Using non-ascii symbols

Runsun Pan python.pan at
Thu Jan 26 08:12:10 CET 2006

I am not Chinese but I can read and write han characters (in Traditional
Chinese format (Big5 encoding) that is basically popular in Taiwan ).

For the tests that I tried earlier, using han characters as the variable
names doesn't seem to be possible (Syntax Error) in python. I'd love
to see if I can use han char for all those keywords like import, but it
doesn't work.

On 1/25/06, Christoph Zwerschke <cito at> wrote:
> These were some interesting remarks, Terry.
> I just asked myself how Chinese programmers feel about this. I don't
> know Chinese, but probably they could write a whole program using only
> one-character names for variables, and it would be still readable (at
> least for Chinese)... Would this be used or would they rather prefer to
> write in English on account of compatibilty issues (technical and human
> readability in international projects) or because typing these chars is
> more cumbersome than ascii chars? Any Chinese here?

That depends. People with ages in the middle or older probably have very
rare experience of typing han characters. But with the popularity of
as well as the development of excellent input packages, and most
the online-chats that many teenagers hooking to, next several geneartions
can type han char easily and comfortably.

One thing that is lack in other languages is the "phrase input"---- almost
han input package provides this customizable feature. With all these
many of youngesters can type as fast as they talk. I believe many of
them input
han characters much faster than inputting English.

The "side effect" of this technology advance might be that in the future the

simplified chinese characters might deprecate, 'cos there's no need to
any more.

Runsun Pan, PhD
python.pan at
Nat'l Center for Macromolecular Imaging
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