PreBabel Wiki

Day fifty-nine -- about Chinese Etymology

      [quote from Khagan] Do you plan to create a version of your website that uses unicode for displaying the PreBabel/Chinese characters (are they all regular/existent Hanzi characters?) instead of using pictures?[/quote]

            As every Chinese character was viewed as a stand alone blob without an internal structure in addition to having a "leading radical" before the publication of my book, "Chinese Etymology," 60% of the PB roots are not encoded with a unicode. Now, Chinese government is planning to return to the traditional character set in 10 years to take the advantages of it being a PreBabel (Chinese). I think that those PB roots will have a unicode by then.

      [quote from Khagan] Also, are there any short texts that have been PreBabelized for English? Or for other European languages? [/quote]

            Any text can be written with vocabulary. PreBabel (English) has about three hundred words now. As soon as we encode about 1,000 PB (English) words, we can write some texts in PB (English) with ease.

            For other European languages, we also need to encode some vocabulary first. We need a lot of friends to do this work. My priority, now, is to establish the theoretical framework on PreBabel. Many linguistics departments of many universities around the world are now very interested in the PreBabel project. I will report the progress on this in due time.

            At this point, the "root-form" of the PB root set is a bit cumbersome for encoding English. I will discuss this issue soon. Now, we can encode a language by using the R numbers, such as, word a = R10 + R20 (roots composite)
            or word b = G1 (20) + R30 (Regressive encoding, G1 is generation one word).

      [quote from Trailsend] Really? I heard back in March a proposal had been put before the NPC and CPPCC to return to the traditional system, but I didn't know it had been approved. [/quote]

      Answer: The following is quoted from "The new Paradigm of Linguistics ( )," "The People's Republic of China (PRC) was found in 1949. By then, China had suffered over 100 years of humiliation. The culprit for China's demise was identified to be the Chinese written language which was viewed as a type A language without any logic for its complexity. In fact, it was viewed as a language without a logic of any kind at all. A slogan of those days was "Without abandoning the Chinese word system, China as a nation would surely die." And, the Chinese word system was also accused as the only reason for China's high illiteracy (over 85%) at that time.

      However, the process of Romanization of Chinese words was not a success by 1958. The interim measure was to simplify. The simplification of the Chinese word system is, now, viewed as the greatest achievement of the PRC.

      In 1958, if anyone in the world knew that the Chinese written language is a type B language (the easiest of all languages to learn), the above history would not have happened.

      As the above history did happen, the Fact two is validated in and before 1958. Even today (March 7, 2009), one Chinese word expert in China emphasized that traditional (non-simplified) Chinese words are too difficult to learn for the young kids in China."

      Three years ago, any question about the great achievement on the Simplified character set would be viewed as a direct challenge to the PRC. Yet, the calling for returning to the traditional set are made two years in the roll now. Of course, it will take some maneuvers to make this change with honor, without disgrace the earlier act. The facts are the following,
         1. It takes 5 to 10 school years for native Chinese kid to learn 3,000 to 5,000 Chinese words while an American kid can do the same in six months by learning the PreBabel (Chinese).
         2. About 95% of those educated Chinese people are still semi-illiterate in terms of Classic Chinese language as they still don't truly know the meaning of each word by learning the old school way. The verbal Chinese language uses "phrase" as a word while the Classic language uses word as word. Only by learning PreBabel (Chinese), the student will learn the meaning of the "word."

      That is, to stay with the Simplified, the PRC is wasting the youthful life of her people, which is excusable if the PreBabel (Chinese) was "not" known. And, one day, Chinese must come to America to learn Chinese written language.

      Furthermore, the "universal language" is very important politically in the world politics. With the development of PreBabel, the PreBabel (English) has a chance to become the true "universal language". By then, the Chinese language will simply become a dialect of the PreBabel (English).

[quote from Trailsend] Gosh darn it, that'll be troublesome...the Chinese program at my university is still teaching simplified.[/quote]

      Then, if you are learning Chinese at your university, you are wasting your time. If I were you, I will challenge the university program as it is wasting every student's life. There is no argument about it, at all, period. There are too many kids are smart than you on this, visit ( ).

[quote from sangi39] At least in terms of the UK high school education system a person learns the spoken and written language (speaking, listening, reading and writing) over 2 hours per week. In a given educational year a student will typically attend around 39/40 weeks of school and therefore 78-80 hours of language lessons per year totaling 234-240 hours of language lessons by the end of the pre-GCSE stage lessons at which point, assuming they were taught well and learnt well, they will be able to comprehend and use the spoken and written language to at least a basic degree.[/quote]

      Seemingly, you are talking about the "class room" lessons, not including the homework and self-study.

      In the Preface of my book ( ), it states, "This is a self study book for someone who knows not a single Chinese written word, that is, the reader needs no tutor in order to study this textbook."

      In the Introduction of the same book ( ), it outlines the "self-study" schedule.

      That is, my 200 hours are self-study hours with zero "class room" hour. In reality, I do provide "class room" teaching for kids, and it is about 60 "class hours" (two hours a week for 30 weeks). The bottom line is that it is the difference between 5 years and 200 hours.

