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Taiwanese Opera Music Jade Bells and Bamboo Pipes
  • Taiwanese Opera Music

    Taiwanese Opera Music

    Taiwanese Opera Music

Taiwanese opera is the only type of traditional drama genuinely native to Taiwan. It is popular all over Taiwan and its cradle is the region of Ilan, located in the northeastern part of Taiwan. It is said that the form of Taiwanese opera originates from the assorted folk songs of Zhangzhou and Fujian province of China. The producer of the album we feature today is Wang Shen-di, a native of Taiwan, and in order to present a new perspective on Taiwanese opera, he meticulously selected some of the popular tunes from Taiwanese opera.

Introducing oneself

“Fitting in in Chinese” is a special series on Chinese to Go, which is jointly produced by the Chinese Language Center of Wenzao Ursuline University of Languages and Radio Taiwan International.


Episode 9


Introducing oneself





(Lǎoshī: Láilái lái, wǒ gěi nǐmen jièshào yīxià, zhè sān wèi shì cóng déguó lái de tóngxué.)

Teacher:   Come here and let me introduce you. These three students come from Germany.



(Ōufú: Nǐ hǎo, wǒ shì ōu fú, ōuzhōu de ōu, fúqi de fú.)

Oufu:       Hello, my name is Oufu – the “Ou” in “Europe” (Ou Zhou) and the “Fu” in “Happy & Lucky” (fuqi).



(Déměi: Nǐ hǎo, wǒ shì dé měi, déguó de dé, měiguó dì měi.)

Demei: Hello, my name is Demei – the “De” in “Germany” (De Guo) and the “Mei” in “America” (Mei Guo).



(Dézhōng: Nǐ hǎo, wǒ jiào dé zhōng, dédào de dé, zhōngwén de zhōng.)

Dezhong: Hello, my name is Dezhong – the “De” in “Succeed in attaining” (dedao) and the “Zhong” in “Chinese” (Zhongwen).



(Xiǎowén: Nǐmen hǎo, wǒ shì wángyùwén, nǐmen kěyǐ jiào wǒ xiǎo wén.)

Xiaowen: Hello, my name is Wang Yuwen, but you can call me “Xiaowen”.



(Āshān: Dàjiā hǎo, wǒ shì jīn bèishān, nǐmen kěyǐ jiào wǒ āshān.)

Ashan: Hello everybody, my name is Jin Beishan, and you can call me Ashan.


老師:歐福, 你的中文說得很好,是在哪裡學的?

(Lǎoshī: Ōu fú, nǐ de zhōngwén shuō dé hěn hǎo, shì zài nǎlǐ xué de?)

Teacher: Oufu, you speak Chinese very well. Where did you learn it?


歐福:謝謝老師,您太客氣了! 我的中文馬馬虎虎。

(Ōufú: Xièxie lǎoshī, nǐ tài kèqìle! Wǒ de zhōngwén mǎmǎhūhū)

Oufu: Thank you teacher, you are too kind! My Chinese is just so-so.



(Déměi: Lǎoshī wèn nǐ shì nǎlǐ xué de?)

Demei: The teacher asked you where you’d studied it.


歐福: 噢,我是在德國大學學的,我也常聽台灣的「中央廣播電台」學中文。

(Ōufú: Ō, wǒ shì zài déguó dàxué xué de, wǒ yě cháng tīng táiwān de “zhōngyāng guǎngbò diàntái” xué zhōngwén.)

Oufu: Oh. I studied it in university in Germany.  I also listened to Radio Taiwan International quite often to learn Chinese.



(Lǎoshī: Dé měi, nǐ de hànzì yě xiě dé hěn piàoliang, shì zěnme xué de ne?)

Teacher: Demei, you also write Chinese characters quite beautifully. How did you learn to do that?


德美:謝謝老師的誇獎! 我就是一個字、一個字地慢慢學習。

(Déměi: Xièxie lǎoshī de kuājiǎng! Wǒ jiùshì yīgè zì, yīgè zì de màn man xuéxí.)

Demei: Thank you teacher for such excessive praise!  I just learned by slowly writing one character after another





(A)     …的…, …的…  …de…, …de…



(Wǒ shì ōu fú, ōuzhōu de ōu, fúqì de fú.)

