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Encyclopedia > Simplified Chinese
Simplified Chinese
Type: logographic
Languages: Chinese
Time period: since 1956
Parent writing systems: Chinese
Simplified Chinese
ISO 15924 code: Hans
Chinese characters
Traditional Chinese
Variant characters
Simplified Chinese
Second-round Simplified Chinese
Kanji
- Kyujitai
- Shinjitai
Hanja
- Gugyeol
- Hyangchal
Chu Nom
- Han Tu
East Asian calligraphy
- Oracle bone script
- Bronzeware script
- Seal script
- Clerical script
- Regular script
- Semi-cursive script
- Cursive script
Input Methods

Simplified Chinese (Simplified Chinese: 简体字 or 简化字; Traditional Chinese: 簡體字 or 簡化字; pinyin: jiǎntǐzì or jiǎnhuàzì) is one of two standard sets of Chinese characters of printed contemporary Chinese written language, simplified from traditional Chinese by the People's Republic of China in an attempt to promote literacy. It is used in mainland China, Singapore, and Malaysia. A Chinese logogram A logogram, or logograph, is a single written character which represents a word or a morpheme (a meaningful unit of language). ... For information on how to read IPA transcriptions of English words see here. ... Phonetics (from the Greek word φωνή, phone meaning sound, voice) is the study of sounds and the human voice. ... Unicode is an industry standard designed to allow text and symbols from all of the writing systems of the world to be consistently represented and manipulated by computers. ... This chart shows concisely the most common way in which the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is applied to represent the English language. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... 漢字 / 汉字 Chinese character in Hànzì, Kanji, Hanja, Hán Tá»±. Red in Simplified Chinese. ... Traditional Chinese characters are one of two standard sets of printed Chinese characters. ... Variant Chinese characters are Chinese characters that can be used interchangeably. ... Simplified Chinese characters (Simplified Chinese: ; Traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: ; also Simplified Chinese: ; Traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: ) refer to one of two standard Chinese character sets of printed contemporary Chinese written language, officially simplified by the government of the Peoples Republic of China in an attempt to promote literacy. ... The second round of Chinese character simplification was officially promulgated on December 20, 1977 by the Peoples Republic of China, and replaced the existing (first round) simplified Chinese characters that were already in use. ... Japanese writing Kanji Kana Hiragana Katakana Hentaigana Manyōgana Uses Furigana Okurigana Rōmaji Kanji (Japanese:  ) are the Chinese characters that are used in the modern Japanese logographic writing system along with hiragana (平仮名), katakana (片仮名), and the Arabic numerals. ... Look up KyÅ«jitai in Wiktionary, the free dictionary KyÅ«jitai (Shinjitai: 旧字体 KyÅ«jitai: 舊字體, meaning old character form) is the traditional form of the Japanese kanji used before 1947. ... Shinjitai (in Shinjitai: ; in KyÅ«jitai: æ–°å­—é«”; meaning new character form), are the forms of Kanji used in Japan since the promulgation of the Tōyō Kanji List in 1946. ... It has been suggested that Sino-Korean be merged into this article or section. ... Gugyeol is a system for rendering texts written in Classical Chinese into understandable Korean. ... Hyangchal (hangul: 향찰; hanja: 鄕札; revised: hyangchal; McCune-Reischauer: hyangchal) is an archaic writing system used in Korea. ... Chữ nôm (𡦂喃 lit. ... Hán tá»± (漢字, lit. ... The art of calligraphy is widely practiced and revered in the East Asian civilizations that use Chinese characters. ... Oracle bone script (Chinese: 甲骨文; Hanyu Pinyin: ; literally shell bone writing) refers to incised (or, rarely, brush-written) ancient Chinese characters found on oracle bones, which are animal bones or turtle shells used in divination in ancient China. ... Bronzeware script (金文 pinyin jin wen or 鐘鼎文 pinyin zhong1 ding3 wen2) is a family of scripts found on Chinese bronzes such as zhong (bells) and ding (tripods), since bronze artifacts with Chinese characters span many centuries and they have been found in many areas of China. ... 《尋隱者不遇》—賈島 松下問童子 言師採藥去 隻在此山中 雲深不知處 Seeking the Master but not Meeting by Jia Dao Beneath a pine I asked a little child. ... The clerical script (traditional Chinese 隷書, simplified Chinese 隶书) is an archaic style of Chinese calligraphy which, due to its high legibility to modern readers, is still being used for artistic flavor in a variety of functional applications such as headlines, signboards and advertisements. ... Sheng Jiao Xu by Chu Suiliang: calligraphy of the Kaishu style The Regular Script, or in Chinese Kaishu (楷書 Pinyin: kÇŽishÅ«) and Japanese Kaisho, also commonly known as Standard Regular (正楷), is the newest of the Chinese calligraphy styles (peaked at the 7th century), hence most common in modern writings and... Semi-cursive script (Chinese: 行書, Pinyin: XíngshÅ«, Japanese: gyōsho, Korean: haengseo) is a partially cursive style of Chinese calligraphy. ... Chinese characters of Cursive Script in regular script (left) and cursive script (right). ... Since the Chinese language uses a logographic script — that is, a script where one or two characters corresponds roughly to one word or meaning — there are vastly more characters, or glyphs, than there are keys on a standard computer keyboard. ... Traditional Chinese (Traditional Chinese: 正體字/繁體字, Simplified Chinese: 正体字/繁体字) refers to one of two standard sets of printed Chinese characters. ... It has been suggested that Pinyin method be merged into this article or section. ... 漢字 / 汉字 Chinese character in Hànzì, Kanji, Hanja, Hán Tá»±. Red in Simplified Chinese. ... Various styles of Chinese calligraphy. ... Traditional Chinese (Traditional Chinese: 正體字/繁體字, Simplified Chinese: 正体字/繁体字) refers to one of two standard sets of printed Chinese characters. ...


