Movable type is the system and technology of printing and typography that uses movable components to reproduce the elements of a document on the medium of paper. The world's first movable type printing technology for printing paper books was made of porcelain materials and was invented around 1040 AD in China during the Northern Song Dynasty by the inventor Bi Sheng; the oldest extant book printed with movable metal type, was printed in Korea in 1377 during the Goryeo dynasty. The diffusion of both movable-type systems was limited to East Asia; the development of the printing press in Europe may have been influenced by various sporadic reports of movable type technology brought back to Europe by returning business people and missionaries to China. Some of these medieval European accounts are still preserved in the library archives of the Vatican and Oxford University among many others. However, there is no direct evidence that Gutenberg was influenced by Asian printing: "No text indicates the presence or knowledge of any kind of Asian movable type or movable type imprint in Europe before 1450.
The material evidence is more conclusive."Around 1450, Johannes Gutenberg introduced the metal movable-type printing press in Europe, along with innovations in casting the type based on a matrix and hand mould. The small number of alphabetic characters needed for European languages was an important factor. Gutenberg was the first to create his type pieces from an alloy of lead and antimony—and these materials remained standard for 550 years. For alphabetic scripts, movable-type page setting was quicker than woodblock printing; the metal type pieces were more durable and the lettering was more uniform, leading to typography and fonts. The high quality and low price of the Gutenberg Bible established the superiority of movable type in Europe and the use of printing presses spread rapidly; the printing press may be regarded as one of the key factors fostering the Renaissance and due to its effectiveness, its use spread around the globe. The 19th-century invention of hot metal typesetting and its successors caused movable type to decline in the 20th century.
The technique of imprinting multiple copies of symbols or glyphs with a master type punch made of hard metal first developed around 3000 BC in ancient Sumer. These metal punch types can be seen as precursors of the letter punches adapted in millennia to printing with movable metal type. Cylinder seals were used in Mesopotamia to create an impression on a surface by rolling the seal on wet clay, they were used to mark objects as the owner's property. Cylinder seals were a related form of early typography capable of printing small page designs in relief on wax or clay—a miniature forerunner of rotogravure printing used by wealthy individuals to seal and certify documents. By 650 BC the ancient Greeks were using larger diameter punches to imprint small page images onto coins and tokens; the designs of the artists who made the first coin punches were stylized with a degree of skill that could not be mistaken for common handiwork—salient and specific types designed to be reproduced ad infinitum. Unlike the first typefaces used to print books in the 13th century, coin types were neither combined nor printed with ink on paper, but "published" in metal—a more durable medium—and survived in substantial numbers.
As the portable face of ruling authority, coins were a compact form of standardized knowledge issued in large editions, an early mass medium that stabilized trade and civilization throughout the Mediterranean world of antiquity. Seals and stamps may have been precursors to movable type; the uneven spacing of the impressions on brick stamps found in the Mesopotamian cities of Uruk and Larsa, dating from the 2nd millennium BC, has been conjectured by some archaeologists as evidence that the stamps were made using movable type. The enigmatic Minoan Phaistos Disc of 1800–1600 BC has been considered by one scholar as an early example of a body of text being reproduced with reusable characters: it may have been produced by pressing pre-formed hieroglyphic "seals" into the soft clay. A few authors view the disc as technically meeting all definitional criteria to represent an early incidence of movable-type printing, it has been alleged by Jerome Eisenberg that the disk is a forgery. The Prüfening dedicatory inscription is medieval example of movable type stamps being used.
Following the invention of paper in the 2nd century AD during the Chinese Han Dynasty, writing materials became more portable and economical than the bones, bamboo slips, metal or stone tablets, etc. used. Yet copying books by hand was still labour-consuming. Not until the Xiping Era, towards the end of the Eastern Han Dynasty did sealing print and monotype appear, it was soon used for printing designs on fabrics, for printing texts. Woodblock printing, invented by about the 8th century during the Tang Dynasty, worked. First, the neat hand-copied script was stuck on a thick and smooth board, with the front of the paper, so thin that it was nearly transparent, sticking to the board, characters showing in reverse, but distinctly, so that every stroke could be recognized. Carvers cut away the parts of the board that were not part of the character, so that the characters were cut in relief differently from those cut intaglio; when printing, the bulging characters would be covered by paper. With workers' hands moving on the back of paper characters would be printed on the paper.
