Most people are aware that Chinese is spoken in Taiwan, but not everyone realizes that Chinese is not one single language. Rather, it’s a group of related Sinitic languages, most of which use the famous Chinese logographic writing system. It’s true that Mandarin, the largest Chinese language and the lingua franca of China, is also the official and primary language of Taiwan, but Mandarin is not native to the island. Instead, Taiwanese Hokkien is spoken by the majority of Taiwanese people as a native language.
Taiwanese Hokkien is the Taiwanese dialect of the Hokkien language, which is also spoken in southeastern China. The language faced repression during Taiwan’s White Terror period but experienced a revival upon the lifting of martial law in 1987 and has been growing across Taiwan ever since. But still, given the widespread use of Mandarin, Taiwanese Hokkien is considered somewhat of a minority language, and translation services for the language are limited. We here at TranslationServices.com are determined to do our part to remedy that by building a top-class team of Taiwanese Hokkien translators.
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Taiwanese Hokkien: the heartbeat of Taiwan
Taiwanese Hokkien has no native name in Taiwan—it’s usually known simply as Taiwanese. However, the language is largely considered to be a dialect of Hokkien, a Southern Min Sinitic language spoken in southeastern China. It has diverged from the variant spoken in the mainland after extensive contact with indigenous Taiwanese languages, particularly the now extinct Siraya. Taiwanese Hokkien is spoken by around 13.5 million people across Taiwan, particularly in the southern two-thirds of the eastern side of the island, as well as on the northern tip.
The historical Japanese occupation of Taiwan has left its mark on the Taiwanese Hokkien language, with numerous Japanese loanwords remaining. Like other Min languages, Taiwanese Hokkien also uses vocabulary derived from Old Chinese words that are no longer in use in Mandarin, complicating the ability of Mandarin speakers to understand Taiwanese. Like all Chinese languages, Taiwanese uses the word order subject-verb-object by default, but unlike Mandarin and like many other southern Chinese languages, subject-object-verb and object-subject-verb are also possible, depending on the grammatical context. Finally, Taiwanese Hokkien can be distinguished from Mainland Hokkien through its usage of Traditional Chinese characters, which are used throughout Taiwan.
Since Taiwanese Hokkien is so hard for Mandarin speakers even to read—especially if they’re used to Simplified Chinese characters—it’s important to hire dedicated Taiwanese Hokkien translators.
Let us translate Taiwanes Hokkien—for any purpose!
Our team is passionate about Taiwanese Hokkien, and they’re eager to translate it for you—whether that means translating from Taiwanese to English or from English to Taiwanese. With native-speaking translators from all over Taiwan, we can help historians translate old documents and authors translate Taiwanese literature from Taiwanese Hokkien into English, giving the world better insight into Taiwanese history and culture. We can also help academics translate research and scholarly papers into Taiwanese or language activists translate content such as books, games, poetry, websites, and apps into Taiwanese Hokkien, which will allow Taiwanese Hokkien speakers to use their language in more domains.
Would you like to get started with Taiwanese Hokkien translation services? Simply get in touch with us to get the ball rolling.