Survey on Taiwan's international living condition

Taiwan Research Association has taken some contract-deal from the Executive Yuan to investigate Taiwan’s international living environment. We simply wish to collect referential resources from various places such as internet forum or governmental websites. This contract-deal began in 2002, and it has three stages: constructing English-language living environment (2002-2007), building international living environment (2008-2009), and improving Taiwanese people’s English ability (2010-2012). We aim to persuade the government to make constructive investments to attract global talents by building up a nice international living environment, promote Taiwan to the international playground by increasing the urban competitions in the domain of globalization.

This contract-ideal has been promoted for a decade, and it has received some favorable results. The satisfaction of foreign workers in Taiwan has been raised from 42% in 2003 to 81.3% in 2011. This shall be our public survey of Taiwan’s globalization basing on the interactive evaluations from the foreign internet-users in Taiwan.

  1. Do you feel satisfied about the English-language translation of Taiwan’s traffic signs, such as the names of streets and bus stops?
  2. Do you feel satisfied about the English-language translation of Taiwan’s shopping circles and scenic spots?
  3. Do you feel satisfied about the English-language translation of Taiwan government’s public facilities?
  4. Do you feel satisfied about the English-language transition of Taiwan’s shops (such as Menu in the restaurant)?
  5. Do you feel it is convenient to depart and arrive in Taiwan?
  6. Are you satisfied with the governmental policies on the grants of permanent residency (ARC or PRC)?
  7. Do you think Taiwan has provided the foreigners with enough work opportunities (or varieties of jobs)?
  8. Do you think the taxes Taiwan government requests from the foreign workers are reasonable?
  9. Do you feel satisfied with the designs of the bilingual courses for foreign students in Taiwanese academy?
  10. Do you feel satisfied with the design of Taiwan’s policies on the medical welfare for foreigners?

Feedback and opinions are more than welcome.
If you wish to have your voice heard by the government, please do remember, your words do make a difference.
Thank you!!!

First, a suggestion: delete the long paragraph at the beginning of your post. It moves your main point too far to the bottom and people will lose their patience to read that far.

[quote]1. Do you feel satisfied about the English-language translation of Taiwan’s traffic signs, such as the names of streets and bus stops?
[/quote]
No, not at all. They are totally inconsistent across different districts – sometimes even within the same district. In Taoyuan County, different signs render 中壢 as Jung + li, Jhong + li, and Zhongli; for anyone who doesn’t read Chinese, there is no way to know that all three of those very different names are for the same place.

[quote]2. Do you feel satisfied about the English-language translation of Taiwan’s shopping circles and scenic spots?
[/quote]
It varies from place to place. Most of the basic English signage – place names, restrooms, directions – are good, but many detailed explanation plaques/guides/etc. have very incomprehensible English. I always choose to read Chinese instead because it’s quicker and easier to understand.

[quote]3. Do you feel satisfied about the English-language translation of Taiwan government’s public facilities?
[/quote]
Yes. Transportation infrastructure has passable English, including road signs and train stops.

[quote]4. Do you feel satisfied about the English-language transition of Taiwan’s shops (such as Menu in the restaurant)?
[/quote]
Overall, no. Some shops have good translations, but the majority either have no translation or mislead people. For example, 蛋餅 is often translated “egg pancake,” an absolutely terrible translation that makes people think of something like scrambled eggs and short-stack pancakes. Not what you end up getting. These translations should be standardized – and you need to ask foreigners about their opinions for a change, not just make something up out of nowhere and decide that this is the only correct answer.

[quote]5. Do you feel it is convenient to depart and arrive in Taiwan?
[/quote]
Because I read and speak Chinese fluently, it is extremely convenient. For someone who does not speak Chinese, no, it is very difficult. The airport bus station has some signs in English, and I don’t know if the counter staff speaks English. The problem is that the drivers on buses that go into Taipei don’t speak English, and few of the buses are equipped with English broadcast systems. I was on one the other day and a North American businessman-type was asking the driver which stop for his hotel. The driver didn’t understand, so I had to intervene.

