RE: in the NEW YORK TIMES today, report of a USA patent for a met hod to make the Arabic language easier to read/write/typeset

From: Frank Yung-Fong Tang (
Date: Mon Mar 15 2004 - 15:49:13 EST

  • Next message: Martin Heijdra: "Re: in the NEW YORK TIMES today, report of a USA patent for a method to make the Arabic language easier to read/write/typeset"

    Mike Ayers wrote on 3/15/2004, 2:50 PM:

    > From: []On
    > Behalf Of Frank Yung-Fong Tang
    > Sent: Monday, March 15, 2004 11:16 AM

    > It seems not a very new idea. Similar idea have been used in
    > Chinese 40
    > years ago and create the differences between Simplifed Chinese And
    > Traditional Chinese.

            Really?  That conflicts with my understanding, which is:

            When writing Chinese, there are certain stroke elements which, when written in the more flowing script of everyday usage (grass script et al.), closely resemble other stroke elements which use less strokes to write.  These stroke reduced elements are substituted for the original elements.  Also, there are certain "paired" character elements, such that one may be substituted for the other, and the quicker-to-write stroke reduced element gets substituted.  I do not really understand these substitutions, but it is my understanding that they are intuitive to literate Chinese.  These two "simplification" methods were formalized and standardized to become Simplified Chinese.

            Am I getting this wrong?  I don't see the connection between organic change in a script and singular revolutionary change.

    Oh... believe me, as a Chinese educate in the Traditional Chinese world the Simplified Chinese looks like "revolutionary change" :)

    Don't get me wrong. I mention Chinese not to prove it "could be done". I only want to show- if it does happen, you will have one more alphabetic set to deal with (now Chinese in USA need to know BOTH Traditional Chinese AND Simplified Chinese instead of JUST the "hard-to-learn" Traditional Chinese)


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