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Is Taiwanese Mandarin?
Thread poster: CLS Lexi-tech

CLS Lexi-tech
Local time: 01:13
Member (2004)
English to Italian
+ ...
Oct 18, 2002

Urgent question from one of our clients. Your learned replies would be most appreciated.

I suppose that this relates to the spoken language and not the written one.


paola l m

Co-mod EN>IT

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David Hannigan
Local time: 06:13
German to English
No Taiwanese is not Mandarin Oct 18, 2002

The official language of Taiwan and the other islands of the China Republic is Mandarin but the Taiwanese is either a language or a very distinct dialect of its own. The reason I know is that I read a news report in a paper or Readers Digest some years ago, which mentioned the annoyance of native Taiwanese and the arrogant Mandarin speaking Mainlanders who came over in 1948

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Geneviève von Levetzow  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:13
Member (2002)
French to German
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I think... yes... Oct 18, 2002

J\'ai répondu à cette question, il y a quelques jours, et je me souviens avoir lu que la langue à Tawaian était du mandarin et non du cantonnais.

Bonne soirée


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Marcello Napolitano
Local time: 06:13
English to Italian
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Mandarin may be correct but... Oct 18, 2002

The Chinese dialect spoken in Taiwan is Potonhua (not sure how it is romanized), meaning common language, which is commonly referred to as Mandarin in Taiwan. It is the language spoken by many people in Taiwan. There is also a Taiwanese language, which I believe is also a chinese dialect as well as the language of the original inhabitants of the island.

The written script used in Taiwan is the Traditional chinese.

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Libin PhD  Identity Verified
Chinese to English
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Yes and No. Oct 18, 2002

Mandarin is a spoken dialect, not a written language. It\'s original meaning is official language of Beijing (capital city of China where the emperors lived).

Mandarin is spoken both in Taiwan and Mainland China.

The written form of Chinese used in Taiwan is Traditional Chinese, and in mainland China is Simplified Chinese.

Tradtional China is also used in Hong Kong and Simplified Chinese is also used in Singapore.

It is best to aviod Mandarin or Cantonese if you are dealing with written translation. If you are looking for an interpreter, you must use Mandarin or Cantonese as they are both spoken dialects.

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Kevin Yang  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:13
Member (2003)
English to Chinese
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Taiwanese meant ONLY the people who are born and/or live in Taiwan. Oct 19, 2002

Hello, Paola

Buon giorno!

I can see you and your client are in a very confusing situation. Sorry about that! I will try my best to explain it to you, and try to keep it short, too.

The quick answer to you question is \"No.\" Taiwanese and Mandarin are two different things.

Taiwanese is a usage that nowadays is getting more popular. By the word itself, I think it meant ONLY the people who are born and/or live in Taiwan, or even from Taiwan. It should NOT be used to refer to a written or spoken language that is used by the people in Taiwan. This is because that, in the reality, the written language used in Taiwan is the Chinese language written in Traditional Characters. It is used daily in most of the publications and mass media in Taiwan.

As for spoken language, it is also a far fetch to label anything that is uniquely Taiwan. Mandarin from the mainland China is popularly used in the local government, TV, Radio, school and universities, and can be considered as the official spoken language. In the recent years, especially after the shift of its political power to the new party, the regional dialects, such as Min-nan-hua,a dialect from Fujian Province, China, became more popularly used in the circumstances that usually Mandarin has been used. There is another popular regional dialect called Hakka,which is also from China. There are several spoken languages used by the mountain people or tribes, but they are never in the mainstream. As a matter fact, those spoken languages of the minorities in the mountain areas are struggling for survival. In such a situation, I wonder who can pinpoint which written or spoken language can be labeled as Taiwanese?

Just for your information, Chinese in Simplified Characters is used as written language in the mainland China, and the official spoken language there is Mandarin.

I guess you can certainly help you client to narrow down the exact targeted readers or audiences your client is trying to communicate with. Personally, I think to call Taiwanese a language is too vague and misleading.


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#41698 (LSF)
Local time: 13:13
Japanese to English
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maybe not Oct 19, 2002

The official language in Taiwan is mandarin, same as mainland China. But their writing system is based on traditional characters and not the simplified ones. The file system character encoding is also different.

If you mean native dialect, it is more likely to be Hokkien, same as the dialect in the Fujian province of southeastern China. There are other dialects also.

The ex-president Lee Teng Hui is the first native president (not those descended from the group that escaped from Communist mainland) and he likes to do his speeches in Hokkien.

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