Sierran Hanzi

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Sierran Hanzi
Sierran hanzi.png
Languages Sierran English
Parent systems
Sister systems
Kanji, Hanja, Hanji, Zhuyin, traditional Chinese, simplified Chinese, Nom, Khitan script, Jurchen script
This article contains Chinese text. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Chinese characters.
This article contains Japanese text. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of kanji and kana.

Sierran Hanzi (塞拉α·漢字; also known as Adapted Chinese Characters for English, or ACCE) are the logographic Chinese characters borrowed from China, Japan, and Tondo that are used alongside the English alphabet and special non-Latin characters (such as α, , and ) and found in written Sierran English. The word Hanzi is the romanized form for the Chinese term for "Han characters", and is written using the same characters as the Chinese word hànzì (漢字) in the traditional form. Since Sierran Hanzi has been a fairly recent introduction, nearly all of the characters used in Sierran Hanzi are identical to either their Traditional Chinese or Japanese kanji counterparts.

The earliest forms of Sierran Hanzi was introduced to Sierra in the late 19th century when Sierra begun conducting extensive trade with Asian countries across the Pacific. With its maritime empire growing, Sierra eventually gained control over Tondo following the Spanish–Sierran War and the Han–Sierran War, subjecting the Tondolese archipelago to colonial rule for nearly half a century. During this time, continued immigration from the Sinic world into Sierra, alongside increased interactions between Asians and whites in Sierra led to the Sierran Cultural Revolution, a decades-long process which resulted in Sierra's cultural and political transformation. The Sierran Hanzi was first developed as a learning guide for English speakers who were interested in reading and writing Chinese, Japanese, and Tondolese without the need to speak them (and pronounce them in their native forms). The system proved highly useful for merchants, bankers, and other professionals, and was highly popular among students who could later identify characters and read them in the true pronunciations and readings.

In 1934, the government of Sierra, under the purview of scholars and linguists, formally standardized Sierran Hanzi, selecting 2,257 characters for official use by government officials, professionals, businesses, and academia. Usage of Sierran Hanzi became widespread as it became a popular form of shorthand as many words and concepts could be contained into one or two characters. With the advent of digitalization and advancements in technology, it became easier to process and compute Sierran Hanzi, and today, it is extensively used in professional settings and documents, including government records. Like Chinese Hanzi, each character may have several different meanings, and thus, readings. However, each character is assigned with a phonetic English word that corresponds with that English word's literal semantic definitions. Consequently, the utility of radicals found in many Chinese characters for their phono-semantic functions are lost in Sierran Hanzi. In addition, Sierran Hanzi is written and read using English grammar and syntax, and is typically spaced on print, allowing easy distinguishing with the writing system from written Chinese.

Today, while basic knowledge of Sierran Hanzi is not essential to comprehend written Sierran English, it is highly beneficial for everyday life throughout much of Sierra. Sierran Hanzi is compulsorily taught in the Sierran education system, and continue to be used as aids in learning Chinese, Japanese, and Tondolese. A considerable degree of comprehension and competency in Sierran Hanzi is expected in higher education and professional working environments. Knowledge of standardized Sierran Hanzi and advanced Sierran Hanzi is essential in certain fields, including law, administration, and political science, as government officials are expected to write, read, or type in Sierran Hanzi as a form of shorthand. In addition, many businesses frequently use Sierran Hanzi in their advertisements, signs, or products, and most Sierrans today have a "Hanzi name" alongside their legal given name, which is most often used in family registers, and in NICs. Standardized Sierran Hanzi is regulated by the Ministry of Culture's Royal Commission on Adapted Chinese Characters for English.

Although Sierran Hanzi is meant for use with the English language, adaptation of Chinese characters in other languages have also been promoted by the Sierran government. Sierran Spanish Hanzi and Sierran French Hanzi have found limited usage by the Sierran government, although such varieties remain unofficial, and are not typically taught in any language classes or schools. Applications of Sierran Hanzi have found its way throughout the rest of the Anglosphere, particularly in the rest of Anglo-America where Sierran Hanzi has been adopted as a helpful tool for learning written Vernacular Chinese and Japanese.

