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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.


Cecilia Lindqvist, a Swedish sinologist and Guqin musician, will be introducing the ancient Chinese musical instrument. 


An enviable piece of jade

Tune into Classic Shorts as Natalie Tso brings you a story from the Warring States period about a precious piece of jade.


Classic idiom - 完璧歸趙 (wán bì guī zhào) or "return jade back to Chao" - which means to return something intact to its rightful owner.


Wang Delu

Between 1683 and 1895, large swathes of Taiwan came under the rule of China’s last imperial dynasty, the Qing. During the more than 200 years of imperial Chinese rule, few people from Taiwan rose to the prominence achieved by Wang Delu. Through a military career that spanned the late 18th and early 19th centuries, Wang helped the Qing Dynasty put down rebels and smash the pirates that plagued the empire’s coast. He received imperial favor and at the end of his life came out of retirement to defend the empire against foreign aggression.



Wang was born and is buried on Taiwan’s southwest plain in the town of Taibao, Chiayi County. The town is named in Wang’s honor, “Taibao” being a high imperial title that was bestowed on him during his lifetime. Taibao is also notable for being home to the National Palace Museum’s Southern Branch, which opened there in 2015. The career of this proud local son is the subject of an ongoing exhibit at the museum, called “Wang Delu and the Tongan Ship”. Here to tell us more about Wang Delu and the museum’s look back at his life is assistant researcher Wang Chian-yu.


The National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium

Taiwan is surrounded by and covered with water. Streams and rivers cut through the island, and no matter where you go, even into the high central mountains, you’re never really that far from the sea. Since it opened in 2000, the National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium has been working to teach the wider public about Taiwan’s wide range of aquatic environments and to instill in people a love for the ocean that surrounds them. Here with us to introduce Taiwan’s underwater world and talk about the aquarium’s work is Chang Cheng-chieh of the aquarium planning department.


The DPP and China

Tune into Taiwan Today as Natalie Tso speaks with political analyst Spencer Yang about President Tsai Ing-wen's China policy.


Would the US defend Taiwan?

Would the US defend Taiwan if China attacked? Could Taiwan defend itself? Tune into Eye on China as Natalie Tso speaks with Ian Easton, the author of The Chinese Invasion Threat.


Stroke of Light ep. 91: "Passion" a short film and video installation by Wang Jun Jieh

This week, we speak with Mr. Wang Jun-Jieh about "Passion" his latest short film and video installation which deals with elements such as attraction and sexuality in a relationship. 


Exchanging NT Dollars

“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 21


Exchanging NT Dollars


(Dé měi: Lǎoshī, zài táiwān kěyǐ yòng měijīn huò shì ōuyuán ma?)
Demei: Teacher, can I use American dollars or euros in Taiwan?


(Lǎoshī: Zhǐyǒu dà fàndiàn cái shōu wàibì, nǐmen yǒurén xūyào huàn wàibì ma?)
Teacher: Only big hotels will accept foreign currency. Do any of you need to change your money to NT dollars?


(Dé měi: Wǒ xūyào, wǒ yào yòng ōuyuán huàn táibì.)
Demei: I do. I need to change euros for NT dollars.


(Dé zhōng: Wǒ yě xūyào, wǒ yào yòng měijīn huàn táibì.)
Dezhong: I do, too. I need to exchange American dollars for NT dollars.


(Ōu fú: Wǒ yào yòng lǚxíng zhīpiào huàn táibì.)
Oufu: I need to cash my traveler's checks.


(Lǎoshī: Hǎohǎo hǎo, dōu méi wèntí, dōu kěyǐ huàn. Qǐng nǐmen dàizhe hùzhào, měijīn, ōuyuán, lǚxíng zhīpiào, gēn wǒ qù yínháng.)
Teacher: Okay, okay! No problem! We can change all your currency. Please bring your American dollars, euros, traveler's checks and passports, and come with me to the bank.


(Ōu fú: Qíguài, wǒ de hùzhào ne?)
Oufu: That’s odd. Where’s my passport?


