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The story of Chinese characters

The story of Chinese characters

All of the world's cultural heritage and heritage, which has advanced, is nothing more than human language. Of all the prevailing languages, none is so long as the Chinese language for longevity, or more particularly Chinese characters which are logograms.

The use of Chinese pictures as language constructing blocks is unique to virtually all the languages ​​written right now. From other historic writing methods that use storyboards corresponding to Egyptian hieroglyphic writing and Mesopotamian Tsuneiform, they lost our world about two thousand years in the past.

Origin of Chinese

In historic China, individuals tied nodes to ropes to encode and retailer knowledge. This primitive writing type is also referred to as "quipu" or a spoken node that was extensively used in some historic cultures in Andean South America and a few unique Hawaiians. Linguists argue that quipu acted as a bookkeeping device, a reminiscence help and a approach to document necessary occasions

The beforehand recognized type of Chinese literature by archaeologists known as "jiaguwen" (甲骨文) or oral cell script. Jiaguwen could be traced back to the Chinese Bronze Age. The figurative figurines have been marked on the tortoiseshells and animal bones, and the researchers consider they have been used for pyromant prediction.

It wasn't till the 1899s when Wang Yirong, the imperialist official of the Qing Dynasty, discovered jiaguwen by mistake. It was documented that Wang turned ailing with malaria and was stunned to seek out an ingredient referred to as a 'dragon' in a Chinese herbal drugs that accommodates some special logographic scripts. Wang determined to accumulate all of the "dragon bones" himself in Chinese natural shops he used, in addition to drug shops elsewhere. In an extra research, Wang recognized these pictograms as some type of oracle script used as long as the Shang Dynasty (1766-1046 B.C). During his lifetime, Wang was capable of acquire more than 1500 items of oracle bones.

At this time, museums and personal collectors all over the world have discovered and gathered over 150,000 pieces of oracle bones. Up to now, about 5,000 orphan poetry linguists and archaeologists have been capable of interpret 1500 and a couple of,000 of these picture characters.

At present, linguists agree that the official Chinese writing system was born through the Yellow Emperor. 2700 BC In accordance with a legend, a yellow emperor asked someday his imperial historian Cangiel, who was rumored to be two pupils in each eye, to invent a writing system to switch the ineffectiveness technique of tying knots to report knowledge.

Footprints of Birds and Animals in addition to His Setting Cangjie was impressed to create storyboards that have advanced by means of many dynasties into at present's Chinese characters. For example, Cangjie created a logographic sign “to represent a person by observing a person's shadow under the sun. He also created the character of the animal's paw “爪” based mostly on the footprint of the animal

In accordance with historic literature through the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 25), reminiscent of Huainanzi (淮南子) and Chunqiu Yuanmingbao (春秋 元 命 苞) when Canjie developed his logographic writing system, the underground ghosts crying at night time because the sky rained millet by day.

These two historic Chinese chronicles truly recorded these supernatural occasions. Divine and man have been seen together day by day. Right here, those who are hostile to humanity killed the Cangjie present when the sky rejoiced, spraying humanity abundantly.

Image characters created by Cangji shortly spread the official language of China. it turned a regular script for all Chinese at that time

Historic Chinese logographic writing consists of symbols from nature. For example, the character "character" resembles wooden or wooden, and the sign "林" refers to a forest the place two timber are mixed. For centuries, Chinese character writing type has advanced from jiaguwen (甲骨文) “Jinzi” (金字) or metallic characters engraved or forged into bronze, then “dazhuan” (大篆) within the Western Zhou Dynasty (1045-711 BC) and “lishu” (隸書) Japanese Zhou (770-256 BC) and Kaishu (楷書) within the South North Dynasty (AD 220-589). Nowadays lishu and Kaishu are still extensively utilized in print and calligraphy.

Overseas Impacts

Chinese characters and vocabulary have drastically influenced and enriched overseas cultures by growing interaction with neighboring nations and the remaining

One of the main contributions to Chinese language got here from Buddhism in AD 67. In response to some historical documents, Emperor Ming from the Han Dynasty dreamed at some point of the golden god flying his imperial palace; so the subsequent day he requested his counselors for advice.

One of his ministers explained that this god in sleep ought to be the Buddha from the West, and it was an indication of nice blessings. In addition, the minister instructed that the emperor ship ambassadors to Central Asia to seek Buddhist scriptures.

