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Taiwanese, also known as Taigi, Taiwanese Hokkien (), Taiwanese Minnan, Hoklo and Holo, is a variety of the
Hokkien Hokkien () is a Southern Min Southern Min (), Minnan (Mandarin Mandarin may refer to: * Mandarin (bureaucrat), a bureaucrat of Imperial China (the original meaning of the word) ** by extension, any senior government bureaucrat A bureaucr ...
language spoken natively by about 70% of the
population of Taiwan The population of Taiwan, officially known as the Republic of China, is approximately 23.57 million, spread across a total land area of about 36,000 km2; it is the List of countries by population density, seventeenth most densely populated cou ...
. It is spoken by the Taiwanese Hoklo people, who descended from immigrants from southern
Fujian Fujian (; alternately romanized as Fukien or Hokkien) is a province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnat ...

Fujian
during the
Qing dynasty The Qing dynasty, officially the Great Qing (), was the last Dynasties in Chinese history, dynasty in the History of China#Imperial China, imperial history of China. It was established in 1636, and ruled China proper from 1644 to 1912, w ...
. The
Pe̍h-ōe-jī (; abbreviated POJ; literally ''vernacular writing''; also sometimes known as the Church Romanization) is an orthography An orthography is a set of conventions for writing Writing is a medium of human communication that involves the re ...
(POJ) romanization is a
orthography An orthography is a set of convention (norm), conventions for writing a language, including norms of spelling, hyphenation, capitalization, word, word breaks, Emphasis (typography), emphasis, and punctuation. Most transnational languages in the ...
for Taiwanese. Taiwanese is generally similar to spoken
Amoy Xiamen ( , ; ), also known as Amoy (, from Hokkien Hokkien (; , Pe̍h-ōe-jī: ''Hok-kiàn-ōe'', ) or Minnan (閩南語/闽南语), known as Quanzhang or Tsuan-Tsiang (泉漳) in linguistics, is a Southern Min Southern Min (), Minn ...
,
Quanzhou Quanzhou, alternatively known as Chinchew, is a prefecture-level port city on the north bank of the Jin River, beside the Taiwan Strait The Taiwan Strait, also known as the Formosa Strait, is a -wide strait A strait is a naturall ...
, and
Zhangzhou Zhangzhou (), alternately romanized Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying a ...
(branches of Chinese Minnan), as well as their dialectal forms used in
Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is the geographical southeastern subregion of Asia, consisting of the regions that are south of China, south-east of the Indian sub ...

Southeast Asia
. It is
mutually intelligible In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional areas of linguistic analysis include p ...
with
Amoy dialect The Amoy dialect or Xiamen dialect (), also known as Amoynese, Amoy Hokkien, Xiamenese or Xiamen Hokkien, is a dialect of Hokkien Hokkien (; , Pe̍h-ōe-jī: ''Hok-kiàn-ōe'', ) or Minnan (閩南語/闽南语), known as Quanzhang or Tsuan-Tsi ...
on the mainland, with the dialect of the mouth of the Jiulong River (九龍) immediately to the west, and with
Philippine Hokkien Philippine Hokkien or Lannang-Oe (), is a particular dialect of Southern Min language spoken by part of the Chinese Filipino, ethnic Chinese population of the Philippines. The use of Hokkien in the Philippines is influenced by Spanish language in t ...
to the south, spoken altogether by about 3 million people. The mass popularity of
Hokkien entertainment mediaHokkien media is the mass media Mass media refers to a diverse array of media (communication), media technology, technologies that reach a large audience via mass communication. The technologies through which this communication takes place incl ...
from Taiwan has given
prominence In topography Topography is the study of the forms and features of land surfaces. The topography of an area could refer to the surface forms and features themselves, or a description (especially their depiction in maps). Topography is a f ...
to the Taiwanese variety of Hokkien, especially since the 1980s.


Classification

Taiwanese is a branched-off variety of
Hokkien Hokkien () is a Southern Min Southern Min (), Minnan (Mandarin Mandarin may refer to: * Mandarin (bureaucrat), a bureaucrat of Imperial China (the original meaning of the word) ** by extension, any senior government bureaucrat A bureaucr ...
, a group of
Southern Min Southern Min (), Minnan (Mandarin Mandarin may refer to: * Mandarin (bureaucrat), a bureaucrat of Imperial China (the original meaning of the word) ** by extension, any senior government bureaucrat A bureaucrat is a member of a bureaucracy ...
language. Like many Min varieties, it has distinct literary and colloquial layers of vocabulary, often associated with formal and informal
register A register is an authoritative list of one kind of information. Register or registration may refer to: Arts entertainment, and media Music * Register (music), the relative "height" or range of a note, melody, part, instrument, etc. * ''Regis ...
s respectively. The literary layer can be traced to the late
Tang dynasty The Tang dynasty (, ; ), or Tang Empire, was an imperial dynasty of China that ruled from 618 to 907, with an interregnum An interregnum (plural interregna or interregnums) is a period of discontinuity or "gap" in a government, organizat ...
and can thus be related to
Middle Chinese Middle Chinese (formerly known as Ancient Chinese) or the Qieyun system (QYS) is the historical variety of recorded in the ', a first published in 601 and followed by several revised and expanded editions. The Swedish linguist believed that t ...
. In contrast, the colloquial layers of Min varieties are believed to have branched from the mainstream of Chinese around the time of the
Han dynasty#REDIRECT Han dynasty The Han dynasty () was the second Dynasties in Chinese history, imperial dynasty of China (202 BC – 220 AD), established by the rebel leader Liu Bang and ruled by the House of Liu. Preceded by the short-lived Qin dynas ...

Han dynasty
. Regional variations within Taiwanese may be traced back to Hokkien variants spoken in Southern Fujian, specifically those from
Quanzhou Quanzhou, alternatively known as Chinchew, is a prefecture-level port city on the north bank of the Jin River, beside the Taiwan Strait The Taiwan Strait, also known as the Formosa Strait, is a -wide strait A strait is a naturall ...

Quanzhou
and
Zhangzhou Zhangzhou (), alternately romanized Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying a ...

Zhangzhou
, then later
Amoy Xiamen ( , ; ), also known as Amoy (, from Hokkien Hokkien (; , Pe̍h-ōe-jī: ''Hok-kiàn-ōe'', ) or Minnan (閩南語/闽南语), known as Quanzhang or Tsuan-Tsiang (泉漳) in linguistics, is a Southern Min Southern Min (), Minn ...

Amoy
. Taiwanese also contains loanwords from
Japanese Japanese may refer to: * Something from or related to Japan , image_flag = Flag of Japan.svg , alt_flag = Centered deep red circle on a white rectangle , image_coat = Imperial Seal of J ...

Japanese
and the native
Formosan languages The Formosan languages are the languages of the indigenous peoples of Taiwan, all of which are Austronesian. The Taiwanese indigenous peoples recognized by the government are about 2.3% of the island's population. However, only 35% speak their ...

Formosan languages
. Recent work by scholars such a
Ekki LuToru Sakai
(酒井亨 ''Sakai Tōru''), and Lí Khîn-hoāⁿ(also known as Tavokan Khîn-hoāⁿ or Chin-An Li), based on former research by scholars such as Ông Io̍k-tek, has gone so far as to associate part of the basic vocabulary of the colloquial Taiwanese with the
Austronesian Austronesian may refer to: *The Austronesian languages *The historical Austronesian peoples who carried Austronesian languages on their migrations {{disambiguation ...
and Tai language families; however, such claims are controversial. The literary form of Hokkien once flourished in
Fujian Fujian (; alternately romanized as Fukien or Hokkien) is a province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnat ...

Fujian
and was brought to Taiwan by early emigrants. '' Tale of the Lychee Mirror'', a manuscript for a series of plays published during the
Ming dynasty The Ming dynasty (), officially the Great Ming, was the ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644 following the collapse of the Mongol The Mongols ( mn, Монголчууд, , ''Mongolchuud'', ; russian: Монголы, ) are an eth ...

Ming dynasty
in 1566, is one of the earliest known works. This form of the language is now largely extinct. However, literary readings of the numbers are used in certain contexts such as reciting telephone numbers (see
Literary and colloquial readings of Chinese characters Differing literary and colloquial readings for certain Chinese character Chinese characters, also called ''Hanzi'' (), are logograms developed for the writing of Chinese. They have been adapted to write other East-Asian languages, a ...
).


History and formation


Spread of Hokkien to Taiwan

During the
Yuan dynasty The Yuan dynasty (), officially the Great Yuan (; xng, , , literally "Great Yuan State"), was a successor state Successor is someone who, or something which succeeds or comes after (see success and succession) Film and TV * ''The Succe ...
,
Quanzhou Quanzhou, alternatively known as Chinchew, is a prefecture-level port city on the north bank of the Jin River, beside the Taiwan Strait The Taiwan Strait, also known as the Formosa Strait, is a -wide strait A strait is a naturall ...

