Re: writing Chinese dialects

From: Ping Yeh (
Date: Mon Jan 29 2007 - 08:53:46 CST

  • Next message: Martin J. Heijdra: "RE: writing Chinese dialects"

    Michael Maxwell wrote:
    >>Place names are clearly a huge source of characters needing
    >>encoding, and I know that the current emphasis of the PRC's
    >>delegation to the IRG is along these lines. Even a tiny spot
    >>on the Chinese map like Macao needed to have a number of new
    >>characters added to handle some of their place names.
    > Again, a question (and feel free to take this off-line, as it's getting away from Unicode): When we run into a new place name on a map in a language that uses an alphabetic script, pronouncing the name is just a matter of sounding out the letters (unless it's a Welsh name :-)). But what do people do when they run into these Chinese characters in place names? They weren't taught all of them in school, were they? (If they were, then I would have thought that getting them into Unicode would have happened long ago, because it would have been a simple matter of looking at the school textbooks.) Or do people just learn a new character, without any pronunciation??
    > Mike Maxwell
    > CASL/ U Md

    This is complicated and may vary from one place to another.
    People may hear the name first, then ask how it is written,
    then found out it is an unfamiliar character. People may see
    it on the map first, then ask around how to pronounce it.
    Also people may see it and hear it at the same time on TV news,
    IF the TV produces the correct character at all. Anyway, I think
    it is always a learning process for everyone.


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