From: John H. Jenkins (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Tue Apr 21 2009 - 17:08:27 CDT
On Apr 21, 2009, at 3:24 PM, Andrew West wrote:
> 2009/4/21 Jeroen Ruigrok van der Werven <email@example.com>:
>> Encountered this article
>> http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/21/world/asia/21china.html where it
>> how a Chinese woman is requested to change her name of 马骋(騁)
>> to something
>> else because "[t]he bureau’s computers, however, are programmed to
>> read only
>> 32,252 of the roughly 55,000 Chinese characters, according to a 2006
>> government report."
> BTW, this is a typical example of unreasonable and illogical
> China-bashing. I just wonder if the UK or US governments would allow
> me to register my name as "Anꝺrew Ƿest" -- I suspect that I would
> that the governement's computers are programmed to read only 52 or so
> of the roughly 1,202 currently encoded Latin letters -- a far worse
> result than the Chinese governement computers.
I got a kick out of the figure quoted. If there are only 55,000
Chinese characters, why are we wasting our time on Extensions C and D?
But I'm sure that your suspicions about the limitations of US and UK
systems are correct. I'm willing to bet that I would be unable to
legally change my name to 井作恆, which is a perfectly legitimate
name, let alone 𐐖𐐱𐑌 𐐖𐐩𐑍𐐿𐐮𐑌𐑆. (One of the
biggest regrets of my life is that I was too cheap to arrange to keep
my Hong Kong government ID card, which was the only legal document
I've ever had attesting to my Chinese name.) Even if I could make the
name change, I would probably be forced to render the name in Latin
letters on most of my interactions with the government, and in reality
I wouldn't trust the computers used by the US government to handle
anything outside of ASCII correctly.
John H. Jenkins
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