Quanzhou
became a major international port for trade with the outside world. From that period onwards, many people from the
Hokkien Hokkien () is a Southern Min Southern Min (), Minnan (Mandarin Mandarin may refer to: * Mandarin (bureaucrat), a bureaucrat of Imperial China (the original meaning of the word) ** by extension, any senior government bureaucrat A bureaucr ...
-speaking regions (southern Fujian) started to emigrate overseas due to political and economic reasons. One of the destinations of the emigrants is the relatively undeveloped island of
Formosa , t2 = , s2 = , l2 = beautiful island , bpmf2 = ㄈㄨˊ ㄦˇ ㄇㄛˊ ㄕㄚ , w2 = Fu²-êr³-mo²-sha¹ , p2 = Fúĕrmóshā , tp2 = Fúĕrmósha , mps2 = Fúĕrmóshā , gr2 = Fwu'eelmosha , poj = Tâi-oân , tl = Tâi-uân , h = Thòi-và ...

Formosa
, starting around 1600. They brought with them their native language, Hokkien. During the late
Ming dynasty The Ming dynasty (), officially the Great Ming, was the ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644 following the collapse of the Mongol The Mongols ( mn, Монголчууд, , ''Mongolchuud'', ; russian: Монголы, ) are an eth ...

Ming dynasty
, the political chaos pushed more migrants from southern Fujian and eastern
Guangdong Guangdong (, ), alternately romanized as Canton Province or Kwangtung, is a coastal province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, admin ...

Guangdong
to Taiwan. The earliest immigrants involved in Taiwan's development included pirate-merchants and
Zheng Zhilong Zheng Zhilong, Marquis of Tong'an and Nan'an (; 1604–1661), baptised as Nicholas Iquan Gaspard, was a merchant, pirate, political and military leader in the late Ming dynasty#REDIRECT Ming dynasty {{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from move ...
. In 1621, Chinese Peter and his forces, hailing from
Zhangzhou Zhangzhou (), alternately romanized Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying a ...

Zhangzhou
, occupied ''Ponkan'' (modern-day
Beigang, Yunlin Beigang, Hokkō or Peikang is an urban township in Yunlin County Yunlin County ( Mandarin pinyin ''Hanyu Pinyin'' (), often abbreviated to pinyin, is the official romanization system for Standard Chinese, Standard Mandarin Chinese in ma ...
) and started to develop ''Tirosen'' (modern-day
Chiayi Chiayi (Taiwanese Hokkien, Taigi Pe̍h-ōe-jī, POJ: ''Ka-gī''; ), officially known as Chiayi City, is a Provincial city (Taiwan), city located in the plains of southwestern Taiwan. Formerly called ''Kagee'' during the late Qing dynasty and ''K ...
). After the death of Peter and another pirate,
Li DanLi Dan or Lidan may refer to: People * Laozi ( 6th century BC), philosopher and founder of Taoism, one of his posthumous names being Li Dan * Emperor Ruizong of Tang (662–716), 2-time Tang emperor, known as Li Dan from 678 to 690 * Li Siyuan (867 ...
of Quanzhou, Zheng sought to dominate the . By 1628, he had grown so powerful that the Ming court bestowed him the official title, "Patrolling Admiral". In 1624, the number of Chinese in the island was about 25,000. During the reign of
Chongzhen Emperor The Chongzhen Emperor (; 6 February 1611 – 25 April 1644), personal name Zhu Youjian (), courtesy name A courtesy name (), also known as a style name, is a name bestowed upon one at adulthood in addition to one's given name. This practice i ...

Chongzhen Emperor
(1627–1644), there were frequent droughts in the Fujian region. Zheng and a Chinese official suggested sending victims to Taiwan and provide "for each person three
tael Tael (),"Tael" entry
at the OED Online.
also known as the tahil and by #Names, other names, can refer to ...
s of silver and for each three people one ox". Although this plan was never carried out, the Zheng family maintained an interest in Taiwan that would have dire consequences for the
Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''flemish'') Dutch may also refer to:" Castle * Dutch Castle Places * ...
, who ruled Taiwan as
Dutch Formosa The island of Taiwan, also commonly known as ''Formosa'', was partly under colonial rule by the Dutch Republic from 1624 to 1662 and from 1664 to 1668. In the context of the Age of Discovery, the Dutch East India Company established its presenc ...
at the time.


Development and divergence

In 1624 and 1626, the Dutch and Spanish forces occupied the
Tainan Tainan, officially Tainan City, is a special municipality in southern Taiwan Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and ...

Tainan
and
Keelung Keelung (; Hokkien Hokkien () is a Southern Min Southern Min (), Minnan (Mandarin Mandarin may refer to: * Mandarin (bureaucrat), a bureaucrat of Imperial China (the original meaning of the word) ** by extension, any senior government ...
areas, respectively. During the 40 years of Dutch colonial rule of Taiwan, many
Han Chinese The Han Chinese (), or the Han people (), is an East Asian East Asia is the east East is one of the four cardinal direction The four cardinal directions, or cardinal points, are the directions north North is one of the four ...
from the
Quanzhou Quanzhou, alternatively known as Chinchew, is a prefecture-level port city on the north bank of the Jin River, beside the Taiwan Strait The Taiwan Strait, also known as the Formosa Strait, is a -wide strait A strait is a naturall ...

Quanzhou
,
Zhangzhou Zhangzhou (), alternately romanized Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying a ...

Zhangzhou
, and
Hakka The Hakka (), sometimes also referred to as Hakka Han, or Hakka Chinese, are a Han Chinese The Han Chinese (), or the Han people (), is an East Asian East Asia is the east East is one of the four cardinal direction The fou ...
regions of mainland China were recruited to help develop Taiwan. Because of intermingling with
Siraya people The Siraya () people are a . The Siraya settled flat coastal plains in the southwest part of the and corresponding sections of the east coast; the area is identified today with and . At least four communities make up the group: Mattauw, Soelan ...

Siraya people
as well as Dutch colonial rule, the Hokkien dialects started to deviate from the original Hokkien spoken in mainland China. In the 1661
Siege of Fort Zeelandia The siege of Fort Zeelandia of 1661–1662 ended the Dutch East India Company The Dutch East India Company, officially the United East India Company ( nl, Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie; VOC; id, Persatuan Perusahaan Hindia Timur), was ...
, Chinese general
Koxinga Zheng Chenggong, Prince of Yanping (27 August 1624 – 23 June 1662), better known internationally as Koxinga () or Cheng Ch'eng-kung, was a Ming loyalist who resisted the Qing conquest of China The transition from Ming to Qing, Ming–Qin ...
expelled the Dutch and established the
Kingdom of Tungning The Kingdom of Tungning () or Kingdom of Formosa was a government that ruled part of southwestern Formosa (Taiwan Taiwan (), officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia. Neighbouring countries include the China, Peopl ...

Kingdom of Tungning
. Koxinga originated from the Quanzhou region. , who was in charge of establishing the education system of Tungning, also originated from Quanzhou. Because most of the soldiers he brought to Taiwan came from Quanzhou, the prestige variant of Hokkien on the island at the time was the
Quanzhou dialect The Quanzhou dialect (), also known as the Chin-chew dialect, is a dialect of Hokkien Hokkien (; , Pe̍h-ōe-jī: ''Hok-kiàn-ōe'', ) or Minnan (閩南語/闽南语), known as Quanzhang or Tsuan-Tsiang (泉漳) in linguistics, is a Southern M ...
. In 1683, Chinese admiral
Shi Lang Shi Lang (1621–1696), Marquis Jinghai, also known as Secoe or Sego, was a Chinese admiral who served under the Ming and Qing dynasties in the 17th century. He was the commander-in-chief of the Qing fleets which destroyed the power of Zheng Ch ...
attacked Taiwan in the
Battle of Penghu The Battle of Penghu () was a naval battle fought in 1683 between the Kingdom of Tungning based in Taiwan Taiwan (), officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia. Neighbouring countries include the China, People's Repu ...
, ending the Tungning era and beginning Qing dynasty rule (until 1895). In the following years, in order to prevent people from rebelling, the Qing court instituted a ban on migration to Taiwan, especially the migration of
Hakka people The Hakka (), sometimes also referred to as Hakka Han, or Hakka Chinese, are a Han Chinese The Han Chinese,
from
Guangdong Guangdong (, ), alternately romanized as Canton Province or Kwangtung, is a coastal province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, admin ...

Guangdong
province, which led Hokkien to become the most spoken language in Taiwan. In the first decades of the 18th century, the linguistic differences between the Qing imperial bureaucrats and the commoners were recorded by the
Mandarin Mandarin may refer to: * Mandarin (bureaucrat), a bureaucrat of Imperial China (the original meaning of the word) ** by extension, any senior government bureaucrat A bureaucrat is a member of a bureaucracy and can compose the administration o ...
-speaking first Imperial High Commissioner to Taiwan (1722),
Huang Shujing Huáng Shújǐng (黃叔璥) was the first Imperial High Commissioner to Taiwan Taiwan (), officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia. Neighbouring countries include the China, People's Republic of China (PRC) to the no ...
: The tone of Huang's message foretold the uneasy relationships between different language communities and colonial establishments over the next few centuries. The ban on migration to Taiwan was relaxed sometime after 1722 (and was completely removed in 1874). During the 200 years of Qing dynasty rule, thousands of immigrants from
Fujian Fujian (; alternately romanized as Fukien or Hokkien) is a province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnat ...

