The Push to Learn Chinese in Our Schools
Recently, a trend has developed in high schools and communities
around the United States. Many people want to or are now
learning the Chinese language. This could be a good turn of
events, but it can also be problematic. This is particularly so
for those who know nothing about Chinese culture, history and
the state of affairs in China today.
In mainland China they no longer use the traditional Chinese
characters that go hand in hand with Chinese history. For some
reason, the Chinese Communist Party decided to alter the Chinese
language and thereby change the vehicle for written
Traditional Chinese characters evolved naturally over a period
of time from pictographs or small drawings. By contrast the
simplified Chinese created by the Chinese Communist Party has
watered many of the traditional characters down to the point
that they no longer are rooted in more ancient traditions.
Here is an example. The traditional Chinese character for the
word 'love' contains a picture of a heart in it. This makes
sense because love is closely associated to the heart. Not so in
simplified Chinese. There is no heart in the word 'love' in
simplified Chinese. One may ponder how you can love without a
Just as this example shows, in many ways the Chinese Communist
Party has removed the heart of the entire language, distorting
and altering it into a water downed version of its former self.
In Taiwan, however, they still use traditional characters.
So if your community or children's school is planning to teach
Chinese, you may wish to ensure that you are getting the
traditional variety. It more fully encompasses the rich history
of China and the Chinese people. By contrast, those who teach
our children simplified Chinese are from mainland China and
unfortunately, they will also be passing on the values and ideas
of the Chinese Communist Party. Whether they do so on purpose or
automatically as a result of growing up in that environment, the
end result is the same. Only you can decide if you want the
influence of the Chinese Communist Party imparted to your
Be sure to insist that our children are taught traditional
Chinese and not the simplified version. This way the richness of
traditional Chinese culture can be more fully enjoyed and
appreciated. There will be a more solid foundation to understand
the more ancient Chinese traditions.