A slightly depressing fact

25 Aug

I can’t make out a single piece of it

I saw this sign today above a Chinese restaurant, and it is another reminder of how much my Chinese has degraded. I have no idea what it says. I’ve really got to get back into Chinese…

Naturally, any skill that isn’t used for a long period of time will degrade, but the ability to read and write characters is something that degrades much faster than other language skills. I can skill speak and hold a decent conversation in Mandarin, but I would be hard pressed to write a letter by hand.

But looking at the third character here also makes me think about different scripts. This character is written in a cursive style, which is significantly different from the print style that I studied in college. Just like n and N are two very different symbols which produce identical sounds, two characters can appear quite different to the untrained eye but can be identical to those who recognize them.

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