Occupation of the Legislative Yuan of Taiwan – updated

Democracy at 4am
Sunflower Movement Facebook
Sunflower Movement Twitter
English Live from Taiwan’s Legislature

Articles by J. Michael Cole from The Diplomat:
Taiwanese Occupy Legislature Over China Pact – March 20, 2014
Riot Police Crack Down on Taiwanese Protesters – March 24, 2014
Hundreds of Thousands Protest Against Trade Pact in Taiwan – March 31, 2014
Say Goodbye to ‘Peaceful Unification’ – April 01, 2014

反黑箱服貿協議 FB
黑色島國青年陣線 FB


Original & updated post from before April 02, 2014:

Typically I don’t like to write posts about ongoing protests in Taiwan until they are over. This way the facts and photos are published already, and I can provide a summary in English. If I’m following something, I usually make posts, provide links, and reblog photos on my Tumblr. However, it was different when I woke up this morning to the news that protesters occupied the Legislative Yuan after the cross-straight service trade agreement was pushed forward to the legislature without public review. I want to provide links for those of you concerned and want up to date information on the situation.

A White House petition and a change.org petition have been created.

There has been a strong push to publish information through CNN’s iReport platform to make the international media aware of the situation. It’s probably the best place for information in English at the moment.
The thirty-second review and the Occupation of the Taiwan Legislative Yuan (三十秒審完服貿)
Taiwan now in democracy crisis
Dead or Reborn? Taiwanese Democracy
“Occupy Congress!” People in Taiwan Protest against the Agreement on Trade with China
Taiwan Parliament Occupied by protesters 1st time in History
CNN iReports have been organized on the Assignment: Protesters occupy Taiwan legislature page

Ketagalan Media is providing a live blog in English at The Debrief, 3/18/14
There is also an English version of the on-site live blog here.
The blog The Night Before 319 has updates and translations.

The story has been picked up by the international news media:
Taiwan: des étudiants occupent le parlement – Le Figaro
Estudiantes ocuparon parlamento taiwanés en protesta por pacto con China – lainformacion.com
Protesters occupy Taiwan parliament over China trade deal – BBC
Opponents of China Trade Deal Occupy Taiwan’s Legislature – NY Times Sinosphere blog
Unfortunately the article titles are misleading. The protesters are students, NGO activists, and concerned citizens. The issue at hand is not so much the trade agreement (which is contentious), but the fact that it was allowed to go directly to the legislature without public input. Without public input, we do not know what our elected officials are agreeing to do.
Taiwan students occupy legislature over China trade deal – Reuters
A rather unbalanced article about the situation.
Hundreds of students occupy Taiwan’s Legislature to protest China pact – CNN
A pretty good article due to its use of iReporters
Taiwanese Occupy Legislature Over China Pact – The Diplomat, March 20, 2014
The best article to date about the situation
Riot Police Crack Down on Taiwanese Protesters – The Diplomat, March 24, 2014

Many more articles have been published since the violence that occurred in the early hours of March 24, 2014.
The ‘Battle of Taipei’ Shows Just How Wary of China Young Taiwanese Are – Time.com, March 24, 2014
For Taiwan’s Embattled President, Awkward Similarities With Ukraine’s Ousted Leader – BloombergBusinessweek, March 24, 2014
Taiwan: Between democracy and China, and in a hard place – Fortune, March 24, 2014
Protests In Taiwan: A Long-Term Threat To Foreign Trade? – Forbes, March 24, 2014
Protests in Taiwan Over Trade Pact With China: The Painful Challenges of Maintaining the Status Quo – The Motley Fool, March 25, 2014
There are many issues with this article. Please read Michael Turton’s comment at the end of the article.