By the Song Dynasty, woodblock printing c
Hanyu Pinyin abbreviated to pinyin, is the official romanization system for Standard Chinese in mainland China and to some extent in Taiwan. It is used to teach Standard Mandarin Chinese, written using Chinese characters; the system includes four diacritics denoting tones. Pinyin without tone marks is used to spell Chinese names and words in languages written with the Latin alphabet, in certain computer input methods to enter Chinese characters; the pinyin system was developed in the 1950s by many linguists, including Zhou Youguang, based on earlier forms of romanizations of Chinese. It was published by revised several times; the International Organization for Standardization adopted pinyin as an international standard in 1982, was followed by the United Nations in 1986. The system was adopted as the official standard in Taiwan in 2009, where it is used for international events rather than for educational or computer-input purposes, but "some cities and organizations, notably in the south of Taiwan, did not accept this", so it remains one of several rival romanization systems in use.
The word Hànyǔ means'the spoken language of the Han people', while Pīnyīn means'spelled sounds'. In 1605, the Jesuit missionary Matteo Ricci published Xizi Qiji in Beijing; this was the first book to use the Roman alphabet to write the Chinese language. Twenty years another Jesuit in China, Nicolas Trigault, issued his Xi Ru Ermu Zi at Hangzhou. Neither book had much immediate impact on the way in which Chinese thought about their writing system, the romanizations they described were intended more for Westerners than for the Chinese. One of the earliest Chinese thinkers to relate Western alphabets to Chinese was late Ming to early Qing dynasty scholar-official, Fang Yizhi; the first late Qing reformer to propose that China adopt a system of spelling was Song Shu. A student of the great scholars Yu Yue and Zhang Taiyan, Song had been to Japan and observed the stunning effect of the kana syllabaries and Western learning there; this galvanized him into activity on a number of fronts, one of the most important being reform of the script.
While Song did not himself create a system for spelling Sinitic languages, his discussion proved fertile and led to a proliferation of schemes for phonetic scripts. The Wade–Giles system was produced by Thomas Wade in 1859, further improved by Herbert Giles in the Chinese–English Dictionary of 1892, it was popular and used in English-language publications outside China until 1979. In the early 1930s, Communist Party of China leaders trained in Moscow introduced a phonetic alphabet using Roman letters, developed in the Soviet Oriental Institute of Leningrad and was intended to improve literacy in the Russian Far East; this Sin Wenz or "New Writing" was much more linguistically sophisticated than earlier alphabets, but with the major exception that it did not indicate tones of Chinese. In 1940, several thousand members attended a Border Region Sin Wenz Society convention. Mao Zedong and Zhu De, head of the army, both contributed their calligraphy for the masthead of the Sin Wenz Society's new journal.
Outside the CCP, other prominent supporters included Sun Fo. Over thirty journals soon appeared written in Sin Wenz, plus large numbers of translations, some contemporary Chinese literature, a spectrum of textbooks. In 1940, the movement reached an apex when Mao's Border Region Government declared that the Sin Wenz had the same legal status as traditional characters in government and public documents. Many educators and political leaders looked forward to the day when they would be universally accepted and replace Chinese characters. Opposition arose, because the system was less well adapted to writing regional languages, therefore would require learning Mandarin. Sin Wenz fell into relative disuse during the following years. In 1943, the U. S. military engaged Yale University to develop a romanization of Mandarin Chinese for its pilots flying over China. The resulting system is close to pinyin, but does not use English letters in unfamiliar ways. Medial semivowels are written with y and w, apical vowels with r or z.
Accent marks are used to indicate tone. Pinyin was created by Chinese linguists, including Zhou Youguang, as part of a Chinese government project in the 1950s. Zhou is called "the father of pinyin," Zhou worked as a banker in New York when he decided to return to China to help rebuild the country after the establishment of the People's Republic of China in 1949, he became an economics professor in Shanghai, in 1955, when China's Ministry of Education created a Committee for the Reform of the Chinese Written Language, Premier Zhou Enlai assigned Zhou Youguang the task of developing a new romanization system, despite the fact that he was not a professional linguist. Hanyu Pinyin was based on several existing systems: Gwoyeu Romatzyh of 1928, Latinxua Sin Wenz of 1931, the diacritic markings from zhuyin. "I'm not the father of pinyin," Zhou said years later. It's a lo
Science and Civilisation in China
Science and Civilisation in China is a series of books initiated and edited by British biochemist and sinologist Joseph Needham, Ph. D. Needham was a well-respected scientist before undertaking this encyclopedia and was responsible for the "S" in UNESCO, they deal with the history of technology in China. To date there have been seven volumes in twenty-seven books; the series was on the Modern Library Board's 100 Best Nonfiction books of the 20th century. Needham's work was the first of its kind to praise Chinese scientific contributions and provide their history and connection to global knowledge in contrast to eurocentric historiography. In 1954, Needham—along with an international team of collaborators—initiated the project to study the science and civilisation of ancient China; this project produced a series of volumes published by Cambridge University Press. The project is still continuing under the guidance of the Publications Board of the Needham Research Institute, chaired by Christopher Cullen.
