Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Society & CultureLanguages · 9 years ago

What was the reasons for launching the simplified Chinese character system in China in 1960s?

Update:

David said, "Much far back however, traditional Chinese was very difficult to learn and had many, many, many homophones."

Boy said, "Mainland China adopted Simplified Chinese in to increase literacy rates. There are considerably less strokes to remember in Simplified Chinese than there are in Traditional Chinese."

I have just read some info,

1. 魯 迅 (lǔ xùn, the greatest Chinese linguist, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lu_Xun ) wrote, 漢 字 不 廢, 中 國 必 亡 (without abandoning Chinese character system, China will surely vanish).

2. 錢 玄 同 (Qian_Xuantong, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qian_Xuantong ), one of the greatest Chinese philologist in 1930s, even promoted the replacement of Chinese with Esperanto.

Was these the reasons?

Yet, I also heard about a claim that Chinese written system can be mastered in 90 days!! What are your comments on this?

Update 2:

Taihou said, "So does the simplified system helped in any way at all? So far there's nothing that can prove it did, except for the recent statistic that showed the rise of the literacy rate in China's mainland,..."

Thanks for the great answer.

David said, "Much far back however, traditional Chinese was very difficult to learn..."

Boy said, "Mainland China adopted Simplified Chinese in to increase literacy rates...."

In 1950s, the illiterate rate was 85% of the population while the illiterate rate is 15% now. However, less than 15% of population went to school in 1950s, and the school attending rate is over 90% now. With the above facts, the simplified system is not a factor at all on the illiterate rate. Boy's claim is not supported with facts.

Taihou said, "...They believed that the Chinese culture and traditional ways were obstacles that block their way to modernization."

This is a historical fact. My question is whether they (魯 迅 and 錢 玄 同) were right or simply ignorant about

Update 3:

Elena S said, "for -- logically -- simplicity,clarity and speed:

為 => 为

龍 => 龙

言 => 讠

漢語 => 汉语"

Do the following have a better logic?

1. 孬 (useless, no good) = 不 (no, not) over 好 (good).

2. 睡 (sleep or sleepy) = 目 (eyes) + 垂 (droop or droopy).

3. 貨 (products, produces) = 化 (transform) + 貝 (treasure), money can be transformed into products.

4. 間 (gap) = 門 (door) over 日 (Sun), there is a gap when seeing Sunlight through the door.

5 Answers

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  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Initially, China had been writing with a system known today as "Classical Chinese", which you may look up on wikipedia. From the beginning of Chinese civilization, Classical Chinese had been used, until some decades ago when the new Chinese government decided that it had to go. The reason? They believed that the Chinese culture and traditional ways were obstacles that block their way to modernization. With that, they adopted the Beijing dialect as the official language of China.

    Modern Beijing dialect, aka Mandarin, is known by linguist to be a highly Manchurian-influenced language that was put into widespread use during the past several centuries, when China was under Manchurian occupation. The new government designed a writing system to complement the Mandarin dialect so that whatever is written is how it would be spoken in Mandarin. Prior to that, all the different Chinese languages speak in different ways, but write using "Classical Chinese".

    Here's the problem now; by adopting the new Mandarin language, they have made their language evne more complicated. Reason is that in a regular Mandarin sentence or text of about 20 words, Classical Chinese could have expressed the same in just 10. It didn't help that Mandarin is one of the most homophones of all Chinese languages.

    Obviously not a moment later the new government realized this and thought that perhaps simplifying characters may be the way to go. Some words now have less strokes to write, but in a way you're still writing 20 words or so for everyone 10 words that could be written in Classical Chinese. It still remained mostly inefficient. To add insult to injury, now many words in Chinese (simplified) no longer make sense. In many older Chinese languages such as Cantonese where there are considerably less homophones, certain words have been simplified to look the same in Mandarin was also applied in Cantonese, which caused a lot of confusion on how certain words should be pronounced.

    So does the simplified system helped in any way at all? So far there's nothing that can prove it did, except for the recent statisitc that showed the rise of the literacy rate in China's mainland, but Mandarin was a pretty new language, certainly it's expected to rise given time during modernization. But the most obvious results of the simplification and "Mandarin-ization" of China are the problems that it has caused for various other Chinese languages.

    __________

    Edit:

    For that question, you'll only be getting opinions. Mine would be that 魯 迅 and 錢 玄 同 are simply ignorant. Chinese characters have been used for several thousands of years, and throughout those years the Chinese civilization was one of the most advanced places on earth for their time, along with Rome and others. Japan has been using Kanji for so long now, yet today they're still one of the leading countries in the economic and technology sector. If a several thousand year old evidence and a modern today example of an advanced nation that uses Chinese characters isn't enough to prove that Chinese characters have nothing to do with China's downfall, then probably nothing will. It's the bad governance that will bring down a nation, not language. Seriously... how in the world can a language cause a country to fall behind? Not only is that an ubsurd statement, but they give me the impression that they're covering up their own failure with something that's totally unrelated.

  • 3 years ago

    I found out Simplified Chinese even as attending tuition again in China and that i consider it is less difficult for someone seeking to study Chinese/Mandarin. Comparing to the volume of persons utilizing Traditional Chinese, in case your pal plans on dwelling/running/learning in China, Simplified Chinese, with far more persons utilizing it, is the only to study. Knowing Simplified Chinese already i picked up on studying Traditional very quick while moved to the U.S, Traditional Characters most likely resembles or include the Simplified models so it is not difficult to determine what the phrase way. I do not consider a individual who simplest is aware of Traditional can learn Simplified simply, on the grounds that ingredients of a few phrase is long gone. If your pal desires to study Mandarin, Learn Simplified, it is extra handy in China (that's in which Chinese are used probably the most) and she or he'll be in a position to opt for up Traditional very quick too if she desires. Personally, i love Traditional Character larger for the reason that they are very top notch within the designs, you'll just about inform what the phrase way simply by watching at it is ingredients. Yes, Simplified Characters often can do this too, however the quantity of characters that may do this and their intensity is decreased. I consider Traditional Chinese is principal and must be found out, or no less than now not forgotten by way of someone who speaks Simplified Chinese already. But for any individual who isn't accustomed to the language and simply opening to study Chinese, Simplified is a well alternative to start with.

  • 9 years ago

    Mainland China adopted Simplified Chinese in to increase literacy rates. There are considerably less strokes to remember in Simplified Chinese than there are in Traditional Chinese.

    Traditional characters are still used in Hong Kong, where Cantonese is the norm, and in Taiwanese Mandarin.

  • 9 years ago

    Currently, Pinyin is used to input it into simplified form on keyboards and in the form of text. Much far back however, traditional Chinese was very difficult to learn and had many, many, many homophones. To fix this, the Pinyin syllabary was formed. This is my understanding of it.

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  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    for -- logically -- simplicity,clarity and speed:

    為 => 为

    龍 => 龙

    言 => 讠

    漢語 => 汉语

    電視機 => 电视机

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