Simplified Chinese Characters Are Destroying the Chinese Language

Traditional Chinese characters.

The traditional Chinese language is considered the most ancient hieroglyphic language globally. (Image: Lucia Collazos Gonzalez via Dreamstime)

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 long-established Chinese language rules.

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

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Traditional Chinese language and characters contain traditional Chinese culture

The traditional Chinese language is considered the most ancient hieroglyphic language globally. Some scholars believe that a traditional Chinese character represents more than just a word. It is regarded as 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 the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) simplifying Chinese characters 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:

“If the connotation of the vocabulary is still there, those foreign words won’t cause conflict to the Chinese language; they are only communicative terms in people’s daily lives.”

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 divine culture.

He also stated:

“Chinese people have a culture of communicating with God, a deep connotation of their origin, which stems from a high source. The term for ‘heavenly dynasty’ carries such spiritual meaning. Due to the CCP’s linguistic changes, the word ‘heavenly’ has become a derogatory word to describe the Communist Party. It is a rather terrible deviation.”

A calligrapher hand writing chinese calligraphy.
From the structure of a character, one can see its true meaning. (Image: Cmccg17 via Dreamstime)

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

“The word ‘greatness’ is a good word, but it has been distorted and used to praise the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) instead. Thus, it adds a connotation of Party culture. This is an example of the CCP abusing Chinese traditional culture.”

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. But unfortunately, the definition of harmony today through simplified Chinese characters is “arresting people and silencing them” by the CCP.

Many Chinese words have mutated into something different from their original orthodox meanings under the influence of Party culture, irreparably damaging the Chinese language.
Many Chinese words have mutated into something different from their original orthodox meanings under the influence of Party culture, irreparably damaging the Chinese language. (Image: Kim Pin Tan via Dreamstime)

Simplifying characters damages traditional Chinese 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. Therefore, the nation must maintain its personality through its characters.

In the past, the “ax” (戈) represented the country’s defensive capability, the “mouth” (口) represented the 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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