Essay about Language Reform in Modern China

2295 Words Sep 7th, 2013 10 Pages
1. What have been the major issues in language reform in modern China? How have these related to wider political and social changes such as the rise of nationalism, the communist revolution, etc.? Give concrete examples to justify your opinion ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Introduction
The Chinese language has changed significantly since the Qing Dynasty. Language is closely linked to social aspects of a society, and China is not an exception. During the last three hundred years China has gotten rid of its dynasty and changed to a communist state. These political changes led to major reforms in the Chinese language, and the three most important ones have been reforms towards a new modern written- and spoken
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Even though this was a common thought among scholars, it was still a lot of contradictions surrounding the topic. It was common for language reformers in the Chinese pinyin movement between the late Qing and the early Republic to believe that letters would replace characters one day, but few were ready to openly support such a move due to the cultural value the characters held (Bing, 2013).
Language reform after 1949
After the People’s Republic of China was founded in 1948, effort was made on all the major aspects of language reform. The newly formed communist government got involved in the reformation of the Chinese language and played a larger role in language reform then any government or emperor had previously done (Chen, 1999). Compared to earlier rulers, the communists came to power in a period where technology made it easier to reach larger part of the population, and this made the job of educating the people easier.

The illiteracy rate was high and the communist government made it one of their top priorities to educate the workforce. They understood the importance of having a better-educated population that could more efficiently carry out their rapid and massive economic modernization that were about to begin (Plafker, 2001). Two important conferences were held in Beijing October 1955, translated the National Conference on Script Reform and the Symposium on the Standardization of Modern Chinese (Chen,

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