New Taiwan Premier Lai Ching-De (賴清德) seeks to make English an official language


Lin Chuan stepped down, replaced by Lai Ching-De.

I don’t know what the fuss is about this Tainan mayor. Apparently the senior greens and party core like him a lot, but what has he done to deserve to be the second in command exactly?

By the way I bet he will implement English policy to make TW more internationally oriented and more aligned with the West. Call it social engineering or whatever. The Chinese will cry foul, but selling dumplings to Chinese tourists will not make TW more competitive and any more richer or happier.

What’s your prediction? How long will he survive?


All about the hairline, man…


so shallow.


About that thread title, I seem to have missed the part of the article that says he has any such plan.


‘You bet’, or has he announced that it will be so?


I think the true plan is to make Chinglish an official language.


Hooray! This makes our language equal to Saaroa or Kanakanavu! I hope I can get a job with the English Culture Commission, or whatever it is.

In honor of the New Southbound Policy, I propose that Vietnamese, Tagolog, and Bahasa Indonesia be declared our next official languages. Plus Arabic, because they’re trying to attract the halal tourism market. And Japanese and Dutch, for old time’s sake. And…what about Sinckanche? The Siraya are not yet recognized, but can’t their language be?

I guess this means that applicants for Taiwan citizenship, who have to demonstrate proficiency in a local language, can now do so in English.


There’ve been signs and indications. It’s not my first day following Taiwanese politics. Anyway, do you want to bet against me or what?


I’m not sure about citizenship, whether it will be tied to language.

What I do know is that Tsai’s team had had ideas of reforming the public sector and addressing the human resource issues. (For those of you fellow members who follow defence or IR topics, you can also see how it might be relevant.)

This is about capitalizing on the skills and expertise of 2nd generation overseas Taiwanese.

Dual citizenship is a completely different issue. If an immigrant does choose to renounce his or her original citizenship, at least there will be equal opportunity for that person to work in the public sector. So that’s good news.


Opinion mixed about Lai Ching-te’s reported appointment as premier

People here are a bit concerned regarding China relations, as Lai seems to have a rep as outspoken “pro independence” guy.

And yep, they do confirm he has said in the past that bit about English becoming one of the official language of the ROC. I expect a lotta work coming my way.


Sure but make no mistake, Lin Chuan is 100% pro independence or anti CCP, his family/waishen background notwithstanding. He was Chen Sui Bein’s finance guy, and he was Tsai’s right-hand man well before the election.

The Premier is not concerned with foreign affairs including relations with China, so Lai being a staunch pro Taiwan guy or not makes no difference in terms of international relations. If there’s anything Lai CAN do, it’ll be that he’ll make the lives of the 5th column, the spokespersons and the agents a lot harder in Taiwan. The Red and the Blues will shriek and curse with every racial swearword but that will have no effect on IR.


Here it is. In today’s news:

[The Premier] has suggested the government to make English an official language. On this matter, Minister of Educator Pan told reporters that the Ministry will look for experts to form a committee to study this proposal.



I will support this move to make English an official English.
I would even recommend that English be made a major part of the medium of instructions in education, especially at the university level.

English need not be narrowly regarded as a western culture. It is a language of science, technology, and the de facto language of the globalised world.


Agree. English as lingua franca is a tool like computer knowledge.


That seems like a more logical first step, if they’re serious. I think making it an official language when there isn’t widespread fluency or even competency in it is only going to make them look ridiculous, and not accomplish anything useful that I can see. It might even be detrimental to English education efforts if it turns out to be unpopular locally.


Problem is that at top tier universities -NTU, looking at you- they feel like English is cultural imposition, not to mention makes them lose face. How else can you explain that at Masters level they hold class discussions in Mandarin and use the excuse that such is done abroad? I come from the fourth world and in college, English literature or teaching, second year on B.A., it is English all the time. How else can you practice?! And NCCU students complaining about use of “foreign” tests and standards?! :doh:


I though English was compulsory in public education, at least I think I remember being told that at some point, and it is needed to get into college here. If it is, it does not appear to be taken very seriously.

All bets are off when speaking about the GTA, but elsewhere it is hit or miss. The majority of people I interact with daily have what I have termed a, “tourist’s fluency”, where they can count to 100 and have a vocabulary of about 20 to 50 words. Generally no big deal, but try as I might, my “midwesterness” tends to wreck my Chinese pronunciation at times and communication becomes a verbalized charades.

Just to be clear, this is an observation, not a complaint.


Another issue is that students are used to being told what to study, and often lack initiative when it comes to things like figuring out for themselves what skills are likely to be useful. (I see the same tendency when we talk about careers–many expect a job to magically appear after they graduate.)

European students typically bicycle around Europe during the summers, and actually use the languages they study. That doesn’t happen so much here. Some Taiwan people have personal or commercial ties with the anglophone world, and are able to communicate in English (perhaps with difficulty), but avoidance behavior is widespread.

I think all of my in-laws can communicate in English except for my parents in law, who never had the opportunity to learn it. And not just because of me. Several use English in their jobs, most have traveled, and the kids see it as a kind of fun code (my nephews have learned the swear words) as well as a chance to compete with one another. It doesn’t hurt that they’re big sports fans.