[quote]6. Are you satisfied with the governmental policies on the grants of permanent residency (ARC or PRC)?
[/quote]
Absolutely not. Employment regulations are too restrictive. Though perfectly capable of a variety of jobs, I couldn’t be employed in Taiwan for the longest time and ended up choosing grad school as an alternative. My work options during grad school were also very limited. Now that I have a job, I’m less-than-impressed with the benefits. If Taiwan wants to attract more white-collar foreign workers, rules need to be relaxed and the environment needs to be made more attractive.

[quote]7. Do you think Taiwan has provided the foreigners with enough work opportunities (or varieties of jobs)?
[/quote]
No. The requirement that demands two years of work experience turns away many interested and talented professionals every year.

[quote]8. Do you think the taxes Taiwan government requests from the foreign workers are reasonable?
[/quote]
Very reasonable. The quality of health care is superb, and for that alone I am happy to pay the small amount of tax the government asks.

[quote]9. Do you feel satisfied with the designs of the bilingual courses for foreign students in Taiwanese academy?
[/quote]
N/A, my Master’s degree was taught in Chinese.

[quote]10. Do you feel satisfied with the design of Taiwan’s policies on the medical welfare for foreigners?
[/quote]
NHI is absolutely wonderful, but it would be nice if it were accessible sooner than four months.

don’t you just love when the great and mighty Pinyinizer makes you sound like an idiot?

1. Do you feel satisfied about the English-language translation of Taiwan’s traffic signs, such as the names of streets and bus stops?
2. Do you feel satisfied about the English-language translation of Taiwan’s shopping circles and scenic spots?
No. The government should adopt Pinyin, and stick with it. Where translations are required (instructions and directions) these are fine. However, this is an issue for English-speaking tourists only, not foreign residents.

3. Do you feel satisfied about the English-language translation of Taiwan government’s public facilities?
Generally very good, although I am embarrassed that I still have to ask for English service sometimes.

4. Do you feel satisfied about the English-language transition of Taiwan’s shops (such as Menu in the restaurant)?
Usually very poor, but that’s because many of the names are impossible to translate (as hokwongwei pointed out). It would make more sense to just have pictures and a short explanation of how the dish is made (this is quite common in Europe, where the names of dishes can be equally obscure). Again, this is only of interest to tourists. Most permanent residents read Chinese well enough to read a menu (if they can’t, that’s their own problem).

5. Do you feel it is convenient to depart and arrive in Taiwan?
Yes. Compared to many other countries, Taiwan’s airports are completely stress-free.

6. Are you satisfied with the governmental policies on the grants of permanent residency (ARC or PRC)?
Yes and no. Immigration procedures are fairly straightforward, at least in Taipei. However, as the previous poster said, foreigners are not permitted to use the skills that they have. Immigrants to Taiwan should be free to seek employment which challenges them. Workers from S.E.Asia, especially, are often educated, skilled people, but end up cleaning floors or loading parts into PCBs. I have met people with degrees in education, engineering and finance who are not allowed to seek appropriate employment simply because of the colour of their skin.

While it may be true that other countries also have restrictive, bureaucratic and outright racist immigration policies, Taiwan does not need to follow their example.

7. Do you think Taiwan has provided the foreigners with enough work opportunities (or varieties of jobs)?
No (see 6).

8. Do you think the taxes Taiwan government requests from the foreign workers are reasonable?
Foreigners pay the same as Taiwanese nationals, which is of course perfectly fair. Again, I agree with hokwongwei: I am actually happy to pay my taxes in Taiwan, because I feel I get good value for money.

9. Do you feel satisfied with the designs of the bilingual courses for foreign students in Taiwanese academy?
Do you mean language courses? I was unable to study Chinese at the universities because they could not offer a programme that fit with my work schedule. The private school I studied at was shut down (along with many others) by government legislation.

10. Do you feel satisfied with the design of Taiwan’s policies on the medical welfare for foreigners?
Medical services in Taiwan are world-class, although doctors seem to have too many patients and not enough time.