[quote from sangi39] Although I can't read the Chinese replies, the English replies all seem to be what Trailsend termed "polite dismissals". They all seem to follow the same general pattern of "we'll pass it on" and "it was interesting" ... there is very little suggesting they'd go further than this.[/quote]

      There is "absolutely, absolutely, ..., absolutely, ..." no need for those presidents of American universities to write back with a "polite dismissive" letter. A simple test is for you to send them a letter and to see whether they will reply with a polite letter or not.

      Those are the copout letters for passing the buck. The issue involves the consciousness of the educators -- whether they are wasting their students youthful life away or not, when this issue becomes a history. By "pass it on", the burden of the consciousness is also passed on. Obviously, they did realize that the issue on hand was very serious and severe.

[quote from Trailsend] I am not. (If I was, I wouldn't be quite so concerned) My understanding of the situation is limited to news stories I was able to find online, and what I was able to dig up on the English section of the Chinese government's webpage, including this article from the government's site, dated from August of this year, which didn't seem to suggest that there would be a movement back toward the traditional system.[/quote]

      Before the Iraq war, the US government launched a massive dis-information campaign. As the simplified set was identified as the GREATEST achievement of PRC, any change must be weaseled in if she must take a new direction, whatever that it is. The key point is that whether my claim on my "Chinese Etymology" is true or not. If it is not true, no further discussion on this is needed. It can simply be judged by anyone who knows not a single Chinese word. After reading the following page,

      if one still agrees that the "cause" for launching the simplified system is valid, I will not try to convince him any further. The validity of my claim needs no Chinese government's approval. You yourself should have the ability to know the difference.

      If my claim is true, then the Chinese government must face one dire FACT;
      She is wasting her people's youthful life away.

[quote f rom Khagan] Tienzen , I am very interested in getting your book "Chinese Etymology". Is it really $400 for the 305 page paperback though? If so, why is it so expensive?[/quote]

      This is not a place for me to discuss the selling of books. But, I will answer your question about "why is it so expensive?"

      It is a textbook, not for the general public. Its purpose is to teach a person to acquire the ability to read Chinese newspaper with 200 hours of self study. And, the calculation for its worth is as follow.

      It will take a person 5 school years to reach the same level by learning the old school way.
         1. It will cost a person $1,000 a year for going to an old school. Thus, 5 x $1,000 = $5,000
         2. It will save a person, at least, 4 years. This is very valuable.
         3. It will provide knowledge which can never be learnt anywhere else in the world. With the old school way, one person learns 3,000 Chinese words, and he knows those 3,000 words. Any new word will be an unknown word. With my Chinese Etymology, he learns 3,000 words, and he will know all (about 60,000) Chinese words. This is a value beyond any calculation.

      Anyway, 400 / 5000 = 0.08, That is, 92% off.

[quote from Khagan] If your etymology is correct and factually based, it ought to be something even amateur linguists could partially recreate. And even if they do it imperfectly, my understanding is that well less than 10,000 characters are required for general literacy in Chinese.[/quote]

      This will be the case for all PreBabel (language x) but not for the PreBabel (Chinese). Chinese traditional set is heavily and deeply camouflaged. Without knowing those camouflages, no one knew that Chinese traditional set is a PreBabel for the past 2000 years. Furthermore, the phonetics and the Chinese characters interaction is the most complicate one among "all" natural languages. Without knowing the 300 sound modules, there is no chance to construct a useful "Chinese Etymology."

[quote from Khagan] ... the $400 list price is almost certainly a guarantee of perpetual obscurity for it ... [/quote]

      I charge $3,000 tuition fee per student (for a 30 week lesson). Many parents are eagerly enrolling their kids for the lessons. I will give a presentation on PreBabel at Georgia Southern University ( ) on Friday, April 2, 2010. I might give out 3 copies with deep discount at that meeting.

[quote from Khagan] How familiar are you with any language that is neither English nor Chinese? PreBabel gives the impression of heavily inflecting/agglutinating languages not having been given much thought. [quote]

      I learnt some Japanese and Spanish about 30 years ago. I am very fluent in Hunanese and Taiwanese. Yet, the point is not about how many languages that I know. It is about the language structures that I have learnt from those experiences.
         1. English/Chinese --- completely different "types" of languages
         2. Japanese/Chinese --- Japanese is not in Chinese family but is very, very heavily "influenced" by Chinese, and it goes way, way beyond the importing of a foreign language.
         3. Spanish/English --- two languages of a language family.
         4. Hunanese and Taiwanese --- dialects of a family
      Thus, the issues of language types, language influencing process, divergence process of a family language and the dialect process are all included in those experiences.

      The PreBabelizing process (Regressive encoding) is wholly independent from the types of the vocabulary regardless of whether it is inflected, agglutinated or not. The Regressive encoding is encoding a word with its own words (two or three). Only at the last stroke, a small set of the first generation words is encoded with PB word roots. In fact, there are three ways for this PreBabelizing process.
         1. An inflected word can be separated into two parts, the body and the tail.
            i-word = b-word (body) + tail
            Only b-word is PreBabelized, and the tail stay unchanged.
         2. A PB tail set is generated, and every i-word becomes a word phrase.
            i-word = PB (b-word) + PB (tail), the i-word becomes a PB phrase.
         3. With a de-inflection process.
      I will discuss these in detail in the future.

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