There are live broadcasts from inside the building:
English version live broadcast
台灣0318反服貿佔領立法院實況 on ustream
Next Media (aka Apple Daily)
There have also been live broadcasts from outside the building (sometimes from different locations):
立法院反服貿 – aggregation of live streams from inside and outside the building
反黑箱服貿-街頭民主大學 3/20 – completed
反服貿濟南路現場 (TEST) – completed
青島東路直播 – completed
青島東路直播 – completed

Organizations that are updating are:

Two 懶人包 (lazy person’s guide) about the situation are:

Taiwan Mandarin


I finally have the right terminology – in English and Chinese.

Originally posted on 來學正體中文字 | Learning Traditional Chinese Characters:

I will be using the term “Taiwan Mandarin” from now on to refer to Standard Mandarin from Taiwan. In Taiwan it is called 國語, or national language. 臺灣國語, or Taiwanese Mandarin, is 國語 influenced by Taiwanese. 臺語, or Taiwanese, is a form of 閩南語 (Min Nan) from Taiwan, it is also known as 臺灣閩南語, or Taiwanese Min Nan.

View original

International Mother Language Day 2014 – 臺語 (Taiwanese)



I can speak Taiwanese, but I do not know how to write Taiwanese. This is my first time writing in Taiwanese. Writing in Taiwanese is important because words are the way we hand down language. If we lose our language, we will not be able to understand the words and stories of our elders. We must continue to write Taiwanese and read Taiwanese. Taiwanese is our language and we must use Taiwanese to write our own stories.

When I saw “Tweet in Your Mother Language on February 21″, I decided I would participate by writing a blog post. The first paragraph is in Taiwanese Min Nan, the second paragraph is the Taiwanese Mandarin translation, and the third paragraph is the English translation. There are many languages in Taiwan, and Taiwanese Min Nan is just one of them. Even though I have learned three languages in native environments, my true mother tongue is Taiwanese Min Nan. The only proof I have is an audio recording of family speaking to me only in Taiwanese when I was about one. Taiwanese is mostly a verbal language for me. Every once in a while I’ll see something online that’s meant to be read in Taiwanese, and I can usually figure it out. But writing in Taiwanese is not something I’ve attempted before, so those few sentences were a huge challenge for me!

In the Taiwanese Min Nan and Taiwanese Mandarin versions, there are some characters that are the same, but are actually pronounced differently. I’ve included the romanization for each character in the following paragraphs to show the pronunciation differences. The first paragraph is Taiwanese Min Nan and the second is Taiwanese Mandarin.

我 (gua) 會 (e) 曉 (hiau) 講 (kong) 臺 (tai) 語 (gi),但 (tan) 是 (si) 我 (gua) 袂 (be) 曉 (hiau) 寫 (sia) 臺 (tai) 語 (gi)。這 (tse) 是 (si) 我 (gua) 第 (te) 一 (it) 遍 (pian) 寫 (sia) 臺 (tai) 語 (gi)。寫 (sia) 臺 (tai) 語 (gi) 是 (si) 一 (tsit) 个 (e) 重 (tiong) 要 (iau) 的 (e) 代 (tai) 誌 (tsi) 因 (in) 為 (ui) 字 (ji) 是 (si) 阮 (guan) 流 (liu) 傳 (thuan) 語 (gi) 言 (gian) 的 (e) 方 (hong) 法 (huat)。若 (na) 是 (si) 阮 (guan) 拍 (phah) 毋 (m) 見 (kinn) 咱 (lan) 个 (e) 語 (gi) 言 (gian),阮 (guan) 無 (bo) 法 (huat) 度 (too) 明 (bing) 瞭 (liau) 咱 (lan) 頂 (ting) 輩 (pue) 的 (e) 字 (ji) 和 (ham) 故 (koo) 事 (su)。咱 (lan) 一 (it) 定 (ting) 愛 (ai) 繼 (ke) 續 (siok) 寫 (sia) 臺 (tai) 語 (gi)、讀 (thak) 臺 (tai) 語 (gi)。臺 (tai) 語 (gi) 是 (si) 阮 (guan) 个 (e) 語 (gi) 言 (gian),咱 (lan) 需 (su) 要 (iau) 用 (iong) 臺 (tai) 語 (gi) 寫 (sia) 阮 (guan) 个 (e) 故 (koo) 事 (su)。

