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Chinese Language and Script
The Simplification of Chinese Characters (hanzi jianhua 漢字簡化)


shortened to
shortened to
shortened to
shortened to
shortened to
Table 1: Examples for the simplification
from large seal script
to small seal script
There was always the tendendy to abbreviate or to simplify Chinese characters. One early example of simplification is the difference between the so-called large seal script (zhoushu 籀書 or dazhuan 大篆) and the small seal script (xiaozhuan 小篆). In reality, large seal script characters were not necessarily more complex, and not all characters have both variants. Some examples of this type of simplification are to be seen in Table 1 (the shape of the large seal script characters is a hypothetical transformation into standard script, like it would be written if the complex form would have been retained in the standard script, see writing styles).
A second example of early simplification is the shift from the smaller seal script, which was during the late Warring States and Qin periods used for official inscriptions often carved into the base material, to the chancery script (lishu 隸屬) which was written with the brush on bamboo slips and later on paper. In chancery script characters, semantic or signific parts are abbreviated as well as phonetic parts (see Table 2).
In daily use, characters were also often abbreviated to so-called "vernacular characters" (sutizi 俗體字 or suzi 俗字). In earlier times, the terms poti 破體 "crushed shapes" or xiaoxie 小寫 "smaller writing" were used to refer to simplified forms of characters.
Most commonly, the term "simplification of characters" refers to the script reform that begun in the Republican period (1911-1949) and that systematically abbreviated parts of characters or characters as a whole. There are also some characters given up and replaced by others pronounced in the same way or similarly. Another simplification relates to the counting of "brush strokes" and reduces the number of strokes without actually altering the shape of the character in most cases. The traditional characters are referred to as "complex characters" (fantizi 繁體字), the abbreviated characters as "simplified characters" (jiantizi 簡體字). Because the traditional characters are often seen as the proper shapes, they are also sometimes called "correct characers" (zhengtizi 正體字).
水 shortened to 氵
(like 江 instead of )
辵 shortened to 辶
(like 退 instead of )
shortened to
shortened to
shortened to
shortened to
shortened to
shortened to
shortened to
shortened to
Table 2: Examples for the simplification
from small seal script
(here transformed into theoretical forms
of standard script characters)
to standard chancery script
The first proposal to create an officially adapted form of simplified characters was made in 1909 by the scholar Lu Feiku 陸費逵 in his essay Putong jiaoyu yingdang caiyong sutizi 普通教育應當採用俗體子 "For a widespread education it is necessary to use the popular form of characters" which appeared in the journal Jiaoyu zazhi 教育雜誌. In 1921 he again stressed the need to revise all Chinese characters in his essay Zhengli hanzi de yijian 整理漢字的意見. He suggested adapting 2,000 popular characters as well as reducing the stroke number of characters by either using popular forms or to "invent" a shortened form. A year later, Qian Xuantong 錢玄同 presented a list of stroke-reduced characters to the Committee for the creation of a standard national language (Guoyu tongyi choubei weiyuanhui 國語統一籌備委員會). The list had been created by Lu Ji 陸基, Li Jinxi 黎錦熙 and Yang Shuda 楊樹達. Their argument was that script is a tool for practical use and had to be as convenient as possible to serve the users to their needs. Their concept included the following ways of abbreviation:
  1. Abbreviation of whole complex characters while preserving the general structure, like 龜 to 龟
  2. Use of grass script forms, like 為 to 为
  3. Eliminating parts of a charater, like 聲 to 声
  4. Abbreviating parts of a character, like 觀 to 观
  5. Use of archaic forms, like 雲 to 云
  6. Simplifying the phonetic part of characters by replacing them with a simpler phonetic, like 燈 [phonetic 登 deng] to 灯 [phonetic 丁 ding]
  7. Invention of new abbreviations, often with new phonetic like 響 to 响
  8. Fusion with simpler characters with the same or a similar pronunciation, like 幾 "a bit" to 几 "table"
These rules have later been adopted by the People's Republic.
In 1928, Hu Huaichen 胡懷琛 published his book Jianyizi shuo 簡易字說 "Explanation to simplified characters" that includes 9 different types of abbreviated characters. The 300 simplified characters he presents include also earlier Japanese simplifications as well as phonetic transcriptions. The Historical Linguistic Department (Lishi yuyan yanjiusuo 歷史語言研究所) of the Academia Sinica (Zhongyang yanjiuyuan 中央研究院) published in 1930 a book about character simplification in history, the Song-Yuan yilai suzi pu 宋元以來俗字譜 "A list of popular characters since the Song and Yuan periods", written by Liu Fu 劉復 and Li Jiaduan 李家端. It includes more than 1,600 abbreviated characters. In the same year, Zhuo Dingmou 卓定謀 published the Zhangcaokao 章草考, listing 3,000 characters used in the grass script. The first official publication on the issue of character simplification was the Guoyin changyong zihui 國音常用字彙 "Lexicon of often-used characters according to the National language", published in 1932. Two years later the Service Centre of the National Library (Zhongguo tushuguan fuwushe 中國圖書館服務社) published a list of 353 standard simplified characters, the Jianzi biaozhun zibiao 簡字標準字表. Xu Zemin 徐則敏 published an inofficial list of 550 popular characters in the half-monthly periodical Lunyu banyuekan 論語半月刊. The second official list of simplified characters came out in 1935, including 2,400 characters. In Shanghai, Chen Wangdao 陳望道 founded a group selecting 300 conventional characters, the so-called shoutouzi 手頭字 "characters for hand-writing". He was supported by a conference and several journals advocating the use of simplified characters. The national government therefore issued a list of 324 simplified characters that were mainly based on the earlier draft by Qian Xuetong, but this list was revoked a year later. Meanwhile, a lot of scholarly institutions published more books espousing the use of a simplified script, like Rong Geng's 容庚 list of 4,445 characters (1936) based on the grass script, Chen Guangyao's 陳光堯 list of 3,150 characters (1936), also to a large part derived from grass script forms, or the list of 1,700 characters published in 1937 by the Beiping Academy 北京研究院 in Beijing (at that time called Beiping). The war with Japan, beginning in 1937, interrupted all academic work in this field. Today, communist historiographers claim that simplified characters were promoted in the areas occupied by the Communist Party and their troops, but documents of that time and the first years of the People's Republic demonstrate that traditional characters were also still in use by the Communist Party.
