In this section:
The long and rich history of Chinese characters is described in a number of places. Two of the most accessible are Fazzioli [FAZ] and Omniglot [OMNI]. The main categories that are of interest are traditional characters, simplified characters, characters used in phoenetic systems, such as Hanyu pinyin, non-Han Chinese characters, and foreign characters. Also, of interest are punctuation marks used in Chinese that are not used in English and the system of radicals used to compose Chinese characters.
Traditional Chinese characters are the set of characters that Chinese have been using for thousands of years since the first Emperor, Qin Shi Huang (秦始皇, Pinyin: Qín Shǐ Huáng) unified China and unified the writing system during his reign from 247 BCE to 221 BCE. The Chinese Communist government decided that the complexity of these characters was an obstacle to learning and partly responsible for the high rate of illiteracy in China so in the 1950's and 1960's it introduced a simplified set of characters. The set of simplified characters are very similar to the traditional characters and the same in many cases. Many simplifications are based on short cuts for the traditional characters that had popularly developed over the years for convenience in handwriting. An example of simplification of a Chinese character is the simplification of the character 漢 (the majority Chinese ethnic group and a Chinese dynasty) to 汉.
There is no equivalent of the English concept of capital letters for Chinese characters.
Foreign characters, including English and other Eurpoean languages, Japanese, Korean, and Russian often occur side-by-side with Chinese text. This is a good reason to think in terms of encodings that can represent all these characters together and avoid those encodings that were historically invented to deal specifically with Chinese. With the growing maturity of the software idustry in general it is more and more desirable to develop software that can store, process, and display text from any writing system.
Chinese characters can be broken down into radicals that can be used to describe how the characters are structured. An example of a radical is 木 meaning wood. This is a part of the characters for tree (树), forrest (林), stick (棍), and many others. There is a set of 227 radicals in most Chinese dictionaries.
About 关于本网站 © chinesenotes.com 2007-2010. Please send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.