Writer's Block

The USA is the place I was born. Canada is the place I was raised. Taiwan is the place in my heart.

Tuesday, June 18, 2002

OKAY... I'm still in the midst of grading finals, but I've made some retroactive postings regarding "HOT TOPICS" as of June 10, 2002. Stay tuned for future postings...

I’m proud to say that I recently wrote a one stanza poem and a page article in “Lo-ma-ji” (a Romanized writing system) for Holo Taiwanese. Not “Lo-ma pin-yin”, as my Taiwanese teacher ever so politely, but firmly reminded me.

Over the last three months I have been learning Taiwanese in what I consider to be an advanced class. The students are comprised mainly of (local Taiwanese) school teachers preparing to teach Taiwanese at the elementary school level or below. Needless to say, this class is very advanced for me. I think I’m only able to completely understand 30% of what’s being said (not for lack of listening ability, but because of my limited repertoire of vocabulary) the rest is an approximation by guessing. Amazing… 30% sounds low, doesn’t it? I had thought I’d be able to understand 50%. It just goes to show what a long way I have to go and what progress I have to look forward to.

The writing system that I’ve learned is most certainly not pin yin. It’s not just a system using the Romanized alphabet to represent the sound of Taiwanese words, as in pin yin used to represent Chinese Han characters. It’s meant to serve as both the actual words and sound/tone representations of words.

It’s a very exciting sense of accomplishment. Just have to keep the momentum going. Naturally, my first poem was about buses in Taiwan.


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