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39degN

an article talking about simplified and traditional chinese

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sunyata
I wouldn't say Taiwan was a military base for the US but more of a base for KMT to regroup and perhaps figure out a way to regain the mainland. The only westerners that ever had a base on Taiwan was the Dutch. I agree Taiwan's economy was greatly influenced by foreigners. Japan, for the most part, developed Taiwan's industrial structure which facilitated its economic growth. I do not see HK and Taiwan being exposed to Western culture far earlier than the Mainland. These states all relate to each other. HK and Taiwan acted as ports for the Mainland's exposure. The Mainland also had direct exposure from Russia also.

I agree. Mainland was of course also exposed to "western" culture early on. However, Mainland managed to gain relative independence - first from the capitalist western powers - (britain, US, france, germany, etc) and later from the Soviet Union. I guess I wasn't clear about what I meant by "westernization." I don't simply mean contact with a foreign country, but the influence of western capitalistic thought, which was definitely not introduced by the Soviet Union. I guess I just don't consider communism to be identical with westernization.

Anyway, I am sorry for this lengthy digression and I apologize if I have offended anyone. Don't misunderstand - I love Chinese people, culture and language. I am completely for China's independence. It just throws me off when non-mainland Chinese bash the PRC and especially its people as if it's a totally different country and has nothing to do with their heritage. I am just advocating to give the mainlanders some luv :wink:

Most mainlanders I have met did not have anything against Chinese from HK and Taiwan, but the opinions of Chinese people from HK and Taiwan are often different.

Back to the topic ->

I think PRC simplification was not flawless, but overall it was fairly reasonable. Some characters have been replaced with simplified versions completely different from the originals, but in the majority of the characters, only the radicals and other complicated non-radical components were simplified. In other words, the structure of the characters has been maintained for the most part. What do you think?

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bathrobe
and afterall, they ain't going to use our simplified srcript? are they??
Maybe not, but there is still a stream of thought in Japan (perhaps a rather unrealistic stream of thought) that sees it as a pity that the different countries/areas using Chinese characters can't agree on one standard, which would help communication among east Asian countries. Particularly among the older generation, I think there is a sentimental attachment to the east Asian tradition.

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ala

I personally know a Japanese who very much admires the Mainland simplification for Chinese (I spent considerable time arguing against the Mainland simplification), and he really wants a unified character script for all East Asian nations. Apparently there are quite a few people like him. The Japanese deputy ambassador to China have expressed similar opinions.

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bathrobe

Just let me do a complete volte-face here:

when making the simplifications, I do think HK and tawian users/ scholars should be consulted, as long as all chinese users all over the world, but not japanese. they just borrowed our characters to serve their own language need, and they have the right to do whatever change with them, and so as we chinese users to do changes on our own script, it's none of japanese business

Personally, I tend to agree that each of these four languages (CJKV) is completely different, and yes, they should be written how their speakers want.

I find it quite fascinating the way that the Western impact of the past two centuries has so disastrously fragmented a cultural bloc that used to be united by its adherence to a single high culture -- Chinese civilisation. The language of this civilisation was Classical Chinese, which was understood by literate people in China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam.

All this is gone now. Even China has abandoned Classical Chinese and imposed northern Mandarin as a standard language, teaching it in schools and eating away at the notion that China is a language united by its script. Instead of the script (Chinese characters, which can be read differently in different dialects), the emphasis has shifted to the language (Mandarin). This is a radical change in paradigms.

So hparade's reaction is symptomatic of the new order. I don't think that it is possible to turn back the clock to the old unified order (and I personally don't care to see that happen), but it is sad, in a way, that hparade's narrow perspective has become the norm.

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ala
So hparade's reaction is symptomatic of the new order.

I don't think so.. does this sound like a new order? "Chinese characters are OUR script, we can do whatever we want to it, why consult the barbarians who borrowed from OUR script? if we changed OUR script, they should follow if they wish to remain civilized and in touch with us. If they don't, they are not Chinese and we disown them. But we should never lower ourselves into consulting with them, even if they've dutifully licked our boots." Vastly oversimplified, but that's the Old World vibes I got. China's affairs were never the business of its peripheral neighbors (until whenever they conquered China), regardless of the relations and history between them. The current change you perceive really isn't localized in the Chinese, the change is in the peripheral neighbors' decreased willingness to lick China's boots. And when it comes that China once again has the capacity to vastly overwhelm its neighbors (by patronizing them to death and beating their egos to a pulp), the old order will reveal itself again, because its ideal at least to the Chinese never really died away. The desire for China to be strong again is synonymous to that ideal and its manifestation. The Chinese have always behaved according to the old order.

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bathrobe

You seem to be in a particularly vitriolic mood today, ala. But beautifully expressed and I take your point.

I know an elderly Japanese gentleman, former chairman of a major Japanese corporation, who romantically thinks of the 18th century order in East Asia as a kind of golden age that should be restored.

When he expresses these thoughts to the Chinese, I must admit he strikes me as suffering from senile delusion.

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nnt

The Chinese have always behaved according to the old order.

That's all very true... 8).

