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Culture Express > News Video

Dictation Assembly of Chinese Characters underway

CCTV.com

08-05-2014 00:05 BJT

Putonghua, or Mandarin, with its four different speech tones and hieroglyphic characters, is a complicated language. And in the digital age, when people and computers have become almost inseparable and auto-check corrects everything, characters, idioms and phrases are being forgotten.

Entitled "Dictation Assembly of Chinese Characters,"  the show encourages people to come on stage and spell out words-- on TV.

Entitled "Dictation Assembly of Chinese Characters," the show encourages people to come on stage and spell out words-- on TV.

A TV program is striving to rekindle interest among Chinese readers, reminding everyone of the enduring appeal of Chinese characters. "Dictation Assembly of Chinese Characters,"   encourages people to go onstage and spell out words on TV.

The TV competition has gained a growing number of fans since it hit airwaves last year. The event tests proficiency in Chinese characters and, more often, in Chinese idioms, which are usually four-character phrases expressing sophisticated ideas.

Many words, which have long been forgotten by many, have captured the public’s attention once again thanks tothe show. For example, "wei rui," which literally means “luxuriant,” quickly went viral, with netizens liking and tweeting it on social networks more than a million times within 24 hours of the show.  

Organizers of the competition say that a standard criteria is employed for choosing all the words for the show.

Entitled "Dictation Assembly of Chinese Characters,"  the show encourages people to come on stage and spell out words-- on TV.

Entitled "Dictation Assembly of Chinese Characters," the show encourages people to come on stage and spell out words-- on TV.

"The words and phrases we chose for the competition are either featured in historically valued literature, or were still being used in contemporary Chinese literature. So they are not 'Dead Words' as some argue. No, they are not dead. They are simply hibernating," Director Guan Zhengwen said.

"The words for this year's competition are not very difficult. All of them are included in the list of 8105 standardized Chinese characters, which means we ought to know and remember them. But as time evolves, some phrases are becoming foreign to people nowadays. Our program has created such an opportunity for everyone to pick up their pen and write these characters down," CCTV 10 Executive Producer Jin Yue said.

The Dictation Assembly aims to gain the same popularity as the American show Spelling Bee, but with a Chinese twist. The production team hopes that more people will get involved in revitalizing traditional Chinese culture and appreciating the beauty of Chinese characters.



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