Monday, February 06, 2006

Moment #523. Chinese at Post Office. Mon, Feb 6, 2006.

02/06/2006. As I entered the Post Office to check my PO Box, I noticed an Asian-looking man waiting in the outer lobby. He appeared to be humble. I checked my box, and it included a Korean and a Chinese Liahona. I approached the man and asked if liked to read Chinese. He said yes. I asked if he was from China or Taiwan, and he said China. The Chinese Liahona is in traditional Chinese, not the Simplified Chinese used in mainland China. But I offered it to him anyway. He eagerly and gratefully accepted it.

I thought about offering him a Chinese and English Book of Mormon, but decided that the magazine was enough. I went back to my car and started to read some of my other mail, but felt a sense of urgency about giving him a Chinese Book of Mormon. I took a Simplified Chinese copy and an English copy of the Book of Mormon back in and presented them, and he graciously accepted them.


At 2/10/2006 02:16:00 AM, Blogger The Wrath said...

Hey Bookslinger,

The Simplified vs. Traditional Chinese issue can be vexing, not because the writing systems are so different (they're very similar), but since there may be yet a further simplification (or reorganization) of the characters in a decade or so. Mainland China uses the simplified characters, but Taiwan and Hong Kong use the traditional, as do Japan, Korea and Vietnam for their writing systems when they use the characters. (Most overseas Chinese also seem to prefer the traditional.) So I suspect that the various countries will be meeting up to discuss the issue and try to settle on something in common, probably with the Mainland Simplified reverting to traditional in some cases, while retaining many of the Simplified in others. As I said, most characters are very similar (the majority are the same between the two systems) and most others are obvious, but there's still enough confusion in a few cases to warrant a standardization.

One more point of interest: As far as receptivity to the Book of Mormon and the LDS faith, I'm getting the sense that Germany and Austria may be prime destinations these days. There's been a resurgence of interest in religion in Germany, a sort of Great Awakening, both for native Germans and the millions of immigrants there. So long as the Church of LDS can appeal to Europeans with a flavor that sits well with the broader European culture (and geography), I suspect it will flourish. Many French have been surprisingly receptive, but Germany and Austria are most likely the prime locations for the spread of the LDS faith in Europe.

At 2/10/2006 03:32:00 AM, Blogger Bookslinger said...

Thanks for the refresher.

I try to get people to take both styles of the Chinese Book of Mormon to Chinese restaurants, but people can't seem to shake the mistaken notion that one is Mandarin and the other is Cantonese.

I wrote to the church's Curriculum Department, and the Distribution Center, encouraging them to put explanations on the web site catalog so members can educate themselves about which to order. It would be nice if such explanations were also in the materials themselves. Because it is mainly native English speakers who order the material in the US, _for_ Chinese investigators or new members.

I'm glad things are picking up steam in Europe.

The two groups to whom I've given out the most books are Africans and Chinese.


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