Mon, Oct 06, 2014 - Page 11 News List

Simplified Characters in full view in TRA station

A barrier with simplified characters is placed in full view in the walkway of the main area of Taiwan Railway Administration’s Chaojhou Station in Pingtung County on Sept 28.

Photo: Chen Yen-ting, Liberty Times

On Sept 28 the message “Attention! Ongoing maintenance” written in simplified Chinese characters was discovered on a mobile barrier in Chaojhou station in Pingtung County. The barrier was placed in full view in the main hall of the station. Angry passengers asked whether they were travelling on Taiwan’s rail network or China’s.

There were at least 10 barriers with simplified Chinese characters on them in Chaojhou station, placed in the entrances and exits where people need to pass, not concealed in any way. Commuters angrily pointed out on seeing “Attention! Ongoing maintenance” written in simplified Chinese characters on the construction barriers that they thought they were travelling by train in China, and that they were caught unawares. They were surprised that the station staff had not noticed, and found that really odd.

Chaojhou station master Chen Chun-hsing clarified that the station’s construction work was the responsibility of the Railway Reconstruction Bureau (RRB). The stair railings were broken, and the contractors had yet to complete the work, so just placed the barriers with the simplified characters at the site. It was a misunderstanding, and he would take it up with the RRB and ask them to remove the barriers as soon as possible.

Internet users shared the photo online and created an Internet buzz. One person asked, “How can simplified characters appear in a state-run company?,” while another was concerned that the Taiwan Railway Administration (TRA) was going to be sold soon. Another Internet user joked that maybe the reason TRA trains were often late was because the clocks in the stations were all made in China, and another interjected, “perhaps it’s because Chinese tourists cannot understand traditional Chinese characters.”

(Liberty Times, Translated by Paul Cooper)


1. in full view adv. phr.

大剌剌地 (da4 la4 la4 de5)

例: He cannot deny it; he did it in full view of everyone else.


2. be caught unawares v. phr.

冷不防 (leng3 bu4 fang2)

例: I was caught completely unawares: I had no idea that would happen.


3. interject v.

插話 (cha1 hua4)

例: May I just interject at this point that this was not my fault?







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