registration of aborigine names fails to reach target

Taiwan’s Cabinet-level Council of Indigenous Peoples (formerly the Council of Aboriginal Affairs) has been encouraging members of Taiwan’s tribes to officially register themselves under their “original names,” which are recorded in romanization. But the total of such registrations reached only about half of this year’s goal of 10,000, with the majority of those having been registered in earlier years.

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a shameless proposal

A Taipei city councilor with the KMT on Tuesday launched an attack on President Chen Shui-bian disguised as a signage proposal. His idea: Change the name of Ketagalan Boulevard (?????? K?idágélán Dàdào), the street leading to the Presidential Office.

The city councilor, Yang Shi-qiu (???, Yang Shih-chiu), called for a change to L?-yì-lián Dàdào, which is literally Propriety, Righteousness, [and] Honesty Boulevard. While that might sound nice, it’s actually a disguised insult.

John DeFrancis was all over this word play a long time ago in “The Singlish Affair,” the biting satire that leads off his essential book The Chinese Language: Fact and Fantasy. DeFrancis explains assigning the name Li Yilian to a person in his story:

The most complex is the name L? Yìlián. Those who know Chinese may get the point if it is written in characters: ??? or, in simplified characters, ???. The three characters mean respectively “propriety, morality, modesty” and form part of a four-character phrase listing a number of Confucian virtues of which the fourth is ? (ch? “a sense of shame”). The omission of the fourth character is part of a Chinese word game in which the reader is supposed to guess the last item when it is omitted — much as if we had to tell what is lacking in the list of the three Christian virtues of “Faith, Hope, and ______.” The omission of the fourth character is expressed as ?? or ?? (wúch? “lacking a sense of shame”). In short, calling someone Mr. L? Yìlián seems to praise him as Mr. Propriety, Morality, and Modesty but actually insults him as Mr. Shameless.

By renaming the street “people will know that the person who works at the Presidential Office at the end of the boulevard has no sense of chi [?, shame],” Yang said.

Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou, who also serves as chairman of the KMT, didn’t care for the idea of his city having a L?-yì-lián Dàdào or Wúch? Dàdào (both of which could be translated as “Shameless Boulevard” — the first figuratively, the second literally) but said that the name L?-yì-lián-ch? Dàdào (“Propriety, Righteousness, Honesty, and a Sense of Shame Boulevard”) could be discussed.

The name of Ketagalan Boulevard is especially interesting from a number of standpoints.

  • Since the street is named after a tribe that lived long ago in what is now Taipei, Ketagalan Boulevard is one of the only road names in all of the capital of Taiwan that has much of anything to do specifically with Taiwan, as opposed to China. (Jilong/Keelung Road is the only other one that springs to mind at the moment.)
  • It is one of the only Taipei street names that isn’t bisyllabic.
  • The street itself is not really independent as much as an extention of Ren’ai Road. (Don’t forget that apostrophe.)
  • The name has been changed before. As Mark Caltonhill notes in What’s in changing a name?, “the vast majority of the island’s streets and even many towns were simply renamed by the KMT regime”. But in this case I’m referring to a relatively recent renaming. In 1996, Chen Shui-bian, who was then mayor of Taipei, oversaw the renaming of the street from Jieshou Road (??, Jièshòu Lù, i.e., “Long Live Chiang Kai-shek Road”).
  • Chinese characters aren’t a good fit for “Ketagalan,” which comes out ???? (K?idágélán).

Here’s a Mandarin-language story on this:

Miànduì dào Chén Shu?-bi?n huódòng bùduàn, Táib?i Shìyìyuán Yáng Shí-qi? j?nti?n bi?oshì, t? y? zh?nk?i lián sh?, tí’àn b? Ketagalan Dàdào g?ngmíng wéi L?-yì-lián Dàdào; Táib?i shìzh?ng M? Y?ngji? su? rènwéi y?u chuàngyì, dànshì y?u màrén “wúch?” zh? xián, t? bù zànchéng.