History[edit | edit source]

Large-scale Asian immigration contributed to the rise and prevalence of Sierran Hanzi

Sierra was first exposed to Chinese characters during the early 19th century when they were introduced by immigrants from China (mostly from Southern Fujian and Guangdong) and Japan. Many of these immigrants arrived to Sierra's predecessor state, the California Republic, in search of economic opportunity and success. The first significant wave of Asian immigration in continental Anglo-America occurred during the California Gold Rush where news of gold reached across all parts of the world. Like most prospectors, many came with the expectation of gold riches, and returning home after they had accumulated wealth. While few did indeed find wealth, many prospectors failed to, including those from Asia, who were also heavily marginalized by their white European counterparts. A large number of Asian prospectors settled in California and formed their own ethnic enclaves, with one of the most notable communities being the Chinatown in San Francisco City. Retaining their native languages, and associating among themselves, the immigrants within the enclaves lived independently from the world outside.

While most non-Asian outsiders refused to associate with the Asian communities, some came out of curiosity or for trade. As Asian enclaves became permanent fixtures in many towns, the number of interactions between Asians and non-Asians increased, and so was exposure to ubiquitous elements of East Asian culture including Chinese characters. The first Chinese and Japanese language schools emerged in 1850, as the demand to learn such languages grew. Despite pressure to curb Asian immigration by nativist parties and labor organizations, the Californian government permitted unrestricted immigration from East Asia, allowing the East Asian linguistic communities to flourish.

Comparison of Western and Oriental Thought was a famous work that emerged during the Sierran Cultural Revolution and utilized an early form of Sierran Hanzi, in addition to Chinese.

Even after California became known as the Kingdom of Sierra, the new government continued to allow free flow of immigration from East Asia as it began expanding its global outreach and trade beyond its waters, and established extensive economic ties with East Asia directly. Under the reign of Sierra's first king, Charles I, and his prime ministers, Sierra pursued an imperialist-oriented foreign policy, with the entire Pacific naturally in mind. Throughout the late 19th century, Sierra acquired various islands in the Pacific including Hawaii, Rapa Nui, and eventually, the entire Tondolese archipelago. Sierra's relationship with Tondo was particularly close as it held a strategic location in the Asia-Pacific, and was in close proximity to the Sierran territories of Hawaii and the Gilbert and Ellice Islands. Although Tondo was under Spanish domination around this time, Sierran influence grew, and a wave of Tondolese immigration to Sierra began, and vice versa. Tondo was a Sinicized nation, and its language made extensive use of Chinese characters, furthering the need to understand Tondolese documents and papers in Sierra without the presence of a native speaker or an acquired learner.

Various methods were employed to facilitate interlingual communication from raw translations to glossing, but many merchants began picking up both spoken and written Tondolese, especially those who had exposure with Chinese or Japanese back in Sierra. A rudimentary system of pairing English words with characters first emerged in 1870 and began to take root in Sierran trading circles on a much larger scale by the end of 1880 when Sierra began openly challenging the presence of other foreign powers in Tondo, including Spain, with its strengthened naval force and trading community.

At the turn of the 20th century, a new class of second-generation Asian Sierrans had arisen, and the once racially-charged policies of the Democratic-Republican had waned. Exiting the Gilded Age, Sierra experienced a wave of progressive-minded and racially inclusive policies, marked with strong activism and desire for change. These forces, coupled with Sierra's imperialist endeavors abroad in the Pacific, yielded the Sierran Cultural Revolution. The Revolution was a decades-long process which such the nation's culture transform tremendously. Ideas and concepts from both the West and the East were embraced, and this included public interest in Chinese characters. With a relatively rapid shift in attitudes and norms, Sierran Hanzi became more widespread amongst the general public, and found its way into education, literature, and business.

Standardization[edit | edit source]

The Sierran hanzi in use on the logo of the National Family Registry.

By the 1930s, as a new generation of Sierrans grew up under the "new culture", Sierran Hanzi had become commonplace, and increasingly, the government of Sierra sought to establish a system of standardization. There was an estimate of about 3,000–7,500 Chinese characters that were employed for use prior to standardization, with most being synonyms or indirect translations of various words. In an effort to condense the adapted use of Chinese characters, the government formed the Royal Commission on Adapted Chinese Characters for English (RCACCE) to create a list of Sierran Hanzi that the government would use exclusively, and use as a baseline for standardized characters. The Royal Commission would also compile all other non-standardized characters for the purposes of identifying them, and encouraging their use, despite their absence from the official standardized list. In 1934, the Royal Commission declared 2,257 standardized characters and over 40,000 readings (not including inflections or senses for different word classes). An additional 3,893 non-standardized characters were declared as SAC (Synonymical, Auxiliary, or Clear) which could be used for matters of clarity, precision, or emphasis for more advanced users.

