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Originally posted by chinpatriot at 2009-1-18 03:41 AM
You mean, the Chinese language is very vague and unclear, as opposed to the English language being clear, precise and to the point.
chinese is gear toward cultural exchange and development, or the development of the human being himself; english, machines. here's something i wrote on the subject:
HOLLOWING OF CHINESE CHARACTERS
Chinese are the only people in the world that have characters, while all others have alphabets. In a panic to modernize, the Chinese hollowed their characters. And how wrong they were!
Characters, for writing or behaving, represent what we are. All our thoughts extend to only as far as the characters can bring us. They create the universe we all find us in.
Embodied in characters are the essence of culture. The taste of seafood, xien, is one of the most commonly used character in Chinese, but it's absent in English. No wonder, many westerners feel dizzy after eating the most xien seafood.
Microscopically, Chinese characters' main focus is on human relations. There is a term for every relative. Older brother, ker, is upright and mouthful. Younger brother, dee, is waveringly mischievous. One can write a book on aunts, uncles and cousins.
National characters are represented in their languages. The English talks with military precision. The German, comes straight out of a cannon. The French, so amorous that nobody cares what's been said. The Japanese, polite as a bowing willow but hard as the blade of a samuai's sword. The Arabian, words are used for praying, wishing and dreaming, causing some of their actions to be somewhat detached. Italian, and to a less extend, Spanish, words are songs. And finally the Chinese, words are pictures.
Obvious, the songs and pictures are the treasures of human heritage.
Cultural differences are very much based on languages. The characters are analogous, as opposed to the aphabets, which are digital. Being pictorial, the analogous characters strive to make direct and intimate contacts, while being representative, the digital aphabets strive to avoid contacts. This explains why Chinese is bound by morality, rather than laws. They just let rewards and punishments take care themselves, however conscience dictates, not by man-made laws or religious rules.
Through proper arrangement, aphabets can twist and turn their ways into any desired meanings. Social phenomena such as: "talk to my agent',"see you in court", "do this you go to jail" and "you need psychological consoling", are considered fashionable. Sometimes, it's hard to decide which is preferrable: a hollowed culture or a cultureless one.
As one of the more illustrative examples of culture differences, in the pre-hollowed China, actors and actresses belong in the category of monkeys and prostitutes. But look how Americans pay respect to Ronald Reagan and John Wayne, knowing clearly that they are professional fakers. Well, the power of the alphabetic language allows professional liers to become best leaders and silverscreen heros, not to mention letting the propaganda machine run amok.
The most conspicuous phenomenon in the representative form of western society is politics. The best self-representing persons get to the top of the food chain. In the most popular among all political game, democracy, even slavery and apartheid can be represented to appear benevolent. When people do not have to deal directly and voting is through secret ballots, the minority is at the mercy of the majority's whim. In desperate times, even evil can be democratically righteous.
Society operated on analogous language are very different. When bound by conscience and the meaning embodied in the characters, one is not free to exhibit their animal instincts. The trust in one's own parents extends to the wise elders who are to lead by being the guardians of the professed character of a nation. Instead of strategying a 4-year scheme to rival other nations, the elders must lay a foundation for the nation that has to last to eternity.
The avoidance of direct contact with others in a representative culture also extends to emotions. The preoccupation with exchanging dirty jokes in the American society is a sign of inability to deal with the cardinal subject of sex. Being blind to its delicate mystique that can only be felt through intimate interactions and cultural nurturing, Americans are pressed to trash sex by desensitizing everyone in mass media. The viagra craze and the inabilities of many to tell their own genders are the result of distancing interpersonal feelings. Kids today need sex education to learn the most instinctive of human behaviors, which in the past was so strong that a person was measured by how well he could restrain from wanton indulgence.
It's interesting that the Chinese are plain in their outward appearances -- what you see is what you get. But there are two extremes in the rest of the world. The Islamic fundamentalists want to cover themselves, while the liberated westerners want to uncover themselves, so they have to put on a lot of makeups, dye the hairs and bump up with plastic inplants, so that they dont look like themselves.
The West's interpretative dissociation of self brings about a sense of insecurity. People willingly subjugate themselves to things like God, materials and laws. Often times the victims are their fellow human beings who do not share the same view. Extrapolating from the high almighty, people who dont hold the same belief are considered as subhumans. Religious wars are often waged based on imagined hatred, out of love of each's own God.
The East's direct intimacy pursued by the people of characters, on the other hand, put great emphasis on human rather than material entities. Their parents are their Gods and their children is expected to be better than Gods. Feelings are more important than materials. And only things that rule their behaviors are their consciences, not laws.
Unfortunately it's their unpreparedness to defend themselves against those without characters that finally force them to hollow their own characters.
People of characters have historically avoided making and improving on machines for killing. Even if they are forced to fight, the desire for intimacy opts for hand-to-hand combat, rather than something efficient and massively destructive. Interpretative people, however, seem to prefer remote interaction, like smart bombs. That way you can kill without feel.
With the characters hollowed now, the world upgrades its annihilation ability from unilateral to mutual.
The precision and flexibility in alphabets, however, make them a good tool for pursuing technology, thus material well-being. This is because they train abstract thinking. Most Chinese who picked up this skill from learning an alphabet language find technology easy to master. China, therefore, needs to adopt an abbreviated set of English as a subset to her own full-body character language. Such a set could be chosen from the minimal vocabulary that is required to use a computer proficiently. Sufficient research has already been done on this subject that it estimates to take about 1000 words and about 2 weeks to learn them. Without having to worry about the gramma and pronounciation while on the computer, this handy addition to the Chinese language would not only improve the nation's technology development, but also solve the problem of having to deal with the current two Chinese written languages. China should simply abandon the ill-thoughted simplified charaters set.
Mankind is now only one step from a post-scarcity era. This one step is the proclamation of the true character of a human being to be inclusive toward all people on Earth in a unified effort to produce and distribute basic necessities, and to respect Mother Nature by being thrifty with her offerings. Restoration of the full-body Chinese characters would go a long way to influence China to initiate this step. We will soon find out that our greatest treasure is buried in the picture-beautiful and song-like languages. We owe it to future generations to preserve them.
In conclusion, character language is for heart-to-heart communication, while alphabetical language, mind-to-mind. The former is for humans, while the later is for machines, or machine-like humans and for human-to-machine communication. Mankind needs the character language to develope a culture that would enable a harmonious society, and an alphabet language to develope technology that could finally usher in the post scarcity era.
One bright note on the whole situation is: out of all the plundering and sellingout, the capitalistic Taiwanese have done to China, THEY PRESERVED THE GLORIOUS FULL-BODY CHINESE CHARACTERS. Now, China wants reunification. But just this hollowed characters, thus culture, by the Chinese communists is enough to turn anybody off. Would it not be nice if China and Taiwan, along with our Korean brother and Japanese cousin, can start a large new family by salvaging the most precious of our culture, our characters?
As a layman to languages, I see the characters have created a very special
universe for the Chinese people -- a harmony between Heaven and Earth. My interest is in its comparison to other languages, namely the alphabetical, or what
I called representative, language. The latter allows its people to make a good
living, but Chinese characters tell us how to live.
My sincere wish is that China, specifically the Chinese government, should see this and
restore the Chinese characters to its original flourishing form, so she can teach the rest of the world how also to live.