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The Taipei Botanical Garden Curious John
  • Curious John

    Curious John

    Curious John

For over 120 years, a parcel of land in downtown Taipei has been set aside for plants. Though the city has grown up around it- schools, luxury apartments, and all- this stretch of green has never been disturbed. Since it was first set aside, this urban garden has grown too, becoming a showcase for exotic plants from around the world, and critically, a refuge for Taiwan’s own rare and protected plant species. This is the Taipei Botanical Garden, an open-air maze of paths that stretch beneath trees, around ponds, and past flowers, no matter what the time of year. Here to tell us more about this taste of nature in the city is the botanical garden’s Mr. Wu.

Jonathan Lee and Qiu Lin

Jukebox Republic introduces two more winners of the Golden Melody Awards 2018.


Passive and lazy

Tune into Classic Shorts to hear the famous story of a farmer who waited for rabbits to come near his tree stump.


Classic idiom - 守株待兔 (shǒu zhū dài tù) or "watch stump wait rabbit" describes someone who just sits to wait for something to happen or for good luck to strike rather than putting effort to make it happen.


Joyce Tsai

Hear Joyce Tsai's story about how she fell in love with Chinese art history, on In the Spotlight.


“My Fantasy Book Rental Store”

For generations, Taiwanese people looking for entertainment had to look no further than their local book rental shop. Through decades with no internet and with few TV or movie options, and during a time in Taiwan’s past when money was tight and books pricey, these shops offered a way to take a good read home at an affordable price. While mentioning the titles of books these shops once offered may get you blank looks from younger people, there are still plenty of people who will react warmly, reminded of characters they met during leisurely hours of reading long ago. The nostalgia of these shops is captured well in "My Fantasy Book Rental Store", a recently opened exhibition at the National Museum of Taiwan History in Tainan. Joining us on the line today to introduce the exhibit is museum curator Liu Wei-ying.


The Siraya National Scenic Area (Part Two)

The Siraya National Scenic Area is one of the highlights of Taiwan’s southwest. Running for more than 95,000 hectares, it shelters everything from butterflies and birds to monkeys and other, bigger wildlife. There are forested mountains here, along with busy, thriving farms, and even a stretch of mysterious, barren moonscape. Last week, with scenic area secretary Shih Tsung-hung as our guide, we heard all about the scenic area’s wild places and the animals that call them home. We also got a taste of the scenic area’s strange natural features, including hot mud springs and a hole in the ground that sends forth both water and fire. This week, Mr. Shih joins us again to look at the human side of the scenic area- the local indigenous people and the local historic sites. He’ll also be taking us through the big cycle of festivals that mark the changing of seasons down in Taiwan’s beautiful, sunny south.


Tips for fathers

Tune into Taiwan Today as parenting coach Tim Gilette shares tips for fathers on how to build closer relationships with their children. 


US-China Trade War

Tune into Eye on China as Natalie Tso speaks with political analyst Ross Feingold about the trade tensions between the US and China. 


Three generations under one roof

“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 60


Three generations under one roof


1 年輕

(Niánqīng rén gēn niánjì dà yìdiǎn de rén, xiǎngfǎ chà hěnduō.)
The ways young people and older people think have some differences.


2 結婚

(Wǒmen yǐjīng jiéhūn èrshí duō niánle, juéde háishì gēn xīnhūn yíyàng.)
We’ve already been married more than twenty years, but still feel like newlyweds.


3 成家立業
establish a home and start a career

(Měi gerén zhǎngdà yǐhòu, dōuhuì xiǎng chéngjiālìyè, yǒu yíge zìjǐ de jiā.)
Everybody wants to establish a home and start a career after they grow up.


4 成立

(Zhège gōngsī chénglì duōjiǔle?)
How long has this company been established?


5 成語

(Chéngyǔ yào yòng duì, cái bú huì nào chū xiàohuà.)
Idioms must be used correctly, or you will get laughed at.


