A dream deferred

From the Taipei Times Taiwan Quick Take section.

Academics from China and Taiwan will gather in Taipei next April to discuss ways to promote “exchanges” of the simplified and traditional Chinese characters that are used on each side of the Taiwan Strait. Liao Hsien-hao (廖咸浩), director of Taipei City’s Department of Cultural Affairs, said yesterday that some Chinese academics are calling for “restoring” the use of traditional characters in China since the historical background for adopting the simplified characters has changed. In the face of changes in information technology, he said, both sides should take a practical and scientific attitude toward Chinese characters.

Here’s my idea of a perfect compromise: China brings back simplified traditional characters, and Taiwan adopts the mainland’s Hanyu pinyin system for romanization, and bans all of the various gibberish versions used throughout the ROC.

4 thoughts on “A dream deferred”

  1. “China brings back simplified characters”
    I don’t think Taiwan would consider this a compromise. My apologies if it was intentional.

    Either way, there are good reasons why pinyin and simplified characters were introduced to the mainland and only Taiwanese pride is stopping them from doing the logical thing.

  2. When simplified characters were introduced in China the government had reasons that they thought were good at that time, but I would argue that with the advent of phonetic Chinese input systems for computers and cell phones all of those reasons are completely obsolete, and the negative aspects of simplified characters are far more significant. Even people in traditional Chinese areas often use many simplified characters in handwriting as a kind of shorthand, just like they did before simplified characters were made official in China about 50 years ago.

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