Personnally, I think CHS is more convenient (in Pinyin IME, CHS appear first), but CHT still is the reference in case of ambiguity, and I would use Vietnamese pinyin for both to read them :wink: .

As a western sage said: the more things change, the lest things change.

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hparade

ok, I give up :wink: , the Japnese should be consulted, no matter they (and others, like korean, vietnam) have/had consulted us or not.. :roll:

but,

Maybe not, but there is still a stream of thought in Japan (perhaps a rather unrealistic stream of thought) that sees it as a pity that the different countries/areas using Chinese characters can't agree on one standard, which would help communication among east Asian countries. Particularly among the older generation, I think there is a sentimental attachment to the east Asian tradition.

maybe there's ethnic pride? maybe not.. :roll: a standard? personally, I don't think that is really that necessary.

So hparade's reaction is symptomatic of the new order. I don't think that it is possible to turn back the clock to the old unified order (and I personally don't care to see that happen), but it is sad, in a way, that hparade's narrow perspective has become the norm.

symtomatic? new order? maybe I'm still young, but maybe I'm thinking old... as someone suggested.. :roll:

"Chinese characters are OUR script, we can do whatever we want to it, why consult the barbarians who borrowed from OUR script?

Did I say that BARBARIANS word?? Is it going too far?? and it really piss me off, your extension is horrible, mr ala, maybe this is what really you're thinking of from heart? :roll:

if we changed OUR script, they should follow if they wish to remain civilized and in touch with us.

DID I say that too ?? I said they need not follow, this really shocked me :shock:

beautifully expressed

sorry, this is awful and evil extention (distortion?) :twisted::tong , I know someone is probably pissed off, but his anger has made him gone too far :conf:nono

a particularly vitriolic mood

I can feel that too, but it's ok to be "vitriolic", I've seen many people like that.. but please no evil extension :twisted::nono

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nnt

I'm just thinking about the poor "latins/romans": Have "you" consulted "them" about Pinyinization? :wink:

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Ian_Lee

I have refrained from this topic after the argument gradually changed from linguistic to political to personal.

But let me state my last words.

Westernization -- If some posters claim that capitalism is westernization while communism is not, he is only self-deceiving. Both ideas originated in Europe and Adam Smith and Karl Marx were both Europeans. If one region of China adopted the idea of Marx while the other regions of Smith, isn't it true that all these regions undergo various forms of westernization? The only difference is that one form worked but the other form failed miserably and it only realized the error recently.

Chinese characters consultation with Japan -- If PRC retains the simplified script purely on Mainland, then of course they don't need to consult with anyone. But lately there is the proposal of transforming Beijing into the wor'd's "Chinese Characters Learning Center", then I think it is a good idea to hold conference about standardizing the script by inviting scholars from other countries/regions which uses a varied script.

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sunyata

I suppose you were referring to me by "some posters" :roll:

I am not self-deceiving...I just see a big difference between communism and capitalism. I agree that both are foreign ideas to China. However, China did not adopt communism from Marx or Engels, but from the Soviet Union and Lenin, whose ideas were radically different from Marx's original theory.

Now, if you consider Soviet Union as the West or a Western country, I would disagree, because first of all it is not even really to the west of China. Additionally, Soviet Union was never considered a "western" country, as far as I know. It is certainly a foreign country, but not western, which is why I argued you can't use the term "westernization" to describe the interactions between China and the USSR.

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Ian_Lee

Sunyata:

Though it is really out of bound of this topic, I have to seriously disagree on what you wrote.

Communism is an authetic western idea. It is in fact a by-product of capitalism. When Marx wrote Communist Manifesto in 1848, his ideas targeted at industrial countries in Europe like Britain.

Ironically it was only successfully implemented in Tsarist Russia first. But without the rise of Hilter, Communism looked very likely to succeed in Weimar Germany in early 1930s too.

CCP based its concept on Marxist thought while copied the ruling technique of Lenin and Stalin. Of course Mao modified both and "perfected" them to apply onto his populace during his reign.

Even today CCP still periodically cited that based on the lineage of "Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin, Mao,....., CCP then.....". I wonder why you keep denying that Chinese Communism has anything to do with Marx.

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sunyata

I agree with you that Communism was a foreign idea, but again I don't think "westernization" is the proper term for the introduction of Communism to China.

In my mind, the term "westernization" implies the incorporation of western culture, language, religion, traditions, not simply a mode of government.

Of course, the definition of "western" is fairly broad, but in the context of our discussion it usually refers to "noncommunist countries of Europe and America" (from www.m-w.com). Perhaps that's why I don't see the communization of China as westernization. I guess from you perspective all foreign influence on China can be considered as westernization, but not according to Merriam Webster...

In response to your statement:

Even today CCP still periodically cited that based on the lineage of "Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin, Mao,....., CCP then.....". I wonder why you keep denying that Chinese Communism has anything to do with Marx.

Well, Marx and Engels have always been cited as the founders of Communist theory in the Soviet Union too, but if you read Lenin and compare him to Marx, you will realize his ideas were radically different from Marx's.

In the USSR, even Communist party members were not allowed to read Marx freely. They would be allowed to read only certain manuscripts that had Lenin's stamp of approval. Marx was simply used as a tool by the Bolsheviks for their own purposes of gaining political power.