While traditional characters are used in Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, and many overseas Chinese communities, Simplified Chinese is gradually gaining popularity among overseas Chinese as more mainland Chinese emigrate from their homeland. Overseas Chinese are people of Chinese ancestry who live outside China. ... Overseas Chinese are people of Chinese ancestry who live outside China. ...


Simplified character forms are created by decreasing the number of strokes and simplifying the forms of a sizeable proportion of traditional Chinese characters. Some characters were simplified by applying regular rules; for example, by replacing all occurrences of a certain component with a simpler variant. Some characters were simplified irregularly, however, and some simplified characters are very dissimilar to and unpredictable from traditional characters. Finally, many characters were left untouched by simplification, and are thus identical between the traditional and simplified Chinese orthographies.

Contents

Extent

Jianhuazi zong biao (简化字总表), the final list of simplified characters announced in 1986, contains the following: 1986 (MCMLXXXVI) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

  • Chart 1, which contains 350 singly simplified characters, whose simplifications cannot be generalized to other characters
  • Chart 2, which contains 132 simplified characters and 14 simplified radicals, which can all be generalized to other characters
  • Chart 3, a list of 1,753 characters which are simplified in accordance with Chart 2. This list is non-exhaustive, so a character that can be simplified in accordance with Chart 2 should be simplified, even if it does not appear in Chart 3.
  • Appendix, which contains:
    • 39 characters that are officially considered to be cases where a complicated variant character has been abolished in favour of a simpler variant character, rather than where a complicated character is replaced by a newly-created simpler character. However, these characters are commonly considered to have been simplifications, so they are included here for reference purposes.
    • 35 place names that have been modified to replace rare characters with more common ones. These are not character simplifications, because it is the place names that were being modified, not the characters themselves. One place name has since been reverted to its original version.

Di yi pi yitizi zhengli biao (第一批异体字整理表, "Series One Organization List of Variant Characters") also accounts for some of the orthography difference between Mainland China on the one hand, and Hong Kong and Taiwan on the other. Although these are not technically "simplifications", they are often regarded as such, because the end effect is the same. It contains: The left part of mā, a Chinese character meaning mother, is a radical that means woman A radical (from Latin radix, meaning root) is a basic identifiable component of every Chinese character. ... Variant Chinese characters are Chinese characters that can be used interchangeably. ...

  • 1,027 variant characters deemed obsolete as of the final revision in 1993. Some of these are obsolete in Taiwan and Hong Kong as well, but others remain in use.

After World War II, Japan also simplified a number of Chinese characters (kanji) used in the Japanese language. The new forms are called shinjitai. Compared to Chinese, the Japanese reform was more directed, affecting only a few hundred characters and replacing them with simplified forms, most of which were already in use in Japanese cursive script. The number of characters in circulation was also reduced, and formal lists of characters to be learned during each grade of school were established. The overall effect was to standardize teaching and the use of Kanji in modern literature and media. However, the two attempts at simplification cannot be directly compared. Japanese uses fewer than one-tenth of the characters used by Chinese (6,000 as compared to 50,000-80,000). Japan has a similarly smaller population to educate, 125 million compared to 1.3 billion, and has no diverse dialects or dissimilar language communities. 1993 (MCMXCIII) was a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar and marked the Beginning of the International Decade to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination (1993-2003). ... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... Japanese writing Kanji Kana Hiragana Katakana Hentaigana Manyōgana Uses Furigana Okurigana Rōmaji Kanji (Japanese:  ) are the Chinese characters that are used in the modern Japanese logographic writing system along with hiragana (平仮名), katakana (片仮名), and the Arabic numerals. ... Japanese (,  ) is a language spoken by over 130 million people, mainly in Japan, but also by Japanese emigrant communities around the world. ... Shinjitai (in Shinjitai: ; in KyÅ«jitai: æ–°å­—é«”; meaning new character form), are the forms of Kanji used in Japan since the promulgation of the Tōyō Kanji List in 1946. ...


Origins and history

Mainland China

Although most of the simplified Chinese characters in use today are the result of the works moderated by the government of the People's Republic of China (PRC) in the 1950s and 60s, character simplification predates the PRC's formation in 1949. Cursive written text almost always includes character simplification. Simplified forms used in print have always existed (they date back to as early as the Qin Dynasty (221 - 206 BC), though early attempts at simplification actually resulted in more characters being added to the lexicon). 1949 (MCMXLIX) was a common year starting on Saturday (the link is to a full 1949 calendar). ... The Qin (Chin) Dynasty (Chinese: ; pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: Chin Chao) (221 BC - 206 BC) was preceded by the Zhou Dynasty and followed by the Han Dynasty in China. ... Centuries: 4th century BC - 3rd century BC - 2nd century BC Decades: 270s BC 260s BC 250s BC 240s BC 230s BC - 220s BC - 210s BC 200s BC 190s BC 180s BC 170s BC Years: 226 BC 225 BC 224 BC 223 BC 222 BC - 221 BC - 220 BC 219 BC... Second Punic War: Scipio Africanus Major destroyed the combined Carthaginian army of Mago Barca and Hasdrubal Gisco in the Battle of Ilipa, thus ending Carthaginian hold in Spain. ...


