Off topic: Article in NY Times regarding the elimination of some Chinese characters
Thread poster: LegalTransform

LegalTransform  Identity Verified
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Feb 12, 2010

This was an interesting article in the New York Times about the elimination of some Chinese characters:

Click here for full article:
That Character is Not on Our List



[Edited at 2010-02-12 00:41 GMT]


 

Henry Zhang  Identity Verified
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confusing Feb 12, 2010

As a Chinese, it confuses me when three horses (Mas) coming together..

 

LegalTransform  Identity Verified
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TOPIC STARTER
Chinese names Feb 12, 2010

According to the article, parents are trying to make their children stand out by using obscure Chinese characters to write their names. The problem is that now these characters are not recognized by computer software. According to the article, only 100 surnames represent 85% of the Chinese population and there are enough people named Zhang Wei, for example, to fill the city of Pittsburgh. Using an obscure character to represent their name allows people to stand out and differentiate themselves.

"“Ma,” a Chinese character for horse, is the 13th most common family name in China, shared by nearly 17 million people. That can cause no end of confusion when Mas get together, especially if those Mas also share the same given name, as many Chinese do.

Ma Cheng’s book-loving grandfather came up with an elegant solution to this common problem. Twenty-six years ago, when his granddaughter was born, he combed through his library of Chinese dictionaries and lighted upon a character pronounced “cheng.” Cheng, which means galloping steeds, looks just like the character for horse, except that it is condensed and written three times in a row. "

Henry Zhang wrote:

As a Chinese, it confuses me when three horses (Mas) coming together..


[Edited at 2010-02-12 01:16 GMT]


 

LegalTransform  Identity Verified
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"Cheng" character Feb 12, 2010

Also: The original "cheng" character probably did not use the simplified version of the horse character...

 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
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What do you mean to say? Feb 12, 2010

Jeff, what did you mean to say by this forum? Was this purely a linguistic information or did you mean to say something else?

 

jyuan_us  Identity Verified
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Those characters are not of any use in the modern Chinese language Feb 12, 2010

It's weired for her grandfather to give her such a name that no one understands and is able to pronounce.

 

Krzysztof Kajetanowicz (X)  Identity Verified
Poland
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wow Feb 12, 2010

I can't but wonder how languages are born.

At the risk of sounding ignorant, which I can do little about, and shauvinistic, which I am anything but, may I suggest that 24 short characters combinable into millions of words may be a little more efficient than fifty thousand symbols so complicated that it's only practical to use one or two per name?

How may characters, in total, do the Chinese actually use?

[Edited at 2010-02-12 12:43 GMT]


 

LegalTransform  Identity Verified
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Linguistics Feb 12, 2010

No, my interests are purely linguistic. I study Chinese, Japanese, Russian, Arabic and Navajo in my spare time.


Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

Jeff, what did you mean to say by this forum? Was this purely a linguistic information or did you mean to say something else?


 


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Article in NY Times regarding the elimination of some Chinese characters

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