I am Oufu. The “ou”in “Ouzhou”and the “fu” in “fuqi”.



(Wǒ shì dé měi, déguó de dé, měiguó de měi.)

I’m Demei. The “de” in “Deguo” and the “mei” in “Meiguo”.



(Wǒ jiào dé zhōng, dédào de dé, zhōngwén de zhōng)

I am called Dezhong, with the “de” from “dedao” and the “zhong” from “Zhongwen”.



(B)   …得…, 是…的… …de…, shì…de…



(Nǐ de hànzì xiě dé hěn piàoliang, shì zài nǎlǐ xué de?)

You write Chinese characters very beautifully.  Where did you learn to do that?


你的中文歌,唱得真好! 是怎麼學的?

(Nǐ de zhōngwén gē, chàng de zhēn hǎo! Shì zěnme xué de?)

You sing Chinese songs very well!  How did you learn to do that?



(Tā de zhōngguó cài zuò de hào chī jíle, shì shuí jiào tā de?)

His Chinese cooking is extremely delicious! Who taught him how to do that?


Cultural Insights



 (`Mǎhū',`mǎmǎhūhū', mǎ hé hǔ shì liǎng zhòng wánquán bùtóng de dòngwù. Yǒurén zuòshì bù rènzhēn, wǒmen shuō nà rén zuòshì mǎhū, tài suíbiànle.)

“Ma hu”, (“horse tiger”), and “Ma ma hu hu” (Horse horse tiger tiger”): horses and tigers are two completely incompatible types of animals.  When somebody does a VERY so-so job, we can say that person does things “ma hu”, or too lackadaisically.



(`Mǎmǎhūhū'kě zì qiān shuō zìjǐ de gōngfu bù hǎo, yǒudài jiāqiáng.)

 “Ma ma hu hu” can be used in a self-deprecating way to describe one’s own efforts as having room for improvement.


Teaching the Chinese creativity

Tune into Eye on China as Natalie Tso speaks with Tim Gillette, the founder of Encounters, about how he is teaching China's Ministry of Education how to bring creativity to schools in China. 


Erhu by Yu Hongmei

Yu Hongmei was born in 1971 in Shandong, China. She learned to play erhu from master Su Anguo when she was eight. She first made her name prominent in the concert held in 1983 playing A Single Flower. Yu Hongmei is a constant performer in various concerts and has often been invited to perform overseas in Japan, Singapore, Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong. She is a widely acclaimed erhu performer. Erhu is a two-stringed bowed musical instrument.



What John finds most difficult to understand?

Find out on Status Update what John Van Trieste finds most difficult to understand about a particular modern custom of Taiwanese weddings.


Crowd Lu, singer turned actor

Find out on Jukebox Republic how singer/songwriter Crowd Lu made jaw-dropping news with his first time acting in the TV drama series, "A Boy Named Flora A".


Photo credit: http://bit.ly/2tMVyHI


The east wind

Tune into Classic Shorts to hear how the east wind propelled a key victory during a battle in the Three Kingdoms Era. 


Classic idiom of the week - 萬事俱備只欠東風 (wàn  shì  jù bèi   zhǐ qiàn  dōng fēng) or


"Everything is ready. Except the east wind" means that everything is ready except for one key element. 


Taiwan's transition to democracy (Part One)

In July 1987, just over 30 years ago, Taiwan began its journey towards becoming a multiparty democracy. Close to four decades of martial law had come to an end. Taiwan had done away with autocratic one-party rule, closing a painful chapter of oppression and opening the door to a new era of civil liberties, direct presidential elections, and peaceful transfers of power. But the lifting of martial law was not an abrupt break in Taiwan’s history. Instead, it was the result of a long struggle that built up until finally, with the help of some US pressure, the old authoritarian system could no longer hold it back. Here to tell us about Taiwan’s long path to democracy is Professor Chen Fang-ming, University Chair Professor at National Chengchi University’s Graduate Institute of Taiwanese Literature.


