politics of writing Taiwanese

From: William J Poser (wjposer@ldc.upenn.edu)
Date: Thu Jan 25 2007 - 20:36:57 CST

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    As an example of the politics associated with writing
    "dialects" other than Mandarin, many years ago, when
    Taiwan was still a dictatorship, I went out in Tainan with
    several physicians. After dinner, late at night, they took
    me to the museum at the hospital there and showed me around.
    This was only possible because one of them had a key: the
    museum had been closed by the authorities. Why? Because
    the reason there is a museum there is that it was the site of
    the first western medical clinic in Taiwan, and among
    the items on display, in addition to surgical instruments
    and so forth, were books published by the missionaries in
    romanized Taiwanese. The government considered these to be
    dangerous symbols of Taiwanese nationalism and because of
    them had closed the museum.


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