Return to Complex Characters Proposal, Netizens’ Reactions

A proposal to re-popularize complex or traditional at the recently-ended National People’s Congress (NPC) and Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) has drawn criticism from Chinese citizens online.  Last Friday, ChinaSMACK translated and posted netizen comments from Tianya:

顺民一个:

我无语了,改简为繁,可以预见的是比医疗改革还难的事情,光是全国教师的重新分批次培训就几乎不可能完成,根本不现实的事情。

I am speechless, changing simplified to complex, I can foresee this being something more difficult than medical reform. Even if the entire country’s teachers get training in batches is already almost impossible to accomplish. It is basically an unrealistic/impractical thing.

崔特:

恢复繁体字就跟要求女人恢复裹脚一样。

Resurrecting complex characters is like asking women to restart binding their feet.

何突突:

我支持繁體字,因為我認為每個民族的歷史不是可以被肆意、粗暴、無理、人為的隔斷的,我們的民族不能在若干年之後不認識自己祖輩的文字,不了解自己生存的這片土地的文化。強烈支持恢復繁體字!

I support complex characters, because I believe every ethnicity’s history cannot be cut off so wantonly,  so roughly, without reason, and artificially. Our ethnicity cannot, in the span of a few years, become unable to recognize our own forefather’s language, unable to understand the culture of the land we exist on. Strongly support restarting/resurrecting complex characters! [This comment was written in complex characters]

complexsimple

The evolution of Chinese characters from oracle bone carvings to the modern simplified system in mainland China.

Aside from practical and cultural considerations, the proposal to readopt complex Chinese characters also carries a political charge within China, given that the simplified system became the nationalized standard of writing under Mao Zedong, while Taiwan and Hong Kong continue to use the traditional system.  Taiwan recently petitioned the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to bestow world heritage status upon complex characters.

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