Interesting point

Fears have been raised in Hong Kong over creeping cultural dominance from Beijing after a broadcaster aired a programme subtitled with characters that are commonly used on the mainland.
More than 10,000 viewers complained to TVB after the media outlet used simplified Chinese characters for a news bulletin, as opposed to traditional characters which are common in Hong Kong.

As I understand it Taiwan is the only place left that actually has bits and pieces of Imperial, or at least pre-revolution, cooking floating around. The smaller offshoots of a culture being those that retain the older customs the longer. As here, with traditional and simplified characters.

The Benny’s being the last outpost of 1950s England sorta thing…..certainly, the one time I ever spoke to one on the phone it was like listening to, well, not 1950s, but perhaps 1900, Dorset or Devon perhaps.

19 thoughts on “Interesting point”

  1. I lived in Hong Kong and have family there. There’s growing disatisfaction with the mainland officials pushing Mandarin on the local Cantonese-speaking population. It’s getting more expected that you use Mandarin in the public sector, and they are pushing using Mandarin as the teaching medium in schools.
    It was significant that in this week’s budget statement Tsang (the finance minister) emphasised local culture and quoted an old cantopop hit.

  2. Yes, we use the traditional characters in Taiwan. Got in a taxi once in Hong Kong, spoke Mandarin, and the driver took off like a shot and wouldn’t acknowledge or speak to me during the trip except to take my money at the end.

  3. @Philip

    Falkland Islanders. British Army slang, I think the second term the squaddies came up with after being told not to use the first. From the character in Crossroads.

  4. BlokeonaMotorway said:
    “Falkland Islanders. British Army slang, I think the second term the squaddies came up with after being told not to use the first. From the character in Crossroads.”

    Weren’t they told to stop calling them Bennies, so called them stills? As in “we can’t say it, but they’re still Bennies”.

  5. So Much For Subtlety

    Richard – “Weren’t they told to stop calling them Bennies, so called them stills? As in “we can’t say it, but they’re still Bennies”.”

    Ernest Gellner has a story about the pro-Soviet Somali government banning all mention of clans in an effort to end tribalism and strengthen the national identity.

    So Somalis all went around asking each other what their “ex” was – as in their ex-clan. As they did not exist any more.

    What a sterling success that was.

  6. This situation would be like the BBC showing an American news program and deciding that it should use American instead of British spellings for subtitles, except that the USA is a socialist authoritarian country which is shortly going to subsume the UK as the 51st member through the power of its larger population.

  7. Simplified Chinese is a little like restricting all communication to the 2,000 most common words in English. It can be done, but the result is unlikely to be deathless prose.

  8. Bloke in North Dorset

    “Weren’t they told to stop calling them Bennies, so called them stills? As in “we can’t say it, but they’re still Bennies”.”

    Correct.

    When I was working in South Africa an Afrikaans speaker told me that their Lagrange was closer to the original 17th Dutch than that spoken in the Netherlands. I can’t vouch for its veracity but it stacks up with the point Tim makes.

  9. @John

    You think our right side doesn’t already consider you to be our puppets? I’d like to see the British perspective on this piece.

    @SMFS

    Yes it would be very similar to the EU except our authoritarians will allow you to pretend to vote for your leaders. The standard election is the choice between to parties that want to take different freedoms from you. The biggest difference is one side carries the stick and the other has the carrot.

  10. First reaction. If Britain’s EU membership in he EU is such a great deal for the US then why aren’t we being paid by the US for doing that work?

    Second: so damn what? Our gaff, our rules.

  11. But we do pay. Only instead of money we use what we think are nice sounding words.

    Personally I found that article to be condescending.

    In case anyone tries to claim that National Interest is a “left-wing” rag they have close ties with the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank fund by the Koch brothers.

  12. my comment posted at the original…

    “It should be deeply troubling from a U.S. perspective that decisions such as these are being made in Britain according to the perceived political self-interest of the political class…”

    Thank you, Captain Obvious, for pointing out that the political class in the UK acts in their own self-interest. This differs enormously from the US, where the political class are supremely indifferent to their own interests, and act selflessly and nobly in pursuit of a clear (even hard-headed) vision of America’s place in the world with a sure and capable grasp of how to implement that vision… Oh, never mind.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *