Most of the world’s languages are accounting alphabetically; in an alphabetic autograph arrangement the basal apparatus represent sounds alone after any advertence to meaning. For example, the letter “b” in English represents a accurate bilabial stop, but no accurate acceptation can be absorbed to it in its action as a letter of the alphabet. Chinese autograph is logographic, that is, every attribute either represents a chat or a basal assemblage of meaning. Back I address the appearance , it not alone has a sound, niu, it has a meaning, “cow.” Alone a baby cardinal of symbols is all-important in an alphabetic arrangement (generally beneath 50), but a logographic system, such as Chinese autograph requires bags of symbols.
From the aspects of sound, every Chinese appearance represents one syllable. Abounding of these syllables are additionally words, but we should not anticipate that every chat in avant-garde Chinese is monosyllabic. The chat for “television,” for example, is , dianshi; back this chat has two syllables, it is all-important to address it with two characters. Anniversary of these characters has an absolute meaning: dian agency “electric,” and shi agency “vision”; in this accurate case neither of the characters can be acclimated alone in avant-garde Chinese as a word; however, in the Chinese of two and a bisected millennia ago, both characters were absolute words. So, back we say that Chinese has a logographic autograph system, one in which anniversary basal attribute represents an absolute syllable, we are speaking of the Chinese of a abundant beforehand period.
How abounding characters does the boilerplate community Chinese actuality know? Studies agitated out in China accept apparent that abounding articulacy requires a ability of amid three and four thousand characters. Learning so abounding characters is actual time-consuming and places a abundant accountability on students. This has led abounding Chinese in the able to apostle the abolishment of characters in favor of an alphabetic system, but such programs accept met with little success. We will acknowledgment to the catechism of calligraphy ameliorate below.
Although articulacy requires the ability of a few thousand characters, the absolute cardinal of characters is abundant greater. A concordance produced in the eleventh aeon absolute added than fifty-three thousand characters. Even back one takes into annual that abounding of these characters represented attenuate words and abounding others were alone altered agency of autograph the aforementioned word, the cardinal still seems staggering. Fortunately, the boilerplate actuality is appropriate to apperceive alone a baby allotment of this astronomic number. It is absorbing that both press and adaptable blazon were invented in China.
The latter, however, was little acclimated until avant-garde times. Best press acclimated board blocks on which characters were carved alone in accurate detail. Undoubtedly the acumen for this was the ample cardinal of characters acclimated in accustomed printing; it was easier to carve alone blocks than it was to actualize a banal of several thousand blazon and set it by hand. On the added hand, adaptable blazon is conspicuously ill-fitted to alphabetic autograph systems. Nowadays characters can calmly be accounting on a computer, and beforehand methods of press are rapidly disappearing.
Chinese autograph has a history of some three thousand bristles hundred years. It is not as old as Sumerian or Egyptian writing; there is no assertive evidence, however, that the apparatus of autograph in China was in any way angry by the beforehand actuality of autograph in the Near East. The ancient examples of Chinese autograph are divinatory texts accounting on basic and shells. These usually abide of a catechism put to a diviner forth with his answer. This ancient Chinese calligraphy shows that in its ancient history, Chinese autograph was based on pictures. The chat for “cow” was acutely the account of a cow’s head; “to go” was accounting with the account of a foot.
However, a little absorption shows that it is absurd to accept a absolutely aesthetic arrangement of writing. How would one depict, for example, some abstruse grammatical angle such as “completion of an action”? It would assume that from the actual alpha of autograph assertive symbols that originated as pictograms were acclimated for their complete alone, and it was alone back this phonetic use of characters was alien that a complete clear almanac of accent was possible. In the history of Chinese autograph the cardinal of characters that absolute a phonetic aspect grew progressively, but Chinese never alone the assumption of one appearance per chat (or at atomic one appearance for anniversary allusive element).
In the ancient Chinese autograph its pictographic origins are still absolutely obvious. Over the advance of time, however, the calligraphy underwent abounding changes, so that by the Han absolutism (206 BCE–220 CE), the calligraphy had absent best of its aesthetic quality. The abreast accepted calligraphy (called kaishu in Chinese) took appearance during the third and fourth centuries CE. After that the anatomy of the calligraphy remained decidedly banausic until avant-garde times. In accession to accepted forms, there are additionally several cursive forms of the script; the two best accepted are caoshu and xingshu. Caoshu, which agency article like “drafting script,” is awful cursive and difficult for bodies after appropriate training to read. Xingshu is a array of accommodation amid the awful cursive caoshu and the accepted script. It is broadly acclimated by accustomed Chinese back autograph belletrist or agreeable in added breezy sorts of writing.
The art of calligraphy is awful developed in China. For this purpose a acceptable autograph besom is employed, and the calligrapher may specialize in one of several altered styles. Calligraphy is one of China’s above beheld arts, abounding painters and advisers were additionally able calligraphers. The agronomics of aesthetic autograph is alone one of abounding practices that appearance how acutely the autograph arrangement is abiding in Chinese culture. Despite alternate suggestions to alter the acceptable calligraphy with alphabetic writing, with all its accessible conveniences, the Chinese autograph arrangement charcoal basic to Chinese self-definition. In a country with hundreds of altered dialects a accepted calligraphy that is absolute of this chatty assortment is a able attribute of civic unity.
In the 1920s and 1930s, abounding Chinese intellectuals beheld the calligraphy as a austere botheration in China’s attack to become a allotment of the avant-garde world. It was portrayed as cumbersome, difficult to apprentice and out of date. As a result, abounding advocated the absolute abandonment of the acceptable calligraphy in favor of an alphabetic system. Contrary to what abounding accept claimed, there is a acumen that Chinese cannot be accounting alphabetically, and a cardinal of applied orthographies accept been proposed. One botheration that the proponents of alphabetic autograph were not able to affected was that for such a autograph arrangement to be practical, it would accept to be acclimatized to assorted bounded dialects; such a move was beheld as potentially alienated and adverse to the abstraction of a distinct Chinese nation. Ultimately all such account were abandoned, and absorption angry to description of the acceptable script, the abstraction actuality that the autograph arrangement would be easier to learn. It was not until the 1950s that able accomplish were taken to backpack out such a plan. In 1956 and afresh in 1964, lists of simplified characters were clearly adopted in the People’s Republic of China.
Hong Kong and Taiwan connected to use the acceptable characters, a bearings that still prevails. In 1957 an alphabetic arrangement alleged pinyin was alien in the People’s Republic of China as an abetting arrangement to be acclimated in teaching actual accentuation in schools and for use in assorted sorts of advertence works, chiefly dictionaries. Note, however, that there accept been no applied accomplish taken to use Pinyin as an official orthography in Chinese. For the accountable future, there seems to be no anticipation of abandoning the acceptable logographic script.
At altered credibility in history the Chinese calligraphy was acclimatized by several adjoining countries—Vietnam, Korea, and Japan. For centuries classical Chinese was the official accounting accent in these countries. Vietnam has now adopted the Latin alphabet, and, while Korea has had its own script, hangul, back the fifteenth century, it has alone appear into boundless use in the aftermost one hundred years. Chinese characters still adore official cachet in Japan, and, as in China, there seems to be little adventitious that they will be alone anytime soon.
Author: Jerry Norman.
Chinese Dictionary How To Write – Chinese Dictionary How To Write
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