Transcriptions of the book 生話台語 into Chinese Characters, using the written standard promulgated by the Ministry of Education (referencing the online dictionary http://twblg.dict.edu.tw/holodict_new/index.html)
The book is now out of print, but the phrases are common enough that a student with some familiarity in Taiwanese should be able to use these materials to learn how to read and write Taiwanese in chinese characters (pronounced Hanji in Southern Min) – useful, because those with existing knowledge of hanji will find that they will be able to make faster progress.
Having previously studied other dialects of Chinese in addition to a little Taiwanese/Southern Min, I’m trying to learn enough to be conversant. Taiwanese people think it’s pretty fun to converse in Taiwanese. Mandarin, the language of education, has a more formal feel. I have gotten good reactions when speaking Taiwanese at restaurants and with the occasional phrase in a customer meeting.
The dialog transcriptions here differ from modern standard written Chinese, attempting to capture the spoken dialogue as spoken. I use the classical chinese character, some of which have fallen into disuse in spoken Mandarin. When no classical equivalent exists, I use a 假借, a character of similar pronunciation that is used as a stand-in character. (Mandarin actually does this, too. The character 吃 did not originally mean “to eat,” but “to stutter.”)
Min dialect popular literature throughout history have featured many such borrowings. In these transcriptions, when there exist two common variants, the one that is more commonly available in Unicode is used, even if it is not the one promulgated in the MoE standard. Examples of this are such as 怹 instead of 亻因 for “them,” or 爻 instead of [敖 above 力] for “very.” This makes it easier to type.
If there are two common borrowings , I have chosen the one that I feel is more clear. For example the “mai” in “mai koann tshek” (don’t look at the book), means “do not.” It is a fusion of 毋 and 愛. Common characters for this are 莫 which classically means “no one.” and 勿, which classically means “do not.” Neither of these are traditionally read as “mai,” and I have opted to use 勿 because the meaning coincides.
Those interested in further study should learn to type with CangJie, which allows one to type based on character structure and not pronunciation.
I am indebted to the MoE Online Taiwanese dictionary