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(Wired)   We need to learn to type Chinese by 2007   ( divider line
    More: Amusing  
•       •       •

7188 clicks; posted to Main » on 10 Dec 2001 at 3:51 AM (15 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

86 Comments     (+0 »)

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2001-12-10 03:51:49 AM  
Long live Unicode!
2001-12-10 03:55:29 AM  
If we cannot have the web in English, then the Chinese have already won!
2001-12-10 03:56:07 AM  
The world today seems absolutely crackers,
With nuclear bombs to blow us all sky high.
There's fools and idiots sitting on the trigger.
It's depressing and it's senseless, and that's why...

I like Chinese.
I like Chinese.
They only come up to your knees,
Yet they're always friendly, and they're ready to please.

I like Chinese.
I like Chinese.
There's nine hundred million of them in the world today.
You'd better learn to like them; that's what I say.

I like Chinese.
I like Chinese.
They come from a long way overseas,
But they're cute and they're cuddly, and they're ready to please.

I like Chinese food.
The waiters never are rude.
Think of the many things they've done to impress.
There's Maoism, Taoism, I Ching, and Chess.

I like Chinese.
I like Chinese.
I like their tiny little trees,
Their Zen, their ping-pong, their yin, and yang-ese.

I like Chinese thought,
The wisdom that Confucious taught.
If Darwin is anything to shout about,
The chinese will survive us all without any doubt.

So, I like Chinese.
I like Chinese.
They only come up to your knees,
Yet they're wise and they're witty, and they're ready to please.

All together.

[verse in Chinese]
Wo ai zhongguo ren (I like Chinese)
Wo ai zhongguo ren (I like Chinese)
Wo ai zhongguo ren (I like Chinese)
Ni hao ma, ni hao ma, ni hao ma, zaijien!
(How are you, how are you, how are you, goodbye!)

I like Chinese.
I like Chinese.
Their food is guaranteed to please,
A fourteen, a seven, a nine, and lychees.

I like Chinese.
I like Chinese.
I like their tiny little trees,
Their Zen, their ping-pong, their yin, and yang-ese.

I like Chinese.
I like Chinese.
They only come up to your knees...
2001-12-10 03:57:27 AM  
ever see your comment immediately afterwards and realize it's a lot longer than you thought it was?
2001-12-10 03:58:45 AM  
2001-12-10 03:59:01 AM  
But isn't a character based language like Chinese awfully difficult to work with on a keyboard?
2001-12-10 03:59:52 AM  
chinese boy got a funny mouth
2001-12-10 04:00:09 AM  
Fuggah that.English and it's varients(Engrish,Slurred Unintelligible British English,Sassy Aussie English,Rasta Jamaican English,South African Apartheidic English,and the only truly correct English,American English)are probably still going to be the dominant universal language.If Chinese internet users want their messages to reach important and broad audiences,they will probably need to make English versions.Although,considering that most Chinese websites are either about piracy,ginseng,or Half Life,it's probably not worth the trouble.Just my thinking...
-K2 0-(:)
2001-12-10 04:01:58 AM  
you can type in chinese?
2001-12-10 04:03:18 AM  
wired, the register, whats the difference?
2001-12-10 04:09:48 AM  
Maybe we should all just learn Han Gul (korean) it looks like Chinese, to the untrained eye. Also you can use it on a keyboard.

Look ma! It's not Chinese but an uncanny facsimile.
2001-12-10 04:17:18 AM  
typing in chinese is indeed a biatch

anyone here have a chinese keyboard? I've always wondered how they would work.
2001-12-10 04:24:45 AM  
I thought Chinese keyboards were like 6 feet wide by 2 feet tall
2001-12-10 04:25:59 AM  
I believe that in Chinese each character is a word. So while it might take several keystrokes to form a character it probably is no more difficult or time consuming to type in Chinese than in English if you are proficient at it.
2001-12-10 04:27:23 AM  
Screw that...English or IGNORE IT
2001-12-10 04:37:20 AM  
I can never work out how the Chinese type. The Japanese language has two alphabets as well as the Chinese characters, which is why even I can type in Japanese.

