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Romanization and
Language Planning in Taiwan

Wi-vun Taiffalo Chiung

6.    Conclusion

For Mandarin Chinese, it is apparent that roman script will not be adopted as a writing system in the foreseeable future. As for the Taiwanese languages, there is no significant sign so far that romanization such as the existing Peh-oe-ji will spread or be promoted to a national status. There are three crucial landmarks in regard to whether or not Taiwanese romanization will move toward official orthography and be widely used. First, whether or not romanization will be included in school curriculum. No matter whether romanization is taught as a transliteration scheme or as an orthography, it is the important first step for the promotion of romanized writing since most Taiwanese people are ‘illiterate in romanization.’ The second crucial landmark is the attitude of the new DPP government towards roman script and Han characters, and the political stability of the new government if it decides to promote romanization. The third one is the common agreement on romanization among the Taiwanese language promoters. For a long while, the disagreement on romanized scheme has only added to the chaos about the romanization question and shaken the promotion of written Taiwanese. The agreement can thus improve the promotion of romanization.



I would like to express my appreciation to Dr. Jerold Edmondson, Dr. Mary Morgan, and Dr. Dick Watson for their reviews and comments on this paper. The author is responsible of any errors and mistakes in this paper.



All correspondence should be directed to Wi-vun Taiffalo Chiung, Program in Linguistics, The University of Texas at Arlington, USA (