Is Taiwanese Mandarin?
Thread poster: CLS Lexi-tech

CLS Lexi-tech
Local time: 17:02
Member (2004)
English to Italian
+ ...
Oct 18, 2002

Urgent question from a client.

I assume that the question is only relevant to the spoken language, not the written one.

Your learned replies would be most appreciated.

thanks

paola l m

www.lexitech.ca

www.proz.com

co-mod EN>IT


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Kevin Yang  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:02
Member (2003)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Sorry about the confusion! Oct 18, 2002

Quote:


On 2002-10-18 18:26, ludovici wrote:

Urgent question from a client.

I assume that the question is only relevant to the spoken language, not the written one.

Your learned replies would be most appreciated.

thanks

paola l m

http://www.lexitech.ca

http://www.proz.com

co-mod EN>IT







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.



Grazie!



[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-10-19 02:11 ]

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Li-chuan Yen  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:02
English to Chinese
It is confusing. Oct 21, 2002

Hi Kevin



I noticed some people refer to the written language in Taiwan (in our lingo, Traditional Chinese) as \"Taiwanese\". Isn\'t it very confusing? Especially when you have to explain to other language speakers!



Regards

Laurie


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Kevin Yang  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:02
Member (2003)
English to Chinese
+ ...
I hope you might like this way better. Oct 21, 2002

Hi, Laurie/Li-chuan...



It is so wonderful to read your message. You are in such a unique position (I meant that you are a Chinese lady with grace from Taiwan and also is a free-lance Chinese translator with the British humor) that I love to see you sparing your light more often into this corner. I hope it is not too much to ask.



It is so unfortunate that the definition and coverage of Chinese language and dialects are so confusing, often time political influences are playing roles in this mess. It is not just confusing to the people who using them and live with them, but also to the people abroad. I have been paying close attention to the decision process on what phonetic system to adopt in Taiwan by its Education Department. It seems they picked the confusing approach, purely taking the political correctness into full account, although they do not want to openly admit it.



Personally, I do not like to use the phrase \"Traditional Chinese.\" Such usage should be used to refer to the Chinese writings done by the ancient Chinese people. I agree it is confusing. Instead, I prefer to call it \"Chinese in Traditional Characters.\" By the same token, the Chinese used in the mainland China should be referred as \"Chinese in Simplified Characters.\" I hope you might like this way better.



Don\'t stay out in the cold in London!



Kevin



[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-10-22 06:03 ]


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Li-chuan Yen  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:02
English to Chinese
Thank you for your compliment! Nov 5, 2002

Dear Kevin



I think you\'re right, just like saying \"fan ti\" and \"jian ti\" in Chinese. I\'m sort of against the word \"traditional\" in a personal aspect.



I myself use pinyin as it took too long to learn where the zhuyin keys were. As a advocate of pinyin and our Mayor Ma, I\'m not very happy about the government\'s decision on adopting tongyong instead of pinyin. But that\'s it, we learn another system just like we had to learn Wade-Giles. Perhaps one day the government changes its mind, and the company who makes the street name plates will have another chance of increasing their income!



Li-chuan

[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-11-05 13:44 ]


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Kevin Yang  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:02
Member (2003)
English to Chinese
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I am so impressed by your comment! Nov 6, 2002

Quote:


On 2002-11-05 04:04, Li-chuan wrote:

Dear Kevin



I myself use pinyin as it took too long to learn where the zhuyin keys were. As a advocate of pinyin and our Mayor Ma, I\'m not very happy about the government\'s decision on adopting tongyong instead of pinyin. But that\'s it, we learn another system just like we had to learn Wade-Giles. Perhaps one day the government changes its mind, and the company who makes the street name plates will have another chance of increasing their income!