Fujian
arrived yearly; the population was over one million in the middle of the 18th century. Civil unrest and armed conflicts were frequent. In addition to resistance against governments (both Chinese and later Japanese), battles between ethnic groups were also significant: the belligerents usually grouped around the language they used. History has recorded battles between
Hakka The Hakka (), sometimes also referred to as Hakka Han, or Hakka Chinese, are a Han Chinese The Han Chinese (), or the Han people (), is an East Asian East Asia is the east East is one of the four cardinal direction The fou ...
speakers and Hokkien speakers, between these and the
aborigines Aborigine, aborigine or aboriginal may refer to: * Indigenous peoples, ethnic groups who are the original or earliest known inhabitants of an area **List of indigenous peoples, including: ***Aboriginal Australians ****Australian Aboriginal identity ...
, and even between those who spoke different variants of Hokkien. In the early 20th century, the
Hoklo people The Hoklo people are Han Chinese people whose traditional Ancestral home (China), ancestral homes are in Minnan region, southern part of Fujian, China. They are speakers of Hokkien, a language in the Southern Min language family, and known by va ...
in Taiwan could be categorized as originating from
Xiamen Xiamen ( , ; ), also known as Amoy (, from pronunciation ), is a in southeastern , People's Republic of China, beside the . It is divided into six : , , , , , and . All together, these cover an area of with a population of 5,163,970 a ...

Xiamen
,
Quanzhou Quanzhou, alternatively known as Chinchew, is a prefecture-level port city on the north bank of the Jin River, beside the Taiwan Strait The Taiwan Strait, also known as the Formosa Strait, is a -wide strait A strait is a naturall ...

Quanzhou
,
Zhangzhou Zhangzhou (), alternately romanized Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying a ...

Zhangzhou
, and
Zhangpu Zhangpu County () is a county of Zhangzhou Zhangzhou (), alternately romanized Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of la ...
. People from the former two areas (Quanzhou-speaking) were dominant in the north of the island and along the west coast, whereas people from the latter two areas (
Zhangzhou Zhangzhou (), alternately romanized Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying a ...
-speaking) were dominant in the south and perhaps the central plains as well. Although there were conflicts between Quanzhou- and Zhangzhou-speakers in Taiwan historically, their gradual
intermingling Intermingling, or heterophily, from a sociological perspective includes the various forms of interactions between individuals that go against a particular society's Norm (social), cultural norms. These relationships stem from Interpersonal ties#We ...
led to the mixture of the two
accentsAccent may refer to: Speech and language * Accent (sociolinguistics), way of pronunciation particular to a speaker or group of speakers * Accent (phonetics), prominence given to a particular syllable in a word, or a word in a phrase ** Pitch accen ...
. Apart from Lukang city and Yilan County, which have preserved their original Quanzhou and Zhangzhou accents respectively, almost every region of Taiwan now speaks a mixture of Quanzhou and Zhangzhou Hokkien. A similar phenomenon occurred in
Xiamen Xiamen ( , ; ), also known as Amoy (, from pronunciation ), is a in southeastern , People's Republic of China, beside the . It is divided into six : , , , , , and . All together, these cover an area of with a population of 5,163,970 a ...

Xiamen
(Amoy) after 1842, when the mixture of Quanzhou and Zhangzhou Hokkien displaced the Quanzhou dialect to yield the modern
Amoy dialect The Amoy dialect or Xiamen dialect (), also known as Amoynese, Amoy Hokkien, Xiamenese or Xiamen Hokkien, is a dialect of Hokkien Hokkien (; , Pe̍h-ōe-jī: ''Hok-kiàn-ōe'', ) or Minnan (閩南語/闽南语), known as Quanzhang or Tsuan-Tsi ...
. During the Japanese colonial rule of Taiwan, Taiwan began to hold Amoy Hokkien as its standard pronunciation; the Japanese called this mixture . Due to the influx of Japanese loanwords before 1945 and the political separation after 1949, Amoy Hokkien and Taiwanese began to diverge slightly.


Modern times

Later, in the 20th century, the conceptualization of Taiwanese is more controversial than most variations of Chinese because at one time it marked a clear division between the Mainlanders who arrived in 1949 and the pre-existing majority native Taiwanese. Although the political and linguistic divisions between the two groups have blurred considerably, the political issues surrounding Taiwanese have been more controversial and sensitive than for other
varieties of Chinese Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, world's most populous country, w ...
. After the
First Sino-Japanese War The First Sino-Japanese War (25 July 1894 – 17 April 1895) was a conflict between the Qing dynasty The Qing dynasty, officially the Great Qing (), was the last Dynasties in Chinese history, dynasty in the History of China#Imperi ...

First Sino-Japanese War
, due to military defeat to the Japanese, the
Qing dynasty The Qing dynasty, officially the Great Qing (), was the last Dynasties in Chinese history, dynasty in the History of China#Imperial China, imperial history of China. It was established in 1636, and ruled China proper from 1644 to 1912, w ...
ceded
Taiwan Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere, Eastern and N ...

Taiwan
to Japan, causing contact with the
Hokkien Hokkien () is a Southern Min Southern Min (), Minnan (Mandarin Mandarin may refer to: * Mandarin (bureaucrat), a bureaucrat of Imperial China (the original meaning of the word) ** by extension, any senior government bureaucrat A bureaucr ...
-speaking regions of mainland China to stop. During Japanese rule, Japanese became an official language in Taiwan, and Taiwanese began to absorb large number of Japanese loanwords into its language. Examples of such loanwords (some which had in turn been borrowed from English) include ''piān-só͘'' from , ''phêng'' from (see also
Taiwanese units of measurement Taiwanese units of measurement (Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, wor ...
), ''ga-suh'' from , ''o͘-tó͘-bái'' from . All of these caused Taiwanese to deviate from Hokkien used elsewhere. During of the late Japanese colonial period, the
Japanese language is an East Asian language spoken by about 128 million people, primarily in Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally ) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct terr ...

Japanese language
appeared in every corner of Taiwan. The
Second Sino-Japanese War The Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945) was a military conflict that was primarily waged between the Republic of China (1912–1949), Republic of China and the Empire of Japan. The war made up the Chinese theater of the wider Pacific War, Pac ...
beginning in 1937 brought stricter measures into force, and along with the outlawing of romanized Taiwanese, various publications were prohibited and Confucian-style private schools which taught
Classical Chinese Classical Chinese, also known as Literary Chinese (古文 ''gǔwén'' "ancient text", or 文言 ''wényán'' "text speak"; Written vernacular Chinese, modern vernacular: 文言文 ''wényánwén'' "text speak text"), is the language of the cla ...
with
literary Literature broadly is any collection of written Writing is a medium of human communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share") is the act of developing Semantics, meaning among Subject (philosophy), entities ...
Southern Min pronunciation – were closed down in 1939. Taiwanese thus was reduced to a common daily language. In 1937 the colonial government introduced a concept called "National Language Family" (, which meant that families that proved that they adopted Japanese as their daily language enjoyed benefits such as greater access to education. After the handover of Taiwan to the
Republic of China Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia. It shares Maritime boundary, maritime borders with the China, People's Republic of China (PRC) to the northwest, Japan to the northeast, and the Philippines to the sout ...
in 1945, there was brief cultural exchange with mainland China followed by further oppression. The
Chinese Civil War The Chinese Civil War was a civil war in China fought between the Kuomintang (KMT)-led Nationalist government, government of the Republic of China (1912–1949), Republic of China (ROC) and forces of the Communist Party of China (CPC) lastin ...
resulted in another political separation when the
Kuomintang The Kuomintang (KMT) () is a major political party in Taiwan which originated as a revolutionary political party during the Republic of China (1912–1949), Republican Era on the Chinese mainland, where it is sometimes referred to as the Ch ...
(Chinese Nationalist Party) government retreated to Taiwan following their defeat by the communists in 1949. The influx of two million soldiers and civilians caused the population of Taiwan to increase from 6 million to 8 million. The government subsequently promoted
Mandarin Mandarin may refer to: * Mandarin (bureaucrat), a bureaucrat of Imperial China (the original meaning of the word) ** by extension, any senior government bureaucrat A bureaucrat is a member of a bureaucracy and can compose the administration o ...
and banned the public use of Taiwanese and other native languages as part of a deliberate political repression, especially in schools and broadcast media. In 1964 use of Taiwanese in schools or official settings was forbidden, and transgression in schools punished with beatings, fines and humiliation. Only after the lifting of
martial law Martial law is the temporary imposition of direct military control of normal civil functions or suspension of civil law by a government, especially in response to a temporary emergency where civil forces are overwhelmed, or in an military occ ...
in 1987 and the
mother tongue A first language, native tongue, native language, or mother/father/parent tongue (also known as arterial language or L1) is a language or dialect that a person has been exposed to from birth or within the critical period hypothesis, critical per ...
movement in the 1990s did Taiwan see a true revival in the Taiwanese language. Today, there are a large number of Taiwanese scholars dedicated to researching the language. Despite this, according to census data the number of people speaking Taiwanese continued to drop. The history of Taiwanese and its interaction with Mandarin is complex and at times controversial, even regarding its name. The language has no official name in Taiwan. Some dislike the name "Taiwanese" as they feel that it belittles other languages spoken on the island such as Mandarin,
Hakka The Hakka (), sometimes also referred to as Hakka Han, or Hakka Chinese, are a Han Chinese The Han Chinese (), or the Han people (), is an East Asian East Asia is the east East is one of the four cardinal direction The fou ...
, and the . Others prefer the names
Southern Min Southern Min (), Minnan (Mandarin Mandarin may refer to: * Mandarin (bureaucrat), a bureaucrat of Imperial China (the original meaning of the word) ** by extension, any senior government bureaucrat A bureaucrat is a member of a bureaucracy ...
, Minnan or Hokkien as this views Taiwanese as a form of the Chinese variety spoken in
Fujian Fujian (; alternately romanized as Fukien or Hokkien) is a province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnat ...

