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


Joel Linton said...

You can also tag all of your pictures posted on Facebook with labels for vocabulary words from Taiwanese, Hakka, or an Austronesian language of Taiwan.

XingyiReporter said...

Yup. That's great! I know some people persistently writing and posting online in Taiwanse. I hope that these texts can help others see a multi-cultural Taiwan.

Rosalyne said...

when you select your language as "taiwanese" on facebook, there is a new graphic that highlights parts of southern china as well as taiwan. i don't disagree that for "holo" or "minnan" it might be shown this way, but "taiwanese" should show only taiwan--this is the prerogative of the user and clearly anyone selecting "taiwanese" as their language is distinguishing themselves from minnan and holo. as is obvious on this blog and others, taiwanese is not limited to holo even.

please take a look at this profile/info graphic. i wrote facebook to point this out.