One China, One Chinese

As the Communists took over China in 1949, refugees swarmed onto boats bound for the last Nationalist redoubt of Taiwan.
Taiwan’s linguistic landscape, according to the 2010 census. The most densely-populated areas, including Taipei, are heavily Mandarin-speaking (purple), though Hokkien (green) is still alive and well. There are some Hakka (pink) areas. The number of indigenous Formosan speakers (brownish) is practically negligible, but the inclusion of that language is symbolically significant from a nationalistic perspective.
The bottom two lines compare the Traditional script (used in Taiwan and Hong Kong) and the Simplified one (Mainland China). This is not directly relevant, but it is fascinating the trace the development of the characters from their archaic forms (the top two lines).
Hokkien-language singers at a festival of traditional Taiwanese culture
Taiwan and China honour each other’s passports, in spite of not formally recognising the other’s existence.



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Sam Quillen

Sam Quillen


Former linguistics student; current investment bank analyst who sometimes thinks about something other than spreadsheets