On Dec 13, 2003, at 12:29 PM, Patrick Chew wrote:
>> On Dec 13, 2003, at 8:27 AM, Scott Sullivan wrote:
>>> Do you know for sure that there are characters that are used in
>>> Cantonese and not in Mandarin?
> At 10:41 AM 12/13/2003, John Jenkins wrote:
>> Oh, heavens yes. (In fact, I'm sitting on a list of well over a
>> hundred that haven't been added or even proposed for Unicode yet.)
> THANKS BE! Finally, Unicoded goodness for non-"standard"
Actually, we've been doing this for a long time. At an early meeting
of the CJK-JRG, which is now the IRG and the body responsible
ultimately for adding new Han characters to Unicode, the representative
from Hong Kong (!) objected to our including some Cantonese-specific
characters. After all, he argued, you're never supposed to use them in
If I could get an authoritative list of unencoded ideographs used for
other dialects, I'd throw them into the hopper, too.
> BTW, you've read Bauer and Cheung's recent publication on
> Cantonese characters?
Yup. Sitting on my shelf, not two meters away.
> Granted that with the advent of "national language
> standardization" in the early 1900s for the Sinitic
> Mandarin has come to the forefront, yet even Written Mandarin/MSC
> large amounts of Classical Chinese, which is far removed from any
> spoken/colloquial Mandarin form.
> The whole situation of reading/writing "Mandarin" is true,
> BUT, I
> would argue that people internally _translate_ into their own
> where vernacular/colloquial forms are substituted in on not only the
> lexical, but also syntactic, level, when read.
This is an interesting idea. I'd love to see someone follow through on
this. My daughter and I were discussing the issue today, when I noted
to her that I've had no luck in finding Chinese audiobooks. She
wondered if a Cantonese speaker doing an audiobook would, in fact, read
the text as written (using Cantonese pronunciations), or translate to
Cantonese as they read.
Me, when I speak Mandarin, I speak what's written in books but with a
Mandarin accent instead of a Cantonese one.
>> (The analogy I usually use is that it would be like having Spanish
>> children read and write French, but pronounce it is if it were
> I think a better analogy would be using the Scandinavian
> languages... where lexical and grammatical differences range from
> slight to
> moderate to extreme.
The Romance languages are similar, though, with a group of very closely
related languages which are virtually dialects (Spanish, Portuguese,
Catalan, and Italian).
[remainder of very good post deleted]
John H. Jenkins