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sthubbar

Hanzi is a religion

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dadim9

Despite some people arguing otherwise, it can't really be denied, that the Chinese writing system is tedious for writing, unless you turn it into an art and use it for its beauty rather than conveying a certain meaning. Even Chinese people forget the correct spelling of a Hanzi at a rapid pace, as soon as they stop being exposed on a daily basis. Learning to write also takes significantly more time, before a reasonable level can be achieved. This is true for Chinese children as well as for foreign learners. Writing Chinese is beyond doubt much more difficult than writing the Latin alphabet.

However, READING Chinese provides serious advantages. In fact, Chinese texts convey a specific meaning on much shorter space and with largely reduced redundancy. Hence, reading is more efficient. Studies have shown, that reading Chinese text activates the right half of the brain more quickly than for the Latin writing system. (See http://www.pitt.edu/~perfetti/PDF/Time%20course.pdf) Hence, the brain spends much more time on interpreting the meaning, rather than deciphering abstract symbols. I want to give a simple example to demonstrate this fact: Love is written as Roof-Heart-Friend; Sex is written as Heart-Birth; F#ck is written as Enter-Meat. The vulgar nature of the third word is obviously much more intriguing in Chinese, than it is in English. I claim that reading Chinese can stimulate emotional patterns in a much richer way than English.

In the beginning of the last century many Chinese reformers aimed for the abolition of Chinese characters, and for their replacement with a phonetic writing system based on Latin characters. Mechanical type writers, electronic data processing, Morse code, punch cards, early computers, all required a simple alphabet to function properly. Chinese characters inhibited the use of these new technologies. They appeared to be a major obstacle for China's modernization efforts. These days are now past. Modern computers handle Hanzis very well. For us, it's now only a one time learning effort that pays off later.

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querido

Thank you, for the sake of this thread, and for the one I linked to, above. *Thank you*!

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sthubbar

Querido, you really resurrected this thread from the graveyard.

I'm still studying on a regular basis.

The original sentiment hasn't changed. :D

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querido

Hi sthubbar!

I'm still studying on a regular basis.

Great! :D

Me too, and I'm happy with by my progress.

(I didn't think about the "resurrecting an old thread" issue. I just needed to explain why I wrote my post #29, above, the way I did. When I said "someone needed an explanation", I wasn't referring to you.)

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atitarev

The world's most ridiculous writing system is Japanese, not Chinese. Chinese script was designed for the Chinese language. I've learned both long enough to come to this conclusion, although I like both. It's interesting that the Chinese language and online translators are good friends, that is, it's much easy to find the right combinations of characters to get a match. Don't you think so?

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Hofmann

I agree that the most ridiculous natural writing system is Japanese, although I like it because it's interesting, and I find it interesting perhaps because it's such a mess.

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atitarev

こちらこそ!:)

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gerri

In re: to Japanese....

Anybody here have a notion of Tibetan?

it's phonetic, in theory (i mean, what you write tells you how to pronounce this word) but it has many ways of writing the same sounds, so that only the different way of writing will tell you that what is pronounced the same way is a different word.

thus: phonetic-like writing, but the need to learn many, if not most, words (in writing) as if they were 汉字

(Sorry, not a very linguistically elegant way of explaining it ;-) )

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