Formation of numerals and, in particular, years is akin to the Japanese system, so use it as a reference. The symbols are written and read from right to left. This rule notwithstanding, Taiwanese coins minted in 2010, as well as those to be issued in 2011, have their inscriptions written from left to right, i.e. in the European manner:
Right-to-left notation. Yr. 72 (1983)
Left-to-right notation. Yr. 99 (2010)
Some symbols on the Taiwanese coins
The symbol «year» is identical to the Japanese way of writing («年»). And this is what the Taiwanese «Yuan» symbol looks like:
You can easily recognize Taiwanese coins if you see the following flower image on them:
Rules of date conversion
To get the AD date you should add 1911 years to the Taiwanese date specified on the coin. October 10th, 1911 AD is the date when the Republic of China (aka Taiwan) gained independence. Don’t confuse this country with the People's Republic of China, widely referred to as China!
Taiwan, or the Republic of China, is written hieroglyphically like this: 中華民國, whereas China, or the People's Republic of China (PRC), is specified as follows: 中華人民共和國. So you can distinguish between these two countries by comparing their names in hieroglyphic notation.
This calendar starting in 1911 is called the Minguo calendar and is used for official purposes. As you might have gathered, 2011 AD corresponds to the year 100 of that system. One of the side effects of this calendar is the so-called «Y1C problem» which may cause problems for any computer program that only treats the year as a two-digit value.
The new 10-dollar (or 10-yuan) coin officially introduced into circulation on January 11, 2011 AD, has the following date inscription: 中華民國 100 年.
This is how this coin looks (source picture was taken from worldcoinnews.blogspot.com):
Here is an example of date conversion (keep in mind that the symbol should be processed from right to left):
年二十七 = (7×10 + 2) + 1911 = 1983.
Taiwan monetary units
The New Taiwan dollar, or simply Taiwan dollar, is the official currency of Taiwan. Bank notes of 100 to 2,000 dollars are now in circulation. The following coins have also been issued: 1, 5, 10 and 50 dollars. The half-dollar coin is rare because of its low value, while the 20-dollar coin is rare because of the government's lack of willingness to promote it.
In common usage, the dollar unit is typically referred to as a yuan (the corresponding character placed on coins is translated and spelled in that way).
Information about recent updates of the converter.
Update @October 26, 2010: direct conversion now handles correctly both left-to-right and right-to-left date input.
Updates @January 2, 2011: direct conversion now handles correctly Taiwanese years multiple of 10 (like the Munguo year 70, i.e. 1981 AD, etc). The 100th year and the years exceeding 100 are now being processed correctly as well.
Update @January 3, 2011: you can now enter the Minguo date in the direct conversion tab using Arabic numerals. This new feature was implemented because the Taiwanese authorities announced that from 2011 AD all the Minguo dates would be written using common (Arabic) digits. Please pay attention to the following: you cannot use both hieroglyphic and Arabic digits in one date inscription (but you still may use the «year» symbol). Thus, you can use only one digit notation at a time.
Update @May 13, 2012: the new instruction was written, that refers to the coins of Taiwan that bear a minting year greater than Minguo 99.
Update @October 9, 2013: The country's title has been changed in the main menu, since I've received the following e-mail from K. Parker (firstname.lastname@example.org): “I like your tool for converting Taiwanese coin dates into the Western calendar. It's quite informative and well done. I wanted to point out a quick correction though. You have Taiwan (former ‘Republic of China’) at the top, but actually Taiwan is still the Republic of China. Taiwan is one name, but the official name is the Republic of China, like how South Korea is the Republic of Korea and North Korea is formally the Democratic People's Republic of Korea or China is the People's Republic of China. Your inscription would be more accurate if you changed it to (a.k.a. ‘Republic of China’)”.