One of the earliest proponents of character simplification was Lu Feikui, who proposed in 1909 that simplified characters should be used in education. In the years following the May Fourth Movement in 1919, many anti-imperialist Chinese intellectuals sought ways to modernise China. Traditional culture and values such as Confucianism were challenged. Soon, people in the Movement started to cite the traditional Chinese writing system as an obstacle in modernising China and therefore proposed that a reform be initiated. It was suggested that the Chinese writing system should be either simplified or completely abolished. Fu Sinian, a leader of the May Fourth Movement, called Chinese characters the “writing of ox-demons and snake-gods” (牛鬼蛇神的文字). Lu Xun, a renowned Chinese author in the 20th century, stated that , “If Chinese characters are not destroyed, then China will die.” (漢字不滅,中國必亡。) Year 1909 (MCMIX) was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... Confucian temple in Jiading district, Shanghai. ... Fu Sinian (傅斯年, 1896—1950). ... Lu Xun (pinyin, Traditional Chinese: ; Simplified Chinese: ; pinyin: ) or Lu Hsün (Wade-Giles), pen name of Zhou Shuren (Traditional Chinese: ; Simplified Chinese: ; Hanyu Pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: Chou Shu-jen) (September 25, 1881 – October 19, 1936) is one of the major Chinese writers of the 20th century. ... Technical note: Due to technical limitations, some web browsers may not display some special characters in this article. ...


In the 1930s and 1940s, discussions on character simplification took place within the Kuomintang government, and a large number of Chinese intellectuals and writers have long maintained that character simplification would help boost literacy in China. In many world languages, literacy has been promoted as a justification for spelling reforms. The 1930s (years from 1930–1939) were described as an abrupt shift to more radical and conservative lifestyles, as countries were struggling to find a solution to the Great Depression, also known in Europe as the World Depression. ... The 1940s decade ran from 1940 to 1949. ... The Nationalist Party of China (Traditional Chinese: ; Simplified Chinese: ; Hanyu Pinyin: ; Tongyong Pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: Chung1-kuo2 Kuo2-min2-tang3), commonly known as the Kuomintang (KMT), is a centre-right political party in the Republic of China on Taiwan, and is currently the largest political party in terms of sitting... Spelling reform generally attempts to introduce a logical structure connecting the spelling and pronunciation of words. ...


The People's Republic of China issued its first round of official character simplifications in two documents, the first in 1956 and the second in 1964. In the 1950s and 1960s, while confusion about simplified characters was still rampant, transitional characters that mixed simplified parts with yet-to-be simplified parts of characters together appeared briefly, then disappeared. Year 1956 (MCMLVI) was a leap year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 1964 (MCMLXIV) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (the link is to a full 1964 calendar). ... // Recovering from World War II and its aftermath, the economic miracle emerged in West Germany and Italy. ... The 1960s decade refers to the years from January 1, 1960 to December 31, 1969, inclusive. ...


Within the PRC, further character simplification became associated with the leftists of the Cultural Revolution, culminating in a second round of character simplifications (known as erjian 二简), or "Second-round simplified characters", which were promulgated in 1977. In part due to the shock and unease felt in the wake of the Cultural Revolution and Mao's death, the second-round of simplifications was poorly received, and in 1986 the authorities retracted the second round completely. Later in the same year, the authorities promulgated a final list of simplifications, which is identical to the 1964 list except for six changes (including the restoration of three characters that had been simplified in the First Round: , , ). Although no longer recognized officially, some second-round characters appear in informal contexts, as many people learned second-round simplified characters in school. The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (Simplified Chinese: ; Traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: ; literally Proletarian Cultural Great Revolution; often abbreviated to 文化大革命 wénhuà dà gémìng, literally Great Cultural Revolution, or even simpler, to 文革 wéngé, Cultural Revolution) in the Peoples Republic of China was a struggle for power within the... The second round of Chinese character simplification was officially promulgated on December 20, 1977 by the Peoples Republic of China, and replaced the existing (first round) simplified Chinese characters that were already in use. ... For the album by Ash, see 1977 (album). ... 1986 (MCMLXXXVI) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Simplification initiatives have been aimed at eradicating characters entirely and establishing the Hanyu Pinyin romanization as the official written system of the PRC, but the reform never gained quite as much popularity as the leftists had hoped. After the retraction of the second round of simplification, the PRC has stated that it wishes to keep Chinese orthography stable and does not appear to plan any further reforms in the future, nor restore any characters that have already been simplified. It has been suggested that Pinyin method be merged into this article or section. ...


Singapore and Malaysia

Singapore underwent three successive rounds of character simplification, eventually arriving at the same set of simplified characters as Mainland China.


The first round, consisting of 498 Simplified characters from 502 Traditional characters, was promulgated by the Ministry of Education in 1969. The second round, consisting of 2287 Simplified characters, was promulgated in 1974. The second set contained 49 differences from the Mainland China system; those were removed in the final round in 1976. In 1993, Singapore adopted the six revisions made by Mainland China in 1986. For the Stargate SG-1 episode, see 1969 (Stargate SG-1). ... 1974 (MCMLXXIV) was a common year starting on Tuesday. ... 1976 (MCMLXXVI) was a leap year starting on Thursday. ... 1993 (MCMXCIII) was a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar and marked the Beginning of the International Decade to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination (1993-2003). ... 1986 (MCMLXXXVI) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Malaysia promulgated a set of simplified characters in 1981, which were also completely identical to the simplified characters used in Mainland China. 1981 (MCMLXXXI) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Method of simplification

There are several methods in which characters were simplified:

  1. Replacing complicated components of common characters with simpler shapes:
    • ; ; ; etc.
  2. Changing the phonetic:
    • ; ; ; etc.
  3. Omitting entire components:
    • 广; ; ; etc.
  4. Using grass script shapes:
    • ; ; ; etc.
  5. Adopting ancient forms that are simpler in form:
    • ; ; ; etc.
  6. Creating new radical-radical compounds:
    • ; ; ; etc.
  7. Creating new radical-phonetic compounds:
    • ; ; ; etc.
  8. Merging a character into another one that sounds the same or similar:
    • ; ; ; etc.
  9. Merging several characters into a newly created and simpler character:
    • & ; & ; etc.
  10. Systematically simplifying a shape, so that every character that uses it is simplified:
    • ; ; ; etc (an exception to this type of simplifying is the word for "open": , where the door radical () is entirely omitted.)

