The Tainan City Government is promoting an English-friendly city, and has launched bilingual menus at eight night markets as part of that effort. Foreign YouTubers Wes Davies and Lukas Engström recently visited one of those night markets to experience the bilingual menus for themselves. The resulting video is animated and interesting, and has racked up over 20,000 views in just a short amount of time.
Wes, who currently resides in Kaohsiung, explained at the start of the video that he invited his friend Lukas to explore Jhonghua Road Night Market in Sinying District with the goal of trying all the “pretty interesting” local and traditional foods on a list provided to him by friends. These foods included some that “are quite scary for foreigners.” However, he was up for trying just about anything, and was really looking forward to doing exactly that. The rest of the video is dedicated to the foods that Wes and Lukas tried. As the content of the video was extremely animated and interesting, it received an enthusiastic response from netizens. Many of them commented that it was great that Tainan’s night markets offer English menus, because they are not only convenient for foreigners, but also serve as an excellent English learning resource.
Several Taiwanese netizens shared that they learned quite a bit of English from visiting the vendors that offer bilingual menus in Tainan’s night markets, while others commented that they would make time to check out night markets with English menus to learn the terms for night market delicacies. Foreign netizen xiao ai said the bilingual menus are great tools for foreigners to learn Chinese, and a trip to Tainan to visit English-friendly night markets and learn Chinese along the way is in the works. Most of the comments expressed appreciation for the English menus, and some netizens said they hoped vendors could continue to improve their English abilities. Netizen wei-hon ho wrote, “I still hope vendors will be able to speak simple English, but having English menus is a good start. Let’s all work hard to encourage travelers to come to Taiwan, thank you for sharing!”
Netizens not only acknowledged Tainan’s efforts to promote an English-friendly city, but also Wes and Lukas’ efforts to actively integrate themselves into local Taiwanese life. They marveled at their willingness to try foods such as “BBQ quail” or “Angelica catfish head.” Some foreign netizens commented that after seeing Wes eat these foods with such gusto, they too will try them during their next trip to Tainan. Taiwanese netizens left comments praising Wes, such as “It’s so great that you have the courage to try and enjoy Taiwan’s delicacies. I felt hungry after seeing you tuck into the food with such relish.” A Sinying District resident left a comment saying, “Thank you for visiting our night market. I have just now realized that our night market offers English menus.” Others used the video to market Tainan: “You should go to Yanshui (located next to Sinying District) for the Beehive Fireworks Festival during the Lantern Festival, it’s even more amazing!”