Having said that:

I don’t understand what an “international living environment” is. Do you mean the heartless, boring, non-functional and disgracefully inefficient architecture and bad urban design that we see in (say) an American city? Why would anyone want to come to Taiwan to see more of the same concrete tower blocks, traffic jams, and Starbucks shops that he can see at home?

People come to Taiwan because it’s Taiwan. People do not decide to stay here because of the quality of the shopping malls or the street signs. They stay because they have good friends and family, they feel safe and secure, they like the national culture, and they are free to live their lives in peace.

If Taiwan wants to attract the world’s best immigrants, I would say this: stop polluting the air and the water, stop wasting energy and resources, and stop supporting those outdated, backward industries that are responsible for all this. They give the country nothing (except cancer and a bad reputation). Realise that you have extremely good laws to take Taiwan into the 21st century - such as the laws governing building in rural/farmland areas - and that these laws are being broken every day. Realise that Taiwan is a country in a unique position to exploit solar energy and an all-electric vehicle infrastructure, and to show the rest of the world how it’s done. Stop following. Start leading.

Problem is leading isn’t even in the average Taiwanese’s vocabulary. When policies are discussed they always look to other country’s policies. Taiwanese are very good followers for sure.

[quote=“GlobalTaiwan2013”]Taiwan Research Association has taken some contract-deal from the Executive Yuan to investigate Taiwan’s international living environment. We simply wish to collect referential resources from various places such as internet forum or governmental websites. This contract-deal began in 2002, and it has three stages: constructing English-language living environment (2002-2007), building international living environment (2008-2009), and improving Taiwanese people’s English ability (2010-2012). We aim to persuade the government to make constructive investments to attract global talents by building up a nice international living environment, promote Taiwan to the international playground by increasing the urban competitions in the domain of globalization.

This contract-ideal has been promoted for a decade, and it has received some favorable results. The satisfaction of foreign workers in Taiwan has been raised from 42% in 2003 to 81.3% in 2011. This shall be our public survey of Taiwan’s globalization basing on the interactive evaluations from the foreign internet-users in Taiwan.[/quote]

You’re asking a lot of questions about English below. Do you realize your own English above makes very little sense?

No. Very inconsistent.

No. But they are often good for a laugh. (Speaking of this, there is no such thing as a “shopping circle” in English, by the way. I know what you’re talking about because I’ve read about the plan in Chinese, but from the English, no one has any idea what you’re talking about.)

No.

No.

Like the previous respondent, I’m fluent in Mandarin. If I didn’t speak Mandarin, it would not be easy at all.

No. The requirements for PARC are extremely restrictive and block out many people on technicalities. The corresponding document in the US, the green card, does not require 183 days of residency to maintain the credential. And having white collar workers live in fear of being fired and forced to leave the island within 10 days does nothing to promote Taiwan as a long-term destination for professionals.

No.

Yes. Good value, really.

No. Chinese teaching methods are far behind the pulse of modern language teaching. Overemphasis on writing by hand means that students waste hours that could be devoted to oral fluency and learning to read effectively and broadly – the skills needed to succeed in school. There is little linkage between course content and Chinese language instruction content, most of which uses the same set of textbooks which are not at all specialized for the program.

Yes.

[quote=“GlobalTaiwan2013”]Taiwan Research Association has taken some contract-deal from the Executive Yuan to investigate Taiwan’s international living environment. We simply wish to collect referential resources from various places such as internet forum or governmental websites. This contract-deal began in 2002, and it has three stages: constructing English-language living environment (2002-2007), building international living environment (2008-2009), and improving Taiwanese people’s English ability (2010-2012). We aim to persuade the government to make constructive investments to attract global talents by building up a nice international living environment, promote Taiwan to the international playground by increasing the urban competitions in the domain of globalization.

This contract-ideal has been promoted for a decade, and it has received some favorable results. The satisfaction of foreign workers in Taiwan has been raised from 42% in 2003 to 81.3% in 2011. This shall be our public survey of Taiwan’s globalization basing on the interactive evaluations from the foreign internet-users in Taiwan.

