Talking Taiwanese is the name of an interesting blog I came across today. It’s written by a linguist originally from Belgium who currently teaches English in a university in southern Taiwan, and discusses the Taiwanese language and language education in Taiwan.
The most recent post discusses the current state of the Taiwanese language and suggests that the majority of people in Taiwan are likely to shift to Mandarin within a couple of generations. Apparently many young Taiwanese already prefer Mandarin, and though most speak Taiwanese, few speak it as much or as well as their parents or grandparents. Quite a few Taiwanese-speaking parents are choosing to raise their children as Mandarin speakers as they perceive that Taiwanese is not a useful language to know. Moreover, almost all education in Taiwan is conducted through the medium of Mandarin.
In my own experience, some of my Taiwanese friends spoke Taiwanese at every opportunity, while others only spoke it when absolutely necessary. When I asked the latter group to speak Taiwanese to me so that I could practise it, they often claimed that their Taiwanese wasn’t very fluent and that I should ask people who speak Taiwanese as their first language.