(Lǎoshī: Bùyào zhāojí, màn man zhǎo.)
Teacher: Don’t get nervous. Take your time looking for it.


(Dé měi: Nǐ gāngcái qù yǐnliào diàn de shíhòu, shì bùshì dàile liǎng gè bāo bāo?)
Demei: Just now, when you went to the beverage store, didn’t you have TWO bags?


歐福 : 哎呀! 我忘了我的大書包,我的護照在那個書包裡。
(Ōu fú: Āiyā! Wǒ wàngle wǒ de dà shūbāo, wǒ de hùzhào zài nàgè shūbāo lǐ.)
Oufu: Oh NO! I forgot my large book bag! My passport is in there!


老師 : 德美,你先打電話給美美飲料店,我陪歐福去店裡找。
(Lǎoshī: Dé měi, nǐ xiān dǎ diànhuà gěi měiměi yǐnliào diàn, wǒ péi ōu fú qù diàn lǐ zhǎo.)
Teacher: Demei, first call Mei Mei beverage store, and I’ll go there with Oufu to look for his bag.


Cultural insights
This is a children’s hopscotch rhyme. The purpose is to reinforce the rhythm of numbers.



Xiǎo píqiú, xiàng jiāoyóu, mǎn dì kāihuā yīshíyī;
yīwǔliù, yīwǔqī, yībā, yījiǔ, èrshíyī;
èrwǔliù, èrwǔqī, èrbā, èrjiǔ, sānshíyī;
sānwǔliù, sānwǔqī, sānbā, sānjiǔ, sìshíyī;
sìwǔliù, sìwǔqī, sìbā, sìjiǔ, wǔshíyī;
wǔwǔliù, wǔwǔqī, wǔbā, wǔjiǔ, liùshíyī;
liùwǔliù, liùwǔqī, liùbā, liùjiǔ, qīshíyī;
qīwǔliù, qīwǔqī, qībā, qījiǔ, bāshíyī;
bāwǔliù, bāwǔqī, bābā, bājiǔ, jiǔshíyī;
jiǔwǔliù, jiǔwǔqī, jiǔbā, jiǔjiǔ, yībǎi líng yī.


Taiwanese Songs Part II

Taipei Philharmonic Chamber Choir (Taipei Philharmonic Chorus) was founded in 1972 and through the efforts of its conductors, it has established an extensive repertoire and a reputation as one of the most prestigious choruses in Taiwan. Dirk DuHei has been the conductor and artistic director since 1983. Although born in China, he received his Master of Music in Conducting at the University of Illinois, USA and then returned to Taiwan to become involved in choral directing.


Powder to stop bleeding?

Join John Van Trieste and Shirley Lin as they describe three more remedies that are prevalent in Taiwanese household's medicine cabinet, on Status Update.


Cats and dogs

Shirley Lin shares her stories about cats and dogs in Taiwan, on this week's Jukebox Republic.


Photo courtesy of Sammy Chen


The king's bird

Tune into Classic Shorts to hear the story about how a king loved a precious rare bird and how that love went wrong.


The Presidential Office Building

This week the Republic of China- Taiwan’s official name- celebrated its 106th anniversary. For many years now, the main celebrations took place outside the Presidential Office Building in Taipei, an elegant brick building with a tall central spire that has served as the office of the presidents of Republic of China since 1950. The building's architects never imagined it would be used for this purpose, and when it was finished in 1919, they never envisioned that the flag of the Republic of China would one day fly from its spire. This week, we look at the story of the Presidential Office Building, a Taipei landmark whose meaning has changed through Taiwan's modern history.



IMPCT is a social enterprise started by 4 IMBA students of National Cheng Chi University in Taiwan. They were the winners of the Hult Prize in 2015 to implement Playcares, a way to provide early childhood education in urban slums. Learn how you can help build a playcare center in Latin America, Africa or Asia by just buying a cup of coffee, on In the Spotlight.


