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Variant Simplifications

Bird in a Forest

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Bird in a Forest

Hello everyone,


While I was at an airport in China, I noticed that some of the signs on shops that were selling noodles had a character that was composed of: 麦 and 面 (in that order). Now, this is obviously a simplification of the traditional form: 麵. The standard official simplification as I know was simply 面, which merged the meaning of "flour; noodles" with the meaning of "side; face".


I have always been annoyed with the the loss of the wheat radical from 麵 and the metal radical in 錶, as well as the loss of the meaning radicals in a few other characters in the simplifications. What I want to know is whether this is "an official variant" and whether this would be accepted in mainland China (or actively discouraged) in personal writings/blogs/exams/publications/forms etc.

Additionally, I also saw a sign for Biang Biang Noodles which used simplified radicals (although I saw another which used the traditional form and then used 面 after). Which one of those would be "official"?

Thanks everyone :)

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Question 1: definitely non-standard, although presumably perfectly well understood if they're using it in shops on the mainland. Seems it's in unicode though: 麺.


Question 2: neither, I'm pretty sure there's no governmentally prescribed standard for this character. It's certainly not in unicode. I've seen both traditional and simplified forms used on the mainland; I assume that the only reason the traditional form is used is to play up the legendary complexity of the character.

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I'm also often annoyed by simplifications that make a character harder to understand (or easier to confuse) such as 發 and 髮 or 乾 and 幹 being merged into one,or the fusion of the 月 / 肉 radical (although this one you can usually guess by whether it's on the left or the right side). 


Someone also recently posted a thread about variants, I'd love to hear more on this topic from those with a bit of insight.

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