The Taipei Accent


And armpits!


Nothing on Chinese


What do you mean? :face_with_raised_eyebrow:


Wow, I thought the stench of that thread had been expunged. :hushed:


Perhaps it can be reforged in the firey pits of m̶o̶u̶n̶t̶ ̶d̶o̶o̶m̶ the language sub forum


Having grown up in Taipei I’m pretty sure I speak Taipei mandarin as well as Taipei Taiwanese.

To mainlNders the Taipei mandarin is Taiwanese mandarin and is instantly spotted by any mainlander.


So far, there doesn’t seem to be a subforum for X-rated euphemisms.


Do you recon there is a characteristic Taipei accent? (Distinctive Taiwan accent is a given of course, I agree it is instantly spottable)


What I’d say is that the younger native Taipei people tend to speak tv news caster mandarin which is considered More correct than a mandarin that is more Taiwanese influenced like how lee teng hui would speak

Taipei girls tend to speak Like this


quite interesting. i’m not a native mandarin speaker. to me there’s no distinctive regional accents here in taiwan that would distinguish someone from place a to place b. imo, the family (roots) one grew up with mostly influenced the accent one speaks later. taiyu, aboriginal languages, hakka, depending on your heritage, it’ll all influence your accent a little bit. it depends on the speaker how much he wants to show it. and maybe to some degree on education.

but i can’t see how there are regional accents not to mention dialects in taiwan in contrast to the us or china. everyone who understands a little bit of mandarin can distinguish easily a northerner from a southerner chinese. but taiwan is such a small place, it’s basically just a big small melting pot. i dare anyone who says he can distinguish a southern local to a northern local to a eastern local or whatever.

lastly, are there really taiwanese (language-wise) differences? i heard a friend before saying that in taichung they say a word like this but in kaohsiung they say it like that. imo i think it’s bs. as i said before. i think it’s got more to do with your family/heritage than with your region.


What you’re saying here isn’t in conflict with the existence of regional accents. Mandarin-speaking waishengren families have always been concentrated in the north, and especially Taipei, as have the educational resources the waishengren elite have used to impose Mandarin as the national language. So if you grow up in Taipei, you’re more likely to be raised in a Mandarin-speaking waishengren family, and are educated in Taipei schools, where the teaching of standard Mandarin has been implemented most effectively. These factors have combined to create a Taipei/northern accent that is distinctive from the rest of the island.


yes, most of those kmt’s refugees have settled down in the north(and taipei area).

but my question is:

is it really that distinctive nowadays?
because when i hear mandarin from the younger people, it’s mostly the same. now again, i’m not a native mandarin speaker, maybe there are some slight differences, maybe there aren’t. maybe my environment is too infested with that fujian heritage… but generally, i don’t hear any differences from the younger generation. i’ve heard some people speaking really obviously mainlandi-sh, pronouncing the R badly but i don’t know what to make of that. is it a political statement? did they grow up with that?

i’ve met with old kmt veterans in their retiring homes a few years ago(part of a school project). couldn’t understand a single word they say, someone was calling me a mongolian. anyways, i know that china has an abundance of accents, dialects and even languages, but i don’t think that’s the case for taiwan unless anyone gives me some hard evidence why kaohsiung mandarin/taiwanese should be any different from taipei’s.


Yes, there’s a difference in my ears. It’s not so clear like Taipei vs Kaoshuing. But definitely northern region and southern regions.


I think it’s true that the differences are slowly eroding, just as fluent native speakers of Taiyu are gradually disappearing. But the differences are still there to some extent. I often run into people with pronounced Taiwan Guoyu accents, and they’re almost invariably from central or southern Taiwan.


but on what distinctives can you make that up? i know it’s not all about north and south. but the middle gets even trickier(let’s forget about the east because aboriginals are too easy too spot:p) so how can you difference them? i am truly curious about distinctive characteristics, hard evidence not just gut feelings like yeah this guy looks like a taike speaking taiwanese, gotta be a southerner.


i tried to keep the mandarin and taiwanese apart. because as much as i’m in to the mandarin accent topic, i find it much more interesting on the topic of taiwanese. so maybe you got me there wrong.

yeah, just follow the demographics, most taipei citizens are from outside,so nowadays it’s even harder differentiate. but taipei was never a waishengren stronghold in regards to linguistics. politics-wise, it was and to some extent it still is. but taiyu is spoken in taipei just as liberately as in any other part of the country imo.


Yeah, I was referring to the Mandarin part of the equation. As far as accent is concerned, this is a pretty good breakdown from Wikipedia:

In basilectal Taiwanese Mandarin, sounds that do not occur in Hokkien are replaced by sounds from Hokkien. These variations from Standard Mandarin are similar to the variations of Mandarin spoken in southern China. Using the Hanyu Pinyin system, the following sound changes take place (going from Putonghua to Taiwanese Mandarin followed with an example):

  • Complete replacement of retroflex sounds (zh, ch, sh, r) by alveolar consonants (z, c, s, l). r may also become [z].
  • f- becomes hu- ( fan → huan 反 → 緩) (This applies to native Hokkien speakers - Hakka speakers maintain precisely the opposite: (e.g. hua → fa 花 → 發))
  • -ie, ye becomes ei ( tie → tei )
  • yu becomes yi ( yue → ye 月 → 夜)
  • the diphthongs ei and ou are monophthongized as [e] and [o] respectively.

My Taiwanese is terrible, by the MIL can usually tell what part of Taiwan someone is from after they speak a few sentences of Daigi.


what do you mean by that? what’s MIL?


mil is mother-in-law.
daigi is also tai-gee or the phrase 台語 as spoken in Taiwanese


thanks. but this comment again mixes the taiwanese and mandarin together. it just goes to show that in taiwan it’s mainly taiwanese from a habit and mandarin from teaching. whether one you which to choose is depending on you.