Last updated: 11-01-2022
I recently returned from my third pilgrimage with the Zheng’an monkey god temple (Zheng’an gong, 正安宮) in Taipei, Taiwan. This trip made me realize just how badly I need to learn Taiwanese Hokkien (Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Tâi-gí; Chinese: Taiyu, 臺語), for it was spoken almost exclusively in all of the temples we visited, as well as on the tour bus. I feel like having a working knowledge of the language would open doors to more in-depth research about the Great Sage‘s faith. And the best part? Taiwanese Hokkien is intelligible to Hokkien speakers in Fujian (home of Sun Wukong’s cult) and Southeast Asia (where he is also worshiped – example). This would help me expand my area of research.
Here, I would like to archive a few sources on Taiwanese Hokkien that I’ve found online.
1. Taiwanese Grammar: A Concise Reference (2015) by Philip T. Lin
1.1. Book description
Taiwanese Grammar: A Concise Reference is an unprecedented guide delivering clear, straightforward explanations of Taiwanese grammar while offering insightful comparisons to Mandarin Chinese. Designed to be both functional and accessible, the text makes searching for topics quick and easy with fully cross-referenced entries and a comprehensive index.
Topics covered range broadly from parts of speech (nouns, verbs, adverbs, etc.) to grammatical topics (aspect, negation, passive voice, etc.) to special topics (terms of address, pronunciation, time, etc.).
This text is ideal for self-study and enables students at all levels to build a solid foundation in grammar.
Taiwanese (also known as Hokkien, Fookien, Amoy, Southern Min, or Fukienese) along with its variants is spoken by over 40 million people worldwide and is a member of the Chinese language family.
Features of this text include:
- Easy-to-use reference guide with cross-referenced entries and a comprehensive index
- 1000+ example sentences using everyday vocabulary rendered in Taiwanese, Mandarin Chinese, and English
- Character script for Taiwanese in accordance with the official selection of Taiwanese Characters by the Taiwanese Ministry of Education (2007)
- Romanization provided for both Taiwanese (Peh-oe-ji) and Mandarin Chinese (Hanyu Pinyin)
- In-depth guide to pronunciation using English approximations and full explanations on rules for changing tones (tone sandhi)
1.2. Archive link
2. Maryknoll Taiwanese Book Series
This series is highly recommended in many of the places I’ve enquired.
2.1. Book description
With a total of over 1,300 pages, this series is the most comprehensive set readily available for learning Taiwanese. Written in English and Pe̍h-ōe-jī throughout, with Mandarin Character glosses for new vocabulary, these books (and accompanying CDs) offer sufficient lessons to help a learner achieve a good conversational level of Taiwanese.
By virtue of being issued by a Catholic mission (and originally written for missionaries) the vocabulary and dialogs are more Christian-oriented than most language textbooks – the words for ‘Catholic priest’, ‘Protestant minister’ and ‘(Religious) Sister’ all appear in the first few chapters of the book. For many learners of Taiwanese this is not vocabulary they will need to employ very often.
Nevertheless, this series still represents the best investment for the beginning and intermediate student of Taiwanese.
2.2. Archive links
Taiwanese-English Dictionary (2001) – https://journeytothewestresearch.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/coll.-台語英語字典.-Taiwanese-English-Dictionary-Maryknoll-Taiwan-2001.pdf
3. Handbook of Taiwanese Romanization (2017) by David L. Chen
3.1. Book description
The Handbook of Taiwanese Romanization focuses on the phonology of Taiwanese and the closely related Amoy Hokkien. It covers five Taiwanese Romanization methods used in available Taiwanese language resources for English, Japanese, and Chinese (Mandarin) speakers. This book is for native Taiwanese speakers who live overseas and are unfamiliar with Chinese characters but want to learn how to express their mother tongue through reading and writing. It is also a tool to aid native speakers in teaching their own children. This book focuses more on Taiwanese and Amoy Hokkien but provides a foundation in phonetics and tones that can be applied to other Hokkien dialects.
3.2. Archive link
These have been posted for educational purposes. No malicious copyright infringement is intended. If you liked the digital versions, please support the official releases.
This playlist of youtube videos appears to be useful for beginners.