Fujian
province in
mainland China The term "mainland China" refers to the area directly governed by the People's Republic of China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies b ...

mainland China
. Others dislike those names for precisely the same reason. In the
American Community Survey The American Community Survey (ACS) is a demographics survey program conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. It regularly gathers information previously contained only in the long form of the decennial census, such as ancestry, citizenship, educati ...
run by the
United States Census Bureau The United States Census Bureau (USCB), officially the Bureau of the Census, is a principal agency of the U.S. Federal Statistical System, responsible for producing data about the American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, ...
, Taiwanese was referred to as "Formosan" from 2012 to 2015 and as "Min Nan Chinese" since 2016.


Phonology

Phonologically Phonology is a branch of linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional areas of ling ...

Phonologically
, Hokkien is a
tonal language Tone is the use of pitch Pitch may refer to: Acoustic frequency * Pitch (music), the perceived frequency of sound including "definite pitch" and "indefinite pitch" ** Absolute pitch or "perfect pitch" ** Pitch class, a set of all pitches tha ...
with extensive
tone sandhi Tone sandhi is a phonological change occurring in tonal languages Tone is the use of pitch (music), pitch in language to distinguish lexical or grammatical meaning – that is, to distinguish or to inflection, inflect words. All verbal langua ...
rules.
Syllable A syllable is a unit of organization for a sequence of speech sounds. It is typically made up of a syllable nucleus (most often a vowel A vowel is a Syllable, syllabic speech sound pronounced without any stricture in the vocal tract. Vowels a ...

Syllable
s consist maximally of an initial
consonant In articulatory phonetics The field of articulatory phonetics is a subfield of phonetics that studies articulation and ways that humans produce speech. Articulatory phoneticians explain how humans produce speech sounds via the interaction of d ...
, a
vowel A vowel is a syllabicSyllabic may refer to: *Syllable, a unit of speech sound, considered the building block of words **Syllabic consonant, a consonant that forms the nucleus of a syllable *Syllabary, writing system using symbols for syllables ...

vowel
, a final consonant, and a tone.


Consonants

Unlike many other varieties of Chinese such as Mandarin and
Cantonese Cantonese ( zh, t=廣東話, s=广东话, first=t; Yale Yale University is a private Ivy League The Ivy League (also known as The Ancient Eight) is an American collegiate athletic conference comprising eight private research un ...
, there are no native phonemes (i.e., ). # Coronal affricates and fricatives become
alveolo-palatal In phonetics Phonetics is a branch of linguistics that studies how humans produce and perceive sounds, or in the case of sign languages, the equivalent aspects of sign. Phoneticians—linguists who specialize in phonetics—study the physical ...
before , that is, , , , and are pronounced , , , and . # The consonant may be realized as a fricative; that is, as in most environments and before . # The
voiced Voice or voicing is a term used in phonetics Phonetics is a branch of linguistics that studies how humans produce and perceive sounds, or in the case of sign languages, the equivalent aspects of sign. Phoneticians—linguists who specialize i ...
plosives ( and ) become the corresponding fricatives ( and ) in some phonetic contexts. This is similar to
begadkefat Begadkefat (also begadkephat, begedkefet) is the name given to a phenomenon of lenition affecting the non- emphatic stop consonant In phonetics Phonetics is a branch of linguistics that studies how humans produce and perceive sounds, or in ...
in
Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is regarded as the language of the Israelites, Judeans and their ancestors. It is the o ...
and a similar
allophony In phonology, an allophone (; from the Ancient Greek, Greek , ''állos'', "other" and , ''phōnē'', "voice, sound") is one of a set of multiple possible spoken sounds, or ''phone (phonetics), phones'', or signs used to pronounce a single phonem ...
of intervocalic plosive consonants and their fricatives in
Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (disambiguation), the name of several ...

Spanish
.


Vowels

Taiwanese has the following
vowel A vowel is a syllabicSyllabic may refer to: *Syllable, a unit of speech sound, considered the building block of words **Syllabic consonant, a consonant that forms the nucleus of a syllable *Syllabary, writing system using symbols for syllables ...

vowel
s: The vowel is akin to a
schwa In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as t ...
; in contrast, (with dot) is a more
open vowel An open vowel is a vowel A vowel is a syllabicSyllabic may refer to: *Syllable, a unit of speech sound, considered the building block of words **Syllabic consonant, a consonant that forms the nucleus of a syllable *Syllabary, writing system ...

open vowel
. In addition, there are several
diphthong A diphthong ( ; , ), also known as a gliding vowel, is a combination of two adjacent vowel A vowel is a Syllable, syllabic speech sound pronounced without any stricture in the vocal tract. Vowels are one of the two principal classes of spe ...
s and
triphthong In phonetics Phonetics is a branch of linguistics that studies how humans produce and perceive sounds, or in the case of sign languages, the equivalent aspects of sign. Phoneticians—linguists who specialize in phonetics—study the physical p ...
s (for example, ). The consonants and can function as a syllabic nucleus and are therefore included here as vowels. The vowels may be either plain or nasal: is non-nasal, and is the same vowel with concurrent nasal articulation. This is similar to ,
Portuguese Portuguese may refer to: * anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Portugal ** Portuguese cuisine, traditional foods ** Portuguese language, a Romance language *** Portuguese dialects, variants of the Portuguese language ** Portug ...

Portuguese
,
Polish Polish may refer to: * Anything from or related to Poland Poland ( pl, Polska ), officially the Republic of Poland ( pl, Rzeczpospolita Polska, links=no ), is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 Voivodeships of Pol ...
, and many other languages. There are two pronunciations of vowel . In the south (e.g.,
Tainan Tainan, officially Tainan City, is a special municipality in southern Taiwan Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and ...

Tainan
and
Kaohsiung Kaohsiung City (; : ; : ''Kao¹-hsiung²'') is a in southern . It ranges from the coastal urban centre to the rural with an area of . Kaohsiung city has a population of approximately 2.77 million people and is Taiwan's third most popu ...

Kaohsiung
) it is ; in the north (e.g.,
Taipei Taipei (), officially Taipei City, is the Capital city, capital and a Special municipality (Taiwan), special municipality of the Taiwan, Republic of China (Taiwan). Located in Regions of Taiwan, Northern Taiwan, Taipei City is an enclave of t ...

Taipei
) it is . Due to development of transportation and communication, both pronunciations are common and acceptable throughout the country. is a diphthong i i ə.html"_;"title="Mid_central_vowel.html"_;"title="Close_front_unrounded_vowel.html"_;"title="nowiki/>Close_front_unrounded_vowel">iMid_central_vowel">ə">Mid_central_vowel.html"_;"title="Close_front_unrounded_vowel.html"_;"title="nowiki/>Close_front_unrounded_vowel">iMid_central_vowel">əbefore_-k_or_-ng,_and_is_slightly_shortened_and_retracted_before_-p_or_-t_to_something_more_like_[Near-close_near-front_unrounded_vowel.html" ;"title="Mid_central_vowel">ə.html" ;"title="Mid_central_vowel.html" ;"title="Close_front_unrounded_vowel.html" ;"title="nowiki/>Close front unrounded vowel">iMid central vowel">ə">Mid_central_vowel.html" ;"title="Close_front_unrounded_vowel.html" ;"title="nowiki/>Close front unrounded vowel">iMid central vowel">əbefore -k or -ng, and is slightly shortened and retracted before -p or -t to something more like [Near-close near-front unrounded vowel">í̞]. Similarly, is slightly shortened and retracted before -t or -n to something more like [Near-close near-back rounded vowel, ʊ].


Tones

In the traditional analysis, there are eight "tones", numbered from 1 to 8. Strictly speaking, there are only five tonal contours. But as in other Chinese varieties, the two kinds of stopped syllables are considered also to be tones and assigned numbers 4 and 8. In Taiwanese tone 6 has merged into tone 7, and thus duplicated in the count. Here the eight tones are shown, following the traditional tone class categorization, named after the tones of
Middle Chinese Middle Chinese (formerly known as Ancient Chinese) or the Qieyun system (QYS) is the historical variety of recorded in the ', a first published in 601 and followed by several revised and expanded editions. The Swedish linguist believed that t ...
: : See (for one example) the modern phonological analysis in , which challenges these notions. For tones 4 and 8, a final consonant , , or may appear. When this happens, it is impossible for the syllable to be nasal. Indeed, these are the counterpart to the nasal final consonants , , and , respectively, in other tones. However, it is possible to have a nasal 4th or 8th tone syllable such as , as long as there is no final consonant other than . In the dialect spoken near the northern coast of Taiwan, there is no distinction between tones number 8 and number 4 – both are pronounced as if they follow the
tone sandhi Tone sandhi is a phonological change occurring in tonal languages Tone is the use of pitch (music), pitch in language to distinguish lexical or grammatical meaning – that is, to distinguish or to inflection, inflect words. All verbal langua ...
rules of tone number 4. Tone number 0, typically written with two consecutive hyphens before the syllable with this tone, is used to mark
enclitic In morphology and syntax In linguistics, syntax () is the set of rules, principles, and processes that govern the structure of Sentence (linguistics), sentences (sentence structure) in a given Natural language, language, usually including word ...
s denoting the extent of a verb action, the end of a noun phrase, etc. A frequent use of this tone is to denote a question, such as in "Chia̍h-pá--bē?", literally meaning 'Have you eaten yet?’. This is realized by speaking the syllable with either a low-falling tone (3) or a low stop (4). The syllable prior to the maintains its original tone.


