Fined $NT3,000 for not being able to read


#1

Todays China Post reports that a foreigner was stung $NT3,000 for taking the wrong lane while passing through a freeway toll both.

http://www.chinapost.com.tw/detail.asp?ID=29207&GRP=A

It makes sense to put a few English sign up around town, after all didn’t the government recently announce the English is the official 2nd language of Taiwan, or was it 3rd.

Ah, it’s a laugh a day in Taiwan I tell ya.


#2

Sorry, didn’t see the other thread. Jeff help my lock this one up will you.


#3

OK I would agree with you if english is one of taiwan’s official languages, but i really hate this western attitude towards the east.

Why should Taiwan start putting english signs all over the city? I don’t see North American Countries putting up chinese signs for the Chinese (even though they are the majority). Why don’t some westerns want to put in the effort to learn chinese instead of having the world revolve around them? This is one of the reasons the taiwanese dislike the west.


#4
quote:
Originally posted by AznRice: OK I would agree with you if english is one of taiwan's official languages, but i really hate this western attitude towards the east.

Why should Taiwan start putting english signs all over the city? I don’t see North American Countries putting up chinese signs for the Chinese (even though they are the majority). Why don’t some westerns want to put in the effort to learn chinese instead of having the world revolve around them? This is one of the reasons the taiwanese dislike the west.


You say you’re from Toronto? Take a look around the Chinatowns - there are lots of street signs in chinese. Spadina has them all over the place. Anyway, Chinese isn’t the international language, English is. Baituo!

If the Taiwanese dislike the west as you say, it’s because they can’t function there, because they’re so provincial. They only go to Italy, or America or Thailand if they’re safely ensconced in the confines of a tour bus with lots of pao mian and a chinese speaking tour leader. Then they take pictures of themselves flashing the peace sign in front of highway signs bearing the name of the destination visited, thus proving to all of their friends back in Taiwan what sophisticated travellers they are. Gimme a break!


#5

BTW, a “western”, as you put it, is a movie or an omelette.


#6

Why don’t some westerns want to put in the effort to learn chinese instead of having the world revolve around them? This is one of the reasons the taiwanese dislike the west.

How should a business man or tourist learn the languange if he comes here only occasionally, not to mention the languages of other countries he visits? Impossible.

As for people living here - sure, some don’t want to learn but if you do it takes time and Chinese is not what I call an easy language - not to mention the different characters.
I know what I am talking about as I started my class (2 hours 5 days a week) 1.5 month ago.

It takes time in which I then should not drive a car or do other things which are perhaps necessary for my work? Don’t know, but doesn’t sound like a plausible solution for me …


#7

Ever heard of this one?:

“Ignorance of the law excuses no one”

Its not their fault that we can’t read.


#8
quote:
Originally posted by AznRice: Why should Taiwan start putting english signs all over the city? I don't see North American Countries putting up chinese signs for the Chinese (even though they are the majority). Why don't some westerns want to put in the effort to learn chinese instead of having the world revolve around them? This is one of the reasons the taiwanese dislike the west.

How many Taiwanese tourists/businessmen know how to speak/read Thai, Vietnamese, Korean, Mongolian or Tibetan? How many Taiwanese can even say “Hello” to a Taiwanese aborigine?
The Taiwanese dislike (in one way or another) virtually everyone not Taiwanese…not just westerners. This is just one of the many reasons why Taiwanese tourists have such a wonderful reputation throughout SE Asia.


#9

Are there any existing graphic signs hung above the toll booths that might have helped?

Maybe one depicting trucks/bus, another depicting dollar sign, and the last one showing Toll coupon. These type of graphic signs are used in NJ/NY tollways.


#10
quote:
Originally posted by Ralf Schwarzenberg: The Taiwanese dislike (in one way or another) virtually everyone not Taiwanese....not just westerners. This is just one of the many reasons why Taiwanese tourists have such a wonderful reputation throughout SE Asia.

Wow… you’ve actually asked about the reputation of Taiwanese tourists while you were in SE Asia? How did they distinguish Taiwanese from Mainlanders, Hong Kong people, Singaporean, Malay Chinese, or even Japanese/Korean? You must have done one hell of a study!


#11
quote:
Originally posted by Urbanjet:

Wow… you’ve actually asked about the reputation of Taiwanese tourists while you were in SE Asia? How did they distinguish Taiwanese from Mainlanders, Hong Kong people, Singaporean, Malay Chinese, or even Japanese/Korean? You must have done one hell of a study!


Taiwanese tourists usually march around in tour groups, each wearing a tour hat and button. Oh yes, carrying a flag. Several years ago in Dynasty Magazine CAL actually published instructions to Taiwanese going abroad. Suggestions like: don’t spit on the sidewalks, urinate on the walls or walk downstairs in the hotel wearing jammies.


#12
quote:
Originally posted by Urbanjet: Are there any existing graphic signs hung above the toll boothes that might have helped?

No.


#13
quote:
Originally posted by Ralf Schwarzenberg: Taiwanese tourists usually march around in tour groups, each wearing a tour hat and button. Oh yes, carrying a flag.

That’s not exclusive to Taiwanese tour groups. Mainlander, Japanese, and Korean tourists also march around in tour groups wearing matching hats/buttons. The Hong Kong tour groups don’t go for the hats, but they would have a sticker/button. And yes, the tour guide waves around a flag with tour company’s name.