At the time of standardization, many Sierrans had already demonstrated comprehension in reading and writing in a large range of Sierran Hanzi. Schools and universities had been teaching their own lists of Hanzi for at least two decades, and businesses, especially those in urban areas, were already displaying their products and advertisements with the characters. Standardization streamlined the Sierran Hanzi phenomenon, and was hugely popular as it formally established clear guidelines. Dictionaries and thesauruses were published utilizing the standardized and SAC characters to improve literacy and vocabulary.

In modern Sierran Hanzi writing, Hanzi is used to write content words such as nouns, adjective stems, and verb stems, while special characters (most of Greek origin) are used to denote verb or adjective inflections, or indicate phonetic complements. Although Sierran Hanzi may be written in complete isolation from words containing the English alphabet, more often than not, one will find mixed-writing in use. Documents written in full Sierran Hanzi is exceptionally rare, even in official government documents, as most characters are only used for brevity, precision, or emphasis.

Syntax[edit | edit source]

Readings[edit | edit source]

Sierran Hanzi found in an anthology book.

Although Sierran Hanzi follows the grammatical rules and syntax of the English language, even advanced readers may find difficulty knowing which reading is required for a given character. Usually, if the text is written in full Hanzi, the proper reading will require contextual clues. Due to the nature of the writing system's implementation and standardization into the Sierran English language, a single character may be written in one or more different forms. Because of this, a character can be read in different ways, which can lead to ambiguity or confusion to readers without additional characters and symbols. These aids are either special characters used as punctuation marks, or are characters that are not typically used as standalone Hanzi (Synonymical, Auxiliary, Clear characters, or SAC characters) that offer the reader cues for the proper reading of the particular character. For this reason, many characters may be paired with another character to provide a more narrowed, specified reading, requiring readers to know possible, legitimate combinations. Less commonly used characters, or the appearance of numerous identical characters (with different readings) may sometimes prompt the need of footnotes or a glossary within the document to identify or distinguish these characters apart.

In addition to the assigned English readings, each character has a static Chinese or Japanese reading, usually an Anglicized pronunciation of the primary reading of the character in either of the two languages. While learners are not generally expected to memorize such readings, they are helpful to individuals wishing to study these languages, and recognize the connections between the characters and its original word. Although most Sierran Hanzi lists a single reading from either Chinese or Japanese, some may include more which better reflect the versatility and depth of each character. More serious learners may link each English reading with an original Chinese, Japanese, and Tondolese reading to enhance their vocabulary and command over the languages. In almost no cases are Sierran Hanzi written to be read in the Chinese, Japanese, or Tondolese readings however.

In most cases, only fragments or phrases of Sierran Hanzi are used in mixed-writing, thereby reducing the chance for confusion or uncertainty as they are generally placed only when it is convenient or succinct enough to replace its Romanized equivalent. For example, advertisements may have bulleted points with headers in Sierran Hanzi characters for single words such as "attention" (注意), "today" (今天), "price" (價), "date" (日期), "on-sale" (出售), and incorporate characters for common, recurring nouns such as "car" (車), "clothes" (衣), or "merchandise" (商品).

Functions and role in Sierran society[edit | edit source]

The use and role of Sierran Hanzi in Sierran society has evolved dramatically over the years from its origin to the present-day. Sierran Hanzi was originally a spontaneous, but consistent use of Chinese characters by English-speaking Sierrans who conducted trade with East Asia, particularly in Tondo, during the mid-19th century. Sierran Hanzi was occasionally written alongside localized creole languages which were used between local and foreign merchants. The writing system also helped facilitate non-verbal trade between mutually unintelligible language speakers.

Characters[edit | edit source]

Standardized[edit | edit source]

Basic[edit | edit source]

