People

The friendly people of Taiwan

Taiwan has a population of 23 million. The larger part of the country's inhabitants are the descendants of immigrants from the various provinces of mainland China, but in particular from the southeastern coastal provinces: Fujian and Guangdong.

Because the different ethnic groups have fairly well integrated, differences that originally existed between people from different provinces have gradually disappeared. Nearly 500,000 indigenous people, the original inhabitants of Taiwan, still live here; they are into 16 different tribes, namely Amis, Atayal, Paiwan, Bunun, Puyuma, Rukai, Tsou, Saisiyat, Yami, Thao, Kavalan, Truku, Sakizaya, Sediq ,Kanakanavu ,and Hla'alua.

Language

The official language of Taiwan is Mandarin Chinese; but because many Taiwanese are of southern Fujianese descent, Minnan (the Southern Min dialect or Heluo) is also widely spoken. The smaller groups of Hakka people and indigenous tribes have also preserved their own languages. Many elderly people can also speak some Japanese, as they were subjected to Japanese education before Taiwan was returned to Chinese rule in 1945 after the Japanese occupation, which lasted for half a century.

The most popular foreign language in Taiwan is English, which is part of the regular school curriculum. However, for your own convenience, when taking a taxi in Taiwan, it is advisable to prepare a note with your destination written in Chinese to show the taxi driver.

Taiwan is also the ideal place to learn Chinese. There are numerous language schools that offer Chinese classes, ranging from hourly-based classes to recognized university programs. Many foreigners from Europe and the United States, as well as other areas, come to Taiwan to spend their holidays, or one or two years, studying Chinese.

  • 外國遊客遊平溪放天燈

    Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival

  • 外國遊客在臺灣

    Traveling in Taiwan