Photo courtesy of IMPCT 


The Lao Mian Cheng Lantern Shop

In Taiwan, lanterns are an essential part of many traditional events and celebrations. Without them, holidays like the Lunar New Year just wouldn’t feel right somehow. These days, you can order lanterns cheaply online all year round. But there are still people and temples that prefer to go through an old-fashioned lantern shop. There aren’t as many as there used to be, but one shop in Taipei’s old Dadaocheng district is still in business and getting plenty of orders. This shop, Lao Mian Cheng, has been running for more than a century. Its third-generation owner Chang Mei-mei joins us today by phone. It’s a busy day at the shop, but Ms. Chang still patiently takes the time to introduce her lanterns and to share her story with us.


Taichung Mayor Lin Chia-lung

Tune into Taiwan Today to hear from Taichung Mayor Lin Chia-lung. The interview is a part of the RTI series of interviews with city mayors and county magistrates about how their government's are promoting the New Southbound Policy. Taichung Mayor Lin speaks about how the government is working with the people that are central to this policy. These include new immigrant families, migrant workers, foreign students, tourists and Taiwan businesspersons. 


To create a sense of belonging for new immigrants and persons from Southeast Asia, Taichung set up an ASEAN plaza at the main train station. The plaza has food, entertainment, festivities, as well as service centers catering to the needs of people from Southeast Asia.


Taichung is also working with its new immigrant population and businesses to encourage greater business and cultural ties between Taichung and Southeast Asia. It wants to welcome more foreign students and tourists and provide platforms for new immigrants to share their stores to promote understanding between cultures.


Currency conversion (II)


“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 20


Currency conversion (II)


1     價錢   





(Zhège jiàqián tài gāole, ràng wǒ zài xiǎng xiǎng.)

The price is too high!  Let me think about it.


2     匯率   


Exchange rate



(Zuìjìn de huìlǜ gāo gāodī dī, biàndòng hěn dà.)

Recently the exchange rate has been up and down a lot.


3     佔便宜 


To take advantage of



(Nǐ bùyào xiǎng zhàn biérén piányí, jiù bù huì chīkuī.)

If you don’t take advantage of anyone, then you won’t lose anything.


4     吃虧   


To endure a loss or disadvantage



(Sú huàshuō; chīkuī jiùshì zhànpiányí.)

There’s an old saying, “Sometimes it seems like you’re losing, but you’re actually winning.”


5     號碼機 

(Hàomǎ jī)      

Number machine



(Nǐ xiān qù hàomǎ jī chōu yīgè hàomǎ.)

First go to the number machine and take a number.


6     櫃台   





(Měi yīgè guìtái shàngmiàn dōu yǒu yīgè hàomǎ.)

Every counter has a number.


7     無聊   


Bored, boring



(Yínháng de gōngzuò, yīnggāi bù huì wúliáo ba!)

Working in a bank shouldn’t be boring!


8     飲料   


Drink, beverage



(Měi yīzhǒng yǐnliào de jiàqián dōu bù yīyàng.)

The price of every beverage is different.


Dialogue Practice


德美: 這個價錢很好,可以多換一點美金吧!

(Dé měi: Zhège jiàqián hěn hǎo, kěyǐ duō huàn yīdiǎn měijīn ba!)

Demei: This is a good price, so I can exchange a little more US currency.


得中: 這兩天的匯率變動很大,昨天31、今天30,就虧了一塊錢。

(Dé zhōng: Zhè liǎng tiān de huìlǜ biàndòng hěn dà, zuótiān 31, jīntiān 30, jiù kuīle yīkuài qián.)

Dezhong: The exchange rate has fluctuated a lot these last two days.  Yesterday it was 31, today it’s 30. Losing a dollar for each exchange!


德美: 好吧! 用多少換多少,不吃虧也不佔便宜。

(Dé měi: Hǎo ba! Yòng duōshǎo huàn duōshǎo, bù chīkuī yě bù zhànpiányí.)