Essential (Grade K-2)[edit | edit source]
# Character Available meaning(s)/Reading(s) Original reading (English approx.) Standard reading(s) Strokes Grade Example
(In Sierran Hanzi)
Legend:  Used in Sierran Hanzi   Less commonly used in Sierran Hanzi   Localized meaning   Appropriated from Chinese   Appropriated from Japanese 
Basic 塞拉αSierran·漢字Hanzi: 幼儿园Kindergarten 漢字Hanzi Requirement: (20 Sierran Hanzi characters + 6 special S.H. markers (α, ʃ, 〜, ω, ɸ, ʎ) + 26 Latin characters (Aa, Bb, Cc, Dd, Ee, Ff, Gg, Hh, Ii, Jj, Kk , Ll, Mm, Nn, Oo, Pp, Qq, Rr, Ss, Tt, Uu, Vv, Ww, Xx, Yy, Zz) + 10 Latin punctuation marks ( . ! ? , : ; ( ) [ ] )
1 One; a; each, every; single, alone;
whole, entire, all, throughout;
same, identical; once, as soon
as (possible)
; upon; first; to
Yī (Ee); いち (Ichi) One 1 K One day
2 Two; second; twice; double Èr (Are); に (Ni) Two 2 K two 貓ʃcats (pl.)
3 Three; third; triple; thrice Sān (San); さん (San) Three 3 K Thrice a day
4 Four; fourth Sì (Sua); よん (Yon) Four 5 K

The four 季ʃseasons (pl.)

5 Five; Wu (surname); fifth Wǔ (Wu); ご (Go) Five 4 K Five 族ʃraces (pl.)
6 Six; sixth; Liu (surname) Liù (Liu/Leo); ろく (Roku) Six 4 K Sixth sense
7 Seven; seventh なな (Nana)/しち (Shichi);
Qī (See, tee, or chi)
Seven 2 K Seven 死αdeadly (adj.) 罪ʃsins (pl.)
8 Eight; eighth; numerous Bā (Ba); はち (hachi) Eight 2 K Eighth 改正Amendment
9 Nine; ninth; an indeterminate,
large number
; algebraic x-value
Jiǔ (Jyo); きゅ (kyu)/く (ku) Nine 2 K Nine Tailed Fox
10 Ten; tenth; top; best; and Shí (She); じゅう (juu) Ten 2 K Ten ¢cents
11 Zero; circle; whole; nothing;
none; empty
Líng (Ling); ゼロ (zero) Zero 1 K Nothing is lost
12 name; reputation, fame; famous,
great, noted
な (Na); Míng (Ming) Name 6 K Famousname (diff.)
13 year; harvest; annual; age;
period (in life); period (in history);
New Year (Lunar);
things for the New Year; classifier
for years
; grade (a school year)
Nián (Nian); とし (toshi) Age 6 K 十八eighteen 年ʃyears (old)
14 what, which; why Hé (Hua); なに (Nani) What 7 K What is that?
15 man, person, people;
human (homo sapiens); body;
everyone, everybody; character,
personality, or condition
; -er;
manpower; man-made, artificial
Rén (Ren); ひと (Hito) Man 2 K Great man
16 Sun (astronomy); daytime, time
between sunrise and sunset
day, twenty-four hours; everyday, daily,
; day of the month; classifier
for days
; birthday; Japan
(when paired with )
Rì (Ree); ひい (hi) Sun 4 K Sunday (diff.)
17 Moon (literary); moon-shaped objects; month,
; classifier for months
Yuè (Yue); つき (Tsuki) Moon 4 K blue α(adj.) moon
18 to live, to subsist, to exist; to grow,
to develop, to bud
; (causative) to bear, to give
birth, to bring up, to rear/raise
; to be born,
to come into existence
; offspring (for
animals or plants only), descendant
pupil, disciple, student; (historical)
scholar, Confucian scholar
; (opera) actor,
male character
; life, existence,
being, living
; fresh, not stale; raw,
; uncultured, uncultivated;
strange, familiar; mechanically,
forcedly; very, quite, extremely;
vivid, strong, forceful; innate,
natural, born with
; living things,
; livelihood, sustenance;
lifetime, all one's life; birthday,
; to bring back to life,
to revive, to rescue
; (Christianity) to resurrect;
to breed, to generate, to create;
to manufacture, to produce; to happen,
to occur, to take place
; to light, to ignite
(a fire)
; (Buddhism) to go into society, to reincarnate
Shēng (Shung);せい (sei) Life 5 K Life is (的)(clarification for "is") precious α(adj.)
19 big, large, huge; great, deep;
main, major; loud, heavy;
mature, grown-up; greatly, very much
Dà (Da); だい (dai) Big 3 K Bigger ω(comparative marker) brother
20 small, tiny, little; minor,
; briefly, for a short while;
slightly, a little; young; (the) youngest;
a young child, child, kid, baby;
my (dear), our (dear), dear(est)
Xiǎo (Shi-ow); しょう (shō) Small 3 K My dear (distinguisher marker) child
Pre-intermediate (Grade 3-6)[edit | edit source]

Intermediate (Grade 7-9)[edit | edit source]

