Cases where simplification made traditional characters worse/better


Can anyone give me examples of where a traditional character lost it’s beauty due to simplification? (Ex.鳳=凤)

How about those who lost their meaning due to simplification? (愛=爱 , But the 心has been simplified to a 一)

Conversely, do you know of cases where simplification made a word better? (For ex, I think 吁 is so much easier to write than籲, and after writing 鬱 i think i would also feel depressed!)

And do you know of cases where the word was improved with simplification because it was made easier to remember? (Ex: due to a phonetic point, such as 態=态, 響=响, 樣 =样)

Thanks in advance for your participation in this question!


Wikipedia has a great article on this which addresses most of the arguments in decent detail.

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Thanks, I’ll also add this link.


Personally, I find simplified harder than traditional. Many characters look rather similar 天無關/天无关 三蘭/三兰 方萬/方万 千乾/千干, some have combined meanings 只隻 are both 只, and many simplifications look NOTHING like their traditional counterparts.


I’m not very familiar with simplified so often trip up on these …天无关…Good example.

I often mix up 关 for 美

Confusingly 美 in simplified is 美


Simplified 网 is better than 網 . Because it looks more like a net

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How about 台 vs 臺?


You beat me to it!

I’m not a lover of simplified characters, but I think 臺 should be abolished in favor of 台. In fact, I’d argue that 台 is a traditional character, and the other one is hypertraditional.

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By the way, some insist that 為 is a simplified version of 爲?

If you are talking about location name for Taiwan and cities of Taiwan, then that’s absolutely true.

What about comparing if Japan did a better job simplifying Kanji with Shinjitai or China with Jiantiji?

e.g. 図 v.s. 图 、 糸 v.s. 丝


刈包 i like this one


There is also 藝術 (art, skill) simplified to 艺术。
I am conflicted to whether this is a good simplification as i would much rather hand write 艺术 instead of 藝術,but then the simplified character doesn’t reflect the meaning of the word.


Having majored in Chinese linguistics and suffered learning simplified Chinese before I learned traditional, I would say that in no case is simplified better than traditional.

Not being a native speaker, I find simplified characters difficult to write and easy to confuse. It’s hard to guess the meaning or phonetics of a simplified character I am not familiar with. (They’re also kinda ugly…)

Traditional, on the other hand, is a lot easier to guess and read. Once you get the hang of radicals, both in terms of meaning and in terms of phonetics, it’s infinitely easier. “Complicated” characters with a lot of strokes are only a pain in the ass if you have to write them out (which, let’s be honest, is rarely, unless you’re learning), it’s really not a problem if you’re reading or typing them. Traditional characters also fill out space much more evenly and look a lot better in text, IMO. I personally found it super easy to start learning traditional after having learned simplified, but am now having a hard time working with simplified… feels like nothing makes sense anymore.


況 in simplified is the same but with the ice radical instead of water. What’s the point lol
Now that most people learning to read and write are children rather than illiterate peasants could they go back to traditional?


Yes, but people less and less hand writes anything correct?


I hand write almost everything. I am learning Chinese in class though.


I feel 鬱 is much better than 郁 to express depression.


The origin of the word is simply a man lost in a large dense forest in an Orz pose.


You can imagine his frustration being lost in the woods. It’s also not difficult how the word is also used to describe dense forest, sometime so dense the fallen leaves begin to give out a rotten smell. That sense of the word also extends to things being stuck, collected in a pool or pile.

Hard to get all that from 郁.


Simplified is ugly ugly ugly and too many interesting pieces and stories go missing. And that’s that on that!



Sometimes there are multiple levels of simplification:

關 関 关

Some simplifications don’t simplify:

夠 够
內 内