6 省錢
be(ing) thrifty

(Shěng shuǐ, shěng diàn, shěng qián dōu shì wǒmen yīnggāi zuò de.)
Conserving electricity, conserving water, and being thrifty are what we should do.


7 存錢
save money

(Líng cún zhěng fù shì yìzhǒng hěn hǎo de cún qián fāngfǎ.)
A good way to save money is to accumulate small amounts over a long period of time.


8 照顧
take care of

(Rénshēng bìng de shíhòu, tèbié xūyào biérén de zhàogù.)
When someone gets sick, they really need somebody to take care of them.




老師: 現代年輕人對成家的觀念,跟我們那個時代真不一樣。
(Lǎoshī: Xiàndài niánqīng rén duì chéngjiā de guānniàn, gēn wǒmen nàge shídài zhēn bù yíyàng.)
Teacher: The ideas about family life that young people have today really differ from the way we used to think.


德美: 老師的意思是,他們寧願住在一起,也不願意結婚?
(Déměi: Lǎoshī de yìsi shì, tāmen nìngyuàn zhù zài yìqǐ, yě bú yuànyì jiéhūn?)
Demei: Does teacher mean that they would rather live together, but aren’t willing to get married?


歐福: 因為結婚成立一個家庭,責任很大。不如單身!
(Ōufú: Yīnwèi jiéhūn chénglì yíge jiātíng, zérèn hěn dà. Bùrú dānshēn!)
Oufu: That’s because getting married and becoming a family is a huge responsibility. Not like being single!


老師: 有句成語,「成家立業」。成了家彼此照顧,立業就不難了。
(Lǎoshī: Yǒu jù chéngyǔ,”chéngjiālìyè”. Chéngle jiā bǐcǐ zhàogù, lìyè jiù bù nánle.)
Teacher: We have an idiom that says, “Establish a home and start a career.” Once you have a family, you take care of each other, so starting a career is less difficult.


德美: 很多單身男女賺的錢,自己花都不夠。
(Déměi: Hěnduō dānshēn nánnǚ zhuàn de qián, zìjǐ huā dōu búgòu.)
Demei: A lot of single men and women don’t earn enough for their own expenses.


歐福: 根本不敢想結婚成家的事。
(Ōufú: Gēnběn bù gǎn xiǎng jiéhūn chéngjiā de shì.)
Oufu: Much less think about getting married and starting a family!


老師: 我們結婚時,也沒錢存。成家後兩個人就比較容易省錢啦!
(Lǎoshī: Wǒmen jiéhūn shí, yě méi qián cún. Chéngjiā hòu liǎng ge rén jiù bǐjiào róngyì shěng qián la!)
Teacher: When we got married, we hadn’t any savings. Two people, taking care of each other, made it easier to save money!


Chinese Buddhist Music

The composer, Chen Dawei is a famous composer and graduated from the Shanghai Music College in 1965 with excellent grades. Chen has been composing for movies, TV, symphony and traditional orchestra for many years.


Brian Simon: Past Lives

Brian Simon is a Taipei-based songwriter and poet from the United States. On this week's Book of Odes, he reads some of his poems, together with clips from a recent live music performance.


What can you get done at Taiwan convenience store?

Find out from John Van Trieste and Shirley Lin the different services that they offer at Taiwanese convenience stores, on Status Update.


Photo uploaded to Wikipedia by user Simon Law.

Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dry_cleaning#/media/File:Dry_clean_rack.jpg


More Golden Melody award winners

Tune in to Jukebox Republic to hear wonderful jazz music from Hsu Yu-ying and melodious Taiwanese tunes from Elly Chang.



Tune into Classic Shorts to hear the story of the two men who vied to be the richest man in China.


Classic idiom - 光彩奪目 (guāng cǎi duó mù) - "brilliance that dazzles the eyes" refers to something that is dazzling and attractive.


Ted Hung, founder of Fab Lab

Tune in to learn what Fab Lab is and about a 12-year old boy Ted Hung had impacted from his makers' association, on In the Spotlight.


