Chinese characters for Taiwanese–a new list from Taiwan’s MOE

Taiwan’s Ministry of Education has released a list of Chinese characters that can be used for writing common words in Taiwanese. (Note: PDF file.) I’ve provided a few examples at the end of this post.

The minister of education stated last week that students will not be tested on Chinese characters for Taiwanese, so I doubt there will be a widespread effort to learn these. Moreover, some of these characters are not presently in Unicode, making their use in practical applications at best difficult. (And even if they were in Unicode, that doesn’t mean fonts would include them or that a significant number of people would have such fonts.)

More characters and readings are to be released later. But since this list of just three hundred entries took the ministry four years to compile (not counting the many years various scholars worked on this before then), I don’t think anyone should be expecting much more to be released soon.

Here is the ministry’s press release on this.

關於臺灣閩南語用字整理工作,本會自民國84年至92年已委託多位學者進行「閩南語本字研究計畫」,計得成果《閩南語字彙》8冊。又自民國90年至93年組織編輯委員會,編輯《臺灣閩南語常用詞辭典》。民國92年本會鄭前主任委員良偉並主持「臺灣閩南語常用300詞用字計畫小組」(95年奉部長指示更名為「整理臺灣閩南語基本字詞工作計畫小組」),聘請專家學者研議用字問題。本表所定用字,係綜合上述成果,並由「整理臺灣閩南語基本字詞工作計畫小組」召開多次會議訂定。
本表針對臺灣閩南語用字紛歧之語詞,秉持易教易學精神,尊重傳統習用漢字並兼顧音字系統性,推薦適用漢字。其原則分述如下:

  1. 傳統習用原則:本表所選用之漢字多為民間傳統習用之通俗用字,不論其為本字、訓用字、借音字或臺閩地區創用之漢字均屬之。如:
    1. 本字:
      臺灣傳統閩南語文所用漢字多為傳統用字,如:「山」(suann)註、「水」(tsuí)、「天」(thinn)等。部分詞語雖然在現代中文語義或用法已不盡相同,如:「箸」(tī,筷子)、「沃」(ak,澆)、「行」(kiânn,走)、「走」(tsáu,跑)、「倩」(tshiànn,僱用)、「晏」(uànn,晚)、「青盲」(tshenn-mê,失明)、「才調」(tsâi-tiāu,本事)等古漢語詞,保存在臺灣閩南語中,其漢字亦習用已久,本表基於尊重傳統,亦加以採用。
      另外,臺閩地區為因應閩南語文書寫之需,亦常使用臺閩特殊漢字,本表將此種「臺閩字」視同「本字」。其中部分用字如:「囝」(kiánn,孩子)、「粿」(kué)等早已收入漢字典中,自然方便使用,但部分用字如:「亻因」[webmaster’s note: written together as one character] (in,他們)、「**」[webmaster’s note: see PDF for these characters] (tshit-thô,遊玩)等因尚未收入漢語字典中,Unicode亦尚未設定字碼,或尚無字型支援,可暫時使用本表推薦之「異用字」,或以臺灣閩南語羅馬字拼音方案(臺羅)書寫。
    2. 訓用字:
      借用中文漢字之意義,而讀為閩南語音者,如:「穿衫」(tshīng sann,穿衣服)的「穿」、「仔」(á)、「無」(bô)、 「瘦」(sán)、「戇」(gōng)、「挖」(óo/ué)、「會」(ē)等均非本字,是為「訓用字」,亦列為推薦用字。
    3. 借音字:
      借用漢字之音或接近之音,而賦與閩南語意義者,如:「嘛」(mā,也)、「佳哉」(ka-tsài,幸虧)、「膨」(phòng,鼓起)、「磅空」(pōng-khang,山洞)的「磅」等均非本字,是為「借音字」,亦列為推薦用字。
  2. 音字系統性原則:如無傳統習用漢字或一字多音、一音多字情形,容易產生混淆,造成閱讀障礙或學習困難時,本表採用兩個解決辦法,分述如下:
    1. 若傳統通俗用字容易產生混淆,則改用華文習見之訓讀字。如所有格ê及單位詞ê,傳統用字均寫成「个」,造成「一个」可以讀為tsi̍t-ê,也可以讀為it–ê。故本表已將「个」字定為單位詞,如:tsi̍t-ê寫成「一个」,而所有格則訓用華文之「的」,如:it–ê則寫成「一的」、guá-ê寫成「我的」。
    2. 如以上通俗用字仍可能發生混淆時,則建議採用古漢字。如:「毋」(m̄,不)、「佇」(tī,在)、「媠」(suí,美)、「囥」(khǹg,放)、「跤」(kha,腳)、「蠓」(báng,蚊子)、「濟」(tsē,多)以及「吼」(háu,哭)、「誠」(tsiânn,很)、「冗」(līng,鬆)等。

Here are nine entries from the list of three hundred.

建議用字 音讀 又音 對應華語 用例 異用字
recommended character pronunciation alternate reading corresponding Mandarin example different wording
ba̍k   目鏡、目眉  
bang   蚊子 蠓仔、蠓罩
蠻皮 bân-phuê bân-phê, bân-phêr 頑強不化 你真蠻皮 慢皮
bat pat 認識、曾經 捌字、捌去  
beh bueh, berh 要、如果、快要 欲食飯、欲知、強欲 要、卜
  微、細小、輕微 風微微仔吹、微微仔笑  
bīn   臉、面 面色、面熟  
明仔載 bîn-á-tsài miâ-á-tsài, bîn-nà-tsài 明天、明日 明仔載會好天 明仔再、明旦載
  無、沒有 無錢、無閒  

sources:

4 thoughts on “Chinese characters for Taiwanese–a new list from Taiwan’s MOE

  1. Thanks for posting this. I read the news about it last week and was curious to see the list.

    While I think it is important to have a standard character set for Hoklo Taiwanese, if the government is really serious about promoting the language it must use some form of romanisation.

  2. Not only romanization but a distinctive form of romanization that doesn’t look like warmed-over pinyin (IMHO there’s at least anecdotal evidence that a distinctive appearance can help a minority orthography) I’d go for the church orthography (perhaps slightly tweaked) since it has a distinct look and has the most tradition (IINM).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.