Taipei Times editing standards


I’m fine with this–and also the part about the small population of English speakers and readers on this island.

Where I depart is the apparent freedom of certain publications to set out contradictory and unfactual information in print. I hold on to the perhaps old-fashioned idea that this stuff matters. But with the implosion of the English-language media landscape in Taiwan, it might not matter for long.



Get numbers and the basics right.


Yes please!



There’s no departure point there - I am focused on the content (and obviously whether it’s factual or not) - I just don’t care about a few typos or grammatical errors

It’s the same as when i talk to a non-native speaker - I won’t be nit-picking them about their pronunciation or grammar - just interested in what kind of person they are - and hope they would extend me the same courtesy when speaking Chinese

The local rags don’t have a monopoly on printing dodgy information - and this is not a ‘new-fashioned’ thing either. A reader should exercise a degree of discernment and all media should be approached with an intellectual filtre - I imagine you do that already


Oh come now, slagging the local rag is a time-honored tradition round these parts. Don’t deny us this one small joy in our otherwise drab existenci.


I agree. And my assessment is not that these guys are not using English well; it’s that they are not producing good journalism. It pains me to say this, but the folks currently editing the Taipei Times are simply not good at their job.



Could be worse; it could be the China Post.


Yup, in other words: kaput.



I once stumbled upon a website that seemed to be dedicated to pointing out every single error and poor choice of wording in the TT. But who has that kind of time? :idunno:


Reminds me of that “Taiwanese” guy who set up a parody site of the Flob. An impressive waste of time.


It’s just dumb, too.

I am/was a journalist, it’s what I studied in university, worked at the university paper for four years; I got the internships, and worked at newspapers after graduating in the US. In every case where you’re running a paper and need to meet your daily deadline (around midnight) there will be errors. The industry is shrinking, so there are fewer people to do the same amount of work and for horrible pay. At one paper they even took away our overtime pay (sounds like Taiwan…) Copy editors need to proofread, do layout in InDesign, then sometimes cut down articles to make them fit. All of this at around 8 p.m. to midnight, every day.

Even the NYTimes has typos (spotted a busted headline the other day). This stuff just happens.


Yeah, I’ve never read a newspaper I didn’t consistently spot typos in, English or Chinese, paper of record or otherwise.


Aside from typos, numbers/data get confusing because amounts are counted differently in Chinese than in English, never mind Spanish. A certain number of zeros beyond hundreds begins to get problematic.

We also have the added issue of the idiosyncratic name “spelling adaptations” - can’t even call them pinyin. Place names, people’s names, are used one way today, another tomorrow. It doesn’t help to check their own data. I am really tired of seeing a government agency with two different names in its own webpage.

I personally have a systemic error between right and left. Like typing teh, it comes out wrong first. Like in photo captions: President Tsai (right) speaks to Fulanito de Tal (left)… and it is the other way around.


“Teh” is tea in Malaysian and Indonesian. Are you a subconscious tea lover?


There’s no excuse for getting numbers wrong.
TT gets them wrong all the time and it makes absolute nonsense of their articles.


If by lover you mean I am being unfaithful to my coffee, well, yes, doctor’s orders, not my choice. :disappointed:


Maybe it’s time to consider a racy ménage à trois with some of that infamous 咖啡紅茶.


Only in Hong Kong, where they have the real deal.


Do you know about “herbal” coffee like Teeccino ( It’s what saved me when I had to quit coffee for awhile. I still drink it for a nighttime treat–no caffeine–and there’s a wide variety of flavors to choose from . [I don’t have any connection with this company; I just like the product]


Will take a look, thanks. Just don’t let them know in the ol country. Our whole economy depends on coffee.