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Different forms of 新


chaiknees

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Hello,

I'm still at the very beginning of learning Chinese, so please be forgiving if below question is too stupid.

I know there are simplified and traditional characters, and I know that the character 新 is the same in both sets. My question is about the part left-bottom. Sometimes it looks like a tree 木, sometimes more like 小 with hook at the bottom and a horizontal bar... I feel a little confused by that, it seems to depend on the font. But is that normal? Actually 木 and 小 are quite different character components, so is there an explanation for that? I found the same "problem" recently with another character, too, but now cannot remember anymore.

Thank you for your comments!

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I'm still at the very beginning of learning Chinese, so please be forgiving if below question is too stupid.

The only question that's "too stupid" is the one that isn't asked.

新 does have a hook at the bottom of the left componnent. Some fonts will distort Chinese characters. I use SimSun, as do many other people. Give it a try.

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Japanese fonts usually don't display that "hook". And yes, there are a lot of characters with the same difference in style between de Japanese and the Chinese variant.

I find this kind of things very interesting but there are not many people that realize those differences. It's great to compare the Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Mainland versions of characters.

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According to Wenlin, the character 新 is

"From 亲 qīn phonetic and 斤 (jīn) 'axe'.

亲 qīn (as in 母亲 mǔqīn 'mother') is from 辛 xīn phonetic and 木 (mù) 'tree'.

斤 jīn 'axe' suggests the meaning 'new' because you chop wood to make something new."

This explains why there's a variant form of 新 without that hook; it doesn't explain how the hook got there in the first place.

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新 does have a hook at the bottom of the left componnent.

Taiwan's Ministry of Education for one, disagrees.

Some fonts will distort Chinese characters.

This sounds too harsh. Those are just variations, likely to be seen on other characters (like 茶).

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Is that hook important?

PS - I mean, I write without that hook. But I don't know if it is just my handwriting, or that I was taught to write this way. I think some elements in a word are important, without which everyone will think that the word is wong. But sometimes some elements are not. This is not helpful to learners, I know.

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Hello people.

The character 亲 means "hazel," so the bottom is indeed 木. However, components of characters change forms, sometimes radically, when they are used in different parts. 木 is commonly written as in this 新 when it is below other components.

it doesn't explain how the hook got there in the first place.

The hook got there the same way it got on 小, which is that the next stroke after 亅 is above the endpoint, and in 楷書 one is allowed to let that influence the end of the vertical stroke.

Some fonts will distort Chinese characters. I use SimSun, as do many other people.
I think some of the characters are displayed downright incorrectly...Right?

It is true that some typefaces to render Chinese characters incorrectly (including SimSun), but it is more likely because they are following a standard that writes characters incorrectly rather than because the designers don't know what they're doing. The presence or absence of a hook in 新 doesn't matter. I wrote about standards in my blog post here. Standard characters are a type of variant.

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