Demei: All right, just exchange however much you need. Then you won’t be losing or winning!


歐福: 佔便宜的,一定都是銀行。

(Ōu fú: Zhànpiányí de, yīdìng dū shì yínháng.)

Oufu: The one who’s winning is the bank!


得中: 走,先去號碼機拿號碼。

(Dé zhōng: Zǒu, xiān qù hàomǎ jī ná hàomǎ.)

Dezhong: Come on, first let’s go take a number to be served.


德美: 欸! 他看起來很急,讓他先拿吧!

(Dé měi: Āi! Tā kàn qǐlái hěn jí, ràng tā xiān ná ba!)

Demei: Um! That guy seems really anxious. Let him go first!


歐福: 嘿! 你們看,櫃台有一張更早的號碼。

(Ōu fú: Hēi! Nǐmen kàn, guìtái yǒuyī zhāng gèng zǎo de hàomǎ.)

Oufu: Hey, look!  There’s an earlier number on the counter.\


得中: 哈! 讓別人先,好像是吃虧了,可是是佔便宜呢!

(Dé zhōng: Hā! Ràng biérén xiān, hǎoxiàng shì chīkuīle, kěshì shì zhànpiányí ne!)

Dezhong: Ha! Letting somebody else go first looked like a loss, but really you gained!


德美: 你太無聊了吧! 一直練習這個吃虧就是占便宜的句子。

(Dé měi: Nǐ tài wúliáole ba! Yīzhí liànxí zhège chīkuī jiùshì zhànpiányí de jùzi.)

Demei: You are so boring! Always practicing that “Winning/Losing” sentence pattern.


歐福: 這是老師給的功課啊!

(Ōu fú: Zhè shì lǎoshī gěi de gōngkè a!)

Oufu: But that was the teacher’s assignment!


得中: 現在我們就去佔美美飲料店買一送一的便宜吧!

(Dé zhōng: Xiànzài wǒmen jiù qù zhàn měiměi yǐnliào diàn mǎi yī sòng yī de piányí ba!

Dezhong: Okay! Now let’s go take advantage of the “Buy one, get one free” offer at Mei-Mei!


China could invade Taiwan by 2025

Tune into Eye on China as Natalie Tso speaks with Ian Easton, the author of The Chinese Invasion Threat about the threat of a Chinese invasion and why it could happen by 2025.


Ian Easton is a research fellow at the Project 2049 Institute, where he conducts research on defense and security issues in Asia. 


Stroke of Light ep. 90: Victoria Wen & The Half Series II

We continue down the hall of MOMA Taipei and visit the arts of SpectroSynthesis, Asia's first LGBTQ-themed  Victoria Wen

This week, we examine the photographs of Victoria Wen, who explore how individuals who blur gender roles face much social backlash and unfair treatments. 




Taiwanese Folk Songs Part I

Taipei Philharmonic Chamber Choir was founded in 1972 and through the efforts of its conductors, it has established an extensive repertoire and a reputation as one of the most prestigious choruses in Taiwan.


Cinnamon cures insect bites?

Find out from John Van Trieste and Shirley Lin what some ointments and oils kept in your in laws' medicine cabinet can cure for you, on Status Update.


A rare medley

How does a talk on Indian summer turn into a song that's full of horses and tigers? Find out on this week's Jukebox Republic.


Confucius: teaching students to think

Tune into Classic Shorts to hear more about Confucius and his ways of teaching. 


Taiwanese Tea: A History

Few crops have impacted Taiwan’s history the way tea has. For over a century and half, tea has been one of the products that have put Taiwan on the map. At its peak, Taiwanese tea was sought after around the world, with Taiwan-grown leaves shipped off everywhere from Indonesia to America. The crop helped build up northern Taiwan’s economy and brought in the funds to build some of the Taipei area’s most exquisite old buildings. Today, economic factors have led Taiwan’s tea farmers to turn inward towards the domestic market. But they still have an important reputation among international tea connoisseurs. With us to discuss the history of Taiwan’s favorite beverage is Kao Hsiu-cheng, director of the Taipei Tea Merchants’ Association.