The History of Taiwan's National Parks

Taiwan is a small place blessed with a huge variety of landscapes. In a relatively tight space, you can find deep snowy mountains and alpine forests alongside rocky ravines, swampy coastal marsh, and warm, sunny beaches. The scattered islands governed from Taiwan are small but varied too, set amid both brisk marine climates and high seas as well as languid, tropical waters rich with tropical marine life. Through its recorded history, Taiwan’s beauty has never been much of a secret. The old European name for the island, Formosa- we’re constantly told- means beautiful in Portuguese, a sign that outsiders admired this beauty even centuries ago. But the ideas of national parks and conservation didn’t emerge in Taiwan until the early 20th century. Today, we’re taking a look at how Taiwan got its national parks.


The Siraya National Scenic Area (Part One)

A large stretch of southern Taiwan’s interior falls within the Siraya National Scenic Area. The scenic area was founded late in 2005, but it seems like the kind of place that should have attracted notice much earlier. All of its 95,000 plus hectares are stunning, but this is far more than a collection of scenic spots. There’s a bit of everything here, from strange geology to indigenous culture, historic relics, and of course, a great deal of unspoiled nature. Here, a long list of events and goings-on follows the changing of the seasons and makes every part of the year special. Here with us this week to share what the area has to offer is one of the officials in charge, Secretary Shih Tsung-hung.


Parenting in Taiwan

Tune into Taiwan Today as Natalie Tso speaks with Tim Gilette, who teaches parenting workshops in Taiwan. He describes the challenges modern families face and how he helps parents build better relationships with their children. 


US and North Korea

Tune into Eye on China as Natalie Tso speaks with political analyst Ross Feingold about what was achieved at the historical summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.


Stephen Owen

Harvard University professor Stephen Owen has won the third Tang Prize for sinology along with Yoshinobu Shiba, a Japanese scholar. An expert on comparative literature and Tang poetry, Owen, who teaches at the Department of Asian Languages and Civilizations, has translated many Tang poems into English, with his own annotations.


His translation of Tu Fu’s poetry, in particular, enables Western academics to grasp the beauty of the works of one of China’s greatest poets. The Tang Prize Foundation said Owen has been the single most important scholar of Chinese classical poetry in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. He has also written widely in other literary fields and has translated important writings in both prose and poetry.


Supplemental classes


“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 59


歐福: 我家教的學生說,台灣的宗教很自由,這真是個好事。

(Ōufú: Wǒ jiājiào de xuéshēng shuō, Táiwān de zōngjiào hěn zìyóu, zhè zhēnshi ge hǎoshì.)

Oufu: My private student tells me that Taiwan has a lot of religious freedom. That is really a good thing!


阿山: 是啊!,有的老師教書,或是補習班的教室裡,常聽到他們談宗教的事情。

(Āshān: Shì a!, Yǒu de lǎoshī jiāoshū, huò shì bǔxí bān de jiàoshì lǐ, cháng tīngdào tāmen tán zōngjiào de shìqíng.)

Ashan: Yeah! When some teachers are lecturing, or in supplemental schools’ classes, I often hear them discussing religion.


歐福: 我聽佛教徒問好的時候,說「吉祥」,天主教說「平安」。

(Ōufú: Wǒ tīng Fójiào tú wènhǎo de shíhòu, shuō “jíxiáng”, tiānzhǔjiào shuō “píng'ān”.)

Oufu: I hear that when Buddhists greet each other, they say “ji xiang”, meaning “auspicious”or “propitious”. Catholics say “ping an”, meaning “peace”.


小文: 我要去中藥店,幫媽媽買補藥。你們要陪我去嗎?

(Xiǎowén: Wǒ yào qù zhōngyào diàn, bāng māmā mǎi bǔyào. Nǐmen yào péi wǒ qù ma?)

Xiaowen: I need to go to the Chinese medicine store to buy Mom some tonic. Do you want to come with me?


