When I met my girlfriend a while ago, she noted that my Chinese had been steadily deteriorating. On top of that, she also mentioned that the vocabulary I used was influenced by Japanese’s kanji. Baffled by this, I recollected the words that I used when I attempted to communicate with the locals (and her).
The use of wasei-kango (Japanese-made Chinese characters) in Taiwan is prominent in some ways, as Mandarin Chinese in Taiwan is influenced by Japanese in some way.
I have only been in Taiwan (specifically Taipei) for a short period of time, however I have observed the use and influence of Japanese’s kanji in the daily use of Mandarin Chinese in Taiwan. Take some of the examples below:
|歐吉桑||uncle (Japanese: ojiisan)|
|歐巴桑||auntie (Japanese: obaasan)|
|通勤||commute (Japanese: tsuukin)|
Learners of Chinese and/or had knowledge of Japanese might notice that the Chinese words are identical to its Japanese counterpart (except for uncle and auntie).
Not only that, some place names in Taiwan had also pronunciation in Japanese! (Taiwan was ruled by Japan previously.)
*1 A district located in New Taipei City
*2 I was made known of this pronunciation by my girlfriend’s great teacher, Mr. Young (楊), in his history class.
On top of it, certain stations in the Taipei MRT have their own Japanese pronunciation too, presumably to make the Japanese tourists feel comfortable, in my opinion. Oh, I love too much about these aspects.
With regards to the observation made by her, I also noticed the steady decline of proficiency in Chinese myself. It’s time to polish it for the upcoming Taipei trip!