Re: Chinese

From: John H. Jenkins (
Date: Mon Aug 19 1996 - 13:44:12 EDT

Michael Everson wrote:

>At 14:01 1996-08-17, David Goldsmith wrote:
>(Someone said:)
>>>Why should the Chinese, a powerful and capable people, depend on
>>>foreigners to standardize a culturally important element of their language=
>>Ummm, why does anyone think this is what happened? As has been pointed
>>out several times in the past, Asian nationals were the primary
>>participants in the IRG, which developed the unified Han repertoire.
>As far as I know, China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Singapore and Taiwan are
>still the main movers and shakers of the IRG.

At the HK meeting of the IRG, I was the only Unicode/US representative
and the only non-native speaker of a CJKV language there.

By and large, I was content to let the others handle the technical work
of the meeting, particularly the review of the contents of the horizontal
and vertical extension proposals. I did occasionally stick my nose into
the ad hoc group working on the composition proposal, but the main work
was done by the other IRG members.

My main contribution was to chair the drafting committee. Mr. Zhang
seemed to feel that, as a native English speaker, my talents would be
best used there, and I would never dream of disagreeing with Mr. Zhang.

To be brutally frank, this notion that the ideographic repertoire of
Unicode/10646 is a solution foisted on the Far East by an American
consortium is insulting in the extreme to the IRG, and in particular to
Mr. Zhang, who has been IMHO the heart and soul of the IRG and its
driving force from its inception.

I have enormous respect for all the members of the IRG. Each of the
delegations is made up of people who care passionately for their native
languages and work very hard to make sure that the needs of the people in
their countries are well-met by the IRG's work.

The idea that Unihan is an American solution to an East Asian problem is
a myth and an insult to all of them.

John H. Jenkins

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : Tue Jul 10 2001 - 17:20:31 EDT