Why do so many Taiwanese speak English to foreigners?


Yeah, most probably do but a lot don't. It does depend on your looks and demeanour, yes.


Not my target audience.


Do the Taiwanese accept me? Who cares? Do I accept THEM, that's the question! The answer is a resounding NO! I can just go home if they don't like it!



Huh, are you serious? I don't agree with touduke but by speaking English they are clearly treating you differently. In some countries for better or worse they speak to you in the local language whether you look like a local or not.


In USA, for example, some Americans speak Spanish to Mexicans. I guess that's their way of showing hospitality to fellow amigos.


I don't even try "blending in" why would I even bother? I am not trying to pass myself off as being ethnically Chinese. Neither does my wife yet she is just another local who isn't Chinese. I am just another normal chap on the street, living his life quite happily, just as other locals do. Of course people who don't know me are very surprised when I tell them I have ROC nationality when they ask what nationality I have. It's not shocking to them, just unusual.

But when I tell a foreigner who doesn't know my I'm a citizen here they often get all grumpy and upset that I would make up such a shit faced bold lie. That's usually when they ask to see my ID card and I refuse, and they then go on to make a bet with me that I dont have local citizenship.

I like that type of betting. :smiley: :smiley: I've won a fair bit of money doing that.

I do business with a many local companies, and the staff are always friendly and speak to me in Mandarin. They don't start by speaking English to me. Some staff in the bank foreign exchange departments have, but it's out of courtesy and the bank want staff who can speak to expats in English, and once I start talking in Chinese they don't switch back to English again.

The locals don't have a fear of foreigners, what they fear is the embarrassment that they might not be able to communicate with a foreinger if that foreigner doesn't speak Chinese and if they cannot speak English.


which president did you vote for?


Yes and in some countries that's because they don't have legions of people who are taught English for 12 years.

My wife just came back from 7 weeks in Europe, she says that in nearly every country people would ask her things in English first, even in Germany, Austria, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Italy, Hungary etc assuming that she was a tourist, spoke to her in English first. The only ones that spoke to her in the local languages were the ones who could not speak English, mostly in Poland.


Like Japan...always jabbering away at me... :slight_smile:


張仕安 白民黨黨主席


say, you're not a typical taiwanese-flag-waving taiwanese, are ya?


Why does this only seem to happen to you? :laughing:

Touduke, you obviously know much more about movies than I do, so I'll bow to your wisdom on the matter. Have fun with the gay pride parade stories and whatnot.


I doubt that, and it was not my intention to imply that. I used 'groundhog day' to illustrate the always repeating conversation without giving much thought other than that. Still, I read the analysis and thought it was crap.

The ticket reached me by snail mail.


Yes if you are not ethnically chinese you are going to stand out . That doesnt mean you are not accepted per se, but you will stand out. I am half white and born and raised in Taipei and people did sometimes treat me as a foreigner even when I am talking to them in Taiwanese ! They think because I am half white and/or went to the American schools there that somehow I am different in my thinking (which actually is probably true). But I was not singled out for mal treatment, quite the contrary. I was singled out for special GOOD attention, except having to answer pesky questions like how many brothers and sisters i have, that kind of personal stuff. Nothing really offensive tho, just boring to me as I had to answer on average 10 times each day or more. Each time I got into a cab, went into a store, that sort of thing, Id have to sort of go into the story of my life.

But that was when i was young and cute. Last summer back in the wan. Everyone just spoke to me in Taiwanese and nobody asked me anything . See? Time does heal all problems.


Well that I would definitely disagree with. I have quite a few white friends who are born in Hong Kong and Singapore who feel quite accepted in their home countries. I have felt quite accepted living in Taiwan for such a long time. Many other white expats I know also feel very comfortable and accepted here as well. :wink:

So it is certainly not true that you have to look Asian to be accepted here.


Yes I also feel that whitey is accepted in TAiwan because whitey has been on the rock for hundreds of years (at least). The longer you are on the rock you gain an aura of taiwaneseness that makes you fit in. Its the way you walk, ur mannerisms, etc.

Talk while nodding your head alot, manner of dress, etc.

When you start walking like the Taiwanese, talking like the Taiwanese, dressing like the Taiwanese you start to be less different then them and thus more accepted.

Pretty soon, they forget you are white and get over it.


Pretty soon you forget you are white yourself and have gotten over it.




Tommy obviously knows more about this than all of us put together, Taiwanese love handsome/young/cute things...when you get older and flabby they are not so interested .... all the attention I used to get is transferred to my kid now. Most Taiwanese will take him as at least part local but even my wife's cousin referred to him as 'waiguoren', although they were probably joking I put a stop to that straight away.


Those things happened to Tommy many decades ago as a kid when foreigners were really a rarity in this country. Tommy should be listed as a National Treasure.

I don't know of anybody who has taken plastic surgery. Not even aware if people do that or not. It's a laugh to see you seem to think Tommy left Taiwan because of some special attention he got when. Completely wrong again :wink: