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Old 09-25-2015, 05:38 PM
 
25,059 posts, read 23,161,410 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
To the English speakers who support this kind of silliness - do you support changing English by eliminating all the irregularities in English so that it becomes easier to learn?

For example: the past tense of "go" should be "goed", not "went". And why do you add a "s" to their person, singular verbs but not any of the others? It makes absolutely no sense.

In terms of pronunciation, English is a huge mess. "ough" can have 6 different pronunciation depending on the words, and the letter "a" can have 4 or 5 - why shouldn't they be pronounced the same under any circumstances, like in Spanish? See how stupid my request is?
That's what I like about my native language, Spanish; what you see is how you say it with only one exception, the silent h. But, that H is there because words can't begin with an I in Spanish and to separate certain vowels from each other like a and o. Other than that, Spanish grammar is almost consistent 100% of the time. I had a lot of difficulty with English pronunciations because they didn't make sense to me when I was in ESL class.

Quote:
Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
I agree.

I deeply resent the idea of adopting a phonetically based Chinese language simply because our culture and identity is closely hinged on the richness of the language we use. Chinese characters carry so much information than their pronunciation. They represent how the ancient Chinese came to understand the objects and things around them, which to a large extend shaped the Chinese culture. To me, to abandon the Chinese characters is equivalent to abandoning the entire Chinese culture - no exaggeration here.

From a practical perspective, it also makes little sense. For example, the classical poems are written in 20 or 28 characters, 5 or 7 characters in each row, which gives the impression of order and beauty. If replaced by Pinyin, they will be of difference length because some words contain 3 letters while others may contain 6. This is why English poems always look messy to me. In terms of printing or even online display, pinyin will be twice as long as Chinese characters - what a waste of paper and space!

Additionally, there will be too many words with the same spelling yet different meaning, even with the tones explicitly spelt out. It would be difficult or take more time to process. The Chinese don't really need to read the word in mind in order to understand it, we learn it visually, or phonetically. Chinese characters are far more efficient in western alphabets in that each character contains far more information than a letter or a combination of letters, and if we replace them with roman letters, much of the additional information is lost.

I really don't see much of an advantage of switching to anything else. Typing is not an issue at all. Even mother 70 year old mother who knows little Pinyin can type on her smartphone with little difficulty. To say the students spend too much time memorizing words is ridiculous - it is like saying learning math is useless.

In terms of learner friendliness... as I said, if the language is important enough, people will learn it no matter what. English isn't exactly easy to learn for the Chinese, when the Chinese language doesn't have any conjugation or tense, but we managed. Languages are just difficult in different aspects.
I agree, and to be honest, I don't find memorizing Chinese characters difficult at all. Well, I'm lucky, I guess, to be able to memorize characters just by hearing their pronunciation and knowing their meaning without having to write it down. There's disadvantages to that, but in the days of computers and smartphones I can't see how it would hinder me so much. Also, each character's stroke let's me memorize or guess the meaning without having to actually know how to pronounce it. I find that easier than knowing which tone a character has.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yanagisawa View Post
Haha, that's great!

So phonetic alphabet system is not superior to Chinese characters in this regard as well.
Not really. I'm a firm believer in any language can be written with any alphabet. Just make some modifications, and you're good to go. Most characters can be imported into English like 狗 let's just call it dog.
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Old 09-27-2015, 04:37 AM
 
919 posts, read 602,484 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theunbrainwashed View Post
Not really. I'm a firm believer in any language can be written with any alphabet. Just make some modifications, and you're good to go.
诺特日阿里 = Not really

How do you think you can't do that with Chinese characters?

Quote:
Originally Posted by theunbrainwashed View Post
Most characters can be imported into English like 狗 let's just call it dog.
The way how you read 狗 as dog, is called Kun-yomi (訓読み) in Japanese. With this method, you can read 中 as central, or 国 as country.

Furthermore we have another method called 熟字訓 in Japanese. With this method, you can read 中国 as China, not central country.
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Old 11-16-2015, 04:24 AM
 
448 posts, read 499,256 times
Reputation: 170
The reason why Zhuyin Fuhao did not replace traditional Chinese characters in the ROC. It was objected by educated Chinese.

Traditional Chinese characters are not difficult for a Chinese person in a Chinese language enviorment if he or she is given the chance to goto school until the end of elementary school. The problem in the past, many children could not goto school.

Commonly used traditional characters, once learnt, are not easy to forget in a Chinese language society, as they appear frequently when a person reads a Chinese book, newspaper, magazine, articles on a webpage, restaurant menu and television subtitles.

Thailand also does not have a romanized script.
Similarities, Both China and Thailand have never been fully ruled by a western power.
Quote:
Originally Posted by willister View Post
I always wondered what if Bopomofo (Zhuyin fuhao see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bopomofo) was in widespread use in Greater China (Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore) and it's effect on the economy and China as a whole?

I strongly think it would happen to have massive benefits and probably should have been implemented much earlier during Mao's early days (when he tried to remove Chinese characters altogether).

The benefits I see:

1. Chinese is notoriously difficult based on rote learning and this is not very good training/grounding for creative thinking....if your memory is being used up with characters leaves very little room for free thinking!

2. Looking at hangul (another alphabet system) and Japanese Hirigana/Katakana, it would massively help reduce illiteracy....an alphabet set it conductive for intuition.

3. It would encourage foreigners to take up Chinese much more, the Bopomofo system is unlike pinyin which looks really inappropriate for Chinese and I'm told less accurate than Bopomofo.
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Old 11-16-2015, 05:07 PM
 
276 posts, read 204,523 times
Reputation: 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by lokeung) View Post
The reason why Zhuyin Fuhao did not replace traditional Chinese characters in the ROC. It was objected by educated Chinese.

Traditional Chinese characters are not difficult for a Chinese person in a Chinese language enviorment if he or she is given the chance to goto school until the end of elementary school. The problem in the past, many children could not goto school.

Commonly used traditional characters, once learnt, are not easy to forget in a Chinese language society, as they appear frequently when a person reads a Chinese book, newspaper, magazine, articles on a webpage, restaurant menu and television subtitles.

Thailand also does not have a romanized script.
Similarities, Both China and Thailand have never been fully ruled by a western power.
I'm pretty sure if China opened up earlier and had realized the significance of education for the masses they would have adopted a phonetic system much earlier and in more widespread use.

As a Chinese myself and as many of my other friends have said, it is bloody difficult to memorise characters. Gradually you might be able to identify a character but can a person actually write it with the correct storkes and all? Beyond certain basic to middle characters, you'd be hard pressed to be able to write the more difficult ones.

Heck, if Bopomofo (which I prefer over pinyin) was devised and taught back in the 1920s I could see the following benefits:

* Mass educated poor class.
* Records a lot easier to be organised/managed.
* Digitalisation at a much earlier date.

When ya look at it - the two biggest hurdles for learning Chinese for foreigners is

1. Tone (much more difficult to remove unless you convert Chinese to many syllabic compound words and this would call for wholesale changes).
2. Characters (this could be easier if Bopomofo as I suggested was more widely used).

It would make Chinese a lot more attractive to foreigners since it's not too difficult and not too easy...

- SVO order (mostly)
- Phoentic system
- Fairly straight forward Grammar system.

Only drawbacks would be the tones.
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Old 11-17-2015, 12:17 AM
 
1,424 posts, read 734,780 times
Reputation: 508
Chinese characters are hard to learn. But once you master them, they are easier to be recognized than alphabets.
That is why Chinese people read fast.
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Old 11-19-2015, 11:14 PM
 
569 posts, read 372,589 times
Reputation: 275
The languages were the culture barriers. The peoples in China had no unified languages but the characters. The Bopomofo was the mean for a unified China liken the America. But apparently some “Indians” in China thought they were better and were not giving up in establishing their own dynasty then an empire. My generosity ends though.

Also there were some certain tribes that should not be including into the Chinese. So the other parts of China quickly dissmissed Bopomofo and the thousands years of the unified characters.
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Old 11-20-2015, 08:03 PM
 
919 posts, read 602,484 times
Reputation: 369
Quote:
Originally Posted by willister View Post
As a Chinese myself and as many of my other friends have said, it is bloody difficult to memorise characters. Gradually you might be able to identify a character but can a person actually write it with the correct storkes and all? Beyond certain basic to middle characters, you'd be hard pressed to be able to write the more difficult ones.
You don't have to learn how to write Chinese characters with the correct strokes unless you are a teacher who teaches how to do it.

It is enough for us to learn how to read and type on computers/tablets/phones. Ask yourself how many characters do you write everyday.

Quote:
Originally Posted by willister View Post
When ya look at it - the two biggest hurdles for learning Chinese for foreigners is
How hard to learn a language is not a problem at all. Whether the language is important enough or not is the question you should ask.

The reason why many foreigners are learning English is not because it is easy to learn. It is necessary for them to do so.

BTW, I've learned several foreign languages and found English writing system is the hardest one among them.
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Old 11-21-2015, 01:05 AM
 
1,565 posts, read 822,923 times
Reputation: 1647
Quote:
Originally Posted by yueng-ling View Post
Chinese characters are hard to learn. But once you master them, they are easier to be recognized than alphabets.
That is why Chinese people read fast.
The view from the bottom is a lot more intimidating than the view from the top. Once you get the studying out of the way, it's easier to see the positives and conveniences of Chinese characters.
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Old 11-21-2015, 02:42 AM
 
276 posts, read 204,523 times
Reputation: 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yanagisawa View Post
You don't have to learn how to write Chinese characters with the correct strokes unless you are a teacher who teaches how to do it.

It is enough for us to learn how to read and type on computers/tablets/phones. Ask yourself how many characters do you write everyday.



How hard to learn a language is not a problem at all. Whether the language is important enough or not is the question you should ask.

The reason why many foreigners are learning English is not because it is easy to learn. It is necessary for them to do so.

BTW, I've learned several foreign languages and found English writing system is the hardest one among them.
Yes and no woth regards to how important it is.

Imagine if English was hard difficult as Chinese to begin learning with, it would put off many people and wouldn't be as widespread.

English is easy to learn but difficult to master.
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Old 11-21-2015, 03:42 AM
 
919 posts, read 602,484 times
Reputation: 369
Quote:
Originally Posted by willister View Post
Imagine if English was hard difficult as Chinese to begin learning with, it would put off many people and wouldn't be as widespread.
English IS difficult to learn.

I recall learning alphabets was a bad headache for me.

"A" and "a" are different but same? What do you mean by that? You can't just use one of them if they are same? After recognizing the difference, we were forced to learn the third style, handwriting. Another different but same thing AGAIN?

As for its writing system, I don't know what language is more difficult than English, except for Japanese.

I picked up all words including "i" in them from your sentence:

imagine: ɪmˈdʒɪn
English: ŋglɪʃ
difficult: dfɪk`ʌlt
Chinese: tʃὰɪnːz
begin: bɪgn
with: wɪ, wɪθ, w, wθ
it: t
widespread: wɪdsprɛ́d

How many pronunciations does "i" represent in English?

Difficult? why not diffikult?

Why learn and lean are pronounced so differently?

Japanese? Why not Japaneese, just like knee? How about Japaneez? Oh, where did the k in knee go?

What is your first language?
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