Why do so many Taiwanese speak English to foreigners?


Well until he becomes an ROC citizen we'll just have to agree that Touduke is a foreinger here. Especially as he feels that way.

Let's not hurt the poor mans feelings by treating him as anything he isn't. I'd hate for him to feel we are violating his human rights. :laughing:


:roflmao: :roflmao: :roflmao:

I remember now reading your posts. Ex wives are a conundrum. My ex wife divorced me as she was hoping it would force me to live with her in Australia, where I had no intention of living. Funny thing is she lives in Taiwan as well after getting her citizenship from Oz, and my son returned to live with me in Alishan.

Once he did that, she packed up and moved right back to the very place she said she raved and ranted about how she never wanted to live here again. Taichung.

My guess is as my son leaves Taiwan to live in Australia again she will follow suit.


sandman, you are pushing 14 now, but you may sit down. :slight_smile:


I think MM hit the nail on the head with the above statement.

But I can very well relate to touduke's feeling of not being accepted by Taiwanese society because he's a foreigner. I remember when I was a teenager living in Germany I was often faced with more or less equivalent behavior by Germans, for instance:
- a lot of Germans would assume that I can't speak German simply because I look Asian and they would often ask if I spoke German, sometimes in English.
- what was worse, some Germans would intentionally speak broken German to me and my parents (thus making themselves sound like complete idiots), probably believing they were making things easier for us.
- a lot of Germans that I just met would assume that I would eventually leave the country and "go home" (despite being born in Germany). The typical question was "When are you returning to your home country?"

As a teenager, I found these instances to be mildly annoying and sometimes I even felt hurt a little in my pride, but I soon realized this was only because Asians were a very small minority in Germany then (20+ years ago) and people were just acting out of ignorance. At least that's what I told myself. Sometimes there were definite xenophobic undercurrents but they were easy to spot and thankfully I was not confronted with real xenophobia too often. From these observatios I also reached the conclusion that German society as a whole will probably never fully accept (non-white) foreigners as equal citizens and in their hearts many Germans will probably always look down on non-Germans while not even being aware of it. And eventually this realization caused me to leave Germany.

I think only in a perfect world (think "Imagine" by John Lennon) will every single individual be fully accepted in any society. There will always be non-acceptance on a certain level for whatever reason because let's face it, not everyone can be your friend and agree with you always (just look at this discussion). The question is can you accept this fact of life or not and if not what will you do to improve your situation? This really depends on your own attitude. Also, let's be true, foreigners enjoy a high degree of respect in Taiwan in general because Taiwanese society is very welcoming of (Western) foreigners. If you're asking to be treated like anybody else (ie not like a foreigner) you would also have to give up things that you've probably grown accustomed to, like being admired just for being a Westerner, etc. So you can't have your cake and eat it too, as they say. That said, I can see the use of venting about your dissatisfaction on a forum like this, even though it will not change anything in the society or your personal situation.


Venting won't change his attitude.

I think Touduk is one of those who will never really accept non white foreigners as being German. He wont answer my question as to if he can accept me as being Taiwanese, which I doubt. After all Touduke was writing how embarrassed I must be when presenting my Taiwan passport when traveling around the world. As if I should be ashamed of my nationality. Who gives a shit a passport is just a document you present so you can travel from one international place to another.

I've been telling Touduke it's his own attitude to life here that makes him feel this way. It's got nothing to do with how the people here are.

It's all in his head. :2cents:


QFT! Especially when compared with certain European countries. You don't know how lucky you are, Touduke.


GC Rider - so you did not encounter much racism - maybe like Mucha Man here in Taiwan.
You left because you felt that those little things you encountered as a foreigner were too much for you. Well I think that will be met with mild derision by Sat TV, Sandman, MuchaMan and other people who can't understand those feelings. IMO it is much easier for a foreigner to live in Germany compared with living in Taiwan.
In my home town in Germany about 30% of the people are either foreigners or Germans with a migration background. That is a huge difference to the situation of foreigners here in Taiwan. Guest workers here used to have numbers, had to leave after 1 or 2 years, were not allowed to get pregnant and I read on this board that they are not allowed to ride scooters (not sure this is true). There is a awful lot of underlying xenophobia in Taiwan, even though there aren't many foreigners.


I am not aware that Western foreigners have respect problems in European countries.


You can't be serious. They have "respect problems" from city to city in their OWN countries!


Fact: Swabians hate Bavarians. Swabians don't like outsiders. Swabians and Bavarians are both Germans.... ok, I'm exaggerating, but there is a lot of provincialism even within a given country of the "same people". ... Parisians hate French; French hate Parisians. Texans make fun of New Yorkers, I could go on and on. Poles dislike drunk Brit tourists....


Yep thats what all those Turkish and other Asian immigrants are saying, Germany is wonderful, nicht.

Why would I have derision for GC Rider? GC Rider is German, born and raised in Germany, he didn't live in Germany as a foreigner. He left as many Germans treat non white Europeans very differently to how they treat other people.

Yet here you are telling GC Rider he left Germany as a foreigner. :loco: :loco: :loco: Showing up your true colours there Touduke. ist Ich weiss nicht?

I can only imagine how you will react when Germans ask you how much you paid for your Asian bride, as has happened with a few of my German friends when they visited Germany recently with their wives. You are better off in Taiwan.