Peter Sutton of Woodpecker Learning

Peter Sutton is from New Zealand and is co-founder and CEO of Woodpecker Learning. He was on job assignment to Taiwan for a period of time but that has turned into 15 years. Since then he is married and has two children. Hear his life story in this first episode on In the Spotlight.


Wm. Theodore de Bary, sinologist, dies aged 97

American scholar and Columbia University professor Wm. Theodore de Bary passed away earlier this week in New York. He was 97 years old. A distinguished sinologist, de Barry was known for his insights into neo-Confucianism and his efforts to bridge the gap between the East and the West. While at Columbia University, de Barry had not only introduced Confucianism and neo-Confucianism to the West but had also played a crucial role in helping restructure the university’s core curriculum program. 


Jinou Girls' High School brings the languages of Southeast Asia into the classroom

Many schools in Taiwan offer a second foreign language after English, and when it comes to picking which one to study, Taiwan’s students tend to split into two camps. On the one hand are those who pick Japanese and Korean, languages with a strong pop culture presence in Taiwan. Then there are European languages like French and Spanish. Jinou Girls’ High School, a private school in Taipei, requires all of its students to study a second foreign language. The school offers choices that will appeal to both camps. But it's also trying something new- something that may soon catch on elsewhere. The school has begun bringing the languages of Southeast Asia to its students.

These new courses are part of a project at the school called the Asian Language and Culture Center. Since launching in 2016, the center has kept expanding, bringing a wide number of new languages into the classroom in the hope of sparking a lifelong interest in Southeast Asia. But why Southeast Asia? One big answer to this question is that the future of Taiwan and the future of Southeast Asia are only going to get more and more intertwined. Here with me to talk about Jinou High School’s Asian Language and Culture Center is the school’s dean of academic affairs Celine Juan.


Taoyuan Mayor Chen Wen-tsan

Taiwan Today highlights RTI's interview with Taoyuan Mayor Chen Wen-tsan who shares about how Taoyuan is working to improve economic ties with Southesast Asian countries and cultural exchanges between Southeast Asian immigrants and workers and the local community. Taoyuan is home to the largest foreign worker population in Taiwan. 


To recognize

“Fitting in in Chinese” is a special series on Chinese to Go, which is jointly produced by the Chinese Language Center of Wenzao Ursuline University of Languages and Radio Taiwan International.


Episode 8


Regardless of whether Chinese characters are traditional or simplified, written Chinese can still be considered a world heritage. This is because very few world languages still in use have survived for more than 2,000 years!




1 還是
Still, yet, or


2 客氣
Polite; courteous


(Nǐ háishì gēn shí nián qián yīyàng piàoliang!)
You are still as pretty as you were ten years ago!


哪裡 哪裡! 你太客氣了。但是還是要謝謝你!
(Nǎlǐ nǎlǐ! Nǐ tài kèqìle. Dànshì háishì yào xièxiè nǐ!)
Oh no, you are just being polite. But still I must thank you!


To recognize


Simplified Chinese characters


Traditional Chinese characters


(Nǐ zài Táiwān xué zhèngtǐ zì háishì jiǎntǐzì?)
Are you studying traditional or simplified Chinese characters in Taiwan?


(Liǎng zhǒng dōu xué. Wǒ zài měiguó xué hànzì, lǎoshī jiào wǒmen rènshi zhèngtǐ zì, shǒuxiě jiǎntǐzì.)
I am learning both. When I studied Chinese in America, the teacher taught us to recognize traditional characters, and write the simplified ones.


6 漂亮


7 不可能
(Bù kěnéng)


(Liùshí suì de nǚrén, bù kěnéng bǐ shíliù suì de nǚrén piàoliang.)
A sixty year-old woman can’t possibly be as pretty as a sixteen year-old girl.


有可能哦! 現在沒有不可能的事。
(Yǒu kěnéng ó! Xiànzài méiyǒu bù kěnéng de shì.)
It could happen! Nowadays, nothing is impossible.


8 作業
Homework, assignment


噯呀! 我忘了寫作業了。
(Āi ya! Wǒ wàngle xiě zuòyèle.)

Oh, No! I forgot to do my homework!