我 (wo) 會 (hui) 說 (shuo) 臺 (tai) 語 (yu),但 (dan) 是 (shi) 我 (wo) 不 (bu) 會 (hui) 寫 (xie) 臺 (tai) 語 (yu)。這 (zhe) 是 (shi) 我 (wo) 第 (di) 一 (yi) 次 (ci) 寫 (xie) 臺 (tai) 語 (yu)。寫 (xie) 臺 (tai) 語 (yu) 是 (shi) 一 (yi) 個 (ge) 重 (zhong) 要 (yao) 的 (de) 事 (shi) 情 (qing) 因 (yin) 為 (wei) 字 (zi) 是 (shi) 我 (wo) 們 (men) 流 (liu) 傳 (chuan) 語 (yu) 言 (yan) 的 (de) 方 (fang) 法 (fa)。如 (ru) 果 (guo) 我 (wo) 們 (men) 遺 (yi) 失 (shi) 了 (le) 我 (wo) 們 (men) 的 (de) 語 (yu) 言 (yan),我 (wo) 們 (men) 沒 (mei) 辦 (ban) 法 (fa) 瞭 (liao) 解 (jie) 我 (wo) 們 (men) 長 (zhang) 輩 (bei) 的 (de) 字 (zi) 和 (he) 故 (gu) 事 (shi)。我 (wo) 們 (men) 一 (yi) 定 (ding) 要 (yao) 繼 (ji) 續 (xu) 寫 (xie) 臺 (tai) 語 (yu)、讀 (du) 臺 (tai) 語 (yu)。臺 (tai) 語 (yu) 是 (shi) 我 (wo) 們 (men) 的 (de) 語 (yu) 言 (yan),我 (wo) 們 (men) 需 (xu) 要 (iao) 用 (yong) 臺 (tai) 語 (yu) 寫 (xie) 我 (wo) 們 (men) 自 (zi) 己 (ji) 的 (de) 故 (gu) 事 (shi)。

Hopefully I didn’t make any major mistakes. I consulted 萌典 a lot. It is an online dictionary from g0v.tw, a group in Taiwan that is analyzing and organizing government data to improve transparency. This page is in English and describes the background of the group and their projects. Writing in Taiwanese was a great exercise for me. Perhaps in the future I’ll post more sentences and continue practicing.

五月天 諾亞方舟 Mayday Now-Here arriving in Europe, Canada, and U.S., February and March 2014

maytour14Image from 五月天 Mayday FB

前幾天看到來看文章的讀者用「mayday 五月天 la news」關鍵字搜尋網站。不知道是要找演唱會的消息還是《5月天諾亞方舟3D》電影得獎的消息。希望那位讀者有找到他須要的資料。看來這裡也沒有完整的巡迴消息,阿信說要幫忙宣傳,就再出一篇文章。◕‿◕

After finishing the last 諾亞方舟 concerts of 2013 in 台中 (Taichung) in September, 五月天 (Mayday) is now continuing the tour into 2014. The tour began in December 2011 in 台北 (Taipei). Concerts held in 2012 and 2013 included multiple stops in Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, and China. Concert footage was part of “Mayday Nowhere 3D,” the 3D movie that recently won the International 3D Live Event Award at the International 3D & Advanced Imaging Society’s Creative Arts Awards. For 2014, concerts are being held in Korea, Europe, Canada, and the U.S. This is the first tour for Mayday in Europe and the U.S. tour includes their first concert at Madison Square Garden.

