Author: raymondusa

Just another practical choice, even when it comes to language choices [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2006-5-25 11:25:07 |Display all floors
Originally posted by mengzhi at 2006-5-23 09:47
Whatever we do we must never surrender the legacy of the language of our ancestors. To simplify it to accommodate the pace of modern living is one thing, to jettison the whole pictogram package to a romanised  version ( pinyin or not ) is sacrilegous and criminal. How are we going to explain to future generations that we sacrificed their inheritance to the whim and fancy of the realm of science or technology. Engineering and medicine can be more than adequately taught and learned in the simplified Chinese format. Pinyin is useful only for foreigners who are experiencing difficulties at the start of their Chinese course. They similarly would appreciate learning proper Chinese in the long run. We don't learn English in some Sinocized form , why should anyone else expect to learn another language based on their alphabets ?   

Nice lecture, Mengzhi. However, I noticed Vietnamese people who once used Chinese
Characters has successfully transformed to using their PinYin. Moreover, I have yet to encounter
a single vietnamese who had regret this transfomation. Therefore, I don't think it is a big deal
in making more use of PinYin if it is better, pending verification of course. Also there is nothing wrong
with undergoes some evolution of our own, and it certainly better then copying a lot of craps from
Westerners.

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Post time 2006-5-25 20:19:21 |Display all floors

National and regional languages.

Zhao is right in pointing out that most Chinese speak at least two ' languages ' ; one of the local dialect and the national language of Putonghua ( Mandarin ). Fortunately the written form is the same so that no matter where you are born or brought up, a Chinese ( with education ) can communicate with another Chinese in or out of China. This good fortune of having the one written form is in stark contrast to places like India or Papua New Guinea where  countrymen and women may not understand each other. The national connection and the sense of unity under one language cannot be over exaggerated.

Pinyin is a bonus of the romanised alphabet version for foreigners especially English speakers. It is not Chinese and should never be allowed to displace Chinese.

Barbarians from the north ( Mongols and Manchus ) were unique in the sense that they were the only conquerors in history who submitte to the culture, customs, language and habits of the conquered ( the Hans ). :)

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Post time 2006-5-25 21:00:53 |Display all floors
Originally posted by mengzhi at 2006-5-25 22:19
Zhao is right in pointing out that most Chinese speak at least two ' languages ' ; one of the local dialect and the national language of Putonghua ( Mandarin ). Fortunately the written form is the same so that no matter where you are born or brought up, a Chinese ( with education ) can communicate with another Chinese in or out of China....


I agree here, Mengzhi. This peculiarity of Chinese written language is an obvious and unique advantage across the many Chinese dialects, not to mention the cultural history which is embedded into the written language.

Originally posted by mengzhi at 2006-5-25 22:19
This good fortune of having the one written form is in stark contrast to places like India or Papua New Guinea where  countrymen and women may not understand each other. The national connection and the sense of unity under one language cannot be over exaggerated. ...

Well different languages in one country are not particularly uncommon elsewhere in the world.
Some Indian languages are from a different language "family". The lingua franca of India appears now to be English which, despite it being the old colonial language, does not appear to have too much negative baggage associated with it and in fact is treated as being more neutral than the minority language speakers having to use the largest language,  Hindi.
In Papua New Guinea the lingua franca is an evolved version of Pidgin English, now a language in its own right (Neo Melanesian). Remember too that France, Spain and even Britain had and have different local languages in various parts of those countries.

Originally posted by mengzhi at 2006-5-25 22:19
Pinyin is a bonus of the romanised alphabet version for foreigners especially English speakers. It is not Chinese and should never be allowed to displace Chinese.   ...

I think that there would be a significant cultural loss of Pinyin replaced written Chinese, not to mention the fact that this would make communication more difficult between speakers of the different Chinese dialects.
Ultimately this is a decision which is for the Chinese people to make. As a citizen of the world, I would lament the cultural loss. It could be argued that simplified Chinese has started this course, however there still are areas where traditional written Chinese is preserved.
As to Vietnam and Korea, who have moved from Chinese script to other scripts (Roman and Hangul), well it could be argued that since those two languages are different to Chinese, and have had difficulty in adapting Chinese script to their spoken language, that the cultural loss was minimal.

Originally posted by mengzhi at 2006-5-25 22:19
Barbarians from the north ( Mongols and Manchus ) were unique in the sense that they were the only conquerors in history who submitte to the culture, customs, language and habits of the conquered ( the Hans ).   ...