Graduate (Grade 10-12)[edit | edit source]

Advanced[edit | edit source]

Independent[edit | edit source]

Synonymical, Auxiliary, or Clear[edit | edit source]

Rare[edit | edit source]

Related symbols[edit | edit source]

Sierran Hanzi education[edit | edit source]

Learning Sierran Hanzi is mandatory in both public and private schooling throughout the Kingdom, including all territories with notable exceptions of Bénieîle, Rapa Nui, and Sierran Samoa. Sierran Hanzi is generally introduced at kindergarten in the Sierran educational system, and is taught alongside the English alphabet. Some preschools and early child development centers have included basic Sierran Hanzi in their curriculum, with an emphasis on rote learning. Sierran school children are expected to learn 1,025 characters by the end of sixth grade. Although students are taught to write and read aloud the characters, they are only tested to see if they can recognize and understand a presented character. Despite this, they are not tested on this accumulative knowledge at the end of their primary education, nor is meeting this amount a condition to promote towards secondary education.

Starting at the seventh-grade, basic writing and reading comprehension incorporating mixed-script is introduced in English classes, and may extend to other classes. At this level, characters are taught to analyze characters including their constituent components including stroke order and radicals. They may also be expected to learn the selected Chinese, Japanese, and/or Tondolese readings for each character (usually only included in honors or AL English or Sierran Hanzi courses). At this point, most provinces and states include Sierran Hanzi material in standardized testing assessments to test competency and literacy. Scores on these tests determine where the student will place or which classes they require upon entering high school.

Upon entering high school, students are expected to have learned 250 more characters (1,275 total). Some schools offer separate Sierran Hanzi classes for students who underperform the Sierran Hanzi competency breadth tests issued at the 9th grade (first year of high school). Nearly all Sierran high schools include textbooks and material incorporate mixed-scripts, and all teachers are required to demonstrate satisfactory knowledge in it in order to teach. Sierran Hanzi literacy and competency testing is included in the high school exit exams (tests that must be passed in order to graduate and receive a high school diploma) of most PSAs.

Criticism[edit | edit source]

Immigration-related education[edit | edit source]

Example text[edit | edit source]

The following text is written vertically and is read from right-to-left, top-to-bottom.

精神的兄弟情 办向一另在一 理十良心十應 他們是賦ʎɸ與 十 權ʃ。 由 十等於在尊 一人ʃ是生自

Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 1:

  • Standard English: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
  • Sierran Hanzi (full with ruby): All (所有)(clarification of "all") human (beings) ʃ(pl.) are born 自由free and 等於equal in dignity and rights (利) ʃ(pl.) . 他們They are endowed ʎɸ(past-tense verb) with reason and 良心conscience and should act towards one 另 (人)another (person) in a 精神spirit of 兄弟情谊brotherhood .
  • Sierran Hanzi (full without ruby): 一 人ʃ 是 生 自由 十 等於 在 尊 十 權ʃ。他們 是 賦ʎɸ 與 理 十 良心 十 應 办 向 一 另 在 一 精神 的 兄弟情谊。
  • Traditional Chinese: 人皆生而自由;在尊嚴及權利上均各平等。人各賦有理性良知,誠應和睦相處,情同手足。
  • Simplified Chinese: 人人生而自由,在尊严和权利上一律平等。他们赋有理性和良心,并应以兄弟关系的精神相对待。
  • Tondolese: 所有的該們人是了兒子那自由;和等於在尊嚴和們權利。他們是有們理性和良心和應的會办在其他其他們人在精神的哥文。
  • Japanese: すべての人間は、生れながらにして自由であり、かつ、尊厳と権利とについて平等である。人間は、理性と良心とを授けられており、互いに同胞の精神をもって行動しなければならない。
  • Korean: 모든 인간은 태어날 때부터 자유로우며 그 존엄과 권리에 있어 동등하다. 인간은 천부적으로 이성과 양심을 부여받았으며 서로 형제애의 정신으로 행동하여야 한다.
  • Vietnamese: Tất cả mọi người sinh ra đều được tự do và bình đẳng về nhân phẩm và quyền. Mọi con người đều được tạo hóa ban cho lý trí và lương tâm và cần phải đối xử với nhau trong tình bằng hữu.
  • Spanish: Todos los seres humanos nacen libres e iguales en dignidad y derechos y, dotados como están de razón y conciencia, deben comportarse fraternalmente los unos con los otros.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 2:

  • Standard English: Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

See also[edit | edit source]