  1. Do you feel satisfied about the English-language translation of Taiwan’s traffic signs, such as the names of streets and bus stops?
  1. Do you feel satisfied about the English-language translation of Taiwan’s shopping circles and scenic spots?

[quote]No such thing as shopping circle in English. Shop signage is often in English, level of English services in shops is poor though. Scenic spots don’t have English signs usually, just the odd one.
[/quote]
3. Do you feel satisfied about the English-language translation of Taiwan government’s public facilities?

  1. Do you feel satisfied about the English-language transition of Taiwan’s shops (such as Menu in the restaurant)?
  1. Do you feel it is convenient to depart and arrive in Taiwan?

[quote]Yes and no, the airports are quick to use and efficient, the HSR taxi and bus link to Taoyuan airport is not bad.

The big problem is the airport bus to and from cities like Taipei. The signs are not very clear and there is not enough room for buses to stop at the airport. The organization can be a little chaotic for taxis to go to the HSR.

Taichung airport needs review too, it was terrible before, but I don’t know what it’s like after the new terminal was built.[/quote]

  1. Are you satisfied with the governmental policies on the grants of permanent residency (ARC or PRC)?

[quote]I am satisfied as a westerner regarding ARC and PARC, but I am really not satisfied there is no path to citizenship for me after 12 years. The normal situation is ARC/PARC (certain length of stay)>CITIZENSHIP, but in Taiwan the last part is almost impossible.

This is because of the requirement to give up my original citizenship first. Why do I need to give up my original citizenship and Taiwan born people can hold dual citizenship? We need a path to citizenship,

Taiwan should also open some more white collar ARC and PARC for non Western people. [/quote]

  1. Do you think Taiwan has provided the foreigners with enough work opportunities (or varieties of jobs)?

[quote]No, there are not enough foreign born people working in government institutions and academia, and it limits Taiwan’s human resource power and perception on the world. For instance I have never encountered foreign born police in Taiwan.

Apart from that, employment opportunities and variety of jobs can be limited in Taiwan for everybody and pay is low and work hours hours long so it is not attractive place to work for many professionals.[/quote]

  1. Do you think the taxes Taiwan government requests from the foreign workers are reasonable?

[quote]The tax rate is too high on high earning professionals (also high earning in Taiwan is not high earning overseas!), it strongly discourages management moving their regional offices to Taiwan as they will need to pay very high income tax rates compared to places like Singapore or Hong Kong. This causes Taiwan to lose a lot of economic opportunities and chances for good employment for Taiwanese.
This is unfair as business owners pay a much lower rate of tax.
This is a problem of the general tax structure in Taiwan.[/quote]

  1. Do you feel satisfied with the designs of the bilingual courses for foreign students in Taiwanese academy?
  1. Do you feel satisfied with the design of Taiwan’s policies on the medical welfare for foreigners?

Feedback and opinions are more than welcome.
If you wish to have your voice heard by the government, please do remember, your words do make a difference.
Thank you!!![/quote]

I always believe that Taiwan needs to improve the living and working environment for Taiwanese (cleaner air and water, better housing, more compliance with traffic law, more pavements, better public transport outside of Taipei especially) and then more foreigners would like to live, work and invest in Taiwan also!

I’m kind of surprised that no one has said anything about the 18% tax rate foreigners are required to pay for the first six months of every year. While I agree that the NORMAL tax rates are great, this extra tax on foreign residents is ridiculous. My ID says that I’m a permanent resident, but each year I spend 6 months as a non resident. This makes absolutely no sense, and it should be changed back to the old system where the 18% for six months only applied in the first year here.

Additionally, banks and other institutions should be required to treat resident foreigners the same way they treat locals, I.e. we should have equal access to credit based on our salary and work history just like locals. One way to help with this issue would be to give APRC and JFRV holders ID numbers that are the same format as locals’ numbers. Because our ID numbers are different many companies have difficulty putting our data into their system, especially since APRCs have no expiration date.