Li-chuan

[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-11-05 13:44 ]







Wow, Li-chuan, I was so impressed by your comment. You are absolutely outstanding. It took mainland China more than 10 years to get over the \"Cultural Revolution.\" It seems to me that Taiwan is going through something similar. The local people have to pay for the cost now and many years to come. I hope it will not take 10 years. I am watching the Taiwan TV programs everyday from my satellite receiver. I really hope Mayor Ma can be re-elected as the Mayor of Taipei. Please say hello for me when you see him!

[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-11-06 05:36 ]

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Terry Thatcher Waltz, Ph.D.  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:02
Chinese to English
+ ...
It might just be the dialect, though... Nov 11, 2002

Quote:


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.





I think you are certainly right, but in the States I often got calls seeking a \"Taiwanese interpreter\". Sometimes they really meant \"Mandarin Chinese as used in Taiwan\", and (very occasionally) they really *did* mean Taiwanese (as it\'s popularly called here among the English-speaking community) or \'Min-nan\'. Usually you can get a clue by asking about the age and background of the person in question. If it happens to be a very elderly person, or a person who has had almost no formal education, it might just be the spoken non-Mandarin dialect they\'re talking about, not just Mandarin with \"special Taiwanese characteristics\". Also, you would probably suspect a need for Taiwanese dialect more in a medical or legal interpreting situation, and would not expect it to be used in a conference setting.



Regards,

Terry

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Kevin Yang  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:02
Member (2003)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Thank you for your input, Terry! Nov 12, 2002

Quote:




I think you are certainly right, but in the States I often got calls seeking a \"Taiwanese interpreter\". Sometimes they really meant \"Mandarin Chinese as used in Taiwan\", and (very occasionally) they really *did* mean Taiwanese (as it\'s popularly called here among the English-speaking community) or \'Min-nan\'.





Terry,



It seems a simple subject, but it is getting messy, and certainly causing confusions everywhere. Nowadays, when I watch the MTV and TV programs from Taiwan, I noticed that they like to use \"台语(=Tai Yu/Taiwanese language\" to refer to \"Min-nan\" dialect. Whereas here in the United States, we still think it meant \"Mandarin Chinese as used in Taiwan\" when “Taiwanese” is mentioned as a language.



Thank you for your input, and come to share with us you insights more often.



Kevin



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Terry Thatcher Waltz, Ph.D.  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:02
Chinese to English
+ ...
Hmmm...another take on "Taiwanese"? Nov 24, 2002

To me, as a native English speaker who deals with Chinese stuff, \"Taiwanese\" can only mean Minnan; it would never mean what we call \"Taiwan Mandarin\". Maybe others have a different take on this (and certainly clients have a unique take that we often cannot hope to understand!!)

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Linda Su
English to Japanese
+ ...
Taiwanese Chinese Nov 24, 2002

My clients from Germany always ask me the difference between “Chinese” and “Taiwanese Chinese”. And here is my answer: To me, the difference is not just the characters, but the vocabulary is most important. Even in places that use “traditional” characters, there are some mainland Chinese vocabulary, such as in Hong Kong. So the difference should not be focused on just the characters. “Taiwanese Chinese” sounds like the Mandarin spoken by Taiwanese, for example we would say ‘diannao’ for computer. But also many people speak the Taiwanese language called “Minnan dialect” or “Tai Yu”. It is also possible to write this language and you can see it written in Taiwan’s advertising a lot.
[addsig]


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Chinoise  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:02
English to Chinese
+ ...
This site may be of some help to you ... Dec 23, 2002

daiwanway.dynip.com/cgi/tdict.acgi



BTW, Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!



Regards,



Betty



Quote:


On 2002-10-18 18:26, ludovici wrote:

Urgent question from a client.

I assume that the question is only relevant to the spoken language, not the written one.

Your learned replies would be most appreciated.

thanks

paola l m

www.lexitech.ca

www.proz.com

co-mod EN>IT



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DaelynnDai
English to Chinese
+ ...
Written or Spoken, the two language are different Jan 22, 2003

The Taiwanese speak Hakka and write traditional Chinese, while Mandarin is the offical language of mainland China.

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