Taiwan is an island country in East Asia, off the coast of southeastern mainland China. After the Chinese Civil War, the governments of both Taiwan and mainland China claimed sovereignty over each other’s territory; after Taiwan’s transition to democracy in the 1980s, it stopped claiming sovereignty over mainland China, but the PRC didn’t return the favour. Because the PRC also maintains a policy of not having diplomatic ties with any country that has them with Taiwan, there are very few countries around the world that officially recognise Taiwan, although many maintain unofficial ties.

The two most-spoken languages in Taiwan are Mandarin Chinese and Tai­wan­ese Hokkien (often just called Taiwanese), with each one spoken by over 80% of Taiwanese (i.e. there’s a lot of bilingualism). Hakka is also spoken by 6.6% of Taiwanese people. Taiwan is also the urheimat of the Aus­tro­ne­sian language family, with nine out of ten branches of that family (all except the Malayo-Polynesian branch) found only in Taiwan.


a cartoony avatar of Jessica Smith is a left-wing feminist who loves animals, books, gaming, and cooking; she’s also very interested in linguistics, history, technology and society.