I don’t understand what you’re saying. There is no “18% tax for the first six months of each year”, unless you are actually out of the country for long periods. The 18% levied in the first 6 months of your stay is a withholding tax which (IIRC) is refunded if you stay here for longer than that. It sounds to me like your employer is ripping you off.

Yes, this is pretty irritating.

I know that you can get it refunded, but that’s not the point. Once you are a resident, you should have the same withholding rate as the locals. It’s quite a big difference in one’s income to have 18% taken off each month, even if it will eventually be given back. We should be treated as the residents we are, not visitors, when we’ve put time into living here.

The ID number is an important point, as many systems in Taiwan don’t recognize ARC and PARC numbers, it should be harmonized with Taiwan 省份証

You do. Or you should do. I think you need to have a private word with the lao ban.

Yes - it’s not a problem in gov’t offices, but it’s surprising how many other institutions and businesses don’t recognise the ARC/PARC format. It makes no sense at all to have two different numbering systems. Unless, of course, it’s a deliberate attempt to prevent foreigners from engaging fully with the local economy.

Sorry, I’m not talking about my job in particular, I’m taxed at the proper rate throughout the year. That is not the problem. I bring this up because most other people are not as lucky as you or I are, and they are taxed at 18% at the beginning of each year. I don’t think this is fair for them, and it is just a discriminatory policy. Some one could live in Taiwan for three years, and then decide to leave in March of their fourth year. Their wages from January to March will be taxed at 18, and they won’t get the difference between the regular tax rate of 6% and the 18% they paid back.

Additionally, if I decided to switch employers, that new one could choose to tax me at the 18% or 6% dependeding on how they felt. That doesn’t seem strange to you? I think our tax rates should remain at the same rate as the locals no matter what. I know that some of us are lucky enough to not have to worry about this, but not everyone is.

I concur that Taiwan doesn’t need to be international, they need to be themselves and stop copying some first world country. Taipei is by far the best of the lot but not by much. There is sidewalk in better areas but there are so much inconsistency in overall city planning. For example parts of Neihu has wide sidewalk and bicycle lanes but other parts of the city such as Ximen does not have the same style of bicycle lanes, and they’re often used for parking trucks or cars or whatever the people feel like doing. Traffic needs significant improvement such as enforcing traffic laws especially on taxi drivers, who goes from good driving to totally reckless behavior. The problem is Taiwan will never lead because the people and its leaders have forgotten how to lead. They might send children overseas for an education but they never bring back the independent spirit, or rather those qualities are squashed. Some have said if Jeremy Lin grew up in Taiwan he would have been a nobody. Perhaps God is using him to instill that leadership quality in Taiwanese people?

I have no comment on Engrish signs but it’s significantly better than China, and the English is actually passable.

I have no difficulty going from the airport to the city but if you are a tourist coming by yourself with no Chinese ability, you might want to have a tour guide…

As for work I don’t know about the two years of experience but it is next to impossible to get work visas in the EU because they require you to be someone that absolutely doesn’t exist in the EU, and given the number of people EU represent that’s really hard. At least in Taiwan I guess you could work for two years and somehow come here on a work visa… the market unfortunately doesn’t support anything but ESL type work and those are not that good… and also who would work here when the wages are so low?

I can’t comment on tax… I’ve been living below poverty line all these time so I never paid tax.

You do. Or you should do. I think you need to have a private word with the laoban.[/quote]

I think Tiare may be referring to a tax rule that was published in 2008, and that came into effect in 2008-2009 (I’m not sure about the date on which it became effective). Or it may be a different rule, but if it is, it seems to have a similar effect to that of the old rule. The rule from 2008-2009 seemed to say that 20 percent of the foreign employee’s income could be withheld for the first 183 days, regardless of how long the foreigner had been in continuous residence in Taiwan. Supposedly a refund of the excess could be obtained later. I’ve never been subjected to the 20 or 18 percent withholding, and I don’t know if the rule has been amended or rescinded or repealed, or if a new rule has been published, or what have you.

