Re: writing Chinese dialects

Date: Sat Jan 27 2007 - 01:58:16 CST

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    Quoting "John H. Jenkins" <>:

    > On Jan 25, 2007, at 9:57 PM, wrote:
    >> Reaserch was done in the first half of the 20th century
    > I'm assuming that there was also a big push in, say, the 19th century
    > from Protestant missionaries trying to publish Bibles in the local
    > dialects. (IIRC there was a 19th century Cantonese Bible published,
    > which I assume is different from the one currently in print.)
    >> and from the 1980's onwards research has been increasing, though
    >> admittedly there is a lot of room for improvement. There is at
    >> least for some of these enough research to make a start on
    >> encoding, one does not need to know every character, before
    >> starting to encode.
    > This is very true.

    Actaully the name I had in mind was Fang Kuei Li who produced
    something, but this was more a observtion that research did start up
    again after the cultural revolution.

    >> Encoding the well researched parts then makes it easier to research
    >> the rest. Though it would seem that many researchers are not
    >> always very aware of what has been done by others, and it almost
    >> goes without saying much literaure is not in English.
    > Cantonese is the one example I'm reasonably familiar with, and I know
    > this is definitely the case there. There are numerous
    > Cantonese-specific words which are written in different ways simply
    > because different people made up the needed ideographs without knowing
    > that someone else had already done it.

    The same is still happening for some languages.

    >> I have been researching such characters, for about five years, the
    >> limited amount of existing research doesn't make it hard to find
    >> something new. I have also been consisdering some of the encoding
    >> and other computer realted issues involved and would be very
    >> interested to know of others working on this area.
    > And I should mention that I, for one, appreciate the work that you're
    > doing. I temporarily forgot about the work that's going on in the PRC
    > for some, at least, of the local dialects. Such efforts are laudable
    > and need to be encouraged.

    Actually the encoding side I have been looking into because I am
    rather lazy, and there is a limit to the number of times I am prepared
    to paste images into a word document, and am rather to used to WYSISYG

    > I get the impression that the sheer size of the PRC works against the
    > encoding efforts here because not even the people involved in the
    > computer standardization community have the contacts or resources to
    > know what to do. For example, I sometimes hear rumors that Pollard is
    > still in active use but have yet to find anyone who can actually put me
    > in contact with the people who are using it.


      As to Pollard uses I am not so sure. Software wise publishers here
    use Fangzheng, which includes good tools for making new characters,
    which a stored in an accopanying file, and it is consider usual to
    have to make a few more characters from time to time.

    > ========
    > John H. Jenkins

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