Chinese-Language Related FTP Sites
Here are some of the myths popular on the net these days
about Chinese, along with more information about each one.
Stay tuned to this site for additional myths that will be
added from time to time.
- Myth 1: The Chinese word for Crisis. It is popular to point out that the Chinese word for "crisis" is made up of two characters, one meaning "danger", and the other meaning "opportunity." This is almost always said to indicate that with typical Eastern wisdom, the Chinese word is instructing us to look on the bright side of a difficult situation. Unfortunately, the truth is not quite that enlightening. The meaning of the word in question, weiji, made up of the characters wei and ji, is more correctly read as "an opportunity for danger." A similar example in English might be photo-op. A photo-op is an opportunity to take photographs, an opportunity for photos. It may also be an opportunity for the person being photographed, but this is incidental, and not what is meant by the word. Likewise, rather than meaning weixian (danger) and jihui (opportunity), weiji means a dangerous situation, or, an opportunity for danger. All this being said, we do agree that viewing a crisis as an opportunity for positive change is a very healthy attitude to take.(Chinese
- Myth 2: Chinese to become #1 web language by 2007. This myth was promoted by Accenture in an advertising campaign. It is a thought-provoking assertion, and could, conceivably, come true, although we think not. The interesting thing is how Accenture stated it as fact, and how it was in turn accepted by many readers as fact. On their web site, Accenture kept for a time a page explaining the sources of some of their advertising "facts" (their word). As Accenture put it: "Below is the source information for the fact in this ad." This was followed by a reference to an interesting August 21, 2000 Maclean's Magazine article by Chris Wood, entitled The Future: Will It Work? Amid Smart Robots and Wireless Wonders, Some See a Dark Side. Now (mind you) the Maclean's article was not claiming that the statement was a fact. It included the statement as one of a long list of speculations about the future. In the article these speculations were described as ranging "from sure bets and informed speculation to the highly whimsical." With the power of Accenture's advertising campaign backing it up, one of those speculations has been widely repeated and accepted. Is it true? We don't know. It depends whether creators of Chinese web sites will be as prolific as those who write in the other dominant language, English.
Chinese Language Information Page
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Last modified: Sat Oct 18 17:18:20 2003