五月天 諾亞方舟 Mayday Now-Here 2014 World Tour:
五月天 諾亞方舟 2014 世界巡迴演唱會:


maykor14Image from 五月天 Mayday FB

Saturday, February 08, 2014, Kintex Center, Seoul, Korea, tickets at interpark (in Korean)


mayeurope14Image from 相信音樂國際股份有限公司 FB

Friday, February 21, 2014, Wembley Arena, London, England, tickets at LiveNation UK
Sunday, February 23, 2014, Zénith de Paris, Paris, France, tickets at LiveNation FR and ticketnet
Wednesday, February 26, 2014, Heineken Music Hall, Amsterdam, Netherlands, tickets at ticketmaster NL

Three countries, three concerts, crossing one time zone, in six days.


maycan14Image from 相信音樂國際股份有限公司 FB

Monday, March 17, 2014, Pacific Coliseum, Vancouver, British Columbia, tickets at ticketleader
Thursday, March 20, 2014, Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario, tickets at ticketmaster CA


mayusa14Image from 相信音樂國際股份有限公司 FB

Saturday, March 22, 2014, Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, tickets at ticketmaster
Monday March 24, 2014, Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, Chicago, Illinois, tickets at ticketmaster
Wednesday, March 26, 2014, Bayou Music Center, Houston, Texas, tickets at LiveNation US
Friday, March 28, 2014, The Event Center at San Jose State University, San Jose, California, tickets at ticketmaster
Saturday, March 29, 2014, Los Angeles Sports Arena, Los Angeles, California, tickets at ticketmaster

Two countries, crossing three time zones twice, six states or provinces, seven concerts, in twelve days.

The entire 五月天 諾亞方舟 Mayday Now-Here 2014 World Tour:
Three continents, six countries, eleven concerts
Being able to see your hometown band live, no matter where you currently live:

五月天 諾亞方舟 2014 世界巡迴演唱會,總共有六個國家和十一個演唱會。

At the end of 2013, 五月天 (Mayday) released a “best of” album, consisting of a self-selection of songs from the past fifteen years. One of the new songs on the album is 步步 (Step by Step). The band has achieved much and is now moving forward to bring their music to international audiences. The elephant in the music video represents the fans that have accompanied them every step of the way. Turn on captions to see the translated lyrics!

Learning the family language

I really like the stories in the article “It Takes A Classroom To Learn The Family Language” at NPR.org. From my perspective, there were many aspects of language learning that the article covered that are not usually covered in most articles about language learning.

I like that first-generation Americans were included in this discussion. I think they are often overlooked in the discussion, but are also a special category of language learners. I think it’s also important to distinguish between different groups of first-generation Americans when it comes to language learning.

Some first-generation Americans move to the U.S. before school age, so their experience in their mother language is practically equivalent to the experience of second-generation Americans. They benefit from heritage language classes (some begin lessons as children) and language support at home.

There are some first-generation Americans who move to the U.S. while they are in elementary or middle school. These first-generation Americans can lose their mother language faster because of the sudden emphasis on English when they arrive in America. They need to take English as a second language classes in school. At home, it is often thought that since these children have received schooling in their mother tongue and in their home country, they do not need to improve their mother tongue.

From the article, it is also very clear that one cannot get away from one’s mother language. There is an incentive for heritage language learners to learn and understand the language due to family connections. They also already have an understanding of the culture because it was learned as part of their daily life. Although one can always come back to learning the language and culture, it is important to remember that people will not always be there, especially elders. This this another level of support to learn one’s mother tongue.

I have experienced the ebb and flow of language proficiency. I began learning my mother tongues (Mandarin and Taiwanese) from family in Taiwan. While attending school in the U.S., I learned Mandarin mostly from my parents at home and attended English as a second language classes. In Taiwan, my English ability slipped. My speaking skills deteriorated, but my reading skills seemed to stay the same, probably because I kept reading the books I had in the U.S. When I had more education in the U.S, the deterioration of my Chinese skills was different. My speaking ability stayed pretty consistent, but my reading and writing ability decreased. I am sure this was due to spending more time on improving my English abilities. I also had to deal with learning French for my language requirement in school. Strangely, it was during this time that my Taiwanese improved.

