Tuesday, December 20, 2005

English Carnival at Taipei 101

UPDATE: I'm updating this up here, because you should really read Pinyin Info's article on this disaster:

Taiwan is touting its “English living environment” with a “carnival” (i.e., a room with a bunch of booths from various government agencies and a few businesses, each with some display at least vaguely associated with English). Awards will be given; I wonder how many of them will be deserved.

Stephen Krashen posted the following to Hwakang Journal:

Carnival to honor English promoters

The 2005 English Living Environment Carnival will open on Sunday at Taipei 101 -- the world's tallest
building -- to show what Taiwan has achieved in the past year in making its environment more convenient
and friendly to native speakers of English.

The three-day annual event, now in its third year, will begin at 2 p.m. with a ceremony on Taipei 101's
fifth floor to issue citations to those who have made contributions in improving Taiwan's living environment
for English-speaking people.

More than 20 government agencies and private organizations, including schools, will have exhibition
stalls to display their achievements in responding to the government's call to improve the living
environment in Taiwan for English-speaking people.

There will also be stage plays, fashion shows, dances, concerts, lot-drawings, awards for correct answers to
questions, and free gifts to visitors.

The plan to improve the living environment for English-speaking people is part of the government's
effort to enhance Taiwan's competitiveness in the international arena.

The plan has set the goals that by 2008 all public signs and important Web sites in Taiwan must be in
both Chinese and English and that all pictograms should be "internationalized".

Find this article here


David said...

You *really* need to check pinyin.info about this ... Here's the blog entry about how terrible (i.e. truly incomprehensible) the English website is for this.

Incidentally, your link didn't work.

Mark said...

You know what would improve my "living environment" as an English speaking foreigner? The realization that white people don't HAVE to speak English. I would be waaaaaay happier if Taiwan tried to integrate foreigners instead of seeing it as some kind of imperative to use English around westerners as much as possible.

Anonymous said...

well, Mark

It's only natural for non-English speakers to have chances to pratice their
English. It's the "price"
you have to pay for living
in a ESL country.

Anonymous said...

Well, anonymous. What about the "price" of people who aren't native English speakers? I came into Taiwan to study Chinese. I saved money in Argentina first. But everyday some Taiwanese person answers my Chinese in English (even if I don't understand their English).

Its the price of being white. Taiwanese people really care abot race. French people talk in French in France. Brasilians talk in Portugese in Brasil. Americans talk in English in America. Taiwanese people look to your skin to decide. I should have learned French.


BTW Argentina is an ESL country too. Teachers make about the same there as here. But we aren't stupid. We don't have English Carnivals.

Anonymous said...

Wait - there's no half-naked dancing chicks?

But really - the thing about Taiwan is that we are a primary EXPORTER of foreigners. Eventually, a Taiwanese would likely end up leaving to study/work in the U.S. It's not like they've got much business opportunities Taiwan, anyway.