Jump to content
Chinese-forums.com
Learn Chinese in China

  • Why you should look around

    Since 2003, Chinese-forums.com has been helping people learn Chinese faster and get to China sooner. Our members can recommend beginner textbooks, help you out with obscure classical vocabulary, and tell you where to get the best street food in Xi'an. And we're friendly about it too. 

    Have a look at what's going on, or search for something specific. We hope you'll join us. 
Jamie

Simplified vs. Traditional

Recommended Posts

roddy

Members democratic rights are in direct proportion to their contributions to hosting costs (which are actually pretty low, you could become President for a few yuan . . .)

Seriously though, debate on the way the forum runs is welcome.

Roddy

President-for-Life, Supreme Admin, Lord-of-the-Forums, M.A.(Hons)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Site Sponsors:
Pleco for iPhone / Android iPhone & Android Chinese dictionary: camera & hand- writing input, flashcards, audio.
Study Chinese in Kunming 1-1 classes, qualified teachers and unique teaching methods in the Spring City.
Learn Chinese Characters Learn 2289 Chinese Characters in 90 Days with a Unique Flash Card System.
Hacking Chinese Tips and strategies for how to learn Chinese more efficiently
Popup Chinese Translator Understand Chinese inside any Windows application, website or PDF.
Chinese Grammar Wiki All Chinese grammar, organised by level, all in one place.

hparade
gang: Results 1 - 10 of about 8' date='850,000. Search took 0.23 seconds

xiang: Results 1 - 10 of about 5,180,000. Search took 0.34 seconds

Well... I'm surprised.

At a guess, I'd say around the time of the character simplification process, "Hong Kong" was used a lot less than it is now. But that really is a guess. "Nice-smelling"? Nothing smelt nice in China in those days. "Harbour"? There wasn't any trade, or foreign travel, so no-one talked about harbours much.

If character frequency was taken into account in deciding what to simplify and what not, I imagine it would have been down to the intuitions of those involved, not real character counts (not from Google anyway, hahaha)[/quote']

yes, i think characters frequency do change over time :roll::oops:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ian_Lee

Some of the present simplified script (but not all) adopted by CCP has been used previously. But does that mean that since it has been used (mostly in Caoshu -- cursory writing for aesthetic purpose) then it is adaptable?

Those intellectuals that stayed behind in Mainland China after 1949 might think so. But I seriously doubt if that was their authentic idea without the nodding of CCP.

But apparently those intellectuals that had fled to Taiwan and Hong Kong did not think so.

Moreover, the simplification has defeated its original purpose -- erasing illiteracy. Over the long run, Taiwan and HK which used traditional script have a comparable literacy rate as that of Mainland. Moreover, in 1949 Taiwan was basically a rural society like Mainland was.

Actually CCP didn't aim for only simplification. The 3rd wave of language reform was supposed to implement in 1977 which would have deleted characters and replaced them with Roman alpabets.

It was not implemented not because of "public outcry" (Did public outcry count in the '70s on Mainland?) but because the radical leftist faction had lost power.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quest

Ian_Lee, after all the blabbing, I still don't get your point. What exactly are you trying to say? Are you trying to tell us that simpified characters would not work, and that people would not be able to adapt to it? I mean the whole mainland is functioning well with simplified characters now. Obviously, it has worked and people have adapted.

It was not implemented because it was not viable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ian_Lee

Guest:

All our posts are just in reply to the OP's question -- traditional or simplified scripts -- which to learn from.

I strongly recommend OP to learn the traditional script by pointing out the inconsistency in the simplified script.

Simplified script works well in Mainland. But traditional script also works well in Taiwan and HK and overseas Chinese community.

So be it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quest

How is simplified script not consistent? Do you mean it is not consistent with the traditional script or it is not consistent within itself?

If one is learning the simplified script only, does he really care whether the simplification process has been consistent?

Also, you gave me a feeling that you want people to learn what you yourself (i.e. Ian_Lee) like. Let's give him a realistic and objective suggestion, which has already been said above - Learn the script that he will eventually have to use.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
smithsgj

I think you'd expect more people to be literate in Hong Kong and Taiwan than in China. Advanced economies have higher literacy rates, don't they? Thus, if the literacy rates of these 3 territories are indeed comparable, it would seem that simplification has indeed helped to improve the literacy figures.

