TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwanese dialect (Hokkien), Hakka, and indigenous names can now be included in Taiwanese passports.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) today (Aug. 15) said the Passport Act (護照條例) has amended the provision on the transliteration of passport names in foreign languages to include Taiwan dialect, Hakka, and indigenous languages.
At a press conference today, Antonio Chen (陳俊賢), head of MOFA’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, said that on Aug. 9 of this year, the ministry amended Article 14 of the Passport Act to make it possible to have Romanized names transliterated from one of a number of “national languages” (國家語言), which now include Taiwanese dialect, Hakka, and indigenous languages, reported CNA. Previously, only Mandarin names could be romanized in the form of Wade-Giles, Pinyin, or Tongyong Pinyin.
According to MOFA, the amendment is in line with the National Language Development Act (國家語言發展法), which designated all spoken languages or sign languages used by all ethnic groups residing in Taiwan to be “national languages,” including Taiwan dialect, Hakka, and indigenous languages. This amendment is designed to enable speakers of national languages to include their names in their mother tongue in their passports, according to MOFA.