Kathleen Batchelor, a Zumba instructor in Taipei

Last week, Kathleen Batchelor talked about her becoming a Fitness Dance/Zumba instructor. This week, she talks about why she came to Taiwan, on In the Spotlight.


Photo courtesy of Kathleen Batchelor


The Mid-Autumn Festival

The Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the three most important traditional Chinese festivals. This year, it was celebrated on October 4th. Along with the Dragon Boat Festival and the Lunar New Year, the Mid-Autumn Festival is a national holiday in both Taiwan and China. The festival originated during the Song dynasty, which lasted from the 10th to the 13th century. And it always falls on the 15th day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar.


In Chinese culture, the moon is a symbol of reunion, particularly family reunion. Gazing at the full moon is associated with sentiments such as homesickness and nostalgia.


The Mid-Autumn Festival

Wednesday was the Mid-Autumn Festival, one of the three big festivals of the lunar calendar. It’s an ancient celebration found wherever in the world ethnic Chinese people live. And it has everything you could want in a holiday- a story to describe its origins, festive foods, and traditional games and activities. But people in Taiwan today do the Mid-Autumn Festival with their own Taiwanese twist. Today, as we digest the last of our Mid-Autumn feasts, we’re taking a look at the festival as it's traditionally celebrated and visiting an actual Taiwanese celebration held this week.


Rosh Hashanah in Taiwan

Tune into Taiwan Today as Natalie Tso speaks with the chairman of the Taipei Jewish Center, Ross Feingold, about Rosh Hashanah and the Jewish community in Taiwan. 


Currency conversion


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 19


Currency conversion


(Jīntiān wǒmen jiāng xuéxí zài táiwān huàn wàibì.)
Today we will learn about converting currency.

1 外幣
foreign currency

(Zài yínháng táibì huàn wàibì, wàibì huàn táibì dōu kěyǐ.)
In the bank, one can change NT dollars for foreign currency, or foreign currency for
NT dollars.

2 填表
(Tián biǎo)
to fill in a form

(Qǐng xiān tián zhè yī zhāng biǎo.)
First, please fill in this form.

3 清楚

(Qǐng tiánxiě qīngchǔ nǐ yào huàn duōshǎo táibì.)
Please clearly write how many NT dollars you want to exchange.

4 成年
legally adult

(Wèi chéngnián de rén, bùnéng mǎi jiǔ yě bùnéng hējiǔ.)
People who are not yet legally adults cannot buy or consume alcohol.

5 奇怪
odd, strange, unusual

奇怪! 已經九點了,銀行怎麼還沒開門?
(Qíguài! Yǐjīng jiǔ diǎnle, yínháng zěnme hái méi kāimén?)
That’s odd! It’s already nine o’clock, so why isn’t the bank open yet?

6 護照

(Xià gè yuè, wǒ yào huàn xīn hùzhào.)
Next month, I need to get a new passport.

7 銀行

(Kuài yīdiǎn, yínháng 3:30 Xiūxí.)
Hurry up! The bank closes at 3:30.

8 交換

(Yǔyán jiāohuàn shì xuéshēng de zuì'ài.)
Language exchange is one of the students’ favorite things.


德美: 每家銀行都能換外幣嗎?
(Dé měi: Měi jiā yínháng dōu néng huàn wàibì ma?)
Demei: Can every bank exchange foreign currency?

得中: 應該都可以,我們去櫃檯問問吧?
(Dé zhōng: Yīnggāi dōu kěyǐ, wǒmen qù guìtái wèn wèn ba?)
Dezhong: They all should be able to. Let’s ask at the counter.

德美: 你們看,那裡有個中英文的牌子。
(Dé měi: Nǐmen kàn, nàlǐ yǒu gè zhōng yīngwén de páizi.)
Demei: Look! There’s a sign in Chinese and English.