Emperor Ming accepted this recommendation and sent a 12-member delegation to the West. Later, the ambassadors met two Indian Buddhist monks named Kasyapa Matanga and Dharmaratna in Central India and introduced them back with two white horses, which have been Buddhist scriptures, to the Chinese capital Luo Yang.

Emperor Ming was a cheerful and constructed well-known White Horse temple, the official cradle of Buddhism in China, where two Indian monks turned the Chinese language to different Buddhist scriptures recognized forty-two items of Sutra. Even though historians have discovered paperwork that have recorded previous Buddhist contacts with China, it is properly established that Emperor Ming officially introduced Buddhism to China.

In line with a scientific research about 30,000 phrases or phrases between the Han Dynasty and the Tang Dynasty for about 800 years, a Buddhist vocabulary and a few new characters have been added to Chinese. A commonly used vocabulary comparable to "現在" (now) , "未來" (future), "世界" (world), "因果" (cause-effect), "悲觀" (pessimism), are all derived from Buddhism. The extension of the lexicon in this method has not only helped to build a container of Chinese characters, but has also enriched the Chinese understanding of the world from a recent metaphysical or religious point of view.

Though it might be true that Japanese culture and language got here primarily from China through the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907), Japanese language has in turn had a huge effect on modern Chinese vocabulary

After the Opium Conflict, increasingly more Japanese publications have been translated into Chinese . By the beginning of the 20th century, many Chinese had gone to review in industrialized Japan, and Chinese had begun to absorb many Japanese words akin to "經濟" (financial system), "社會主義" (socialism), "資本" (capital), "政治" (politics), "電話" (telephone), "派出所" (police station), "哲學" (philosophy), "" "(magazine)," 幹部 "(bureaucrat)," 藝術 "(art)," 自由 "( freedom) and so forth.

In accordance with Professor Zhao Bing of the College of Fudan, 70% of the terms of trendy Chinese social sciences and humanities in Shanghai have been quoted in Japanese

The Western cultural affect, particularly after the Qing Dynasty, has additionally turn into apparent in Chinese. Phrases corresponding to 咖啡 (coffee), 邏輯 (logic), 維他命 (vitamin), 高爾夫 (golf) and others at the moment are used in on a regular basis life.

So the Chinese language is a dwelling language and has grown considerably since historic occasions. The Chinese dictionary, revealed in 1994, collected 85,568 Chinese characters.

Communist Disruption

Chinese characters haven’t developed easily all through their historical past. Because the 1950s, the Chinese Communist Get together has launched into an incredible effort to take away society from its former Chinese tradition, to convey Communist ideology to China.

To eradicate the normal cultural affect, the Communist regime underwent a quantity of political campaigns reminiscent of "four old" (previous, previous, previous, previous concepts), "cultural revolution", and persecution of Falun Gong, a meditation apply within the Buddhist custom.

A deadly blow to Chinese language came in 1956, when the Communist Celebration ordered the Chinese language reform committee to release an extended record of more than two thousand "simplified" Chinese characters to switch the prevailing conventional Chinese characters, in violation of linguistic heritage and regardless of the resistance of the population and universities.

When applying many simplified radicals or by removing a big half of the normal character, the brand new Chinese characters misplaced their unique which means and art type, which frequently turned an insane or irrational script. For example, the normal character of love is "愛"; however by removing "心" (heart) within the center, the simplified character love turns into heartless

Simplifying the normal character "聽" (listening) "听", the brand new character has misplaced its radical symbolizing "耳" (ear) and "心" "(for heart) listening, while the recently added" 口 "(mouth) isn’t human listening at all.

Such insanity, which scientists charge, tends to undermine China's traditional language and cultural heritage. It was particularly painful for a lot of Chinese who realized that Chinese tradition, especially language, was impressed and rooted in historic mythology.

Thankfully, traditional Chinese characters are nonetheless utilized by Chinese individuals dwelling outdoors China. Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macao and Singapore. In China, some nonetheless hold conventional Chinese characters as an artwork type, particularly in brush pen calligraphy.

For centuries, Chinese languages ​​and conventional characters have survived many challenges, together with some attempts

Chinese civilization and much of its cultural heritage are in some ways capable of proceed to today as a result of of this unique logographic writing device. A quarter of the world's population uses Chinese characters in history; As an alternative, they’ll flourish within the coming interval.

Peter Zhang is a researcher in China and graduated from Harvard College.