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Old 08-27-2010, 05:54 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
36,530 posts, read 37,528,849 times
Reputation: 57354

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"Like every Chinese child, Li Hanwei spent her schooldays memorising thousands of the intricate characters that make up the Chinese writing system. Yet aged just 21 and now a university student in Hong Kong, Li already finds that when she picks up a pen to write, the characters for words as simple as 'embarrassed' have slipped from her mind. Surveys indicate the phenomenon, dubbed "character amnesia", is widespread across China, causing young Chinese to fear for the future of their ancient writing system. Young Japanese people also report the problem, which is caused by the constant use of computers and mobile phones with alphabet-based input systems."

Full article here:

Wired youth forget how to write in China and Japan

I thought that in light of some posts I have read where American students are no longer being taught cursive writing, you might find this article interesting. I wonder if in the not too distant future, the power grids should go across the world, young people will have to grab an old person to help them communicate from a distance.
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Old 08-27-2010, 06:44 AM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,388 posts, read 33,412,553 times
Reputation: 14662
Quote:
Originally Posted by LauraC View Post
"Like every Chinese child, Li Hanwei spent her schooldays memorising thousands of the intricate characters that make up the Chinese writing system. Yet aged just 21 and now a university student in Hong Kong, Li already finds that when she picks up a pen to write, the characters for words as simple as 'embarrassed' have slipped from her mind. Surveys indicate the phenomenon, dubbed "character amnesia", is widespread across China, causing young Chinese to fear for the future of their ancient writing system. Young Japanese people also report the problem, which is caused by the constant use of computers and mobile phones with alphabet-based input systems."

Full article here:

Wired youth forget how to write in China and Japan

I thought that in light of some posts I have read where American students are no longer being taught cursive writing, you might find this article interesting. I wonder if in the not too distant future, the power grids should go across the world, young people will have to grab an old person to help them communicate from a distance.
If the power grids went down, and some predict they will, life will come to a stand still for those who can only use technology. It's imperitive that we preserve our knowledge base in a non tech form. This is my excuse for keeping every engineering book I ever bought, lol. I might need them if the lights go out.
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Old 08-27-2010, 10:10 AM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
8,874 posts, read 11,738,851 times
Reputation: 2578
I find this odd, as computers actually make the use of characters EASIER. My DD took HS Japanese through AP, and had a computer program (suggested by her teacher, IIUC) that enabled her to type the sounds of a Japanese word, then it would bring up a choice of kanji (characters) to match. It meant she could type a Japanese essay using kanji she hadn't memorized.

edit:

OIC. They are blaming precisely the software I mention above. You still need to recognize the Kanji to READ. This is no different from a westerner using a dictionary to check the spelling of an obscure word, AFAICT.
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Old 08-27-2010, 10:11 AM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
8,874 posts, read 11,738,851 times
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"If the power grids went down, and some predict they will, life will come to a stand still for those who can only use technology"

Solution - off grid solar. At least as long as you can maintain it.

Who predicts the power grids will go down, BTW?
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Old 08-27-2010, 10:12 AM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
8,874 posts, read 11,738,851 times
Reputation: 2578
"I thought that in light of some posts I have read where American students are no longer being taught cursive writing, you might find this article interesting. I wonder if in the not too distant future, the power grids should go across the world, young people will have to grab an old person to help them communicate from a distance."

When the power grids go down, will that somehow make block printing go away and leave cursive as the only form of writing?
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Old 08-27-2010, 10:57 AM
 
17,098 posts, read 20,682,011 times
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The pencil was *new* technology. So was the *ball point* pen. People thought that writing would mean that the oral tradition of memorizing history would be decimated. All technology changes the way we do things.

Interesting pdf file here (yes, I know it is satirical)

http://www.johnhanna.us/pdf/PencilRevolution.pdf

Dorothy
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Old 08-31-2010, 12:00 AM
 
Location: PNW
2,355 posts, read 2,593,758 times
Reputation: 3786
Quote:
Originally Posted by brooklynborndad View Post
I find this odd, as computers actually make the use of characters EASIER. My DD took HS Japanese through AP, and had a computer program (suggested by her teacher, IIUC) that enabled her to type the sounds of a Japanese word, then it would bring up a choice of kanji (characters) to match. It meant she could type a Japanese essay using kanji she hadn't memorized.

edit:

OIC. They are blaming precisely the software I mention above. You still need to recognize the Kanji to READ. This is no different from a westerner using a dictionary to check the spelling of an obscure word, AFAICT.
You're getting the point wrong....

It's relatively easy to read/recognize Chinese (kanji) characters once you learned it, but hard to write/recall them from memory. This is the same reason why it's easy to recognize the Kreb's Cycle or the Glycolysis pathway when you see it, but difficult to write each step down on paper from memory.

To write Chinese on computers or phones requires typing in phonetic letters not Chinese characters (or else that would be one big keyboard), so one gets out of practice in actually writing the characters.

Basically, recognition requires a lot less raw memory than recall. The recall task becomes all the larger when it involves multiple steps separate from phonological cues.
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Old 08-31-2010, 12:40 AM
 
Location: The High Seas
7,374 posts, read 14,775,139 times
Reputation: 11808
People can have widely different long-term memories and retrieval capacity. It's not surprising that, given thousands of characters to remember, people with less effective long-term memories will sometimes have a hard time remembering certain characters.
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Old 08-31-2010, 12:50 AM
f_m
 
2,289 posts, read 7,973,720 times
Reputation: 877
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivorytickler View Post
If the power grids went down, and some predict they will, life will come to a stand still for those who can only use technology. It's imperitive that we preserve our knowledge base in a non tech form. This is my excuse for keeping every engineering book I ever bought, lol. I might need them if the lights go out.
It's funny that I was reading that Keanu Reeves likes to use a typewriter to write letters, and he doesn't use computers. Sort of antithetical in comparison to his fanbase and the futuristic types of movies he makes.

As far as the Chinese and Japanese students, yes, without constant practice it's something that will go away because there are thousands of characters that would need to be memorized to be able to write them.
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Old 08-31-2010, 01:09 AM
 
Location: state of procrastination
3,486 posts, read 6,924,303 times
Reputation: 2903
I am sure the digitization of the characters has caused people to write them less, which results in forgetting the sequence of strokes. This wasn't a big problem before.

At work we almost never type anymore because we have dictation systems. I find myself forgetting how to spell certain words.
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