Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Taiwan Tips #1

I was extremely fortunate to "meet" a wonderful Taiwanese lady who has been living in the US and who is also an adoptive mama! She has been so gracious to answer my questions about Taiwan...and I ask A LOT of questions...so I thought I would pass on some tidbits for those of you Taiwan APs/PAPs. As I post from our conversation, I will remove sections of her answers that I consider "private".

MY QUESTION: As we consider language classes for him, would you suggest Mandarin? Our Taiwanese guide mentioned other languages in addition to Mandarin, so I wasn't sure which would be best for him to learn.

HER ANSWER: Mandarin is the official language, so that is a must learn language for all Taiwanese nowadays. Only uneducated people...still don't speak much Mandarin. All the other "languages" are "dialects" spoken at home. My mother tongue is Fujianese (very often referred to as Taiwanese), but I had to learn Mandarin as soon as I entered elementary school. The great thing about Chinese is that there is basically only one writing system (whether it's simplified or traditional) so that no matter what dialect one speaks at home we all read and write the same Chinese characters. The writing system in mainland China is the "simplified" version, but in Taiwan we still learn the more complicated traditional writing system. If your son learns at least one whether it's simplified or traditional, he should have no problem picking up the other one fairly fast.


Rebecca said...

So... when does M start his Mandarin classes?? :) Are you & S going to take them too?

Tish said...

i called and they said at age 5! i think it would be great for at least one of us to take classes, too.

Tiffany and Gabriel said...

Great tip, Tish! Can't wait for the next one.