From: Arne Götje (高盛華) (email@example.com)
Date: Fri Jan 26 2007 - 10:03:18 CST
> Is the use of 食 and 吃 in Minnan based one any of the above
> mechanisms is it like writing "I could 吃 a 马" (I could eat a horse)
> where the charcter is used is used solely for it's meaning -- what
> one might call an ideographic loan.
In Minnan the character 吃 has two meanings. 1. it is indeed an
ideographic loan from Mandarin and has the same meaning like in
Mandarin... this is due to the fact that people are lazy or didn't know
that the original character for "eat" is 食. Many people indeed think
that 吃 is the correct character for "eat" when it is actually not. Lack
of education I would say... 2. the pronunciation of 吃 is kih8 and is
the sound when someone is laughing.
The dictionary lists both usages but notes that 食 is the correct
character for "eat" and that it should be preferred.
This is not the only case, where Mandarin characters got embedded into
Minnan, because due to Big5 encoding, there was no room for the
original Minnan characters to be encoded (and it was probably
politically not wanted). So, most people where not able to use them on
their computers and they just used the Mandarin characters which have
the same meaning. We can still see this on TV here and then. Nowadays
we have a total mess of different publications using different
characters for the same words. We can group them into the following
1. Original characters: they use Unicode and publish with the original
Minnan characters. These publications are usually written and read by
higher educated people.
2. Borrowed characters from Mandarin which have the same meaning and
just got branded with a new "sound". This is due to Big5 and the lack
of typing the original characters. Unfortunately most people don't know
this issue and take these characters as "correct" characters.
3. Phonetical similar Mandarin characters. This is the ugliest of all
variants and usually found in schoolbooks. :( Here the authors didn't
care about the original characters for Minnan and just use Mandarin
characters which sound similar like the Minnan pronunciation they want
to display. Here the meaning of the characters makes absolutely no
sense, they are purely used as pronunciation aid. Their idea is, that
Minnan is primarily a spoken, not a written language and therefor they
don't need to care about characters.
4. POJ enthusiasts, who detest the Han characters and claim that the POJ
romanization using Latin script is the "true Taiwanese"... (no comment
from my side to that claim... it's just not worth discussing).
-- Arne Götje (高盛華) <firstname.lastname@example.org> PGP/GnuPG key: 1024D/685D1E8C Fingerprint: 2056 F6B7 DEA8 B478 311F 1C34 6E9F D06E 685D 1E8C Key available at wwwkeys.pgp.net. Encrypted e-mail preferred.
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