SIMPLIFIED CHINESE CHARACTERS (简化字; jiǎnhuàzì) are
Simplified character forms were created by reducing the number of strokes and simplifying the forms of a sizable proportion of Chinese characters. Some simplifications were based on popular cursive forms embodying graphic or phonetic simplifications of the traditional forms. Some characters were simplified by applying regular rules, for example, by replacing all occurrences of a certain component with a simplified version of the component. Variant characters with the same pronunciation and identical meaning were reduced to a single standardized character, usually the simplest amongst all variants in form. Finally, many characters were left untouched by simplification, and are thus identical between the traditional and simplified Chinese orthographies.
Some simplified characters are very dissimilar to and unpredictably different from traditional characters, especially in those where a component is replaced by a simple symbol. This often leads opponents not well-versed in the method of simplification to conclude that the 'overall process' of character simplification is arbitrary. In reality, the methods and rules of simplification are few and internally consistent. On the other hand, proponents of simplification often flaunt a few choice simplified characters as ingenious inventions, when in fact these have existed for hundreds of years as ancient variants.
A second round of simplifications was promulgated in 1977, but was later retracted in 1986 for a variety of reasons, largely due to the confusion caused and the unpopularity of the second round simplifications. However, the Chinese government never officially dropped its goal of further simplification in the future.
In August 2009, the PRC began collecting public comments for a
modified list of simplified characters. The new Table of General
* Oracle-bone * Bronze
* Seal (bird-worm * large * small )
* Clerical * Regular
* Semi-cursive * Cursive * Flat brush
* Imitation Song * Ming * Sans-serif
* Strokes (order )
* Radicals * Classification
* Kangxi Dictionary
GRAPHEME -USAGE STANDARDS
* Graphemic variants
* General Standard Characters (PRC)
* Commonly-used Characters (PRC)
* Frequently-used Characters (PRC)
* Traditional characters
* Simplified characters
* (first round * second round )
* Old (Kyūjitai) * New (Shinjitai)
* Differences in Shinjitai and Simplified characters
* Table of Simplified Characters
* Literary and colloquial readings
USE IN PARTICULAR SCRIPTS
* v * t * e
* 1 History
* 1.1 China
* 1.1.1 Before 1949
* 1.1.2 People\'s
Republic of China
* 2 Method of simplification
* 2.1 Structural simplification of characters * 2.2 Derivation based on simplified character components * 2.3 Elimination of variants of the same character * 2.4 Adoption of new standardized character forms * 2.5 Consistency
* 3 Distribution and use
* 4 Education
* 4.4 Chinese as a foreign language
* 4.4.1 Europe * 4.4.2 East Asia * 4.4.3 Southeast Asia
* 5 Computer encoding * 6 Web pages * 7 See also * 8 Notes and references * 9 Further reading * 10 External links
Although most of the simplified
One of the earliest proponents of character simplification was Lubi
Kui , 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
In the 1930s and 1940s, discussions on character simplification took
place within the
People\'s Republic Of China
The PRC issued its first round of official character simplifications in two documents, the first in 1956 and the second in 1964.
Within the PRC, further character simplification became associated
with the leftists of the
There had been simplification initiatives aimed at eradicating
characters entirely and establishing the Hanyu
The officially promulgated version of the List of Commonly Used Standardized Characters , announced in 2013, contained 45 newly recognized standard characters that were previously considered variant forms, as well as official approval of 226 characters that had been simplified by analogy and had seen wide use but were not explicitly given in previous lists or documents.
SINGAPORE AND MALAYSIA
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
Mainland China system; those were removed in the final round in
1976. In 1993,
Traditional characters are still often seen in decorative contexts such as shop signs and calligraphy in both countries.
