繁體简体字优劣表; Good / Bad Chinese Simplified Characters

By Xah Lee. Date: .

This page lists some simplified Chinese chars that i consider good or bad.

The Good

The following are based on older forms, getting rid of redundancy or making it more logical.

氣=气

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殺=杀

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雲=云

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淚=泪

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為=为 This is good because it's a abstract word. The traditional form makes no sense at all, especially with the misleading radical that's related to cooking.

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not sure

麗=丽

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聽=听

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響=响

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麼=么

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The Bad

random garbage simplications

穀=谷. 穀 is simplified to 谷, a very bad simplification. The rational for this simplification seems purely sound-based. The 2 character's meaning has nothing in common. 谷 means {valley, ravine, gorge}, while 穀 means {grain, cereal}.

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葉=叶 This is one of the worst. Losing the grass radical, and adding a mouth radical. No added merit such as phonetic parts or ideographic morphology. It's a complete abomination.

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夢=梦 Losing the grass radical is good, but the new char's radical of wood 木 is not so good. Better would be simply removing the grass radical.

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關=关 This one, the new char does not make sense at all. It would be better to leave it as 门+关.

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壞=坏

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劃=划

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寧=宁

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農=农

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聖=圣

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鄧=邓

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啟=启

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聲=声

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興=兴

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豐=丰

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適=适. e.g. “适用”; “能防止食用后不适”

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TODO

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Chinese 灵=靈; What's a Good Simplification?

灵=靈

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This is another one-off simplification. I'd like to call it a abomination, a botched job, a bad simplification, as usual, but wait….

How do we define what's a good simplification and what's a bad one? Intuitively, to me, a good simplification is one that's derived from one or more of the following:

However, chinese chars, as ideographs, really isn't consistent or based on any system of char formation. Many complex chars simply cannot be simplified based on one of the above methods. The char seems to be a good example. So, if you want to simplify this char, you essentially have to invent a new char. Thus, it doesn't seem reasonable to consider all such simplifications as bad ones.

To a chinese person new to simplified char, the char 灵 may seem just too weird, thus a abomination, but only because it's new to you. To judge in more detail whether a simplification is well done, we have to go a bit deeper. For this char 灵, it's hard to say whether it is done right. I think, ultimately, you have to come up with a set of criterion (a yardstick) but there isn't really a absolute ultimate guide for a metric because chinese char's randomish nature.


Abomination of Chinese Simplified Character 讲=講

讲=講

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台湾人谈大陆汉字改革: “汉字简化后,親不见,愛无心,產不生,厰空空,麵无麦,運无车,導无道,兒无首,飛单翼,有雲无雨,開関无门,鄉里无郎。 魔仍是魔,鬼还是鬼,偷还是偷,骗还是骗,贪还是贪,毒还是毒,黑还是黑,赌还是赌,贼仍是贼!"

“汉字简化后,党内无黑,团中有才,国含宝玉,爱因友存,美还是美,善还是善,虽丑无鬼,只不过台无吉,湾无言 穷不躬,权不佳,党不黑,巩不革。车不行田,坚不称臣。无鹿亦能丽,无巫亦能灵,无水亦能灭,无火亦能劳,无曲亦能礼,无手亦能击。办事左右不辛苦,垦荒何必靠豺狼。心中无鬼不称丑,以人为本可生财。天时岂能囚山寺,人杰不可作夏桀。不做白日飞升梦,手中粮多不用量。”