Syllabic structure

A
syllable A syllable is a unit of organization for a sequence of speech sounds. It is typically made up of a syllable nucleus (most often a vowel A vowel is a Syllable, syllabic speech sound pronounced without any stricture in the vocal tract. Vowels a ...

syllable
requires a vowel (or diphthong or
triphthong In phonetics Phonetics is a branch of linguistics that studies how humans produce and perceive sounds, or in the case of sign languages, the equivalent aspects of sign. Phoneticians—linguists who specialize in phonetics—study the physical p ...
) to appear in the middle. All consonants can appear at the initial position. The consonants and (and some consider ) may appear at the end of a syllable. Therefore, it is possible to have syllables such as ("(to) tickle") and ("soup").


Tone sandhi

Taiwanese has extremely extensive
tone sandhi Tone sandhi is a phonological change occurring in tonal languages Tone is the use of pitch (music), pitch in language to distinguish lexical or grammatical meaning – that is, to distinguish or to inflection, inflect words. All verbal langua ...
(tone-changing) rules: in an utterance, only the last syllable pronounced is not affected by the rules. What an ‘
utterance In spoken language A spoken language is a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most languages have a writing sy ...

utterance
’ (or ‘ intonational phrase’) is, in the context of this language, is an ongoing topic for linguistic research, but some general rules apply: The following syllables are unaffected by tone sandhi: * The final syllable in a
sentence Sentence(s) or The Sentence may refer to: Common uses * Sentence (law), the punishment a judge gives to a defendant found guilty of a crime * Sentence (linguistics), a grammatical unit of language * Sentence (mathematical logic), a formula not cont ...
,
noun A noun () is a word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with semantic, objective or pragmatics, practical meaning (linguistics), meaning. In many l ...

noun
(including single syllable nouns, but not
pronoun In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most languag ...

pronoun
s), number, time phrase (i.e., today, tomorrow, etc.), spatial
preposition Prepositions and postpositions, together called adpositions (or broadly, in English, simply prepositions), are a used to express spatial or temporal relations (''in'', ''under'', ''towards'', ''before'') or mark various (''of'', ''for''). A pre ...
(i.e., on, under), or question word (i.e., who, what, how). * The syllable immediately preceding the possessive particle 的 (ê) or a neutralized tone. In POJ, this is the syllable before a double hyphen, e.g., 王先生 (Ông—sian-siⁿ) * Some common
aspect Aspect or Aspects may refer to: Entertainment * ''Aspect magazine ASPECT Volume 9: Performance ''ASPECT'' was a biannual DVD The DVD (common abbreviation for Digital Video Disc or Digital Versatile Disc) is a digital optical disc data stor ...
markers: 了 (liáu), 好 (hó), 完 (oân), 煞 (soah)


Normal tone sandhi

The following rules, listed in the traditional pedagogical mnemonic order, govern the pronunciation of tone on each of the syllables affected (that is, all but those described according to the rules listed above): * If the original tone number is 5, pronounce it as tone number 3 (
Quanzhou Quanzhou, alternatively known as Chinchew, is a prefecture-level port city on the north bank of the Jin River, beside the Taiwan Strait The Taiwan Strait, also known as the Formosa Strait, is a -wide strait A strait is a naturall ...

Quanzhou
/Taipei speech) or 7 (
Zhangzhou Zhangzhou (), alternately romanized Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying a ...

Zhangzhou
/Tainan speech). * If the original tone number is 7, pronounce it as tone number 3. * If the original tone number is 3, pronounce it as tone number 2. * If the original tone number is 2, pronounce it as tone number 1. * If the original tone number is 1, pronounce it as tone number 7. * If the original tone number is 8 and the final consonant is not h (that is, it is p, t, or k), pronounce it as tone number 4. * If the original tone number is 4 and the final consonant is not h (that is, it is p, t, or k), pronounce it as tone number 8. * If the original tone number is 8 and the final consonant is h, pronounce it as tone number 3. * If the original tone number is 4 and the final consonant is h, pronounce it as tone number 2. :


Double tone sandhi

There are a number of a single syllable words that undergo double tone sandhi, that is, they follow the tone change rule twice and are pronounced according to the second tone change. These syllables are almost always a 4th tone ending in -h, and include the words 欲 (beh), 佮 (kah), 閣 (koh), 才 (chiah), as well as the 3rd tone verb 去 khì. As a result of following the tone change rule twice, these syllables are all pronounced as tone number 1. :


Before the -á suffix

Apart from the normal tone sandhi rules described above, there are two special cases where a different set of tone sandhi apply. In a noun with the noun
suffix In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional areas of linguistic analysis include ...
'' (), the penultimate syllable is governed by the following rules: * If the original tone number is 5, pronounce it as tone number 7. * If the original tone number is 7, pronounce it as tone number 7. * If the original tone number is 2 or 3, pronounce it as tone number 1. * If the original tone number is 1, pronounce it as tone number 7.(same as normal) * If the original tone number is 8 and final consonant is not h (that is, it is p, t, or k), pronounce it as tone number 4.(same as normal) * If the original tone number is 4 and final consonant is not h (that is, it is p, t, or k), pronounce it as tone number 8.(same as normal) * If the original tone number is 8 and final consonant is h, pronounce it as tone number 7. * If the original tone number is 4 and final consonant is h, pronounce it as tone number 1. (same as double) :


In triplicated adjectives

Finally, in the case of single-syllable adjective triplication (for added emphasis), the first syllable is governed by the following rules (the second syllable follows the normal tone sandhi rules above): * If the original tone number is 5, pronounce it as tone number 5. * If the original tone number is 7, pronounce it as tone number 1. * If the original tone number is 3, pronounce it as tone number 2 (same as normal). * If the original tone number is 2, pronounce it as tone number 1 (same as normal). * If the original tone number is 1, pronounce it as tone number 5. * If the original tone number is 8 and the final consonant is not h (that is, it is p, t, or k), pronounce it as tone number 4 (same as normal). * If the original tone number is 4 and the final consonant is not h (that is, it is p, t, or k), pronounce it as tone number 8 (same as normal). * If the original tone number is 8 and the final consonant is h, pronounce it as tone number 5. * If the original tone number is 4 and the final consonant is h, pronounce it as tone number 2 (same as normal). : See , and the work of Robert L. Cheng (鄭良偉; Tēⁿ Liông-úi) for modern linguistic approaches to tones and tone sandhi in Taiwanese.


Lexicon

Modern linguistic studies (by Robert L. Cheng and Chin-An Li, for example) estimate that most (75% to 90%) Taiwanese
word In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most lang ...

word
s have
cognate In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most langu ...
s in other Chinese varieties.
False friend In linguistics, a false friend is either of a pair of words in different languages that look or sound similar, but differ significantly in meaning. Examples include the English ''embarrassed'' and the Spanish ''embarazada'' ("pregnant"); Engli ...
s do exist; for example, ''cháu'' () means "to run" in Taiwanese, whereas the
Mandarin Mandarin may refer to: * Mandarin (bureaucrat), a bureaucrat of Imperial China (the original meaning of the word) ** by extension, any senior government bureaucrat A bureaucrat is a member of a bureaucracy and can compose the administration o ...
cognate, ''zǒu'', means "to walk". Moreover, cognates may have different lexical categories; for example, the
morpheme A morpheme is the smallest meaningful lexical item in a language. A morpheme is not a word. The difference between a morpheme and a word is that a morpheme bound and free morphemes, sometimes does not stand alone, but a word on this definition alw ...
''phīⁿ'' () means not only "nose" (a noun, as in Mandarin ''bí'') but also "to smell" (a verb, unlike Mandarin). Among the apparently cognate-less words are many basic words with properties that contrast with similar-meaning words of pan-Chinese derivation. Often the former group lacks a standard Han character, and the words are variously considered colloquial, intimate, vulgar, uncultured, or more concrete in meaning than the pan-Chinese synonym. Some examples: ''lâng'' ( or , person, concrete) vs. ''jîn'' (人, person, abstract); ' (, woman) vs. ''lú-jîn'' (女人, woman, literary). Unlike the English Germanic/Latin contrast, however, the two groups of Taiwanese words cannot be as strongly attributed to the influences of two disparate linguistic sources. Extensive contact with the
Japanese language is an East Asian language spoken by about 128 million people, primarily in Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally ) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct terr ...