阿山: 今天不行,我補習之後,要去看牙醫,填補我的牙齒。

(Āshān: Jīntiān bùxíng, wǒ bǔxí zhīhòu, yào qù kàn yáyī, tiánbǔ wǒ de yáchǐ.)

Ashan: I can’t, today. After going to cram school, I need to go to the dentist to get a cavity filled.


歐福: 你媽媽生病了嗎?

(Ōufú: Nǐ māmā shēngbìngle ma?)

Oufu: Is your mother ill?


小文: 她沒病,吃中藥是她的嗜好,她好意地也要我吃。

(Xiǎowén: Tā méi bìng, chī zhōngyào shì tā de shìhào, tā hǎoyì de yě yào wǒ chī.)

Xiaowen: She’s not sick. Taking Chinese medicine is her “hobby”. She‘s very solicitous about wanting me to take it, too.


阿山: 很多媽媽認為冬天到了,每個人都應該進補。

(Āshān: Hěnduō māmā rènwéi dōngtiān dàole, měi gerén dōu yīnggāi jìnbǔ.)

Ashan: A lot of mothers think that when winter arrives, everybody should eat nutritious food and drink tonics.








To fill in; to be full




To eat nutritious food; drink tonics




Supplemental medicine




Supplemental studies


1.1   快把這個洞填補好。

(Kuài bǎ zhège dòng tiánbǔ hǎo.)

Hurry up and fill in this hole!


1.2   從前老年人有冬天進補的習慣。

(Cóngqián lǎonián rén yǒu dōngtiān jìnbǔ de xíguàn.)

In times past, older people had the custom of eating special nutritious food in the winter.


1.3   這是給病人吃的補藥。

(Zhè shì gěi bìngrén chī de bǔyào.)

This is supplemental medicine for the patient.


1.4   現在幾乎每個中學生,放了學都要去補習。

(Xiànzài jīhū měi ge zhōngxuéshēng, fàngle xué dōu yào qù bǔxí.)

Nowadays, almost every high school student goes to cram schools for supplemental courses after school.







Tutor, tutoring, family upbringing












to teach



(Jiājiào” yǒu jiātíng jiàoyù, yěyǒu jiātíng jiàoshī de yìsi.)

“Family education” has the meaning of both “upbringing” and “private tutor”.


2.2   每一個人都有宗教的自由。

(Měi yīgèrén dōu yǒu zōngjiào de zìyóu.)

Freedom of religion is everyone’s right.


2.3   這間教室的空間跟光線都很好。

(Zhè jiān jiàoshì de kōngjiān gēn guāngxiàn dōu hěn hǎo.)

This classroom’s space and light are very good.


2.4   教書是一份很好的工作。

(Jiāoshū shì yī fèn hěn hǎo de gōngzuò.)

Teaching is a very good career.



3.     【好】Hǎo/Hào




To say hello, to ask after








Good intention(s)




Good deed(s), good thing


3.1   幫我跟你家人問好。

(Bāng wǒ gēn nǐ jiārén wènhǎo.)

Please say “hello” to your family for me.


3.2   我的嗜好是爬山、聽音樂。

(Wǒ de shìhào shì páshān, tīng yīnyuè.)

My hobbies are mountain climbing and listening to music.


3.3   他是好意,你就不要生他的氣了。

(Tā shì hǎoyì, nǐ jiù bùyào shēng tā de qìle.)

His intentions were good, so don’t be angry with him.


3.4   這是好事,我當然願意幫忙。

(Zhè shì hǎoshì, wǒ dāngrán yuànyì bāngmáng.)

This is a good deed, so of course I am willing to help.


Chinese Tea Ballads

Both China and Taiwan have a long history of culture of tea drinking. Originally sung by the cultivators plucking tea on green hills, the tea ballads generally are a reflection of the people’s passion for nature.


Things you can do at convenience stores

Find out from John Van Trieste and Shirley Lin about more things that you can accomplish at convenience stores in Taiwan, on Status Update.




