Friday, August 27, 2010

Writing Camps -- a good way to start

"Academics were invited to teach the Seediq members how to use their own writing system and grammar structures in creative writings."
"... invited elders to describe community life in the old days to inspire participants to create their own works."

"Now that a writing system is available, it is an urgent task for the Seediq as well as other indigenous groups to document and preserve their culture in writing."

Resource: Atayalic language family

Embarrassed to speak Paiwan among Paiwan classmates who only speak Mandarin...

An example of how destructive the Mandarin-only education system is to native cultures.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Posting Facebook updates in a non-Mandarin language of Taiwan

We've been happy to notice an upswing recently in the number of facebook status updates posted in a non-Mandarin language of Taiwan.

Following are two status updates recently seen. These update create a lot of interest and comment by facebook friends of those posting these status updates.

Chit-ê sī góa khǹg--teh piān-só ê chú-pn̄g-tâi, in-ūi góa-ê piān-só siuⁿ-tōa, só͘-í ū chi̍t-ê só͘-chāi ōe-tàng chú-pn̄g mā-sī ū-thang :)

A very important experience in Taiwan where real estate prices are very high is to maximize the use of space. Basically, the status update translates, "I put this kitchen shelf in my bathroom because my bathroom is too big and there is a useful space for cooking."

16 comments followed this post. Such a post is an excellent way to get a younger generation interested in reading and writing in the non-Mandarin languages of Taiwan. People will feel like it is short enough to attempt to read it even when it looks so alien not written using Mandarin Chinese characters.

A second post states, "Gín-á tōa-hàn chin kín, ū-tām-po̍h m̄-kam :)" It got twelve comments. Among them was one replying in written Taiwanese: Góa mā-sī án-ne siūⁿ. Lán ta̍k-kang liān-si̍p chi̍t-kù, hó-bò?

How can they type? There are now several software input options available. You can find links at as well as

Also, in a new development, the Maryknoll Language Center has posted an entire Taiwanese-English and an English-Taiwanese dictionary online at