Japanese language
has left a legacy of Japanese
loanwords A loanword (also loan word or loan-word) is a word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with semantic, objective or pragmatics, practical meaning ...
, with 172 recorded in the Ministry of Education's ''
Dictionary of Frequently-Used Taiwan Minnan The ''Dictionary of Frequently-Used Taiwan Minnan'' () is a dictionary of Taiwanese Hokkien (including Written Hokkien) commissioned by the Ministry of Education (Taiwan), Ministry of Education of Taiwan. The dictionary uses the Taiwanese Roman ...
''. Although a very small percentage of the vocabulary, their usage tends to be high-frequency because of their relevance to modern society and popular culture. Examples are: ''o͘-tó͘-bái'' from and ''pháng'' from .
Grammatical particle In grammar In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as w ...
s borrowed from Japanese, notably ''te̍k'' from and ''ka'' from , show up in the Taiwanese of older speakers. Whereas Mandarin attaches a syllabic suffix to the singular pronoun to make a
collective A collective is a group of entities that share or are motivated by at least one common issue or interest, or work together to achieve a common objective. Collectives can differ from cooperatives in that they are not necessarily focused upon an e ...
form, Taiwanese pronouns are collectivized through
nasalization In phonetics Phonetics is a branch of that studies how humans produce and perceive sounds, or in the case of s, the equivalent aspects of sign. Phoneticians—linguists who specialize in phonetics—study the physical properties of speech. ...
. For example, ''i'' (he/she/it) and ''goá'' (I) become ''in'' (they) and ''goán'' (we), respectively. The ''-n'' thus represents a subsyllabic
morpheme A morpheme is the smallest meaningful lexical item in a language. A morpheme is not a word. The difference between a morpheme and a word is that a morpheme bound and free morphemes, sometimes does not stand alone, but a word on this definition alw ...
. Like all other
varieties of Chinese Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, world's most populous country, w ...
, Taiwanese does not have true grammatical
plural The plural (sometimes abbreviated An abbreviation (from Latin ''brevis'', meaning ''short'') is a shortened form of a word or phrase, by any method. It may consist of a group of letters, or words taken from the full version of the word or ph ...

plural
s. Unlike English, Taiwanese has two first-person plural pronouns. This distinction is called Clusivity, inclusive, which includes the Interlocutor (linguistics), addressee, and exclusive, which excludes the addressee. Thus, ''goán'' means ''we excluding you'', while ''lán'' means ''we including you'' (similar to pluralis auctoris). The inclusive ''lán'' may be used to express politeness or solidarity, as in the example of a speaker asking a stranger "Where do we live?" while implicitly asking "Where do ''you'' live?".


Syntax

The syntax of Taiwanese is similar to southern Chinese varieties such as
Hakka The Hakka (), sometimes also referred to as Hakka Han, or Hakka Chinese, are a Han Chinese The Han Chinese (), or the Han people (), is an East Asian East Asia is the east East is one of the four cardinal direction The fou ...
and Yue Chinese, Yue. The subject–verb–object sequence is typical as in, for example,
Mandarin Mandarin may refer to: * Mandarin (bureaucrat), a bureaucrat of Imperial China (the original meaning of the word) ** by extension, any senior government bureaucrat A bureaucrat is a member of a bureaucracy and can compose the administration o ...
, but subject–object–verb or the passive voice (with the sequence object–subject–verb) is possible with particles. Take a simple sentence for example: 'I hold you.' The words involved are: ''goá'' ('I' or 'me'), ''phō'' ('to hold'), ''lí'' ('you'). * Subject–verb–object (typical sequence): The sentence in the typical sequence would be: ''Goá phō lí.'' ('I hold you.') * Subject–''kā''–object–verb: Another sentence of roughly equivalent meaning is ''Goá kā lí phō'', with the slight connotation of 'I take you and hold' or 'I get to you and hold'. * Object ''hō͘'' subject–verb (the passive voice): Then, ''Lí hō͘ goá phō'' means the same thing but in the passive voice, with the connotation of 'You allow yourself to be held by me' or 'You make yourself available for my holding'. With this, more complicated sentences can be constructed: ''Goá kā chúi hō͘ lí lim'' ('I give water for you to drink': ''chúi'' means 'water'; ''lim'' is 'to drink'). This article can only give a few very simple examples on the syntax, for flavour. Linguistic work on the syntax of Taiwanese is still a (quite nascent) scholarly topic being explored.


Scripts and orthographies

Taiwanese does not have a strong written tradition. . Among many systems of writing Taiwanese using Latin characters, the most used is called pe̍h-oē-jī (POJ) and was developed in the 19th century, while the Taiwanese Romanization System has been officially promoted since 2006 by Taiwan's Ministry of Education (Republic of China), Ministry of Education. (For additional romanized systems, see references in "Orthography in Latin characters", below.) Nonetheless, Taiwanese speakers nowadays most commonly write in Standard Chinese (Mandarin), though many of the same characters are also used to write Taiwanese.


Han characters

In most cases, Taiwanese speakers write using the writing system, script called Han characters as in Mandarin, although there are a number of special characters which are unique to Taiwanese and which are sometimes used in informal writing. Where Han characters are used, they are not always etymological or genetic; the borrowing of similar-sounding or similar-meaning characters is a common practice. Bilingual speakers of both Mandarin and Taiwanese sometimes attempt to represent the sounds by adopting similar-sounding Mandarin Han characters. For example, the Han characters of the Profanity, vulgar slang 'khoàⁿ sáⁿ-siâu' (, substituted for the etymologically correct , meaning 'What the hell are you looking at?’) has very little meaning in Mandarin and may not be readily understood by a Taiwanese monolingual, as knowledge of Mandarin character readings is required to fully decipher it. In 2007, the Ministry of Education (Republic of China), Ministry of Education in Taiwan published the first list of Taiwanese Southern Min Recommended Characters, a list of 300 Han characters standardized for the use of writing Taiwanese and implemented the teaching of them in schools. In 2008, the ministry published a second list of 100 characters, and in 2009 added 300 more, giving a total of 700 standardized characters used to write uniquely Taiwanese words. With increasing literacy in Taiwanese, there are currently more Taiwanese online bloggers who write Taiwanese online using these standardized Chinese characters. Han characters are also used by Taiwan's Hokkien literary circle for Hokkien poets and writers to write literature or poetry in Taiwanese.


Orthography in Latin characters

There are several Latin-based orthographies, the oldest being Pe̍h-oē-jī (POJ, meaning "vernacular writing"), developed in the 19th century. Taiwanese Romanization System (Tâi-ôan Lô-má-jī, Tâi-Lô) and Taiwanese Language Phonetic Alphabet (TLPA) are two later adaptations of POJ. Other 20th-century innovations include Daighi tongiong pingim (DT), Ganvsig daiuuan bhanlam ghiw tongiong pingimv (GDT), Modern Literal Taiwanese (MLT), Simplified MLT (SMLT), Phofsit Daibuun (PSDB). The last four employ Tone (linguistics), tonal spelling to indicate tone without use of diacritic symbols, but letters instead. In POJ, the traditional list of letters is :a b ch chh e g h i j k kh l m n ng o o͘ p ph s t th (ts) u Twenty-four in all, including the obsolete , which was used to represent the modern at some places. The additional necessities are the nasal symbol   (superscript ; the uppercase form is sometimes used in all caps texts, such as book titles or section headings), and the tonal diacritics. POJ was developed first by Presbyterian missionaries and later by the indigenous Presbyterian Church in Taiwan; they have been active in promoting the language since the late 19th century. Recently there has been an increase in texts using a mixed orthography of Han characters and romanization, although these texts remain uncommon. In 2006, the National Languages Committee (Ministry of Education, Republic of China) proposed Taiwanese Romanization System (Tâi-ôan Lô-má-jī, Tâi-lô). This alphabet reconciles two of the more senior orthographies, TLPA and POJ. The changes for the consonants involved using for POJ's (reverting to the orthography in the 19th century), and for . For the vowels, could optionally represented as . The nasal mark could also be represented optionally as . The rest of the alphabet, most notably the use of diacritics to mark the tones, appeared to keep to the POJ tradition. One of the aims of this compromise was to curb any increase of 'market share' for Daighi tongiong pingim/Tongyong Pinyin. It is unclear whether the community will adopt this new agreement.


Orthographies in kana and in bopomofo

There was an orthography of Taiwanese based on the Kana, Japanese kana during Taiwan under Japanese rule, Japanese rule. The
Kuomintang The Kuomintang (KMT) () is a major political party in Taiwan which originated as a revolutionary political party during the Republic of China (1912–1949), Republican Era on the Chinese mainland, where it is sometimes referred to as the Ch ...
government also tried to introduce an orthography in bopomofo.


Comparison of orthographies

Here the different orthographies are compared:


Computing

Many keyboard layouts and Chinese input methods for computers, input methods for entering either Latin or Han characters in Taiwanese are available. Some of them are free-of-charge, some commercial. The Min Nan dialect group is registered per a
zh-min-nan
Taiwanese Min Nan can be represented as 'zh-min-nan-TW'. When writing Taiwanese in Han characters, some writers create 'new' characters when they consider it is impossible to use directly or borrow existing ones; this corresponds to similar practices in character usage in Written Cantonese, Cantonese, chu nom, Vietnamese chữ nôm, Hanja, Korean hanja and Kanji, Japanese kanji. These are usually not encoded in Unicode (or the corresponding ISO/IEC 10646: Universal Character Set), thus creating problems in computer processing. All Latin characters required by pe̍h-oē-jī can be represented using Unicode (or the corresponding ISO/IEC 10646: Universal character set), using precomposed or combining (diacritics) characters. Prior to June 2004, the vowel akin to but more open than ⟨o⟩, written with a 'dot above right', was not encoded. The usual workaround was to use the (stand-alone; spacing) character ‘Interpunct, middle dot’ (U+00B7, ⟨·⟩) or less commonly the combining character 'dot above' (U+0307). As these are far from ideal, since 1997 proposals have been submitted to the ISO/IEC working group in charge of ISO/IEC 10646 – namely
ISO/IEC JTC1/SC2/WG2
– to encode a new combining character 'dot above right'. This is now officially assigned to U+0358 (see document
N2507N2628N2699
an
N2770
. Font support has followed: for example, in Charis SIL.


