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zozzen

The Revival of Traditional Characters is Coming?

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zozzen

Is traditional chinese going to revive in China? A week ago, a cultural critics proposed to abolish simplified chinese characters in 50 years for the unification of china and taiwan and the preservation of ancient culture, 21 congressmen yesterday echoed the calls for it in the annual session of parliament. They submitted a proposal "小學增設繁體字教育提案" about educating primary school students the traditional characters so that the next generation can understand the origin of characters, help reunify China, and close the bridge between old and new chinese culture.

How do you see this?

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tooironic

Noooo. I really hope not. Learning Chinese is difficult enough, we don't need to make the writing system even harder by insisting everyone use traditional characters. And I hardly see how switching everyone over to traditional characters will really help in unifying China and Taiwan. I mean COME ON.

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skylee

I think the proposal is nice.

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roddy

You always get a number of random proposals around this time of year, doesn't mean that anything is actually happening. If this was the Ministry of Education proposing it it would be a different matter, but it's not.

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gato
so that the next generation can understand the origin of characters, help reunify China, and close the bridge between old and new chinese culture.

Allowing Taiwan/HK publishers to freely publish their books and newspapers in the mainland would do more to bridge the cultural gap and reunify China. The simplified vs. traditional debate is form over substance.

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muyongshi

These type of proposals are political statements that are meant to say "we are still interested in our culture and our history despite what you people say". It's just like the US making "resolutions". They don't mean anything, they are just a political statement.

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gougou

The mainland changing to accomodate Taiwan? I don't see that happening.

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studentyoung
These type of proposals are political statements that are meant to say "we are still interested in our culture and our history despite what you people say".

Bump!

help reunify China

As far as I can understand, this problem mainly depends on China’s economic &political development. If these two points can convince all Taiwan’s people that China’s government can lead them to a bright future, the reunite will become quite easy to handle. I think these two points are the key points our government should focus on.

and close the bridge between old and new chinese culture.

Please give me an example to explain why traditional character can bridge between old and new Chinese culture? Why can’t simplified characters do the same job? Can you define those simplified characters appear on the calligraphic works in different dynasties? Should they be considered as the new Chinese culture or the old one? Are there any academic standards available?

Cheers!

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Lu
Please give me an example to explain why traditional character can bridge between old and new Chinese culture? Why can’t simplified characters do the same job?
Because until recently, all texts were writting mostly in traditional characters, with the odd simplified one. If you only ever learn simplified, you're going to have trouble reading very old books.

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studentyoung
If you only ever learn simplified, you're going to have trouble reading very old books.

Which kind of very old books are your talking about? In China mainland, a lot of them are published in simplified characters too. Any problem?

Cheers!

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skylee
Please give me an example to explain why traditional character can bridge between old and new Chinese culture? Why can’t simplified characters do the same job?

Because some people outside of the mainland, me for example, dislike simplified characters very much? Well probably it has nothing to do with bridging whatever culture. And there are probably not many people like me.

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gato

Ok. Unblock Taiwan and HK websites first, then let's unification of culture.

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zozzen
The mainland changing to accomodate Taiwan? I don't see that happening.

But the party has been willing even to abondon the name "PRC". If Taiwan is okay with unification now, i think that's a super-big incentive for China to change many, as long as it doesn't change their ruling status. 中共誰不想親手完成統一大業. The problem is what's the incentive for taiwan?

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zozzen

Because some people outside of the mainland, me for example, dislike simplified characters very much? Well probably it has nothing to do with bridging whatever culture. And there are probably not many people like me.

Yes, I don't think that can do much to old and new culture. Ancient Wenyan, sometimes, seems to be a language in another world to me. But the existence of simplified and traditional characters always reminds me that we're living in a different culture.

When I read "The Search of Modern China" published by 上海远东出版 in Simplified Chinese, I thought it's really worse than my expectation, poorly written and poorly ended, but it's my conditioned reflex to assume that it must be a castrated version. (And it is) Then I bought the edition published by 遠流出版社 in Traditional Characters. That proves to be one of the greatest book about Chinese history. What's delivered by the characters is more important than the characters itself. If there's any advantage of reading simplified characters to me, i.e. i have to be more critical and double check more details in the books.

