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ERIC Number: ED047300
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1969-Dec
Pages: 37
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
A Comparative Study of Language Reforms in China and Japan. Skidmore College Faculty Research Lecture 1969.
Chu, Yu-Kuang; Nishimoto, Koji
Skidmore College Bulletin, v55 n2 Dec 1969
Chinese and Japanese, although they are unrelated languages, nevertheless have similar writing systems, since Japanese writing employs a mixed system of Chinese characters and phonetic script. Because Chinese characters are difficult to learn, however, reform movements to simplify the writing system to make the task of learning easier for a broader population have been introduced in both China and Japan. These reforms have fallen into three categories: the selection of a basic list of characters, the simplification of the more complex characters, and the substitution of Romanization or other phonetic systems for the characters. This study discusses the nature of Chinese written characters, considers the function of Chinese characters in Japanese writing, and then explores what China and Japan have done in the three areas of writing reform. The investigation reveals that the Japanese are using increasingly fewer Chinese characters. Because there is no coordination of writing reforms between the two countries, the writer forsees that "if and when one or the other country goes over entirely into alphabetical writing, then the centuries-old cultural link in characters between the Chinese and the Japanese will be forever severed." (FWB)
Skidmore College Bulletin, 28 Union Ave., Saratoga Springs, New York 12866
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A