臺南市英語友善寺廟 將推線上英語導覽解說 市府邀請知名旅遊指南《孤獨星球Lonely Planet》作者撰寫9 English-friendly Temples in Tainan promote their audio tour

2018-04-10

     臺南市政府第二官方語言專案辦公室(以下簡稱二官辦)與民政局去年(民106年)合作試辦「英語友善寺廟」,協助臺南9間廟宇設置廟宇簡介、抽靈籤流程、爻杯說明等雙語資訊,其中臺灣首廟天壇推出的中、英、日3語籤詩,更獲得外界高度肯定,讓外籍遊客驚艷不已。因廟方及遊客反應熱烈,今年市政府二官辦將加碼,有請外籍專業人士,以外國人的角度撰寫導覽解說內容,進一步提升寺廟雙語服務,期待外國朋友們藉此管道,初探臺南寺廟文化之美。

     二官辦主任李賢衛副秘書長表示,英語友善寺廟的試辦成效「超乎預期的好」,來訪的外國使節讚賞不已,例如,去年臺南市國際龍舟賽時間,市府所待的外國大使們就非常喜歡雙語籤詩,爭相嘗試。然而,對於想深入了解寺廟文化之外籍遊客而言,單憑英文簡介恐有不足,最好能夠搭配英語導覽解說。為此,二官辦特別邀請外籍寫手駐臺南一周,為9間寺廟的建築特色、神祇事蹟量身打造導覽內容,後續由外國人配音。預計今年7月開始,遊客到廟裡掃描QR Code,即可馬上享受30分鐘的英語導覽服務。

     廟方表示,過去招募英文志工困難重重。除了語言人才有限,再者,英語志工也不一定能配合遊客的時間,現在若能提供線上英語導覽服務,對廟方而言是「既興奮又期待」!

     二官辦表示,本次邀請的外籍專業人士,包含國際知名旅遊指南《孤獨星球》(Lonely Planet)作者、澳洲籍部落客等,共五位,每一個外籍寫手駐臺南7天期間,都會搭配一位英語文史導覽解說人員全程陪伴。至於為何要特別找外籍人士來寫寺廟簡介??二官辦表示,我們過去習慣「從自己的角度出發」,提供「我們認為重要的資訊」給外國人,但常常忽略文化背景因素,所以外籍遊客恐看不懂。現在「從外國人的角度出發」,由外籍寫手撰寫寺廟導覽解說內容,期待內容上能夠「更親民」,提供生動、有趣的切入點,彰顯臺南寺廟文化迷人之處。

      孤獨星球旅遊指南作者Piera Chen表示,外國人對寺廟想像相當豐富,但可能因為語言隔閡,無法了解寺廟歷史脈絡及象徵意義。這次收到市府的熱情邀約,感到訝異又榮幸,想不到臺南如此重視整體英語友善環境營造,且貼心地考量使用者需求,所以這次導覽內容會以外國人能理解的深度,著墨在寺廟美學、人文等層面,讓外國人以不同角度發掘臺南寺廟的美好。

      而此次參與計畫的寺廟,包含: 台灣首廟天壇、大天后宮、北極殿、安平開台天后宮、臺灣府城隍廟、臺灣祀典武廟、鹿耳門天后宮、臺南大觀音亭暨興濟宮、正統鹿耳門聖母廟。而寫手群則是:Lonely Planet旅遊指南作者Piera Chen及Joshua Samuel、澳洲籍部落客Monica Mizzi、ICRT主持人Robert Dawson,以及外籍教師Andrew Jackson等;在地專業英語文史導覽解說人員包含:林益華、吳欣欣、楊嘉敏、劉吉雄及謝文豐等人。

The Tainan City Government’s Office of English as the Second Official Language (OEASOL) and the Bureau of Civil Affairs teamed up last year (2017) to launch the “English-friendly temple” pilot program. Together, they helped nine Tainan temples to produce English versions of their profiles, lottery poetry procedures, and jiaobei instructions. One of the temples, Tiantan Tiangong Temple, took it one step further by offering the lottery poetry service in three languages – Chinese, English, and Japanese. The trilingual service received wide public acclaim and amazed foreign tourists. This enthusiastic reception from both temples and tourists prompted the OEASOL to up the ante this year. It invited foreign professionals to compose audio guides of temples from the perspective of foreigners to further upgrade the bilingual services offered by temples. It hopes foreign visitors will use this service as the first step in exploring the wonders of the city’s temple culture.

 

Tainan City Government Deputy Secretary-General and OEASOL Director Lee Hsien-wei said the results of the English-friendly temple pilot program “greatly exceeded expectations.” The program was widely praised by visiting foreign diplomatic envoys. For example, during last year’s Tainan City International Dragon Boat Championships, the foreign ambassadors received by the Tainan City Government were extremely impressed by the bilingual lottery poetry service and eager to try it out. However, those wishing to delve deeper into temple culture need more than just English-language profiles, and would benefit greatly from English audio guides. The OEASOL therefore invited foreign writers to come and live in Tainan for one week and create audio guide content on the architectural features and deities of nine temples. Foreigners then recorded the audio tours in English. Starting in July, visitors will be able to scan QR codes inside temples to get immediate access to the 30-minute English audio guides.

 

Temples said they previously encountered many challenges in trying to recruit English-speaking volunteers. There were a limited number of speakers, and volunteers were not necessarily able to conform to the schedules of visitors. Temples are therefore “happy and excited” to be able to offer online English audio guides.

 

The OEASOL said the five foreign professionals invited to collaborate on this project included Lonely Planet writers and an Australian blogger. They all stayed in Tainan for seven days and were paired up with an English-speaking cultural and historical guide who accompanied them during the entire process. When asked why it invited foreign professionals to write the content for the audio tours, the OEASOL responded that it was used to “starting out from our own perspectives” to provide “information that we think is important” to foreigners. However, the cultural context element was frequently overlooked, so oftentimes the foreign tourists could not make sense of the information. This time, it decided to “start out from the perspective of foreigners” by asking foreign writers to compose the content for the temple audio tours. The office hopes the content will be “more in touch with people’s needs” and offer an interesting entry point as well as highlight the fascinating aspects of Tainan’s temple culture.

 

Lonely Planet guidebook author Piera Chen said foreigners are quite curious about temples, but may not be able to understand their historical context and symbolism due to the language barrier. She was surprised and honored to receive this invitation from the city government, because she wasn’t aware of the importance Tainan had attached to creating an overall English-friendly environment and its considerate contemplation of the requirements of visitors. The depth of the content of these guided tours is at a level that foreigners can understand, and focuses on the aesthetics and culture of Tainan’s temples. The tours allow foreigners to explore the beauty of Tainan’s temples from a different perspective.

 

The temples participating in the project are Tiantan Tiangong Temple, Tainan Grand Matsu Temple, Beiji Temple, Anping Kaitai Mazu Temple, Taiwan Prefecture City God Temple, Guan Gong Temple, Luerhmen Tianhou Temple, Grand Guanyin Pavilion & Official Xing-ji Temple, and Orthodox Luerhmen Sheng Mu Temple. The writers are Lonely Planet guidebook authors Piera Chen and Joshua Samuel; Australian blogger Monica Mizzi; ICRT journalist Robert Dawson; and foreign teacher Andrew Jackson. The local English-speaking cultural and historical guides are Lin Yi-hua, Wu Xin, Yang Jia-min, Liu Ji-xiong, and Xie Wen-feng.