> Learn the script that he will eventually have to use

That seems like a very practical and sensible suggestion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ian_Lee

Smithsjq:

Taiwan and Hong Kong were hardly any advanced economies in the 1950s when the written script started to divert. Hong Kong's GDP/capita had been always lower than that of Guangzhou and Taipei lower than that of Shanghai before PRC closed its door.

But of course different scripts led to different economic results in the long run.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
roddy
But of course different scripts led to different economic results in the long run.

Which script leads of the best economic results, and should Britain adopt it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
smithsgj

> But of course different scripts led to different economic results in the long run.

Oh come on. The script used had an impact on trade, you now claim!

Over the half century since simplification the literacy rate in China managed to keep pace with Taiwan and HK, even though the economy did not.

That said I haven't actually got a clue about the relative literacy rates because you raised it not me. To be honest, I'm surprised. I mean HK and Taiwan surely have western lit rates, only illiterates are ppl who've seriously screwed up, lots of peasants in China and ppl who don't go to school, no? Whatever.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ian_Lee

IMHO, Britons should adopt Singlish since its former colony's GNP/capita has already surpassed hers.

Of course, those obsolete words like lorry, fortnight, bloke,...etc should be given up for good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
smithsgj

Nice one Ian :)

One question -- how on earth did Singapore manage to achieve this status, hampered by simplified characters? :wink:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ian_Lee

Singapore is the world's largest Chinatown -- but also the most non-Chinese one.

You can hardly find Chinese road sign or shop sign in the city. Most people in their 30s-50s don't know Chinese at all because Lee Kuan Yew discouraged Chinese learning in the '70s and '80s. He even merged the only higher institution with teaching medium in Chinese in SE Asia -- Nanyang University -- with the English University of Singapore.

So whatever script would make a difference to the Singaporeans?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
skylee
But of course different scripts led to different economic results in the long run.

This hardly makes sense. (I support traditional script, just for the record).

You can hardly find Chinese road sign or shop sign in the city. Most people in their 30s-50s don't know Chinese at all

I just visited Singapore last December, and I don't think this is very true.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest cavebear

.

Simplified script works well in Mainland. But traditional script also works well in Taiwan and HK and overseas Chinese community.

So be it.

this is very nice. I would be very upset if all three places go for the same one.

Since Mainland outnumbers HK and TW overwhelmingly, Ian's effort of nurturing new lovers for the traditional characters is much appreciated here.

:o

Different scripts lead to different results in economic development?

I am sorry that sounds more like religion to me than scientific reasoning and I do not argue with people on religion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
blob

Occording to the original post, ultimately it might be advantageous to learn both traditional and simplified? But first learn the script one finds one likes most, or feels it would be easiest to learn. Then halfway through, start reading stuff from the other script and start the associations.

I personally learnt simplified script from young, so I like to write in simplified script, but like to look at traditional script :)

Malaysia uses simplified script for lots of things except for signs and menus.

I think overseas may edge towards simplified script slowly:?:, since more and more mainland chinese are going overseas to study. Or, more and more mainland chinese kids will know how to read traditional characters, which they already do I think.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ian_Lee

Now it is back to square 1.

Every community can choose to use whatever script he/she likes.

But if any fellow posters think that because of sheer numeric superiority, then the script which more people use will be prevalent in the future is hardly true.

Stuffs like culture (which written script is part of it), thoughts, political theory, social custom,....etc do not depend on sheer number.

Just take an example.

Feng Shui has been completely absent for decades on Mainland since it has been deemed superstitution by CCP and only popular in HK/Taiwan/overseas Chinese community.

But lately so many friends from Mainland ask me about the Feng Shui on their houses. So now they have become converts of HK culture even after so many years of atheist teaching.

So we'll see.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
nnt

I learned Traditional Characters first, but when I tried to read hand-written texts (old texts or calligraphies, etc...), I found that Simplified Characters are very helpful, because it often officialize what has been used before unofficially.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
hparade

there's many factors contribute to the popularity of which culture , the population which use it, the economic/political power of that culture, of course the advantage of the culture itself......

and yes, some simplified characters use some old forms of traditional characters

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
roddy

Closing this one - there are about 5 different topics in here, which would be better dealt with individually. I've split one into 'Age of Simplified Script', feel free to start others yourselves - please keep the terms of reference limited though.

Roddy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

×