An assessment of the Unicode standard

Hyuga hyugaricdeau at
Tue Sep 15 19:01:42 CEST 2009

On Sep 14, 5:05 am, Christopher Culver
<crcul... at> wrote:
> Hyuga <hyugaricd... at> writes:
> > I just wanted to add, in defense of the Chinese written language
> > ... that I think it would make a fairly good candidate for use at
> > least as a universal *written* language.  Particularly simplified
> > Chinese since, well, it's simpler.
> > The advantages are that the grammar is relatively simple, and it can
> > be used to illustrate concepts independently of the writer's spoken
> > language.
> Musings about the universality of the Chinese writing system, once so
> common among Western thinkers, nevertheless do not square with
> reality. The Chinese writing system is in fact deeply linked to the
> Chinese language, even to the specific dialect being spoken. See
> Defrancis' _The Chinese Language: Fact and Fantasy_ (Honolulu:
> University of Hawaii Press, 1984):

Oh, certainly! I thought I said as much in my original post, but maybe
I didn't stress that enough.  I'm a lot stronger in Japanese than I am
in Chinese, but even Japanese uses various Chinese characters in ways
that have deep cultural ties that may not translate well (and in many
cases that are completely different from those characters'
implications in any Chinese language).  I guess the reason I didn't
stress that enough is that I'm in no way implying that they be used as
is.  I just think they could be taken as the basis for a standardized
universal written language. One might argue that it would make more
sense to come up with a new character set for that, but here we have
one that so many people are already familiar with in some form or
another.  And the radical system makes them much easier to remember
than many people realize.

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