Re: Chinese writing systems
|From:||Florian Rivoal <florian@...>|
|Date:||Tuesday, November 5, 2002, 19:01|
>I don't have proof per se, but I would imagine traditional -->
>simplified is easier than simplified--> traditional, and even *that*
>is not insurmountable.
Traditional -> simplified:
not so hard, because many (ok, not all, but still) changes were decided by looking
how people naturaly simplified writing through fast hand writing. And some
changes are regular. one example: Some traditional characters include something
which look more or less like ''`` four small more or less vertical lines.
Writing fast it becomes like /\/\/\/ that is linking the small lines together
because you don't take the time to lift the pen from the paper. this one line
can even become ---- a straight line when you write very fast, which is actualy
most of the time. Well look a simplified hanzi. where traditional have ''`` you
will almost always find ____. it is not always so easy, and regular, but this
is already an important part of the simplification process.
Some times the way used is diferent. You maybe know that a hanzi can often be
splitted in two: one part giving a tip for pronouciation, one giving a vague
idea of the meaning. those parts can be composed can often be divided the same
way. Some time it was felt the ancient scribs went a bit crazy merging already
quite complex characters. so simplified version would get rid of a 25 stroke
part indicating what the the pronouciation is close to, to chose an other one
with less strokes, and exact same promounciation. So though you can not actualy
read the character, it is not more difficult than guessing an unkown one, which
most chinese say it is not so difficult when you already know a lot of them.
Simplified -> traditional
for regular changes, same thing, exept that you can not guess what was the
traditional form, but once you know it (because it is common), then there is no
problem. For non regular graphical simplification, the only way is to rembember
one by one.
for the other style, same difficulty as in the other way, except that the
difficult part indicating pronouciation might have completly disapeared, even
as a stand alone.
But people from mainland have many opportunity to come across traditional hanzi:
old texts and imported texts. text does not necessarly mean book. an old text
can be writen on a shrine or in a temple, and imported text can be on a dvd
player box or user manual, on any web page, or, and that's maybe the main way
they see it, in karaoke. Most machines (not to say all) are made in hong kong
(where people use traditional) and taiwan. So the text is always display in
traditional. And remember that karaoke may be the favorite hobby for many