Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Ready for Christmas

We’re in the final few days before our flurry of Christmas activities gets underway (well, not including the stories we’ve already been sharing the last few weeks of adult and children’s English classes). This evening, I went to check on the progress of our truck Christmas broadcast. The poster’s ready!



Unfortunately, prospects aren’t so bright for our first outdoor activity. Temperatures are expected to reach a new low for the winter Saturday night. Furthermore, construction has just begun in the area in front of the temple where the night market is usually held. Who knows where we’ll eventually set up our table with Santa Claus…

Monday, December 14, 2009

Coarse-Sounding Language

Last week I was chatting with some elderly women who are friends with my neighbors. They cannot read, and only speak Taiwanese, so communicating with them in my low-intermediate level  Taiwanese is difficult at best.

Without intending insult to them or Taiwanese culture, which I love, I used a term to communicate that when I first came to Taiwan, I found the Taiwanese language disagreeable to hear, not pleasing to the ear, coarse, etc. My point was that it sounded that way to me because I could not understand it.

Oops. That comment really stuck with them!

Today when I walked back to the house after visiting with a neighbor,  the two old ladies flagged me down when I said hello to them. Today on the television, they said, was a foreigner who spoke really good Taiwanese. He said that when he first started learning Taiwanese, he found it very beautiful to the ear!

台灣人本土意識很強。 Next time I’ll try to smooth things over by emphasizing how lovely I am finding the Taiwanese language now that I am finally beginning to understand more of it.

Christmas Caroling Truck

I wrote in the previous post about the truck advertisements for local election candidates, and the resulting idea I had listening to them every day.

Translating that idea into reality for Christmas took far more time and energy than I expected. Because we have 4 other Christmas activities we’re preparing for I had to put in a lot of overtime.

Here’s the poster we’ve created to post on each side of the truck:


And here’s a clip from the track I mixed in modern Taiwanese (very different from what is used in Presbyterian churches), repeating every 30 some seconds. I also mixed in a Christmas greeting.

I am hiring the truck and driver for two full business days. Amazingly, they still use old-style tape cassettes instead of mp3s. So I had to save my recording in that format, which reduced the clarity, but I think both the music and message will still be heard.

Now everything is in the hands of the advertiser so I’ll prayerfully await the opportunity to observe the truck driving through every little street and alley of every village in our township (30,000 people) on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day! May Jesus Christ be lifted up where He is not known!