Chinese Academics Plans to Exclude English Abbreviations from Chinese Dictionary

Chinese Academics Plans to Exclude English Abbreviations from Chinese DictionaryChinese academics are planning to remove everyday English language abbreviations from the country’s dictionary saying that they are the biggest threat to the Chinese language. In a letter signed by more than 100 scholars have condemned inclusion of abbreviated terms such as NBA and the WTO in the recent Contemporary Chinese Dictionary.

The Contemporary Chinese Dictionary is the country’s most authoritative linguistic reference book. In its latest edition, the book contains 240 terms which includes Latin letters, and the number is up from the 39 terms in 1996. It was also known that Chinese academics are not the only ones holding back the surge of the English language. Several similar campaigns were launched in countries such as France and Japan.

Abbreviations and other acronyms derived from the English language are widely used in the mainland, where fans refer to the basketball league as the NBA and not mei zhi lan the official translation. And other English abbreviations for international bodies are also common. Chinese academics say that including these abbreviated English terms is threatening the Chinese language and its presence in the dictionary further violates Chinese laws that govern language usage.

Chinese academics say that if standards are not made more and more English expressions will become part of the Chinese language.

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