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39degN

an article talking about simplified and traditional chinese

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Guest suowei

汉字是像形文字,太过简化就会影响汉字表意和美观,这恐怕是为什么大陆二版简化字最后没有通行的原因之一。

现在流行于港台的繁体字的主要缺点是:笔画太繁,影响书写、阅读速度,使年轻一辈和外国人失去学汉字的兴趣。

汉字版本不一的影响有:

(1)影响中文软件的国际通行的实现-互联网

(2)影响两岸三地文化交流-出版业,报业

我觉得汉字的版本统一的主要障碍是政治和意识形态的对立,主要是大陆和台湾。这一点新加坡政府做得很好,他们抛弃政治因素的限制,断然在全国采用一版简体字,避免了不必要的麻烦。

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skylee
现在流行于港台的繁体字的主要缺点是:笔画太繁,影响书写、阅读速度,使年轻一辈和外国人失去学汉字的兴趣。

Not necessarily.

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nnt

From the above link:

太平天國最有名的字是將「國」的「或」改成「王」,不過太平天國滅亡後,文字簡化運動也停止

The simplified word with 「王」inside exists in KangXi dictionary, so must have appeared one hundred and twenty years at least before the TaiPing. Or was it added in an edition of the Kangxi dictionary after the TaiPing? Or perhaps the Taiping just made an existing word more popular?

Practically, one must know both simplified and Traditional characters. It has been noted, for example, that in the recent mainland TV series "The Three Kingdoms", traditional characters were used in the armies flags...

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39degN

i know more than 9/10 common traditional charactors.

i m afraid some of them even HK people dont know it(i mean the ancient style, such as 篆书, and 隶书, same charactor sometimes had 3 or even more different ways to write in 篆书 OR 隶书)

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Guest suowei

SkyLee,

以我在新加坡辅导过众多的孩子和大人来讲,可以肯定地讲100%的人厌烦学繁体字,就是因为笔画太繁,影响书写、阅读速度。当然,我也不否认有些人喜欢繁体字,不过是少数人吧,如果和全球具备书写能力华人的总人数来比。

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skylee

對, 使用繁體字的不過是七百萬左右的香港人和一千多萬的台灣人, 再加上一些海外華僑. 對比起新加坡的經驗和全球華人, 可說是微不足道. 而且他們有些人心裡可能也很討厭繁體字, 渴慕簡體字. 8)

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39degN

suowei,

以我对新加坡的印象来看,可以不肯定地讲甚至还有50%的人讨厌学中文,就是因为麻烦,还跟不上形势,当然我也不否认有些人喜欢中文,还打算到中国捞一把,不过是少数人吧,如果跟新加坡总人口比的话。

:tong just kidding, dont take it seriously. :lol:

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Guest suowei

39degN,

新加坡实行双语政策,几乎是强迫性的,没有选择的。语言能力原本因人而异,不过,如果教育政策如是,就没有选择了。

新加坡政府是强调华文的经济价值,也就是强调学华文的好处。你也知道,在一个功利一些的地方,没有好处的事,人们是不会趋之若鹜地去做的。悲哀呀!

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eric

It's true that having many systems influences software, but that's the whole difficulty of internationalizing things anyway.

For most software, it looks like developers have chosen to have totally separate systems for each area. For zh_TW, they use traditional characters, and a somewhat different set of words than zh_CN. It's not simply a matter of converting each character. The developers are simply treating them as separate languages or locales.

The major problem has been in International Domain Names. They talked about it for over a year and finally came up with some rules, but the problem hasn't really been solved gracefully. What's the point anyway, I don't even _want_ to use anything but english for domain names myself.

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Ian_Lee

Actually the people that use traditional script number much more than the 7 million people in HK, half million people in Macau and 23 million people in Taiwan.

The 1, 945 Kanji that is officially used in Japan based mostly on the traditional script even though some of them are self-invented and some of them are simplified (not necessarily in the same simplified script as Mainland's).