(Nǐ zuótiān wàngle dài zuòyè, jīntiān yòu wàngle xiě zuòyè.)
Yesterday you forgot to bring your homework, and today you forgot to write the assignment!


Cultural insights

Chinese is a lyrical, rhythmical language.

1 福氣
Blessing; good fortune

(Yǒu fúqì)
To be fortunate, blessed, lucky

(Hǎoxīn rén yǒu fúqì)
A good, kind heart is a blessing.


2 得到
To obtain; to get

做好事 得好報
(Zuò hǎoshì dé hǎo bào)
Doing good merits good In return

說好話 得好報
(Shuō hǎo huà dé hǎo bào)
Speaking good words earns good in return.

付出的多 得到的多
(fù chū de duō dédào de duō)
The more one gives, the more one receives.


Cross-cultural Academic Advantage

Tune into Eye on China as Natalie Tso speaks with Tim Gillette, the founder of Encounters, which hosts exchanges between Chinese and western youth. Find out the secrets to their success and how his Academic Advantage program helps Chinese understand what elite western universities are looking for in prospective students.


Folk songs by Wang Luo-bin

Wang Luobin was a famous song writer (1913-1996) in China and had been devoted to the development of the northwestern minority culture for decades. In 1993, At a Faraway Place and Half the Moon Climbs Up were selected as the Chinese music classics of the 20th century. In this edition of Jade Bells and Bamboo Pipes, You will be able to hear those two songs along with Under the Silvery Moonlight, Lift Your Veil and Alamuhan.



More Taiwanese wedding traditions

John Van Trieste and Shirley Lin chat about interesting traditions about Taiwanese weddings, on Status Update.


Photo credit: http://bit.ly/2t6TkDv


Old Trains, Sprawling Routes Pt.I

Starting this week, I will take you on the old trains that tour around some of lesser known locations around Taiwan that has attracted local and international visiters. 


Golden Melody award winners

This week's Jukebox Republic presents great songs from winners of the Golden Melody Awards, including winner of Best Indigenous Album and Best Duo or Group.


Photo credit: http://bit.ly/2so4IyR


So talented

Tune into hear the story of Cao Zhi, the son of the famous leader Cao Cao of the Three Kingdoms Era, and his rivalry with his elder brother Cao Pi. 


Classic idiom 才高八斗(cái gāo bā dǒu) or literally "talent high eight buckets", or eight buckets of talent. It describes an extremely talented person.


The Banned Songs of Taiwan's Past

Thirty years ago, Taiwan entered a major period of transition. In 1987, decades of martial law came to an end. The martial law era was one when rights were restricted and dissidents persecuted and this year has brought on much reflection about this uncomfortable part of Taiwan’s past. But many people have also started to look back on the music of the martial law era. The government kept close tabs on Taiwan’s popular music during this period, blacklisting somewhere around 900 songs in total.

Justifications were offered. Lists of rules drawn up included bans on things like depressing lyrics, obscenity, and content deemed harmful to youth. But the reasoning for a given song’s blacklisting was often vague or arbitrary. So it was that some of Taiwan’s most beloved songs faced censorship and outright clampdowns. Today we’re going to look at some of these songs, now sung freely, but often reminders of a time when autocracy was a given. Most of the banned songs we’ll hear today have aged gracefully into the kind of oldies even young people still know well.


Simon Thomas

Simon Thomas of Wales is co-founder of Skyrock Projects, a creative technology academy for 14 year olds and above. This week on In the Spotlight, Simon goes in depth to talk about the program.


Chinese wine culture

Wine is not unique to Chinese culture but it is closely related to the life of the literati througout Chinese history. Also, who invented wine in ancient China? Find out more in Chinese Culture 101. 


Yuanzai the Panda Turns Four

Four years ago, Taiwan was swept up in a craze. It started off with an announcement from Taipei’s Muzha District. Before long, it was a fixture of office chit-chat, and when videos emerged, it quickly became a Youtube sensation as well. In time, crowds of people would make the trek down to Muzha themselves to see what the fuss was all about. There, at the Taipei Zoo, the first panda ever born in Taiwan had come into the world. She was dubbed Yuanzai. In other parts of the world, that might have been the end of it. But there is something about Taiwan- an obsession with the cute and cuddly- that has kept panda fever going.