Lala Hsu and Crowd Lu

Lala Hsu and Crowd Lu are two other artists who won two awards each at the Golden Melody Awards this year. Hear their creative music on Jukebox Republic.


Photo courtesy of: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOWybmnASlg



Knowing who you are with

Tune into Classic Shorts as Natalie Tso presents a story of a famous carpenter who overlooked one of his greatest students.


Classic idiom - 有眼不識泰山 (yǒu yǎn bù shí tài shān) or "having eyes but not knowing Tai Shan". It means to not know or appreciate the greatness of someone you are with. It can also describe someone with a limited view. 



The mountainous area of Taoyuan called Cihu has a long association with Chiang Kai-shek. The late president fell in love with these mountains soon after retreating to Taiwan at the end of the Chinese Civil War. Supposedly, this place bears a striking resemblance to his hometown. After coming to Taiwan, he spent many days at Cihu, and photos and detailed information about his life in his retreat there are on display at Cihu’s visitors' center. What fewer people have seen, though, is Houcihu, or “back Cihu”, a secretive place close by. Inside, offensive military plans were discussed, and preparations were made in case the Cold War turned hot and Taipei fell. Even today, open for the public to explore, the 600-visitor-a-day limit continues to give the place an air of secrecy. Here to open up what secrets we can is Lee Chuang-bin, a veteran tour group leader at the site.


Ted Hung of FabLab

Ted Hung talks about how he went from hydraulic and ocean engineering major to architecture in the States but came back to Taiwan not knowing what he wanted to do. Hear the first part of his life story on In the Spotlight.


The Matsu Islands' Distinctive Kaoliang Liquor

There’s something brewing in Matsu Islands. There’s been something brewing there for many decades now- a liquor called kaoliang. For a long time, this distinctive liquor was a local secret. But the Matsu Islands are now firmly linked to this liquor in the Taiwanese imagination. There is even a plan underway to introduce it to a broader audience. Here this week to discuss Matsu’s kaoliang liquor is Liu Chiu-ming, CEO of the islands’ local brewer, the Matsu Liquor Factory Industry Co., Ltd.


Will Harvard stop discriminating against Asians?

Tune into Taiwan Today as Natalie Tso speaks with Raymond Wong of the Asian American Coalition for Education (AACE) about the Trump's administration decision to no longer support affirmative action in college admissions. They also discuss their case against Harvard University and its discrimiation against Asian Americans.  


Terry Gou

Taiwanese business tycoon Terry Gou has been in the news recently. Gou is the chair and CEO of Foxconn, the world’s largest contract electronics manufacturer. The company is the trading name of the Taiwan-based Hon Hai Precision Industry Company and counts Apple among its major clients.


Last week, Foxconn broke ground on a US$10 billion display panel plant in the US state of Wisconsin. The project is in line with the Trump administration’s policy to bring manufacturing jobs back from Asia. President Donald Trump, Wisconsin governor Scott Walker and House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan were present at the ground-breaking ceremony.


Academic advantage

Tune into Eye on China as Tim Giletter, founder of  Encounters, shares about their Academic Advantage cultural exchange program and what Chinese students should know about getting into elite graduate schools. 


Mountain Climbing

“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 58


阿山: 德美,聽說這次你不跟我們去爬玉山嗎?
(Āshān: Déměi, tīng shuō zhècì nǐ bù gēn wǒmen qù pá Yùshān ma?)
Ashan: Demei, I hear you don’t want to climb Jade Mountain with us this time.


歐福: 你看照片上這麼美的風景,你一點興趣都沒有嗎?
(Ōufú: Nǐ kàn zhàopiàn shàng zhème měide fēngjǐng, nǐ yìdiǎn xìngqù dōu méiyǒu ma?)
Oufu: : Look at this photo of the beautiful scenery! You really don’t have any interest in going?


德美: 對一個怕高的人來說,爬這樣的高山是不可能的事情。
(Déměi: Duì yígè pà gāo de rén lái shuō, pá zhèyàng de gāoshān shì bù kěnéng de shìqíng.)
Demei: For someone afraid of heights, climbing this tall of a mountain is just … impossible.


