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台南推動英語為第二官方語言English proposed as second language

2015

{Taipei Times}  To promote English as Tainan's second official language, the city government is transforming its Huayuan Night Market (花園夜市) into an English-speaking environment by teaching vendors the language with English audio programs.

The city's Second Official Language Office said that it has recorded monthly episodes of common market parlance in English and Hoklo (commonly known as Taiwanese) to be played in the market since April.

Each episode includes eight sentences and 18 words in English, such as: “Take a look,”“Pardon me”and "Spicy or not?” — phrases that some vendors said were a bit challenging to master. Each phrase or sentence is spoken in Hoklo, then repeated three times in English, the office said.

Replayed once every hour, the audio program creates a natural learning environment by immersing vendors in the sound of the English language, the office said.

Vendors can download the audio files using messaging app Line, which allows them to replay the lessons they miss when conducting business, the office said.

The office said it would adjust the learning materials according to vendors’ and visitors’ needs, while planning to make desk pads printed with useful market phrases in both Chinese and English to facilitate communication between vendors and foreign tourists.

The night market’s management committee said that vendors and committee members are willing to learn English, and that the audio programs provide a great alternative to English lessons, which they have no time to take because of their working hours.

The level of English varies with each vendor, as younger learners can pick up the lessons with ease, although some cannot read the 26 letters of the English alphabet, the committee said.

Saying that she would be glad to see the government’s initiative succeed, English-language tour guide Lu Fang-hui (盧芳惠) added that the office could take a down-to-earth approach to English learning by using examples from daily life and foreign visitors’ needs.

For example, the office could produce English menus that describe local delicacies in simple words without “smacking of Chinglish,” she said.

 

Reference : http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2015/07/06/2003622393