She may no longer be headline news everyday, but Yuanzai’s fans remain as devoted as ever even as she nears maturity. At the Taipei Zoo, you can look at elephants, koalas, and camels to your heart’s content, but the Panda House remains the place where you’ll still need to take a number. This past week, Yuanzai delighted her fans once again with an appearance marking her fourth birthday. With Taiwan’s very own panda back in the news, we reached out to zoo researcher Wang Yimin to tell us about how Yuanzai got here, how she is developing, and how the zoo hopes to contribute further to panda conservation.


Cross-cultural identity

Tune into Taiwan Today as Natalie Tso speaks with educator Dan Long about his study of cross-cultural identities of Asian students educated at western schools.  Long has been an educator at Taiwan's finest international schools and grew up in Taiwan. 


Cultural exchanges

Tune into Eye on China as Natalie Tso speaks with the founder of Encounters, Tim Gillette, about how he has been facilitating successful cultural exchanges between Chinese and western youth. 


Self introduction

“Fitting in in Chinese” is a special series on Chinese to Go, which is jointly produced by the Chinese Language Center of Wenzao Ursuline University of Languages and Radio Taiwan International.


Episode 7


Self introduction


1. 介紹 


Introduce; recommend



(Qǐng nǐ zìwǒ jièshào yīxià.)

Please introduce yourself.



(Wǒ jiào dé měi. Déguó de dé, měiguó dì měi. Nǐmen kěyǐ jiào wǒ xiǎo měi.)

My name is Demei. The “de” is the same as in “Deguo”, Germany, and the “mei” is the same as in “Meiguo”, America.  But you can call me “Xiao Mei”.


2.   同學       





(Wǒ jiào dé zhōng. Dédào de dé, zhōngwén de zhōng. Yǒu de péngyǒu xǐhuān jiào wǒ ā zhōng.)

My name is Dezhong: the same “de” as in “dedao”, and the “zhong” in “Zhongwen”.  Some friends like to call me “A Zhong”.


3   歐洲       





(Ōuzhōu yǒu duōshǎo ge guójiā?)

How many countries are there in Europe?



(Dàgài yǒu sìshí jǐ ge ba!)

Probably around forty. Maybe more?


4   福氣       


Blessing; good fortune



(Táiwān lǎorénjiā xǐhuān tīngdào biérén shuō tāmen yǒu fúqì)

Older people in Taiwan like hearing others say that they are blessed and fortunate.



(Zhīfú, xífú, zàofú, jiùshì zuì yǒu fúqì de rénle.)

“Zhi fu”. Knowing one is lucky. “Xi fu”. Appreciating one’s good fortune. “Zao fu”. Creating happiness for others. People who understand these things are the most fortunate people!


5   得到       


To obtain; to get


俗語說: 「做好事,可以得到好報。」

(Súyǔ shuō: `Zuò hǎoshì, kěyǐ dédào hǎo bào.)

There’s an old saying that goes, “Those who do good, will themselves receive good.”



(Fùchū de yuè duō, dédào de yě yuè duō.)

The more you give, the more you will receive in turn.





(Dàjiā dōu zhīdào míngtiān kǎoshì ma?)

Does everybody know there’s an exam tomorrow?



(Jīntiān wǒ shēngrì, qǐng dàjiā chī dàngāo.)

Today’s my birthday! Please, everybody, have some cake!





(Nǐmen lái táiwān duōjiǔle?)

How long have you been in Taiwan?



(Nǐ xué zhōngwén duōjiǔle?)

How long have you been studying Chinese?





(Guóyǔ gēn tái yǔ yíyàng ma?)

Is Mandarin the same as Taiwanese?


差多了! 很不一樣。

(Chà duōle! Hěn bù yíyàng.)

There is a big difference! Not the same at all!


Cultural Insights


Chinese is a lyrical, rhythmical language.