A small group called Dou Zi Sei (T:導字社; S:导字社)/Dou Zi Wui
(T:導字會; S:导字会) attempted to introduce a special version of
simplified characters using romanizations in the 1930s. Today,
however, the traditional characters remain dominant in
Main article: Shinjitai
World War II
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
METHOD OF SIMPLIFICATION
Structural simplification of characters All characters simplified
this way are enumerated in Chart 1 and Chart 2 in Jianhuazi zong biao
(简化字总表), "Complete List of Simplified Characters" announced
in 1986. Chart 1 lists all 350 characters that are used by themselves,
and can never serve as 'simplified character components'. Chart 2
lists 132 characters that are used by themselves as well as utilized
as simplified character components to further derive other simplified
characters. Chart 2 also lists 14 'components' or 'radicals' that
cannot be used by themselves, but can be generalized for derivation of
more complex characters. Derivation based on simplified character
components Chart 3 lists 1,753 characters which are simplified based
on the same simplification principles used for character components
and radicals in Chart 2. This list is non-exhaustive, so if a
character is not already found in Chart 1, 2 or 3, but can be
simplified in accordance with Chart 2, the character should be
simplified. Elimination of variants of the same character Series One
Organization List of Variant Characters accounts for some of the
orthography difference between
Mainland China on the one hand, and
STRUCTURAL SIMPLIFICATION OF CHARACTERS
All characters simplified this way are enumerated in Chart 1 and Chart 2 in the Complete List of Simplified Characters. Characters in both charts are structurally simplified based on similar set of principles. They are separated into two charts to clearly mark those in Chart 2 as 'usable as simplified character components', based on which Chart 3 is derived.
REPLACING A CHARACTER WITH ANOTHER EXISTING CHARACTER THAT SOUNDS THE SAME OR SIMILAR: 穀 → 谷; 醜 → 丑; 蘋 → 苹; 鬆 → 松; 隻 → 只; 乾、幹 → 干; 髮 → 发; etc.
USING PRINTED FORMS OF CURSIVE SHAPES (草書楷化): 書 → 书; 長 → 长; 當 → 当; 韋 → 韦; 樂 → 乐; 車 → 车;興 → 兴; 發 → 发; 東 → 东; 專 → 专; 過 → 过; 報 → 报; 爾 → 尔; 盡 → 尽; 學 → 学; etc.
REPLACING A COMPONENT OF A CHARACTER WITH A SIMPLE SYMBOL such as 又 and 乂: 對 → 对; 觀 → 观; 歡 → 欢; 難 → 难; 鳳 → 凤; 風 → 风; 這 → 这; 劉 → 刘; etc.
OMITTING ENTIRE COMPONENTS: 廠 → 厂; 廣 → 广; 誇 → 夸; 習 → 习; 寧 → 宁; 滅 → 灭; 親 → 亲; 業 → 业; 鄉 → 乡; 餘 → 余; 氣 → 气; etc.
FURTHER MORPHING A CHARACTER AFTER OMITTING SOME COMPONENTS: 婦 → 妇; 麗 → 丽; 歸 → 归; 顯 → 显; 務 → 务; etc.
PRESERVING THE BASIC OUTLINE OR SHAPE OF THE ORIGINAL CHARACTER 飛 → 飞; 龜→ 龟; 齒 → 齿; 奪 → 夺; 門 → 门; 見 → 见; etc.
REPLACING THE PHONETIC COMPONENT OF PHONO-SEMANTIC COMPOUND CHARACTERS : 鄰 → 邻; 斃 → 毙; 蠟 → 蜡; 鍾/鐘→ 钟; 艦 → 舰; etc.
REPLACING SOME ARBITRARY PART OF A CHARACTER WITH A PHONETIC COMPONENT, turning it into a new phono-semantic compound character: 華 → 华; 憲 → 宪; 歷、曆 → 历; 賓 → 宾; etc.
REPLACING ENTIRE CHARACTER WITH A NEWLY COINED PHONO-SEMANTIC COMPOUND CHARACTER: 護 → 护; 驚 → 惊; 藝 → 艺; 響 → 响; etc.
REMOVING RADICALS FROM CHARACTERS 麼 → 么; 開 → 开; 裡 → 里; 餘 → 余; 關 → 関 → 关; etc.
