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Re: German with Hanzi/Kanji/Hanja?

From:David McCann <david@...>
Date:Saturday, August 2, 2008, 15:42
On Fri, 2008-08-01, Henrik Theiling wrote:

> I haven't decided yet what I like best. It would seem that I need to > look into it more closely to decide which system I find best suited. > I do feel that due to German's strong compositional tendencies, I'd > want to go for one Hanzi per (German) stem, but this might indeed be > very complicated because obviously, Hanzi are made for Chinese stems > and thus there is no one-to-one correspondence with German. Also, > there are many Latin and Greek words in German I would first try to > analyse and compound with corresponding Hanzi, but this would get even > more complicated.
> No, I'd have at least two scripts: one for the stems, one for the > affixes. And maybe I'd use yet another for totally morphological > particles. The only 'rule' would be to use Hanzi for the content > words.
> I would think that it might be ok to have a plural marker with no > fixed pronunciation at all. If the number of these markers was > limited to the situations of umlaut and ablaut, it might be ok. > Everything else I'd do with phonetic markers (person verb endings, for > example). >
I think the question is how you view writing. If you consider the possibility that a writing system can be an independent method of communication, rather than a transcription of speech, you have a freer hand. I like the idea of Hanzi for nouns, verbs, and adjectives where possible; an alphabet for formal words and those lexical words without Hanzi, Korean-style; and grammatical markers, like the Egyptian use of a plural marker instead of writing the suffix/apophony. The problem that strikes me is the shortage of Hanzi. German, like English, has a bigger vocabulary than Chinese (or Japanese). Think of all those very specific verbs (e.g. holen) for which Chinese uses compounds. You could always make new Hanzi, of course, based on existing radicals. But where the Japanese and Koreans have fewer than the Chinese, you'd end up with a lot more. You'd certainly need that spare plane in Unicode!