得中: 各種外幣換台幣,台幣換外幣的價錢,都寫得很清楚。
(Dé zhōng: Gèzhǒng wàibì huàn táibì, táibì huàn wàibì de jiàqián, dōu xiě dé hěn qīngchǔ.)
Dezhong: The exchange rates for converting every kind of currency are written very clearly.

歐福: 銀行的人要我們每個人,先填寫好這張表。
(Ōu fú: Yínháng de rén yào wǒmen měi gèrén, xiān tiánxiě hǎo zhè zhāng biǎo.)
Oufu: The bank clerks want each of us to fill in this form.

德美: 問得真多,出生年月日,護照號碼,地址、電話都要填。
(Dé měi: Wèn dé zhēn duō, chūshēng nián yue rì, hùzhào hàomǎ, dìzhǐ, diànhuà dōu yào tián.)
Demei: They really ask for a lot of information: date of birth, passport number, address AND telephone number.

歐福: 奇怪! 為什麼要填出生年月日呢? 要送我們生日禮物嗎?
(Ōu fú: Qíguài! Wèishéme yào tián chūshēng nián yue rì ne? Yào sòng wǒmen shēngrì lǐwù ma?)
Oufu: Strange! Why do they want us to write in our date of birth? Are they going to send us a birthday present?

得中: 哈! 你想得太美了,銀行就是要知道我們成年了沒有。
(Dé zhōng: Hā! Nǐ xiǎng dé tàiměile, yínháng jiùshì yào zhīdào wǒmen chéngniánle méiyǒu.)
Dezhong: Ha! In your dreams! The bank just needs to know if you’re legally an adult.


Premier Lai and China

Tune into Eye on China as Natalie Tso speaks with political scientist Spencer Yang about Premier William Lai's recent remarks that Taiwan is an independent and sovereign nation. 


Stroke of Light ep. 89: Victoria Wen & The Half Series I

We continue down the hall of MOMA Taipei and visit the arts of SpectroSynthesis, Asia's first LGBTQ-themed  Victoria Wen

This week, we examine the photographs of Victoria Wen, who explore how individuals who blur gender roles face much social backlash and unfair treatments. 


Appreciation of Tang Poetry

The three hundred years’ rule of Tang Dynasty (618-907 CE) witnessed the golden age of Chinese poetry. Some famous poets of the time include Du Fu, Li Bai, Wang Wei, Han Yu, Gao Shi, etc. This week’s Jade Bells and Bamboo Pipes features the best of the Tang poetry and every poem is accompanied by simple but profound analysis, highly refined music and expressive recitation.


Halal certification

In today's program, we have a special report on the government's effort to make Taiwan friendly to the Muslim community, especially when it comes to halal certification. 


The Bureau of Foreign Trade under the economics ministry has entrusted the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) to set up Taiwan Halal Center. The former imam of Taipei Grand Mosque, Ma Shiao-chi, talks to RTI about what it takes to get halal certification.


Taiwan household medicine cabinet

Learn from John Van Trieste and Shirley Lin what things you can find in a typical Taiwanese household's medicine cabinet (especially if there are elderly people in the family), on Status Update.


2017 Migration Music Festival

The 15th Migration Music Festival of Taiwan hails contemporary female musicians from many different countries, including Thailand, North America, the UK, Sweden, Norway, and Portugal. Check out on Jukebox Republic.



Hear a famous story from the life of Confucius along with his sayings on Classic Shorts.


The Chiayi City Historical Relic Museum

In the WWII-era remains of a Japanese shrine sits an homage to one of Taiwan’s most historic cities. Chiayi, in Taiwan’s southwest, can trace its past over several centuries, through siege, colonization, disaster, and industrialization. Here in these historic surroundings is what’s now the Chiayi City Historical Relic Museum, where the objects that tell this city’s story are housed. Joining us today to share this story is Wang Yung-shen of the Chiayi City Cultural Affairs Bureau.


