I'm not saying that hanzi's phonetic and semantic clues are superior (or inferior) to those of the English orthography, just that it's not at all true that hanzi has no phonetic or semantic clues.OTʜᴇB wrote:Interesting, but only 26 symbols are needed for the hints in English, where there are far more in Hanzi, meaning that—while the hint may be better—you only get the hint once you're good enough to have less use with the hint.GrandPiano wrote:Hanzi actually does have phonetic and semantic hints, though. In fact, the most common method of character formation is to use two pre-existing characters as components, one hinting at the meanung and one hinting at the pronunciation. For example, the character 指 zhǐ "finger; to point" is made up of 手 shǒu "hand" (reduced to 扌), and 旨 zhǐ "purpose; decree; excellent". 扌 hints at the meaning, while 旨 hints at the pronunciation. Sometimes these hints are somewhat obscured by sound change and semantic shift, but phonetic and semantic hints are still definitely very prevalent in hanzi.OTʜᴇB wrote:English Orthography has these phonetic hints (1 up over Hanzi), semantic hints (2 up over Hanzi), and letters which are silent in most dialects.
Unless I'm mistaken, your argument actually only applies to phonetic hints. Hanzi's semantic hints are arguably easier to make use of in that respect that English's, because, unlike English, hanzi has several extremely common semantic components that each occur in a very large number of characters.