1  介紹       


Introduce; introduction



(jièshào yīxià)  

To introduce



(jièshào yīxià zìjǐ)     

To introduce oneself



(jièshào yīgè péngyǒu)

To introduce a friend


2   歐洲       





(ōuzhōu péngyǒu)    

A European friend







(yàzhōu péngyǒu)    

An Asian friend



(jièshào yīgè ōuzhōu péngyǒu)  

To introduce a European friend



(jièshào yīgè yàzhōu péngyǒu)  

To introduce an Asian friend.


Stroke of Light ep. 77: Liu Chen-hsiang -- Shadows of History Pt.II

This week, we continue to look the photographs that Mr. Liu Chen-hsiang, a photo journalist for over 20 years. We will look back at the photographs that recorded moments of public clashes, and the moments that a nation of people united to push for a better political system. 


Guqin and vocal by Fan Li-bin/ Xiao by Zhang Yi-cheng

Born in 1965 in Taiwan, Fan Li-bin is not only a guqin master but also an expert of Chinese poetry, chanting, Chinese medicine and Buddhist thinking and Zen meditations. Zhang Yi-cheng is a famous virtuoso of the di and xiao instruments.


More about Taiwanese weddings

John Van Trieste and Shirley Lin introduce three more things to know about Taiwanese weddings, on Status Update.


Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage in Taiwan Pt.VI

In this episode, we conclude the mini-series by looking at some of the possible ways that pro-same-sex marriage activists can communicate with those in the public who hold the opposing opinions. 


More music from Golden Melody winners

Shirley Lin introduces music from winners of the Best Mandarin Female Singer, Best Mandarin Album, and Best Taiwanese Album awards, on Jukebox Republic.


Photo credit: http://bit.ly/2so4IyR


Sentiments of a river god

Tune into Classic Shorts to hear the story of Uncle River, the god of the Yellow River, and how he felt when he saw the North Sea. 


Classic idiom - 望洋興歎 (wàng yáng xīng tàn) or "look sea start sigh" describes the feeling of hopelessness and disappointment when one realizes one is not good enough. 


In the Same Seismic Zone: Earthquake Disasters of Taiwan and Japan in History

Here along the Pacific Rim, earthquakes have always been part of life. The experience of earthquakes from minor tremors to major disasters is something Taiwan shares with its neighbors, and a new exhibit at the National Museum of Taiwan History explores the history of earthquakes in Taiwan and neighboring Japan. With the cooperation of the National Museum of Japanese History, the exhibit looks at major earthquakes of the past and examines the ways Taiwan and Japan have responded to them. Chen Yi-hung is a curator and researcher at the National Museum of Taiwan History. He’s here today to walk us through the exhibit and give us a look back at how Taiwan’s responses to earthquakes have changed over time. 


Simon Thomas from Wales

Simon Thomas is from Wales and has been in Taiwan for five and a half years. He co-founded a creative technology academy called Skyrock Projects. But he first came to Taiwan on a teaching job at the European school in Taipei. Hear his story on In the Spotlight.


Bronze script

What is bronze script? Why did UNESCO choose April 20th as UN Chinese Language Day? Also, who invented Chinese characters anyway? Find out more in Chinese Culture 101. 


The Universiade comes to town

After years of planning, here we are- at the home stretch before the 2017 Summer Universiade sweeps Taipei. The venues are ready, the torch is on its way, and the countdown clocks are winding down. What exactly are the Universiade though? Why was Taipei chosen to hold it, and how do its organizers hope it will leave Taipei a better place? Here to help us with these questions is Mr. Yang, who is part of the army of people on the ground here working to ensure the games go smoothly.


A missionary kid in Taiwan

Tune into Taiwan Today as Natalie Tso speaks with Dan Long, who grew up as a missionary kid in Taiwan, about his life as a third culture kid and his love for Taiwan.  After graduating grom university in the US, Long returned to Taiwan to pursuse a career in education at Taiwan's finest international schools. 


Chinese characters

“ Fitting in in Chinese” is a special series on Chinese to Go, which is jointly produced by the Chinese Language Center of Wenzao Ursuline University of Languages and Radio Taiwan International.


Episode 5


Conversation: Why do people study Chinese?




“Fitting in in Chinese” is a special series on Chinese to Go, which is jointly produced by the Chinese Language Center of Wenzao Ursuline University of Languages and Radio Taiwan International.