Systematic work to develop a valid pattern of character simplification was begun in 1950. The characters issued as standard simplified forms were not invented by scholars under the Communist Party but were to a large extent based on the many earlier attempts during the Republican era. The Communists thus harvested the results of earlier efforts. A first list of 555 simplified characters was issued in 1951 (Di yi pi jiantizi biao 第一批簡體字表). In February 1952, a Research committee for a reform of Chinese characters (Zhongguo wenzi gaige yanjiu weiyuanhui 中國文字改革研究委員會) was established. The result of this work was a draft for a procedure of characters simplification (Hanzi jianhua fang'an 漢字簡化方案). The plan consisted of three parts. The first part contained a list of 798 characters to be simplified, the second part 400 character variants (yitizi 異體字) to be abolished, and the third part included parts of characters (pianpang 偏旁) that were regularly to be abbreviated. This draft was published in February 1955 and it was promulgated that the 50 largest newspapers and journals throughout the country were to used 261 simplified characters. In the same year the State Council (Guowuyuan 國務院) established an examination-and-revision group consisting of nameable scholars and writers, headed by Dong Biwu 董必武, to make proposals for the final version of the character simplification procedure. The revised draft was finished by the Research Committee in September 1955. The draft was discussed on the National conference for the reform of characters (Quanguo wenzi gaige huiyi 全國文字改革會議). The result were 515 simplified characters and 54 abbreviated parts of characters. These procedures were accepted by the State Council in January 1956 and then published in the official newspaper Renmin ribao 人民日報. There were three tables. The 230 characters of the first tables were already in use by most newspapers and journals. The 285 simplified characters of the second table and the 54 character parts of the third table were to be introduced within two months and then revised.
The following revisions were done:
  • 釒 was abbreviated to 钅 instead of
  • 魚 was abbreviated to 鱼 instead of
  • 鳥 was abbreviated to 鸟 instead of 乌, and 乌 was used for 烏
  • 娄 was to be used for 婁 exclusively, while 嘍 (formerly also simplified as 娄) was further to be simplified with a separate character as 喽
  • 彻 was to be used for 徹 exclusively, while 澈 (formerly also simplified as 彻) was not further simplified
  • 仓 was to be used for 倉 exclusively, while 艙 (formerly also simplified as 仓) was further to be simplified with a separate character as 舱
  • The characters 言, 食 and 金 were not to be abbreviated, but as signific part of other characters, they were abbreviated, like 讠, 饣 and 钅. The signific 糹 is simplified to 纟, except in the character 丝. The significs 糸, 言, 金 and 食 are not simplified if standing at the bottom of a character (like 紫, 警, 鉴 and 餐).
There were nine different methods of simplifying characters:
  1. Abbreviation of whole complex charaters while preserving the general structure, like 龜 to 龟, or 慮 to 虑 (this example actually belongs to the next method)
  2. Eliminating parts of a character and preserving the characteristic parts, like 聲 to 声, or 醫 to 医
  3. Simplifying the phonetic part of characters by replacing them with a simpler phonetic, like 燈 [phonetic 登 deng] to 灯 [phonetic 丁 ding], 擁 [phonetic 雍 yong] to 拥 [phonetic 用 yong], or 戰 [phonetic 單 dan] to 战 [phonetic 占 zhan]
  4. Using a new semantic part, often combined with a simpler phonetic part as virtual invention of a new character, like 響 to 响, 驚 to 惊, or 護 to 护
  5. Fusion with simpler characters with the same or a similar pronunciation, like 幾 "a bit" to 几 "table", 裏 "inside" to 里 "mile", or 醜 "ugly" to 丑 "clown; second of the terrestrial branches"
  6. Use of grass script forms, like 為 to 为, 專 to 专, or 東 to 东
  7. Creating characters by the method huiyi 會義 "combined meanings" (see six types of charcters), like 眾 to 众, or 從 to 从 (these are actually early shapes and not new inventions)
  8. Abbreviating parts of a character, like 歡 to 欢, 雞 to 鸡, or 難 to 难
  9. Use of archaic forms, like 雲 to 云, or 塵 to 尘
In 1964 the Research committee issued a general list of simplified characters (Jianhuazi zongbiao 簡化字總表) that consists of three tables, the first including 352 simplifications of characters not used as character parts (pianpang 偏旁) in other characters, the second including 132 characters that are also used as parts in other characters as well as 14 elements exclusively used as parts in other characters, and the third including 1,754 simplified characters, coming to a total of 2,238 simplified characters of which 签 and 须 appear two times. In 1986 the characters 象 and 迭 (of which actually no complex form exists) were eliminated from the list.
The General List includes some remarks concerning complications arising from the character simplification, for instance, 干 gān "shield" is also the simplification of 乾 gān "dry", while 乾 qiān "Celestial" is not abbreviated; or 吁 that is the simplification for 籲 "to call on", but is read in the meaning of "to sigh", in which is had not the traditional form 籲.
There are two appendices to the General List, namely an appendix presenting 39 variant characters commonly viewed as simplifications, like 脣 and 唇, or 傑 and 杰, and a list of specially simplified characters in place names, like Xunxian 洵縣, Shaanxi, to 旬县, or Fengdu 酆都, Sichuan, to 丰都.
Simplified characters are also used in Singapore. The earliest attempts in this city state included some simplified characters not identical to those used in China, like for 場 (analogous to 伤 for 傷), for 開, 囱 for 窗, or for 要 (which is not simplified in China). In 1976, Singapore adopted the Jianhuayi zongbiao of the People's Republic. Malaysia has accepted the Zongbiao in 1981, but Thailand has not promulgated the use of simplified characters for her Chinese-speaking communities.
Japan and South Korea have their own tradition of simplifying characters. While some Japanese characters are identical to the simplified characters of China, others differ in the shape of dots (like 単 instead of the Chinese 单, for 單) or the length and shape of brush strokes (like 称 instead of 称 [for 稱], or 与 instead of 与 [for 與]), and a third group totally differs in the method of abbreviation, like 図 instead of 图 (for traditional 圖), or 訳 instead of 译 (for traditional 譯).