Volume 3 of the encyclopedia was the first body of work to describe Chinese improvements to cartography, geology and mineralogy. It includes descriptions of nautical technology, sailing charts, wheel-maps. Needham's transliteration of Chinese characters uses the Wade-Giles system, though the aspirate apostrophe was rendered'h'. However, it was abandoned in favor of the pinyin system by the NRI board in April 2004, with Volume 5, Part 11 becoming the first to use the new system. Joseph Needham’s interest in the history of Chinese science developed while he worked as an Embryologist at Cambridge University. At the time, Needham had published works relating to the history of science, including his 1934 book titled A History of Embryology, was open to expanding his historical scientific knowledge. Needham's first encounter with Chinese culture occurred in 1937 when three Chinese medical students arrived to work with him at the Cambridge Biochemical Laboratory. Needham's interest in Chinese civilization and scientific progress grew as a result and led him to learn Chinese from his students.
Two of those students,Wang Ling, Lu Gwei-djen, would become his collaborators on Science and Civilisation in China. In 1941, China's eastern universities were forced to relocate to the west as a result of the Second Sino-Japanese War. Chinese academics sought the help of the British government in an effort to preserve their intellectual life. In 1942, Needham was selected and appointed as a diplomat by the British government and tasked with traveling to China and assessing the situation. During his three years there, Needham discovered that the Chinese had developed techniques and mechanisms which were centuries older than their European counterparts. Needham became concerned with the exclusion of China in the history of science and began to question why the Chinese ceased to develop new techniques after the 16th century. Armed with his new-found knowledge, Needham returned to Cambridge in 1948 and began working on a book with one of the Chinese medical students he met in Cambridge, Wang Ling, now a professor at a university.
He planned on releasing only one volume of his findings through the Cambridge University Press, but changed his mind and proposed up to eleven volumes. In 1954, Needham published the first volume of Science and Civilisation in China, well received and was followed by other volumes which focused on specific scientific fields and topics. Needham, along with his collaborators, was involved in all of the volumes of Science and Civilization, up until Needham's death in 1995. After Needham's death, Cambridge University established an institution named after Needham, The Needham Research Institute. Scholars of the institution continue Needham's work and have published 8 additional volumes of Science and Civilisation in China, since his death. There have been two summaries or condensations of the vast amount of material found in Science and Civilisation; the first, a one-volume popular history book by Robert Temple entitled The Genius of China, was completed in a little over 12 months to be available in 1986 for the visit of Queen Elizabeth II to China.
This addressed only the contributions made by China and had a "warm welcome" from Joseph Needham in the introduction, though in the Beijing Review he criticized that it had "some mistakes... and various statements that I would like to have seen expressed rather differently". A second was made by Colin Ronan, a writer on the history of science, who produced a five volume condensation The Shorter Science and Civilisation: An abridgement of Joseph Needham's original text, between 1980 and his death in 1995; these volumes cover: China and Chinese science Mathematics, astronomy and the earth sciences Magnetism, nautical technology, voyages Mechanical engineering, clockwork, aeronautics Civil engineering, bridges, hydraulic engineering Needham, Joseph and Civilisation in China: Introductory Orientations, 1, Cambridge University Press Science and Civilisation in China is regarded among scholars because of its extensive comparative coverage of Chinese innovations. Needham spent a large amount of time translating, decoding primary sources for Science and Civilisation in China.
