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Re: Chinese writing systems

From:Jake X <alwaysawake247@...>
Date:Sunday, November 3, 2002, 15:13
> Same point about speech. If there is no problem with comprehension of the > spoken form, there should be no problem with comprehension of the written > form if it accurately records the spoken form. The thing is, the
> system *doesn't* do that. Yet people understand it anyway - after their > difficult learning process.
It seems to me you are making the common mistake of thinking your own system is the best for all. Clearly, from what Florian said, Chinese comprises many non-mutually comprehensible dialects united by an ideographic script. If the speech were the same for all Chinese-speakers, your suggestion would be valid, but unless you propose fragmenting a language into thousands of pieces, the current system is the best one for its purpose. In the case of English, which I assume is your L1, many people speek basically the same words with comparitively small "accent" variations. Even an American can understand an Australian, whose vowels have totally different values from American English. This may partly be because we use a phonetic script. In China, this simply isn't the case. Two people may read the same character completely differently, but still be able to correspond in writing. In that, the ideographic system has benefits ours lacks. Also, "the written form acurately reflecting the spoken form": interlinguistic comprehension is not so clear-cut with the roman alphabet. Think of the simple sentence in German, "Ich spreche Deutsch," (I speak German), and compare it in its sounds to the english spelling of similar sounds. Jake