One thing I have learned is that it takes effort to maintain language proficiency. I have found that I never really forgot to read or write Chinese. My abilities have drastically improved with focused effort. I read news from sources in Taiwan and in the U.S. Some days it is possible that I only browse websites from Taiwan. Language changes as well, so constant exposure is necessary to keep up with modern terms and catchphrases. It really does take consistent effort to maintain one’s languages. But the benefits are worth it.

Weekly Writing Challenge: Moved by Music – Mayday 五月天

Mayday (五月天; 五=five, 月=month, 天=day; the fifth month is May) is a rock band from Taiwan. Their songs are in Mandarin and Taiwanese. But don’t worry if you don’t know either language, I’ll translate. Also, for all the music videos, you can turn on captions to see the translation. Luckily for you and me, since Mayday is touring Europe soon, there is a video about Mayday’s story in English.

Even though I believe music can cross borders and language barriers, I have to admit that Mayday’s lyrics were the first thing to move me. I’m from Taiwan, I’m Taiwanese, and Taiwanese is my family language. Mayday was one of the first groups to combine Taiwanese lyrics and rock music. The Taiwanese songs immediately give me a sense of warmth that can only exist at home.

出頭天 (Breakthrough Day) is Mayday’s most recent Taiwanese song.

All the lyrics (and most of the music) to Mayday’s songs are written by Ashin. Mayday’s lyrics deal with the every day issues people go through: love lost, loneliness, and keeping up with the daily grind. Even though these things are not always positive, the lyrics do not make me feel sad. Rather, it makes me feel good that someone has put my emotions into words. It is reassuring that other people have the same feelings. Some lyrics are very positive and encourage the listener to keep on going and persevere.

Even though the song 如煙 (Like Smoke) is about life and death, it focuses on the most important thing in life: memories. The line that gets me each time is: 書包裡面裝滿了蛋糕和汽水 (A book bag filled with cakes and soda). When I hear that line, I am immediately reminded of my elementary school days in Taiwan. Those old rectangular school bags and stuffing soda and candy in spaces between textbooks and workbooks.

I am also moved by the melody of Mayday’s songs. Between two guitars, a bass, and a drum set, the melodies range from upbeat to peaceful. The melody to 笑忘歌 (Song of laughter and forgetting) was written by Monster. It’s an upbeat melody for when one wants to reminisce.

Besides the lyrics and melody of Mayday, what else would move me? That would be Mayday’s attitude towards their music and their influence on culture and society. Through social media, they promote other Taiwanese musicians, Taiwanese movies, and comment on social issues. Recently the song 入陣曲 (Battle Entry Song), which was composed for a period drama, became a rally song for a protest against the Taiwanese government. The lyrics are not translated, but I summarized the issues covered in the music video in the post “News about Taiwan: 入陣曲 edition”.

Lately, I’ve been very moved by Ashin’s words during a spoken section of 憨人 (Fool) from 五月天 諾亞方舟 世界巡迴演唱會Live 2CD (Mayday Nowhere World Tour Live 2CD). The album is also available on iTunes (link to US store); it’s track 11 of the 2nd CD. The statement is found in the CD lyric sheets (© 相信音樂 B’in Music).


My translation:

Since I was very young, I kept hoping that I could be a special person,
I wanted to be an one and only person.
But I never took first place in exams, not once;
Then during speech competition, my score was zero.
When I signed up to join choir, I didn’t make it.
Finally, one day, I found one thing,
I found one thing I could possibly do (well), that thing is called music.
I am very lucky, because I actually have never been a vocalist who is good at singing,
Not a lyricist who is very good at writing lyrics, not a composer who is very good at writing music;
Even when I’m on stage, and I want to dance with everyone, I have never succeeded.
But I know, I am extremely fortunate.
Because when I do something a little bit well, my friends,
And I mean, not just these four people [the other band members], but all of you, are very generous.
I only hope, that the songs that we write, are able to accompany you,
During those times when no one sees you.
Then, you know that we will be with you, in our hearts,
Slowly singing, our most familiar melody

I think that accurately summarizes how Mayday moves me. Even though we are just specks on this planet, Mayday’s music makes you feel as if you’re important and special, even when no one else is paying attention. This is not only important for teenagers or children, but for each person on this planet. Mayday gives everyone the courage to pursue their dreams and live life to the fullest.