All of his efforts helped to confirm that scientific advancements, analytical ingenuity were abundant in China in early modern times. Yet, beginning with his first volume, some scholars in the scientific, history of science, sinology fields criticized Needham's work for being too comparative. In his work, Needham wrote that numerous Chinese inventions ended up in the
Dream Pool Essays
The Dream Pool Essays or Dream Torrent Essays was an extensive book written by the Han Chinese polymath, genius and statesman Shen Kuo by 1088 AD, during the Song dynasty of China. Although Shen was a renowned government official and military general, he compiled this enormous written work while isolated on his lavish garden estate near modern-day Zhenjiang, Jiangsu province, he named the book after the name he gave to his estate, the "Dream Brook". The literal translated meaning is Brush Talks from a Dream Brook, Shen Kuo is quoted as saying: As the historian Chen Dengyuan points out, much of Shen Kuo's written work was purged under the leadership of minister Cai Jing. For example, only six of Shen's books remain, four of these have been altered since the time they were penned by the author; the Dream Pool Essays was first quoted in a Chinese written work of 1095 AD, showing that towards the end of Shen's life his final book was becoming printed. The book was 30 chapters long, yet an unknown Chinese author's edition of 1166 AD edited and reorganized the work into 26 chapters.
There is one surviving copy of this 1166 edition housed now in Japan, while a Chinese reprint was produced in 1305 as well. In 1631 another edition was printed, but it was reorganized into three broad chapters. English: Brush Talks from Dream Brook is the first complete translation of Meng Xi Bi Tan by Wang Hong and Zhao Zheng, published in 2008 by Sichuan People’s Publishing House, China. Modern Vernacular Chinese: Zhang Jiaju's biographical work Shen Kuo contains selected translations of the Dream Pool Essays from Middle Chinese. English: Various volumes of Joseph Needham's Science and Civilization in China series, from 1954 onwards, contain the largest amount of selected English translations for the Dream Pool Essays. French: Quoted excerpts from the Dream Pool Essays were printed in the written work of J. Brenier in 1989 as well as J. F. Billeter in 1993. German: Complete translation in Shen Kuo: Pinsel-Unterhaltungen am Traumbach. Das Gesamte Wissen des Alten China and edited by Konrad Hermann, published in 1997 by Diederichs Verlag Munich.
Japanese: A translation of the 1166 Chinese edition was prepared by the History of Science Seminar, Institute for Research in Humanities for Kyoto University, printed by the author Umehara Kaoru in his 3-volume edition of Bokei hitsudan. With Shen's writings on fossils and shifting geographical climates, he states in the following passages: In the Zhi-ping reign period a man of Zezhou was digging a well in his garden, unearthed something shaped like a squirming serpent, or dragon, he was so frightened by it that he dared not touch it, but after some time, seeing that it did not move, he examined it and found it to be stone. The ignorant country people smashed it, but Zheng Boshun, magistrate of Jincheng at the time, got hold of a large piece of it on which scale-like markings were to be seen like those on a living creature, thus a serpent or some kind of marine snake had been turned to stone, as happens with the'stone-crabs'. In recent years there was a landslide on the bank of a large river in Yong-ning Guan near Yanzhou.
The bank collapsed, opening a space of several dozens of feet, under the ground a forest of bamboo shoots was thus revealed. It contained several hundred bamboo with their roots and trunks all complete, all turned to stone... Now bamboos do not grow in Yanzhou; these were several dozens of feet below the present surface of the ground, we do not know in what dynasty they could have grown. In ancient times the climate was different so that the place was low, damp and suitable for bamboos. On the Jin-hua Shan in Wuzhou there are stone pine-cones, stones formed from peach kernels, stone bulrush roots, stone fishes, so on, but as these are all native products of that place, people are not surprised at them, but these petrified bamboos appeared under the ground so deep, though they are not produced in that place today. This is a strange thing; when the Director of the Astronomical Observatory asked Shen Kuo if the shapes of the sun and moon were round like balls or flat like fans, Shen Kuo explained his reasoning for the former: If they were like balls they would obstruct each other when they met.