I cannot agree with you there, Mengzhi.
The Norman invaders of Britain did eventually adopt the local tongue, which itself borrowed from the foreign language as well as preserving much of its original vocabulary. The descendents of the Romans, Saxons and Normans did adopt part of the English customs, while bringing some of their own culture to the country, just like China and the Mongols and Manchus I bet.
English has elements of at least 4 regional languages, Old Norse, Latin, German and French.
In English there are many words for the same or similar things which largely come from the French and German equivalent words. As time went on, those German and French words evolved to slightly different meanings. Eg House (from Germanic Haus) and Mansion (from French Maison)

Cheers

JB

[ Last edited by emucentral at 2006-5-25 11:02 PM ]
"他不是救星, 他是一个非常淘气男孩" - Monty Python

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Post time 2006-5-25 23:23:12 |Display all floors
Originally posted by sockmonkey at 2006-5-25 11:18
Actually, in Shanghai, children are not allowed to speak Shanghainese in school--it's not allowed; only putonghua is. And that's just one city. While the older generations may know their local dial ...


It's really a pity of the supression over dialect even in Shanghai. I am happy to be in Guangdong, where dialect can be fortunately protected due to the beijing's attempt to reunify the two colonies.

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Post time 2006-5-26 09:24:47 |Display all floors
National and regional languages.

Zhao is right in pointing out that most Chinese speak at least two ' languages ' ; one of the local dialect and the national language of Putonghua ( Mandarin ). Fortunately the written form is the same so that no matter where you are born or brought up, a Chinese ( with education ) can communicate with another Chinese in or out of China. This good fortune of having the one written form is in stark contrast to places like India or Papua New Guinea where  countrymen and women may not understand each other. The national connection and the sense of unity under one language cannot be over exaggerated.

Pinyin is a bonus of the romanised alphabet version for foreigners especially English speakers. It is not Chinese and should never be allowed to displace Chinese.

Barbarians from the north ( Mongols and Manchus ) were unique in the sense that they were the only conquerors in history who submitte to the culture, customs, language and habits of the conquered ( the Hans ).  

Mengzi, my friend, the realistic way to look at this is like the cloth you are wearing at this moment.
Just how long are you intend to keep on wearing that shirt and pant?

Come on, dude, at a certain point you must move on or start to preserve it for your descendent to see
what you are wearing, but not for them to wear it if they don't want too.

So far, we had copy so many craps from Hollywood movie that is much worst than to simply allow
our culture to evolve into a better culture by own free wills. That is making our language easier for
the new generation to cope with in addition to new challenges that they will face in the future.

As for traditional language, it ain't going to go anywhere, it can be published and placed in a
museum for all generations to see. What is wrong with that?

God blesses all,

Forest Servant.

[ Last edited by forestservan at 2006-5-26 09:25 AM ]

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Post time 2006-5-26 11:24:09 |Display all floors
Originally posted by forestservan at 2006-5-26 09:24

Mengzi, my friend, the realistic way to look at this is like the cloth you are wearing at this moment.
Just how long are you intend to keep on wearing that shirt and pant?

Come on, dude, a ...


Your point is totally on the other side of mine, Forest. Chinese choose the handy style of costume to adapt the modern life because the old-style costs me time to put on, and lack sense of beauty in modern people's eyes. and more importantly, the culture revolution had cleansed the old-style constume so that people nowadays have forgotten what we were wearing decades ago. By contrast, you can see a number of people in Japan wearing the traditional costume during the tradition festivals.

But it is imposible for Chinese people to dump chinese character by making it romanized because
1.Chinese character looks beautiful and artistic,
2. it's not hard on Chinese people at all to learn chinese in fact.
3. Chinese book is the thinnest compared to the counterpart written in orther languages.
4. Chinese imput method in computer is faster than English.
5. Even Japan, Korea, Singapore, etc are using Chinese character, it is absurd that Chinese dump their own things.

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Post time 2006-5-26 11:38:13 |Display all floors

Well said emucentral.

What you said about the Norman conquest is very true. My point about the Mongols ( Ghengis Khan) and Manchu ( Qing dynasty ) was that even with overwhelming military forces and the ability of getting full control and command of the Hans' state ( bulk of China ) they were unable to administer the country without relying almost entirely on the Hans ( the conquered ones ). The language and culture, the judiciary and day to day administration were beyond the reach of the conquerors. They provided the military power and they then lived ( voluntarily ) in a peaceful symbiotic relationship with the Hans. In this instance there were no " mutual osmosis " of interchange of cultures etc but a full embrace of the Mogols , to a lesser extent the Manchus,of the long established civilisation of the Hans. Cheers. :)

forestservan :  I have absolutely no idea about your message . Are you agreeing or disagreeing with me ? Please translate or else put it in Chinese. Me no understand.

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