Also the Hanmun script that Koreans learn is also based on the traditional script.

Many Japanese tourists come to Hong Kong can get around easily by themselves because they understand the script but they have trouble in Mainland cities because the script is way different.

For the sake of cultural exchange with other East Asian countries, Beijing should consider revive the use of at least both scripts.

So the people that use traditional script should be 7 million + half million + 23 million + 110 million + 55 million.

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39degN
For the sake of cultural exchange with other East Asian countries, Beijing should consider revive the use of at least both scripts.

yeah, agree, at least every new vocabulary should have a tradtional counterpart beside in the textbook, even though students dont have to master them all.

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Ian_Lee

I think the reasons put forth by some posters on why Taiwan and HK preserve the traditional script has been simplified.

Why do the scholars in Taiwan and HK preserve the traditional script?

Because the simplified script has been identified as a tool to destroy traditional Chinese culture in the early era of PRC. Undeniably the waves of simplification came simultaneously with the political movements of "Anti-rightist" and "Cultural Revolution". Even though script simplication did not aim to destroy Chinese culture as these two campaigns intended, more or less it was identified overseas to serve the same purpose.

So in overseas Chinese community (including HK & Taiwan), until '90s the simplification process was seen as a tool of cultural destruction.

Because there is the deep involvement of missionary zeal of cultural preservation, the debate on the script always goes irrational.

But in the case of Singapore, they just regard Chinese language as a tool of making money. Chinese culture is none of their concern in the mind of their government and most citizens.

Even if Chinese language is latinized, they won't mind.

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eric

Somehow I doubt the PRC is going to go back to a system involving traditional characters. With all the pinyin on road signs and such, it looks more likely that they will gradually adopt romanization.

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sunyata

I can see why a lot of Chinese people still look down upon simplified characters, but the fact that they are easier to learn, write, read (as suowei pointed out) is beyond argument.

Simplification originally might have included the goal of destroying the old "feudal" order and its culture, but that was probably not the only goal. Otherwise, the PRC would have long ago adopted romanization or some completely new alphabet to securely erase all traces of "Chinese culture", as represented in traditional characters. Instead, they started the simplification campaign. Did they destroy Chinese culture? If yes, how? Mainlanders can still study traditional characters, if they want (ex.: 39degN :wink: ). Nobody gets put in jail for doing calligraphy or reading texts in traditional characters.

Look at Taiwan and HK. Yeah, they still use traditional characters, but so what? Both places are much more westernized than mainland China. I would even argue that it is primarily due to the influence of HK and Taiwan that the mainland is very steadily becoming westernized.

Finally, the simplification campaign was not just some crazy and irrational way of making characters look as simple as possible. It was, for the most part, a fairly well-thought-out project that involved linguists and other experts, not just some illiterate peasants from 黑龙江。

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eric

Is there any evidence that shows that they are easier to read, write and learn?

Are you saying that the literacy level in Taiwan and HK is lower than the literacy level of PRC?

I don't think all of those assumptions are fair. Certainly it's harder to write traditional characters because there are more lines, but I don't think that's a large factor especially now that most people can use computers to write publications.

In terms of reading, is there any evidence that shows that reading traditional characters is harder than reading simplified ones? In some cases I would even beg to differ; reading some traditional characters is probably easier because they look less similar to other characters.

At the same time, I cannot say whether or not I know simplification to be bad. It would be interesting to see some documentation on the drawbacks of the PRC switching to the simplified system. Did they just translate all those old books, or are people supposed to forget about some of that history?

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Ian_Lee
现在流行于港台的繁体字的主要缺点是:笔画太繁,影响书写、阅读速度,使年轻一辈和外国人失去学汉字的兴趣。

I would also say such opinion is highly subjective.

As I wrote in another topic, there is a "simplified script sydrome" that is common among traditional script users. After reading simplified script for over 15 minutes, I suffer dizziness and even headache.

