Taiwan Translation Services: what do you must know to start

Taiwan language is part of a vibrant island country known for its rich cultural heritage and dynamic economy that serves as a bridge between East and West. With a prospering business environment and a diverse population, Taiwan is a hub for international trade, investment, and cultural exchange.
Thalita Lima
6 min
Table of Contents

Taiwan is not China. This cover picture reflects well the honest expectations of how Taiwanese people want to be seen as an independent nation. 

Taiwan language is part of a vibrant island country known for its rich cultural heritage and dynamic economy that serves as a bridge between East and West. With a prospering business environment and a diverse population, Taiwan is a hub for international trade, investment, and cultural exchange. 

As a result, the need for high-quality Taiwan Translation Services has never been greater. And the demand for professional translation services is expected to grow. 

What Does the Taiwanese Language Look Like?

Taiwanese, also known as Taiwanese Hokkien, is a language spoken primarily in Taiwan, with its roots in Hokkien, a Southern Min Chinese dialect. 

While Mandarin Chinese is the official language of Taiwan, Taiwanese holds significant cultural and historical importance, particularly in informal settings and interpersonal communication.

China and Taiwan geographical division.
By BBC. 

Discover some peculiarities of Taiwanese language:

  • Taiwanese Hokkien belongs to the Sino-Tibetan language family, specifically the Min Nan branch. 
  • Is heavily influenced by various Southern Min dialects, particularly those spoken in Fujian province, China. But nowadays, over centuries of development, Taiwanese Hokkien has evolved into a distinct language with its own regional variations.
  • This language has a particular phonetic system that differs from Mandarin Chinese, including a diverse range of consonants, vowels, and tones that allows it to detect the tone. Additionally, it has a rich inventory of tones, with some dialects with up to eight distinct tones.
  • Taiwanese has a rich vocabulary that also incorporates words from other languages, including Mandarin, Indigenous Taiwanese languages, Japanese, Dutch, and Spanish. That reflects Taiwan's complex history of colonization and cultural exchange.
  • The Taiwanese Language was primarily written using Han characters (Chinese characters). Over time, vernacular writing systems, such as Pe̍h-ōe-jī (POJ), have been developed to represent the phonetic sounds of this beautiful language, and it is particularly used in informal contexts and literature.
  • Like any language, this one has its own regional variations. Differences in pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar pop up across different parts of Taiwan. Two major dialects are seen: Tsuân-tsiu 泉州” (Quanzhou) and Tsiang-tsiu 漳州” (Zhangzhou). They were born due to immigrants from southern Fujian province in China, who started to arrive in several waves to Taiwan in the 17th century. 

Check out the regional variations distribution in the map below.

Taiwanese Hokkien regional variations.

How to Translate English to Taiwanese

Translating English to Taiwanese, as we repeatedly affirm in this blog content, requires more than linguistic proficiency. It's important to consider cultural nuances and context. Ok, it seems obvious, right? But let’s check out some tips to create a good Augmented Translation, integrating AI and the best of human cultural competence.

  • Contextual Translation: Understanding the context in which the English text is used and adapting the translation accordingly is mandatory. Consider the cultural references, idiomatic expressions, and tone to ensure that the translated text resonates with Taiwanese speakers.
  • Localization: Involves adapting the content to suit the cultural preferences and linguistic conventions of the target audience. This may include modifying images, references, and even colors to align with Taiwanese cultural norms.
  • Utilize Translation Tools: Take advantage of online translation tools and resources to contribute to the translation process. Machine translation is a great tool when integrated with a good and sensible Post-Editing.
  • Human Translation: Irreplaceable, from our point of view. Human translators can provide accurate and culturally appropriate translations, ensuring clear communication and avoiding misunderstandings. 
  • Cultural Sensitivity: Last but not least, we always enhance the Context-Sensitive Translation. It's essential to approach translation with cultural sensitivity and respect. Language is deeply connected with culture, and understanding cultural nuances is fundamental to effective communication. How to reach this skill? Take the time to learn about Taiwanese customs, traditions, and societal norms to produce culturally appropriate and well-received translation projects.

Cultural and Economical Opportunities of Taiwan Language

Effective communication across languages is essential to uplevel the economic development of any business and on a global scale. 

The ability to translate to Taiwanese can open doors and foster meaningful interactions. Navigating the nuances of language translation can be challenging especially when dealing with a pair of highly distincts languages. But it can also be joyful. 

Shilin Night Market, TaiwanBy Max Oh (

Taiwanese Language holds significant cultural and social importance in Taiwan. It is not only a means of communication but also a marker of identity and heritage for many Taiwanese people. Taiwanese Hokkien remains widely spoken and cherished by many, and the Taiwanese people are interested in strongly affirming their identity. 

Thalita Lima
Passionate about languages and the power of localization to connect minds. Journalist, writer, photographer, and ecology student
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