Taiwan, also known as Formosa or “Ilha Formosa” in Portuguese, is a beautiful island country in East Asia. It is known for its picturesque scenery, delicious food, and friendly people. But when was Taiwan called Formosa, and why?
Formosa is a name that was given to Taiwan by Portuguese explorers who arrived on the island in the 16th century. The name “Formosa” means “beautiful” in Portuguese and was used to describe the island’s natural beauty. The Portuguese were the first Europeans to establish contact with Taiwan, which they named “Ilha Formosa” (beautiful island) due to its stunning landscapes.
However, the name did not gain widespread use until the 17th century when Dutch traders established a trading post on the island and began referring to it as “Formosa.” During this time, the Dutch were involved in various conflicts with the Spanish over the island’s resources, including sulfur and camphor.
In the 19th century, Taiwan was ruled by the Qing Dynasty of China. The name “Formosa” was not commonly used by the Chinese, who referred to the island as “Taiwan.” However, the name continued to be used by Western explorers and traders who continued to visit the island.
In 1895, Taiwan was ceded to Japan after the First Sino-Japanese War. The Japanese administration officially adopted the name “Formosa” for the island and continued to use it until the end of World War II. After the war, Taiwan was returned to China, and the name “Taiwan” was restored.
Today, both names are used interchangeably to refer to the island. However, the name “Formosa” is still commonly used in some contexts, such as in the names of companies and products that originated from Taiwan. Moreover, the name “Ilha Formosa” is still used by some Portuguese speakers when referring to Taiwan.
Extra : How to say “Formosa” in Chinese?
To say “Formosa” in Chinese, there are two options: a phonetic translation or a literal translation. The phonetic translation is “福爾摩沙” (ㄈㄨˊ ㄦˇ ㄇㄛˊ ㄕㄚ), while the literal translation is “美麗島” (ㄇㄟˇ ㄌㄧˋ ㄉㄠˇ), which means “beautiful island.”
|福爾摩沙||ㄈㄨˊ ㄦˇ ㄇㄛˊ ㄕㄚ||fú ěr mó shā|
|美麗島||ㄇㄟˇ ㄌㄧˋ ㄉㄠˇ||měi lì dǎo|