臺灣的族群與語言 ~ The Peoples and Languages of Taiwan

Here’s a succinct explanation of Taiwan’s demographics from my textbook. No, not all Chinese people are the same, and even calling them all “Chinese” is a simplification.

今日臺灣:臺灣的族群與語言
你曾經答過臺北的捷運馬?每次下車前,車上總會播放一段包括四種語言的廣播,提醒乘客下一站的站名。這時你一定會好奇,爲什麽除了國語和英語之外還有兩種陌生的語言?其實,這樣的設計和臺灣多族群的社會環境有關。

臺灣和瑞士一樣,是一個多族群的國家,大致上可分爲臺灣原住民以及漢民族。原住民是最早定居在臺灣的民族,共有十族。其中的平埔族,因爲與漢人通婚,漢化較深所以幾乎已經全部消失。高山族則有卑南、阿美、賽夏、泰雅、布農等九族,他們多半居住在山地,較少與漢人接觸,因此能夠保有自己的語言和文化。

至於後來移居到臺灣的漢人,又可分爲三支:一是明朝末年從福建移民而來的福佬人,二是清朝乾隆時移居到臺灣的客家人,最後則是在1949年從大陸撤退到臺灣的外省人。

根本這三大族群各有屬於自己的語言,福佬人說的是閩南話,客家人說的是客家話,而外省人說的則是自己家鄉的方言或是帶有濃厚鄉音的國語,也有人說比較標準的國語。當時政府把北京話當作標準語,大力推行國語政策,因此閩南話,客家話等方言並不受到重視,但是今年來本土意識擡頭,強調族群融合,於是每語教育開始受到重視,愈來愈多的人以說自己的語言為榮,這是臺灣很特殊的現象。

臺灣民族
Source: Wikipedia. 98% of Taiwanese are Han (15% of Taiwanese are Hakka, 70% are Hoklo, and 13% are from other provinces). The remaining 2% are indigenous.

Taiwan Today: The Peoples and Languages of Taiwan
Have you ever ridden the Taipei subway? Before every stop, the name of the next station is broadcast in four languages. You might wonder why there are two other languages besides Mandarin and English. Actually, this system is related to the mixed demographics of Taiwanese society.

Taiwan, like Switzerland, is a multi-ethnic country. Its people can be roughly divided into two groups: the indigenous and the Han Chinese. The indigenous were the first to live in Taiwan, and there are ten tribes altogether. Because the Pingpu tribe intermarried with the Han, and Han culture was dominant, this tribe has almost disappeared. The other nine tribes, such as the Puyuma, Yami, Saisiyat, Atayal, and Bunun, live in the mountains and rarely communicate with the Han so as to preserve their own cultures.

The Han Chinese who immigrated to Taiwan can be divided into three groups: the Hoklo who came from Fujian Province at the end of the Ming Dynasty, the Hakka who immigrated during the reign of Qing Emperor Qianlong, and finally the Waishengren (“extraprovincial people”) who escaped here from various parts of the mainland in 1949.

These three groups have their own languages: the Hoklo speak the Southern Min dialect, the Hakka speak Hakka, and the other Chinese speak either their own hometown’s dialect, heavily accented Mandarin, or relatively standard Mandarin. The government at that time made the Beijing dialect the standard language and strongly pushed its use in schools, hence Southern Min and Hakka dialects didn’t receive attention. In recent years, however, local culture has regained its status, and multiculturalism has been emphasized, so education in the other languages is starting to spread. More and more people are taking pride in their native languages and seeing this mixture as a special phenomenon of Taiwan.

Explore posts in the same categories: Taiwan, Translations

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