and Wenzhounese given that one of our most active users is native(ish) in both.

Taiwan is a country. It has 20+ million inhabitants. 70% of them supposedly speak this language. It is the 2nd most widely spoken language in the country. That makes it special. The linguistic situation in Mainland China is a lot more diverse and complex. But of course, it would be nice to list those dialects too. Don't we have Serbian, Croatian and Bosnian, if they're all supposed to be Serbo-Croatian?


vijayjohn wrote:You don't have to be a moderator just to request that. You can ask for it yourself here.

Okay, so that's the place! Done.


vijayjohn wrote:For that matter, you could just learn Mandarin with Pinyin and skip the characters, too.

Also there's the band Chthonic which gives me motivation to learn Taiwanese since it's my favourite band that sings in a Sinitic language!


vijayjohn wrote:People will probably understand both Taiwanese and Mandarin, but IME they use Mandarin by default with everyone, and Taiwanese seem to be pretty shocked at the idea of a foreigner speaking Taiwanese whereas a foreigner speaking Mandarin does not have this effect at all. I've heard that the extent to which you hear Taiwanese depends on where exactly in Taiwan you are and it even varies between different parts of the same city.


Woods wrote:What makes people say that 70% of the population speaks Tâi-gí then?

People can speak it, but that doesn't necessarily mean they actually do speak it in practice. I think it's only slightly less endangered than the various language varieties in China.

But what about the future - do you think they'll make more effort to revive the language?

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Re: Taiwanese Hokkien (Tâi-gí / 台語) in list of languages

Postby vijayjohn » 2021-01-05, 16:05

Why are you trying so hard to start something over a language you know nothing about?
Woods wrote:Taiwan is a country.

Taiwan is still not even fully recognized as a country by its own closest allies, its official name is still the "Republic of China," and it continues to share many of the same territorial claims as the PRC does.
It has 20+ million inhabitants.

North Korea has more (and is universally recognized as a country). Does that mean we should have a "North Korean" and "South Korean" instead of just "Korean," too?
That makes it special.

It is not even a single variety. The variety of Taiwanese spoken here in Yuanlin is noticeably different from the variety spoken in Lugang less than 25 km away to the point that I have had a Taiwanese person cite this as an excuse for avoiding speaking in Taiwanese at all.
The linguistic situation in Mainland China is a lot more diverse and complex.

The linguistic situation in Taiwan is a lot more diverse and complex than you seem to be making it out to be. There's a lot more to Taiwan than just Mandarin and Taiwanese; you have Hakka, plus all kinds of other varieties of Chinese imported from the mainland (just like Taiwanese and Hakka were, incidentally), and you have all the indigenous Austronesian languages, not to mention Malay, Indonesian, Thai, Tagalog, and Vietnamese. EDIT: Oh, and also the fact that the government is trying to make English an official language!
Don't we have Serbian, Croatian and Bosnian, if they're all supposed to be Serbo-Croatian?

Yes. Each of those is the official language of a modern nation-state. Taiwanese, Qingtianese, and Wenzhounese are not.
Also there's the band Chthonic which gives me motivation to learn Taiwanese since it's my favourite band that sings in a Sinitic language!

They sing in Mandarin, too.
But what about the future - do you think they'll make more effort to revive the language?

Not enough of one for it to matter in the long run. At most the government will make an effort. It will make no difference unless the society decides to change its attitude towards the language, too. It's a bit like the linguistic situation in India, in that sense.

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Re: Taiwanese Hokkien (Tâi-gí / 台語) in list of languages

Postby Woods » 2021-01-14, 12:12

vijayjohn wrote:The linguistic situation in Taiwan is a lot more diverse and complex than you seem to be making it out to be. There's a lot more to Taiwan than just Mandarin and Taiwanese; you have Hakka, plus all kinds of other varieties of Chinese imported from the mainland (just like Taiwanese and Hakka were, incidentally), and you have all the indigenous Austronesian languages

Quite well known. But the most widely-known Astronesian language has 20 000 speakers, Hakka has 2 million and Tâi-gí has 16 million.


vijayjohn wrote:North Korea has more (and is universally recognized as a country). Does that mean we should have a "North Korean" and "South Korean" instead of just "Korean," too?

Uh? They're mutually intelligible and practically the same. But yeah - why not, if somebody wants to have the distinction? I see "American English" in your profile - shouldn't that be unified with all other kinds of?


vijayjohn wrote:Taiwan is still not even fully recognized as a country by its own closest allies, its official name is still the "Republic of China,"

Yes. Shame on the US, and the rest of the world.


vijayjohn wrote:Oh, and also the fact that the government is trying to make English an official language!

Really? How is that going to work?

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Re: Taiwanese Hokkien (Tâi-gí / 台語) in list of languages

Postby vijayjohn » 2021-01-14, 17:09

Woods wrote:But the most widely-known Astronesian language has 20 000 speakers, Hakka has 2 million and Tâi-gí has 16 million.

So what? I personally know native speakers of Cantonese who come from Taiwan. Does that mean Taiwanese Cantonese is a thing?

Also, I think people (including Taiwanese) are a little too dismissive of the immigrant population here. In a middle-tier city like the one I live in, it is true as they say that you will not meet a whole lot of foreigners, but this is somewhat misleading as you definitely can see one on the road every now and then, typically white, black, or (especially) Southeast Asian.
Uh? They're mutually intelligible and practically the same. But yeah - why not, if somebody wants to have the distinction? I see "American English" in your profile - shouldn't that be unified with all other kinds of?

You can say exactly the same thing about Hokkien.
vijayjohn wrote:Taiwan is still not even fully recognized as a country by its own closest allies, its official name is still the "Republic of China,"

Yes. Shame on the US, and the rest of the world.

These kinds of comments are always bemusing to me. China is a powerful country in the modern world whether you like it or not. You can't just pretend it's not gaining power. And I don't think anyone is preventing Taiwan from changing its official name per se.
vijayjohn wrote:Oh, and also the fact that the government is trying to make English an official language!

Really? How is that going to work?

It's not very clear yet, but see e.g. here.


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