Anyway:

Archive.org preserved an English-language notice on it from 2008 or 2009:
web.archive.org/web/200904240258 … _Elist.pdf

This appears to be the Chinese-language version of the above:
web.archive.org/web/200904190247 … _Clist.pdf

I think this is the designation of the rule that came out in 2008 (hoping that I’ve copied it correctly):

A few years ago, there was some talk on this board about the subject that I think Tiare has broached, or a similar subject:

[quote=“On December 3, 2008, CraigTPE”]For the first 6 months EACH YEAR, they are to tax at 20%. After 6 months, they can tax at 6%. You get the difference back when you file taxes. In the past, it was only the first year we’re here, but these changes may mean that it will be every tax year.[/quote] forumosa.com/taiwan/viewtopi … 23#p931523

[quote=“On December 8, 2008, Northcoast Surfer”]Basically, every foreigner will start out at 20% withholding beginning every January 1st and be withheld at this amount until July 2nd where the rate will fall to 6% regardless of how long we’ve been here.[/quote] forumosa.com/taiwan/viewtopi … 89#p933389

[quote=“On May 21, 2009, Fox”]. . . he explains to me that he’s talked it over with the accountant and it seems as of this year all foreign nationals have to pay 20% tax on for the first 183 days of each calendar year in Taiwan, because the government is running out of money.[/quote] forumosa.com/taiwan/viewtopi … 87#p996587

[quote=“That same day, Joesox”]That’s correct. Didn’t you see all the posts on the topic? Actually, I think there may be some discretion in it… it may not be that the tax office actually requires companies to withhold 20%, but if the company only withholds 10% and the foreigner leaves before the 183 days in that year is up, the company’s then liable for the other 10%.[/quote] forumosa.com/taiwan/viewtopi … 92#p996592

I’m pretty sure it IS true, more or less. The law states now that if you stay less than 180 days, and thus owe 20% tax, the employer will have to make up the difference if they haven’t withheld it. They aren’t required to withhold it, but they will be responsible for it. I don’t know if it’s because the government is running out of money, I kind of doubt it in fact, but that’s how I understand it.[/quote] forumosa.com/taiwan/viewtopi … 56#p996656

[quote=“That same day, Feiren”]Tempo Gain . . . is correct. There was a change in rules at the beginning of the year. It’s not mandatory, but employers have been made liable if they don’t withhold and the employee leaves before establishing tax residency by residing in Taiwan for 183 days.[/quote] forumosa.com/taiwan/viewtopi … 47#p996747

[quote=“On July 13, 2009, cherrypie”]I have permanent residency and an individual work permit. I used to pay 6% tax, same as locals. From Jan1st this year I have lost 20% of my salary every month, as the company’s accnts say it is now law to deduct 20% from foreigners regardless of residency status.[/quote] forumosa.com/taiwan/viewtopi … 2#p1017512

I don’t know how it got changed to the 18% number that Tiare cites. I don’t know if the rule was amended, or if it’s a different rule, or if there’s some other reason, but other people have mentioned the 18% figure:

[quote=“On March 15, 2012, the redoubtable Feiren”]The employer does not have to withhold the 18% tax. But if he doesn’t and the A§RC holder doesn’t pay his taxes, the employer is on the hook for the unpaid taxes.[/quote] forumosa.com/taiwan/viewtopi … 6#p1405536

[quote=“GlobalTaiwan2013”]

  1. Do you feel satisfied about the English-language translation of Taiwan’s traffic signs, such as the names of streets and bus stops? [/quote]

No, they are erratic. I write the Lonely Planet guidebook for Taiwan and every single edition I have to change maps to reflect the current mess of road signs. This is also one of the most frequent complaints I hear from readers.

[quote]
2. Do you feel satisfied about the English-language translation of Taiwan’s shopping circles and scenic spots?[/quote]

Generally in shopping centres and larger supermarkets they are fine.