Regarding the deficiencies of simplified script -- I have written it many times previously:

(1) non-systemmatic;

(2) only applies to Mandarin but causes confusion in other dialects;

(3) easy to cause confusion in reading;

(4) not really simplified since so many multiple stroke characters remains intact;

(5) aesthetically inferior.

影响中文软件的国际通行的实现-互联网

Aren't there enough Chinese software in both scripts?

影响两岸三地文化交流-出版业,报业

Do you mean if Apple Daily or Liberty Times use simplified script, then they are allowed to circulate in Mainland China?

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sunyata

(1) Is there any evidence that shows that they are easier to read, write and learn?

(2) Are you saying that the literacy level in Taiwan and HK is lower than the literacy level of PRC?

(3) I don't think all of those assumptions are fair. Certainly it's harder to write traditional characters because there are more lines, but I don't think that's a large factor especially now that most people can use computers to write publications.

(4) In terms of reading, is there any evidence that shows that reading traditional characters is harder than reading simplified ones? In some cases I would even beg to differ; reading some traditional characters is probably easier because they look less similar to other characters.

(5) At the same time, I cannot say whether or not I know simplification to be bad. It would be interesting to see some documentation on the drawbacks of the PRC switching to the simplified system. Did they just translate all those old books, or are people supposed to forget about some of that history?

(1) Ok, maybe I used the wrong word - "easier." Perhaps I meant faster. It is faster to write simplified characters (by hand). Due to the reduced number of radicals and the combining of several different characters into one, I would say simplified characters are easier to read - in a sense that you can learn to recognize and distinguish simplified characters faster.

(2) No, I am not saying that (where did you get that idea??), but simplifictaion has definitely improved literacy rates in mainland China, which shows that it is at least somewhat effective.

(3) Writing on the computer is a different matter. But even when using a computer, i think typing in simplified characters is somewhat easier. Why? Fewer strokes, fewer radicals, fewer characters - easier to recognize and distinguish characters, especially when they are all in small font and you can't see all the strokes distinctly. (I am talking about using pinyin as an input method)

(4) Again, if the font is big and the reader is well educated - i suppose there is not much difference. However, when the font is smaller, i would argue that simplified characters would be easier to read.

(5) Translate? :conf If you mean "translating" from classical Chinese into modern vernacular, yeah, there are many adaptations of ancient writings into modern Chinese. However, this is a different issue. Simply because someone learned traditional characters doesn't necessarily mean that person will be better at understanding classical texts, than someone who learned using simplified characters.

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Ian_Lee
the PRC would have long ago adopted romanization or some completely new alphabet to securely erase all traces of "Chinese culture",

They attempted but aborted. Complete romanization was their original goal.

Did they destroy Chinese culture? If yes, how?

Yes. They had actually and exactly done that during the Cultural Revolution. How come you don't know it?

Look at Taiwan and HK. Yeah, they still use traditional characters, but so what? Both places are much more westernized than mainland China.

Hmmm.....But Mainland China is more "Japanized". Recently a scandal is brewing in Mainland because a restaurant is holding nyotai mori -- sushi served on a naked female body -- to demonstrate Japanese culture. I guess HK and Taiwan are far less "Japanized" on this aspect.

Anyway, westernization is better than Japanization IMHO.

a fairly well-thought-out project that involved linguists and other experts,

The smart linguistic and experts have long fled to Taiwan and HK in late '40s. What left behind in Mainland in '50s were just parrots.

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skylee

Ian, I didn't really mean what I wrote in Chinese in the previous post. 8)

I don't agree with suowei's view, especially that part about traditional script being difficult for foreigners to learn (I mean who cares).

I LOVE traditional script. But this topic has been discussed before. I think each script has its own merits. When one knows one script, one will eventually be able to read the other if he/she is willing (writing is a bit more difficult, though). And unless there is very dire need for standardisation, I think we can live happily as it is for the time being. 8)

The smart linguistic and experts have long fled to Taiwan and HK in late '40s. What left behind in Mainland in '50s were just parrots.

:shock:

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