What has kept you from learning Taiwanese?

The whole world is actually in the same boat as Taiwan.

Italian in Italy is like Mandarin in Taiwan. There are tens of dialects, some of which are actually languages, which are gradually disappearing. Talking about my own experience, the use of Venetian (the language of the former Republic of Venice, which became part of Italy roughly 160 years ago) was and still is accompanied by the wrong stigma of being a dialect used by the less educated, hence unofficially discouraged. I myself speak it badly, like my friends here when they talk in Taiwanese with their elders, which is a shame.


A ‘dialect’ is often a language without a country.


“A language is a dialect with an army and a navy.”


Interesting map. I didn’t know about Aromanians

Not exactly.

Mandarin is a foreign language, brought in by a foreign colonial government 70 years ago, and forced on the people with extremely heavy punishment (social and economic, if not corporal)

Taiwanese was spoken by the large majority of Formosans prior to that. Probably 75% natively and most of the remainder as a second language. It even did fairly well under Japanese rule, relatively speaking.

Most importantly, Mandarin brought with it an entirely foreign underlying culture around “Hanness” and Tionghoa (“Chunghwa”) - the things we confusingly label “Chinese” in English - which was not widespread in Taiwan prior to the ROC arrival, and is the main reason for the ongoing PRC-ROC conflict.

At the very least, general Italian (Tuscanese?) is an Italian language, and the cultures are at least similar or compatible. I don’t know if there were harsh punishments for using a different language at points in Italian history, but in Taiwan that situation lasted for a full two generations. And I don’t think France is ready to go to war with Italy if they switch from Italian to Neapolitan.

FWIW when I did a semester abroad in Italy, it seemed fairly common for Neapolitan, Sardinian or other students to speak their own languages when they were together.

(Not to say other Italian languages aren’t at risk or anything - I’m sure they are - but the situation is not comparable to Taiwanese and Mandarin, not even remotely.)


Italian languages have never been suppressed.

Lack of interest. Plus my brain only holds two languages.

God endows his servants with linguistic supremacy to accomplish his purposes.

Jesus there’s been some ignorant opinions expressed in this thread. Like total ignorance. I would give my left :peanuts: to speak Taiwanese well. It’s a great language and much nicer to my ears than that god awful northern dialect we’ve been made to speak. :laughing:

Here’s my boys Sorry Youth singing a song in the language of “gangsters”.

Thanks for sharing your view. But please don’t compare France/Italy with China/Taiwan :pray: Even during the short period that part of Northern Italy was under French rule (Napoleon, two hundred years ago), the preservation of local languages and cultures was never an issue. And Neapolitan is just one of the several languages (without counting the dialects) of Italy, not the only nor the major one.

Ok, it wasn’t meant to be a direct comparison, just showing the ridiculousness of the way people treat Taiwan.