Episode 6


Chinese characters


Every language has root words, as does Chinese. In this episode we build from basic characters and expand them into compound words, sentences and paragraphs.


(Tǔdì) land

(Zhè shì wǒ chūshēng, chéngzhǎng de tǔdì.)
This is the land where I was born and grew up.


(Zhè kuài tiándì yǐqián zhǒng mǐ, xiànzài zhǒng yùmǐ.)
This field used to be planted with rice, but now it’s planted in corn.


(Kàn dìtú jiù bù huì mílùle.)
Looking at a map, you can’t get lost.


你要去什麼地方? 你知道地址嗎?
(Nǐ yào qù shénme dìfāng? Nǐ zhīdào dìzhǐ ma?)
Which place do you want to go to? Do you know the address?

(Zhè yī dàpiàn tǔdì cóngqián dōu shì tiándì, yǒu zhòng cài de, zhǒng mǐ de, zhǒng yùmǐ de, xiànzài dōu gàile dàlóu, nǐ yéyé xiǎoshíhòu zhùguò dì dìfāng, zài dìtú shàng dū huàn xīn míngzìle.)

This large piece of land was formerly fields, planted with vegetables, rice and corn. Now it’s covered with buildings. The places from your grandfather’s childhood have all had their names changed on the map.



(Guóyǔ shì yīgè guójiā de yǔyán.)
Mandarin is a nation’s language.


(Yòng zhùyīn fúhào xué tái yǔ yě kěyǐ.)
It is also possible to use Mandarin Phonetic Symbols to learn Taiwanese.


(Yǔwén shì yǔyán hé wénzì de hé chēng.)
“Language” includes both written and spoken language.

Spoken language

(Yǔyán shì rén shuō chūlái de huà.)
Spoken language is what we say.

Come to Taiwan to study Mandarin or Taiwanese – both are “OK”. But, if you’re interested in written Chinese and want to learn to write characters, then Mandarin is more convenient.



(Chūntiān wàiguó guānguāng kè hěnduō.)
There are more foreign tourists in the spring.

One’s own country

Běnguó jiùshì nǐ zìjǐ de guójiā.
(“Ben guo” just means “your own country”)


(Zuìjìn lái táiwān de guójì xuéshēng yuè lái yuè duōle.)
Recently, more and more international students have been coming to Taiwan.

國外 。
(Guó wài)

(Yǒu jīhuì yīnggāi dào guó wài qù kàn kàn.)
If you have an opportunity, you should go abroad to see the world.

Going abroad to study provides a lot of opportunities to know other international students as well as local students. This allows you to improve your language skills very quickly, so you shouldn’t always stay around students from your own country.


Detaining foreigners

China's detention of Taiwanese democracy advocate Lee Ming-che has highlighted the threat of foreigners being arrested by Beijing for actions China deems a threat to its leadership. 


Tune into Eye on China as Natalie Tso speaks with Jjoje Olsson, a Swedish journalist and writer, about China's most recent tactics. Olsson is writing a book about the arrest of two Swedes in China. 


Stroke of Light ep. 76: Liu Chen-hsiang -- Shadows of History Pt.I

This week, Mr. Liu Chen-hsiang, a professional photo journalist for over 20 years shares with us some of the shocking photographs he captured when the public clashed with the government around the time when the Martial Law was lifted and Taiwan began its transformation into a democratic system. Liu recounts the untold stories and of the people he captured on film, and tells us the price they paid for our sytem today.  


Qin Solo by Lau Chor-wah

Lau Chor-wah was born in Hong Kong and in early 70s, she learned qin playing from Cai De-yun (1905-2007), a famous female qin performer in China.Guqin or qin is an ancient Chinese instrument belonging to the zither family. It is a plucked seven-string instrument.



Interview with Deputy Taipei Mayor Lin Chin-rong

Since President Tsai Ing-wen took office last May, the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has pushed the New Southbound policy. The policy refers to the government’s efforts to forge closer ties with South Asia, New Zealand, Australia and ASEAN member nations. ASEAN refers to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Except for India, most countries are south of Taiwan geographically, hence the name “southbound.”