ONLY RETAINING RADICALS FROM CHARACTERS 廣 → 广; 個 → 个; 親 → 亲; 產 → 产; 類 → 类; 廠 → 厂; 鄉 → 乡; etc.
ADOPTING OBSCURE ANCIENT FORMS OR VARIANTS: 塵 → 尘; 膚 → 肤; 從 → 从; 眾 → 众; 雲 → 云; 網 → 网; 與 → 与; 無 → 无; 電 → 电; etc.
ADOPTING ANCIENT VULGAR VARIANTS: 體 → 体; 國 → 国; 憑 → 凭; 陽 → 阳; 陰 → 阴; etc.
RE-ADOPTING ABANDONED PHONETIC-LOAN CHARACTERS: 餘 → 余; 後 → 后; 裏, 裡 → 里; etc.
MODIFYING A TRADITIONAL CHARACTER TO SIMPLIFY ANOTHER TRADITIONAL CHARACTER: 義 → 义(乂); 發 → 发(友); 龍 → 龙(尤); 無 → 无(天); 頭 → 头(大); 萬 → 万(方); etc.
DERIVATION BASED ON SIMPLIFIED CHARACTER COMPONENTS
Based on 132 characters and 14 components listed in Chart 2 of the Complete List of Simplified Characters, the 1,753 'derived' characters found in the non-exhaustive Chart 3 can be created by systematically simplifying components using Chart 2 as a conversion table. While exercising such derivation, following rules should be observed:
* The "Complete List of Simplified Characters" employs CHARACTER COMPONENTS, not the traditional definition of radicals . A component refers to any conceivable part of a character, regardless of its position within the character, or its relative size compared to other components in the same character. For instance, in the character 摆, not only is 扌 (a traditional radical) considered a component, but so is 罢.
* Each of the 132 simplified characters in Chart 2, when used as a component in compound characters, systematically simplify compound characters in exactly the same way the Chart 2 character itself was simplified. For instance, 單 is simplified in Chart 2 to 单. Based on the same principle, these derivations can be made: 彈 → 弹; 嬋 → 婵; 囅 → 冁; etc. * The 14 simplified components in Chart 2 are never used alone as individual characters. They only serve as components. Example of derived simplification based on the component 𦥯, simplified to 龸, include: 學 → 学; 覺 → 觉; 黌 → 黉; etc.
* Chart 1 collects 352 simplified characters that generally cannot be used as components. Even in rare cases where a Chart 1 character is found as a component in a compound character, the compound character cannot be simplified in the same way. For instance, 習 is simplified in Chart 1 to 习, but 褶 cannot be simplified to 「衤习」. * A character that is already explicitly listed as simplified character in the "Complete List of Simplified Characters" cannot be alternatively simplified based on derivation. For instance, 戰 and 誇 are simplified in Chart 1 to 战 and 夸 respectively, thus they cannot be simplified alternatively by derivation via 单 and 讠 in Chart 2 to 「𢧐」 and 「讠夸」. 過 is simplified in Chart 2 to 过, thus it cannot be alternatively derived via 呙 in Chart 2 as 「𬨨」.
SAMPLE DERIVATIONS: 𦥯 → 龸, thus 學 → 学; 覺 → 觉; 黌 → 黉; etc. 單 → 单, thus 彈 → 弹; 嬋 → 婵; 囅 → 冁; etc. 頁 → 页, thus 顏 → 颜; 頷 → 颔; 順 → 顺; 額 → 额; etc. 專 → 专, thus 傳 → 传; 轉 → 转; 磚 → 砖; etc. 食 → 饣, thus 飯 → 饭; 飽 → 饱; 飼 → 饲; 餃 → 饺; etc.
ELIMINATION OF VARIANTS OF THE SAME CHARACTER
The "Series One Organization List of Variant Characters" reduces the number of total standard characters. First, amongst each set of variant characters sharing identical pronunciation and meaning, one character (usually the simplest in form) is elevated to the standard character set, and the rest are obsoleted. Then amongst the chosen variants, those that appear in the "Complete List of Simplified Characters" are also simplified in character structure accordingly. Some examples follow:
SAMPLE REDUCTION OF EQUIVALENT VARIANTS: 姪 → 侄; 蹤 → 踪; 恆 → 恒; 佇 → 伫; 虖、嘑、謼 → 呼; 夠 → 够 etc.
IN CHOOSING STANDARD CHARACTERS, OFTEN ANCIENT VARIANTS WITH SIMPLE STRUCTURES ARE PREFERRED: 異 → 异; 淚 → 泪; 災、烖、菑 → 灾; etc.
VULGAR FORMS SIMPLER IN STRUCTURE ARE ALSO CHOSEN: 傑 → 杰; 貓 → 猫; 豬 → 猪; 獃、騃 → 呆; etc.
THE CHOSEN VARIANT WAS ALREADY SIMPLIFIED IN CHART 1: 裏 → 裡 → 里; 歎 → 嘆 → 叹; 唘、啓 → 啟 → 启; 鬦、鬪、鬭 → 鬥 → 斗; 厤、暦 → 曆 → 历; 歴 → 歷 → 历; etc.
In some instance, the chosen variant is actually more complex than eliminated ones. This is often taken up by opponents of simplification who are not aware of the dual goals of simplification (i.e. in structure of characters as well as in total number of characters) to decry that simplification does not always simplify characters. An example is the character 搾 which is eliminated in favor of the variant form 榨. Note that the "hand" radical 扌, with three strokes, on the left of the eliminated 搾 is now "seen" as more complex, appearing as the "tree" radical 木, with four strokes, in the chosen variant 榨.
ADOPTION OF NEW STANDARDIZED CHARACTER FORMS
The new standardized character forms started in the "List of
character forms of General Used
THE TRADITIONAL COMPONENT 釆 BECOMES 米: 粵 → 粤; 奧 → 奥; etc.
THE TRADITIONAL COMPONENT 囚 BECOMES 日: 溫 → 温; 媼 → 媪; etc.
THE TRADITIONAL "BREAK" STROKE BECOMES THE "DOT" STROKE: 虛 → 虚; 噓 → 嘘; etc.
THE TRADITIONAL COMPONENTS ⺥ AND 爫 BECOME ⺈: 靜 → 静; 睜 → 睁; etc.
THE TRADITIONAL COMPONENT 奐 BECOMES 奂: 換 → 换; 煥 → 焕; etc.
THE TRADITIONAL COMPONENT 袁 BECOMES 元: 園 → 园; 遠 → 远; etc.
It is a common misconception that the simplification process is arbitrary and not based on consistent rules. These allegations are often made when people 'discover' their own 'principles of simplification' from anecdotal evidence. Note, however, that simplification by derivation must follow the rules mentioned earlier.
An often cited example of the apparent irregularity of simplification involves characters that appear to share the simple symbol 又 used in many simplified characters in Chart 1. Often it is intuited that 又 is a 'character component', after observing 漢 → 汉, 難 → 难, 癱 → 瘫, etc. A student of simplification may infer that the same simplification mechanism also works for 嘆 → 叹 and 灘 → 滩. When observing that 歎 → 叹, 歡 → 欢, 勸 → 劝, 灌 (not simplified) and 罐 (not simplified), one may come to the conclusion that the process of simplification is irregular.
However, in the Complete List of Simplified Characters, 漢 → 汉 appears in Chart 1. 難 → 难 is listed in Chart 2. And 癱 → 瘫 is a derived character found in the non-exhaustive list in Chart 3. Therefore, 难 is defined as a 'simplified character component' according to the standard, while 又 is not. Based on 难, 癱 is simplified to 瘫, and 灘 to 滩.
In the "Series One Organization List of Variant Characters", the variant character 歎 is replaced by 嘆. The character 嘆 is simplified in Chart 1 to 叹. Therefore, 歎 → 叹.
Both 歡 → 欢 and 勸 → 劝 appear in Chart 1. Thus they are not defined as derived characters.