I replied that these celestial bodies were like balls. How do we know this? By the waxing and waning of the moon; the moon itself gives forth no light, but is like a ball of silver. When the brightness is first seen, the sun alongside, so the side only is illuminated and looks like a crescent; when the sun gets further away, the light shines slanting, the moon is full, round like a bullet. If half of a sphere is covered with powder and looked at from the side, the covered part will look like a crescent, thus we know. When the director of the astronomical observatory asked Shen Kuo why eclipses occurred only on an occasional basis while in conjunction and opposition once a day, Shen Kuo wrote: I answered that the ecliptic and the moon's path are like two rings, lying one over the other, but distant by a small amount; the sun would be eclipsed whenever the two bodies were in conjunction, the moon would be eclipsed whenever they were in position. But (in fac
Wang Zhen (inventor)
Wang Zhen was a Chinese agronomist, inventor and politician of the Yuan Dynasty. He was one of the early innovators of the wooden movable type printing technology, his illustrated agricultural treatise was one of the most advanced of its day, covering a wide range of equipment and technologies available in the late 13th and early 14th century. Wang Zhen was born in Shandong province, spent many years as an official of both Anhui and Jiangxi provinces. From 1290 to 1301, he was a magistrate for Jingde, Anhui province, where he was a pioneer of the use of wooden movable type printing; the wooden movable type was described in Wang Zhen's publication of 1313, known as the Nong Shu, or Book of Agriculture. Although the title describes the main focus of the work, it incorporated much more information on a wide variety of subjects, not limited to the scope of agriculture. Wang's Nong Shu of 1313 was a important medieval treatise outlining the application and use of the various Chinese sciences and agricultural practices.
From water powered bellows to movable type printing, it is considered a descriptive masterpiece on contemporary medieval Chinese technology. Wang wrote the masterpiece Nong Shu for many practical reasons, but as a means to aid and support destitute rural farmers in China looking for means to improve their economic livelihoods in the face of poverty and oppression during the Yuan period. Although the previous Song Dynasty was a period of high Chinese culture and relative economic and agricultural stability, the conquering Mongol rulers of the Yuan Dynasty damaged the economic and agricultural base of China during the conquest of it. Hence, a book such as the Nong Shu could help rural farmers maximize efficiency of producing yields and they could learn how to use various agricultural tools to aid their daily lives. However, it was not intended to be read by rural farmers, but local officials who desired to research the best agricultural methods available that the peasants otherwise would know little of.
The Nong Shu was an long book for its own time, which had over 110,000 written Chinese characters. However, this was only larger than the early medieval Chinese agricultural treatise Chi Min Yao Shu written by Jia Sixia in 535, which had over 100,000 written Chinese characters; the Chinese during the Han Dynasty were the first to apply hydraulic power in working the inflatable bellows of the blast furnace in creating cast iron. This was recorded in an innovation of the engineer Du Shi, Prefect of Nanyang. After Du Shi, Chinese in subsequent dynastic periods continued the use of water power to operate the bellows of the blast furnace. In the 5th century text of the Wu Chang Ji, its author Pi Ling wrote that a planned, artificial lake had been constructed in the Yuan-Jia reign period for the sole purpose of powering water wheels aiding the smelting and casting processes of the Chinese iron industry; the 5th-century text Shui Jing Zhu mentions the use of rushing river water to power waterwheels, as does the Tang Dynasty geography text of the Yuan-he Jun Xian Tu Chi, written in 814.
Although Du Shi was the first to apply water power to bellows in metallurgy, the first drawn and printed illustration of its operation with water power came in 1313, with Wang Zhen's Nong Shu. Wang explained the methods used for the water-powered blast-furnace in previous times and in his era of the 14th century: In improving movable type printing, Wang mentioned an alternative method of baking porcelain printing type with earthenware frame in order to make whole blocks. Wang is best known for his usage of wooden movable type while he was a magistrate of Jingde in Anhui province from 1290 to 1301, his main contribution was improving the speed of typesetting with simple mechanical devices, along with the complex, systematic arrangement of wooden movable types. Wang summarized the process of making wooden movable type as described in the passage below: Wooden movable type had been used and experimented with by Bi Sheng in the 11th century, but it was discarded because wood was judged to be an unsuitable material to use.
Wang improved the earlier experimented process by adding the methods of specific type cutting and finishing, making the type case and revolving table that made the process more efficient. In Wang's system, all the Chinese writing characters were organized by five different tones and according to rhyming, using a standard official book of Chinese rhymes. Two revolving tables were used in the process. To make the entire process more efficient, each Chinese character was assigned a different number, so that when a number was called, that writing character would be selected. Rare and unusual characters that were not prescribed a number were crafted on the spot by wood-cutters when needed. While printing new books, Wang described that the rectangular dimensions of each book needed to be determined in order to make the corrected size of the four-sided wooden block used in printing. Providing the necessary ink job was done by brush, moved vertically in columns, while the impression on paper the columns had to be rubbed with brush from top to bottom.