To raise Taiwan’s profile in Southeast Asia through investment, the government introduced the Go South policy in the 1990s. However, that policy had lost its luster by the late 90s due to China’s growing economic clout. The Asian financial crisis in 1997 further prompted Taiwanese investors to withdraw from the region. It was not until 2010 that Taiwan’s investment in ASEAN countries began to increase as a result of rising labor and operating costs in China and the need to “Go South” began once more to gain attention.


In a sharp departure from the previous policy in the 90s that focused on investment and trade figures, the New Southbound policy is an economic strategy that puts an emphasis on bilateral exchanges and training professional talent.


About three months ago, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je, an independent, led a delegation to visit South Asia and Southeast Asia to show the city government’s support for the central government’s New Southbound policy. Recently, Deputy Taipei Mayor Lin Chin-rong talked to RTI about the trip. 


Winning over a thief

Tune into Classic Shorts to hear about how a famous Han dynasty scholar won over a thief. 


Classic idiom:

梁上君子 (liáng shàng jūn zǐ) means "gentleman on the beam" and refers to a thief. 


Red packets at weddings

Red packets filled with money is a big deal at Taiwanese weddings. Learn about them with John Van Trieste and Shirley Lin on Status Update.


Photo credit: http://bit.ly/2uAS5gp


Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage in Taiwan Pt.V

This week,  Ms. Teng Chu-yuan, from the Marriage Equality Coalition Taiwan, continues to talk about her experience working with members of the LBGT community and the challenges they have to face when striving for legal marraige rights. 


Winners at Golden Melody

Shirley Lin introduces some of the winners at this year's Golden Melody Awards, on Jukebox Republic.


Photo credit: http://bit.ly/2so4IyR


Success humbles

Tune into Classic Shorts to hear the famous story of the political strategist Su Qin who went from rags to riches. 


前倨後恭 (qián jù hòu gōng) -  first arrogant, then respectful. It describes a sudden change of attitude when someone discovers that someone is of high status. 


A LGBT victory

Tune into Taiwan Today as Natalie Tso speaks with Wayne Liu, chairperson of the Taiwan Tongzhi (LGBT) Hotline Association about how the LGBT community sees the recent constitutional court ruling in favor of same-sex marriage.


The Taiwan Sugar Museum

For hundreds of years, rich fields of sugarcane have been a part of the landscape in Taiwan’s rural south. The south’s low-lying plains, tropical sunshine, and warmth that lasts into the winter months all allow for a fine crop to grow. Hung Fu-che knows a lot about how this cane is turned into sugar: he once worked for the state-owned sugar company. These days, he’s a guide at the Taiwan Sugar Museum in Kaohsiung, housed on the grounds of Taiwan’s first mechanized sugar factory. The museum serves as a tribute to the dozens of other sugar factories that once dotted Taiwan’s south. Mr. Hung says these factories and their sugar played an important role in Taiwan’s history. He joins us today to outline sugar’s story on Taiwan, to share stories about the factory where the museum is housed, and to tell us why sugar was so important.


Duncan Longden, photographer

Duncan Longden came to Taiwan three and a half years ago to work for National Geographic as a photographer. Tune in to In the Spotlight to hear what he likes about Taiwan.


The Rainbow Village

In an unassuming corner of the central city of Taichung, there is a modernist masterpiece sitting in plain view. An entire neighborhood has been covered top to bottom in brightly colored shapes and abstract, psychedelic figures. Even the pavement is filled in completely with geometric arrangements and the outlines of animals. Visitors come from around the world to marvel at this painted village, and camera crews have been known to fly in just to capture its eye-popping aesthetic for an international audience.

This is the Rainbow Village. Though just a few years old, it is already on the radar of guidebook writers and travel show producers. It is one of the sights that is putting Taichung on the map. The artwork itself is striking, but the story behind it is a big part of the attraction too. A local man without any formal training decided one day to just pick up a brush and start painting. He didn’t stop until every inch of his neighborhood was filled in. And there's one more detail in this story that seems to attract the most attention: when the artist first picked up his brush, he was already close to 90 years old. Here to tell us more about this remarkable man and his creation is Kang Han-ming, who works for the Rainbow Village.