May 30, 2020

Are Simplified Chinese Characters really that new?



I often hear people say that Simplified Chinese Characters are ugly, artificial, sometimes people even say they 'destroy the Chinese culture'. Many complain about this because they feel that Simplified characters were created artificially to drastically simplify what we call Traditional Chinese Characters today and that the simplification process detached these characters from their historical roots.

What is probably not very well known is that a lot of what we call Traditional Characters today was replaced by characters that are very old themselves (maybe characters with different meanings than the characters they replaced, but very old characters nevertheless), or alternative/older versions of the "Traditional" characters in question. In either case, these "Simplified" Characters existed for a very long time in history (often at least for 2500 years as we have historical texts dating back to this time with these characters appearing in them) and weren't created ad hoc in the simplification process in the 20th century.

A few of the older examples:

於/于(于 used already already in 詩經)

豐/丰(丰 mentioned already in 詩經)

幾/几(几 used already already in 詩經)

裡/里(里 used already already in 論語)

後/后(后 used already already in 論語)

與/与(与 mentioned already in 說文解字)

從/从(从 mentioned already in 說文解字)

蟲/虫(虫 mentioned already in 孔子家語)

廠/厂(厂 mentioned already in 說文解字)

醜/丑 (丑 mentioned already in 孟子)

鬥/斗(斗 mentioned already in 論語)

兒/儿(儿 mentioned already in 說文解字)

廣/广(广 mentioned already in 說文解字)

乾/幹/干(干 mentioned already in 論語)

穀/谷(谷 mentioned already in 詩經)

號/号(号 mentioned already in 說文解字)

鬍/胡(胡 mentioned already in 詩經)

瞭/了(了 mentioned already in 說文解字)

術/术(术 mentioned already in 說文解字)

臺/台(台 mentioned already in 詩經)

聽/听(听 mentioned already in 說文解字)

萬/万(万 mentioned already in 韓非子)

繫/系(系 mentioned already in 禮記)

隻/衹/只(只 mentioned already in 禮記)

錶/表(表 mentioned already in 禮記)

Few of the more recent examples, but still older than the Simplification process in the 20th century:

個/个

種/种

2 comments:

  1. Vladim Muito interessante o artigo espero que você volte a gravar videos seu conteúdo é muito bom

    ReplyDelete