You may wish to ask if Korean wish to remove Chinese characters and make it impossible for the main public to read older Korean literature but remain their names has Chinese characters?

Okay, let me show you something. This is the dictionary we use in primary school. This is the dictionary that made in communist party of China and almost every student will use. There are not many versions and publishers, because writing correctly is a very serious job. It is same importance as Oxford dictionary for Chinese people to use especially for the kids.

Straight after we start learning how to use dictionary to write homework, or learning in class, we will see those traditional Chinese characters in brackets next to the simplified Chinese characters (I circled some of them in red). Some words may have more than 1 traditional writing and many words did not change at all.

And most Chinese people even without systematically learned traditional Chinese characters, often see them in shop signs, old buildings, old painting, etc. so it’s not that hard to recognise them or read them.

I could say that with proper 9 year compulsory education for more than 90% of Chinese kids, they can recognise Traditional characters.

The most challenge is not read traditional characters, it is use modern Chinese thinking and simplified/traditional Chinese characters to understand old literature. The gramma that time, the meaning of words, the way people use the words, they were very different to nowadays. They could talk about numbers but mean feelings, objects, times. They could talk about weather but mean people, memory. They could even use the pronunciation of one word to represent another word which we never mixed up that way. Put this way, in ancient literature, for us to read, we understand each characters, but 30% -60% chance we could misunderstand what the ancient trying to say, not even close. Someone really good at traditional literature (teachers, history experts) will “translate” each word to us, and then linked to the time, location and scenarios (even jobs) the writer was at that time and related some other literature to reveal the true meaning (cross referencing?).

Although this part is covered in mandatory education, these were not enough mainly because there is always too much stuff for students to learn within limited time. Students can’t just get Chinese for 90% and have math, physics, and like 9 other subjects with 50%. Nevertheless, it was fun to understand ancient Chinese history and thoughts through reading their literature directly.

Again, simplified Chinese was aim to simplify the process and time spend in learning, reading and writing, not for forgetting about history. Chinese do proud of history so if we have time we will pick it up. The literature from the ancient is the endless treasure for people in the world to know China better.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *