Intercultural Communication

Course Website for Tunghai FLLD Seminar

Taiwanese VS. Mandarin Chinese

Posted by winniepan on November 28, 2006

My article is about Language of Taiwan, and it is focus on the difference from Taiwanese and Mandarin Chinese or so-called Standard Mandarin of Republic of China. It separates the topic into three parts, pronunciation, grammar and vocabulary. In pronunciation part, it indicates that the main difference between Taiwanese and Mandarin Chinese is the tone. The second part uses some examples to explain how people speak differently with the different grammar. Last, the article indicates the cause of people using different vocabulary are different from loaning words from different countries, technological words, idioms, and words specific to living in Taiwan.

Examining the history of this article, I found out that there are not many big changes in the content and the biggest change is that people add more examples to help readers to understand the text.

After reading this article, I have some pro and con about the text. First, the article mentions after Kuomintang took over the government from Japan, they started to make Mandarin Chinese as the official language of Taiwan and forbad people using different language than Mandarin Chinese. This action produces people’s aversion and they think Kuamintang sees them as secondary citizen. But without this action, people in Taiwan would speak different languages and that would probably cause many misunderstanding. Moreover, how should we educate our children, separate them into different languages schools? I think it is not right that people in Taiwan often examine an issue only on one side (often bad side) instead of to examining in different view. Second, I think it is interesting to look at an article that uses analyzing way to introduce the difference between Mandarin Chinese and Taiwanese. As native speakers, we probably wouldn’t find out the reason why it causes different between these two languages. Through this article, I actually learn something which I never pay attention before. For example, people using 有沒有 differently to express the same sentence. Taiwanese would say 你有汽車沒有? (Do you have a car or not?) while Mandarin Chinese would say 你有沒有汽車? (Do you have or not have a car?) However, I think the example is explained a general idea about different styles of speaking but when people speak, they’ve already mixed up the two speaking style. In other words, I think people using language they prefer and not really matter about which style they use. Also, they speak different styles would probably because they speak to different person. People use Taiwanese style would probably talking to grandparents who speak Taiwanese. Nevertheless, by those examples in the article, I think the non-Chinese and non-Taiwanese speakers would at least learn briefly about the two languages as I do. (Nov. 23 2006)

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