US student aims to become Taiwanese soap opera actor

TAIPEI (The China Post) — An American student, who recently made headlines in Taiwan for taking the highest level of the Taiwanese-language, test has unveiled plans to audition for local Taiwanese soap operas.

Daniel Isaacson told The China Post spoke about how he came to accomplish this almost unheard of feat, as many local citizens don’t understand, let alone speak, read and write the Taiwanese language.

The 25-year-old came to Taiwan after graduating from college. Having learned Chinese as a second language during his high school and university years, he wanted to continue practicing the language and enrolled in the Department of Political Science at the National Taiwan University (NTU) to obtain a master’s degree.

Initially, Isaacson wanted to learn Taiwanese for no other reason than to be able to have conversations with locals who spoke the dialect, including aunties at the supermarket or restaurant owners.

After he got the hang of it, Isaacson began taking more advanced classes and practiced with Taiwanese-speaking citizens, who he credited for always helping him adjust his pronunciations to make them more accurate.

However, Isaacson revealed that though there are plenty of opportunities to practice his Taiwanese, he has had difficulty in finding Taiwanese content that is interesting or engaging to him in the media, as many continuously revolve around the “importance” of the language.

One exception was Taiwanese soap operas playing at 8 p.m. every night. To prove how much he enjoys them, Isaacson filmed a short audition video in the hopes of getting the chance to nab a part in the shows.