Can someone enlighten me??
2001-12-10 04:48:49 AM  
4score - yes, but the characters are not made up of the same 26 strokes all the time like our words are
2001-12-10 04:59:12 AM  
Martel: I would actually think that it would take less than 26 keys because you would only need vertical and horizontal strokes of various levels and sizes to compose the characters. However I am not very knowledgeable of Chinese writing. I only know what I've seen and the characters seem to be made up of various horizonal and vertical strokes.
2001-12-10 05:07:17 AM  
Korean has a single small finite alphabet too, based on phonetics... kinda like ours. It looked fairly simple. (See, I actually remember something useful from those East Asian Studies classes in college...)

Chinese on the other hand would drive me nuts. I had some friends who knew it and it always amazed me...

I'm not sure I buy this 2007 prediction. I thought India's population was growing lots faster than China's anyway...
2001-12-10 05:14:17 AM  
I personally have no idea how to type in Chinese. But the Chinese foreign exchange student has a little Talking Electronic Dictionary, and from what I have seen, he presses maybe like 3-5 keys for each character, and with each press he narrows down the character he wants. Sounds reasonable.

From what I have studied, Chinese is a simple language if you absolutely no exposure to Germanic, Romance, Slavic and basically any other languages that originated west of India. Same with Japanese. Then they are real easy to learn, I hear.
2001-12-10 05:16:17 AM  
To the layperson:

Korean = circles and squares

Japanese = 8-directional slashes

Chinese = sloppy Japanese
2001-12-10 05:25:35 AM  
Raijin Z, lol!

Actually, since the Chinese came before the Japanese, shouldn't they be reversed?!
2001-12-10 05:37:03 AM  
Kanji is the alphabet of thousands of symbols.
They also have a phonetic alphabet which use good old western leters.

Imagine China pirateing 1 billion copies of Windows. Maybe Bill Gates will buy the US 7th Fleet and wage a modern day version of the opium wars.
2001-12-10 05:39:45 AM  
Tsubaki: About 1000 years difference. Japanese writing looks more precise to me. Fewer curves.
2001-12-10 05:44:07 AM  
Speak English or Die!!!!
2001-12-10 05:47:46 AM  
Don't worry, I'm sure Al Gore will solve this problem.
2001-12-10 06:09:36 AM  
I think we should all go back to Latin.
2001-12-10 06:17:22 AM  
Didn't Al Gore invent Chinese.
2001-12-10 06:18:41 AM  
A simple,highly related analogy of the 3 writing styles:
Chinese is like a VW Bug as:
Japanese is like a portable DVD player as:
Korean is like a circus clown.

2001-12-10 06:19:19 AM  
HAHAHAHAHA!!! These people can't even feed themselves, let alone take over my internet. Eat a dick.
2001-12-10 06:20:26 AM  
Nightjars-Still too complex.We should do like the cavepersons and urinate everywhere to communicate.
2001-12-10 06:22:00 AM  
I typed Chinese all day in the Fark forum, and an hour later, I'm ready to type again!
2001-12-10 06:42:34 AM  
There are word processor things that let you type phonetic Japanese (and I presume there are Chinese versions of these programs) with a regular qwerty keyboard and it displays whatever you want it to, hiragana, katakana, kanji. For this to work however you need to know how to spell whatever word you're typing in English.

So as long as you know how to use the English alphabet you can type in Chinese, which kind of defeats the purpose of using your own language but saves you the trouble of a 6x6 keyboard.

As for Chinese being sloppy Japanese...please. Take the simple stuff out of Japanese and add in 5x more of the hard stuff and you have Chinese. The precise lines vs. curves stuff is just in the way the characters are written, formal or traditional or casual or whatever. Kind of like cursive and print English.
2001-12-10 06:48:29 AM  
Does this mean we'll all have to learn to read and write Blockhead?
2001-12-10 07:17:39 AM  
Just back from Shanghai. It is very cool and very modern. The most amazing thing about it is how much it is like a normal growing city. It is pretty much just the same as (big city here). No little red books. No pictures of chairman Mao. Lots of shopping, fast food and cool office blocks. I bought loads of black market DVDs for $2 each.