Táib?i Shìyìhuì xiàw? j?xíng shìzhèng z?ng zhìxún shí, Yáng Shí-qi? zhìxún bi?oshì, Chén Shu?-bi?n z?ngt?ng zài Táib?i shìzh?ng rènnèi zài wèij?ng mínyì zh?ngxún xià, jiù b? jièshòu lù g?imíng wéi Ketagalan Dàdào, rìqián yòu làngfèi X?n Táibì shàng yì yuán, b? Zh?ngzhèng Guójì J?ch?ng g?ngmíng wéi Táiw?n Táoyuán J?ch?ng. Yáng Shí-qi? y? lián sh? tí’àn, y?oqiú shì-f? ji?ng Ketagalan Dàdào g?ngmíng wéi “L?-yì-lián Dàdào”.

M? Y?ngji? huídá shu?, dàolù y? zhèngmiàn mìngmíng wèi yuánzé, ér bù shì fùmiàn mìngmíng, yìyuán de yòngyì y?u chuàngyì, dànshì kèyì sh?nglüè jiùshì màrén “wúch?” zh? xián. Yáng Shí-qi? huíyìng shu?, ruò shì-f? y?u yíl?, Ketagalan Dàdào k? g?iwéi “L?-yì-lián-ch? Dàdào”.

M? Y?ngji? huíyìng shu?, t? bù zànchéng Ketagalan Dàdào g?iwéi “L?-yì-lián Dàdào”, zhèyàng huì biànchéng “Wúch? Dàdào”, dànshì ruòshì “L?-yì-lián-ch? Dàdào”, zhè k?y? t?olùn.

Yìyuán Ji?ng N?i-x?n suíhòu qiángdiào, Yáng Shí-qi? de tí’àn jiùshì tíx?ng wéizhèng zh? bùk? wúch?, ruò M? Y?ngji? d?nx?n bèi rén zh?wéi y?u màrén wúch? de yìsi, t? jiànyì g?iwéi “Bùk? Wúch? Dàdào”. M? Y?ngji? xiào shu?, zhèige jiànyì gèng y?u chuàngyì, dànshì x? j?ngguò shì-f? nèibù t?olùn.

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Hainan primary school kicks out new student for poor Mandarin

A man surnamed Huang enrolled his boy in school in Sanya, Hainan Province, China. But the boy’s teacher, after receiving no response to his question in Mandarin as to which student was named A Hao, decided school was no place for a child who didn’t speak Mandarin. The youngster could return after mastering Mandarin, the teacher said. (“Xuéhuì P?t?nghuà zàilái shàngxué ba.”)

Although the school has defended the indefinite suspension of the small child, citing “safety concerns,” it doesn’t seem to have many supporters of this action. Mr. Huang is considering a lawsuit against the school, and the district’s authorities have launched an investigation.

Mandarin is not even the native language for that part of China. The linguistic situation on Hainan is similar to that in Taiwan: most of the native population grew up speaking Hoklo or a non-Sinitic “minority” language, which are all suppressed in favor of Mandarin, whose speakers have poured in relatively recently. Although the active suppression of non-Mandarin languages in Taiwan is no longer as active as before or as the situation remains in China, indirect suppression remains very much in force.

Huáng xi?nsheng xiàng jìzh? f?nyìng, yóuyú g?ngzuò x?yào, t? ji?ng q?’ér cóng H?inán Sh?ng Wànnìng Shì b?ndào S?nyà Shì ?nyóu Dìq?. T? d?suan ji?ng háizi sòngdào fùjìn de ?nyóu Xi?oxué dúsh?, dànshì háizi y?n bù huì P?t?nghuà ér bèi lèlìngtuìxué.

Q?y?n: háizi z?ucuò jiàoshì

Huáng xi?nsheng duì jìzh? shu?, háizi dì-y? ti?n k?ixué huílai hòu jiù duì t? shu?: “Bàba, w? z?ucuò jiàoshì le, l?osh? jiào n? míngti?n qù y?xià xuéxiào.”