Source: Ye Laishi 葉籟士, Fu Yonghe 傅永和 (1992). "Hanzi jianhua 漢字簡化", in: Zhongguo da baike quanshu 中國大百科全書, Yuyan wenzi 語言文字, pp. 205-208. Beijing/Shanghai: Zhongguo da baike quanshu chubanshe.

The consequence is that there exist three different characters for many words. And it is not really clear if the rise of literacy in China was due to the character simplification or just due to a better education system. In some cases, the simplification can even cause troubles because words of very different meanings are expressed by the same character.
  • gu, meaning "valley" and "grain" (traditional character 穀)
  • biao, meaning "grid, table" and "clock, watch" (traditional character 錶)
  • zhun, meaning "permitting, approving" and "level, standard" (old character 準)
  • kuai, meaning "happy" (快樂) or "fast", but sometimes not abbreviated if meaning "fast" (駃慢)
The government of the People's Republic of China took measures to enhance literacy in the new founded socialist state. These measures did not only mean that much more schools were opened, especially in the countryside, but the complicated writing system of Chinese underwent a simplification to make it easier for everybody to learn some 2000 characters needed for daily life - and of course, to study the official newspapers and the Communist writings.
In 1956 the State Council published a first list with 230 simplified characers, a second list included 299 characters, and the third step were 54 simplified radicals.

1. Simplified Radicals
(jianhua bushou 簡化部首; number=stroke number)
a) Reduction of stroke number of radicals in characters
radical traditional shape in character traditional
stroke number
simplified shape simplified
stroke number
: 廴→ 3 2
: 攵/攴→ 4 3
: 礻/示→ 5 4
: 禸→ 5 4
: 艹→ 4 3
: 衤/衣→ 6 5
: 辶→ 4 3
: 阝→ 3 2
: 阝→ 3 2

b) Simplification of shape
radical traditional shape in character traditional
stroke number
simplified shape simplified
stroke number
歺→ 4-5 4
爿→ 4 3
糹/糸→ 5 3
見→ 7 4
言→ 7 2
貝→ 7 4
車→ 7 4
 釒 /金→ 8 5-6
長→ 8 4
門→ 8 3
韋→ 9 4
頁→ 9 6
風→ 9 4
飛→ 9 3
飠/食→ 9 3
馬→ 10 3
魚→ 11 8
鹵→ 11 7
鳥→ 11 5
麥→ 11 8
黽→ 13 8
齊→ 14 6
齒→ 15 齿 8
龍→ 16 5
龜→ 16 7
Some radicals have a different shape if standing alone, in top or bottom position or on the left or right side of the character. Sometimes it is difficult for unexperienced people to find out the original shape of the radical. Therefore, all different shapes of radicals are taken as separate radicals:
radical full
shape
full
stroke number
examples short
shape
short
stroke number
examples
2 剪劒 2 到刻劍
2 仄來倉 2 仁仙侶
4 永沯滎 3 河江浮
4 忍忽愁 3 悌患懷
4 拜拳拿 3 拈括擾
4 災熨炊 4 炁烈煎
4 猋猌 4 狗狐狸
5 瑩璧璽 4-5 環球珮
5 禁齋禮 4 祈神福
6 裁衾裂 5 袒褲襪
8 鎏鎣鑒 5-6 銀銅鈺
9 餐饕養 3 饒餛飩
For unexperienced people, it is sometimes difficult to discern between two different radicals and their shapes. Some radicals are therefore unified in one:
radical same as
入 "to enter" 人 "man, person"
士 "official, scholar"  土 "earth"
肉 "meat, flesh, organ" 月 "moon"


彐<
<当 <羔差 <即


<爫

<覀西
Other characters parts are simplified in the sense that they are no longer distinguished from a graphically very similar part:


& lt;巳
& lt;危
& lt;孑
天<夭


Because the simplification of many characters is extremely, the simplified forms will have a very different radical: 農 (radical 辰), simplified to 农 (radical 冖). To make it easier to find a radical, the goverment of the PRC created many new radicals. Many radicals have lost their original meaning and are used purely graphical (亡 "to perish", 廾 "two hands", 屮 "sprout"). Additionally, characters with two possible radicals can be found under both to spare time-consuming radical search, like 忘 (亡 and 心). These new radicals are not really standardized and may differ from dictionary to dictionary:
new radical stroke number examples
2 勇予豫疏
3 亡忘盲妄赢
3 开弊
3 尤无尬尴
3
3 小尔尘当尚省
4 天夭乔吞蚕
4 老考孝者
廿 4 廿共恭巷黄燕
4 不歪甭
4 中忠贵
4 尺尽昼
5 奉奏春泰秦
5 去丢却
5 劳荣营莹
5 戎戌成咸威戚
5 党堂常掌
4 业凿
5 由胄邮
5 申畅
6 券卷拳眷
5 亦变弯栾
6 载裁哉栽
6
6 亚严恶晋
6 光辉耀
7 束柬敕赖整
8 乾韩翰朝
9 是匙题

2. Simplified characters that also built components of other characters

(jianhua pianpang 簡化偏旁): Chinese characters consist of separable parts that are used countless times in many different characters. Often used parts are simplified to make learning easier. In the table down, these parts are arranged in alphabetical order (pinyin romanization) of the pronunciation of the simple character. Some of the characters serve as radical and are marked with a star*. A few examples are not included in the Unicode encoding and are therefore listed as traditional characters in square brackets [].
For example, the character 僉 qian is simplified as 佥. As part of characters, it is likewise abbreviated, like 剑检捡 (read jian), or 脸 (read lian). The simplified character 签 (read qian) is an abbreviation of 簽 as well as of 籤.