Since traditional characters are sometimes merged, confusion may arise when Classical Chinese texts are printed in simplified characters. For example, a phrase like 獨餘余一人 (only I am left alone) will become 独余余一人 when simplified. This also makes conversion between simplified and traditional texts a non-trivial task. Also known as Cursive Calligraphy. ...


In rare instances, simplified characters actually became one or two strokes more complex than their traditional counterparts due to logical revision. An example of this is mapping to the previously existing variant form . Note that the "hand" radical on the left (), with three strokes, is replaced with the "tree" radical (), with four strokes.


Distribution and use

Mainland China and Singapore generally use simplified characters. They appear very sparingly in printed text produced in Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, and overseas Chinese communities, although they are becoming more prevalent as China opens to the world. Conversely, the mainland is seeing an increase in the use of traditional forms, where they are often used on signs and in logos. For Chinese language documents, it is reported that the United Nations plan to use simplified characters exclusively from 2008 [1]. The foundation of the U.N. The United Nations (UN) is an international organization whose stated aims are to facilitate co-operation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress and human rights issues. ...


Mainland China

The Law of the People's Republic of China on the National Common Language and Characters implies simplified Chinese as the standard script, and relegates Traditional Chinese to certain aspects and purposes such as ceremonies, cultural purposes (e.g. calligraphy), decoration, some books on ancient literature and poetry, and research purposes. Traditional Chinese remains ubiquitous on buildings predating communist rule, such as former government buildings, religious buildings, educational institutions, and historical monuments. Traditional Chinese is also often used for commercial purposes, such as shopfront displays and advertisements, though this is officially discouraged.


The PRC also tends to print material intended for Taiwanese, people in Hong Kong and Macau, and overseas Chinese in traditional characters. For example, the PRC prints versions of the People's Daily in traditional characters and both the People's Daily and Xinhua websites have versions in traditional characters using Big5 encoding. Mainland companies selling products in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan use Traditional characters on its displays and packaging to communicate with consumers (the reverse is true as well). Also, as part of the one country, two systems model, the PRC has not attempted to force Hong Kong or Macau into using simplified characters. The Peoples Daily (Chinese: 人民日报 Pinyin ) is the official newspaper of the Communist Party of China, published worldwide with a circulation of 3 to 4 million. ... The Peoples Daily (Chinese: 人民日报 Pinyin ) is the official newspaper of the Communist Party of China, published worldwide with a circulation of 3 to 4 million. ... Front gate of the main building of Xinhua News Agency in Beijing The Xinhua News Agency (Simplified Chinese: 新华社; Traditional Chinese: 新華社; pinyin: ), or NCNA (New China News Agency), is the official press agency of the government of the Peoples Republic of China and the biggest center for collecting information and... Big-5 or Big5 is a character encoding method used in Taiwan (Republic of China) and Hong Kong for Traditional Chinese characters. ... One country, two systems (Simplified Chinese: 一国两制; Traditional Chinese: 一國兩制; pinyin: yì; guó liǎng zhì; Jyutping: jat1 gwok3 loeng5 zai3; Yale: yāt gwok leúhng jai), is an idea originally proposed by Deng Xiaoping, then Paramount Leader of the Peoples Republic of China (PRC), for the unification of China. ...


Dictionaries published in mainland China generally show both simplified and their traditional counterparts. Some traditional character publications other than dictionaries are published on mainland China, for domestic consumption. Moreover, it is possible for residents in Guangdong to receive Chinese language television in Cantonese from Hong Kong (though the politically sensitive issues in news and other current affairs programs may be censored). In addition, many cultural phenomena imported from Hong Kong and Taiwan into mainland China, such as music videos, karaoke videos, subtitled movies, and subtitled dramas, use traditional Chinese characters, thereby exposing mainlanders to the use of traditional characters.


Hong Kong

In Hong Kong, traditional Chinese characters are officially and customarily used, but the increasing influence of mainland China on Hong Kong has boosted the use of simplified characters.


With the growing influence of Mainland China, simplified Chinese characters often appear in tourist areas; however textbooks, official statements, newspapers, including the PRC-funded media, show no signs of moving to simplified Chinese characters. Bookshops selling publications in simplified Chinese characters are becoming popular, because these mainland editions are often cheaper.


It is common for Hong Kong people to learn both sets of characters. For use on computers, however, people tend to type Chinese characters using a traditional character set like Big5, but if needed, encode it later into simplified Chinese using available conversion software. In Hong Kong as well as elsewhere, it is common for people who use both sets to do so because it is much easier to convert from the traditional character set to the simplified character set because of the usage of the aforementioned methods 8 and 9 of simplification. Big-5 or Big5 is a character encoding method used in Taiwan (Republic of China) and Hong Kong for Traditional Chinese characters. ...


Taiwan

Simplified Chinese characters are officially banned from all aspects in governmental and civil publications in Taiwan. However, it is legal to import simplified character publications from a third country (for instance via Russia) and distribute them. Certain simplified characters that have long existed in informal writing for centuries also have popular usage, while those characters simplified forcefully by PRC government are much less common in daily appearance. These pages contain the trends of millennia and centuries. ...


In all areas, most handwritten text will include informal character simplifications (alternative script), and some characters (such as the "Tai" in Taiwan: traditional 臺 simplified/alternative 台) have informal simplified forms that appear more commonly than the official forms, even in print.


Education

In general, schools in Mainland China and Singapore use simplified characters exclusively, while schools in Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan use traditional characters exclusively.


