Are aboriginal names "English"? 🙄

Apparently the Name Act (姓名條例) doesn’t cover this type of situation. It basically says if you’re aboriginal you have the right to register your aboriginal name.

Reminds me of a friend trying to sell me Amway, and I heard about their products, was curious, willing to try, and he got me set up with a plan, and when it came to signing the contract, he said he needed my Chinese name. I said, I only have my English name, tell them to make it happen. He talked to his boss who told him the same thing, and I told him, look, this is possible, it’s an American company! you just gotta take the bull by the horns and talk to people until you can make it happen. But Taiwanese don’t have that tenacity or something, which I kinda expected, and I couldn’t do it for him, so I just said, forget it then.

Some of this may appear racist on the surface, but it could just be that workers go by the manual and can’t think outside the box, can’t make anything happen.

The whole point being a name written in the Roman alphabet is not necessarily English but Taiwanese presume it is. English uses the Roman alphabet to write in as do hundreds of other written languages, the indigenous tongues of Formosa included. But to some, less enlightened Taiwanese, “foreigners” are a single race of people who speak a single language and share a single culture. (喔你們老外都很愛喝酒。。。)


It’s extremely ignorant to refer to a local aboriginal’s proper name as his ‘English’ name.

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So only aboriginals can use the Roman alphabet on national ID?
My kids have Chinese names and their English names on birth cert and passport , wonder if they could have them on the shen fen Zheng?

I have both my English name and Chinese name on my ARC, are Chinese names mandatory for ARCs?

Also must all citizens born in Taiwan also choose a Chinese name including aboriginals? Maybe only aboriginals can solely go by their aboriginal name and no Chinese name?

What happens if you are Japanese or Korean etc? Do they get their names in those languages as well on their ARC or other IDs?

Genuinely interested in this.

One of my adult students is mixed Japanese and Taiwanese, and has a Japanese name. He was born in Taiwan. He showed us his Taiwanese 身份證 and it has his 5 character Japanese name. His name doesn’t contain any Japanese kanji that aren’t found in Chinese, so maybe that’s why.

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I’ve flown Uni Air several times. I’ve never been able to use the self serve check-in because, even though I have an APRC that includes my English and Chinese name, my US passport only has my English name. Additionally, my APRC doesn’t have the “right” kind (citizen only) of ID number. When I check in at the counter it’s never smooth. So, I’m not surprised at all by this story.

However, I am glad to see that Taiwan is (slowly) catching up to the fact that there are non-Han who live and --gasp!-- stay on the island.

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I was an avid participant of the Taiwan baseball wiki, and early on there was a big argument about whether or not foreign players’ name spelt with the Roman alphabet should be titled as “英文姓名 (English name)” or “原文姓名 (Original name)”.

In the end the convention changed to use original name, which wasn’t easy… but at least we got the idea through most wiki editors…


Thanks to the Status Act For Indigenous Peoples (原住民身分法) enacted back in 2001, yes.


I’m curious: what terms are typically used in “government Chinese” for the different writing systems? What actually is the Chinese term for “Roman alphabet”? I hope the Chinese for Roman alphabet isn’t something like 英文字, but I wouldn’t be surprised - and I suspect that even if it’s not the official term, something like that is the normally used expression. International students must get so annoyed at being constantly asked for their English name.

My Pleco app is giving me 拉丁字母 and 羅馬字母, but I don’t know if those terms are used. Heck, even in English I’m not sure if many people are familiar with the term “Roman alphabet”. Although I don’t have any problem with the term “romanization”, whenever I say “Roman alphabet” part of my brain is thinking “Is that really the best term?”


I know, it sounds like a bad sequel to Pinyin Wars II…

Brother, you will know the date/season this change took place, I’m sure.
I recently (in the last couple of years) noted that CPBL teams are wearing Romanised versions of their names on their jerseys.
Chinese Taipei has always done this, like all teams do in international play since, of course, they need to be identified in all countries where they might play.