Sociolinguistics


Regional variations

The prestige variant of Taiwanese is the southern speech found in
Tainan Tainan, officially Tainan City, is a special municipality in southern Taiwan Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and ...

Tainan
and
Kaohsiung Kaohsiung City (; : ; : ''Kao¹-hsiung²'') is a in southern . It ranges from the coastal urban centre to the rural with an area of . Kaohsiung city has a population of approximately 2.77 million people and is Taiwan's third most popu ...

Kaohsiung
. Other major variants are the northern speech, the central speech (near Taichung and the port town of Lukang, Changhua, Lukang), and the northern (northeastern) coastal speech (dominant in Yilan County, Taiwan, Yilan). The distinguishing feature of the coastal speech is the use of the vowel in place of . The northern speech is distinguished by the absence of the #Tones, 8th tone, and some vowel exchanges (for example, and , and ). The central speech has an additional vowel or between and , which may be represented as . There are also a number of other pronunciation and lexical differences between the Taiwanese variants; the online Ministry of Education dictionary specifies these to a resolution of eight regions on Taiwan proper, in addition to Kinmen and Penghu. Concerning the fifth (rising) tone in normal sandhi patterns, the Quanzhou/Coastal/Northern dialects change to seventh (mid level) tone, whereas the Zhangzhou/"Mixed"/Southern dialects change to third (low falling) tone. Certain new north–south distinctions have appeared in recent decades. The fourth and eighth tones tend to be reversed in the north and south.


Quanzhou–Zhangzhou inclinations

Hokkien Hokkien () is a Southern Min Southern Min (), Minnan (Mandarin Mandarin may refer to: * Mandarin (bureaucrat), a bureaucrat of Imperial China (the original meaning of the word) ** by extension, any senior government bureaucrat A bureaucr ...
immigrants to Taiwan originated from
Quanzhou Quanzhou, alternatively known as Chinchew, is a prefecture-level port city on the north bank of the Jin River, beside the Taiwan Strait The Taiwan Strait, also known as the Formosa Strait, is a -wide strait A strait is a naturall ...

Quanzhou
prefecture (44.8%) and
Zhangzhou Zhangzhou (), alternately romanized Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying a ...

Zhangzhou
prefecture (35.2%). The original phonology from these regions was spread around Taiwan during the immigration process. With the advanced development of transportation and greater mobility of the Taiwanese population, Taiwanese speech has steered itself towards a mixture of Quanzhou and Zhangzhou speech, known as ''Chiang–Chôan-lām'' (漳泉濫, in Mandarin ''Zhāng–Quán làn''). Due to different proportion of mixture, some regions are inclined more towards Quanzhou accent, while others are inclined more towards Zhangzhou accent. In general, Quanzhou accent is more common along the coastal region and is known as the ''hái-kháu'' accent; Zhangzhou accent is more common within the mountainous region of Taiwan and is known as the ''lāi-po͘'' accent. The regional variation within Taiwanese may be attributed to variations in the mixture of Quanzhou and Zhangzhou accents and/or lexicons. It ranges from Lukang accent (based on Quanzhou accent) on one end, to the northern coastal Yilan City, Yilan accent (based on Zhangzhou accent) on another end. Tainan, Kaohsiung and Taitung accents, on the other hand, are closest to the prestige accent.
Variations in Taiwanese Hokkien accents


Recent terminological distinctions

Recent research has found a need for new terminology of Taiwanese dialects, mainly because the Quanzhou and Zhangzhou dialects in Taiwan developed independently from those in Fujian. Thus, some scholars (i.e., Klöter, following ) have divided Taiwanese into five subdialects, based on geographic region: #''hái-kháu'' (): west coast, based on what was formerly referred to as Quanzhou dialect (represented by the Lukang accent) #''phian-hái'' (): coastal (represented by the Nanliao () accent) #''lāi-po͘'' (): western inner plain, mountain regions, based on the Zhangzhou dialect (represented by the Yilan accent) #''phian-lāi'' (): interior (represented by the Taibao accent) #''thong-hêng'' (): common accents (represented by the Taipei (spec. Datong District, Taipei, Datong) accent in the north and the Tainan accent in the south) Both ''phian-hái'' and ''phian-lāi'' are intermediate dialects between ''hái-kháu'' and ''lāi-po͘'', these also known as ''thong-hêng'' () or "". In some ways this mixed dialect is similar to the Amoy dialect, which itself is a blend of Quanzhou and Zhangzhou speech. The common dialect refers to that which can be heard on radio, television, official announcements, etc.


Fluency

A great majority of people in Taiwan can speak both Mandarin Chinese and Taiwanese although the degree of fluency varies widely. There are however small but significant numbers of people in Taiwan, mainly but not exclusively Hakka people, Hakka and waishengren, Mainlanders, who cannot speak Taiwanese fluently. A shrinking percentage of the population, mainly people born before the 1950s, cannot speak Mandarin at all, or learned to speak Mandarin later in life, though some of these speak Japanese fluently. Urban, working-class Hakkas as well as younger, southern-Taiwan Mainlanders tend to have better, even native-like fluency. Approximately half of the Hakka in Taiwan do speak Taiwanese. There are many families of mixed Hakka, Hoklo, and Taiwanese aborigines, Aboriginal bloodlines. There is, however, a large percentage of people in Taiwan, regardless of their background, whose ability to understand and read written Taiwanese is greater than their ability to speak it. This is the case with some singers who can sing Taiwanese songs with native-like proficiency, but can neither speak nor understand the language. Which variant is used depends strongly on the context, and in general people will use Mandarin in more formal situations and Taiwanese in more informal situations. Taiwanese tends to get used more in rural areas, while Mandarin is used more in urban area, urban settings. Older people tend to use Taiwanese, while younger people tend to use Mandarin. In the broadcast media where Mandarin is used in many genres, soap opera, variety shows, and even some news programs can also be found in Taiwanese.


Sociolinguistics and gender

Taiwanese is also perceived by some to have a slight masculine leaning, making it more popular among the males of the younger population. It is sometimes perceived as "unladylike" when spoken by the females of the younger population.


Special literary and art forms

''Chhit-jī-á'' (literally, "that which has seven syllables") is a poetry, poetic meter (poetry), meter where each verse has 7 syllables. There is a special form of musical/dramatic performance ''koa-á-hì'': the Taiwanese opera; the subject matter is usually a history, historical event. A similar form ''pò͘-tē-hì'' (glove puppetry) is also unique and has been elaborated in the past two decades into impressive television, televised spectacles. See Taiwanese cuisine for names of several local dishes.


Bible translations

As with many other languages, the Chinese Bible Translations, translations of the Bible in Taiwanese marked milestones in the standardization attempts of the language and its orthography. The first translation of the Bible in Amoy or Taiwanese in the pe̍h-ōe-jī orthography was by the first missionary to Taiwan, James Laidlaw Maxwell, with the New Testament ''Lán ê Kiù-chú Iâ-so͘ Ki-tok ê Sin-iok'' published in 1873 and the Old Testament ''Kū-iok ê Sèng Keng'' in 1884. The next translation of the Bible in Taiwanese or Amoy was by the missionary to Taiwan, Thomas Barclay (missionary), Thomas Barclay, carried out in Fujian and Taiwan. A New Testament translation was completed and published in 1916. The resulting work containing the Old and the New Testaments, in the pe̍h-ōe-jī orthography, was completed in 1930 and published in 1933 as the Amoy Romanized Bible () :zh-min-nan:Sin-kū-iok ê Sèng-keng, (on Hokkien Wikipedia). 2000 copies of the Amoy Romanized Bible were confiscated by the Taiwan Garrison from the Bible Society of Taiwan in 1975. This edition was later transliterated into Han characters and published as :zh-min-nan:Sèng-keng Tâi-gí Hàn-jī Pún, (on Hokkien Wikipedia) in 1996. The Ko-Tân (Kerygma) Colloquial Taiwanese Version of the New Testament (''Sin-iok'') in pe̍h-ōe-jī, also known as the (), was published in 1973 as an ecumenical effort between the Protestant Presbyterian Church in Taiwan and the Roman Catholic mission Maryknoll. This translation used a more modern vocabulary (somewhat influenced by Mandarin), and reflected the central Taiwan dialect, as the Maryknoll mission was based near Taichung, Tâi-tiong. It was soon confiscated by the Kuomintang government (which objected to the use of Latin orthography) in 1975. The copies of the ecumenical NT are now available on the online stores. A translation using the principle of Dynamic and formal equivalence, functional equivalence, "Today's Taiwanese Romanized Version" () :zh-min-nan:Hiān-tāi Tâi-gú Sin-iok Sèng-keng, (on Hokkien Wikipedia), containing only the New Testament, again in pe̍h-ōe-jī, was published in 2008 as a collaboration between the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan and the Bible Society in Taiwan. A translation of the Old Testament, following the same principle, is being prepared. Another translation using the principle of Dynamic and formal equivalence, functional equivalence, "Common Taiwanese Bible" (), with versions of pe̍h-ōe-jī, Han characters and Ruby version (both Han characters and pe̍h-ōe-jī) was published in 2015, available in printed and online.


Politics

Until the 1980s, the use of Taiwanese, along with all Varieties of Chinese, varieties other than Taiwanese Mandarin, Mandarin, was discouraged by the
Kuomintang The Kuomintang (KMT) () is a major political party in Taiwan which originated as a revolutionary political party during the Republic of China (1912–1949), Republican Era on the Chinese mainland, where it is sometimes referred to as the Ch ...
through measures such as banning its use in schools and limiting the amount of Taiwanese broadcast on electronic media. These measures were removed by the 1990s, and Taiwanese became an emblem of Taiwanese localization movement, localization. Mandarin remains the predominant language of education, although there is a "mother tongue" language requirement in Taiwanese schools which can be satisfied with student's choice of mother tongue: Taiwanese, Hakka, or . Although the use of Taiwanese over Mandarin was historically part of the Taiwan independence movement, the linkage between politics and language is not as strong as it once was. Some fluency in Taiwanese is desirable for political office in Taiwan for both independence and unificationist politicians. At the same time even some supporters of Taiwan independence have played down its connection with Taiwanese in order to gain the support of the waishengren, Mainlanders and
Hakka people The Hakka (), sometimes also referred to as Hakka Han, or Hakka Chinese, are a Han Chinese The Han Chinese,
. James Soong restricted the use of Taiwanese and other local tongues in broadcasting while serving as Director of the Government Information Office earlier in his career, but later became one of the first politicians of Mainlander origin to use Taiwanese in semi-formal occasions. Since then, politicians opposed to Taiwanese independence have used it frequently in rallies, even when they are not native speakers. Conversely, politicians who have traditionally been identified with Taiwan independence have used Mandarin on formal occasions and semi-formal occasions such as press conferences. An example of the latter is former President Chen Shui-bian who uses Mandarin in all official state speeches, but uses mainly Taiwanese in political rallies and some informal state occasions such as New Year greetings. The current President of Taiwan and of the (Democratic Progressive Party, DPP), Tsai Ing-wen has been criticized by her supporters for not using Taiwanese in speeches. Former President Ma Ying-jeou spoke in Taiwanese during his 2008 Double Ten Day speech when he was talking about the state of the Economy of Taiwan, economy in Taiwan. In the early 21st century, there are few differences in language usage between the Chinese unification, pro-reuinification leaning Pan-Blue Coalition and the Taiwan independence movement, independence leaning Pan-Green Coalition. Both tend to use Taiwanese at political rallies and sometimes in informal interviews, and both tend to use Mandarin at formal press conferences and official state functions. Both also tend to use more Mandarin in Northern Taiwan and more Taiwanese in Southern Taiwan. However, at official party gatherings (as opposed to both Mandarin-leaning state functions and Taiwanese-leaning party rallies), the DPP tends to use Taiwanese while KMT and PFP (Taiwan), PFP tend to use Mandarin. The Taiwan Solidarity Union, which advocates a strong line on Taiwan independence, tends to use Taiwanese even in formal press conferences. In speaking, politicians will frequently Code-switching, code switch. In writing, almost everyone uses written vernacular Chinese, vernacular Mandarin which is further from Taiwanese, and the use of semi-alphabetic writing or even Written Hokkien#Chinese characters, colloquial Taiwanese characters is rare. In 2002, the Taiwan Solidarity Union, a party with about 10% of the Legislative Yuan seats at the time, suggested making Taiwanese a second official language. This proposal encountered strong opposition not only from Mainlander groups but also from Hakka and aboriginal groups who felt that it would slight their home languages, as well as others including Hoklo people, Hoklo who objected to the proposal on logistical grounds and on the grounds that it would increase ethnic tensions. Because of these objections, support for this measure is lukewarm among moderate Taiwan independence supporters, and the proposal did not pass. In 2003, there was a controversy when parts of the civil service examination for judges were written in characters used only in Taiwanese. After strong objections, these questions were not used in scoring. As with the official-language controversy, objections to the use of Taiwanese came not only from Mainlander groups, but also Hoklo, Hakka and aborigines. The Control Yuan later created a rule that only allowed Standard Mandarin characters on civil service exams. According to public opinion surveys in 2008, more people supported making English a second official language than Taiwanese. In 2017, aboriginal languages were given official status in Taiwan, as was the Taiwanese Hakka, Hakka language. , English is planned to become an official language in Taiwan, although this has not happened as of mid-2020. Taiwanese is required for some activities but not others. For further information, see Languages of Taiwan.


Mother tongue movement

Taiwanese localization movement, Taiwanization developed in the 1990s into a ‘
mother tongue A first language, native tongue, native language, or mother/father/parent tongue (also known as arterial language or L1) is a language or dialect that a person has been exposed to from birth or within the critical period hypothesis, critical per ...
revival movement' aiming to save, preserve, and develop the local ethnic culture and language of Holo (Taiwanese), Hakka, and aborigines. The effort to Language revitalization, save declining languages has since allowed them to revive and flourish. In 1993, Taiwan became the first country in the world to implement the teaching of Taiwanese in schools. By 2001, Taiwanese languages such as Taiwanese, Hakka, and aboriginal languages were taught in all Taiwanese schools. Since the 2000s, elementary school students are required to take a class in either Taiwanese, Hakka or aboriginal languages. In junior high this is usually an available Course (education)#Elective and required courses, elective. Taiwan also has its own Taiwan literature movement, literary circle whereby Hokkien poets and writers compose poetry and literature in Taiwanese on a regular basis. As a result of the mother tongue movement, Taiwan has emerged as a significant cultural hub for Hokkien in the world in the 21st century. It also plans to be the major export center for Hokkien culture worldwide in the 21st century.


Television

* Lady Rainicorn for ''Adventure Time'' broadcast by Cartoon Network (Taiwanese TV channel), Cartoon Network Taiwan used Taiwanese for Li Hanfei ()


Scholarship

Klöter's ''Written Taiwanese'' (cited below) has been described as "the most comprehensive English-language study of written Taiwanese".


See also

* Languages of Taiwan * Min Nan Wikipedia * Speak Hokkien Campaign * Taiwanese literature movement * :nan:Bân-lâm-gí Gí-giân Lêng-le̍k Jīn-chèng, Bân-lâm-gí Gí-giân Lêng-le̍k Jīn-chèng (Taiwanese Test)


Notes


Words in native languages


References


Citations


Cited sources

* * * * *


Further reading


Books and other material

(As English language material on Taiwanese learning is limited, Japanese and German books are also listed here.) ; English textbooks & dictionaries * * Su-chu Wu, Bodman, Nicholas C.: Spoken Taiwanese with cassette(s), 1980/2001, or or * ** * Iâu Chèng-to: Cheng-soán Pe̍h-oē-jī (Concise Colloquial Writing). Tainan, Taiwan: Jîn-kong (an imprint of the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan). 1992. * Tân, K. T: A Chinese-English Dictionary: Taiwan Dialect. Taipei: Southern Materials Center. 1978. * Maryknoll Language Service Center: English-Amoy Dictionary. Taichung, Taiwan: Maryknoll Fathers. 1979. ; Japanese publications * Higuchi, Yasushi (樋口 靖 ''Higuchi Yasushi''): 台湾語会話, 2000, (Good and yet concise introduction to the Taiwanese language in Japanese; CD: ) * Zhao, Yihua (趙 怡華 ''Zhào Yíhuá''): はじめての台湾語, 2003, (Introduction to Taiwanese [and Mandarin]; in Japanese). * Zheng, Zhenghao (鄭 正浩 ''Zhèng Zhènghào''): 台湾語基本単語2000, 1996, (Basic vocabulary in Taiwanese 2000; in Japanese). * Zhao, Yihua (趙 怡華 ''Zhào Yíhuá''), Chen Fenghui (陳 豐惠 ''Chén Fēnghuì''), Kaori Takao (たかお かおり ''Takao Kaori''), 2006, 絵でわかる台湾語会話. (Conversations in Taiwanese [and Mandarin] with illustrations; in Japanese). ;Others * Katharina Sommer, Xie Shu-Kai: Taiwanisch Wort für Wort, 2004, (Taiwanese for travellers, in German. CD: ) ; Articles and other resources * * * *


External links

; On the language *
Blog on the Taiwanese language and language education in Taiwan
* * wikt:Appendix:Sino-Tibetan Swadesh lists, Sino-Tibetan Swadesh lists ; Dictionaries * * * * * ; Learning aids
Intermediate Taiwanese grammar (as a blog)

Taiwanese vocabulary: word of the day (blog)

Taiwanese teaching material
Nursery rhymes and songs in Han characters and romanization w/ recordings in MP3
Travlang (language resources for travellers): Hō-ló-oē''Spoken Hokkien''
- a beginner's e-textbook, with audio, for English-speaking learners of conversational Taiwanese. * ; Other
Open Directory (dmoz): World: Taiwanese
{{Chinese language Languages of Taiwan Hokkien-language dialects Taiwanese culture