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ange9s

Most Chinese people I know don't have any problem reading traditional characters, but have problems writing them. A lot of recent tv reports talk about how young people can't hand-write characters as well as they should be able to, so I wonder if teaching traditional characters would help or hurt this situation.

Most people I know in the US who study Chinese are studying simplified characters, which I always thought was kind of funny, since all Chinese signs and most American Chinese language newspapers are written in traditional script. I can't write in traditional characters very well, but if they decided to switch to just one character set, I can understand why a lot of people would want to use them. It's easier to identify the character origins with them, and they have a lot longer history than simplified ones.

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atitarev

Most native forera prefer traditional over simplified but the Chinese I know (from Mainland) think it's very unlikely they switch back. On the other hand the knowledge and interest in simplified characters outside China has grown for economical reasons and less brainwashing about how ugly simplified characters are.

Roman letters are uglier for that matter but we use them.

I agree the Taiwan websites should be unblocked, and Taiwan books should be able to penetrate China. Then the process of deciding, which system is better might become natural and a decision to switch to one or the other may be made.

In Australia only simplified is taught at Unis and in Chinese schools, although there are still many signs in traditional and most Chinese newspapers use traditional. It might change as discussed in another thread.

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muyongshi
It's easier to identify the character origins with them, and they have a lot longer history than simplified ones.

Yes easier to identify the origins but the latter part of your statement is completely incorrect. Characters have continually being undergoing simplification since the start of characters so saying that a "simplified character" has a shorter history is incorrect, it can very easily just be considered as the next step as to what has already been happening since the beginning. While I do think that the simplification was taken a bit too far and many characters/radicals that didn't need to be simplified were (for example 爱 愛, simply didn't need to be simplified 飞 飛 maybe they could have gone in between and left the 升 or something like that). And if you mean by longer history that they've been used longer, well give it a few years and then that will change :wink:

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studentyoung
Please give me an example to explain why traditional character can bridge between old and new Chinese culture? Why can’t simplified characters do the same job?

Because some people outside of the mainland, me for example, dislike simplified characters very much? Well probably it has nothing to do with bridging whatever culture. And there are probably not many people like me.

I just want to know why simplified characters can't bridge between old and new Chinese culture, yet you just tell me that you and other people outside of the mainland don’t like simplified characters. You and other do have the right to choose traditional characters, but I don't think it is convincing enough to explain why simplified characters can't bridge old and new Chinese culture.Can you say that just because you don’t like something, you can deny its functions according to your own tastes? Is it objective and fair? Can you say just A doesn't like B’s skin color that makes reasons for A to deny B's ability?

But the existence of simplified and traditional characters always reminds me that we're living in a different culture.

I hope you can understand that what makes you feel that we’re living in a different culture is the different societies with different cultural, economic, and political backgrounds, due to historical reasons. The characters are just the surface. (I would like to call it a cultural shock.) What’s under the surface, the cores are the truth that we live in different societies and have different ideologies, which are the very things we should face up to. I think the most important thing in communication is not to share the same characters, but to share the same language. Do you agree?

When I read "The Search of Modern China" published by 上海远东出版 in Simplified Chinese, I thought it's really worse than my expectation, poorly written and poorly ended, but it's my conditioned reflex to assume that it must be a castrated version.

If the castrated version was published in traditional characters and written in a poor writing level, very possible, you would feel the same.

If there's any advantage of reading simplified characters to me, i.e. i have to be more critical and double check more details in the books.

As far as I can understand, the problems you complained above are about the writer or editor’s writing skill, which I think has nothing to do with simplified characters.

Cheers!

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gougou

Let's not get carried away into another discussion of traditional vs. simplified characters, which we already have here, here and here (amongst others). Maybe try and keep this thread focused on how likely it is that traditional characters will be used again on the Mainland (rather than whether you would like to see them used again or not).

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Mao Zhou

It might work if they did dual printing with signs and such in Simplified and Traditional. Kinda expensive, ....that would be like the US having to print all their Public Documents in English and Spanish and ... No, bad example. That would be like Canada having to print everything in English and French....hmm. ;-)

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