- United Nations
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.
Traditional Chinese does not even exist in the UN anymore (except prior to early 1970's).
An earlier campaign by Jennifer Ping at Online petition - Say NO to United Nations' abolishment of Traditional Chinese in 2008 has been rejecetd by the United Nations.
A letter from GoPetition in October 2008 to the United Nations (enclosing a link to over 500,000 signatures) requested that the UN include Traditional Chinese in all press releases and UN documents. The letter from GoPetition was ignored by the UN which did not acknowledge the protest.
Without further protest, the UN will continue to marginalize Traditional Chinese through to 2012 and beyond.
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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 2012 petition to United Nations was written by John Pope and is in the category Culture at GoPetition.