Language Background

Native Languages: Taiwanese and Mandarin Chinese

Taiwanese (Taiwan Southern Min) is my mother tongue. I speak it fluently in daily life conversation, which is not usual in my generation. I did not learn Mandarin Chinese until I went to kindergarten at age 5, yet it has become my dominant language since it is the official language at school. My bilingual background drew my attention to linguistic form. When I was a kid, I enjoyed comparing word structures and sentence structures in Taiwanese and Mandarin Chinese. I still remember how excited I was one day when I figured out the word “birthday” in Chinese is composed of the word “birth” and the word “day”, and “birthday” means the day one was born, not just the day you receive gifts from your parents and eat birthday cakes. It was a big discovery to me to find out that Chinese words are compounds, and the meaning of a compound is compositional.

Foreign languages: English, Japanese, and German

English is my third language which I started to learn at age 10.