New official night market sign with Taiwanese

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The Shalu district of Taichung (Taizhong) is opening a new night market:



The deer says:


That doesn't make sense in Mandarin (dòu zhèn xué yèshì) — except for the last two characters, which mean "night market".

It should be prono͘unced as tàu-tīn se̍h iā-chhī in Taiwanese.

tàu-tīn = together

se̍h = turn around, circumambulate

iā-chhī = night market

So "stroll around the night market" works, or simply "let's visit the night market", as it seems more like an invitation than an instruction.

Incidentally, 逗陣 is also written 鬥陣 and 湊陣.

Note that one character is glossed with zhuyin fuhao (phonetic symbols), but not with Mandarin (which would be ㄒㄩㄝˊ) .  (source)

Sometimes 迺 is used instead of 踅 in Taiwanese. But both are obscure characters and not ones everyone is going to know.

Selected readings

[Thanks to Mark Swofford and Michael Cannings]


  1. Victor Mair said,

    April 22, 2022 @ 6:05 am

    I asked Mark Swofford if Lufeng 鹿峰 (lit., "deer peak") is just the name of that night market or whether it had some special significance. In making a Google search for Lufeng 鹿峰, I noticeds that it seems to be fairly commonly / widely used for naming things.

    Mark replied:

    I don't know that area well. But I'd be very surprised if the area has any feng (mountains, hills, or even noticeably large bumps in the ground). It's right by the Taiwan Strait. That's the flatlands.

    According to the Wikipedia article for Shalu, the topynym's current "鹿" ("deer") was originally "轆" (“well pulley; windlass; potter's wheel; reel; rumbling; rolling; etc.”). The older version seems an odd choice. Why something so obscure, esp. since there was obviously no semantic meaning being transferred from what would have probably been a toponym in the language of whatever tribe was there at the time?

    One of my favorite examples to bring up when asked about the meaning of place names in Taiwan is Taipei's Longshan Temple. The area features neither dragons nor mountains. Not even small hills. Maybe some geckos, though.

  2. AntC said,

    April 22, 2022 @ 7:07 am

    Announcement in English.

    @Mark That's the flatlands.

    Yes, it's a pretty drab piece of coastline, and a long drive from the city. There's a decent seafood/hawker centre at 梧棲漁港 (Wuqi Fishing Harbour).

  3. ohwilleke said,

    April 22, 2022 @ 9:54 am

    Was the blue and yellow intended to support Ukraine or was that just a coincidence?

  4. AntC said,

    April 22, 2022 @ 6:04 pm

    Good question! I think just a coincidence. See these publicity photos with the yellow of the setting sun over the beach. (That windfarm is next door to Shalu; the beach with the people on is supposedly a nature reserve.)

    The blue would be the mountains in the central massif (also featured in some of those photos), which rises east of Taichung City. (Taichung is the only major city not directly on the coast. As I said, Shalu is a long drive away.)

  5. AntC said,

    April 22, 2022 @ 6:16 pm

    Taipei's Longshan Temple.

    This temple originated its name from the ancient Lungshan Temple established in Chin-chiang county of Fukien province in the seventh century. Immigrants from the three counties Chin-chiang, Nan-an and Hui-an of Fukien came to Manka in the beginning of the eighteenth century. As they were pious followers of that ancient Lungshan Temple in their home town, they erected this one as a branch temple at Manka and named it after the root temple when they created a new settlement here in Taipei. [wikipedia]

    Then no surprise The area features neither dragons nor mountains.

  6. AntC said,

    April 22, 2022 @ 6:28 pm

    While I'm at it, English wikipedia on Shalu.

    Originally a settlement of the Papora people, this region was named 沙轆社. …
    In 1920, during Japanese rule, the written name was changed to Sharoku (沙鹿).

    Google Translate for that Chinese name doesn't give anything involving deer — although it's so nonsensical, I won't bother giving it here. Then I'm inclined to agree with Mark's probably been a toponym in the language of whatever tribe was there at the time.

    Not much is known about the history of the people of Papora, as records [made by the Dutch East India Company] were destroyed in a mass genocide committed in 1670 by the Cheng Cheng-gong's forces following widespread resistance by Papora, Babuza, Taokas and Pazeh speaking peoples of the central plain.

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