#14

Those public service ads were not confined to airline mags. They also had a major TV campaign along the same lines, as a result of increasing numbers of complaints about rude, ignorant and boorish Taiwanese abroad.

On the surface, the ads were hilarious, usually featuring crowds of Taiwanese being … well … Taiwanese – pushing old ladies over on escalators, spitting, screaming at each other in restaurants, barging into elevators, etc. I think public nose-picking was even featured in one of them.

Pretty damn shocking though, if you think about it – having to instruct your people how to behave like civilized human beings.


#15
quote:
Originally posted by Urbanjet:

That’s not exclusive to Taiwanese tour groups. Mainlander, Japanese, and Korean tourists also march around in tour groups wearing matching hats/buttons.


Maybe a long time ago but certainly not now.


#16
quote:
Originally posted by AznRice: Why don't some westerns want to put in the effort to learn chinese instead of having the world revolve around them? This is one of the reasons the taiwanese dislike the west.

Sounds like AznRice is harbouring some resentment…
Do the Taiwanese REALLY dislike the west?
Funny, but I thought they lauded “westerns” since so many losers from the west seem to do SO WELL in Taiwan, just for being “westerns”.
And, yeah, as Maoman said, English is the international language of communication. ALL signs should be in English, in my opinion.
It would certainly benefit Taiwan to realize there’s life outside this little island which cannot read complicated Chinese characters.


#17

Sandman,

What you said in your post reminds me of something I read once about Chiang Kai-Shek when he first took a shine to facism. He had a campaign called the “New Life Campaign.”

Superfically it was conducted by the boy scouts. They would stand on soap boxes and police passers by. Once they spotted some old guy strolling along puffing away, they’d straighten his hat, tuck in his shirt and pull the fag out of his mouth. Then they’d give him a lecture about modern living and send him on his way. Noone would dare retaliate for fear of their lives.


#18

Count the crocodile tears rolling down my cheeks.
If you drive a car and you know that you will go through a toll booth, it’s your job to know what to do. This new requirement was not a secret. Drivers have at least a little responsibility.
Someone told me the lanes were color-coded too, yes?

“I pee’d on the seat cause there was no sign in English saying that I shouldn’t!”


#19

By Wolfman

quote[quote]Count the crocodile tears rolling down my cheeks. If you drive a car and you know that you will go through a toll booth, it’s your job to know what to do. [/quote]Now come on Wolf, you’ve been living in Taiwan for far tooooo long. In Western countries, it is now the norm to have your vehicle read by a meter as you pass under the toll gate. Thus the average unable to read English driver doesn’t come across this problem.

If Taiwan really wants to adopt English as a 2nd language, surely this is a good as place as any to start. Try to picture yourself the day you arrived in Taiwan pissing in the female toilets because you couldn’t read ‘nushen’.

An international drivers license for driving in Taiwan requires nothing more than turning in your license in your native countries RACV or driving office. There were in my time back home, and still are to my knowledge, NO requirements for reading Chinese characters as a pre req for acquiring a Taiwanese license.

If you think it would be safer, or more beneficial to the widening international community, perhaps we should petition that in order to acquire an inrternational drivers license in Taiwan, you should 1st be able to read Chinese (complex) characters.

Ignorance of the law is no excuse, mmmmm interesting. I propose an airport ignorance test.


#20
quote:
Originally posted by amos: By Wolfman Now come on Wolf, you've been living in Taiwan for far tooooo long. In Western countries, it is now the norm to have your vehicle read by a meter as you pass under the toll gate. Thus the average unable to read English driver doesn't come across this problem. Sorry, Wolf, but I’ve been in the States for a couple of weeks this summer and have driven major highways (NJ Turnpike, Garden State Parkway, NYS Thruway, etc. etc.) and it is not the norm to have the toll read by a meter. The “EasyPass” system is AVAILABLE but there is an annual fee involved which means that only people who use the highways regularly (i.e., commuters, who would learn which lane to use ANYWAY) can really take advantage of them. The others still have to figure it out, including the “exact change” lanes on the Garden State Parkway. People are still getting completely confused (including many native English speakers!) on the highways, at least in the US. Symbol signs are a good idea but people need to be able to identify the symbols (my parents, for example, are not really into that kind of thing.) Try to picture yourself the day you arrived in Taiwan pissing in the female toilets because you couldn't read 'nushen'. "nushen"?? Don't know what sex that would be... An international drivers license for driving in Taiwan requires nothing more than turning in your license in your native countries RACV or driving office. There were in my time back home, and still are to my knowledge, NO requirements for reading Chinese characters as a pre req for acquiring a Taiwanese license. If you think there should be, please let my know, and I'll start the ball rolling in Australia.

This last at least is correct.
I would say that if a person is driving on an international drivers’ license, maybe more latitude should be given for this kind of thing (i.e., wrong lanes due to illiteracy in Chinese). But if you’re on a Taiwanese license, then IF those signs are in the drivers’ manual, you should be able to recognize them. If they’re not, then I don’t think that kind of a fine is legit given the fact that you can take the drivers’ test without speaking either Chinese OR English (I interpreted it into Spanish for somebody one time about 3 years ago, and the person took the test without reading anything at all. I guess there might have been a picture or 2 of signs, though.)

Terry