Should Chinese Characters be Abolished?

Ok. Where’s Taoyuan District?

You’ll have the same exact problem in any analogous situation in any phonetic language, but people work around it well enough.

Except that these analogous situations are few and far between in other languages.

The only word combo in English that has three homophones is To/Two/Too.

Chinese often exceeds this.

In English it’s relatively rare. In Chinese it’s common.

Where’s Taoyuan District?

Why are you repeating that? I just answered it above.

How many “Taoyuan Districts” are there in Taiwan? I don’t think it’s all that different. People generally don’t speak in individual syllables and “Taoyuan District” clearly isn’t.

Again, it’s nice that written Chinese can enable people to make such distinctions at a glance, but it isn’t essential, and written Chinese comes with a much higher learning curve.

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Because it matters.

There’s a difference between living in Peach Park district and Peach Source district.

Removing the Chinese Characters in writing means I can’t say 我住桃源. And then have to needlessly specify that it’s the Kaohsiung one.


Why? Why make it needlessly long and cumbersome?

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But it doesn’t. In any language with phonetic writing you have the same exact problem. To make it explicit you can simply add more words. Again, nice, but not essential.

This is an argument for the superiority of the current system, but it doesn’t mean a phonetic system would be unworkable.

This is fascinating for me. ㄉㄨㄤ is so fetch!

In short, it would be easier to learn. All I’m saying is it is a reasonable argument, which you seemed to entirely dismiss the possibility of.

Perhaps it would be possible but you’re trying to fix a system that isn’t broken because it’s difficult for foreigners. It’s difficult to learn English too.

Taiwanese love to complain about Italian and its rules.

Yes. It would be easier to learn, but it would sacrifice much in the understandability department and needlessly complicate things to fix a system that isn’t broken.

Yeah, I’m firmly in the Chinese Character camp. I don’t feel I was presented with any good arguments against.

That’s all I’m saying, and I don’t see why people can’t argue for it on a linguistic basis. It’s a longstanding academic question actually!

I’m not saying people shouldn’t argue for or not. But i’m still arguing that it’s a stupid idea. And often it’s from non-native speakers complaining about it. I don’t see these arguments coming from the Taiwanese.

It’s the same thing with Italian/French/Romance Languages. Non-native speakers whinging about masculine and feminine nouns/articles and conjugation because it’s inconvenient and doesn’t fit with their world view.

That might be true in some cases but it seems like a really bad idea to make that kind of blanket assumption about why people have certain ideas. I would be personally offended by that kind of statement in this case. What if I came up with alternate such explanations about why you have an opposite view? I bet you wouldn’t like it. There is more than enough linguistic ground to argue in this case.

I’m not making an assumption about why people have this idea. I’m saying to me it sounds entitled.

My reasoning being is… it sounds like people trying to change everyone else before themselves.

Taiwanese and Chinese have grown up with these languages. They obviously have no problem with it as native speakers or they’d change it. The PRC already did, though their motivations aren’t clear.

I’m not saying you or anyone else IS entitled. It sounds entitled.

Well, I would make that argument. And I’m quite sure it’s not for that kind of thing you’re suggesting. So I don’t really know how to respond.

Where’s the Thames River?

One answer: London, Ontario, Canada. :rofl:


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Not true. A homophone doesn’t have to be spelled differently, it just has to have a different meaning. So there are words with probably 5+ homophones

EDIT: And there are many words with 4 spellings, ie By, Bye, Bi, Buy

Bi is not a word. But I stand corrected. There are two I know of now.

But why did the Chinese create so many homophones? There’s certain sounds that are barely used in Chinese. Why put all your eggs in so few baskets? 籍及幾機即及集雞吉極基

It’s the homophones that hinder the use of phonetic alphabets.

Yeah it is. A short of bisexual, but common enough to call it its own word. I was googling and saw many examples of 3 and 4 words. Three is pretty damn common