People’s Daily: Massive use of exotic words harms purity of Chinese Language

2014-04-25 09:49:26 GMT2014-04-25 17:49:26(Beijing Time)  SINA English
People’s Daily, the state-run newspaper criticized massive use of exotic words in its comment article of April 25 Why ‘Zero-Translation’ Prevails.People’s Daily, the state-run newspaper criticized massive use of exotic words in its comment article of April 25 Why ‘Zero-Translation’ Prevails.
A comparison between traditional Chinese characters and simplified ones.A comparison between traditional Chinese characters and simplified ones.

People’s Daily, the state-run newspaper criticized massive use of exotic words in its comment article of April 25 Why ‘Zero-Translation’ Prevails.

Appearance of words like WiFi、CEO、MBA、CBD、VIP、PM2.5 in newspaper reports and serious academic journals not only harms the purity and health of the Chinese Language, but also erodes the essence of Chinese cultural spirit, as the article pointed out.

“Why can ‘Nokia’ and ‘Motorola’ be translated into Chinese but not ‘iPhone’ or ‘iPad’? When English absorbs Chinese words, the words are written in roman letters, why the Chinese language has to be mingled with a lot of English words?” The article questioned.

 

Some doubted that the Chinese language would be ‘impure’ just for a few English words. One named“动衣” said on Weibo: “Chinese Language has incorporated so many words during the thousands of years such as Buddhist terms and Arabian numbers. If the Chinese is becoming impure for several English words, you can’t read anything but ancient Chinese, because all the punctuation marks come from foreign languages.”

Famous blogger “五岳散人” said: “I don’t know what has to be pure in Chinese. Do you think simplified Chinese characters pure**? Can you even speak without the modern words taken from Japanese? Health is to move forward (with time). There’s no sense of calling an old virgin healthy.”

There are also netizens who supported the article. “海中岩ha” commented on Weibo that “The modern words taken from Japanese are all in Chinese characters,” and “春风化雨WB” said: “It’s not strange that every language absorbs words from other languages, but the American dictionary writes ‘no zuo no die’, not Chinese characters ‘不作死就不会死’; while we have mingled foreign words in Chinese translations, and this is strange.”

Apart from criticizing the direct use of foreign words, the article also analyzed the causes of the “Zero-Translation” phenomenon, including the prevalence of western culture in the process of globalization, blind worship of western culture by some Chinese people, laziness of translation and the lack of talents in the translating industry.

In the end, the author made proposals to solve the problem that the government should strengthen guidance of using the language correctly and media and schools should abide by the Law on the Standard Spoken and Written Chinese Language. Suggestions were also made to improve the translation industry in China.

**Criticism over simplified Chinese characters rises in recent years as some believe simplification of traditional Chinese characters removed essential parts of the characters. One example would be the traditional way of writing the character “love” is “爱”, while the simplified character is “爱”, without the part of “心”, which means heart. Thus, some people asked: “How can you love without your heart?”

 

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