It’s been a long time since I last posted, but I have to let you know about a new blog aimed at teaching English speakers the basics of Taiwanese. It’s called Taiwanlang and the author, Ted (or Thē-ti in Taiwanese), is a Taiwanese-American with a mission to inform. Check it out, and leave him an encouraging message on his site!
Maryknoll have just updated their
|hoan tian 01||hoan-tian||不正常 ,反常||abnormal|
|hoan tian 01a||::la7u hoan-tian||罵老人記性差||old person forgetful because of age|
|hoan tiau||ho2an-tia7u||反調||sing off key, disagree with one’s companions|
|hoan tin||ho7an-ti5n (ji5n-kan)||凡塵||world of people (Buddhist term commonly used for the world that belongs to people)|
|hoan tioh||ho7an-tio8h||犯著||to violate (the law), to do something that makes someone unhappy|
Father Clarence Engler, leader of the dictionary team at Maryknoll, has informed me that there is no electronic file of the other dictionary they publish, the English-Amoy dictionary (the manuscript was produced in the days before personal computers). However, with this Taiwanese-English data now available, it will make a superb base for an online dictionary project (of which more in the coming days and weeks).
EDIT: Father Engler has just emailed to say that the spreadsheet has not been fully proof-read, and likely contains errors, especially in the Chinese characters. Caveat emptor!
After the recent news that Maryknoll have decided to license their dictionaries under the Creative Commons, they have now uploaded pdf versions of both the Taiwanese-English and English-Taiwanese dictionaries to their website.
The documents are divided into letters of the alphabet, but the entirety of both dictionaries is available there. The great work put in by generations of Maryknoll teachers and scholars deserves applause, and the wider availability of resources such as this can only benefit the Taiwanese language community.
As an aside, those of you familiar with POJ will notice a couple of peculiarities in the orthography used by Maryknoll. The fifth tone, represented elsewhere by a circumflex, is rendered with a breve, and the superscript “n” for a nasal vowel is replaced with an asterisk in Maryknoll texts.
I just received this email with a call for papers for the autumn conference on Literature in Taiwanese:
Call for Papers
The 6th International Conference on Literature in Taiwanese, 2010
Theme: Neo-aesthetics – Artistic Qualities and Diversity
Conference sponsor: Graduate Institute of Taiwan Culture, Language and
Conference site: Taiwan Normal University (Taipei, Taiwan)
Conference date: Oct. 23 – 24, 2010
Deadline for abstracts: April 15, 2010
Acceptance Notification: May 15, 2010
Deadline for full papers: Aug. 31, 2010
Papers with the following topics are preferred:
1. The aesthetics of literature in Taiwanese
2. On aesthetic theory and criticism of literature in Taiwanese
3. Aesthetics research on writers and writings in Taiwanese
4. The content diversity of literature in Taiwanese
5. The ethnic diversity in the writing of literature in Taiwanese
6. Other topics related to Taiwanese literature
(1)The abstract must be limited to one page, with font size 12p, margins 1”
(top and bottom) and 1.25” (left and right), line spacing 1.5.
(2)Please add an additional information page prior to the abstract page. The
information should include a) title of the paper, b) author(s), c)
affiliation, d) position, e) mailing address, f) phone number, and g)
(3)The abstract must be saved as Word or PDF formats, and send to the
following address: Please add author’s name with the phrase “abstract for
2010 conference on Taiwanese literature” to the title of email.
(4)The conference organizers will send out notification of paper acceptance
by May 15. For the accepted presenters, please write your paper with the
conference designated format and submit your full paper on 25 pages maximum
(a hardcopy with electronic file in both DOC and PDF formats) to conference
organizers by the deadline mentioned above.
(5)The official languages of the conference include the Taiwanese languages
and English. Other languages may be used as long as no body is opposed to
them. Presenters are kindly requested to provide English or Taiwanese
translation if their paper is written in the language other than official
(6)Limited honorarium and travel grants may be provided to the paper
presenters upon the funding raising results. However, honorarium might be
dismissed if the paper is not submitted by appropriate deadline and not
written in the designated format.