Bur the Pro leagues in Taiwan always used to bear the Mandarin name (in Mandarin characters, I mean) of the player. Including the foreign players’ Chinese names.

One interesting by-product of this has been a resurgence in the use of the family name + two initials style of English name, as was so popular in the KMT Classic/Lions Club heyday.

At least in case of the Council of Indigenous Peoples, the official regulation referring to the romanization is “羅馬拼音”.

The term Romanization has been used in Taiwan since the Dutch colonial era. The priests and preachers who came up with the Romanization named it as such. Till this day, Taigi romanization is referred to as Lô-ma-jī (羅馬字), and all Aboriginal people refer to their own Romanazation as 羅馬拼音.


There’s a date when some teams started using the import player’s original name on the jerseys, and a date when a team adopted Romanization for local players on the jerseys. I’m talking about official jerseys that’s used for at least a whole year, not those one off event jersey.

Original name on jerseys was probably done first by La New at least since 2007.

Brother Elephants experienced with full Romanization jerseys a couple of times, at least in 1989 and 2007, but they didn’t wear those for a full year.

Full Romanization official jerseys was first done by the Eda Rhinos in 2015. Before that they used Hanji for all the names, including Manny’s jersey back in 2013.

Rhinos Jerseys circa 2015.

Rhinos Jerseys when they won the Taiwan Series in 2016

Eda since then sold the team to Fubon, and the team was renamed Fubon Gaurdians.

Bonus fact: The first player to use Aboriginal name on his jersey is Lin Chih-sheng (林智勝), A.K.A. Ngayaw. Ake’. He led the charge back in 2011 when he was still with the La New/ Lamigo organization. Several players followed his path, including Ati Masaw (張泰山), Mayaw Ciro (陳鏞基), Haro Ngayaw (王勝偉). Although, sometimes they don’t stick with it consistently. Some players would use Aboriginal name for one season and change it back the next. Some would have their aboriginal name on the Home jersey and switch to Han name on their Away jersey…


Ha! I was thinking specifically of Manny’s Rhinos jersey.
You friggin rule, man.

As always, it’s Brother @hansioux 's world, the rest of us mutts are just trying to keep up with the box scores. :notworthy:

For Taiwanese language they don’t use “romanization” but “vernacular” 白話字 pe-oe-ji. I bet one of the dilemmas is also whether Taiwanese would be able to use their name with a phonetic rather than character spelling. I know a lot of people who would gladly go with phonetic in this case rather than characters. I bet eventually it’ll be allowed, partly just to poke at China.

Some images of players wearing jerseys with their Aboriginal names. This is why sports is important. These players are pushing public acceptance Aboriginal names.

Ngayaw. Ake’

Ati Masaw

Mayaw Ciru

Haro Ngayaw

Sure at first it was some progressive fans demanding to stop translating import players’ names, and asking for the Aboriginal players to use their Aboriginal names, but it was the players who got it done, and wore the uniforms day in and day out.

The League’s official rule is that a player can only put their Aboriginal name on the jersey if they have went through the process of getting their Aboriginal names on their National ID card. So these players went through the trouble just to show their identity and pride of being a part of their tribes.

Most of these players have spent their youth away from their families and villages for baseball. Their caretakers and coaches would have been predominantly Holo/Hakka Taiwanese. Most of them can’t speak their mother tongue, and some of them don’t have a proper Aboriginal name. So instead they use nicknames given to them by their grandparents instead. Since many weren’t educated on writing their native tongue, some of them make up their own Romanization. It isn’t perfect, but they are trail blazers.

I applaud them for that. If the ignorance of Aboriginal names is this toxic now, imagine what it would be like without them. I wish one day I can see a Taiwanese baseball player in the MLB with Aboriginal name on the back of his jersey.

Now if only the government can get on enacting the National Languages Act, so we can preserve the diversity before it’s gone.


Heartwarming to see that. How about an indigenous national team along the lines of the Maori All Blacks?

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I just wanted to say: this thread is awesome.


Yeah, no kidding.
This is the coolest thing I seen all friggin month.

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