Kathleen Batchelor, Zumba instructor

Kathleen Batchelor came to Taiwan from the USA 12 years ago and became a Zumba instructor. Hear her story on In the Spotlight.


Teacher's Day

This year marks the 2567th anniversary of the birth of Confucius. On September 28th, the birthday of Confucius, Taiwan observed Teacher’s Day in honor of the ancient sage. The government designated the birthday of Confucius as Teacher’s Day in 1952. Each year, a ritual ceremony is held at Taipei’s Confucian Temple featuring ancient music and dance.


The Wulai Atayal Museum

The Atayal people are one of Taiwan’s 16 officially recognized indigenous groups. Atayal lands stretch widely, spanning from Taiwan’s mountainous center to the rugged interior of Taiwan’s north. At the northernmost edge of these lands is Wulai, an area less than an hour from Taipei that is popular among city dwellers for its hot springs, its mountains, its greenish-blue river, and its waterfall. Along Wulai’s main shopping street is the Wulai Atayal Museum, a showcase of the traditional Atayal way of life. It’s a museum that New Taipei City’s Indigenous Peoples Department is proud of. Today, the department’s head Yang Hsin-yi joins us for an introduction to Atayal culture and a look at how Wulai’s Atayal community lives today.


How parents can unlock their teen's potential

Tune into Taiwan Today as Natalie Tso speaks with Mawi Asgedom, the bestselling writer and inspirational speaker known for his journey from a refugee camp to Harvard University. 


Mawi shares about how parents and educators can bring out the potential in their students. 


Trump's UN address

Tune into Eye on China as Natalie Tso speaks with Taipei-based political analyst Ross Feingold about US President Donald Trump's UN address and tensions with North Korea.  


Stroke of Light ep. 88: Chuang Chih-Wei marks the opening of Asia's first LGBTQ-themed exhibit with "Rainbow in the Darkness"

The Moseum of Modern Art (MOMA Taipei) hosts Asia' very first LGBTQ-themed group exhibition. It features the works of 23 Asian artsits on key subjects, such as the breaking of traditional gender roles, identity, media portrayal, and sexuality. 


We first look at Mr. Chuang Chih-Wei's "Rainbow in the Darkness", an installation art that stands at the entrace of MOMA Taipei. 


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 18


Chinese Characters




To want







(Zhòngyào de shìqíng xiān zuò.)

Take care of the important things first.



(Cì yào)

next in importance, second priority   



(Zhòngyào de shìqíng zuò wán yǐhòu, zài zuò cì yào de.)

After dealing with the most important business, then take care of the next thing on your list.




require, demand     



(Lǎoshī yāoqiú xuéshēng bǎ zì xiě piàoliang yīdiǎn.)

The teacher asks that students write their Chinese characters a little more beautifully.




key points       



(Xuéshēng yāoqiú lǎoshī bǎ kǎoshì de yāo diǎn zàishuō yīcì.)

The students ask that the teacher explain the key points of the test one more time.




To return




round trip       



(Láihuí piào kěyǐ dǎ jiǔ zhé.)

A round trip ticket can get a ten percent discount.




take back



(Shuō cuò huà kěyǐ shōuhuí ma?)

When you say something wrong, can you take it back?




reply, answer 



(Wǒ bù zhīdào zěnme huídá zhège wèntí.)

I don’t know how to answer this question.




return, turn back, to turn one’s head, to repent      



(`Làngzǐ huítóu jīnbùhuàn'shénme yìsi?)

“Langzi hui tou jin bu huan.” means “The return of the prodigal is more precious than gold.”








passenger, traveler  



(Gèwèi lǚkè: Qǐng zhùyì nǐmen de suíshēn háng lǐ.)

Will all passengers please pay attention to their luggage?




invite, treat



(Tā yī yǒu qián jiù xǐhuān qǐngkè.)

Whenever he has any money, he likes to treat his friends.



(kè mǎn)

full of customers



(Zhè jiā cāntīng tiāntiān kè mǎn.)

This restaurant is always full of customers.







