Re: postal delivery efforts

From: Kenneth Whistler (
Date: Fri Oct 13 2006 - 15:20:49 CST

  • Next message: Jony Rosenne: "RE: postal delivery efforts"

    Richard Wordingham said:

    > Doesn't mean they can read them. Quite a few Thais, even including some who
    > speak enough English to chat, don't know the Roman letters, although all
    > Thais are exposed to Roman letters outside school. As a trivial example, I
    > am regularly exposed to Chinese and Japanese on the Solaris CDE welcome
    > screen, but I read very little of either.

    True, perhaps, but that is a completely assymmetrical observation.

    All 127 million Japanese are continually bombarded by romaji in
    advertising and in other contexts, as well as every one of them
    having had to deal with English as a compulsory school subject
    at some point. Does that mean that all of them can read
    English? Of course not. But the amount of familiarity in Japan
    with Latin A-Z is orders of magnitude greater than the
    amount of familiarity in the United States with Chinese characters
    (outside the communities of Japanese and Chinese living in
    the United States who actually use them, of course).

    Picking up a random old copy of the Asahi Shimbun, I see on the front

    Graphical Computer Books
    Information Design Publishing
    FAX ((multiple instances))

    and multiple instances of single letters used in combination
    with katakana, including "A", "B", and "J".

    The URL's alone should illustrate the obvious -- *anybody* touching
    the internet in any way has been using Latin letters for a decade.

    While that still doesn't come close to the majority of the people
    of the world, the use of URL's in advertising is currently
    completely ubiquitous in East Asia, across many countries, and is
    certainly in-your-face for anyone who isn't completely illiterate.


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