In scenic areas it is inconsistent. Again, in my work over the past ten years I have seen English signs going from okay to worse. It is obvious to me the current KMT government does not care about English signage. In the past, every new museum or sight that opened would have full bilingual displays. Museums that have opened since 2008 rarely have English displays other than headlines. So when you travel and find good English at scenic areas it is almost always older signs you are looking at.

This also extends to staff who work at tourism offices, national parks, and scenic areas. It was common in the past to find English speakers. These days it is rare, except in the most popular spots such as Hualien, and even there the training is simply dreadful. Bilingual staff usually know nothing more than what is on a brochure and consistently give out wrong information.

[quote]
3. Do you feel satisfied about the English-language translation of Taiwan government’s public facilities?[/quote]

Usually okay.

[quote]
4. Do you feel satisfied about the English-language transition of Taiwan’s shops (such as Menu in the restaurant)?[/quote]

Some are good. But again, looking at my work, I see that in the guide there are so many restaurants where I have to give examples of foods in Chinese characters so travellers can order (as there is no English menu). For other shops it is usually obvious what is being sold.

[quote]
5. Do you feel it is convenient to depart and arrive in Taiwan?[/quote]

Yes. Very. I am surprised at those who say it would be difficult without Chinese.

[quote]
6. Are you satisfied with the governmental policies on the grants of permanent residency (ARC or PRC)?[/quote]

No, for reasons others have stated.

[quote]
7. Do you think Taiwan has provided the foreigners with enough work opportunities (or varieties of jobs)?[/quote]

No. Again, others have said it clearly.

Yes. Very reasonable and good value.

[quote]
9. Do you feel satisfied with the designs of the bilingual courses for foreign students in Taiwanese academy?[/quote]

No comment.

[quote]
10. Do you feel satisfied with the design of Taiwan’s policies on the medical welfare for foreigners?[/quote]

Yes, it’s excellent.

[quote]Feedback and opinions are more than welcome.
If you wish to have your voice heard by the government, please do remember, your words do make a difference.
Thank you!!![/quote]

Right now as I type my entire street is burning ghost paper in giant quantities. This is affecting my breathing. As others have said, environmental pollution is one my biggest complaint. No other Chinese community allows public burning of ghost paper like this. It is shameful Taiwan allows this to happen when it is an obvious health and safety risk.

Likewise with traffic. There is no reason at Taiwan’s current levels of development to allow the anarchy one sees on the streets. Taipei is getting reasonably these days, and one can cross a street and expect cars to wait. In other areas, no.

I am very pleased with the continual greening of Taipei and the expansion of sidewalks. I also find that many areas of the country feel as if they are settling into themselves and are very pleasant for travelling. In general, I have a good quality of life here in Taiwan. Taipei is exceptionally safe and easy going (traffic aside) and the MRT a joy to use. The range of activities is vast both within the city and in the surrounding areas. The city has also become very clean these past 2-3 years.

One thing that worries me is the lack of proper law enforcement and erratic court rulings. After the Miyako case, I know many expats worried that Taiwan was not a place where the rule of law matters. While generally a safe place, Taiwan is not somewhere you want to have any trouble as you simply cannot rely on the police and courts.

For example, a friend who lives in one of the new neighborhoods in Linkou had his complex attacked last year by thugs from next door after he called the police (as they were making excessive noise). The police refused to return a second time during the attack, nor to investigate the day after. This is simply unacceptable, especially in a good middle class neighborhood, but all too common in Taiwan.

Having one consistent system throughout the nation would help.

[quote]2. Do you feel satisfied about the English-language translation of Taiwan’s shopping circles and scenic spots?
3. Do you feel satisfied about the English-language translation of Taiwan government’s public facilities?
4. Do you feel satisfied about the English-language transition of Taiwan’s shops (such as Menu in the restaurant)?[/quote]
No to all the above. The English rarely makes sense. I just read the Chinese instead. I’d like to point out that most professional translation agencies only let translators work into their mother tongues, hence a native speaker of Chinese would only translate from E-C and a native speaker of English would only translate from C-E. In Taiwan however, most translations are done by native speakers of Chinese, and this results in a chaotic mess. Why not solve this problem by simply hiring native speakers of English, who are fully qualified to translate from Chinese into English to do this? You can find many professional translators on ProZ.com, you could also contact the Chartered Institute of Linguists, or the ATA.