For overseas Chinese going to "Chinese school", which character set is used depends very much on which school one attends. Not surprisingly, parents will generally enroll their children in schools that teach the script they themselves use. Descendants of Hong Kongers and people who emigrated before the simplification will therefore generally be taught traditional (and in Cantonese), whereas children whose parents are of more recent mainland origin will probably be taught simplified. Hong Kong (香港; Cantonese IPA: ; Jyutping: hoeng1 gong2; Yale: heūng góng; pinyin: Xiānggǎng; Wade-Giles: Hsiang-kang) is one of the two Special Administrative Regions of the Peoples Republic of China. ...


Mainland China

In December 2004, Beijing's educational authorities rejected a proposal from a Beijing CPPCC political conference member that called for elementary schools to teach traditional Chinese characters in addition to the simplified ones, but to use simplified characters exclusively. The conference member pointed out that most mainland Chinese,especially young people, have difficulties with traditional Chinese characters; this is especially important in dealing with non-mainland communities such as Taiwan and Hong Kong. The educational authorities did not approve the recommendation, saying that it did not fit in with the "requirements as set out by the law" and it could potentially complicate the curricula. [2] ← - 2004 : January - February - March - April - May - June - July - August - September - October - November - December- → Deaths in December • 30 Artie Shaw • 29 Julius Axelrod • 28 Jacques Dupuis • 28 Jerry Orbach • 28 Susan Sontag • 26 Reggie White • 26 Sir Angus Ogilvy • 23 P. V. Narasimha Rao • 23 Doug Ault • 19 Renata Tebaldi • 16... Beijing [English Pronunciation] (Chinese: 北京 [Chinese Pronunciation]; Pinyin: BÄ›ijÄ«ng; IPA: ), a metropolis in northern China, is the capital of the Peoples Republic of China (PRC). ... The Chinese Peoples Political Consultative Conference (中国人民政治协商会议 Pinyin: Zhongguo renmin zhengzhi xieshang huiyi), abbreviated CPPCC, is an advisory body in the Peoples Republic of China. ...


Hong Kong

Since the 1990s, students have commonly adopted a hybrid written form, comprising some simplified characters, along with traditional Chinese characters to speed up writing in public examinations. The examination authority of the tests do not consider simplified Chinese characters "incorrectly written characters" when they are used on these exams.


Chinese as a foreign language

Most universities on the west coast of the United States teach the traditional character set, most likely due to the large population of Chinese Americans who continue to use the traditional forms. The largest Mandarin Chinese program in North America, at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, switched to simplified characters at least a decade ago, although the majority of the surrounding Chinese Canadian population, who are non-Mandarin speaking, at that time were users of traditional characters. In places where a particular set is not locally entrenched, e.g., Europe and some of the east coast and midwest of the United States, instruction is in or is swinging towards simplified, as the economic importance of mainland China increases, and also because of the availability of inexpensive decent quality textbooks printed in mainland China. Teachers of international students often recommend learning both systems. Their experience is that students who start with traditional characters would understand simplified characters without much difficulty, while students who begin with simplified characters tend to have more difficulty when they encounter traditional characters. [citation needed] A Chinese American is an American who is of ethnic Chinese descent. ... The University of British Columbia (UBC) is a public university with its main campus located at Point Grey, in the University Endowment Lands adjacent to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and another smaller campus known as UBC Okanagan located in Kelowna, British Columbia. ... For other uses, see Vancouver (disambiguation). ... A Chinese Canadian is a person of Chinese descent or origin who was born in or immigrated to Canada. ...


Debate on traditional and simplified Chinese characters

The traditional versus simplified characters (繁簡之爭, more recently: 正簡之爭) debate has existed for a long time among users of Chinese. The debate has stirred up heated responses from supporters of both sides as it has implications of political ideology and cultural identity in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. It is important to note that supporters for traditional characters may not necessarily reject the idea of simplification. Simplified characters here exclusively refer to those characters simplified by the People's Republic of China since the 1950s.


The effect of simplified Characters on the language remains controversial decades after their introduction:


Cultural legitimacy

  • Proponents say that the Chinese writing system has been changing for millennia: it has already passed through the Oracle Script, Bronzeware Script, Seal Script and Clerical Script stages. Moreover, some simplified characters are drawn from conventional abbreviated forms that have been in use for centuries; some simplified characters are in fact restorations of ancient forms that had become more complicated over time.
  • Opponents point out while some simplified characters were adopted from conventional abbreviated forms that have existed for a long time, many other simplified characters were arbitrarily designed by the government of the PRC, which was politically motivated to pervert traditional Chinese culture in order to carry out what they viewed as modernization. As a result of such "unnatural" evolution, many characteristics underlying various Chinese characters, including radicals, etymologies and phonetics were ignored and destroyed in their simplified form. One frequently-cited example of this argument is found in the character for "sage" or "holy", "圣" in simplified and "聖" in traditional. The simplified character removed the king (王) radical, replacing it with soil (土). Opponents of simplification claim that the PRC government was politically motivated to simplify this character, to devalue religions and China's imperial past ("The kings and holy men are still just soil now").[citation needed]

Oracle bone script (甲骨文 pinyin: Jia3gu3wen2) are incised characters found on ox scapula and tortoise plastrons (oracle bones) thought to be the earliest Chinese characters. ... Bronzeware script (金文 pinyin jin wen or 鐘鼎文 pinyin zhong1 ding3 wen2) is a family of scripts found on Chinese bronzes such as zhong (bells) and ding (tripods), since bronze artifacts with Chinese characters span many centuries and they have been found in many areas of China. ... 《尋隱者不遇》—賈島 松下問童子 言師採藥去 隻在此山中 雲深不知處 Seeking the Master but not Meeting by Jia Dao Beneath a pine I asked a little child. ... The clerical script (traditional Chinese 隷書, simplified Chinese 隶书) is an archaic style of Chinese calligraphy which, due to its high legibility to modern readers, is still being used for artistic flavor in a variety of functional applications such as headlines, signboards and advertisements. ...

