LIVING THROUGH LANGUAGES: MANDARIN, HOKKIEN (TAIWANESE), AND HAKKA
The signs of humans in Taiwan have been found to be from as early as 20,000 to 30,000 years ago. However, evidence suggests that the current aboriginal demographic in Taiwan migrated from mainland Asia apprixmiately 5,000 years ago.
These first migrants, from what is now known as mainlaind China, probably traveled from Guangdong and Fujian, which are two regions quite close to Taiwan. The packets of humans traveled early in the 17th century. However, there wewre other groups pf human migrations that entered Taiwan, but these migrant influences, for example, the Spanish and the Dutch, had little impact on the demographic of the country.
From the 17th century onwards, populations from China saw Taiwan as a feasible destination target and waves of immigrants moves across the sea. Here, the language dialect of Hokkien, as the dialect of south Fukien (Minnan yu), became the major dialect cum language in Taiwan.
In the 1895 Sino-Japanese War, the Qing Dynasty was over turned, and Taiwan succumbed to pressures from Japan, thus opening the gateway for new and stringent language policies on the country as a part of the colony. This control by the colonizers sparked resentment and retaliation by the locals, as language practces favored the colonizers.
Yet, at the end of the Second World War, in 1945, the country was returned to China. In 1949, a civil war errupted between Taiwan and China, and the ROC government under Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalist Party (Kuomintang) retreated from mainland China and moved to Taiwan.