Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Preserving a "Traditional" Way of Life

If I ever get back to my erstwhile occupation as a translator, I want to be sure that I have as many opportunities to get source text in traditional characters as possible. That's why I "signed" this online petition. 16,000 "signatures" and counting.

Maybe I've been in Taiwan too long, but it just seems crazy to me that the UN would adopt the upstart simplified characters when even people in China seem to prefer traditional ones in intellectual and even commercial pursuits. Or maybe the UN has taken a position similar to President Chen's re pandas: keep them (traditional characters) in their natural environment for conservation reasons.

Update 4/11: After a few weeks of this story coming into and out of the news, Taiwan's foreign ministry has explained that the UN told it that in fact, traditional characters have not been used there since 1971. A sad day for Taiwan's media workers ... and anyone else worldwide who picked up the story and never double-checked it.

I was kind of wondering whether it was an April Fool's prank, but a quick google news search yielded a March 24 story

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