RTI, Chunghwa Telecom launch Southeast Asian language program

Taipei–Radio Taiwan International (RTI) and telecom provider Chunghwa Telecom Co. launched a Southeast Asian language program Tuesday to meet the growing demand for such knowledge as Taiwan seeks to advance ties with its Southeast Asian neighbors.

The program, consisting of 10-minute video segments being produced by RTI that will be aired on Chunghwa Telecom’s multimedia-on-demand (MOD) system, offers Indonesian, Thai and Vietnamese language lessons for free.

It hopes to benefit Taiwanese people interested in investing in Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam, or those who have employed migrant workers from those countries, RTI said.

It is also targeting Taiwan’s tourism industry workers, as well as nationals interested in traveling, studying or working in those countries, according to the state-funded radio station.

In addition to language teaching, the program will also introduce the culture and customs of Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam, according to RTI.

In the Thai language segments, viewers will learn about important Thai festivals, including the Songkran water festival and Khao Phansa, a Buddhist holiday that marks the start of the rainy season and the beginning of a three-month retreat for monks, said Anchan Songphut, the host and teacher of the segments.

They will also learn about Thai customs, such as traditional Thai greetings, which consist of palms pressed together and different hand positions, Songphut said.

“More and more Taiwanese people are interested in learning Thai, especially young people, some of whom want to invest in Thailand, travel there as backpackers, or find a job there,” she said.

Maria Sukamto, who hosts and teaches the Indonesian language segments, said she will introduce the rituals of Ramadan and the Indonesian tradition of making batik, a technique of applying dye to fabric, and other Indonesian customs in her lessons.

She will also introduce the arts, the lifestyles and the food of Indonesia, and information on traveling and doing business in the country, she said.

People will also be able to watch the free program on RTI’s website beginning on Aug. 8 and see it on their mobile phones and tablet computers through the Chunghwa Telecom MOD app starting Sept. 1.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel