China Education Department to Revise 44 Chinese Characters Causes Debate

| August 20th, 2009

20090819-characters-change-01

[Netease] A few days ago China Education Department published “General Standard Chinese Characters Table”, a draft for reviews and feedbacks by the general public intended to revise 44 Chinese Characters, also restored 51 variant characters. Review period begins on the 12th ends on the 31st of this month. This news resulted controversy debates. Yesterday according to the internet survey about 80% of netizens are against the change.

The following is the summary of the changes

1. “琴、瑟、琵、琶” in these 4 characters the top left corner “王”the last stoke of the horizontal line becomes a line slanted upwards.

2. “魅” right side and “籴、汆、褰、衾” bottom part the last right-falling stoke becomes a dot.

3. “巽(撰、馔、噀)” the Left top part “巳” the last upward hook stroke becomes just a upward stroke.

4. “亲(榇同)、杀(刹、脎、铩、弑)、条(涤、绦、鲦)、茶(搽)、新(薪)、杂、寨” The bottom of these characters turns into “木”, the hook stroke changed into just a straight down stroke.

5. “恿” “瞥(弊、憋)” Top part of the characters will no longer have the hook stroke.

6. 蓐、溽、缛、褥、耨、薅” and “辱, 唇,蜃” The half enclosed composition changed into top and bottom composition.

7. “毂” Left bottom part “车” adds a short horizontal stroke.

Ministry of Education web site announced yesterday explained that the “General Standard Chinese Characters Table” according to the rules of Song typeface, a standard typeface, reviewed 8300 characters amount them 44 characters are revised, they are only 0.57% of total characters in the “Common Chinese Character Printing table”.

Education department thinks “small changes will not affect people’s life much”

At present, the standard Chinese characters used in the standard font is released in 1965, “Common Chinese Character Print Table. Due to historical reasons, the overall version of this set is identical with the Song typeface. However there are still some inconsistencies. In the pre-computer age, most printing are done with the copper mold, these traces of difference are not easily detected visually. But when we entered the “computer age”, the inconsistencies are more visible. (I can imagine this could be a problem for searching)

Yesterday, deputy director of the national language committees, the Ministry of Education Secretary Li Yuming (李宇明) in a telephone interview said that the small change is really fine-tuning the writing habits from the past. He stressed that the small changes will not have much impact on people’s lives, it is mainly for standardize printing.

How do the netizens think about this? Survey says, 87.14% oppose, think it is purely “toying with common people”. Only 2.69% agree, think that it is reasonable. The other 7.29% have the “wait and see” attitude, but “hope the government think it through”, and another 2.88% do not care, “we all uses the computer now days anyway”.

1 Comment | Leave a comment | Comment feed

  1. Jamie Deely says:

    But wanna comment on few general things, The website style is perfect, the written content is really fantastic : D.

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