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Characters in Chinese language

  The Chinese written language employs Characters in Chinese language, which is logograms: each symbol represents a semanteme or morpheme (a meaningful unit of language), as well as one syllable; the written language can thus be termed a morphemo-syllabic script.
  Characters in Chinese language evolved over time from earliest forms of hieroglyphs. The idea that all Characters in Chinese language are either pictographs or ideographs is an erroneous one: most characters contain phonetic parts, and are composites of phonetic components and semantic Radicals. Only the simplest characters, such as ren 人 (human), ri 日 (sun), shan 山 (mountain), shui 水 (water), may be wholly pictorial in origin. In 100 AD, the famed scholar Xǚ Shèn in the Hàn Dynasty classified characters into 6 categories, namely pictographs, simple ideographs, compound ideographs, phonetic loans, phonetic compounds and derivative characters. Of these, only 4% as pictographs, and 80-90% as phonetic complexes consisting of a semantic element that indicates meaning, and a phonetic element that arguably once indicated the pronunciation. There are about 214 radicals recognized in the Kangxi Dictionary, which indicate what the character is about semantically.
   There are currently two systems for Characters in Chinese language. The traditional system, still used in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau, takes its form from standardized character forms dating back since the late Han dynasty. The Simplified Chinese character system, developed by the PRC Mainland China in 1954 to promote mass literacy, simplifies most complex traditional glyphs to fewer strokes, many to common caoshu shorthand variants, with a larger pool of synonymous characters.
   Singapore, which has a large Chinese community, is the first – and at present the only – foreign nation to officially adopt simplified characters, although it has also become the de facto standard for younger ethnic Chinese in Malaysia. The Internet provides the platform to practice reading the alternative system, be it traditional or simplified.

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