阿山: 事實上,一點都不難。除了我以外,還有很多爬山高手。
(Āshān: Shìshí shàng, yìdiǎn dōu bù nán. Chúle wǒ yǐwài, hái yǒu hěnduō páshān gāoshǒu.)
Ashan: Actually, it wouldn’t be difficult at all. Besides me, there are lots of other mountain climbing experts.


歐福: 我們也會在旁邊陪你。
(Ōufú: Wǒmen yě huì zài pángbiān péi nǐ.)
Oufu: And we’ll be right beside you the entire time.


德美: 看來,我這次非跟你們去不可了?
(Déměi: Kàn lái, wǒ zhècì fēi gēn nǐmen qù bùkěle?)
Demei: It looks like I can not go with you!



1. …一點都不/沒…:
(…Yìdiǎn dōu bù/méi…)

1.1 問:你想去嗎?
(Wèn: Nǐ xiǎng qù ma?)
Q: Do you want to go?


(Dá: Wǒ yìdiǎn dōu bùxiǎng qù.)
A: Not even a little bit.


1.2 問:你想試試嗎?
(Wèn: Nǐ xiǎng shì shì ma?)
Q: Do you want to give it a try?


(Dá: Wǒ yìdiǎn dōu bùxiǎng shì.)
A: No, I really don’t want to try it at all.


2. 對…來說,那是不可能…:
(Duì…lái shuō, nà shì bù kěnéng…:)


2.1 問:你覺得早上六點怎麼樣?
(Wèn: Nǐ juédé zǎoshang liù diǎn zěnme yàng?)
Q: How do you feel about six in the morning?


(Dá: Duì duōshù rén lái shuō, nà shì bù kěnéng de shíjiān.)
A: For a lot of people that’s just an impossible time!


2.2 問:你覺得學生不交作業怎麼樣?
(Wèn: Nǐ juédé xuéshēng bù jiāo zuòyè zěnme yàng?)
Q: What do you think about students who don’t do homework?


(Dá: Duì lǎoshī lái shuō, nà shì bù kěnéng jiēshòu de.)
A: As far as the teacher is concerned, that is just unacceptable.


3. 除了…之外,還…:
(Chúle…zhī wài, hái…)


3.1 問: 為什麼要吃補?
(Wèn: Wèishéme yào chī bǔ?)
Q: Why do you need to take supplements?


(Dá: Chúle duì shēntǐ hǎo zhī wài, hái kěyǐ ràng wǒ biàn cōngmíng.)
A: Besides being good for my health, they also make me smarter.


3.2 問:你還想補什麼課嗎?
(Wèn: Nǐ hái xiǎng bǔ shénme kè ma?
Q: What other classes would you like to take?


(Dá: Chúle tīnglì zhī wài, hái xiǎng bǔ zuòwén.)
A: In addition to listening comprehension, I’d like to take a writing class.


4. 看來…了!:

(Kàn lái…le!:)


4.1 問: 他為什麼還沒來?
(Wèn: Tā wèishéme hái méi lái?)
Q: Why hasn’t he come yet?


(Dá: Kàn lái tā jīntiān bù huì láile!)
A: It looks like he won’t come today!


4.2 問: 诶!為什麼風雨這麼大?
(Wèn: Éi! Wèishéme fēngyǔ zhème dà?)
Q: Wow! Why is the weather so severe?


(Dá: Kàn lái táifēng láile!)
A: It looks like a typhoon is coming!


Taiwan’s National Chinese Orchestra

Taiwan’s National Chinese Orchestra was established in 1984. The director of this album is Wang Ming-Shean who has undertaken the education works of fine arts for decades.


Keril Victor: Light

Keril Victor is a poet and songwriter from Saint Lucia. On this week's Book of Odes, he shares about his life in Taiwan and reads from both his own work and a poem by Saint Lucia's Nobel literature laureate Derek Walcott.


