So, you recently moved to Taiwan. After settling in, you Skyped with your mom and she told you that she desperately wants to send you a care package. The idea of receiving cookies in the mail is appealing. However, you don’t have the slightest clue how to give her your address.
Been in this jam before? This article is here to help. Below I’ll show you how to format Taiwanese postal addresses in both English and Chinese.
Taiwanese Postal Address In English
When you write a Taiwanese address in English, you write it in the same order as a Western-style address, starting with the smallest detail and proceeding to the largest.
- To [Name Here]
- Floor (followed by “F”)
- # or No.
- Street name
- City or County
- Postal code (The three digit postal code is all you need — more on that below.)
- Taiwan (R.O.C.)
Note that you should put a comma between each item, and also that not every address will include all eleven items. For example, the following is my address in Kaohsiung:
To: Mr. Henry Olsen
5 F, #24-4, Lane 4, Qingnianyi Road
Lingya District, Kaohsiung City 802
My address doesn’t have an alley or section, but it’s still a complete address. If you’re sending mail to a more populous area (such as Taipei), the address will probably be a little more information dense.
Taiwanese Postal Address in Chinese
To write your address in Chinese, just reverse the order of the eleven items as follows:
Mr. Henry Olsen
(This address should look exactly the same as the one on the address label in the header photo. If you see gibberish instead, it means your system isn’t configured to handle Chinese fonts. To fix this, I suggest you swing over to Pinyin Joe’s website and take a look at his very helpful guides.)
One thing I should mention — technically in a Chinese-style address, you would write 台灣 (Taiwan) before the city name, rather than at the end of the address. However, since since my mom sends me mail from the U.S.A., we follow the U.S. Postal Service’s guidelines for writing the country name. You too should follow the guidelines set out by the country you’re mailing from.
Translating a Chinese address into English
If you have a basic understanding of Chinese characters, this task isn’t particularly difficult. Basically, you take the place names and use the templates above to recreate the address in English. The only tricky part is knowing the correct translation of a few nouns.
Here are the key words you will need:
- 室 Room (Rm.)
- 樓 Floor (F)
- 號 Number (No.)
- 弄 Alley (Aly.)
- 巷 Lane (Ln.)
- 段 Section (Sec.)
- 路 Road (Rd.)
- 街 Street (St.)
- 區 District (Dist.)
- 村 or 里 Village (Vil.)
- 鄉 or 鎮 Township
- 市 City
- 島 Island
- 之 If you see this character, convert it to a dash. Thus, 8之2 would be written as 8-2 in English.
You can use these to format your address into English, as shown above. If you’re having trouble figuring out the name of the district/road/city in English, I recommend Google Translate. Or you can ask a Chinese speaking friend.
A postman’s best friend: Zip Codes
Hopefully you have the matching zip code for your address, but if not, you can refer to Wikipedia’s complete list of Taiwanese zip codes, here.
Taiwanese zip codes are only three digits. Five digit zip codes also exist, but three is enough to get your mail where it needs to go!
I consulted few other online resources for guidance while writing this post. Though I think the above information to be more than enough, if you’re looking for more info feel free to check out the following sources:
How To Write a Postal Address In Chinese (English)
Taiwan English postal addresses (English)
A few more address examples (English)
Good luck sending your mail, and don’t be afraid to post in the comments if you have any questions!