Characters simplified if standing alone and as parts of characters (pianpang)
(Table 2 and 3 of the Jianhuazi zongbiao). These characters and character parts are simplified in any case and without exception.

pronunciation
of character
*also radical
traditional shape
as character
simplified shape
as character
example(s)
as components
/ if radical
ai
ba 摆罴
bei
bi
bi
bian
bin 滨膑鬓
can
cang 苍沧
chan
chang 鲿
chang* 帐张胀 / --
che* 挥裤阵连 / 轮转
chi* 齿 啮 / 龄
chong
chu 雏邹趋驺
cong 苁纵耸
cuan
da
dai
dan 禅掸弹蝉
dang 档挡
dang
dong 冻陈
dong
duan
dui
dui
er 迩弥玺
fa 废泼
feng 沣艳
feng* 枫讽砜 / 飒
gang 刚纲钢
guang 广 犷矿旷扩
gui 岿
guo 帼掴
guo
gui* 阄 / 鼋
hua 桦骅烨晔
hua
hui [扌+汇] This is an error carried on to each dictionary.
hui 绘烩侩浍
ji 机讥饥
jia 挟郏峡侠
jian 践贱钱浅
jian 滥蓝
jian
jian* 觉现觅览 / 规觉
jiang 将{丬+(夕/寸)}
jie
jin 荩烬赆
jin
ju
ke
lai 莱涞俫
le 栎烁砾
li
li 沥枥疬
li 骊郦鹂
liang 俩魉满瞒
ling
liu
long* 陇胧厐聋 / 龚龛
lou 楼镂蝼屡
lu 芦炉庐
lu
lu
摅滤
lun 论轮抡沦
luo 锣逻箩
ma* 冯闯笃 / 驯骚
mai
mai 读续窦牍
mai* 唛 / 麸
men* 扪润简 / 问阁
min* 绳渑
nan 滩摊
nie 摄滠
ning 柠泞
nong 浓脓
qi 凯恺
qi(*) 忾饩
qi* 济剂 / 齑
qian 剑检捡签
qian
qiao 桥骄侨
qin
qiong [艹/穷]
qu 欧躯枢
se 墙穑
sha
shen 婶谉
sheng
shi 鲥埘
shi 狮筛
shou 寿 涛焘祷筹
shu
shuang [扌+双]
su 萧箫啸
sui
sun 逊荪
tiao 绦鲦
wan 历沥迈
wei
wei* 围绕违 / 韩
wu
wu 抚芜
xian
xiang
xie
xun 浔鲟挦
ya 恶壶娅
yan
yan 恹魇
yao 烧绕挠晓
ye
ye* 撷烦倾巅 / 顺颂
yi 仪议蚁
yi
yin
yin
you
yu 屿欤
yu* 渔橹癣 / 鲇鲨
yun 昙芸叆
zheng 掷踯
zhi 贽挚
zhi
zhuan 转砖传



Characters simplified as a whole or characters that are, in this shape of simplification, not part (pianpang) of other characters
(Table 1 of the Jianhuazi zongbiao)

Pronunciation Traditional Simplifed Remarks
ai
ang simpler signific
ao simpler phonetic
ba simpler phonetic
ban (seems to be a variant, not a simplification)
ban 办 is also used for the simplification of 蘇 to 苏, or 協 to 协
bang
bao
bao as left part of phonetics, 幸 is often simplified to 扌
bi
bi
biao 票 as a single character is not simplified, also not in other combinations
biao fusion with simpler character
bie fusion with simpler character
bu fusion with simpler character; 卜 is also used as a simplified form in 僕 to 仆 et al.
bu simpler phonetic; 卜 is also used as a simplified form in 僕 to 仆 et al.
cai fusion with simpler character
can [write 天(not 夭)/ 虫]
can simpler phonetic; 粲 is not simplified in other characters like 璨
ceng 曾 is otherwise not simplified; 云 is also the simplified form of 雲, or 軍 (like 運 to 运), or 亶 (like 壇 to 坛)
chan the right part is regularly simplified in this way
chan the right part is regularly simplified in this way
chan the right part is regularly simplified in this way
chan [write 纟 + {广/里} (not 厘)]
chan simpler phonetic; 韱 is similarly simplified in 纖 to 纤, and 殲 to 纤, but not in 谶
chang 賞 as a single character is simplified to 赏; 尝 is the simplified form of 嘗
chang 厂 is traditional radical 27 "cliff"
che the right part is not simplified otherwise, like 撤 or 澈
chen (seems to be a variant, not a simplification)
chen simpler phonetic; 親 as a single character is simplifed to 亲
cheng 尔 is actually a variant of 爾
cheng simpler phonetic (is actually subject to the rule of "徵 to 征")
chi simpler phonetic; 犀 as a single character is not simplified
chong fusion with simpler character (also simplified from 沖, which is an old variant)
chou fusion with simpler character
chu fusion with simpler character
chu simpler phonetic; 楚 as a single character is not simplified
chu
chu 蜀 as a single character is not simplifed
ci the left part is equally simplified in 亂 to 乱; 舌 is also used as simplification of 啇, like 敵 to 敌, or 適 to 适
cong the part 总 is the simplified form of 縂
cong simpler phonetic
dan the single character 詹 is not simplified
dan the single character 詹 is not simplified
dao the single character 道 is not simplified
deng simpler phonetic; the single character 登 is not simplified, yet as part of other characters simplied in a different way, like 證 to 证, or 鄧 to 邓
deng The single character 登 is not simplified, yet as part of other characters simplied in a different way, like 證 to 证, or 燈 to 灯. 又 is used as simplification of 堇 in 漢, 艱, 僅 and 嘆 (but not in 谨 or 瑾), for 登 in 邓 (but not in 澄 or 凳), for 奚 in 雞 (but not in 溪), for 雚 in 歡, 權 and 勸 (but not in 獾 or 颧), for the middle part of 樹 and the left part in 戲.
di 舌 is used in the same way as simplification of 適 to 适, but also used for 亂 to 乱
di simpler phonetic
di
dian simpler signific
dian simpler phonetic
dian
die fusion with simpler character; 迭 is not to be used if confuseable with 叠
dong fusion with simpler character
dou fusion with simpler character
du 蜀 as a single character is not simplifed
dun
duo
duo similar simplification in 橢 to 椭; 隋 as a single character not simplified, but simplified in combinations, like 隨 to 随
er 儿 is traditional radical 10 "person"
fan simpler phonetic; 樊 as a single character is not simplified
fan fusion with simpler character
fei
fen simpler phonetic
fen
fen
feng
fu simpler phonetic
fu analogous simplification in 歸 to 归 or 掃 to 扫; 帚 as a single character is not simplified
fu
fu fusion with simpler character 復 to new simplified character; it is not simplified in the words 覆盖 and 颠覆
fu fusion with simpler character 復 to new simplified character
gai
gan 乾 "to do" fusion with simpler character; it is not simplified as 乾 qian "Heaven" in the word 乾坤 and 乾隆
gan 幹 "dry" fusion with simpler character
gan simpler phonetic
ge (seems to be a variant rather than a simplification)
gong
gou 冓 is otherwise not simplified like 耩 or 觏, or differently simplified as 講 to 讲
gou 冓 is otherwise not simplified like 耩 or 觏, or differently simplified as 講 to 讲
gou 冓 is otherwise not simplified like 耩 or 觏, or differently simplified as 講 to 讲
gu fusion with simpler character
gu 雇 as a single characer is not simplified
gua fusion with simpler character
guan the inner part is simplified in 聯 to 联; 关 in 送 is not a simplification
gui simpler phonetic
han 又 is used as simplification of 堇 in 漢, 艱, 僅 and 嘆 (but not in 谨 or 瑾), for 登 in 邓 (but not in 澄 or 凳), for 奚 in 雞 (but not in 溪), for 雚 in 歡, 權 and 勸 (but not in 獾 or 颧), for the middle part of 樹 and the left part in 戲.
hao
he fusion with simpler character
hong
hou fusion with simpler character
hu fusion with simpler character
hu
hu simpler phonetic
hu simpler phonetic and simpler signific
hua simpler phonetic; the single character 畫 is simplified to 画
huai 不 is the simplification of 褱 as well as 睘; do not mix up with 坯
huai 怀 不 is the simplification of 褱 as well as 睘
huan 不 is the simplification of 褱 as well as 睘, but 睘 is not always simplified, like in 寰 or 擐
huan 又 is used as simplification of 堇 in 漢, 艱, 僅 and 嘆 (but not in 谨 or 瑾), for 登 in 邓 (but not in 澄 or 凳), for 奚 in 雞 (but not in 溪), for 雚 in 歡, 權 and 勸 (but not in 獾 or 颧), for the middle part of 樹 and the left part in 戲.
huan 不 is the simplification of 褱 as well as 睘, but 睘 is not always simplified, like in 寰 or 擐
hui fusion with simpler character
huo fusion with simpler character; not simplified in the meaning of "much, many", like 甚夥 or 夥解
huo fusion with other character 穫 to new simplified character
hu fusion with other character 獲 to new simplified character
ji 击 is also used for the simplification of 陸 to 陆
ji 又 is used as simplification of 堇 in 漢, 艱, 僅 and 嘆 (but not in 谨 or 瑾), for 登 in 邓 (but not in 澄 or 凳), for 奚 in 雞 (but not in 溪), for 雚 in 歡, 權 and 勸 (but not in 獾 or 颧), for the middle part of 樹 and the left part in 戲.
ji simpler phonetic; the single character 責 is simplified to 责
ji simpler phonetic
ji
ji
jia fusion with simpler character
jia simpler phonetic; the single character 賈 is simplified to 贾
jian 又 is used as simplification of 堇 in 漢, 艱, 僅 and 嘆 (but not in 谨 or 瑾), for 登 in 邓 (but not in 澄 or 凳), for 奚 in 雞 (but not in 溪), for 雚 in 歡, 權 and 勸 (but not in 獾 or 颧), for the middle part of 樹 and the left part in 戲.
jian
jian 柬 is not simplified as a single character
jian simpler phonetic; 韱 is similarly simplified in 纖 to 纤, and 懺 to 忏
jian simpler signific, regular simplification of the phonetic 僉 to 佥
jian simpler phonetic; the single character 監 is simplified to 监
jiang fusion with simpler character
jiang 漿 the single character 將 is simplied to 将{丬+(夕/寸)}
jiang the single character 將 is simplied to 将{丬+(夕/寸)}
