Fri, Aug 04, 2017 - Page 4 News List

Program to teach Southeast Asian languages, cultures

Staff writer, with CNA

Radio Taiwan International (RTI) and Chunghwa Telecom Co on Tuesday launched a Southeast Asian-language program to meet growing demand as the nation seeks to advance ties with the region.

RTI is to produce 10-minute Indonesian, Thai and Vietnamese lessons to be aired on Chunghwa’s multimedia-on-demand (MOD) system.

The state-funded radio station said it hopes the program would benefit Taiwanese interested in investing in Indonesia, Thailand or Vietnam, as well as people who have employed workers from those nations.

It also targets tourism industry workers, as well as Taiwanese interested in traveling, studying or working in Southeast Asia, RTI said.

In addition to teaching language, the program is to also introduce cultures and customs, the station said.

In the Thai segments, viewers will learn about important Thai festivals, including Songkran — the Thai New Year — and Khao Phansa, a Buddhist holiday that marks the start of the rainy season and a three-month retreat for monks, program host and teacher Anchan Songphut said.

They will also learn about Thai customs, such as the traditional greeting of pressing palms together, and different hand positions, Songphut said.

“More Taiwanese are interested in learning Thai, especially young people who want to invest in Thailand, travel there as backpackers or find a job there,” she said.

Maria Sukamto, who hosts and teaches the Indonesian segments, said she will introduce Ramadan rituals; the tradition of batik, a fabric dyeing technique; and other customs.

She will also introduce the art, lifestyles and food of Indonesia, as well as information on traveling and doing business in the country, she said.

The program is to be available for viewing on RTI’s Web site starting on Tuesday and on mobile devices through the Chunghwa MOD app starting on Sept. 1.

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