(7)For the most updated information regarding the conference, please visit
conference website at http://litintaiwanese.blogspot.com/
(8)For any questions, please contact:
Conference coordinator: Li Khin-huann (Chair of Graduate Institute of Taiwan
Culture, Language and Literature)
Conference secretary : Li Hong-ling
Great news for English speakers learning Taiwanese: Catholic missionary language training centre Maryknoll have just decided to release the contents of their two dictionaries (the English-Amoy Dictionary and the Taiwanese-English Dictionary) under a Creative Commons license. Their content, like this site, will now be open to anyone to use and remix, as long as the original authors are credited.
I have had discussions with Fr. Clarence Engler, the leader of the dictionary project, for a few months now, making the case for Creative Commons and trying to persuade Maryknoll to make the switch. I’m delighted to see they’ve done this and that their great work can now be reused and built upon by others.
I plan to use the data from the dictionaries as the basis of a free online dictionary, something along the lines of the CEDICT project. Maryknoll are currently revising their dictionaries, so I will be concentrating on putting the structure together first, before integrating the new data once it is ready. As for a timeline, we’re probably looking at a year before this is up and running properly, but hopefully it will prove useful. If you’d like to get involved in this project please drop me a line – I’d be very pleased to hear from you.
I’ve put together a map with few places important to the Taiwanese language – bookshops, churches, libraries and museums – and you can view it in Google Maps. If you have any suggestions of other places to add, please let me know and I will make the necessary adjustments.
- Where: The Artists’ Village, 7 Beiping East Road, Taipei (台北市北平東路7號)
- When: Thursday 28th January, from 8pm
Anyone who is interesting in learning the Taiwanese language, or in swapping information and suggestions about it, will be welcome along. I’ll be there, as will a couple of people who are currently taking classes, so they will be able to help out new learners with suggestions for schools and study materials.
A map of the venue:
Recently I had cause to look for a bibliography of Taiwanese dictionaries, and was frustrated by the lack of consistent and comprehensive information available online. Having had a look in print too, it seemed that what I was looking for simply didn’t exist. So, in a do-it-yourself spirit I’ve put together a list of 145 dictionaries, vocabularies and lexicons related to the Taiwanese language and its sister dialects in the Southern Min family, based initially on Henning Klöter’s general bibliography. I don’t claim this as a complete list, but it is more extensive than any other I have been able to find.
As will be evident from a cursory reading of the list, most of the entries were published after the end of the martial law period in Taiwan, beginning in the late 1980s. There is a tremendous diversity of sources out there, and many have been put together by individuals rather than large editorial teams, published at their own cost as labours of love.
If you spot any errors or omissions, please feel free to contact me and I’ll update the list. As usual with content from this site, it is available under a Creative Commons license, meaning you can reuse it as you see fit (though a hat-tip in this direction would be appreciated).
The Taiwanese Proficiency Test Center at the National Cheng Kung University in Tainan will be hosting a conference in March next year. The third Conference on Taiwanese Proficiency Test (sic) will take place on the 13th March at the Banyan Campus of NCKU (off Daxue Rd near the train station). There’s a call for papers related to Taiwanese language testing, with a submission deadline of 31st of December for abstracts.
The conference is coordinated by Wi-vun Chiung, and co-sponsored by the Li Kang-Khioh Taiwanese Foundation and the Taiwanese Romanization Association. For more information, check the conference website.
As a reminder, the legislature has blocked funding for government testing in Taiwanese for some time now, while authorising funding for testing of Mandarin, Hakka, and Aboriginal languages. The Taiwanese language remains a political football.
Times were that I was asking everyone who visited this site to download fonts in order to view the content properly. However, growing support for web fonts (in CSS3) means that many visitors with up-to-date web browsers are able to see the fonts I choose, even if those fonts are not installed on their computers. This is great for displaying Pe̍h-ōe-jī (the Taiwanese romanization used throughout the site) and Taiwanese Phonetic Symbols (Bopomofo for Taiwanese).
The following browsers are supported:
- Firefox 3.5 and above
- Opera 10 and above
- Safari 3.1 and above
Support is also available in Google’s Chrome browser, but is disabled in the current version due to a security review. The developers are aiming to to reinstate support in time for version 4.0. To check how your browser works with Taiwanese text, visit the fonts page.
Together users of the browsers listed above made up 47% of visitors in the August to October period, so hopefully this update should make life a little bit easier for many visitors here. I would encourage users who don’t have one of the above browsers to either upgrade, or install one or more of the fonts listed on the fonts page.
For those of you interested in the technical details, this is how it works. Read the rest of this entry »