Chinese Symbols for Words, otherwise known as Kanji symbols (in Japan) or characters, originated in China thousands of years ago.
The earliest examples of Chinese writing date to the late Shang period (ca. 1200 BC). These are the so-called Oracle Bone Inscriptions (jiaguwen) which were found at the site of the last Shang capital near present-day Anyang, Henan province.
Starting around the fifth century BCE, examples of writings on bamboo strips appear. The new media also means new content: along with historical and administrative writings, the bamboo strips contains the earliest manuscripts of famous Chinese philosophical texts, such as the Laozi, Liji, and Lunyu. Beside bamboo, texts were also written on wooden tablets and silk cloth. The written language by this time is the so-called "classical Chinese" (wenyan) which had remained more or less the same as late as the 19th century.
Chinese symbols for words are written in columns that are read from top to bottom and from right to left, or in horizontal lines that read from left to right.
The government of China has made great efforts to standardize the pronunciation of Mandarin, which is essentially a spoken language, and to have it adopted throughout China. The Beijing dialect of Mandarin was chosen as it was the most widely used.
The literary language of Chinese differs greatly from the spoken form. Known as wenyen, the literary language is the same for all variants of Chinese as far as vocabulary, grammar, and the system of writing are concerned, but pronunciation differs locally according to the dialect.
Chinese Dating Services, Action Stars and a Growing Economy
Today, Chinese culture is finding its way into the mainstream. There are several popular Chinese action stars - Jackie Chan, Michelle Yeogh, Jet Li, Chou Yun Fat and others. Chinese dating sites / dating services have been popping up online for those who are attracted to the exotic looks of Chinese men and women. Casinos and other entertainment establishments, as well as popular video games with Chinese themes - China is becoming a major economic force in the world and fortunately this trend toward a greater integration and cultural understanding is sure to increase in coming years.
Chinese Symbols for Words - Links to Useful Resources
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