Tainan to launch audio guide services for its temples in English

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Tainan Grand Matsu Temple (Photo courtesy of CNA, 2018.4.11)

Taipei, April 10 (CNA) Audio guide services in English will be launched in July at nine temples in Tainan, the city’s Office of English as the Second Official Language said Tuesday.

The office and the city’s Civil Affairs Bureau teamed up to foster an English-friendly environment at the nine temples on a trial basis last year, putting up bilingual signs in English and Chinese that describe temple features and give instructions on drawing lots and casting divination blocks, office chief Lee Hsien-wei (李賢衛) said.

The trial program received a warmer than expected response from international visitors and the temples, Lee said.

Building on last year’s initiative, the office this year has hired English-language writers to visit Tainan for a week to collect information on the temples’ histories and architectural characteristics to create the content for the audio guides, Lee said.

That content will then be voiced, and the city hopes the service will be ready by July. Visitors to a temple will be able to listen to the 30-minute audio tour after scanning the QR code of that particular temple, Lee said.

The writers include a writer from Lonely Planet, the largest travel guide book publisher in the world, an Australian blogger, an English teacher and a radio host.

Each of them will be accompanied by an English-speaking tour guide knowledgeable about temple culture and history during their seven-day stay in the city, according to the office.

(By Yang Sz-ruei and Evelyn Kao)