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!


rypervenche Posted in 簡化

So that last post irked me a little bit. 風. Let’s take a look at it.

風 is comprised of 凡(fán, all) and 虫(chóng, insect). It seems to be slightly disputed on its etymology, but both make sense. One way views 凡 as the phonetic component and 虫 is its semantic component; think bugs flying in the wind 😉 . Another is just that, 凡 as a sail with 虫 flying in the wind. Regardless, it has some sense and most agree that 凡 is the phonetic component.


Now let’s take a look at the simplified version.

So what do we have here? 几(jī, table) and 㐅(wǔ, five). This㐅 is the archaic form of 五. So now this character has no meaning, it makes no sense. Five inside table? We might as well make up anything we like. There is no point in keeping the shape if it has lost its meaning. A few squiggly lines would portray more meaning to what wind is than this.

While it is easy to write and remember, if all the Chinese characters were made up like this, the language would be a difficult one and would not last for centuries as it has before.


rypervenche Posted in 簡化

Here is a character that I initially had trouble remembering, but after learning its etymology I have never forgotten it.

This beautiful character is a 會意.

For fun let’s look at 小篆 version. (These are real versions of the characters scanned from the 說文解字 if I’m not mistaken, except for 宀 because I couldn’t be arsed to crop it out of a normal character)

So what does all of this mean? 宀 means roof, 心 means heart, 皿 means plate, 丂 here is something like 示(alter). Over time the 丂 changed to 丁. So where heart in is the home (under the roof), and where food is on the table/alter is where it is peaceful or serene. And that is the meaning of this character, serenity, peace; peaceful.

It makes perfect sense.

Now let’s take a look at the simplified version of this character.

So all of the meaning has been stripped from this 會意, and it remains nothing more than 2 graphemes, one on top of the other. One could go so far as to say that it is now a 形聲, however, the fact that 丁 rhymes with 寧 is a lucky coincidence and no dictionary would call it so.

So while you do remove 9 strokes, you also remove the meaning of the character. If you are THAT worried about the number of strokes, then why not remove the Chinese characters altogether and make the written language an alphabet?


But wait! there’s more! 宁 is actually another character entirely! 宁(zhù) means “to store”. So now we have one character with two meanings in simplified Chinese and even more confusion. *sadface*