Asia's Orthographic Dilemma
With the advent of computers and the rise of East Asian economies, the complicated character-based writing systems of East Asia have reached a stage of crisis that may be described as truly millennial in scope and implications. In what is perhaps the most wide-ranging critique of the sinographic script ever written, William C. Hannas assesses the usefulness of Chinese character-based writing in East Asia today.
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While the book provides a degree of insight into issues within han-derived scripts, the author focuses primarily on exaggerating the issues present in an unbalanced and prejudiced argument interwoven with personal opinions and feelings, shown instantly by the early-on statement on what benefit the writing system has, stating that "the short answer is, nothing". The author tries to dispell common perceptions, which is done well. Despite this, there are even more incorrect or misinformed pieces of information brought up by the author, and the lacking of a whollistic view of the subject, merely the author's opinion, which remains strongly negative throughout the book, largely limiting in utility.
Overall, it provides some insight into the topic about which it discusses, and many issues addressed with the system itself, but largely lacks the focus on linguistics, and more on linguistic pride, often being quick to point out his own language's benefits and the faults of asian scripts, which is generally off-topic and irrelevant to the book's claimed subject of interest. The arguments presented also lack balance, meaning the book is misinforming and limiting in its legitimate value and informative utility.
Critique of Chinese CharacterBased Writing
6 Learning and Literacy
8 Appropriateness to East Asian Languages