Simplified Chinese Characters Are Destroying the Chinese Language

Poem written in classical Chinese. (Image:  politizer via flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0)
Poem written in classical Chinese. (Image: politizer via flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0)

In China’s Commercial Press’s sixth edition of the Modern Chinese Dictionary, 239 English words, including “NBA,” have been added. After its publication, 100 scholars reported that this dictionary violates specific Chinese rules and regulations.

They also accused the Commercial Press of Latinizing some Chinese characters, i.e., using English vocabulary to replace Chinese characters. Doing so causes serious destruction to the Chinese language.

Traditional Chinese culture is found in its traditional characters

The traditional Chinese language is considered the most ancient hieroglyphic language in the world. Some scholars believe that a Chinese traditional character represents more than just a word. It is considered a bond to traditional Chinese culture and heritage.

From the structure of a character, one can see its true meaning. Because traditional Chinese writing is deeply embedded in Chinese culture, the way its characters are written represents morality and appropriate behavior.

Chinese language scholar Jiao Guobiao thinks that by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) simplifying Chinese characters, it will result in people losing the ability to recognize the true meaning and significance of Chinese characters.

Zhang Tianliang, a visiting professor at George Mason University, stated:

Zhang Tianliang added that the Chinese language has some “divinely inspired terms” related to the spiritual dimension, such as realm, enlightenment, etc., which carry the connotation of a divine culture.

He also stated:

Zhang Tianliang said that under the influence of Party culture, many Chinese words have mutated into something totally different from their original orthodox meanings. He points out:

What is harmony?

According to Confucius, a gentleman is agreeable, yet unique, and he constitutes the harmony between Heaven and Earth. This is the real meaning of harmony. The meaning of harmony today through simplified Chinese characters is “arresting people and silencing them” by the CCP.

Simplifying characters damages Chinese traditional characters beyond recognition, and by allowing the CCP to do this, they will indeed ruin 5,000 years of Chinese culture. Scholars believe that Chinese characters carry China’s cultural connotations and ethics. These characters are in the soul of every Chinese person. The nation must maintain its personality through its characters.

Country Traditional Simplified Chinese language character china culture ancient values

‘Country’ written in traditional (top) and simplified Chinese (bottom). (Image: Vision Times)

In the past, the “axe” (戈) represented the country’s defensive capability, the “mouth” (口) represented population, and the “one” (一) represented the Earth. It was thus called “country” (國). Presently, the simplified Chinese word for “country” (国) contains “jade” (玉), which simply implies wealth and power.

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