Discover the language

Taiwanese (Táiyǔ, or Tâigí, in English Taiwanese Hokkien, the language is also known as the language spoken by the Ho-lo) is spoken fluently by 70% to 80% of Taiwan's population.

Taiwanese has its origins in the Chinese dialects (mĭnnán or southern min) spoken in Quanzhou 泉州 and Zhangzhou 漳州 in southern Fujian, but has also been influenced by the Formosan languages spoken by the indigenous peoples of the Taiwanese plains (Austronesian languages) as well as by the Japanese language imposed during the colonial period between 1895 and 1945. Southern Min varieties close to Taiwanese are also spoken by diaspora Chinese in Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, but also in Latin America, Australia, Africa, and in France with Chaozhou (or Tiuchiu).

Taiwanese is to be distinguished from the variety of standard Chinese spoken in Taiwan (Guóyŭ or Táiwān Huáyŭ, in English Taiwanese Mandarin), very close to the official language of the People's Republic of China.

Training courses

An introduction to Taiwanese has been offered at Inalco since 2020 as an option for students enrolled in the third year of a Chinese degree.