Dì-èr ti?n, Huáng xi?nsheng láidào xuéxiào hòu cái dézh? wèntí de yánzhòngxìng. Xiàozh?ng gàosu t?, t? de háizi y?n z?u cuòle jiàoshì, ràng quán xuéxiào l?osh? wèic? x?j?ng y? ch?ng. B?nzh?rèn li?ng cì dào xuésheng qián b?n xúnwèn n?ige xuésheng jiào ? Hào, dànshì ? Hào zuòzài jiàoshì l? què méiy?u huídá. B?nzh?rèn duì Huáng xi?nsheng shu?, “W? y? dào xuéxiào, Lóng l?osh? jiù g?n w? shu?, ràng n? de háizi huíji? ba, xuéhuì P?t?nghuà zàilái shàngxué ba.”

Huáng xi?nsheng shu?, t? de háizi yuánlái zài l?oji? dúguò y? niánjí, chéngjì bùcuò, dàn zài ji?xi?ng ji?ng de du? shì H?inán huà, y?nc?, t? de háizi shu? P?t?nghuà de nénglì h?n chà, zh?néng ji?nd?n de t?ngd?ng y?di?n.

Ji?zh?ng: yào d? gu?nsi t?o g?ngdào

Huáng xi?nsheng duì jìzh? shu?, t? de xi?ohái yòu méiy?u fàn cuòwu, méiy?u shénme guòcuò, jiù y?nwèi bù huì P?t?nghuà, z?u cuòle jiàoshì, jiù zhèyàng bèi chéngfá, zhè tài bù g?ngpíng le. Jìrán xuéxiào y? t?ngguò k?oshì tóngyì qí bàomíng, jiù xi?ngd?ngyú shu?ngf?ng qi?n le héyu?, xuéxiào bùnéng d?nf?ngmiàn hu?yu?.

Huáng xi?nsheng ch?ng, wèile háizi de dúsh? quánlì, t? ji?ng dào jiàoyù zh?gu?n bùmén tóusù, bìng d?suan ji?ng xuéxiào gào shàng f?tíng, wèi háizi t?o huí g?ngdào.

Xuéxiào: shìwéi ?nquán k?ol?

Jìzh? jiù Huáng xi?nsheng f?nyìng de qíngkuàng láidào ?nyóu Xi?oxué héshí qíngkuàng. G?i xuéxiào Shàn xiàozh?ng ji?shòu jìzh? c?if?ng shí ch?ng, g?i xuésheng bù shì b?nxiào fànwéi nèi de xuésheng, yòu t?ngbud?ng P?t?nghuà, bù huì y? rén ji?oliú. Shàn xiàozh?ng shu?, ràng g?i xuésheng tuìxué de zhíji? yuány?n shì, g?i xuésheng z?u cuòle jiàoshì, quán xuéxiào sh?-sh?ng dàochù zh?o, t? què zuòzài xué; qián b?n de jiàoshì l? y? sh?ng bù k?ng, xià de quán xuéxiào l?osh? x?j?ng y? ch?ng. Shàn xiàozh?ng bi?oshì, rúgu? bù f?sh?ng zhèyàng de shì, xuéxiào jiù bù huì lèlìng qí tuìxué le, zhè zh?yào shì cóng ?nquán f?ngmiàn lái k?ol? de.

Jiàoyùjú: xuéxiào zuòf? bùduì

Jiù Huáng xi?nsheng f?nyìng qí háizi y?n bù huì P?t?nghuà ér bèi lèlìngtuìxué y?shì, jìzh? c?if?ng le S?nyà Shì Jiàoyùjú fù júzh?ng zh?ng wèi lán. Zh?ng fù júzh?ng shu?, xuéxiào de zuòf? k?ndìng bùduì, bùnéng y?nwèi xuésheng bù huì shu? P?t?nghuà jiù lèlìngtuìxué. Háizi bù huì P?t?nghuà, dào xuéxiào zhèyàng de huánjìng zh?ng jiù k?y? xuéh?o P?t?nghuà, zhè y?shì y? zh?ng xuéxí de guòchéng.