Chinese is simpler than Japanese because it has newer (revised) and simpler versions of chinese characters. Japanese has two extra alphabets. One is added onto the Chinese characters to give different tenses. The other is for foreign words only. Yes, the Japanese have a kind of anti-foreigner mentality built into their writing system.

Typing Japanese or Chinese is easy. You just type phonetically, then the computer gives you a list of characters.

2001-12-10 07:32:02 AM  
"Learn a new language and get a new soul" - Old Nordic proverb.
2001-12-10 07:57:41 AM  
I was a Liguist in the military(arabic and russian) and I learned very quickly that the best way to learn a language in submersion. I do not believe chinese will "take over" the internet as the predominant language, what I do think we will see is a merging of languages, simular to what we already see here (spanglish, nipponese, and the mixture of japanese and engrish) I think it would be a positive thing to. We already starting this silly L33T or whatever it is called.

2001-12-10 08:15:56 AM  
learning other languages is just encouraging foreigners not to learn english

2001-12-10 08:17:38 AM  
Paradoxflux: English is foriegn. It's a shed-load of foriegn. It's got more foriegn in it than any other language.
2001-12-10 08:39:51 AM  
[image from too old to be available] != [image from too old to be available]
2001-12-10 08:44:12 AM  
I lived in Korea where they have a 24 character alphabet that actually is easier than the Roman once you learn it. It is the only alphabet that I know of that was scientifically developed and that did not just "evolve". This was done in the 1440s. But I also thought to ask how the Japanese and Chinese typed anything. Someone else mentioned it earlier--wordprocessing. They can type things out in the Roman alphabet, and it is converted to the native language. When I was in Japan, the keyboards were just like ours. In Korea, they were dual language; the same set up as ours, but hit a key and it typed in hangul (Korean). I also read while I was over there (in Asian Newsweek I believe) that there was some concern that Japanese youth were losing their ability to write in Japanese because they were typing in the Roman alphabet and the computers were converting it to Japanese text.
2001-12-10 08:47:05 AM  
fb- is right, but it doesnt relaly matter. by 2007 there wont even be a use for words on the internet anymore, by then the pornography industry will have completely dominated the world wide web and it will be just like an electronic picture book.
2001-12-10 08:50:23 AM  
While the Wired article reports that Chinese will be the Net's future, it's crystal clear that this is wrong. It is just a future of the Net. The Chinese may be in majority, but that's all they've got going for them. Due to the complexity of their language, it is sure that any person speaking neither English nor Chinese will go for the easier solution: English.

I see an alarming amount of people who seem to think that Chinese/Japanese are simple languages to learn, just like French/Spanish/German. Nothing could be further from the truth... A person who only speaks languages with Latin and Greek roots is never going to learn Chinese unless completely immersed in Beijing, with a 24/7 translator following their every step.

Very few Chinese/Japanese people speak English, so if you're expecting any kind of language unification, don't hold your breath. Same goes for English people speaking Chinese/Japanese... Few, too few.

That said, feel free to look on the bright side.

- Leo -

I wonder what Chinese L33t will be like...
2001-12-10 09:03:44 AM  
How do you say midgettossa in Chinese? Boobies? Walken-san?
2001-12-10 09:09:21 AM  
I think its "Wikki-Wikki"
2001-12-10 09:16:35 AM  
Did that thread about Central American communism just get yanked??????????????????????
2001-12-10 09:18:00 AM  
On the keypad, would it have a tiny abacus where the num-pad used to be?
2001-12-10 09:18:33 AM  
Yes, it did. Wonder why?
2001-12-10 09:19:10 AM  
To type in Japanese:

Method 1 (faster):
1. Start up your word processor.
2. Type a word phonetically in Japanese, one syllable at a time.
3. Hit the "convert to kanji" key on your keyboard. See your last word convert to the correct kanji ideogram (if you're lucky), or select the right one from a scroll-down list.
4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until your text is finished.

Method 2 (more fun):
1. Start up your word processor and a kanji-interpretation program.
2. Scribble the kanji you want into the window of the kanji-interpretation software.
3. When the software finally guesses what kanji you want, cut and paste it into the word processor.
4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until the text is finished.

A combination of both methods works pretty well.
2001-12-10 09:19:20 AM  
Answer was for LordWatson.
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