The China Daily, China’s main newspaper for foreigners (and read by many Chinese as well), has an interesting piece on their main modern dictionary, Xinhua (New China), which is in its 11th edition and has sold 400 million copies:
During cultural revolution, definitions & explanations were changed. Here’s a few given in the article:
“For example, a sentence used to illustrate the meaning of 等不及 (dengbuji, cannot wait to) was previously “I cannot wait to go back home,” but this was changed to “I cannot wait to return to my work station."”
“Until the latest edition, the only explanation of “slave” had been: “People who had no freedom and were oppressed, exploited, and used as labor by the exploiting class in the pre-Liberation China.”
When I first visited China, one of the things that surprised me was that despite gov’t control, the China Daily discussed many problems in China, including pollution, AIDS & a myriad of other issues. The paper also shows a willingness to look at curious aspects of China, such as the above.