Chiang Wei-wen, director of National Cheng Kung University’s Center for Taiwanese Language Testing, says that in order to keep Hoklo (commonly known as Taiwanese) from disappearing, he encourages everyone to take the General Taiwanese Proficiency Test. Chiang says this would give peopole a better understanding of how proficient they are in their native tongue, and also to ensure that people speak the language correctly.
This year will be the third year the NCKU Center for Taiwanese Language Testing is administering the test, which is typically offered once in the winter and once in the summer. The test date this summer is July 21. Registration began on May 1 and lasts until May 31. The entire registration process can be completed online. Go to the center’s Web site (http://ctlt.twl.ncku.edu.tw/) for more information.
Two new things have been added to the examination — a version of the test specifically for elementary and middle school students and a Church Romanization version of the test for adults, which will go into effect this summer. Test-takers will be able to choose between the Ministry of Education’s Taiwanese Romanization System (TRS) version or the Church Romanization version.
Chiang says the test for middle and elementary school students, which lasts 40 minutes, only tests listening and reading. The test date is the same for both children and adults, but middle school and elementary school students have a separate registration process. If enough students sign up for the test at a single school, the center will send representatives to administer the test at that school.
The division of labor in society today is quite obvious, and much emphasis is placed on professional certification, Chiang says. Schools refer to certificates when recommendations are made or in selecting students for admission. An extra language certificate means more employment and educational opportunities.
1. registration n.
報名；登記 (bao4 ming2; deng1 ji4)
例: Voter registration ends two weeks before the election.
2. test-taker n.
考生 (kao3 sheng1)
例: Half of the test-takers failed the test.
3. division of labor n. phr. 分工 (fen1 gong1)
例: The division of labor became increasingly prominent with the industrialization of society.
The Church Romanization version of the test was added for church ministers and churchgoers because the majority of them still use this older system, Chiang says.
He also says that a language needs to be used regularly in order for it to be passed down from generation to generation. Many people assume that a lot of people speak Hoklo, but pronunciation and semantics are not necessarily correct, which has some people worried. In order to preserve Hoklo as an indigenous language, the public should work together to rescue it.
(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)