Literacy

  • Proponents feel that simplification makes the Chinese writing system easier to learn. Literacy rates since simplification have risen steadily in rural and urban areas since the simplification of the Chinese characters, though this rise in literacy may not necessarily be due to simplification alone.
  • Opponents argue that the literacy rates of Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan compare favorably, so simplification does not display an obvious correlation with literacy rate. For example, the CIA World Factbook lists the literacy rate as of 2002 as 96.1% in Taiwan compared to 90.9% in mainland China. However, because of the huge disparity in socioeconomic condition between these areas, an analysis of the effect of one factor upon literacy rate is inherently a complex issue. Moreover, the different economic policies pursued in mainland China on the one hand, and Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau on the other, naturally has a dominating effect on both the level of education and the resources dedicated to improving literacy. On a purely theoretical level, opponents of the simplifed system argue that the greater etymological coherence of the traditional set may give an advantage when learning to write. It is unclear, however, whether this would outweigh the immense typographical complexity of many traditional characters (e.g. compare ("chicken"), a common character, written in Traditional as 雞 (18 strokes) and in Simplified as 鸡 (7 strokes)).

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA, colloquially known as The Company or simply, The Agency) is an intelligence agency of the United States Government. ... The World Factbook 2007 (government edtion) cover. ... For album titles with the same name, see 2002 (album). ...

Disambiguation

  • Proponents feel that some traditional characters are too similar in appearance, such as 書 (shū) "book", 晝 (zhòu) "daytime" and 畫 (huà) "drawing": the simplified forms are 书, , and , which look much more distinct.
  • Opponents claim the reverse: simplifications make distinct characters more similar to each other in appearance, giving the "shape recognition" mechanism of the reading part of the brain less unique clues. An example is 無 (wú) "none", simplified into , which looks very similar to the existing character 天 (tiān) "sky". Another instance is 設 (shè) "designate" and 沒 (méi) "without", which are quite similar in their simplified forms 设 and and can result in confusion in rapid handwriting.

Speed of writing

  • Proponents say that many common characters have far too many strokes in traditional form. For example, the common character 邊 (biān, meaning "side") has 18 strokes in traditional form, while its simplified form 边 has only five strokes.
  • Opponents say that the speed advantage of simplified Chinese becomes less relevant in the computer age. With modern computing, entering Chinese characters is now dependent on the convenience of input method editors or IMEs. Some IMEs use sound based input, such as pinyin romanization or bopomofo. Others are based on character shape, such as cangjie and wubi. These have mainly sidelined the issues in handwritten Chinese. Furthermore, even when it comes to handwriting, a majority of people resort to semi-cursive script to reduce strokes and save time; cursive script is also commonly seen in personal notes, which writing is even more simplified than simplified characters, though in this case readers other than the writer themselves may have a hard time understanding the content.

An input method editor (IME) is a program or operating system component that allows computer users to enter complex characters and symbols (such as Japanese, Chinese, Tibetan and Korean characters), using a standard Western keyboard. ... It has been suggested that Pinyin method be merged into this article or section. ... Zh yīn F o (注音符號), or Symbols for Annotating Sounds, often abbreviated as Zhuyin, or known as Bopomofo (ㄅㄆㄇㄈ) for the first four syllables of these Chinese phonetic symbols, is the national phonetic system of the Republic of China (based on Taiwan... The Cangjie method (倉頡輸入法, 仓颉输入法)—originally spelt Changjei method—is a system by which Chinese characters may be entered into the computer. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Semi-cursive script (Chinese: 行書, Pinyin: XíngshÅ«, Japanese: gyōsho, Korean: haengseo) is a partially cursive style of Chinese calligraphy. ... Chinese characters of Cursive Script in regular script (left) and cursive script (right). ...

Phonetics

  • Proponents: Chinese characters are most often made up of a pronunciation-indicating part (called the phonetic) and a part that indicates the general semantic domain (called the radical). During the process of simplification, there are some attempts to bring greater coherence to the system. For example, the shape of 憂 (yōu), meaning "anxious", is not a good indicator of its pronunciation, because there are no clear radical and phonetic components. The simplified version is 忧, a straightforward combination of the "heart" radical to the left (indication emotion) and the phonetic 尤 (yóu) to the right.
  • Opponents point out that some simplified forms undermine the phonetics of the original characters, e.g 盤 (pán, plate) has the phonetic component 般 (bān) on top, but the simplified form is 盘, whose upper part is now 舟 (zhōu). 盧 (lú, a family name) and 爐 (lú, "furnace") shares the same component 盧 in their original forms, but they were inconsistently simplified into 卢 and 炉 respectively, so that 炉 now has the less helpful 户 (hù) as its phonetic. Some characters were radically stripped of all phonetic elements. Perhaps because of its common recurrence in political vocabulary, the second character in zhǔyì, doctrine, was reduced from 義 with the phonetic element 我 (wǒ) to the unrecognizable 义.

Semantics (Greek semantikos, giving signs, significant, symptomatic, from sema, sign) refers to the aspects of meaning that are expressed in a language, code, or other form of representation. ... A family name, surname, or last name is the part of a persons name that indicates to what family he or she belongs. ...

Radicals

  • Some argue that simplification results in a broken connection between characters, which makes it more difficult for students to expand their vocabulary in terms of perceiving both the meaning and pronunciation of a new character. For example, 鬧 (din, fuss) is now 闹, with a door radical that is not indicative of its meaning.
  • Proponents say that the radical system is imperfect in the first place. For example, 笑 (smile, laugh) uses the "bamboo" radical.

