I find wikipedia is ze best tool for cross-language reference research
1. go to this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Periodic_table
2. click the last language item on the left column
3. you got this http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E5%85%83%E7%B4%A0%E5%91%A8%E6%...
[+] no genders, no inflection, not many cases. Of course, articles are just ridiculous, and I challenge any English speaker to explain to a native Russian speaker the rules for when and when not to use "a" and "the" without looking it up ...
Here is a list of 11 strokes:
Every word's strokes has a pre-determined "correct" order.
Once you list out the word's strokes, there are only a a couple of possibilities of characters left.
A blog post on `Chinese Python`.
guess = int(raw_input('Enter integer: '))
if guess == number:
running = False
elif guess < number:
print 'No, higher'
print 'No, lower'
猜測 = 整數(輸入('輸入數字: '))
如果 猜測 == 數字:
運行 = 假
假使 猜測 < 數字:
印出 '錯了, 再大'
印出 '錯了, 再小'
For Arabic the challenge is more akin to this type of problem: "create a computer that can handle a cursive form of the Latin alphabet". You could start with something really rudimentary like allow for Arabic characters in isolated form. It would be ugly and challenging to read, but a start. Wouldn't be too hard to add the initial, medial and final forms, eventually diacritics as well.
Also, although Japanese has been (through deliberate effort) simplified to about 2,000 characters needed to be considered literate, it still takes until high-school for students to be able to fully read and write all 2,000.
Yeah, there is a famous computer geek who invented a super nice Chinese input method named "Cangjie" in Assembly and it can be used with a special Chinese CPU. (Now he is an old man.)
After all, the printing press was invented in China, but it went nowhere there.
Edit: They had printing presses, but those are for newspapers etc. Ordinary people had to handwrite.
-- It is untrue that "[this] actually causes great problems for Chinese chemists and other scientists, as well as the lay public." Chinese is a highly context-sensitive language. If people have no difficulty in communicating with other monosyllabic characters, why would they get confused when they refers to chemical elements? That does't sound making sense.
It is definitely hard to lay public, so is the case in English for American, at least for the people I know. They have no idea what most of the chemical ingredients listed in packaged food are, which is not surprising since the majority of people don't major nor minor in chemistry in college.
It is definitely not challenging for chemists and students who study chemistry, at least not for me and my college classmates, to understand lectures and have discussions on chemistry in Chinese. For example, when one refers to 铬 (Chromium) in a discussion in chemistry, the others wouldn't confuse it with other characters with the same pronunciation and tone, like 个，各，硌， etc. based on the context.
It is correct that most of the chemical element characters were invented from scratch in the last 150 years. Is a language supposed to evolve like that? Is it the similar case in English? I know most of the new elements were named after the scientists who discovered them. But what is wrong to create a Chinese new character for a new element based on the way how most Chinese characters have been created?
Disclaimer: I have studied inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, physical chemistry, analytical chemistry in college. If it were in US, I could have at least had a minor in chemistry.
>* If people have no difficulty in communicating with other monosyllabic characters, why would they get confused when they refers to chemical elements?*
People don't communicate with monosyllabic characters. They communicate with words most of which are polysyllabic in modern Mandarin. Characters and words are not the same, not even remotely. The relationship is character to syllable.
I absolutely agree with you that it's natural to create new characters. This is fine. The issue is that the more homophones in a given discussion the more likely you'll have to give some more context and say something like "x__的x" as way to clarify which "x" you're talking about.
> Chinese is a highly context-sensitive language. If
> people have no difficulty in communicating with other
> monosyllabic characters, why would they get confused
> when they refers to chemical elements? That does't sound
> making sense.
> "there are so many homophones and near-homophones *among them*"
That doesn't make any sense as a reference. What do chemical ingredients in packaged food, and understanding what that is for American consumers, have to do with chemical elements in Chinese, and understanding how those sound when spoken?
One is auditory comprehension, the other is knowledge.
It doesn't matter it is in Chinese or in English. The general public don't know what they really are.
Didn't anyone tell them to make their primary keys factless? By encoding all this information in the name they'll never be able to change it if they discover some new fact about it that contradicts all this information they put in the primary key.
Fortunately, in chemistry, the symbol is more of the primary key than the name. Or, really, the primary key is the atomic number -- which is certainly not factless, but the facts follow from it as a result of nature; you don't have to worry that things will change and it won't work anymore.
Traditional Chinese widely used in China town all over the world, in Macao, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Guang Dong.