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Old 07-19-2014, 05:10 PM
 
6,726 posts, read 6,606,089 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mahhammer View Post
This is not the 18th century though, most people in Hong Kong I've met don't know how to write each character perfectly, they just scribble it like the messy notes waiters take when you order food, you see it everywhere. Typing on a computer is easier, just type in the pinyin and choose the character, you just need to recognize it, not memorize it, and you can just use colloquial cursive elsewhere.
“Printed" style and writing style are always different to some extent. Few adults write every character clearly, but just "sketch" the frames. Only pupils are required to write every stroke for practice.
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Old 07-19-2014, 05:14 PM
 
6,213 posts, read 6,370,006 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
Actually, you'd be surprised. Once you get the hang of it, it makes sense. Also, it's much more descriptive than an alphabet would be. There are so many homonyms in Chinese, it's necessary to use characters to make sense of it sometimes. If you romanize everything into a Western alphabet, you lose a huge portion of the meaning of the words, and you can wind up with nonsense. Even if you added tone marks to each syllable, it wouldn't solve the problem entirely.

For the record, I HATE having to memorize all those characters! And if you don't practice reading them regularly, you forget everything. Then you have to start over at Square One with the whole language, just to review the characters. BUT: I can see the advantages of using them. I'm just not a visually-oriented person; I learn languages via my ears. I'm at a disadvantage when it comes to the written aspect of East Asian languages. But I can see and appreciate how the system works.
The indo european or greco roman have a limited alphabet and the words are formed directly from that alphabet. Even if you dont know the meaning of the combined letters or words, you can still pronounce it. And then go ask someone what it means. How could you do this in chinese? How would one know how to pronounce the words, and how do you know those that say they know actually do know the correct pronunciation?
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Old 07-19-2014, 05:22 PM
 
25,059 posts, read 23,172,752 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJ Brazen_3133 View Post
The indo european or greco roman have a limited alphabet and the words are formed directly from that alphabet. Even if you dont know the meaning of the combined letters or words, you can still pronounce it. And then go ask someone what it means. How could you do this in chinese? How would one know how to pronounce the words, and how do you know those that say they know actually do know the correct pronunciation?
Easy, you ask someone how to you read this character. There is always someone who knows, it's no different from me asking my friends, how do I say this character?
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Old 07-19-2014, 05:47 PM
 
6,726 posts, read 6,606,089 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJ Brazen_3133 View Post
The indo european or greco roman have a limited alphabet and the words are formed directly from that alphabet. Even if you dont know the meaning of the combined letters or words, you can still pronounce it. And then go ask someone what it means. How could you do this in chinese? How would one know how to pronounce the words, and how do you know those that say they know actually do know the correct pronunciation?
I can list some facts here so you will know how it works.

(1) Over 70% Chinese characters have a component to represent its pronunciation. Unfortunately, it is based on archaic Chinese and is not very useful now, because the pronunciation has changed over thousands of years. That said, some characters have been created in recent 100 years (for science and technology, for example), and one can easily guess their pronunciations because they are based on modern pronunciations.

(2) Every Chinese character has one or several "correct" pronunciations in standard Mandarin, and in some other dialects. They are recorded in dictionaries and regulated by China government. If one is not sure about the pronunciation of a character, he can use a dictionary. There are ways to look up a character in a Chinese dictionary, without knowing its pronunciation before hand.

(3) Educated adults (finished middle school) can recognize almost all characters in newspapers and in other mass media. They do not need to use a dictionary frequently.
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Old 07-21-2014, 11:30 AM
 
340 posts, read 270,914 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJ Brazen_3133 View Post
The indo european or greco roman have a limited alphabet and the words are formed directly from that alphabet. Even if you dont know the meaning of the combined letters or words, you can still pronounce it. And then go ask someone what it means. How could you do this in chinese? How would one know how to pronounce the words, and how do you know those that say they know actually do know the correct pronunciation?
I would rather learn a bunch of characters instead of the nauseating overflowing useless redundant messes of grammar that languages like Russian or Icelandic have.
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Old 07-23-2014, 11:47 AM
 
Location: In the heights
22,142 posts, read 23,662,647 times
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No, not really true in my experience.
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