Yes, it’s easy enough.

As I am married to a Taiwanese, I don’t have much of a problem with the ARC or PRC. What I do find problematic, is the double standard that Taiwan has for granting citizenship to non-nationals. My wife is Taiwanese, and as we lived in the UK for a few years, was granted UK citizenship. So she now has dual citizenship, so does my 3 year old son, and my daughter who should be born in a few months time. I wanted to have Taiwanese citizenship, just like the rest of my family, but this is only possible if I renounce my British citizenship. This is very unfair and illogical. Taiwanese people are treat very well in the UK, they have even been given special VISAs, allowing them to stay longer than people of other nationalities. I think non-Taiwanese who wish to apply for Taiwanese citizenship should not have to renounce their original citizenship, it seems like a spiteful policy. I could in theory renounce my British citizenship, become Taiwanese, and then apply to be repatriated (and thus finally have duel citizenship), but this would likely be expensive and definitely troublesome. So, I can just hope that Taiwan will change it’s policy regarding citizenship in the future.

Other people have covered this question.

I think Taiwan’s tax system is very fair.

I’m sorry, I’m not sure what the “Taiwanese academy” is? Is it one place, or are you referring to all academic institutions?

Yes, they are very good.

I responded to a government survey on this topic many years ago. From memory, the questions were exactly the same. Still, at least we’re being asked.

  1. Do you feel satisfied about the English-language translation of Taiwan’s traffic signs, such as the names of streets and bus stops?
    No. As others have pointed out, inconsistency is a HUGE problem. I read Chinese, so I ignore the confusing pinyin/whatever it is on signs. For the sake of English-speaking tourists and visitors, PLEASE choose one system and stick to it. This should have been done a long time ago.

  2. Do you feel satisfied about the English-language translation of Taiwan’s shopping circles and scenic spots?

  3. Do you feel satisfied about the English-language translation of Taiwan government’s public facilities?
    No. Again, inconsistency is a big problem. Translations vary from excellent to incomprehensible. PLEASE:
    A) Use native English-speaking C-E translators
    B) Use experienced, native English-speaking editors to check the translations
    (preferably both)

  4. Do you feel satisfied about the English-language transition of Taiwan’s shops (such as Menu in the restaurant)?
    No, but it is up to individual restaurant owners to decide whether or not they need to translate menus.
    Menu translations are often very misleading and unclear. I seldom pay attention to them.

  5. Do you feel it is convenient to depart and arrive in Taiwan?
    Yes. I’ve never had any problems. My parents, who have zero Chinese ability, also find it very easy whenever they come to visit.

  6. Are you satisfied with the governmental policies on the grants of permanent residency (ARC or PRC)?

  7. Do you think Taiwan has provided the foreigners with enough work opportunities (or varieties of jobs)?
    No, and No. Although this has improved in recent years, regulations are still confusing, restrictive, and in some cases, plain stupid. Employers hold far too much power over foreign employees. MANY Taiwanese employers abuse the system, and foreign workers are the ones who suffer through unnecessary visa runs,fines, and even deportation (I’ve seen this happen many times). The whole system needs to be overhauled and dragged into the 21st century. It’s terrible.

  8. Do you think the taxes Taiwan government requests from the foreign workers are reasonable?
    Yes, very reasonable.

  9. Do you feel satisfied with the designs of the bilingual courses for foreign students in Taiwanese academy?
    N/A. I’ve never taken one.

  10. Do you feel satisfied with the design of Taiwan’s policies on the medical welfare for foreigners?
    Yes, this is excellent.

[quote=“saisai”]A) Use native English-speaking C-E translators
B) Use experienced, native English-speaking editors to check the translations
(preferably both)[/quote]

Ahem. If you’re looking for an experienced editor with a Master’s in translation… :slight_smile:

Problem is they don’t want to pay for actual professionals…