The Chinese text below was taken from the textbook published by Kang Shuan 康軒文教事業.
一 One: 台灣在哪裡 Where Taiwan Is
臺灣是我們生活的舞臺, 藉由認識臺灣的範圍及地理位置, 可以了解我們生活的地方及鄰近的國家. 透過經度和緯度的標示, 則更能說明臺灣的位置. Taiwan is the stage on which the events of our lives occur. From a knowledge of Taiwan's size and geographical position, we can understand the place we live in, and also the countries near us. After learning about how latitude and longitude are determined we can better explain Taiwan's position.
1: 臺灣我的家 Taiwan, My Home
臺灣的範圍與形狀 Taiwan's Size and Shape
臺灣地區包括臺灣本島, 澎湖群島, 金門, 馬祖, 南沙與東沙群島, 釣魚臺列嶼, 以及綠島, 蘭嶼, 琉球嶼 (小琉球) 等周邊大小島嶼, 總面積約三萬六千平方公里. Taiwan's land area includes the main island, the Penghu islands, Jinmen, Matsu, the Spratly and Dongsha Islands*, the islands near Diaoyutai, Green Island, Orchid Island (Lanyu), the island of Liou Chiou (Little Liou Chiou)**, and many other island of varying sizes. It's total area is 36,000 square kilometers.
臺灣本島是一個南北長, 東西窄的島嶼, 直的看, 形狀像一顆甘薯; 橫的看, 形狀像一條鯨魚. Taiwan's main island is longer from north to south, and shorter from east to west. Looking at it from top to bottom, it looks like a sweet potato. Looking at it from left to right, it looks like a whale.
臺灣的鄰國與鄰海 Oceans and Countries Near Taiwan
臺灣四面環海, 東邊是地球最大的海洋 -- 太平洋, 南邊以巴士海峽和菲律賓為鄰; 西邊隔著臺灣海峽和中國大陸相望; 北邊越過東海, 有日本, 南韓 (韓國) 等鄰近國家. Taiwan is surrounded on all sides by the sea. To the east there is the world's largest ocean, the Pacific. To the south there is the Luzon Strait and the Philippines. To the east Taiwan is separated from Mainland China by the Taiwan Strait. To the north, beyond the East China Sea, there is Japan, South Korea, and other nearby countries.***
優越的地理位置 An Important Geographical Position
臺灣位居亞洲東部和太平洋的交界, 地處日本和東南亞的中點. 無論是從亞洲大陸進出太平洋, 或在海上南來北往, 都會經過臺灣, 交通位置相當重要. Taiwan is in East Asia, at the edge of the Pacific Ocean. It lies between Japan and Southeast Asia. Regardless of whether you are going from the Asian landmass or the Pacific Ocean, or from the north or south over the sea, you will always pass by Taiwan. This makes it an important transportation hub.
受地理位置的影響, 自古以來臺灣居民就和各地往來密切. 各種魚類常經過臺灣四周海域, 候鳥南北遷徙時, 也常以臺灣為休息站或過冬的地方. 因此臺灣的文化多元, 種植物種類繁多, 是一座生機盎然的美麗之島. As befits its geographical position, Taiwan's peoples have come here from many different places. Many types of fish pass through the seas around Taiwan, and birds migrating from south to north use Taiwan as a rest stop or a wintering ground. For these reasons Taiwan has a very diverse culture, in which many types of crops are cultivated. It is an island full of beauty and vitality.****
2: 臺灣的經度與緯度 Taiwan's Longitude and Latitude
經緯線 Lines of Longitude and Latitude
在地球儀上, 可以看見許多縱橫交錯的線, 從北極連接到南極的線稱為經線, 每一條經線都有 一個度數, 稱為經度. On a globe you can see many lines crossing over each other. The lines going from the north pole to the south pole are called lines of longitude. Each line of longitude has a numbers along its length, and these are called longitudes.
將地球從中間橫切的線稱為赤道, 和赤道平行的線稱為緯線, 每一條緯線都有一個度數, 稱為緯度. The line dividing the globe in half is called the equator. The lines parallel to the equator are called lines of latitude. Each line of latitude has numbers along its length, and these are called latitudes.
認識經度 Knowing Longitude
世界各國將通過英國倫敦格林威治天文臺的經線訂為0度經線, 以東稱為東半球, 以西稱為西半球. 東半球的經度稱為東經, 西半球的經度稱為西經. 東經和西經各有180度. 國際上通常以E表示東經, W表示西經. Every country in the world agrees that the meridian passing through London's Greenwich Observatory is 0 degrees longitude. To the east [of this line] is the eastern hemisphere, and to the west [of this line] is the western hemisphere. The lines of longitude within the eastern hemisphere are called "eastern," and the lines of longitude within the western hemisphere are called "western." Both the eastern and western hemispheres are divided into 180 degrees. The letter "E" is used internationally to signify eastern lines of longitude, and the letter "W" is used to signify western lines of longitude.*****
認識緯度 Knowing Latitude
赤道為0度緯線. 赤道以北稱為北半球, 赤道以南稱為南半球. 北半球的緯度稱為北緯, 南半球的緯度稱為南緯, 北緯和南緯各有90度. 國際上通常以N表示北緯, S表示南緯. The equator is at 0 degrees latitude. North of the equator is the northern hemisphere, and south of the equator is the southern hemisphere. Lines of latitude north of the equator are called "northern," and lines south of the equator are called "southern." Both the northern and southern hemispheres are divided into 90 degrees. The letter "N" is used internationally to signify northern lines of latitude, and the letter "S" is used to signify southern lines of latitude.
臺灣的經緯度 Taiwan's Longitude and Latitude
利用經緯度, 可以明確標示出地球上每一個地點的位置. 臺灣本島大約介於北緯22度至25度, 東經120度至122度之間. Using lines of longitude and latitude, we can determine the location of any place on Earth. Taiwan's main island lies approximately between 22 and 25 degrees north latitude, and between 120 and 122 degrees east longitude.
緯度與氣候的關係 Latitude and Weather
地表各地的氣候, 可從緯度的高低來了解. 大致來說, 緯度愈高的地方, 氣候愈寒冷; 緯度愈低的地方, 氣候愈炎熱. The Earth's climate can be understood using lines of latitude. Generally speaking, the higher the degree of latitude, the colder the weather is. The lower the degree of latitude, the hotter the weather is.
臺灣島的氣候, 可以北回歸線為界. 北回歸線以北的地區, 緯度較高, 屬於副熱帶氣候; 以南的地區, 緯度較低, 屬於熱帶氣候. The weather in Taiwan can be divided along the Tropic of Cancer. Areas north of the Tropic of Cancer lie at a higher latitude, and are sub-tropical. Areas south of the Tropic of Cancer lie at a lower latitude, and are tropical.
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*I had to look these islands up on Wikipedia. The Nansha Islands are a series of coral atolls closer to Vietnam, and are considered part of the Spratly Island chain. The Dongsha Islands are even further away, not far from Malaysia. Taiwan's claim over both island chains is disputed, and both are occupied by the military and inaccessible to the public. Unless, perhaps, you are a fisherman.
**Liou Chou is off the coast of Pingtung. You can take a ferry there from Taiwan's main island. "Liou Chou" (琉球) is, by the way, the Chinese name for Okinawa. People usually add the "Little" to its name to distinguish it from the island in Japan.
***Japan has a few islands that are even closer than that. Yaeyama District (Okinawa), directly east of Yilan, is not far away at all.
****As is oft overstated, Taiwan's former name "Formosa" or "Ilha Formosa" means "the beautiful island" in Portuguese.
*****This part of the book makes more sense in Chinese.