Passing on the Taiwanese Language: A Personal Account

I was born in the US and, like many second generation Taiwanese-Americans, I grew up speaking first Taiwanese (台語), and then English at home. I recall visiting Taiwan as a child and people finding it quite odd that my brother and I understood only Taiwanese—not Mandarin Chinese. Although my level of Taiwanese never reached beyond that of a kindergartner's, if I hear Taiwanese being spoken around me, I will always turn my head, unable to refrain from eavesdropping on the conversation. With…

Paths and Patterns: experiences in translingualism

We’ve fallen into a pattern, my new friends. And some of my old friends, in this new context. It’s a new thing, for them, but feels familiar, comfortable, for me. You see, it’s natural for me, because it’s how I grew up. I grew up in the US, in the heart of the Midwest, a daughter of Taiwanese immigrants. Mandarin was my first language, but ceded her position as mother tongue to English early on, in a country where assimilation was survival. My parents, though, my beautifully centered…

Tongues of Heaven Film Screening and Q&A in NYC

Set in Taiwan and Hawaii, the film "Tongues of Heaven" focuses on the questions, desires and challenges of young indigenous peoples to learn the languages of their forebears-languages that are endangered or facing extinction. Using digital video as the primary medium of expression, four young indigenous women from divergent backgrounds collaborate and exchange ideas to consider the impact of language on identity and culture. With 96% of the world’s population speaking only 4% of the world’s languages,…

David Li-Wei Chen Introduces his Handbook of Romanized Taiwanese & Hokkien

As we celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, TaiwaneseAmerican.org is pleased to continue with our series of interviews highlighting some accomplished community members who have pursued interesting paths in their professional careers or personal projects. We launched these interviews during Taiwanese American Heritage Week, and we’ve selected these individuals particularly because their stories include how a Taiwanese American community organization or experience has shaped their experience…

25th Anniversary Celebration of “Mei Mei” Film in Oregon

MediaRites presents a 25th Anniversary Celebration of the Peabody-winning film Mei Mei, A Daughter’s Song Doors open 7:30pm with live music by the Orchid and Bamboo Ensemble and a beautiful art installation by artist Willow Zheng who created Chinese watercolors for the film! The screening starts at 8pm. “A cross-cultural tale of a mother and daughter separated by language and culture, yet bound together for life.” With the 1989 Peabody-winning audio documentary as the soundtrack, Dmae…

Taiwanese Dinner Series with TAP in Atlanta

Looking for more opportunities to learn and practice some Taiwanese phrases? Make your parents proud and come practice dai-wan-way with us! TAP’s new Taiwanese Dinner Series brings people together to learn and practice Taiwanese over a delicious dinner. Come learn some new words or practice old ones, speak or listen in on conversations in Taiwanese, socialize and meet new people, or discuss Taiwanese culture, foods, or stories. Everybody is welcome, from beginner levels to fluent, so come out and…

Tongues of Heaven Screening in San Jose, CA

Taiwanese American filmmaker Anita Chang's most recent documentary film, Tongues of Heaven, revolves around the issue of language loss and asks the essential question: “what do you lose when you lose your native language?” Her film explores the challenges of young indigenous peoples of Taiwan and Hawaii in learning the heritage languages of their ancestors — languages that are endangered or facing extinction. TaiwaneseAmerican.org is proud to support this limited theatrical engagement of…

Anita Chang’s Tongues of Heaven Screens in SF/Bay Area

Taiwanese American filmmaker Anita Chang's most recent documentary film, Tongues of Heaven, revolves around the issue of language loss and asks the essential question: “what do you lose when you lose your native language?” Her film explores the challenges of young indigenous peoples of Taiwan and Hawaii in learning the heritage languages of their ancestors — languages that are endangered or facing extinction. TaiwaneseAmerican.org is proud to be a Co-presenter of this limited theatrical…

Culture and Language in David Henry Hwang’s ‘Chinglish’

I’m no avid theatergoer, but I do love entertainment! Watching David Henry Hwang’s new comedic play, Chinglish, with a few TaiwaneseAmerican.org staff was definitely one of the most enjoyable evenings I’ve had all summer. We follow an American man on his business trip to China, where he is faced with language barrier, cultural differences, and conflicting values, all of which made signing a contract for his family’s sign-making firm way more complex than he thought. I truly enjoyed the…

Culture and Language in David Henry Hwang's 'Chinglish'

I’m no avid theatergoer, but I do love entertainment! Watching David Henry Hwang’s new comedic play, Chinglish, with a few TaiwaneseAmerican.org staff was definitely one of the most enjoyable evenings I’ve had all summer. We follow an American man on his business trip to China, where he is faced with language barrier, cultural differences, and conflicting values, all of which made signing a contract for his family’s sign-making firm way more complex than he thought. I truly enjoyed the play’s…