Archive for December, 2009

2010 Conference on Taiwanese Proficiency Testing

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

The Taiwanese Proficiency Test Center at the National Cheng Kung University in Tainan will be hosting a conference in March next year.  The third Conference on Taiwanese Proficiency Test (sic) will take place on the 13th March at the Banyan Campus of NCKU (off Daxue Rd near the train station). There’s a call for papers related to Taiwanese language testing, with a submission deadline of 31st of December for abstracts.

The conference is coordinated by Wi-vun Chiung, and co-sponsored by the Li Kang-Khioh Taiwanese Foundation and the Taiwanese Romanization Association.  For more information, check the conference website.

As a reminder, the legislature has blocked funding for government testing in Taiwanese for some time now, while authorising funding for testing of Mandarin, Hakka, and Aboriginal languages.  The Taiwanese language remains a political football.

Using CSS to display Peh-oe-ji correctly

Sunday, December 6th, 2009

Times were that I was asking everyone who visited this site to download fonts in order to view the content properly. However, growing support for web fonts (in CSS3) means that many visitors with up-to-date web browsers are able to see the fonts I choose, even if those fonts are not installed on their computers. This is great for displaying Pe̍h-ōe-jī (the Taiwanese romanization used throughout the site) and Taiwanese Phonetic Symbols (Bopomofo for Taiwanese).

The following browsers are supported:

  • Firefox 3.5 and above
  • Opera 10 and above
  • Safari 3.1 and above

Support is also available in Google’s Chrome browser, but is disabled in the current version due to a security review. The developers are aiming to to reinstate support in time for version 4.0.  To check how your browser works with Taiwanese text, visit the fonts page.

Together users of the browsers listed above made up 47% of visitors in the August to October period, so hopefully this update should make life a little bit easier for many visitors here. I would encourage users who don’t have one of the above browsers to either upgrade, or install one or more of the fonts listed on the fonts page.

For those of you interested in the technical details, this is how it works. (more…)

Site redesigned and back online

Saturday, December 5th, 2009

After a while without adding any new content, I’ve decided to update the design and add some features to the site.  In addition to the updated look of the site, there are a couple of additions worth pointing out.  The first is a sitemap to allow visitors to locate the information they are looking for.  Shortly I’ll be bringing a site search online too. There’s a new image gallery with photos relevant to the language, which at the moment contains only a few images, but which will grow as time goes on.

The other notable addition will not be immediately obvious to many visitors, as it’s more of a “behind the scenes” change.  Previously I asked visitors to install a special font in order to view the romanised Taiwanese used throughout the website, but advances in browser capabilities mean that users of the latest versions of Firefox, Opera, and Safari will not need to do this, as their browser will automatically download and display the correct font. I’ll be writing a full blog post on this aspect of the redesign in the near future, including the technical details.

Tailingua is now also on Twitter, which will be used for quick updates that don’t require a full blog post. At some point I’ll be integrating the Twitter feed into the sidebar on this site.

Hope you like the changes and I’ll be glad to hear any opinions you have on the redesign.