The Taipei Accent


#1

The (standardized) Taipei accent is more the result of the education system than it is of Mainlander accents, which are all over the map, and some barely intelligible.


Taiwanese-American guy dating a local TW girl
#2

I am also kind of wondering what that is. Is it generally possible to spot a Taipei accent?


#3

Just listen to any of the news anchors on TVBS.


#4

Got it! It’s the one I understand :smile:


#5

Hmm yea. But is that more a class and media thing than a characteristic Taipei city accent? I am asking cause I kind of wonder if it exists. Not necessarily saying that it doesn’t exist.

For example could you spot if a random professional speaking in a working context was from Taipei or Taichung? Or does “Taipei accent” just mean “correct pronunciation”?


#6

That’s the standard. People in Taipei meet it to varying degrees. People outside of Taipei less so.


#7

Guess that more or less confirms my “correct pronunciation” thing so.


#8

From Taipeiers’ perspective, it’s correct. From linguistics perspective, just different. I can usually tell if people are from Taipei or not by their accent, but it’s not 100%.


#9

Yea I didn’t mean objectively correct.

Just to contrast with some other countries where there is more than one city accent that makes it through to media and professional level. All my ear picks up in Taiwan really are varying degrees of Hokkien influence.


#10

Interesting that this tread is in “Learning Chinese” now.

I thought @Dr_Milker could speak Chinese already…


#11

To me there’s more of a Taipei/northern accent and a southern accent in Taiwan. I can kinda guess the general area a person is from but not always accurate. But north and south, 100%.


#12

Theoretically, Hokkienisms like 有夠誇張 and 我有去 should be verboten in “correct” Taipei Mandarin, but that doesn’t keep people from using them. The trend seems to be increasing Hokkienization of Mandarin and also decreasing numbers of Hokkien native speakers.

I guess that was just the closest subforum in the Language section.


#13

I can barely understand him.


#14

Sorry, my Ayapaneco is a little rusty.


#15

Has your shower stopped working, like Andrew’s?


#16

Not an issue. Only sponge baths for this cow.


#17

#18

That’s what I’m talking about! Happy cow indeed.


#19

Since I started this discussion about the Taipei accent, I will chime in.

The Taipei accent is considered the golden standard of Mandarin spoken in the ROC. It is not a euphemism for 外省人. The Taipei accent results partly from the fact that many in the capital city do not speak Taiwanese Hokkien and thus are not influenced by that dialect when speaking Mandarin.

This accent is extremely prestigious and distinctive. Someone coming from Taichung, Tainan or Kaohsiung will speak in a different type of Mandarin. For instance, southerners tend to add a “hei” or other 語助詞 (Chinese particles), which is likely from Hokkien. This is one way to root out people who are not from Taipei.


#20

Well that’s good to know. 謝謝您ABC哥老師 :bowing:

I hope your rooting out of people who are not from Taipei will be successful. 辛苦了!