jiang the single character 將 is simplied to 将{丬+(夕/寸)}
jiang the single character 將 is simplied to 将{丬+(夕/寸)}
jiang (simpler phonetic)
jiao simpler phonetic; 翏 is otherwise not simplified
jie simpler phonetic; 皆 is otherwise not simplified
jie simpler phonetic; 絜 is otherwise not simplified
jie 節 is otherwise simplified as 节
jie fusion with simpler character; not simplified in the words 慰藉 and 狼藉
jin 又 is used as simplification of 堇 in 漢, 艱, 僅 and 嘆 (but not in 谨 or 瑾), for 登 in 邓 (but not in 澄 or 凳), for 奚 in 雞 (but not in 溪), for 雚 in 歡, 權 and 勸 (but not in 獾 or 颧), for the middle part of 樹 and the left part in 戲.
jing simpler phonetic and simpler signific
jing
jiu
ju simpler phonetic; the left part is simplified in 戲 to 戏
ju simpler phonetic; the right part is simplified in 戲 to 戏
ju simpler phoneti; 瞿 is otherwise not simplified
juan fusion with simpler character
kai 門 is otherwise simplified to 门
ke fusion with simpler character
ken
ken
kua
kuai simpler phonetic
kua
kun fusion with simpler character
la similarly simplified in 獵 to 猎, and 蠟 to 蜡
la similarly simplified in 臘 to 腊, and 獵 to 猎
lan as part of characters, 兰 is the abbreviation of 闌
lan 兰 is otherwise the simplified form of the character 蘭
lan 兰 is otherwise the simplified form of the character 蘭
lan 兰 is otherwise the simplified form of the character 蘭
lei the upper part is simplified in 壘 to 垒, and not simplified in 儡 and others
lei the upper part is simplified in 纍 to 累, and not simplified in 儡 and others
lei [write 米 / 大 (not 犬)]
li 裡 or 裏 fusion with simpler character
li (archaic variant, not a simplification)
li 隶 is traditional radical 171 "reaching, catching"
lian (seems to be a variant, not a simplification)
lian the right part serves as the simplified shape in 關 to 关; 关 in 送 is not a simplification
lian 柬 is not simplified as a single character
lian 柬 is not simplified as a single character
lin simpler phonetic; the right part is simplified in the same way in 鄰 to 邻, but not in 麟 to 麟, or 鱗 to 鳞
liang simpler phonetic
liao fusion with simpler character
liao simpler phonetic; 尞 is often not simplified, like in 僚 or 燎
liao simpler phonetic; 尞 is often not simplified, like in 僚 or 燎
lie similarly simplified in 臘 to 腊, and 蠟 to 蜡
lin differently abbreviated as part of characters, like 鑒 to 鉴 (because already abbreviated in the traditional character); the left part is written with two vertical strokes, not like リ
lin simpler phonetic; the left part is simplified in the same way in 憐 to 怜, but not in 麟 to 麟, or 鱗 to 鳞
ling the character 領 is simplified to 领
lu otherwise 盧 is simplified to 卢
lu otherwise 盧 is simplified to 卢
lu otherwise 盧 is simplified to 卢
lu the right part is not simplified in other characters, only if standing to the left as part of a phonetic. It is then simplified to 扌, like 勢 to 势
otherwise 盧 is simplified to 卢
luan the left part is equally simplified in 辭 to 辞; 舌 is also used as simplification of 啇, like 敵 to 敌, or 適 to 适
me 么 stands for me, not yao 幺, accordingly written 吆; not simplified in the expression 幺麼小丑
mei fusion with simpler character
meng fusion with simpler character
meng fusion with simpler character
meng fusion with simpler character
meng
mian fusion with simpler character
miao
mie
mie fusion with simpler character
mu
nao the right part is not simplified in 瑙
nao the right part is not simplified in 瑙
ni simpler phonetic
niang simpler phonetic
nüe the single character 虐 is not simplified
pan
pi fusion with simpler character
ping simpler phonetic
ping simpler phonetic
pu simpler phonetic, the right part is not simplifed in 璞 or 濮
pu simpler phonetic, the right part is not simplifed in 璞 or 濮
pu simpler phonetic, the right part is not simplifed in 璞 or 濮
qi
qian simpler phonetic; 韱 is otherwise simplifed to 千, like in 懺 to 忏; 佥 is otherwise the simplification of 僉
qian fusion with simpler character
qian
qian simpler phonetic, fusion with other character to new simplified character; 牽 as a single character is simplified to 牵; 千 is also the simplification of 韱, like 纖 to 纤
qian simpler phonetic; 韱 is similarly simplified in 懺 to 忏, and 殲 to 纤
qiao simpler phonetic
qie simpler phonetic
qin 爿 as part of characters is regulary simplified to 丬
qing [write 广 / 大 (not 犬)]
qiong simpler phonetic
qiu fusion with simpler character
qu fusion with simpler character
quan 又 is used as simplification of 堇 in 漢, 艱, 僅 and 嘆 (but not in 谨 or 瑾), for 登 in 邓 (but not in 澄 or 凳), for 奚 in 雞 (but not in 溪), for 雚 in 歡, 權 and 勸 (but not in 獾 or 颧), for the middle part of 樹 and the left part in 戲.
quan 又 is used as simplification of 堇 in 漢, 艱, 僅 and 嘆 (but not in 谨 or 瑾), for 登 in 邓 (but not in 澄 or 凳), for 奚 in 雞 (but not in 溪), for 雚 in 歡, 權 and 勸 (but not in 獾 or 颧), for the middle part of 樹 and the left part in 戲.
que simpler phonetic
rang simpler phonetic
rao simpler phonetic
re (is actually an adaption of the rule of "執 to 执")
ren simpler phonetic
sa simpler phonetic; 西 is the simplified shape of many different character parts
san
sang
sao analogous simplification in 歸 to 归 or 婦 to 妇; 帚 as a single character is not simplified
se
shai simpler phonetic; 西 is the simplified shape of many different character parts
shang 昜 is otherwise simplified in a different way, like 楊 to 杨, or 陽 to 阳
she fusion with simpler character
shen fusion with simpler character
sheng
sheng signific, with part of the phonetic, is transformed into simple phonetic
shi 湿 显 is the simplification of the character 顯
shi 头 is otherwise the simplified form of 頭; 貫 as a single character is simplified to 贯
shi simpler phonetic; in some word read kuo
shi (is actually an adaption of the rule of "執 to 执")
shou 嘼 was originally a separate character
shu
shu simplification and fusion with simpler character 朮 zhu
shu 又 is used as simplification of 堇 in 漢, 艱, 僅 and 嘆 (but not in 谨 or 瑾), for 登 in 邓 (but not in 澄 or 凳), for 奚 in 雞 (but not in 溪), for 雚 in 歡, 權 and 勸 (but not in 獾 or 颧), for the middle part of 樹 and the left part in 戲.
shuai the left part is much more simplified in 歸 to 归
song fusion with simpler character
su 办 is otherwise the simplified form of 辦
su fusion with simpler character to new simplified character
sui
sui similar simplification in 橢 to 椭, or 墮 to 堕; 隋 as a single character not simplified
tai (seems to be a variant rather than an abbreviation)
tai fusion with simpler character to new simplified character
tai fusion with simpler character to new simplified character
tai transfomation of one part into a simple phonetic
tan 亶 is otherwise is not simplifed; 云 is otherwise the simplified form of 雲, or 軍 (like 運 to 运), or 曾 (like 層 to 层)
tan fusion with simpler character to new simplified character
