April 1, 2018
If you think China’s effort of realizing its Chinese Dream will stop at transforming trade with its One Belt, One Road Initiative, you’re in for an awakening soon.
Beyond transforming trade, China is poised to transform the English language in the coming years as well.
At Good Characters, we predict that China will introduce a One Spelt, One Wrote Initiative to transform the English language as early as 2020.
一带一路 (yī dài yī lù) 一拼一写 (yī pīn yī xiě)
What the heck is One Spelt, One Wrote?
One Spelt, One Wrote is an initiative to simplify how English words are spelt and written.
Learning English has long been a big hurdle for the Chinese and many other non-Romance and non-Germanic language speakers. It is a huge disadvantage for the Chinese in the global race.
It’s unlikely that the world will adopt Chinese, so their next question is: Is there a way to make English easier to learn?
Chinese is no stranger to a problem like this. Sixty years ago they combated their own Chinese illiteracy by simplifying traditional Chinese characters. They eliminated many strokes and even entire characters they felt were unnecessary to make the language seem easier to write.
They are now ready to apply the same logic to officially abbreviate and shorten English words.
Such a move would certainly make English easier for Chinese and all other non-natives to learn, wouldn’t it? It should be no problem communicating with native English speakers because people have been using abbreviated texting language since the 90s anyway.
How? Simplified Chinese English
The core of One Spelt, One Wrote is the Simplified Chinese English reform, which is based on two main principles:
When? English with Chinese Characteristics: Impact in 2 Phases
中国特色英文 (zhōng guó tè sè yīng wén)
Phase 1 of simplifying English will be English with Chinese characteristics by shortening words and simplifying grammar to be more like Chinese. We predict this will start as soon as 2020.
中文字母英文 (zhōng wén zì mǔ yīng wén)
Phase 2 will be English with Chinese characters, where English will be written with some Chinese characters that resemble English letters. For example, 月 as A, 日 as B. We predict this phase will start in China as early as 2020 and around the world in the following 10 years.
To promote its Simplified Chinese language, from 2004 to 2014, China established 480 Confucius Institutes with colleges and universities around the world. It has been reported that China aims to establish as many as 1,000 Confucius Institutes by 2020.
We predict that as early as 2024, 20 years after the first Confucius Institute, China will celebrate this progress by creating the WS Inst to promote Simplified Chinese English around the world.
WS Inst is inspired by William Shakespeare and his famous “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” The motto for WS Inst will be, “An English word spelt any other way would communicate as well.”
莎翁学院 (shā wēng xué yuàn)
英文怎么拼都行 (yīng wén zěn me pīn dōu xíng)
Scale and Timing
China currently has a population of 1.4 billion, which is more than three times the entire population of the USA, Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand, and all other English-as-first-language countries combined. It is the second largest economy in the world — thus, the increased global dominance.
Since the main distribution of a language throughout the world is in the context of business, we predict that China will require all foreign companies doing business in China to incorporate SCE (short for Simplified Chinese English).
To accommodate this, large global websites will need to add a new language option.
The potential dramatic reduction of foreign students coming to the U.S. from China and other non-Romance and non-Germanic language countries may be the result of students being able to learn a simpler form of English in China.
If this campaign is successful, then Simplified Chinese English could become the 7th official and working language of the UN.
One Language, Two Systems
一语两式 (yī yǔ liǎng shì)
English will retain its dominant presence as a world language, but we will witness its division into two major systems: American English led by the U.S. and Simplified Chinese English led by China.
简英繁英 (jiǎn yīng fán yīng)
Just like China labeled traditional Chinese as Complex Chinese, or 繁体, it will reposition English as Complex English, or 繁英. Simplified Chinese English will be written as 简英 in Chinese.
Possible headlines you might see in coming years
As much as you want to brush this off as an April Fool’s joke, let’s remember that if China didn’t hesitate to disrupt its own writing system 60 years ago, what, if anything, would stop them from disrupting yours too?
Good Characters, Inc. is the global thought leader in Chinese brand naming based in California. For 16 years, Good Characters has been crafting Chinese names and continually improving the naming process through knowledge and experience working with startups and big brands. China has the highest amount of trademark filing activity in the world, with five times the number in the U.S. It’s becoming harder and harder to get a legally available good Chinese version of your brand name in China. You need to act fast with Good Characters. Good Characters. That’s who we are; that’s what we do; that’s how you win. Engage Good Characters now and we’ll develop an exhaustive list of potential Chinese names for you and rank them from the best to the least desirable. Start your Chinese naming process immediately. Don’t be a fool.
Seventeen years of providing meaningful Chinese characters for 3,000+ small businesses in North America and 45 countries worldwide. Created and Crafted in California, U.S.A.