Convenient things you can do at convenience store

John Van Trieste and Shirley Lin start on a fun introduction of 10 convenient things you can do at Taiwanese convenience stores, on Status Update.


Photo uploaded to Wikipedia by user 捷利.

Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puyuma_express#/media/File:TRA_TED2002_at_Shulin_Station_20121110.jpg


Catching demons

Learn about a legendary demon slayer in Chinese history who helped saved the Emperor Xuanzhong during the Dragon Boat Festival.


Classic idiom of the week: 鍾馗捉鬼( zhōng kuí zhuō gui) or "Zhong Kui slay demons" - catch the bad guys


Eason Chen and MJ116

Both Hong Kong artist Eason Chen and the Taiwanese group MJ116 were winners at this year's Golden Melody awards. Hear their music on Jukebox Republic.


The pearl and the dragon

Tune into Classic Shorts to hear the legendary dragon story of a boy, his mother, a miraculous pearl.


One World Human Rights Film Festival

The One World International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival is the world's largest human rights film festival and it celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. It also brought the film festival to Taiwan for the first time this year. 


Tune into Taiwan Today as Natalie Tso speaks with Julie Karova, programmer at the One World International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival. 


Kevin Wu of Wonmi Restaurant

Kevin Wu is founder of Wonmi Restaurant in Taipei that specializes in pork dishes. He talks about how having a celebrity brother who designed inaugural dresses for former US first lady Michelle Obama has helped him understand the importance of branding, on In the Spotlight.



In 1709, people who’d arrived on Taiwan from China’s Fujian Province staked out a new home along a riverfront area in what’s now Taipei. They were the founders of Bangka, a town that took its name from a word meaning “wooden canoe” in language of the Ketagalan people indigenous to the area. From these beginnings, the town grew, until it was eventually absorbed by the modern city of Taipei. During its centuries of development, the town has seen its share of important historical buildings built as well as its share of excitement. This week, we’re going to look at the story of Bangka, also known in Mandarin as Wanhua, and visit some of the historical landmarks to be found there.


The Black-faced Spoonbill Ecology Exhibition Hall

Each year, Taiwan’s coastal wetlands attract waterfowl from across East Asia. As the winter approaches from the north, these birds descend on Taiwan to enjoy the warmth here where the subtropics and the tropics meet. One of these migratory birds in particular has become something of a celebrity among bird-watchers here. The black-faced spoonbill thrives in Taiwan’s seaside marshes, and bird enthusiasts here love to head down to the shore to check these overwinter guests out. These birds flock in particular to the southwest marshes outside the city of Tainan. This stretch of coast is the home of the Black-faced Spoonbill Ecology Exhibition Hall. Though now under renovation, the hall is gearing up for another season of introducing these birds to the public. With me this week to tell us about the birds and the work the hall does is hall director Hung Meng-chi.


The Bechdel test

Tune into Taiwan Today as Natalie Tso speaks with Valentina Westergårdh, director, screenwriter and producer, and president of Swedish non-profit organization Women in Film and Television (WIFT), about promoting women in film and the Bechdel test, a meaure of gender equality in films.


Experiencing the west

Tune into Eye on China as Natalie Tso speaks with Tim Giletter, the director of Encounters, about his cultural exchange program this summer that take Chinese students to western countries. 


Filling a Need

“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 57


Filling a Need


(Ōufú: Zuótiān tīng xiǎowén shuō “cóngxiǎo bǔ dào dà”, wǒmen bú tài dǒng yìsi, jiù shàngwǎng chá zīliào.)
Oufu: Yesterday I heard Xiaowen say, “Cong xiao bu dao da.” We don’t quite understand what that means, so we got on line to look it up.


(Lǎoshī: Nǐmen chá dàole shénme zīliào?)
Teacher: What did you find out?


