Resources for learning/using Taiwanese/Taigi/Holo/Hoklo

Hey everyone interested in learning Taiwanese, please help us grow our subreddit:

Right now I’ve got the lessons for Tailo and pronunciation, as well as a 400-card Anki vocabulary deck (with audio!) up and running, but of course we always need more content and at different levels!

[quote=“greves”]Hey everyone interested in learning Taiwanese, please help us grow our subreddit:

Right now I’ve got the lessons for Tailo and pronunciation, as well as a 400-card Anki vocabulary deck (with audio!) up and running, but of course we always need more content and at different levels![/quote]

that’s awesome!

well, I would appear that the author of the app, Pierre Magistry, is a French graduate student here in Taiwan as reported in the news article below. … 33939.html

keep on the good work, Pierre!

Here to add links to dictionaries:

English/Taiwanese and Taiwanese/English dictionary. Uses Tailo.

FHL Taiwanese dictionary
This dictionary is translated from the original Japanese/Taiwanese dictionary. It currently is a Taiwanese/Taiwanese dictionary with links to the original Japanese/Taiwanese texts. Taiwanese dictionary in POJ and Tailo. User can select Unicode or pictures or numbers for the tonal label.

Online Taiwanese character dictionary
This is a Mandarin/Taiwanese character dictionary. It is useful for looking up individual characters. Each look up provides a link to entries in the next dictionary. This dictionary uses POJ.

Online Taiwanese dictionary … Taihoa.asp
This is a Mandarin/Taiwanese dictionary for word and phrases. This dictionary uses POJ.

The government’s Taiwanese dictionary
A Mandarin/Taiwanese dictionary ran by the government. It Uses Tailo.

A group of hackers decided to make government resources more accessible to the public. One of their project is the moedict which streamlined the government’s Mandarin/Holo and Hakka dictionary into one friendly interface. The Taiwanese section is mostly a Mandarin/Taiwanese dictionary. This is a Tailo dictionary.

Just found a very interesting government website:

It documents many kua–á-hì (歌仔戲) lyrics, and has it in Hanji, Tailo comparisons.

testing 8 tones forum compatibility

a á à ah â á ā a̍h

testing m as a vowel
m̄ M̄

[strike]testing ruby[/strike] does not work.

There’s a database documenting POJ writings from Qing period to modern period:

I think it includes many articles from Thomas Barclay’s Tâi-oân-hú-siâⁿ Kàu-hōe-pò (Tainan Church News)

also found a English blog about Taigi grammar

Recently discovered this thing:

Type lomaji into the text box and have a robot read it back to you…

The best intro to Lomaji video ever:

Taiwanese Wizard (台語兒) is a new Firefox addon/Chrome extension that can turn any Chinese text into Taigi:

Firefox addon: … esewizard/
Chrome extension: … faofenfoja

After installing the extension/addon to your browser of choice, navigate to any Chinese website, highlight a section of text, and right click and select 台語兒 from the context menu. Wait for the translation and it will automatically begin reading the text in Taigi. This addon uses as it’s engine.

It’s a translation and not just character by character context-free pronunciation. Few examples of why it’s a translation:

  1. It uses sandhi correctly.
  2. I tried the addon on this news, and where the Mandarin text says 曾經, “bat (識)” is read instead, where the Mandarin text says 檜木, “hinoki” is read instead.

The translation is limited to vocabulary, and it fails to turn the text into Taigi grammatically.

A series of Taigi related articles by UPENN professor Victor Mair from Language Log that are very insightful and interesting. I especially enjoyed the last one about pre-ROC era Hanji based Taigi orthography.

1 - Eurasian eureka

2 - Hokkien in Singapore

3 - Hoklo

4 - Confessions of an Ex-Hokkien Creationist

Interesting stuff, thanks. Looking at #2, saw this:

b. Lots of Malay is used throughout:
diam diam (“quiet quiet”)

I hear this all the time here.

Edit: I see one Michael Cannings beat me to this in the thread comments there :slight_smile:

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The first article cited this paper called
Patterns of Sound Correspondence between Taiwanese and Germanic/Latin/Greek/Romance Lexicons

which comes with a free pdf version of the article.

As the title suggests, it’s trying to link numerous Taigi words to supposed Indo-European cognates.

An example would be:
L acc. fungum > fungu > *fungo > (f-> h-) > Tw hiun-ko· (with g-> k-) 香菇‘mushroom’.


Gk κλάω ‘to weep, lament, wail’ *κάω khàu (v.) 哭‘to weep, cry’

Why link numerous words from numerous Indo-European languages to Taigi? A lot of the stuff seems to be suggesting there’s a connection between Indo-European languages and Sinitic languages as a whole , instead of just Taigi.

Shouldn’t the author try this method using Proto-Indo-European and Old Chinese, instead of Taigi?

I was kind of surprised at the offered Malay roots for “diam diam”. I never thought about such an origin, and while it may seem understandable for Singaporean, Malaysian or other 南洋/SE Asia Hokkien, it seems surprising for Taiwanese Hokkien (given the distance from Malaysia and Indonesia). Maybe the words were incorporated by Overseas Hokkien and brought back to Fujian and then brought over to Taiwan? Maybe it is a common word among broader Austronesian communities like Taiwanese Aborigines? Fascinating. Maybe it is a Hokkien word that got incorporated into Malay?

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They’re talking about Singaporean Minnan though. If they knew it was present in other forms of Minnan, they wouldn’t have said that I’m sure. There’s no way it could have made its way from there to here. 沉 is shown in the dictionary as tîm or tiâm in Minnan, so there it is. It’s possible it went from Minnan-Malay but probably some kind of analogue or random coincidence I’d guess.

Glossika is offering a free Taiwanese course currently (along with Hakka and a number of other languages). You need to start a new account here:

It seems to use Chinese characters which seems like an unnecessary hurdle for many. Maybe there’s a way to use romanization but I didn’t see one. Then again, it’s free and it should still be useful.


Click the gear icon, go to the pull down menu for text, choose Tailo, and you’ll get both.