(Jīntiān jiālǐ yǒu kèrén, wǒ bùnéng chūqù.)

We have a guest at home today, so I can’t go out.


Listening Practice



(Wǒmen de lǎobǎn hěn hǎo, měi cì kāihuì shuō wán yàodiǎn jiù sànhuìle, duì yuángōng de yāoqiú zhǐyǒu yīgè, zhòngyào de shìqíng xiān zuò, cì yào de hòu zuò, zìjǐ fēn qīngchǔ jiùxíngle.)

Our boss is really great! Every time we finish discussing the key points at a meeting, we can all leave!  The boss only asks one thing of the employees, “Take care of first things first, then deal with the next most important!”, and we are left to decide for ourselves which is which.


2.你回頭看看是誰站在後面幫你?你為什麼不回答?你媽媽每天來來回回,整理這些回收垃圾,賺一點小錢讓你唸書,你怎麼可以對你媽媽這樣說話?快跟她道歉收回那句話! 回頭是岸,知道錯了就好了!

(Nǐ huítóu kàn kàn shì shuí zhàn zài hòumiàn bāng nǐ? Nǐ wèishéme bù huídá? Nǐ māmā měitiān láihuí hui, zhěnglǐ zhèxiē huíshōu lèsè, zhuàn yīdiǎn xiǎoqián ràng nǐ niànshū, nǐ zěnme kěyǐ duì nǐ māmā zhèyàng shuōhuà? Kuài gēn tā dàoqiàn shōuhuí nà jù huà! Huítóushì'àn, zhīdào cuòle jiù hǎole!)

Have you ever looked back to see who has been helping you? Why don’t you answer?  Your mother has to travel back and forth every day, picking up recyclable items to make a little money so that you can study.  How could you talk to your mother like that?  Apologize quickly and take back what you said.  Repent, and salvation is at hand!  Once you realize the error of your ways, everything will be all right.


Sketches of Taiwan Part II

Sketches of Taiwan is a symphonic work and is a combination of original and adaptive, lyrical and descriptive, local and international elements. The arranger of the music is Dr.Sun Guangjun, a composer who holds a PhD in Chinese Literature and Music. Dr.Sun is currently a professor at China’s Tianjin Conservatory of Music. Sketches of Taiwan is performed by Taipei Chinese Orchestra (TCO), TCO, founded as the first professional Chinese orchestra in Taiwan, has a reputation for great versatility and artistic excellence.


September winner

Shirley Lin and John Van Trieste announce the winner for top commenter on RTI's English service FB for the month of September, on Status Update.


A day in the hospital

Shirley Lin spent a day in the hospital with her son, on Jukebox Republic.


How to scare a snake

Tune into Classic Shorts to hear how a town outwitted a corrupt politician in the Tang dynasty. 


Classic idiom of the week - 打草驚蛇 (dǎ cǎo jīng shé) or "beat grass, scare snake" refers to making obvious moves that will scare or alert someone. 



Didi Bethurum of Gogoro

Didi Bethurum works for Gogoro, the Taiwan brand electric scooter. She talks about how she got a job there and loving it, on In the Spotlight.


Photo courtesy of Didi Bethurum FB


"Blihun recovered, reconstructed, reappeared"

In 2012, work on a highway in northeastern Taiwan led to a discovery. There, near a worksite, were the the remains of an ancient village, inhabited over a thousand years ago. Excavations began, and archaeologists assembled a picture of sophisticated people linked into a trading network that reached beyond Taiwan’s shores. The village is called the Hanben Site in Chinese. But it is also known as Blihun, a traditional name for the surrounding area that means “doorway” in the indigenous Atayal language. This year, artifacts unearthed from the site are the focus of an exhibit called “Blihun recovered, reconstructed, reappeared”. The exhibit is housed at the Lanyang Museum, a major museum also in northeastern Taiwan that focuses on local history and ecology. Here to walk us through the site as well as through the exhibit is Chu Cheng-yi, an archaeologist who worked extensively at Blihun.