Re: China would be ultra superpower if.......



PaPaPeng wrote:
On 15 Feb 2007 08:49:27 -0800, "Quadibloc" <jsavard@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

Are characters incompatible with being an economic superpower? Then
how do you explain Japan? They may slow down or interfere with China's
rise, but they are not enough to prevent it.

As a fact on the ground, there was an attempt to simplify Chinese
wrting by the revolutionary regime. After 50 years of some progress
the effort has run out of steam. Other than reducing the stroke count
for a number of words that had too many strokes very few if any words
had been thus simplified in recent years. Most signs and books still
prefer to use the traditional logographs as they are visually more
pleasing. Take a look at the advertizing hoarding that use simplified
logographs and the visual balance isn't there. They look like someone
with a paint can had thrown paint on some letters and covered up the
missing strokes.

I think the simplified characters look funny too.

But what is, of course, even stranger is that after going to all the
trouble of throwing away tons of movable type and old Chinese
typewriters to use characters with a few less strokes...

one also goes from _wenyan_ to _baihua_ so that to write anything one
has to use twice as many characters!

And, if anything, in some of the cases, the simplified characters are
harder to learn and memorize. (In most, it makes no difference.)

Of course, there are some simplifications of characters that are well-
established in Chinese. Under the Nationalists, back in 1935 or so, a
set of 324 simplified characters was proposed by the Ministry of
Education - but then withdrawn within a year after shocked protests.

Since Taiwan has its own version of pinyin, I suppose it could pull
those 324 simplified characters out of a file somewhere, to have its
own version of character simplification! But in general, I have to
agree that simplifying the characters is a waste of time.

John Savard

.