MRT languages

On the MRT announcements are made in four languages - clearly, Mandarin, Taiwanese, and English. But what is the fourth language? I asked my students once, but they didn’t know.

i believe its in HAKKA for HAKKA people in Taiwan.

personally I think the announcements should only be made in Mandarin and English period. Too many languages, too much of a ruckus.

Indeed, it is Hakka.

I know this is waaaay off topic, but…

Am I the only one that thinks the Taiwanese recording of the “Yuan Shan” station on the red line sound sexy? “Yi Sua” to you too, baby!

[quote=“merge”]I know this is waaaay off topic, but…

Am I the only one that thinks the Taiwanese recording of the “Yuan Shan” station on the red line sound sexy? “Yi Sua” to you too, baby![/quote]

depends. is it a female voice or a male voice?

[quote=“tommy525”]
personally I think the announcements should only be made in Mandarin and English period. Too many languages, too much of a ruckus.[/quote]

So why would it be Mandarin and English instead of Mandarin and Taiwanese? What makes it more important for you to understand than some old man who doesn’t know Mandarin??

[quote=“SuchAFob”][quote=“tommy525”]
personally I think the announcements should only be made in Mandarin and English period. Too many languages, too much of a ruckus.[/quote]

So why would it be Mandarin and English instead of Mandarin and Taiwanese? What makes it more important for you to understand than some old man who doesn’t know Mandarin??[/quote]

Ive explained myself on this issue before, but heres a recap :slight_smile:

Mandarin because thats the language of education of most Taiwanese who are younger then fifty. Unless and until they change it back to Taiwanese or whatever. And English because TAiwan is trying to become cosmopolitan. Only for that reason.

They can also spell out the destinations for those who cant understand spoken Mandarin and for those who are deaf (i dont know what the blind do tho).

And english could be spelled out as well for those who understand english but are deaf.

I dont mind the trains using all four languages but on the MRT which has a stop every few minutes its quite a cacophony of noises.

I think that is quite selfish. You want them to cut out the other two languages, languages they add because they have minorities here who speak them, because you don’t like the ruckus?

I think they should cut out Hakka because the vast majority of Hakka speakers in Taiwan understand either Mandarin or Taiwanese, if not both.

Four languages in these announcements is too many.

I can’t find the link/source now, but NYC’s MTA omitted either “please” or “thank you” just so it could save a nth of a second. Wonder how much time could be saved if no Hakka…

The problem with the English announcement is that more than half the station names are the same as those in Mandarin. Why not give all stations proper English names? Such as West Gate for Ximen, Round Mountain for Yuanshan, Red Mangrove Forest for Hongshulin, Sword Pond for Jiantan, Stone Plaque for Shipai (OK, that’s pushing it a little, but you get the picture).

Why not just not change the names at all? I mean if you can find XingBeiTo station then you can find TaiDianDaLou station. I don’t actually see the need for English announcements being that all but 4 or so of the station names sound the same in English and in Mandarin.

I like the way the English version omits the words ‘bin lang’ and just says ‘no chewing.’ It’s quality reverse- in YOUR face- stereotyping that lifts my day.

And WHICH filthy individual sprayed bin-lang at the top of the escalators in Carrefour on Ching Hai lu in Taichung?

No way!’:fume:’

99% of my Chinese vocabulary is actually MRT station names! Thank you, Taipei Rapid Transit Corporation, for being a great Chinese teacher.:yay:’

‘:roflmao:’

[quote=“superking”]I like the way the English version omits the words ‘bin lang’ and just says ‘no chewing.’ It’s quality reverse- in YOUR face- stereotyping that lifts my day.

And WHICH filthy individual sprayed bin-lang at the top of the escalators in Carrefour on Ching Hai lu in Taichung?[/quote]

I’m glad I’m not the only one who noticed that. The scrolling LED signs on the trains list off, no food, smoking or chewing gum or binlangs on the trains, in Chinese that is. In English it’s no food, smoking or chewing gum. Binlangs are curiously omitted in the English version.

There’s a loophole Mr He can exploit next time he’s in Taipei! :smiling_imp: :wink:

That’s the sort of thinking that brought us Taipei’s nicknumbering system. Having anything in Mandarin, even in proper romanization, was deemed too hard for all us poor foreigners, so new names were assigned that neither foreigners nor locals knew. Even mispronounced, “Nanjing East Road and Dunhua North Road” or “Nanjing Donglu, Dunhua Beilu” is probably going to get across the idea, unlike “Seventh Boulevard and Twelfth Avenue.”

I’d be surprised if there are even a dozen people on the entire island who know all of the nicknumbering system – and they’re not likely to be asking each other for directions.

honestly its unfair if we want to include languages commonly spoken on taiwan to not include the main aboriginal languages and also cantonese because so many hongkongers are around and about in taiwan.

and since there are so many thais and phillippinos and vietnamese people in taiwan now, indeed where are their civil rights on this matter? why are there no announcements made in their language?

the fact is that mandarin and english alone can suffice for over 95pct of the riders.

there are very very very few taiwanese who simply cannot understand ANY mandarin who would likely ride the MRT without supervision. There are very very very few hakka people in the same boat.

there are very very few aboriginals who also are in the same boat, who CAN understand mandarin for the vast majority likely to ride the MRT without accompaniment of another person.

the ones who cannot understand mandarin AT ALL, and who have lived in Taiwan all their lives are very old now and very unlikely to be riding the MRT without some family member accompaning them. And even they can recognize the names of most stops by their mandarin pronunciation.

therefore mandarin for the taiwaners and english for the thais and viets and whatevers (pity those not able to understand mandarin or enlish though and yes there will be those).

we dont want the MRT to become a tower of babel and have all that blabbering about every few minutes.

but i rest my case, i have never encountered another person that seems to be bothered by it.

And i will simply have to resort to earplugs next time i ride the MRT.

Just make the announments only in German. That way everyone has to compromise and they’ll be no more bickering.

The old gentleman from Tainan sitting next to you will ask what the voice said and you’ll say that you don’t know, while pretending to look out the window for a landmark. He’ll sigh and you’ll feel a little guilty, but then he’ll pat his hand on your knee and say “The world is confusing sometimes, even to someone as old as me.” Then a conductor will walk past and you’ll stop him politely and ask which station this is, and he’ll look up at the speaker and roll his eyes before turning to face you and saying, “Chung-shan,” in a clear and practiced voice proud to be called back into service to replace the machine that once replaced it. The old man will thank you and close his eyes again and the conductor will nod and walk away with his back a little straighter and a nearby young girl will whisper, “Chung-shan,” to her uniformed classmate and flash you a smile while running off the train.

It would be wonderful actually.

I actually like having the Hakka and Taiwanese, because that’s the only time I hear those languages with the Mandarin and English translations before and after.

But I really think they should add Thai.
Have you ever been on the skytrain in Bangkok? There’s that fantastic sexy voice saying 'Next station … Nanaaa." Gives me the shivers.

Ah, yes! Much sexier than the announcements in Cantonese, Mandarin and English in Hong Kong!

Next station, Raaachatewiiii!