Merger of characters

  • Opponents: Simplified Chinese characters frequently include merged characters, which opponents view as baseless and arbitrary: 後 (hòu, "behind") and 后 (hòu, "queen") are both simplified into 后. Likewise, 隻 (zhī, a measure word) and 只 (zhǐ, "only") are merged into 只; 發 (fā, "happening") and 髮 (fà, "hair") are merged into 发; 穀 (gǔ, "crop") and 谷 (gǔ, "valley") are merged into 谷, and so on. Opponents say that such mergers make Classical Chinese texts in simplified Chinese characters difficult to understand. They discourage the proliferation of such homographs.
  • Proponents claim the amount of spoken and written deviation of Classical Chinese and the modern vernacular is a greater factor, and has already brought about incompatibility with ancient texts. They also claim that the ambiguity brought about by the merger of characters is minimal.

In the Chinese language, measure words or classifiers (Traditional Chinese: 量詞; Simplified Chinese: 量词; Pinyin: liàngcí; Cantonese (Yale): leung4 chi4) are used along with numerals to define the quantity of a given object or objects, or with this/that to identify specific objects. ... Classical Chinese or Literary Chinese is a traditional style of written Chinese based on the grammar and vocabulary of very old forms of Chinese , making it very different from any modern spoken form of Chinese. ... The term homograph can mean: One of two or more words that are spelt the same way but have different meanings. ... Classical Chinese or Literary Chinese is a traditional style of written Chinese based on the grammar and vocabulary of very old forms of Chinese , making it very different from any modern spoken form of Chinese. ...

Aesthetics

  • Some people feel that the simplified characters chosen by Mainland China violate the traditional aesthetics of Chinese writing. For example, the use of grass script shapes in simplified Chinese is viewed as being incompatible with writing in the regular script or the running script. The symmetry of the character, an age-old principle, was apparently not a criterion in its simplification: for example, 廣 became 广.
  • As aesthetics is generally a subjective judgement, there are also proponents of simplified who feel that certain traditional characters are aesthetically lacking.
  • In general, people prefer to use traditional Chinese characters in Chinese calligraphy because of the artistic conception and symmetric structure that has developed over a few thousand years.

Also known as Cursive Calligraphy. ... Sheng Jiao Xu by Chu Suiliang: calligraphy of the Kaishu style The Regular Script, or in Chinese Kaishu (楷書 Pinyin: kǎishū) and Japanese Kaisho, also commonly known as Standard Regular (正楷), is the newest of the Chinese calligraphy styles (peaked at the 7th century), hence most common in modern writings and... Running script (Chinese: 行書, Pinyin: Xíngshū, Japanese: gyōsho) is a semi-cursive style of Chinese calligraphy. ...

Social

  • Many teachers in areas where traditional Chinese characters are used often scold students who use simplified characters, even to the extent of calling them "uneducated". This, in addition to other matters, has enforced a prejudice held by some traditional Chinese character users that traditional Chinese is for the educated, while simplified is for the illiterate, even the barbaric.

The sheer difficulties posed by having two concurrent writing systems, which hinders communications between Mainland China and other regions, are used by both sides of the debate to support their arguments. Translating an entire document written using simplified characters to traditional characters, or vice versa, is not a trivial task. For human translators, some simplified Chinese characters can look vastly different from their traditional counterparts to the extent that the two have no signs of simplification and instead appear completely irrelevant to each other (though many other characters are derived systematically). Others claim that it is not difficult for a person educated in one system to become familiarized with the other system quickly through exposure and experience. For computer automated translation, one simplified character may equate to many traditional characters, and vice versa. Some knowledge of the context of the word usage is required for correct mapping; but it has been difficult for computers to work with word usage perfectly. As a result, direct computer mapping from simplified to traditional is not trivial and requires sophisticated programming. (This line of reasoning is used both by traditional Chinese advocates opposed to simplification, and simplified Chinese advocates opposed to the continued use of traditional characters.) The highlighted area in the map is what is commonly known as mainland China. Mainland China (Simplified Chinese: ; Traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: is a geopolitical term which is usually synonymous with the area currently administered by the Peoples Republic of China (PRC); however, it excludes the two special administrative regions...


In addition to those practical considerations, many minds link simplified characters with the idea of communism and traditional characters with anticommunism or at least "non-communism". Thus the political implications and affiliations of the writing systems are seen by some as the emotional impetus for the debate. This view interprets most of the back-and-forth debate on the merits of the system, ultimately, as rationalizations. Communism is an ideology that seeks to establish a classless, stateless social organization based on common ownership of the means of production. ... Anti-communism is opposition to communist ideology, organization, or government, on either a theoretical or practical level. ...


Indeed, the rationale for the simplified form of some characters is hard to trace. Many members of the Committee for Language Reform were purged in the Anti-Rightist Movement or the Cultural Revolution. They had no mandate to consult the broader Chinese academic community. Their personal notes, and the discussion behind this innovation in an ancient language, are lost. The Anti-Rightist Movement (反右派运动)) of the Peoples Republic of China in the 1950s and early 1960s consisted of a series of campaigns to purge alleged rightists within the Communist Party of China and abroad. ... The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (Simplified Chinese: ; Traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: ; literally Proletarian Cultural Great Revolution; often abbreviated to 文化大革命 wénhuà dà gémìng, literally Great Cultural Revolution, or even simpler, to 文革 wéngé, Cultural Revolution) in the Peoples Republic of China was a struggle for power within the...


