This book features topic-based conversations. Each sentence is provided with translation and vocabulary. Every syllable is marked with music notes indicating the tone pattern. Here you learn not only vowels and consonants, tones and tone sandhi of words, but also tone sandhi rules applied to the whole sentence.
What makes this book unique: treating commonly used function words and special sentence patterns as independent units; explaining grammatical features; providing online resources, such as dictionaries and input methods. Slangs and idioms often used in daily life are also included.
To the Reader
This book provides composite materials for learning Taiwanese, suitable for both autodidacts and instructed students. The romanization and characters used are standardized orthography promulgated by Taiwan's Ministry of Education, a must-learn system if you aim to pass the proficiency test organized by the Ministry.
You will find musical notes, Do Re and Mi, under each example sentence. They give you a rough grasp of the tone pattern. You can ‘sing’ the sentences along and find them understandable to a native speaker. You may sound like a Taiwanese speaking robot, but never mind! It’s a useful tool before you master all the tones and sandhi tones. They also help you read a sentence without consulting its audio file.
In this book, we do not confine ourselves to ‘proper language’. You also encounter words and phrases deemed impolite or rude on formal occasions. They help you comprehend the language in the everyday life context. Caution: think twice before uttering words or phrases marked ‘vulgar’.
Both teachers and students can use this book flexibly, according to their course designs or learning purposes. For example, you can use each unit of the lexicon as a vocabulary list for reference, and rearrange the words as you see fit. And there is no need to memorize all the words before moving on.
Due to lack of space, this book is limited only to the language, although extralinguistic information of culture, history, customs, etc. is always interesting and linguistically relevant. Teachers and students are encouraged to explore and communicate other aspects of Taiwan, which will eventually benefit your learning and understanding of the Taiwanese language.
How to Use This Book
To the Reader
1.1〈knowledge〉The Language and Its Speakers