Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The illiterate in the computer age from our guest Wei


Several years ago, one German friend who was learning Mandarin, asked me, "Shenwei, do you think in the future the Mandarin will be like English? You will only use Pingying(the letters for Mandarin), and no character any more." "Never." I answered at that time.


Yes, Mandarin is an amazing but sometimes crazy language for foreign learner, as you have to earn the pronunciation, intonation and writing of every word separately. But it also has its strengh, as every word is like a picture, you don't need to read through the whole paragraph to know what it says. You could just read the "whole picture" and get a rough idea of it. It is amazing, isn't it?

However, my confidence is now shattered. The problem is that, you don't actually "write" nowadays as much as you do in the paper- writing age. On the computer, you type but you seldom write. Though there are some Mandarin input software based on writing of characters, they are not user-friendly and thus not popular. Most of people use pronunciation-based ones, in which you just input the Pingying, and then its character will jump out on the screen.

Gradually, the character writing becomes a bit difficult. Take myself for example, I would forget how to write some specific characters from time to time, and I use computer to look up. I find myself one of the new generation of the illiterate in the computer age, and I know this group is still growing.

9 Comments:

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inter champs -
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juegos 65 -
ladies bingo -
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metro casino -
my bookie -
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<