Simplified Chinese is not Chinese

The thing about mainland China that I cannot stand the most is not its politics, but the way in which our aesthetically beautiful and meaningful Chinese characters have been modified into a bunch of soulless strokes arbitrarily put together.

Lately I came across this Facebook photo post, which perfectly illustrates how the simplified Chinese characters have destroyed our culture, turning their people into a bunch of heartless immoral beings:

1. 愛 Love
Love comes from the bottom of one's heart, and that makes 心 (heart) an important component of the character 愛 (love). But as you can see, in the simplified version, the character 心 (heart) is gone. Just when you don't have a heart, what do you know about love?

2. 鄉 Homeland
What makes a place home? Other than the fact that it is where you come from, it is also a place full of loving people treating you as a family. Thus when 郎 (gentleman) has gone missing in the simplified version, what's left in your home is just a piece of an idled land.

3. 義 Morality, Righteousness, Loyalty
The word 義 is a very complicated concept. One simple character covers the meaning of morality, righteousness and loyalty - which are among the core concepts of Confucianism. The bottom part of the original character is 我 (I, me). So when "I" is removed, what is the point of talking to you about morality, righteousness or loyalty? You are none of my business any more.

4. 導 Lead/ Guide
Here, when 導 is simplified, the meaningless 已 (already) has replaced 道 (tao/ way). How can one give guidance or take the lead when the way is lost?

5. 親
親 is used to describe those you are close with, like 親戚, 親人 (relatives), 親友 (close relatives and friends); intimacy (親密); someone close to your heart (親愛的). Now that 見 (see, meet) is stripped off, how close is that person to you if you aren't even bothered to see him/ her?

Those who know nothing about Chinese characters might think the complex composition of the characters is a waste of time, but to me, each character is made up of meaningful components, which together show us the some of the greatest philosophies guiding us to live a full life.

If you are learning Chinese, learn the authentic Chinese language. And I'm glad that we use the real Chinese here in Hong Kong, thanks to, ironically, the British colonial rule.

ENDS

Comments

  1. Great post. It's very interesting. I wonder if language is really that powerful to change people's attitude. I think it is, fascist regimes have done so, kind of like Orwell's new-speak.

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