tan 又 is used as simplification of 堇 in 漢, 艱, 僅 and 嘆 (but not in 谨 or 瑾), for 登 in 邓 (but not in 澄 or 凳), for 奚 in 雞 (but not in 溪), for 雚 in 歡, 權 and 勸 (but not in 獾 or 颧), for the middle part of 樹 and the left part in 戲.
teng characters with this phonetic are otherwise simplified differently, like 騰 to 腾, or 勝 to 胜
ti (seems to be a variant rather than an abbreviation)
ti
tie simpler phonetic
ting simpler signific, part of character transformed into simple phonetic
ting simpler phonetic and signific [write 厂 (not 广) / 丁]
tou (seems to be a variant, not a simplification)
tu
tu fusion with simpler character
tuan
tuan fusion with simpler character to new simplified character
tui similar simplification in 隨 to 随, or 墮 to 堕; 隋 as a single character not simplified
wa simpler phonetic (compare 哇)
wa simpler phonetic; 蔑 is otherwise not simplified [write 衤 + 末 (not 未)]
wang fusion with simpler character; 网 is traditional radical 13 "net"
wei
wen The right part is similarly simplified in 隱 to 隐. This simplification is missing in the list.
wu
wu (is actually subject to the rule of "務 to 务")
xi simpler phonetic; 羲 is otherwise not simplified; 西 is the simplified shape of many different character parts
xi 習 is otherwise not simplified
xi fusion with simpler character
xi fusion with simpler character
xi 又 is used as simplification of 堇 in 漢, 艱, 僅 and 嘆 (but not in 谨 or 瑾), for 登 in 邓 (but not in 澄 or 凳), for 奚 in 雞 (but not in 溪), for 雚 in 歡, 權 and 勸 (but not in 獾 or 颧), for the middle part of 樹 and the left part in 戲.
xia simpler phonetic; 叚 is otherwise not simplified
xia simpler phonetic; 赫 as a single character is not simplified
xian fusion with simpler character
xian the left part is abbreviated in the same way in 濕 to 湿
xian transformation of a part of the character into a simple phonetic
xian
xiang simpler phonetic and simpler signific
xiang fusion with simpler character
xiang fusion with simpler character
xie 办 is otherwise the simplified form of 辦
xie 办 is otherwise the simplified form of 辦
xie (is actually subject to the rule of "執 to 执")
xin (seems to be a variant rather than an abbreviation)
xing
xu fusion with simpler character
xuan (is actually subject to the rule of "縣 to 县")
xuan simpler phonetic; 巽 is otherwise not simplified
xuan fusion with simpler character
ya the simplified form is written with a dot, unlike 庄
yan
yang 昜 is otherwise simplified in a different way, like 楊 to 杨, or 傷 to 伤
yang
yang simpler phonetic; 養 as a single character is simplified to 养
yang simpler phonetic; 羕 as a single character is not simplified
yao simpler phonetic; 龠 as a single character is not simplified
yao simpler phonetic; 樂 as a single character is simplified to 乐
ye
ye (seems to be a variant rather than an abbreviation)
yi
yi 亿 simpler phonetic; 意 as a single character is not simplifed
yi simpler phonetic; 意 as a single character is not simplifed
ying
yong simpler phonetic; 雝 as a single character is not simplifed
yong simpler phonetic; 雍 as a single character is not simplifed
yong simpler phonetic; 庸 as a single character is not simplifed
yong simpler phonetic; 勇 as a single character is not simplifed
you transformation of signific, added by a simpler phonetic
you simpler phonetic; 憂 as a single character is simplifed to 忧, as part of other characters as 尤
you part of character transformed into simple phonetic
yu fusion with simpler character; also written 馀 to avoid confusion
yu fusion with simpler character
yu fusion with simpler character
yu (seems to be a variant rather than an abbreviation)
yu 與 as a single character and as part of other characters is simplified differently, like 與 to 与, or 嶼 to 屿. 兴 is the simplification of 興.
yuan the right part is otherwise simplified in a different way, like 肅 to 肃
yuan simpler phonetic; 袁 as a single character is not abbreviated
yuan simpler phonetic; 袁 as a single character is not abbreviated
yuan (seems to be a variant rather than a simplification)
yue simpler phonetic; 翟 is otherwise not simplified
yun simpler phonetic; 云 is otherwise the simplified form of 雲, or 曾 (like 層 to 层), or 亶 (like 壇 to 坛); 軍 is normally simplified to 军
yun simpler phonetic; the right part is otherwise differently simplified, like 溫 to 温
za
zang simpler phonetic; 臧 as a single character is not simplifed; 庄 is the simplified form of 莊
zang simpler phonetic; 臧 as a single character is not simplifed; 庄 is the simplified form of 莊
zang fusion with simpler character to new simplified character
zao
zao
zao (seems to be a variant rather than a simplification)
zhai 齊 as a single character is simplified to 齐
zhan simpler phonetic; 亶 as a single character is not simplifed; 占 can be the simplification of 覃 (like 氈 to 毡), 單 (like 戰 to 战), or 贊 (like 鑽 to 钻)
zhan simpler phonetic; 單 as a single character is simplified to 单; 占 can be the simplification of 覃 (like 氈 to 毡), 單 (like 戰 to 战), or 贊 (like 鑽 to 钻)
zhao 肖 is otherwise not simplified
zhe fusion with simpler character; not simplified to avoid confusion
zhe
zheng simpler phonetic; 登 as a single character is not simplified, yet as part of other characters simplied in a different way, like 燈 to 灯, or 鄧 to 邓
zheng fusion with simpler character; not simplified in the meaning of one of the five musical tones
zheng simpler phonetic; 徵 as a single character is simplified to 征
zhi fusion with simpler character
zhi fusion with simpler character
zhi fusion with simpler character
zhi fusion with simpler character
zhong simpler phonetic and fusion with other character; 童 as a single character is not simplified
zhong simpler phonetic and fusion with other character; 重 as a single character is not simplified
zhong simpler phonetic; 重 as a single character is not simplified
zhong simpler phonetic; 重 as a single character is not simplified
zhong (seems to be an archaic variant rather than a simplification)
zhou
zhu fusion with simpler character
zhu 蜀 as a single character is not simplifed
zhu
zhuang (seems to be a variant rather than a simplification) 壯 as a single character is simplified to 壮; the simplified form is written without a dot, unlike 压
zhuang simpler phonetic; 舂 as a single character is not simplifed
zhuang 爿 as part of characters is regulary simplified to 丬
zhuang (is actually subject to the rule of "壯 to 壮")
zhuang 爿 as part of characters is regulary simplified to 丬
zhuang 爿 as part of characters is regulary simplified to 丬
zhun fusion with simpler character
zhu 蜀 as a single character is not simplifed
zong
zuan simpler phonetic; 贊 as a single character is simplified to 赞; 占 can be the simplification of 覃 (like 氈 to 毡), 單 (like 戰 to 战), or 贊 (like 鑽 to 钻)

