The slogan “Taiwan NEXT” chosen by Democratic Progressive Party Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) as the theme of her presidential campaign has sparked debate over whether it actually makes sense.
Some people think “Taiwan NEXT” could be perceived as “Taiwan goes next,” or “Taiwan is not the first,” with the word “next” used as an adverb, such as the adverb “first” in the common term “ladies first,” Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) official Chuang Po-chung (莊伯仲) said.
Chuang said KMT headquarters had received several phone calls from the public saying that Tsai’s English slogan was debatable, even confusing.
However, a local English professor said that “Taiwan NEXT” was not wrong and could get Tsai’s message across clearly.
Lin Mao-sung (林茂松), a professor in Soochow University’s Department of English Language and Literature, compared the slogan to a book published by the British Council in 2006 called English Next.
According to Lin, the book says that while the use of English is an international linguistic future trend, “Global English is not a done deal” and would be defined by the future patterns of globalization.
Tsai’s use of “Taiwan NEXT,” which is seemingly in concert with the model of English Next, cannot be considered as incorrect, Lin said.
He suggested that Tsai stick to “Taiwan NEXT” if she wanted to express “Taiwan is the future trend,” but use “Taiwan First” if she wanted to promote “Taiwan identity” or “Taiwan-centric consciousness.”