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Should schools start teaching traditional characters again?


Updated: 2015-03-05 10:56:10


Should schools start teaching traditional characters again?

Chinese director Feng Xiaiogang urged schools to start teaching traditional Chinese characters again. [Photo/Agencies]

Chinese director Feng Xiaogang, a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), stressed on the cultural importance of traditional Chinese characters and suggested schools should teach those that reflect the wisdom of our ancestors.

"The meaning of learning Chinese characters lies in planting beautiful seeds in our children," said Feng at a  session on Wednesday.

Feng cited two examples.

Should schools start teaching traditional characters again?

"Take the characters 亲 (qin, here referring to the meaning to be close to someone) and 爱 (ai, love) for example. The traditional character for 亲 is 親. On the left is 亲, and on the right is 見 (jian, the traditional character for 见 or to see). The traditional character for 爱 is 愛, there is a 心 (xin, heart) in it.

Put more simply, (the traditional Chinese characters are telling us that) to be close to someone, you have to meet them, and to love someone, you have to have a heart."

The Chinese language has been written in its traditional form for a long time since its birth. In 1935, China's Ministry of Education issued the first batch of simplified characters, 324 of them in total, but widespread use of them were delayed until the 1950s'.

Feng suggested the revival of 50 to 200 most meaningful traditional characters in the textbooks. This way, it will not pressure the children too much, and at the same time allow them to feel the essence of Chinese culture.

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