Zh?ng fù júzh?ng shu?, huì pài y?ugu?n rényuán y? xuéxiào xiétiáo, zélìng ?nyóu Xi?oxué g?izhèng cuòwù, jìxù ràng Huáng xi?nsheng de háizi lái shàngxué.

L?sh?: háizi y?u dúsh? quánlì

Jiù g?i xuésheng bèi xuéxiào lèlìngtuìxué y?shì, jìzh? c?if?ng le S?nyà Shì yán bì xìn l?sh? shìwùsu? l?sh? chén chu?n Huà xi?nsheng. Chén l?sh? shu?, g?njù w?guó wèichéngniánrén b?ohù f? hé ji? nián zhì yìwù jiàoyùf?, wèichéngniánrén tóngyàng xi?ngy?u shòu jiàoyù de quánlì, xuéxiào, shèhuì, ji?tíng y?u yìwù ràng wèichéngniánrén dúsh?. Chén l?sh? rènwéi, ?nyóu Xi?oxué de zuòf? shì wéif?n y?ugu?n f?l? f?gu? de, xuésheng ji?zh?ng wánquán k?y? t?ngguò f?l? tújìng wèi qí háizi t?o huí g?ngdào.

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official advocates Aborigines reclaim original names

The head of the Gaoxiong County Government’s Indigenous Peoples Bureau announced on Monday that henceforth he would like to be known by his original name, Alang Manglavan, rather than the Sinitic name Du Shi-luan (???), and that he had completed the forms for official recognition of this.

As of the end of last year, Gaoxiong County had some 15,700 members of indigenous tribes. Only about 5 percent of these, however, had applied for an official change of name, Manglavan reported. He encouraged others to apply for the change.

Here’s one story:

G?oxióng Xiànzhèngf? Yuánzhùmín Júzh?ng Dù Shí-luán, y?j?ng* sh?nq?ng zhèngmíng wéi “Alang Manglavan” (??????), j?nti?n g?lì xiàn nèi yuánzhùmín k? y?f? huífù chuánt?ng xìngmíng, y? xi?nxiàn yuánzhùmín chuánt?ng yuánmào.

Dù Shí-luán bi?oshì, wèi xi?ngyìng tu?dòng huífù yuánzhùmín chuánt?ng míngzi cuòsh?, t? j? wánchéng zhèngmíng, shì c?ixíng chuánt?ng míngzi Hànzì zhùjì hé bìngliè Luóm? p?ny?n.

“Alang” shì míngzi, “Manglavan” shì xìng, shì “duànyá” de yìsi, Dù Shí-luán ji?shì shu?, y?nwèi z?xi?n zhù zài duànyá pángbi?n, su?y? y?c? wéi xìng. X?wàng dàji? y?hòu yào jiào t? “?làng”, bùzài xìng “Dù” le.

Dù Shí-luán g?lì yuánzhùmín b?wò j?huì, du? g?lì ji?rén, péngyou qiánw?ng hùzhèng shìwùsu? bànl? huífù chuánt?ng xìngmíng zhù jì.

* The original version in characters has a mistake: ? instead of ?[?]. A Wubi-based typo?

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quote of the day

w? de mùb?i shàng
q?ng wèi w? kèxià Luóm? p?ny?n de chuánt?ng míngzi
zài yòng Hànzì ji?zhù yìy?n
w? yào w? de z?s?n xúnzhe ji?zú de chuánt?ng mìngmíng f?ngshì
ràng zhèxi? z?xi?n de míngzi liúchuán xiàqù

?????
??????????????
????????
?????????????????
????????????

Rough translation:

On my tombstone
please carve my traditional name using romanization
then use a Chinese character phonetic transcription
I want my descendants to follow the family’s traditional name system
Let these ancestors’ name pass down through the generations

from Mùb?i shàng de míngzi (??????), by Kaing Lipay, a member of one of Taiwan’s indigenous peoples.

see also Q?ng zài w? de mùb?i kèshang chuánt?ng míngzi (??????????????????), CNA, June 10, 2006

Aborigine legislators should use original names: activist

Aborigine politicians should use their original names, not Han Chinese names, or explain to their constituents why they don’t, the head of an aboriginal group called the Vine Cultural Association stated on Tuesday.