One of my good friends, German, took his Asian wife and kids to Germany to stay with his parents. Anyways his wife is taken to another city, held in an immigration detention center for 3 days, until they decided she won't apply for residency or overstay her visa. Nice welcome she got from German immigration. Of course the husband and kids have German passports so not an issue for them. Yet they don't even live in Germany. Why would she overstay when her husband and children live in another country. She could get residency if she wanted to.


yeah they all had numbers tattoed on their arms to prove it too :ponder:

Where do you dream up these ideas that guest workers have numbers. Or do you mean guest workers are limited in the numbers that are allowed here? That's normal with any country.

You have a number, I have a number. All legal residents have a number. You do the same thing in Germany where Taiwan copied the German household registration system. So you should feel right at home really you should.


Sat TV, seems that you have a huge attitude problem regarding German people. Remember it is all in your head.
I am sure you are nice and it is good that you are happy here in Taiwan. Excuse when I do not reply to the full extend of your posts. Hope you forgive me- Have a nice day!


No, I don't. But it sure does seem strange when GC Rider, who explains he is born and raised in Germany, is a German citizen, has you to come along to tell him he's a foreigner in Germany who must have felt a bit out of place in Germany and that's why he no longer lives there. :loco: :loco:

To you GC Rider is not German at all. We see that now :popcorn:

You have a nice day feeling about how much you will never be accepted here because you are a foreigner. I can understand why you feel that way. You probably walk around Taiwan thinking isn't it strange to see all these Asians over here.

It's no wonder you asked me if I had cosmetic surgery to make myself look Asian so I could fit in here, or ask do I feel embarrassed to travel on a Taiwan passport. What sort of person asks that? One who is so insecure in their own life they have to attack anybody who is happy here because you clearly are not.

Taiwan is an anathema to you, and you will always feel weird here. It's quite an accomplishment for you to be the only one posting here who has lived here long term and doesn't feel accepted here. It must be a terrible burden on your conscience. :smiley: :smiley:

How can you have any nice days here thinking like that?


For the record, I never claimed Taiwan is racist hostile place. I think it's a great place. Is there any other country on earth where the demographics so strongly favor one ethnic group, and yet foreigners are so well accepted? I doubt it. But that's a different question as to whether Caucasian, Vietnamese, Filipino etc. immigrants are accepted as well and truly Taiwanese.

We're reading the same posts from touduke with very different interpretations. I don't think he's ranting about how wicked the Taiwanese are to foreigners. He's complaining that after spending years in Taiwan, any new locals he meets treat him like a foreigner. Even if this means going out of their way to be helpful, trying to speak English etc., it's still the foreigner treatment. If Taiwan were really a nation of immigrants, why would this happen? :ponder:

When you're in Canada, do you immediately assume that Chinese looking people are immigrants who cannot speak English? Do you immediately begin speaking Mandarin, without first introducing yourself in English? Do you go out of your way to treat them in a different fashion than you do say, white Canadians?


Apples and Oranges comparison for a number of reasons:

--Canada has received far more Asian immigrants for far longer than Taiwan has received westerners. Numerically speaking, in some areas of western Canada, Asian-Canadians make up a sizeable portion of the populations, so of course people are used to their presence.
--That said, Asians faced significant racism in the form of head tax, race-based immigration restrictions, Japanese-Canadian war-time internment and anti-Asian riots (and these are just examples can recall off the top of my head). Does any of this compare in any way to people attempting to speak English with a white person?
--While I certainly do not treat FBC westerners any differently than regular westerners, that isn't the case for all Canadians. As a white person, I've heard plenty of racist, red-necky comments from other whites who felt comfortable to share them with me. I also have plenty of Asian-Canadian friends who tell me there are still plenty of rednecks and that slurs and racism are still alive and well, even in very progressive parts of the country.


Well in Taiwan children are taught English from an early age all the way through high school. Maybe if Canadian childrean had to learn Chinese Korean Cantonese or Japanese for 12 years then they would probably walk up to Asians in Canada and speak to them in an Asian language. I am sure many of the Asian community would appreciate that.

When I was visiting Australia I would speak in Chinese with Taiwanese and Mainlanders there. I can here them speaking in Chinese. Many expats here walk around the streets speaking in English so why shouldn't the locals speak English to them.

First you get foreigners complaining the English standards here aren't good enough then you get them complaining when people do speak to them in English.


Well sure. I don't think anyone's "blaming" the Taiwanese. But it must be frustrating for someone who has been living in Taiwan for over a decade to be ogled for using chopsticks. Just sayin'.


exactly, in any kind of verbal encounter 90% of all Taiwanese are nice, friendly, helpful.... but it makes me feel uncomfortable, because they make me feel like I am someone I am not.
I live here for a big part of my adult life, have been around in the cities in the streets, lots of jobs, lots of friends lots of contacts, lots of everything. I know your TV series, I know your music, I do speak Chinese and if I don't understand it is my problem not yours, no you do not have to be afraid, no you do not have to giggle when the door is closing behind me, no you do not have to ask "Ni huei jiang guo yu maaaa?" with a smile for special occasions, no you do not have to yell haallooow in my neck and laugh, no your voice doesn't have to be trembling when I stand in front of you. Hell even guys are giggling. The air changes the moment I come into the room...in a very Chinese way.

I do not think CG Rider will have this treatment in Germany. "Being a foreigner" means something completely different there. I do not answer to Sat TV post because I find him insulting and vulgar. If CG Rider or others want to engage in a Taiwan-Germany discussion we can start a new thread, maybe somewhere else.

again spot on! I can try to yell "Ni Haoo" to Asian looking folks the next time in Europe, I bet they think I am 智障 zhi4 zhang4.


really, I don't get ogled at for using chopsticks, unless I use them to pick my nose with. Sometimes people are surprised I can use chopsticks with both hands. I switch hands sometimes when the table is too crowded