Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

New blog for learning Taiwanese

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

It’s been a long time since I last posted, but I have to let you know about a new blog aimed at teaching English speakers the basics of Taiwanese. It’s called Taiwanlang and the author, Ted (or ThÄ“-ti in Taiwanese), is a Taiwanese-American with a mission to inform. Check it out, and leave him an encouraging message on his site!

Call for papers: 6th International Conference on Literature in Taiwanese, 2010

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

I just received this email with a call for papers for the autumn conference on Literature in Taiwanese:

Call for Papers

The 6th International Conference on Literature in Taiwanese, 2010

Application of abstract submission

Theme: Neo-aesthetics – Artistic Qualities and Diversity
Conference sponsor: Graduate Institute of Taiwan Culture, Language and
Conference site: Taiwan Normal University (Taipei, Taiwan)
Conference date: Oct. 23 – 24, 2010
Deadline for abstracts: April 15, 2010
Acceptance Notification: May 15, 2010
Deadline for full papers: Aug. 31, 2010

Papers with the following topics are preferred:
1. The aesthetics of literature in Taiwanese
2. On aesthetic theory and criticism of literature in Taiwanese
3. Aesthetics research on writers and writings in Taiwanese
4. The content diversity of literature in Taiwanese
5. The ethnic diversity in the writing of literature in Taiwanese
6. Other topics related to Taiwanese literature

Submission guideline:
(1)The abstract must be limited to one page, with font size 12p, margins 1”
(top and bottom) and 1.25” (left and right), line spacing 1.5.
(2)Please add an additional information page prior to the abstract page. The
information should include a) title of the paper, b) author(s), c)
affiliation, d) position, e) mailing address, f) phone number, and g)
(3)The abstract must be saved as Word or PDF formats, and send to the
following address: Please add author’s name with the phrase “abstract for
2010 conference on Taiwanese literature” to the title of email.
(4)The conference organizers will send out notification of paper acceptance
by May 15. For the accepted presenters, please write your paper with the
conference designated format and submit your full paper on 25 pages maximum
(a hardcopy with electronic file in both DOC and PDF formats) to conference
organizers by the deadline mentioned above.
(5)The official languages of the conference include the Taiwanese languages
and English. Other languages may be used as long as no body is opposed to
them. Presenters are kindly requested to provide English or Taiwanese
translation if their paper is written in the language other than official
(6)Limited honorarium and travel grants may be provided to the paper
presenters upon the funding raising results. However, honorarium might be
dismissed if the paper is not submitted by appropriate deadline and not
written in the designated format.
(7)For the most updated information regarding the conference, please visit
conference website at
(8)For any questions, please contact:
Conference coordinator: Li Khin-huann (Chair of Graduate Institute of Taiwan
Culture, Language and Literature)
Tel: +886-2-7734-1485
Conference secretary : Li Hong-ling

Meet-up for people interested in the Taiwanese language

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010
  • Where: The Artists’ Village, 7 Beiping East Road, Taipei (台北市北平東路7號)
  • When: Thursday 28th January, from 8pm

Anyone who is interesting in learning the Taiwanese language, or in swapping information and suggestions about it, will be welcome along.  I’ll be there, as will a couple of people who are currently taking classes, so they will be able to help out new learners with suggestions for schools and study materials.

A map of the venue:

View Larger Map

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.

MoE releases online Taiwanese dictionary (finally!)

Monday, October 20th, 2008

Unfortunately no time to look into this in depth at the moment, but the Taipei Times today detailed the announcement by the Ministry of Education in Taiwan of a new web-based dictionary for Taiwanese (referred to in the report as Hoklo):

After seven years of development, the Ministry of Education has completed the first official online dictionary for Hoklo (also known as Taiwanese).

The Online Taiwan Common Hoklo Dictionary test version contains 16,000 commonly used Hoklo terms and words in transliteration.

Ministry officials said the dictionary was very user-friendly and that non-Hoklo speakers could look up Hoklo phrases by keying in their Mandarin equivalent.


Users of the Hoklo dictionary can look up words by keying in headwords (“catchwords”), transliteration of the words and the words’ Mandarin equivalents through “fuzzy searches” or “focus searches,” Chen said.


Phonological differences and regional variations, including the two major variants — Chuanchou (泉州) and Changchou (漳州) — are also recognized by the dictionary, she said.

Yao Rongsong (姚榮松), chief editor of the ministry’s editing committee and a professor of Taiwanese literature at National Taiwan Normal University, said creating the dictionary was very time consuming because editors had to switch from the Taiwan Language Phonetic Alphabet they had initially used to Taiwanese romanization.

Hmm, I can’t believe that the switch from TLPA to Tai-lo was responsible for the project taking a long time. It would only take a day for a competent programmer to write a conversion program for their existing data.

Still, it’s great that this has finally seen the light of day. I’ll be interested to see whether it’s better than the 台文/華文線上辭典 – I’ll report back once I have had time to give it a thorough look-through.

Report taken from the Taipei Times: MOE launches first Hoklo-language online dictionary

Ministry of Education to create standardised Taiwanese exams

Saturday, October 4th, 2008

Last month the Taiwanese Ministry of Education (MoE) announced plans to create a system of standardised testing for Taiwanese.  The examinations, which will be outsourced to “competent organisations” are intended to be open to all, and will be divided into six grades: beginner, advanced beginner, intermediate, advanced intermediate, advanced, and professional.

Successful examinees will be awarded a certificate to proudly display their Taiwanese chops. No word on the form the written exam will take; President Ma Ying-jeou has previously expressed a preference for character-based study of Taiwanese, but it would be good if the candidates had a choice of writing in romanisation only (probably using the MoE-approved Tai-lo system).

Information is scant at the moment, with the MoE’s press release (Mandarin characters, Microsoft Word file) being more a statement of intent rather than a detailed run-down of how it’s going to work. Thanks to Mark of for the heads-up.