Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Taiwan Consulate Visit

For a variety of complex reasons, Taiwan does not have an official "embassy" in DC; instead, there's something called the Taiwan Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO). Today, I visited the Consulate Division today to do some business. Above, the entrance sign (note the American U. sign reflection in the background) - don't really have much to say other than I think this image looks cool.

A little bit about languages on US and Taiwan passports. It used to be the case that only English and French (for a long time the international language of diplomacy) were used on US passports, but a Bill Clinton-era decision added Spanish to the mix. The Taiwan passport uses Chinese and the the more recent global "lingua franca," English.

Here's a selection of the various US- and Taiwan-based publications in the waiting area (some in English, some bilingual, and Mandarin Chinese only).

One fun thing about Taiwanese visual media (newspapers, TV) is that a reader/viewer may be forced to scan text in many directions simultaneously; here, the text on left was in motion scrolling "up" (i.e., to be read from up to down); at bottom, static yellow test reads left to right, and the white text below was in motion scrolling right to left. Meanwhile, Arabic numerals and Roman letters read left to right.

One last item of interest on the wall: a poster bearing a poem about city life in Taipei (originally written in Chinese) is rendered into German and English translations, each by a local translator. As far as I could tell, the translations were perfectly fine (the poem itself didn't strike me as too complex).

No comments:

Post a Comment