Another perspective on the emotional investment in the debate follows a similar issue with computer programming languages: people skilled in any particular language system derive more value from their pre-existing learning investment when more people use and produce works in the language. This provides a selfish motivation for people to encourage others to learn what they already have learned regardless of the details of the system, for the system's details are irrelevant in the face the value of compatibility. Programming language debates have argued over the use of GOTOs, the use of object orientation, and compilation versus interpretation that are sometimes seen later as having been largely pointless or overwhelmingly in favor of one side or the other (see History of programming languages). The basic message of this interpretation is that, as long as there are more than one language, languages will be fiercely promoted and debated no matter what the relative merits of their details are. Structured programming can be seen as a subset or subdiscipline of procedural programming, one of the major programming paradigms. ... Object-oriented programming (OOP) is a programming paradigm that uses objects to design applications and computer programs. ... This article is about the computing term. ... In computer programming, an interpreted language is a programming language whose programs may be executed from source form, by an interpreter. ... It has been suggested that the section History from the article Programming language be merged into this article or section. ...


Computer encoding

In computer text applications, the GB encoding scheme most often renders simplified Chinese characters, while Big5 most often renders traditional characters. Although neither encoding has an explicit connection with a specific character set, the lack of a one-to-one mapping between the simplified and traditional sets established a de facto linkage. Guobiao code is a collective term of the national standard encoding of the Peoples Republic of China. ... Big-5 or Big5 is a character encoding method used in Taiwan (Republic of China) and Hong Kong for Traditional Chinese characters. ... De facto is a Latin expression that means in fact or in practice. It is commonly used as opposed to de jure (meaning by law) when referring to matters of law or governance or technique (such as standards), that are found in the common experience as created or developed without...


Since simplified Chinese conflated many characters into one and since the initial version of the GB encoding scheme, known as GB2312-80, contained only one code point for each character, it is impossible to use GB2312 to map to the bigger set of traditional characters. It is theoretically possible to use Big5 code to map to the smaller set of simplified character glyphs, although there is little market for such a product. Newer and alternative forms of GB have support for traditional characters. In particular, mainland authorities have now established GB 18030 as the official encoding standard for use in all mainland software publications. The encoding contains all East Asian characters included in Unicode 3.0. As such, GB 18030 encoding contains both simplified and traditional characters found in Big-5 and GB, as well as all characters found in Japanese and Korean encodings. Guobiao code is a collective term of the national standard encoding of the Peoples Republic of China. ... GB2312 is the registered internet name for a key official character set of the Peoples Republic of China, used for simplified Chinese characters. ... GB2312 is the registered internet name for a key official character set of the Peoples Republic of China, used for simplified Chinese characters. ... GB18030 is the registered internet name for the official character set of the Peoples Republic of China. ... East Asia is a subregion of Asia. ... Unicode is an industry standard designed to allow text and symbols from all of the writing systems of the world to be consistently represented and manipulated by computers. ...


Unicode deals with the issue of simplified and traditional characters as part of the project of Han unification by including code points for each. This was rendered necessary by the fact that the linkage between simplified characters and traditional characters is not one-to-one. While this means that a Unicode system can display both simplified and traditional characters, it also means that different localization files are needed for each type. Unicode is an industry standard designed to allow text and symbols from all of the writing systems of the world to be consistently represented and manipulated by computers. ... Han unification is the process used by the authors of Unicode and the Universal Character Set to map multiple character sets of the CJK languages into a single set of unified characters. ... In computing, locale is a set of parameters that defines the users language, country and any special variant preferences that the user wants to see in their user interface. ...


The Chinese characters used in modern Japanese have also undergone simplification, but generally to a lesser extent than with simplified Chinese. Reconciling these different character sets in Unicode became part of the controversial process of Han unification. Not surprisingly, some of the Chinese characters used in Japan are neither 'traditional' nor 'simplified'. In this case, these characters cannot be found in traditional/simplified Chinese dictionaries. Unicode is an industry standard designed to allow text and symbols from all of the writing systems of the world to be consistently represented and manipulated by computers. ... Han unification is the process used by the authors of Unicode and the Universal Character Set to map multiple character sets of the CJK languages into a single set of unified characters. ...


Web pages

The World Wide Web Consortium recommends use of the zh-Hans language attribute value and Content-Language value to specify web pages contents in simplified Chinese characters.[3] The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is the main international standards organization for the World Wide Web (W3). ...


See also

漢字 / 汉字 Chinese character in Hànzì, Kanji, Hanja, Hán Tự. Red in Simplified Chinese. ... Outline of the character 永, showing stroke order. ... Shinjitai (in Shinjitai: ; in Kyūjitai: 新字體; meaning new character form), are the forms of Kanji used in Japan since the promulgation of the Tōyō Kanji List in 1946. ...

External links

  • http://www.sungwh.freeserve.co.uk/hanzi/index.html
  • The Pitfalls and Complexities of Chinese to Chinese Conversion
  • a list of non-trivial simplified characters (and their traditional forms)
  • The 3,000 most common Chinese characters
This article contains Chinese text.
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  Results from FactBites:
 
Simplified Chinese characters (191 words)
Simplified Chinese) was officially adopted in the People's Republic of China in 1949 in an effort to eradicate illiteracy.
The simplified script is also used in Singapore but the older traditional characters are still used in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau and Malaysia.
About 2,000 characters have been simplified in a number of different ways (the simplified characters are shown in red):
Simplified Chinese character - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2322 words)
Simplified Chinese characters (Simplified Chinese: 简体字; Traditional Chinese: 簡體字; pinyin: jiǎntǐzì; also called 简化字/簡化字, jiǎnhuàzì) are one of two standard character sets of printed contemporary Chinese written language.
Simplified Chinese characters are the Chinese characters officially simplified by the government of the People's Republic of China in an attempt to promote literacy.
Since simplified Chinese conflated many characters into one and since the initial version of GB, known as GB 2312-80 contained only one code point for each character, it is impossible to use GB 2312-80 to map to the bigger set of traditional characters.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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