one a day

From Danwei, the home of fine Chinese newspaper covers, comes the antidote to low-IQ, automated content of flaccid fengshui and i-ching sites, One a Day. Even more, it’s got the best design since miniml stripped back. If I had a site of the day, One a Day is it. is a website about Chinese idioms. Every day a new idiom is posted to be read, learnt or – for the strong willed – to be memorized. Idioms are displayed in Chinese characters with their transliteration in pinyin, the respective pronunciation tones (indicated by numbers) and an English translation.

Taiwan imposes left-to-right order on writing

Taiwan’s parliament has passed a new law ruling that all text in official documents must be written from left to right, like western languages, but leaving arts and literature exempt from the requirement.

Spokesman for the Research, Development and Evaluation Commission, Tsai Ting-kui said today

The change to standardised writing also means that bureaucrats will also abandon the top-to-bottom style and go horizontal, he said.

The old method “looks very confusing especially when texts contain numbers and English,” Mr Tsai said.

Taiwan first considered switching writing styles early last year, to cope with increased computer use and to fit in with international standards.

“The change would help expedite the process of e-government while international exchanges are on the rise,” Mr Tsai said.

Critics accuse the government of making a decision that will further dilute Taiwanese culture, as well as standardize media and newspapers. It’s an admittedly somewhat strange decision when Arabic and Hebrew is still written right-to-left, and contemporary computers have no problem with fast-changing between languages.