All eight of Taiwan’s legislators holding the seats reserved for Aborigines — Chen Ying, Liao Kuo-tung, Lin Cheng-er, Yang Jen-fu, Kao Chin Su-mei, Kung Wen-chi, Lin Chung-te, Tseng Hua-te — currently officially use “Chinese” names rather than Aborigine ones.

The head of Taiwan’s Council of Indigenous Peoples, however, does use his original name: Walis Pelin.

I’m waiting for someone to get on TV and talk about how few legislators who are Hoklo use Taiwanese rather than Mandarin forms for the romanizations of their names. (I could probably count them all on one hand, even though Taiwan has some 225 legislators.) Same thing for legislators who are Hakka but who don’t use the Hakka forms of their names in romanization.

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tribe says its dialect needs official recognition for exam

Aborigines from Kangke (??) Village, who are a branch of northern Taiwan’s Atayal tribe, protested last week against the Council of Indigenous People’s tribal language examination policy, requesting that the Kangke dialect be included.

The Kangke dialect has long been different from other Atayal languages because it was influenced by the Japanese language during the period of Japanese occupation.

The council plans to begin tribal language examinations next year, yet the Kangke dialect is not listed as one of the official dialects of the Atayal tribe, said Fang Hsi-en (???), an indigenous rights activist. In the examination policy, the Kangke dialect is incorporated into the Squliq and the C’uli’ dialects.

Fang said that to pass the tribal language exams, students in Kangke Village must now study either the Squliq or the C’uli’ dialects using a romanized spelling system because the Kangke dialect is nothing like them.

The scores on the language exam (which has no writing, by the way) can have a real effect on people’s lives. Under an affirmative action program set up by the Ministry of Education, members of Taiwan’s tribes are entitled to have their high school and college entrance exam scores raised by 25 percent. Under a policy expected to be made effective next year, those who pass a tribal language exam would have an additional 10 percent added to their scores.

Fang said that the system was unfair for Kangke students because the council did not classify their dialect as an official one. He said the tribal language examination should not be linked with entrance exams scores in any way.

Lee Su-min (???), the head of the Parent-Teacher Association at Kangke Elementary School, said that such a classification also stunted the preservation of the dialect and the Kangke culture….

In response to the protests, Wang Chiui (???), the director of the Department of Education and Culture at the council, said that the tribal language examination policy is still being discussed with the education ministry.

But the goal of the language examination was to promote tribal language education, Wang said.

Wang reminded the protestors that the language exam was in fact oral and that he would request that the council include the Kangke dialect in the exam.

If included, a representative from the village will also be invited to be an oral examiner, he said.

I wish someone had asked some of the linguists at Academia Sinica about this. Just how different is Kangke from what is currently officially recognized as Atayal? What’s the extent of the influence of Japanese on the language? Is it just a matter of some loan words? How many?

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Ma on preserving the languages of Taiwan’s tribes

More from the colorful-superficiality school of education:

On March 30, Taipei City Mayor Ma Ying-jeou attended a teaching demonstration. The event features an indigenous language class for elementary school students.

The Mayor appeared at the occasion dressed in indigenous attire. He greeted the audience in Hakka, Taiwanese, and indigenous languages.

Mayor Ma noted that the variety in Taiwan’s indigenous culture is a blessing given by God. It has a positive effect upon the development of local society by making us more aware of the importance of diversity. However, it is not an easy task to preserve all of the indigenous languages. The Indigenous Peoples Commission promised to continue its effort in preserving these valuable treasures by committing more resources in the field of education.

Ma hopes that indigenous students will be able to learn simple greetings in their mother tongue, and even sing a song or two in that language. This will be a great help to preservation efforts.

(emphasis added)

Ahem.

And this is from Ma’s own Taipei City Hall, not a source with an axe to grind against him.

source: Mayor Speaks on Indigenous Language Education, Taipei City Government Web site, April 3, 2006, accessed April 21, 2006