How the QWERTY Keyboard Broke the Chinese Language

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Video written by Tristan Purdy

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  1. You see if you look at the letter q and w and e and r and t and y you realize q,w,e,r,t,y, are next to each other and that my friends…is qwerty

  2. I believe, that some frequently used letters on the typewriter were too close together and the writer coud not write that fast so the letters were swapped, and then somehow keyboards got the same treatment. I don't really remember

  3. If a keyboard have started to killed their writing system its because their writing system was not optimal anymore and a language tend to become simpler over time

  4. Would like to weigh in as a native Chinese speaker. There is such typing system based on the writing of the words in addition to the phonetic typing methods. Two popular ones are called ‘Cangjie’ and ‘Strokes’. For the ‘stroke’ method, six basic strokes common in the characters are presented, and we just have to key in the strokes in order, this is especially common for mobile phone for only a small number of buttons is needed. For example, to type the word ‘二’(two), we need two horizontal line, so we just input ‘一‘ ’一‘ to type the word ‘二’. For the ‘cangjie’ method, it assigns 26 radicals to the 26 alphabet key, and all the small parts you can see in a Chinese characters are categorized into one of these 26 radicals. To type a word, first, we break down the word into small parts, for example the word 明 consists of 日 and 月. Second, we find the corresponding radical keys and type them in order, i.e. 日 (which is ‘A’ on the keyboard) and 月 (which is ‘B’ on the keyboard), and we can get the character. Another example: the word 早 consists of the radical 日 and 十, thus we key in 日 (A) and 十 (J). These methods have nothing to do with the phonetic of the characters, and is especially common in Hong Kong, as we speak Cantonese and we are not obliged to learn Cantonese pinyin at school, which does not make typing using pronunciation easy for us. Though, it is a more difficult method as it requires user to remember the radicals and the sub-radicals that one key represents, for example the key 火 (fire, which is ‘F’) represents structures like (火,灬, ⺌, ⺍ etc), there are also certain rules to remember regarding the sequence of typing in the structures so as to type the characters, which may seem a little daunting for beginners. Yet, with enough practice, one can type over 60 characters in one minutes.

  5. me: types a whole essay in chinese without breaking a sweat
    also me: struggles to write the same essay on a paper because i forgot how it looks like
    ._. fml


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