Saturday, April 10, 2010

Random Asianess: Driving in Taiwan

The Taiwanese Driver’s License test.

President Ma Ying Jeoh has declared that the Taiwanese Government workers should work hard to improve English. So they have revised the Taiwanese Driver’s License test. The test was very difficult to take before because of the phrasing of sentences and the word choices. I have placed examples on my Facebook page. But the revisions…well, you tell me if they have improved.

Drivers are required to use distant lights when their vehicles are moving
in the urban areas at night, if the lighting is bright enough.

Distant lights are the High beams

If drivers are intending to maintain an orderly traffic for the safety of the
entire society and for the happiness of their families, they are required to: (1) abide by driving morals and disciplines, (2) improve their driving skills, (3) not smoke and not drink, either.

We can protect the entire society and maintain our family’s happiness by abiding by Driving morals and disciplines.

When meeting other vehicles on the merge-point at night, you are
required to: (1) turn on distant light, (2) turn on near light, (3) turn off lights and yield.

Near light is the low beams.

If drivers speed up, they will be cited in accordance with which of the
following requirement? (1) at least every 4 minutes of speeding up or
the vehicles pass through at least 1 intersection, (2) at least every 5
minutes of speeding up or the vehicles pass through at least 1
intersection, (3) at least 6km after the first citation is issued or at least
every 6 minutes of speeding up or the vehicles pass through at least 1
intersection. The foregoing requirement is not applicable to the tunnels
if vehicles are speeding up therein.

This is talking about the cameras at intersections and next to the road. You are timed and photographed if you are above the speed limit. You can be issued a ticket if after 5 minutes you pass though another inersection and you’re still speeding. You can get a second ticket.

Under which of the following circumstances are drives required to
attend the traffic safety lectures? (1) parking violation, (2) drivers forget
to have their driver’s licences with them, (3) snaki-driving.

Snaki-driving means weaving or swerving between lanes. Or changing lanes repeatedly to pass slower vehicles.

When vehicles are moving at high speed, which of the following is true
about driver’s visions: (1) cannot adapt to the situation definitely, (2)
decrease due to the high speed, (3) increase.

Your vision is unchanged but you travel farther in your reaction time. So you need to be able to see further to be as safe at lower speeds. The correct answer is decrease due to the high speed.

Accidents happen at the turn, because drivers: (1) ignore the blind spots
only, (2) ignore the inner wheel difference only, (3) ignore both the
blind spots and the inner wheel difference.

Inner wheel difference is the turning radius of the vehicle.

Which of the following is eligible for citation by using the movable
scientific instruments? (1) driving on road are required toer, (2) failure to maintain a safety distance, (3) both statements are true.

Toer is not an English word as far as I know.

I didn’t retype these questions I only copied and pasted. Many, many questions have spelling errors. The problem is that the test has been translated by software not by an English speaker; consequently, the people who review it don’t realize that they are using phrases completely foreign to an English speaker. In Chinese the words translated as near light would be easily recognized as the low beams, but in English it isn’t as obvious.

I’m not using this to say, “Look how stupid this is.” I’m using it to demonstrate the kinds of difficulties the language barrier creates. This is one aspect of culture shock. You’re not quite able to communicate easily.

Other posts you may be interested in:

Scootering in Taiwan:  New Helmet Technology
Cultural Unawareness:  Ticked Off in Taiwan

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