3. Simplified parts of characters whose single form is not abbreviated or not existing

A handful of character parts can not stand alone for themselves, or are not abbreviated if they stand alone for themselves, but only as parts of characters (also compare radicals like 食 shi "eating" that is not abbreviated standing alone, but abbreviated as radical (饱馒饿 simplified from 飽饅餓):
pronunciation unabbreviated character examples exception or remarks
?? 臤 (obsolete) 竖坚贤紧
??
戠 (obsolete) 识织职
?? 咼 (obsolete) 窝娲祸锅
?? 辠 (obsolete) 译泽择释
??
冓 (obsolete) 沟购构 觏篝; other simplification: 讲
chan 谗搀馋 
ken 貇 (obsolete) 垦恳
huai 褱 (obsolete) 怀坏 寰圜
huan 雚 (obsolete) 欢观
huan 睘 (obsolete) 环还
jiang
奖桨浆酱 將 as single character is simplified as 将 (see above)
jin 堇 (obsolete) 艰难 汉 should also be listed here
jin 嵚揿 regularly abbreviated
jing 巠 (rare) 经轻颈径
lan 拦栏烂 闌 as single character is simplified as 阑, while 兰 is simplification of 蘭
lin 臨? 览揽鉴
mi 糸 (rare)
荭哟鸶橼 regularly abbreviated
yan 罚狱蔼浒 regularly abbreviated
yang 昜 (obsolete) 汤杨场
zhan 胆担 瞻谵蟾
lao, rong, ying -- 劳荣营莹
xue, jue -- 学觉搅
bian, wan, luan -- 变弯湾栾
ju -- 剧据
la, lie -- 腊猎

Simplified Characters in Japan

From the 4th century on, Japan adopted the Chinese writing system. Chinese characters are the origin of the Japanese Hiragana and Katakana syllable alphabets. But the Chinese characters (jap. Kanji) made their own way in the Japanese archipelago. Many simplified characters in Japan are not identical to the Chinese simplifications.
ganze Schriftzeichen

















寿









ganze Schriftzeichen und diese als Teil von Schriftzeichen
為 偽
亜悪
乗剰
并併
曽僧増憎噌層贈
黒黙黛墨
両輌
区枢欧殴駆
単戦弾蝉禅
将奨
戻涙
厳巌
売続読
者煮署著諸猪
属嘱
与写
帯滞
広拡砿鉱
発廃
従縦
徴懲
恵穂
歯齢
参惨
Teile von Schriftzeichen, bei denen der Teil als eigenständiges Schriftzeichen nicht abgekürzt ist oder nicht existiert
伝転
児稲陥焔

仏払
毎侮敏梅海

倹険剣検験

僅謹漢嘆歎難
労栄営
勧観歓

学覚
壌嬢譲穣醸
壊懐
壮状寝
径経茎軽
聴徳
湿顕
蘭欄爛
弥珎
穏隠
掲渇
断継
Varianten


真慎







導etc巡




即節
慨概
賛讃



虚戯嘘
揺謡

択訳沢鈬釈駅
尽侭








暦歴
尭暁焼
会絵

郎榔廊瑯


当档
銭桟残浅践


黄横
歩渉捗
斉剤萕済斎 剤



青清晴精
没statt沒
戻涙捩
争浄

渓鶏



潸僣



竜滝

弯湾

爵欝

状壮
独触




猟蝋
粛繍




砕粋酔
禄緑


織識
練錬煉
総窓聡
縄蝿


蔵臓
挙誉

豊艶



楽薬





視etc



予statt預
弍statt貳

辞乱
弁für alle bian


近etc
乕逓





螂響饗
随髄


飯飼飽飾餓館
余fuer餘








Sources: ---

April 5, 2011 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail