The inconsistency of the 又 simplification

rypervenche Posted in 簡化

We have seen some inconsistencies in the simplification process in previous posts. Today we are going to look at characters whose parts were simplified to 又. 又(you4) is a character that already exists in the traditional script. In addition to this, 又 is already used as a character component, e.g., 友.


Here is an incomplete list of such simplifications.

 1) 堇 was simplified to 又.

又_漢(You may ignore the difference in how 堇 looks from the actual characters. It is actually the same character, it has just been written differently over time.)



 2) 雚 was simplified to 又.



 3) 壴 was simplified to 又.



4) 堇 was simplified to 又.

又_僅(Different from #1 above)


5) 䖒 was simplified to 又.



6) 睪 was simplified to 又.



7) 奚 was simplified to 又.



8) 登 was simplified to 又.



9) 鳳 was simplified to 凤.



10) 攴 (often looks like 攵 when on the right) was simplified to 又.



11) 對 was simplified to 对.



 12) Some characters with repeated parts had the bottom half converted to 又.



13) Some characters had entire sections changed to 又.



As you can see, there is a lot of inconsistency here. Again, this is not a complete list, these are just some of the ones that I know of and was able to find. With all of these variations, I believe  it makes it more difficult to remember a character’s etymology and how it should be pronounced.


Happy learning!

Learning from your phone, pt. 2

rypervenche Posted in 字彙

So here’s another screenshot that we can use to grab some simple vocabulary. This image was taken from the “Attach” button when sending an SMS message on my Android phone.

 attachmentClick to enlarge

Here’s our breakdown:


附加: Attach/Additional

附 here means “to attach” and 加 means “to add”. The noun that you will probably see with this is 附件 “attachment”.


圖片: Picture

Pronounced tu2 pian4. 圖 is a “picture” or “diagram”. 片 has many meanings, but the most common is a “slice” or “sheet”. Some fun words with this character in it are 圖書館 “library”, 地圖 “map”, and 繪圖 “to draw”.


擷取圖片: Capture picture

TW pron. jie2 qu3. CN pron. xie2 qu3. 擷取 means “to pick; to select; to take; to capture (data); to acquire; to pick up (a signal)”. So here it means “to capture a picture” or “to take a picture”.


影片: Video

Pronounced ying3 pian4. This is the word for a video. There are several words for videos/movies, such as 電影, however this one refers more to a video file or a Youtube video. The 片 gives the image of a slice of a video.


擷取影片: Capture video

This should be self-explanatory if you read the above definitions.


音訊: Audio

This is short for 音效訊息 “audio message” or “audio SMS”. In Taiwan, 訊息 (xun4 xi2) is used for SMS. Note that the TW pronunciation for 息 is xi2 and not xi1. In this context, this option is meant for choosing an already existing audio file.


錄製音訊: Record audio

錄製 here means “to record”. There are other words for “record”, all using 錄. 製 means “to make”. It is a separate character from 制, however both were simplified to 制 in the simplified script. Another way to say “to record audio” is simply 錄音. You will also find that an “audio tape” is 錄音帶, literally “record sound tape/ribbon”.


投影片: Slideshow

投 means “to throw; to cast; to send” and 投影 means “to project” or “a projection”. Adding the 片 or leaving it off does not change the meaning.



attachment_cnClick to enlarge

So here we have the above-mentioned word 附件 meaning “attachment”. 照片 (zhao4 pian4) is used, meaning “photo”. This is more of a picture taken from a camera, whereas 圖片 has more the meaning of “image”, which makes me think of a jpg or gif. 照攝 is used for “to take (a photo)”. I’ve never seen this usage before and it’s not in my main dictionaries so you may wish to speak with a native speaker on the frequency of this word. 音頻 (yin1 pin2) means “audio” or “sound”. 錄音 I mentioned above. 幻燈片 is an interesting one. 幻 (huan4) means “fantasy” and 燈 (deng1) means “lantern”, together they mean “lantern slides”. However 幻燈片 means a “slide” or “transparency” that you might use in a presentation software.

Learning from your phone, pt. 1

rypervenche Posted in 字彙

Learning another language doesn’t have to be all about books and studying. You can learn by having fun or just doing day-to-day activities. Something that most of us use constantly everyday is our phone. If you have a smart phone, you can easily learn very useful vocabulary from it.

Here I’ve got my Android phone’s settings page in both in Mandarin(Taiwan) and in English. For the Mainland Chinese version, see the bottom of the post.


options1Click to enlarge


Here is the breakdown of the above words:


設定: Settings

You’ll see this a lot in computer programs. It even sounds a bit like “setting”, so I find it easy to remember. You may also see 選項 for “options” in its place.


無線: Wireless

This is the word for wireless. Its 無 meaning “without” and 線, which means “wire; line”.


與: And

This is a formal/literal way of saying “and”. You may also see another formal/literal way to say “and” as 及. The spoken equivalent is 和.


網路 (CN 網絡): Network

The first character here means “web”. 路 means “path; route”. Note that the Chinese version of this word uses 絡, which has a different radical. 絡 means “net-like”.


關閉: Close/Off

This normally means “close”, however here it can be used to mean “off”. The opposite of this is 開啟, which means “to open” or “on” in this case.


藍牙: Bluetooth

Literally “blue” and then “tooth”. Sinophone countries will sometimes translate technical jargon word-for-word into Chinese.


資料: Data/Resource


用量: Usage

Literally “use amount”.


更多: More

This is pronounced geng4 duo1. Its literal meaning is something like “more many”.


內容: Content

While this is not a word that we use a whole lot in English, I find it all over the place in Chinese. Its literal meaning is “inside contain”


音效: Sound

Literally, “sound effect”. In computer programs this usually translates to simply “sound”.


顯示: To show


儲存: Storage; to store; to save

In Taiwan, the first character is pronounced chu2, whereas in Mainland China, it is pronounced chu3. You will find this used in programs and video games when you want to “save” your file or your game. Very useful for us nerds 🙂


空間: Space

Pronounced kong1 jian1. Literally means “empty room” or “empty space”. This is used for both the “area” meaning as well as the “outer space” meaning of the word.


電池: Battery

Literally “electric pond”. It’s interesting to think of a battery as an electric reservoir.


應用: Application; to apply; to use

Pronounced ying4 yong4. This can be used alone to mean a computer application, however, especially in Taiwan, I find it used with the next two characters most often.


程式: Program

This can be a form, pattern, or formula as well. I usually find it used as “program”.


If you have a smart phone and are familiar with its settings, I challenge you to put it into Chinese and start learning the words. It might be overwhelming at first, but start taking the time to look up the words that you don’t know.



options1_cnClick to enlarge

I won’t go too much into this, but there are a few differences in the CN version. 設定 is replaced with 設置. 資料用量 is 流量使用情況 or “rate usage state”. The 內容 is not used for “more”. 聲音 meaning “voice” is used instead of “sound”. Here they used 存儲 instead of 儲存, same meaning. And lastly, they did not explicitly say “application program” but rather “application”.