How does the National Law on Standard Spoken and Written Chinese Language regulate the use of internet terms?
(11.22.2007)

In the course of language development, vocabulary is the most active aspect, thus the relationship between regulation and development concentrates on the lexical aspect. Vocabulary is very complicated when set against the "National Law on Standard Spoken and Written Chinese Language", and the regulation of vocabulary is flexible and under constant change. Based on the theory of language development, simplified, uniform regulation and absolute banning is inappropriate. Especially in recent years, with the popularity of the internet, many new internet terms have appeared.

There are various opinions on whether this is a positive development or an abusive contamination of the Chinese language. Computer network terms should be treated discriminately: for new vocabulary consistent with modern Chinese lexical and grammatical norms, or terms that follow the rule of generating new Chinese vocabulary (especially for jargon in the IT field) a license to use such terms should be obtained. This could include terms such as: master, homepage, link, download, upload, U disk, memory, source code, explorer, etc. There are many inconsistencies with modern Chinese lexical and grammatical norms, such as replacing Chinese words with numbers or symbols, meaning shift, etc., and if this runs rampant, it will obviously affect the communicative function and healthy development of the Chinese language.

Therefore, after multiple investigations and fully attending to suggestions from all parties, the legislative institution made compulsory regulations on the use of computer network terms in the official documents of governmental institutions, textbooks, and news reports in Section 14 of the "Regulations for Implementation":

"Chinese publications, the official documents of governmental institutions, should conform to the National Standards on the use of Putonghua, Standard Chinese characters, the Chinese phonetic alphabet, punctuation, numbers, etc. The official documents or textbooks of governmental institutions should not use expressions that are inconsistent with the modern Chinese lexical and grammatical norms."