Dialects endangered by modernization

0 CommentsPrint E-mail China Daily, March 17, 2011
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The central government has promoted the use of simplified Chinese characters in printing since the 1950s and '60s to increase literacy. Traditional Chinese characters are still in public use in Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan.

"Traditional characters are the original form of Chinese characters, and carry the wisdom and philosophies of the Chinese people. Therefore they should be promoted as the country moves toward becoming a more civilized society," Pan said.

Apart from the oral dialects and written characters, precious documents from ancient China have also suffered due to the difficulties of passing them safely down from generation to generation.

"I agree we should add traditional Chinese characters to the optional courses to protect the endangered dialects. Our ancient documents need to be protected as well," said Zhou Heping, the curator of the National Library of China, former vice-minister of culture and a member of CPPCC.

In the National Library of China, hundreds of documents are fading badly as the paper becomes old.

"Digitalization is the only way to pass on those precious documents to future generations, but we still need more support from the public and the government to speed up protection," said Zhou.


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