How the Taiwanese Address System Works

PostOfficeBoxesTaiwanMailing letters is admittedly a long and arduous process, what with the fancy emails and instant messaging these days, but it’s still quite a necessary part of life abroad! In this post we will be looking at the (relatively) easy addressing system in Taiwan!

They follow a pretty simple format, and like all Chinese sentences, numbers, etc., it goes from larger units to smaller units. Addresses in Taiwan go something like this:

1. Start with the larger area: Municipality or County;

  • Municipalities use 市 (shì​)
  • Counties use 縣 (xiàn)

2. Move on to the next smaller unit:

  • Larger cities have districts 區 (qū)
  • There’s even small administrative units as well:
    鎮 (zhèn) Urban townships
    鄉 (xiāng) Rural townships
    里 (lǐ) Rural villages
    村 (cūn) rural villages
    鄰 (lín) Neighborhoods

3. From there, you move down to the specific streets and numbers, in order from larger to smaller (they also follow this order in the address):

  • 路 (lù) Road / 街 (jiē) Street
  • 段 (duàn) Section
  • 巷 (xiàng) Lane
  • 弄 (lòng) Alley
  • 號 (hào) No.
  • 樓 (lóu) Floor
  • Sometimes this is followed up by 之[number] for a specific “room” or apartment.

Let’s look at an example!



Which can be then broken down to:

10369 (postal code)

台北市 (municipality)

大同區 (district)

大龍街 (street)

275號 (number)

林莠琪 (name of the person receiving the letter)

(used to indicate “to”; literally “receive”)

Luckily the address system is pretty straightforward in Taiwan. Once you get that pattern down it’s actually super easy to translate it back to English:

Lin Youqi

No. 275, Dalong Street, Datong District

Taipei City 10369

Just reverse the structure to reflect the English way of going from the smaller unit to the larger unit.

Hope this guide will come in handy for the next letter you have to write!

For a little bit more on the administrative divisions in Taiwan, check out this article from the lovely folks at Wikipedia! And if you really love streets, here’s a list of the major roads in Taipei City, also from Wikipedia (Chinese only).

Once you have this down, check out how to address an envelope in Taiwan!

Quick Vocab: App Updates

Just a quick little post about some app related Chinese!


修正iOS 5相容性問題:

Corrected iOS5 compatibility issues.

修正(xiū​zhèng​): to revise / to amend / fix

相容 (xiāng​róng​xìng): compatibility

Made up of:
相容 (xiāng​róng): compatible
性 (xìng): -ity

問題 (wèn​tí​): problem / issue


Fixed some known bugs.

修正(xiū​zhèng​): to revise / to amend / fix

部分 (bù​fen​): part
已知 (yǐ​zhī​): known

部分已知bug is a pretty set phrase when talking about fixing known bugs, you can find a lot of results with a quick Google search.

The Piano Guys Go to China (and teach us something about Yin and Yang)

The Piano Guys have quickly become one of my favorite YouTube sensations. And about a year ago they somehow managed to get a piano on to the Great Wall of China and make this video. It’s amazing, take a look:

This video first of all does a great job incorporating a few classical Chinese instruments into the music, but also showcases the Daoist concept of Yin and Yang (陰陽; yīnyáng)–darkness and light.



The outfits they wear play into this concept as well: one with a white shirt and black pants; the other wearing the opposite. You could even argue the piano and the cello going against and with each other is also another way of incorporating this element into their music.

The video was recorded at the 黃崖關 (“Yellow Cliff Pass“;  Huángyáguān) portion of the Great Wall. The story behind making the video is pretty interesting, too, which you can read on their website here.

Follow the Piano Guys:






Driverless Car

The future, today! According this article from the New York Times, driver-less cars could change the shape of cities in the future. From the title:


The most exciting vocabulary bit is driver-less car in Chinese, which is 無人駕駛汽車:

無人駕駛 (wúrénjiàshǐ): unmanned

(literally no [無] person [人] drive [駕駛])

汽車 (qìchē): car

As for the rest of the title:


  • 將 (jiāng): will
  • 怎樣 (zěn​yàng): how
  • 改變 (gǎi​biàn): change
  • 未來 (wèi​lái): future
  • 城市 (chéng​shì): city
  • 生活 (shēng​huó): life

So the title is literally “driver-less cars will how change future city life”, or “How will driver-less cars change future city life?” Luckily Chinese is pretty straightforward!

Despite all this, I doubt we’ll be getting tour rides around Isla Nublar any time soon!


Don’t Let Me Be Your April Fool

It’s April Fool’s Day and in addition to see what Google and others are doing to celebrate, I came across this amazing image:



It says:



Two holidays are mentioned, April Fool’s Day and Tomb Sweeping Day:

愚人節 (yú​rén​jié): April Fool’s Day

清明節 (Qīng​míng​jié): tomb-sweeping day; celebration for the dead

The whole phrase roughly translates to: “Whoever lets me celebrate April Fool’s Day (plays me a fool), then I’ll let them celebrate Tomb Sweeping Day (I’ll be sweeping their tomb)”.

It’s so cheeky I love it!

Some other useful vocab from the phrases above:

誰 (shéi): who; whoever

讓 (ràng): allows; lets

過 (guò): pass (can also be used to be celebrate a holiday)

就 (jiù): “…then..”

Guess we know who not to play pranks on this year!


McDonald’s Taiwan Goes to Japan

Okay so I have a guilty pleasure:

Whenever McDonald’s comes out with a new and unique burger in Taiwan, I can’t help myself but go and try it.

Mostly because, really, you’ll never get to see these things stateside.

This time around, McDonald’s has decided to go to Japan with a tonkatsu-esque pork burger and a teriyaki marinated beef burger.

Let’s take a look!

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You Can Read Academic Japanese

Oftentimes reading academic articles in a foreign language can be a rather intimidating task, but this may come as a surprise: reading academic articles in Japanese is actually pretty easy.

Well, okay it does have two little prerequisites: a decent familiarity with Chinese characters and a basic understanding of Japanese grammar. This is nothing a little Remember the Kanji or some time over at The Japanese Pages Fast Track Grammar can’t fix!

Now let’s take a look at what makes reading academic Japanese so easy.

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