(Déměi: Hǎoduō! Xiàng shì bǔkè, bǔkǎo, bǔpiào, bǔdòng, bǔjiāo zuòyè, bǔchōng shuǐ fèn, zhèxiē dōu hǎo dǒng.)
Demei:A lot! For example, “make up a class”, “make up a test”, “to pay for a ticket after getting on the train”, “to fill up a hole”, “hand in homework late”, and “to drink more water to prevent dehydration”. These were easy to understand.


(Ōufú: Kěshì duì bǔ yì bǔ, chībǔ, bǔxuě, bǔqì, bǔ shēntǐ, jiù bú tài qīngchǔle.)
Oufu:But as for “filling a need”, “eat something nutritious”, “nourishing the blood”, “to nourish or conserve one’s vitality”, or “nourishing one’s health”, we don’t understand those very clearly.


(Lǎoshī: Jīběn shàng “bǔ” yǒu “wán, hǎo” de yìsi, rúguǒ yǒu búgòu, bùquán de qíngxíng, jiù xūyào bǔ quán tā.)
Teacher:Basically, “bu” has the meanings of “complete” and “well”. If there isn’t enough of something, or it is incomplete, then we need to make up the lack.

(Déměi: Wèishéme yào “cóngxiǎo bǔ dào dà” ne?)
Demei: Then why do you need to “bu” from since you were a baby?


Lǎoshī: Yīnwéi rén cóng xiǎoshíhòu dào dà, yīnggāi shuō “dào lǎo”, shēntǐ rúguǒ quēshǎo le shénme? Yīshī huì jiànyì chī bùtóng de wéitāmìng. Wǒmen zhōngyī jiù huì jiànyì chúle yào bǔ zhī wài, hái yào shíbǔ.
Teacher: Because from the time we are small until we are fully grown, or I should say, until we are old, what happens to our health if we are lacking something? The doctor will suggest that we take different vitamins. Our Chinese herb doctors would suggest that, in addition to medicine, we also need to eat certain kinds of nourishing foods.


(Ōufú: Ó! Suǒyǐ jīngshén bù hǎo, jiù yào hē jījīng bǔchōng jīnglì, shì ma?)
Oufu: Oh! Therefore, if someone lacks stamina, they should drink essence of chicken broth to increase their energy, right?


(Lǎoshī: Xué de zhēn kuài! Kàn lái jīntiān xiàwǔ kěyǐ búyòng bǔkèle!)
Teacher: You learn quickly! Looks like we won’t have to “bu” the class this afternoon!


Hong Kong Music Lover Chinese Orchestra

Hong Kong Music Lover Chinese Orchestra was founded in 1979 with the aim to promote Chinese music. Many of its members are prominent musicians in Hong Kong.


Winner for June

John Van Trieste and Shirley Lin announce the top FB comment winner for June and the most unusual street sound one can hear in Taiwan, on Status Update. 


Lucky me

Why is Shirley Lin playing songs about being lucky? She has a story to share, on Jukebox Republic.


The legend of the 4 rivers

Tune into Classic Shorts to hear the legend of how 4 dragons saved and brought rivers to China. 


"Dadaocheng Museum"

People in search of old Taipei have just one place to go. Dadaocheng is a 19th-century riverside town that predates the modern city and has since been absorbed into its fabric. There are plenty of shops in Dadaocheng that have seen a hundred years come and go, and the things they sell haven’t changed since the days when imperial China’s Qing Dynasty ruled the land. But the better part of Dadaocheng is hidden behind closed doors, in privately-owned buildings and in stories that only long-time locals know. Now, though, a company based in Dadacoheng called Taipei Walking Tour is opening this district up for a limited time. In a series of walking tours called “Dadaocheng Museum”, the friends and neighbors who preserve this special place are sharing their heritage with visitors. Here to tell us more about Dadaocheng and about this event is the company’s Yan Chih-hao.


Kevin Wu, from farm to table concept

Kevin Wu owns Wonmi Restaurant that specializes in delicious pork dishes and a farm to table concept creative park in western Taiwan. Have a listen to why he's doing what he's doing on In the Spotlight.