You said, "CCP based its concept on Marxist thought while copied the ruling technique of Lenin and Stalin". Theory is one thing, and practice is another. Lenin, Stalin and Mao all had their regimes, but they were not true to Marx's thought.

When China "adopted" Communism from the USSR, it had already gone far beyond Marx's theory. I believe China was introduced to Communism not through Marx, Engels or Germany, but through it's interaction with the USSR. Do you think the PRC would exist today, if it were not for the USSR? I highly doubt it...

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roddy
I am sorry for this lengthy digression
Though it is really out of bound of this topic

Basically what you are both doing here is saying

I know I shouldn't do this but I'm going to anyway

If you find yourself writing things like this, especially when the original topic is still under discussion, ask yourself if it would be better if you either start a new topic in the appropriate place and link to it, send a pm to whoever, or just keep quiet.

Generally I don't mind discussions wandering off-topic, but I don't like to see them become political discussions between only two posters - that's what the pm function is for.

Roddy

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bathrobe

hparade

I don't think you should take ala's post personally. He was giving general expression to what he sees as a rather objectionable mindset among some Chinese. Your posting (and my comments on it) just served as the 'trigger'.

ala himself pointed out that what he wrote was 'vastly oversimplified', which indicated that he was talking about a general mentality and not your specific views. I don't believe he intended to put words in your mouth.

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hparade
hparade

I don't think you should take ala's post personally. He was giving general expression to what he sees as a rather objectionable mindset among some Chinese. Your posting (and my comments on it) just served as the 'trigger'.

ala himself pointed out that what he wrote was 'vastly oversimplified', which indicated that he was talking about a general mentality and not your specific views. I don't believe he intended to put words in your mouth.

bathrobe

I really hope this is not going personal, but after I've read his post, I have a strong impression that he is extending something from my post, to make it into an evil level, isn't we all talking about this consultation and follow thing? and his post consisted all this specifically, like those "why consult the barbarians who borrowed from OUR script? ", I see this is specific to our discussion, do the "general" Chinese talk about this character consultation thing that much? "Some" Chinese may still have that mindset to look down other countries, but his post is very specifically pointing about this consultation stuff.

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bathrobe
his post is very specifically pointing about this consultation stuff

hparade, I can't speak for ala, but the topic is Chinese characters and language, on which he has his own personal views, which I suspect are strongly held. That would partially account for the vehemence of his posting.

So give him the benefit of the doubt. Everyone has topics on which they have decided views and everyone has their off days.

The question of consultation on Chinese characters is a valid and interesting one. The different countries using characters have gone their own ways for historical reasons (I don't know how practical 'consultation' would have been during the era when all these changes took place), but there is a case for consultation to bring them into line again, not just Taiwan and the Mainland, but Korea and Japan as well.

One argument is that having unified characters among these countries would greatly enhance the prestige of the traditional culture and writing system, which could only be to China's benefit.

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sophielee

Ian_Lee:

"Its population would love to do away completely with the Chinese language study if the government hasn't made a U-Turn on its policy recently."

--> During my short 4 month stay in Singapore, I never had the impression that people would rather "do away" with Chinese language study. All the Chinese I met--ranging from 19 to 30--spoke Chinese and could probably write it at a respectable level. Although I've seen several parents speaking English to their toddlers, the adolescents as well as the older generation speak both Singlish and Chinese (+other dialects of Chinese).

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hparade
but the topic is Chinese characters and language,

bathrobe, I'm only specifically referring to his post on this page and our "session" of discussion on this consultation , not all his other posts about Chinese characters and language,

there is a case for consultation to bring them into line again, not just Taiwan and the Mainland, but Korea and Japan as well.

sure, to bring them all "in line" have their benefits, but persoanlly I don't think to have their own "characteristics" on their version of chinese is all that bad anyway, I would say.

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ala
I really hope this is not going personal, but after I've read his post, I have a strong impression that he is extending something from my post, to make it into an evil level, isn't we all talking about this consultation and follow thing? and his post consisted all this specifically, like those "why consult the barbarians who borrowed from OUR script? ", I see this is specific to our discussion, do the "general" Chinese talk about this character consultation thing that much? "Some" Chinese may still have that mindset to look down other countries, but his post is very specifically pointing about this consultation stuff.

First, I apologize that my post offended you. Second, I want to make it clear that it was not directed to you, but to a historical Chinese attitude in general, and not limited to "character consultation." The "barbarians," "disown them" statements can attest to this point. I wasn't trying to personally analyze or extend your mindset. I was trying to make a point that elements of the xenophobic sinocentrism present in the late Qing, can still be found in modern China (and has been increasing for the past 5 years). In fact, the stance taken by most modern Chinese historians reveals this attitude, and hence I said: nothing has really changed. As bathrobe said, your post just served as a trigger for my little rant, I used "character consultation" as a prop. It didn't have much to do with character consultation really, it was a discussion with bathrobe about new/old order in East Asia, the popular attitude of the Chinese (that is encouraged by the governments). Once again, I apologize for having offended you.

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