Here's a page that actually shows the difference between traditional and
simplified Chinese characters:

I personally prefer the traditional characters, but obviously the
simplified character are...simpler. :)

It's like the difference in English between "light" and "lite".

Most characters are made up of 2 or more "radicals", which are basically
picture-thoughts which, when combined, make up a descriptive word or thought.

If you look at the first character listed for "hua" (speech) on the website
I gave above, the left-hand part of the character means "word", and is a
pictograph of words flowing out of a mouth (3 lines and a dot coming out of
a square box). The right hand part of the character means "tongue", and is
a picture of a tongue sticking out of a mouth. Put the two together, and
voila! word + tongue = speech. :)

The traditional character listed for jian (see) is a huge eye with legs.

It's really interesting to look at the original Chinese characters some
2000 years ago, they look more like the words they describe. If anyone is
interested, I can post some examples of early scripts.

If you are interested in writing Chinese and pictograph origins, I
recommend "Reading and Writing Chinese", by William McNaughton. It goes
into detail on many common pictographs, including strokes. Unfortunately,
it does not use the more widely used pinyin system for English
pronounciation, but I can understand because the pinyin pronounciations
rarely make sense to English speakers.
(i.e. "Xue" [study] is pronounced shooay, "Chi" [to eat] is pronounced
churr, and "Qi" [breath] is pronounced chee. You get the idea.)

Anyways this was longer than intended, but I hope it was helpful!

-- Linda

>Message: 3
> Date: Thu, 06 Mar 2003 11:00:12 -0500
> From: Nicholas Bodley <nbodley@...>
>Subject: Chinese numerals (Was: Re: Chinese RtoL?)
>2003-03-06 02:27:45, Linda <goewyn@...> wrote:
> >Numbers are still written using Chinese characters, but most
>characters are now written in a simplified form using fewer
>I assume you mean those (parenthesized) at U+3220? (For people
>who don't know them, note that U+3220 is one, and U+3229 is ten.
>You need to "offset the Unicode code point by one".)
> >The dictionary usually provides the simplified form first, with
>the more complex form in parentheses afterwards.
>Does anyone have the Unicode code points for the traditional
>fancy ones? (I surely don't want to put anyone to any trouble,
>but at some unpredictable time, that info. could be useful.)
>Best regards,
> Nicholas Bodley |@| Waltham, Mass.
> Sent by Opera 6.05 e-mail
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