原創翻譯:龍騰網 http://www.uhhij.com.cn 翻譯:濱崎澈 轉載請注明出處
論壇地址:http://www.uhhij.com.cn/bbs/thread-486112-1-1.html

When I was a kid (70s) I was told Chinese reads from top to bottom. Was that ever true?

當我還是個小孩的時候(70年代),有人告訴我中文是從上往下(豎向)閱讀的。這是真的嗎?

Kang-Lin Cheng, studied at University of California, Irvine (2012)
It’s pretty sad to see that many Mainland Chinese no longer know that Chinese is supposed to be read from top to bottom, right to left. This is because the CCP banned writing vertically and forced all publications to be written from left to right, top to bottom (the same as English). As a Taiwanese, I can forgive CCP for simplifying Chinese, but I can’t forgive them for writing Chinese horizontally. (This is the reason why I refuse to read books from Mainland China, not because they’re simplified, but because they are written horizontally.)

很遺憾看到許多中國大陸人已經忘了中文應該從上往下,從右往左閱讀。這是因為中國禁止豎向文字排版,要求所有的出版物必須是從左往右,從上往下的文字排列方式(與英文相同)。 作為一個臺灣人,我能原諒中國簡化繁體字,但我無法原諒他們提倡橫向書寫中文。(這就是我拒絕閱讀中國大陸出版的書籍的原因,不是因為其使用的是簡體字,而是因為其的排列方式是橫向的。)

Over in Taiwan, we were never forced to abandon reading and writing Chinese the traditional way, so we still write our books vertically:

在臺灣這兒,我們從未被強行要求放棄使用傳統的閱讀和書寫中文的方式,所以我們仍是豎向寫字:



Even books with pictures can have the text written vertically:

即使是有插圖的書籍,其文字內容也能采用豎向排版:



But it’s not just books, even newspapers are still written in the traditional fashion. Below is a United Daily Newspaper from 2016 that I bought:

不僅是書籍,連新聞報紙仍采用傳統的排列方式。下圖是我2016年購買的一份《聯合報》報紙:



Unfortunately, even Taiwan ultimately was affected by this, although not nearly to the same extent. You may have noticed that in my examples, we do use horizontal writing for headlines, read from left to right. Actually, as recent as the 1990’s, when Chinese is written horizontally, we STILL read it from right to left. For example, I went to school in Taiwan during the 1990’s. Here’s my textbook that I still saved:

但不幸的是,連臺灣最終也受到了這種排列方式的影響,盡管受影響的程度沒那么大。從我提供的這些示例中,你可能已經注意到標題的話,我們確實會使用橫向、從左往右閱讀的排版。實際上,九十年代那會兒,當(中國大陸)采用文字橫向排版的時候,我們仍舊是用從右往左的閱讀方式。像1990年代左右我是在臺灣上的學,而我還保存著的那些教科書如下圖:



[Even though everything is written horizontally, you would still read the text from right to left. As such, this book is called 國語作業薄, and you would fill in the blanks from right to left, too. I didn’t fill it in, but for the first line, had I filled it in, it would have said: 陽明山國民小學, second line: 1年級2班三號; third line: 學生鄭康臨]

盡管所有的文字都是橫向排版的,但你還是得從右往左才行。好比,這本是叫“國語作業簿”,你在寫(班級姓名等)時也是從右往左填。我雖然沒填寫,但第一行若我要寫的話,會是這樣的:學小民國山明陽;第二行會這么填:號三班2級年1;第三行則是:臨康鄭生學。

There’s a long running joke among my dad and his colleagues (they were journalists) when they first visited Japan. Japan also uses Chinese characters, but the Japanese adopted reading horizontally from left to right a long time ago. Anyway, when my dad and his colleagues first visited Japan, they saw a notice on the mall saying: 本日大賣出 (Today’s Big Sale). However, because they were used to reading things from right to left (even horizontally), they read it as 出賣大日本 (To Sell Out the Empire of Japan)!

自我父親和他同事(他們是記者)第一次去日本后,他們會常開這么一個玩笑。日本也使用漢字,但日本人很久以前就采用了從左往右的橫向閱讀方式。然后,當我父親和他同事們第一次去日本時,他們在商場看到一告示上寫著:本日大賣出(今天大甩賣)。但是,因為他們習慣了從右往左讀文字(即使是橫向排版也是如此),所以他們是這么讀那則告示的:出賣大日本(出售日本帝國)!



[A plaque on Five Finger Mountain in Taipei, dedicated to all the dead KMT soldiers who participated in the Chinese Civil War in 1949 (my grandpa is buried here). Even though the characters are written horizontally, you have to read it from right to left. As such, this plaque reads: 五指名山埋俠骨, 雲蒸霞蔚穩忠靈]

臺北五指名山上有一紀念石壁,是為緬懷紀念那些在1949年中國內戰中死去的國民黨軍(我爺爺就葬在這里)。盡管這些字是橫向排列的,你還是得從右往左讀。因此,紀念石壁上的刻字是這么讀的:五指名山埋俠骨,云蒸霞蔚隱忠靈。