There are no characters or components found in Chart 2 usable for derivation of 灌 and 罐. Further investigation reveals that these two characters do not appear in Chart 1 nor in "Series One Organization List of Variant Characters". Thus they are not defined as simplified characters; they remain unchanged from traditional forms in the "List of Commonly Used Characters in Modern Chinese".
Not all new character forms result in simpler characters (i.e. fewer strokes). For instance, the old form 強, with 11 strokes, now appears as 强, with 12 strokes, in the new form. However, technically, these new character forms do not constitute simplified characters.
Strangely, some characters with the water radical with three dots 氵 in the traditional form were simplified into the ice radical with two dots 冫 in the simplified form. Some examples are 決 → 决, 況 → 况, and 湊 → 凑.
DISTRIBUTION AND USE
The People's Republic of China,
The Law of the
People's Republic of China
As part of the one country, two systems model, the PRC has not
attempted to force
Dictionaries published in mainland China generally show both
simplified and their traditional counterparts. In digital media, many
cultural phenomena imported from
Textbooks, official statements, newspapers, including the PRC-funded media, show no signs of moving to simplified Chinese characters. However, some students may opt to use the simplified form when taking notes or doing test papers to write faster.
It is common for
In all areas, most handwritten text will include informal simplifications (alternative script) which are not the same as the simplifications officially promulgated by the PRC and are often instead influenced by the shinjitai used in Japan. The informal simplification of the first character of "Taiwan" from 臺 to 台 rivals its orthodox form in commonality, even in print and in answers to school exams.
SINGAPORE AND MALAYSIA
In Singapore, where Chinese is one of the official languages, simplified characters are the official standard and used in all official publications as well as government-controlled press. While simplified characters are taught exclusively in schools, the government does not officially discourage the use of traditional characters. While all official publications are in simplified characters, the government still allows parents to choose whether to have their child's Chinese name registered in simplified or traditional characters.
In Malaysia, Chinese is not an official language, but over 90% of ethnic-Chinese students are educated in Chinese schools, which have taught simplified characters since 1981. However, traditional characters are widely used by older generations, and are widespread on signboards, etc. Most of Malaysia's Chinese newspapers compromise by retaining traditional characters in article headlines, but using simplified characters for content.
As there is no restriction of the use of traditional characters in
the mass media, television programmes, books, magazines and music CD's
that have been imported from
In general, schools in Mainland China,
In December 2004, Ministry of education authorities rejected a
proposal from a Beijing CPPCC political conference member that called
for elementary schools to teach traditional
Most, if not all,
SINGAPORE AND MALAYSIA
Chinese textbooks in
CHINESE AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE
As the source of many
In places where a particular set is not locally entrenched, e.g., Europe and the United States, instruction is now mostly simplified, as the economic importance of mainland China increases, and also because of the availability of textbooks printed in mainland China. Teachers of international students often recommend learning both systems.
In the United Kingdom, universities mainly teach
Russia and most East European nations are traditionally oriented on the education of the PRC's system for teaching Chinese, which uses simplified characters but exposes the learners to both systems.
In Japan there are two types of schools. Simplified Chinese is taught
instead of traditional Chinese in pro-mainland China schools. They
also teach Pinyin, a romanization system for standard Chinese, while
the Taiwan-oriented schools teach
Zhuyin , which uses phonetic
symbols. However, the Taiwan-oriented schools are starting to teach
simplified Chinese and
Public universities such as the Linguistics and Asian Languages
Department of the University of the
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.
Since simplified Chinese conflated many characters into one and since
the initial version of the GB encoding scheme , known as
contained only one code point for each character, it is impossible to
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
GB 18030 as the official encoding standard for use in all
mainland software publications. The encoding contains all East Asian
characters included in
World Wide Web Consortium
NOTES AND REFERENCES
* ^ Refer to official publications: zh:汉字简化方案,
* ^ 教育部就《汉字简化方案》等发布 50
周年答记者提问 Semi-centennial celebration of the publication
of Chinese Character Simplification Plan and official press
* ^ 書同文
Detailed account of the Chinese simplification effort.
