Kina och tecknen : En studie av de kinesiska tecknens historiska, nutida och framtida roll


Summary, in English

The Chinese characters are one of the world’s oldest scripts still in use today. They developed from inscriptions on animal bones into standardised logograms, to ultimately become the simplified characters used in China today. Throughout the history, written Chinese has served as a unifying force, bringing the various linguistic groups within China together. Thanks to the continuous use of characters, the Chinese have a close tie to their ancient history.
However, the Chinese characters have been criticised by linguists for being too numerous, complex in shape and difficult to learn. They have also struggled for their survival in the computerised era, since computer scientists have had great difficulties with using the characters as a programming language, and would prefer to see them eliminated. Along with
China’s globalisation and modernisation, English has spread throughout the country, serving as a potential threat to the Chinese characters and language. This essay deals with the function of the characters in China historically and present, and discusses what may happen to them in the future.


  • Languages and Literatures


  • Michael Schoenhals