BEIJING, March 13 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese language official rebutted here
Monday an earlier report saying that he said the government would allow only
8,000 approved characters to be used to make up newborn babies' names.
Li Yuming, director of the Administration Department of Chinese Language
and Information under the Ministry of Education, told Xinhua in an exclusive
interview Monday that whether to limit the choices of characters for names
should be decided by the public security departments, not by language experts.
The Guangzhou-based Yangcheng Evening News on Saturday cited Lias saying
that China would limit the choices of new names to a modified list of 8,000 or
so simplified Chinese characters to be released "soon".
The report also cited Wang Ning, deputy director with the Institute of
Linguistics under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), but Wang was
not immediately available to comment.
The list of simplified Chinese characters for everyday use, including
naming children but more commonly for textbooks and documents, is likely to be
issued this year. It is the first move of its kind in nearly 20 years and is
aimed at further standardizing a language used by billions around the world.
"It is an effort to better implement the Law of the People's Republic of
China on the Standard Spoken and Written Chinese Language," Li said.
"The list would include over 8,000 Chinese characters that, in combination,
could convey almost any concept in any field," said Li, also vice chairman of
the State Language Commission.
Chinese people normally name their children by using one or two characters.