Simplified too … ok just kidding.
[quote=“JoH”]I personally don’t think you can divorce this issue from the cultural, economic and political aspects. Like, a mainland government is ever going to adopt a system based on Taiwanese bopomofo? The problem of isolating different language groups (like Mandarin and cantonese speakers) has been touched on, but what about the impact of having a generation of Chinese kids growing up using a different written language to their parents? You might say that this is just a transitionary problem, but with 1.25 billion people to ‘convert’ that’s quite a transition.
You know JoH, I agree. I would never dedicate my life to trying to change the way a whole culture thinks about it’s language. I wouldn’t live to see the changes and I can’t garuntee that they would be good. I guess that boat was missed with the introduction of simplified characters (from what I gather from others posts). Let China decide what’s best for China, Taiwan for Taiwan, etc, etc.
Here’s something that I can see. A major change in the way Chinese language to taught to foreigners. This may have to wait to be my masters thesis, but I think there is a lot to be had from some form of rominazation used in the classroom (pinyin seems good). Here’s how I see things unfolding in my mind.
Students start with pronunciation in pinyin (or something)
They do the basic dialogs and stories all in pinyin, NO characters.
Then maybe even advanced level reading could be “translated” from Chinese into pinyin.
It’d be somewhere during this stage, a bit before or after that focus would be put on characters, but it would be after a person has a very strong foundation in the other facets of the language.
This is based off of my own experiences learning Chinese now. I really want to dive into the language and start swimming, but I’m constantly hung up on characters. It’d be so nice to just completely let go of characters and focus on vocabulary, grammar, my speaking and reading skills (even if I just used pinyin). I really think there is something to that. There’s no reason someone (a non-native at least) should have to learn 3-5 thousand symbols to read.
There MUST be a logical romanized, alphabetic, or ??? system that could take characters, put them in a romanized (or some other form) and I or anyone that knew the system could read it. If it’s not pinyin (I have not researched this enough to comment on whether it should be or not) then it must be something, yet undiscovered.
Was pinyin even created to replaced characters? I’ve always thought it was just a method used to romanize the pronunciation.