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The Humors of the Simplified Chinese Characters and the Complex Ones

We often complain that people around us gradually lose the tradition and become care less about the traditional Chinese culture. As a matter of fact, we are one of these people. Everyone is losing the awareness of caring the tradition or even making it more serious, but we just didn’t realize it.

What actually makes us walk to the edge of the moral bottom without realizing it? Let’s look at several examples about the two different types of Chinese characters and maybe you will have a new discovery and comprehension. Of course, for those who learn Chinese in China, these examples are good materials.

The first example is “进”, which is simplified from “進”. Originally, the form of “進” tells us the meaning “越走越佳(better)”. After being simplified as “进”, it means “越走越走到’井’里去了”, meaning falling into the well. The learners who study Chinese may feel the meanings are very interesting.

Many characters can show different meaning after being simplified. When foreigners learn Mandarin, they can pay more attention to them if they are interested. “廠” is very full, “尚” means something good and the right part represents people and things. However, the simplified one “厂” is empty inside, indicating the factory becomes empty.

When “輪” of “车輪” is changed into “轮”, the part under the “人” is “匕(dagger)”. It carries the bad meaning of hurting people. So it is easy for those who learn Chinese language in China to think of the more car crash than that of in Hong Kong and Taiwan province, where still remain the complex form and use the original “輪”.

When foreigners start to learn Mandarin in China, they may first learn the character “爱(love)”, which originates from the complex one “愛”. We can see that after simplification, “心(heart)” is gone. Does it mean we no longer love someone with our heart?

It is the same sense for the two characters “親” and “亲”. Originally, it is made up of “亲” and “见”, carrying the meaning of getting together when we have kinship. But when the “见” is gone, the love and kinship also gone. Is that the reason that many people became heartless and careless about their parents? The foreigners who learn to speak Chinese may be more curious about the traditional characters after learning these interesting characters.

In ancient China, “義(righteousness)” is very important in people’s life. The upper part is a tame and kind sheep “羊”. What’s more, the mutton is delicious and nutritious and often used to sacrifice the Heaven and Earth and Deity. The simple one is just a meaningless cross and a dot. Students interested in learning Mandarin Chinese may find that the two strokes are inclined, so the real “righteousness” has been changed wrongly.

Another character learners who study in China should know is “戀”, later simplified as “恋”. Obviously, we can see from the original one that in ancient time people tied the heart of the loved ones. The middle “言” means the sweet words. It tells us that no matter how busy you are, you should speak some sugared words to you lover. However, the simple one become meaningless even there is a “心”. People in modern society do not concentrated on their love and men keep mistress and so on.

Besides all mentioned above, students at Chinese school in China may find it is also reflected in some words. “无尖不商” is a typical one. In ancient China, it means when you do business with others, you should offer the enough quantity even more. The character “尖” means “very full”. In whole, the word indicating the morality and principle business man should obey. However, it is written and spoken as “无奸不商”, meaning the businessmen are all cunning and fake goods are everywhere.

Another one is “无度不丈夫”, implying the real man should has broad mind and be able to tolerate and forgive everything. However, the meaning is totally changed when it becomes无毒不丈夫”, meaning people should be cruel if they want to be the real man.

This kind of characters and words are often seen in our daily life, if students pay more attention to it, they will find more as materials to learn Chinese.

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