A Study on the Differences of Chinese Characters between Hong Kong and the Mainland of China — The Comparison among Variant or Heteromorphic Characters and the Relevant Countermeasures

TANG, Zhixiang

International Journal of Chinese Language Education; June 2018; Issue No. 3; p.85 - 104

Department of Chinese Language Studies, The Education University of Hong Kong
Chinese Language Program, Columbia University
Chung Hwa Book Co. (H.K.) Ltd.

Hong Kong and the Mainland of China belong to the Chinese character culture circle. But there are many differences both in Chinese character teaching and in its usage standards. In addition to the big systematic difference between simplified and traditional systems, there are also many nuances in terms of its character structure, the basic strokes, components and radicals to varying degrees obviously as well.

Those differences can be divided into two types: variant character and heteromorphic character. As a variant character, the National Language Commission of China has issued a List of variant characters, so that the situation is relatively simple and the treatment method is clear. For example 撑(MC)/ 撐(HK),村 (MC)/ 邨(HK),搜(MC)/ 蒐(HK)and so on.

As for heteromorphic character, however, the nuances of its structure, basic strokes, components and the radicals not only is there a confusion in use and teaching, but its approach is not so far, such as 届(MC)/ 屆(HK),温(MC)/ 溫(HK),潜(MC)/ 潛(HK)and so on.

This kind of nuances can be similarly divided into two kinds: widely different from and slightly different from. The widely different from refers to distinct difference in its shape, for instance 搜(MC)/ 蒐(HK),杯(MC)/ 盃(HK). While so-called slightly different from refers to the same general character appearance with different details inside, as 凉(MC)/ 涼(HK),悦(MC)/ 悅(HK), 叙(MC)/ 敍(HK)and the like.

Finally, we will discuss some relevant countermeasures to the slightly different from which can arouse the attention and discussion.

Hong Kong and the Mainland character specification character research Chinese character teaching


2520-7733 (Print); 2521-4241 (Online)

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