Two centuries before Hua Sui pioneered bronze-type printing in China in 1490, Wang had experimented with printing using tin, a metal favored for its low melting point while casting. In the Nong Shu, Wang wrote: Thus, Chinese metal type of the 13th century using tin
Traditional Chinese characters
Traditional Chinese characters are Chinese characters in any character set that does not contain newly created characters or character substitutions performed after 1946. They are most the characters in the standardized character sets of Taiwan, of Hong Kong and Macau, in the Kangxi Dictionary; the modern shapes of traditional Chinese characters first appeared with the emergence of the clerical script during the Han Dynasty, have been more or less stable since the 5th century. The retronym "traditional Chinese" is used to contrast traditional characters with Simplified Chinese characters, a standardized character set introduced by the government of the People's Republic of China on Mainland China in the 1950s. Traditional Chinese characters are used in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau. In contrast, Simplified Chinese characters are used in mainland China and Malaysia in official publications. However, several countries – such as Australia, the US and Canada – are increasing their number of printed materials in Simplified Chinese, to better accommodate citizens from mainland China.
The debate on traditional and simplified Chinese characters has been a long-running issue among Chinese communities. A large number of overseas Chinese online newspapers allow users to switch between both character sets. Although simplified characters are taught and endorsed by the government of China, there is no prohibition against the use of traditional characters. Traditional characters are used informally in regions in China in handwriting and used for inscriptions and religious text, they are retained in logos or graphics to evoke yesteryear. Nonetheless, the vast majority of media and communications in China is dominated by simplified characters. In Hong Kong and Macau, Traditional Chinese has been the legal written form since colonial times. In recent years, simplified Chinese characters in Hong Kong and Macau has appeared to accommodate Mainland Chinese tourists and immigrants; this has led to concerns by many residents to protect their local heritage. Taiwan has never adopted simplified characters.
The use of simplified characters in official documents is prohibited by the government of Taiwan. Simplified characters are understood to a certain extent by any educated Taiwanese, learning to read them takes little effort; some stroke simplifications that have been incorporated into Simplified Chinese are in common use in handwriting. For example, while the name of Taiwan is written as 臺灣, the semi-simplified name 台灣 is acceptable to write in official documents. In Southeast Asia, the Chinese Filipino community continues to be one of the most conservative regarding simplification. While major public universities are teaching simplified characters, many well-established Chinese schools still use traditional characters. Publications like the Chinese Commercial News, World News, United Daily News still use traditional characters. On the other hand, the Philippine Chinese Daily uses simplified. Aside from local newspapers, magazines from Hong Kong, such as the Yazhou Zhoukan, are found in some bookstores.
In case of film or television subtitles on DVD, the Chinese dub, used in Philippines is the same as the one used in Taiwan. This is because the DVDs belongs to DVD Region Code 3. Hence, most of the subtitles are in Traditional Characters. Overseas Chinese in the United States have long used traditional characters. A major influx of Chinese immigrants to the United States occurred during the latter half of the 19th century, before the standardization of simplified characters. Therefore, United States public notices and signage in Chinese are in Traditional Chinese. Traditional Chinese characters are called several different names within the Chinese-speaking world; the government of Taiwan calls traditional Chinese characters standard characters or orthodox characters. However, the same term is used outside Taiwan to distinguish standard and traditional characters from variant and idiomatic characters. In contrast, users of traditional characters outside Taiwan, such as those in Hong Kong and overseas Chinese communities, users of simplified Chinese characters, call them complex characters.
