BEIJING, Aug. 29 (Xinhua) -- Over 100 Chinese scholars have signed a petition calling for the removal of English words from an authoritative Chinese dictionary, reigniting a debate on language purity.
The petitioners, most of them linguists, said the newly published sixth edition of the Modern Chinese Dictionary includes 239 English words and acronyms, which they believe constitutes a violation of the country's Law on the Standard Spoken and Written Chinese Language.
Fu Zhenguo, a senior journalist with the state-run People's Daily and one of the organizers of the petition, said that if the Chinese people ignore the inclusion of words like "NBA" and "GDP" in their language and do nothing to exclude them from the dictionary, the language they use will end up as a bizarre mixture of Chinese and English.
"It will become a combination of Chinese characters and English words and acronyms," he grumbled.
Fu said the petition has been submitted to the General Administration of Press and Publication, China's publishing watchdog.
But an official with the administration who declined to be named said the petition has not been received, although she did admit to hearing about the controversy elsewhere.