Characters and icons

For the people that think Chinese should get rid of characters and start using romanisation (which is hardly possible in my opinion anyway).

I found it a very interesting thought that the concept of icons as used by MSWindows is very similar to the concept of Chinese characters. What ever language your Windows OS is, Chinese, Russian, English, the icons are the same. If you know the icon for network environment or trash or whatever, you can find it. My network admistrator installed Chinese windows on one of the company PCs once and asked me to help him with translation. We found out quickly that he didn’t need me. He is Irish and cannot read Chinese.

So, is the Chinese way of writing using characters more modern than all the languages that base their writing on all sorts of alphabets?

Will icons replace English as the wriiten international lingua franca?

Shoul Bill Gates learn Chinese in order to get ideas about how to expand the concept of icons to be more universally usable on PCs?

No, because there’s nothing remotely iconic (or pictographic or ideographic) about 99% of Chinese characters!

Icons already have a very important place nationally and internationally for things like traffic signs, cross walks, and even things like product recognition, weights and measures, borrowing Arabic numerals, etc.

They can’t of course fully replace language.

There were a number of philosophers who had proposed that the whole world adopt Classical Chinese as a universal language. I believe none of them were truly learned when it come to the subject though.

99% might be a bit high, but not by much.