An informal name sometimes used by users of simplified characters is "old characters". Users of traditional characters sometimes refer them as "Full Chinese characters" to distinguish them from simplified Chinese characters; some traditional character users argue that traditional characters are the original form of the Chinese characters and cannot be called "complex". Simplified characters cannot be "standard" because they are not used in all Chinese-speaking regions. Conversely, supporters of simplified Chinese characters object to the description of traditional characters as "standard," since they view the new simplified characters as the contemporary standard used by the vast majority of Chinese speakers, they point out that traditional characters are not traditional as many Chinese characters have been made more elaborate over time. Some people refer to traditional characters as "proper characters" and modernized characters as "simplified-stroke characters" (sim
Johannes Gensfleisch zur Laden zum Gutenberg was a German blacksmith, inventor and publisher who introduced printing to Europe with the printing press. His introduction of mechanical movable type printing to Europe started the Printing Revolution and is regarded as a milestone of the second millennium, ushering in the modern period of human history, it played a key role in the development of the Renaissance, the Age of Enlightenment, the scientific revolution and laid the material basis for the modern knowledge-based economy and the spread of learning to the masses. Gutenberg in 1439 was the first European to use movable type. Among his many contributions to printing are: the invention of a process for mass-producing movable type, his epochal invention was the combination of these elements into a practical system that allowed the mass production of printed books and was economically viable for printers and readers alike. Gutenberg's method for making type is traditionally considered to have included a type metal alloy and a hand mould for casting type.
The alloy was a mixture of lead and antimony that melted at a low temperature for faster and more economical casting, cast well, created a durable type. In Renaissance Europe, the arrival of mechanical movable type printing introduced the era of mass communication which permanently altered the structure of society; the unrestricted circulation of information—including revolutionary ideas—transcended borders, captured the masses in the Reformation and threatened the power of political and religious authorities. Across Europe, the increasing cultural self-awareness of its people led to the rise of proto-nationalism, accelerated by the flowering of the European vernacular languages to the detriment of Latin's status as lingua franca. In the 19th century, the replacement of the hand-operated Gutenberg-style press by steam-powered rotary presses allowed printing on an industrial scale, while Western-style printing was adopted all over the world, becoming the sole medium for modern bulk printing.
The use of movable type was a marked improvement on the handwritten manuscript, the existing method of book production in Europe, upon woodblock printing, revolutionized European book-making. Gutenberg's printing technology spread throughout Europe and the world, his major work, the Gutenberg Bible, was the first printed version of the Bible and has been acclaimed for its high aesthetic and technical quality. Gutenberg was born in the German city of Mainz, the youngest son of the patrician merchant Friele Gensfleisch zur Laden, his second wife, Else Wyrich, the daughter of a shopkeeper, it is assumed. According to some accounts, Friele was a goldsmith for the bishop at Mainz, but most he was involved in the cloth trade. Gutenberg's year of birth is not known, but it was sometime between the years of 1394 and 1404. In the 1890s the city of Mainz declared his official and symbolic date of birth to be June 24, 1400. John Lienhard, technology historian, says "Most of Gutenberg's early life is a mystery.
His father worked with the ecclesiastic mint. Gutenberg grew up knowing the trade of goldsmithing." This is supported by historian Heinrich Wallau, who adds, "In the 14th and 15th centuries his claimed a hereditary position as... retainers of the household of the master of the archiepiscopal mint. In this capacity they doubtless acquired considerable knowledge and technical skill in metal working, they supplied the mint with the metal to be coined, changed the various species of coins, had a seat at the assizes in forgery cases."Wallau adds, "His surname was derived from the house inhabited by his father and his paternal ancestors'zu Laden, zu Gutenberg'. The house of Gänsfleisch was one of the patrician families of the town, tracing its lineage back to the thirteenth century." Patricians in Mainz were named after houses they owned. Around 1427, the name zu Gutenberg, after the family house in Mainz, is documented to have been used for the first time. In 1411, there was an uprising in Mainz against the patricians, more than a hundred families were forced to leave.
As a result, the Gutenbergs are thought to have moved to Eltville am Rhein, where his mother had an inherited estate. According to historian Heinrich Wallau, "All, known of his youth is that he was not in Mainz in 1430, it is presumed that he migrated for political reasons to Strasbourg, where the family had connections." He is assumed to have studied at the University of Erfurt, where there is a record of the enrolment of a student called Johannes de Altavilla in 1418—Altavilla is the Latin form of Eltville am Rhein. Nothing is now known of Gutenberg's life for the next fifteen years, but in March 1434, a letter by him indicates that he was living in Strasbourg, where he had some relatives on his mother's side, he appears to have been a goldsmith member enrolled in the Strasbourg militia. In 1437, there is evidence that he was instructing a wealthy tradesman on polishing gems, but where he had acquired this knowledge is unknown. In 1436/37 his name comes up in court in connection with a broken promise of marriage to a woman from Strasbourg, Ennelin.
Whether the marriage took place is not reco