Sunday, December 01, 2013

Freedom No More

Today, we mourn the death of a historic phrase in Chinese language, freedom (自由). The phrase with its modern undertone of 'rights' was originally imported from Japanese in the nineteenth century when modern ideas were introduced to China. It was executed by the new Administration of Xi-Li in 2013 without going through a trial.

This can only be a surreal scene plagiarized from George Orwell's 'Animal Farm', a Déjà Vu that you simply can't make it up. In the 2013 '11th' edition of the New China/Xinhua Dictionary, the phrase 'freedom (自由)' is taken out.

The pictures show the difference between the Xinhua Dictionary 2010 '10th' edition and 2013 '11th' edition on the same page under the word 'self' (自).

The Xinhua Dictionary is the only national dictionary approved for official usage. It is the only official dictionary approved to be used in public school education. Between the first edition of 1953 and the ninth edition of 2004, 400 million copies of Xinhua Dictionary were published, which made it the most popular dictionary in mankind history.

The green highlighter marked the old, evidently obsolete by now, definition of 'freedom(自由)': a right to make personal decisions within the boundaries of law.

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