Mayday has already broken records in the Mandarin-speaking parts of the world, but they are constantly evolving. November 2013 marks the release of their first Japanese album, a best of CD with three new Japanese songs. Their NOWHERE tour that began in December 2011 after the release of their eighth album, Second Round, is now leaving Asia and going to the West: three stops in Europe in February 2014, and two stops in Canada and four stops in the U.S. in March 2014.

The album Second Round uses the concept of the 2012 Mayan apocalypse to explore past memories and second chances. The music video to the song 2012 is mostly concert footage.

The theme song to the tour and 3D movie is 傷心的人別聽慢歌(貫徹快樂) (Sad People Should Not Listen to Slow Songs (Stay Happy Through the End)). It’s actually quite a good song to listen to when you’re down because it isn’t slow!

With their never ending work ethic and ability to change with the times, Mayday can be an inspiration to everyone. It’s not about digging up their gossip or constantly following their every move – it is about taking the energy that their music gives us to improve ourselves and the world around us. Of all people to represent Taiwan to the world, I cannot think of a better and more deserving group. Seeing the words “Taiwanese rock band” on BBC was really cool.

Wherever Mayday goes, Mayday’s fans will be behind them, providing support and encouragement, because we can never thank them enough for bringing us laughter, tears, and great music.

This post was written in response to “Weekly Writing Challenge: Moved by Music” at The Daily Post.


原本要寫文章是因為曾經看在bbs討論的一個國語日報報導:[新聞] 看國內新聞 高中生:欠缺國際視野 – Gossiping板 – Disp BBS。我覺得臺灣媒體報導的確有問題,除了報導內容來源不清楚以外,螢幕上下左右都是字。 雖然台灣新聞不注重國際新聞,可是我覺得 CNN 不是最好的新聞廣播。在國外有其它比較好的新聞來源,譬如美國的公共廣播台 NPR 的水準很高,也要求報道平衡和公平。我也看英國 BBC 的新聞文章,也是因為水準高,特別是國際報道很豐富。最近又看了一編「新聞老師:學生都被媒體帶壞」,又覺得很失望。好好在學校學的東西居然沒用。新媒體者應該是能用學過的概念和新的想法來改變媒體、讓臺灣新聞廣播進步。



A while ago I read an online discussion about Taiwanese students and their response to the lack of international news in Taiwan. The students stated that the Taiwanese media does not cover much international news, so they choose CNN for international coverage. My response is that CNN is probably not the best place for international news. I prefer to get my news from NPR, who I think has a very high standard of journalism and provides fair and balanced news coverage. The BBC is also a great source of news, especially international news. There was also a recent article from a journalism professor in Taiwan that stated that the Taiwanese media is harming journalism students. These students learn a lot in school, but once they work in the media sector, they do not use what they are taught. This is very backwards. These new members of the media should be using their knowledge from school, combining it with their own concepts, and have the opportunity to change and improve the media in Taiwan.

The latest example of media embarrassment probably came from Mayday’s European tour press conference in London. The day before the press conference, there was news that a DPP legislator suggested that Ashin (the lead singer of Mayday) enter the race for the mayor of Taipei. This is just the type of silly things legislators in Taiwan say. People know to listen and laugh it off. However, a member of the Taiwanese media actually asked a question about that statement during the press conference. Mayday handled the question very well by focusing their answer back to the band and their music. I don’t know how the international media took it, or if they understood what was happening. This press conference should have been a time to ask about music or Mayday’s international touring plans, not gossip.

I really hope consumers of media and the media can distinguish between what is healthy news and what is junk news. The more we are exposed to junk news, the fear is that one day we will not be able to distinguish fact from fiction.