United Nations Secretary-General : Ban Ki-moon

The Chinese language has many dialects spoken yet Mandarin has always been the official language.

In Mandarin, there are two present types of writings: Traditional and Simplified Chinese characters. Traditional Chinese has been the official form of writing for thousands of years. And from it, the Simplified form was born.

In recent decades, China's effort in trying to make Chinese easier for both her youth and foreigners resulted in this push of Simplified Chinese. However, at the same time, Traditional Chinese is still studied and widely recognized.

The purpose of Simplified Chinese was meant for an easier reading (with less characters) and less pen-strokes in writing characters. It is the attempt of making Chinese more phonetic rather than having many words pronounced the same.

The two forms of Chinese have always co-existed peacefully for many years. The importance of Traditional Chinese lies in the fact that each character represents a very specific meaning. This is of extreme importance because it allows the reader to understand a written word even without the word being in context.

Simplified Chinese, although convenient, fails to incorporate meaning into its characters. Many words of same phonetic sounds are replaced by a single character that possesses the same sound but lacks in meaning. The major downfall of Simplified Chinese is that it lacks meaning. Currently, historical texts are in Traditional Chinese, (simply because one can read and understand based on the author's choice of words) however, if Traditional Chinese is to be replaced by Simplified Chinese, one would not be able to understand these texts/writings because words have lost their meanings, they simply represent a way of pronouncing the texts. As time progresses, this would result in the loss of history and culture.

UN's action to "unify" the Chinese characters and recognize ONLY Simplified Chinese will have devastating impact upon the Chinese language, culture, history. Internationally, Traditional Chinese would be forgotten and neglected, it would only be a matter of time before Traditional Chinese becomes the next "Latin". (the dead language) Along with this loss of language, would be a culture and history lost forever.

Although Simplified Chinese is an easier way to learn Chinese, but it should not be the only form of Chinese written language. It should be a convenience, not an absolute. By allowing it to become the "official" writing, the Chinese language would be in regression.


Example of Simplified VS Traditional (provided by a fellow supporter)

The word Noodle in Chinese
Traditional: 麵 = 麥 + 面 (wheat + surface)
Simplified: 面 (surface/face/noodle)
*meaning in brackets

The Traditional form has two parts which helps to identify it as noodles. Simplified character only provides the pronouciation so the reader would be unable to determine the meaning without it's context.


The above has been confirmed that the UN never used both Chinese forms. IN FACT, Traditional Chinese does not even exist in the UN anymore (except prior to early 1970's).

In truth, I am uncertain what will become of this petition. After all, it is a few decades late. Although, what saddens me, is the fact that Traditional Chinese has already lost its ground.

People signed this petition to fight against Traditional Chinese being abolished. YET, now that we know it's a fact, why should we not fight harder.

Some have claimed this to be a hoax. Others have supported and sent emails. I personally thank everyone of you who took time to come here regardless of your positions.

For news click here.

We, the undersigned, are appalled by the abolishment of Traditional Chinese in UN documents. This is an act of annihilation of the culture and history of the Chinese people.

Both Traditional and Simplified Chinese are of extreme significance and should be recognized equally on the international level and by UN.

The Say NO to United Nations' abolishment of Traditional Chinese in 2008 petition to United Nations Secretary-General : Ban Ki-moon was written by Jennifer Ping and is in the category Education at GoPetition.