* ^ Examples of characters where a component is replaced by a
simple symbol include:
* ^ A B In his book, 彭小明 fails to understand that 又 is not
used as a simplified component (簡化偏旁 or 简化偏方), thus
deriding the 'supposedly inconsistent application' of 又 in 欢, 汉,
仅, etc. The author also misrepresents the rationale behind the
simplification of 團, as well as cursive-based simplifications. See
zh:簡化字#簡化方法 and explanations in original, official
papers such as 简化字总表.
* ^ See zh:簡化字#簡化方法
* ^ In '17个角度看到繁简体汉字 (经济观察网)' (part1
and part2), for instance, the scholar 裴钰 praises the simplified
character 体 as an ingenious new invention, when in fact it has
existed for hundreds of years (see 康熙字典「体」).
* ^ "Simplified Chinese characters". www.omniglot.com. Retrieved
* ^ 关于《通用规范汉字表》公开征求意见的公告.
Page about the list at the State Language Commission's website,
including a link to a pdf of the list. Accessed 2009.08.18.
* ^ 汉字，该繁还是简？. Syndicated from 人民日报
(People's Daily), 2009-04-09. Accessed 2009.04.10.
* ^ 专家称恢复繁体字代价太大
新规范汉字表将公布 Syndicated from 新京报, 2009-04-09.
* ^ China to regulate use of simplified characters_English_Xinhua.
News.xinhuanet.com (2009-08-12). Retrieved on 2013-07-21.
* ^ 国务院关于公布《通用规范汉字表》的通知
* ^ Yen, Yuehping. (2005). Calligraphy and Power in Contemporary
Chinese Society. Routledge. ISBN 0-415-31753-3
* ^ 简化字的昨天、今天和明天
* ^ "China to regulate use of simplified characters", China View,
August 12, 2009. Accessed 2009-08-17.
* ^ "《通用规范汉字表》44个汉字"整形"引发争论".
* ^ All examples listed here are sourced from
简化字#字型結構簡化#簡化方法 where all entries are
associated with proper references.
* ^ A B This is very similar to the 'elimination of variants of the
same character' in "Series One Organization List of Variant
Characters", except that these eliminations happen in Chart 1 and
Chart 2 of "Complete List of Simplified Characters". Characters
simplified in Chart 2 can be further used for derivation of Chart 3,
but those chosen in "Series One Organization List of Variant
* ^ 基測作文 俗體字不扣分，蘋果日報，April 12th,
* ^ Shih, Hsiu-chuan (14 December 2010). "Premier respects
\'choice\' on spelling". Taipei Times. Retrieved 8 January 2015.
* ^ 新加坡汉字规范的回顾与前瞻，谢世涯，華語橋
* ^ Xing, Janet Zhiqun (2006). Teaching and Learning Chinese as a
Foreign Language: A Pedagogical Grammar.
* ^ Norden, Bryan W. Van (2011). Introduction to Classical Chinese
Philosophy. Hackett Publishing . p. 242. ISBN 9781603846158 . Most
* t * e
Types of writing systems
* Writing systems
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* Chinook writing
* Ersu Shaba
New Epoch Notation Painting
CHINESE FAMILY OF SCRIPTS
* Simplified * Traditional * Oracle bone script * Bronze Script
* large * small * bird-worm
* Jurchen * Khitan large script * Sui * Tangut
* Akkadian * Assyrian * Elamite * Hittite * Luwian * Sumerian
* Anatolian * Bagam * Cretan * Isthmian * Maya * Proto-Elamite * Yi (Classical)
* Hindu-Arabic * Abjad * Attic (Greek) * Muisca * Roman
* Celtiberian * Northeastern Iberian * Southeastern Iberian * Khom
* v * t * e
French-ordered scripts (see for more)
* Albanian * Amharic * Arabic * Armenian * Azerbaijani * Belarusian
* Japanese * Korean * Two-Cell Chinese
SYMBOLS IN BRAILLE
OTHER TACTILE ALPHABETS
* v * t * e
Electronic writing systems
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