Learn a few Tsou words before you visit Alishan and you’ll definitely raise a few smiles, though most Tsou today speak Chinese as their first language. The most commonly used word is aveoveoyu (sounds like “aview-view-you”), literally “my heart is happy” and used both as a general greeting and also for “thank you”. Similarly, yokioasu (“yoki-a-soo”) means “good health” or “good luck” and is often used when saying goodbye. Other words you might be able to use are mafe (“ma-fey”; delicious) and emi (“emee”; millet wine).

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