Chinese character for 'turn over' voted most representative for Taiwan in 2018

The character is said to represent a year of upheavals and reversals, both domestically, and internationally


TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The results are in for an online contest to determine the most representative Chinese character for Taiwan in 2018 (台灣 2018 代表字大選).

Among 53 submissions selected as possible candidates for the country's most representative character for the year, the character 翻 (fan), meaning “turn over” or “flip,” received 10,929 votes out of 57,748 in the online survey, making it the most popular choice.

The character was submitted by a judge in the Taichung District Court, Chang Sheng-hsing (張升星), reports Now News.

His reasoning was that 2018 has been a year of upheaval, both domestically and internationally, with new laws overturning the old, world powers overturning international order and multilateral trade. Likewise, the recent nine-in-one elections and public referendums presenting a political turn over in Taiwan.

The contest has been held since 2008, with the news network United Daily News, inviting celebrities, public officials, and influential people to submit their selections for characters that best represent the national experience, or sentiment in a given year.

Below are the characters that were selected for each year since the contest began.

2008 luan -- mess, chaos
2009 pan -- hope, longing
2010 dan -- mild
2011 zan -- praiseworthy
2012 you -- concern
2013 jia -- false
2014 hei -- black
2015 huan -- exchange
2016 ku -- hardship
2017 mang -- hazy, indistinct

The second place character in the contest with 7, 742 votes was the character xing 醒, which means “awake” or “to awaken.” It was submitted by the former Premier of Taiwan, Chang San-cheng (張善政), which he suggested represented the Taiwanese people “awakening” to a number of important issues and challenges facing the country.

The third place character, similar to the winner, was zhuan 轉,which means to “turn” or “shift,” reports Now News.