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Sympa

Different characters....

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Sympa

Hi!

I've just started learning chinese on my own and I've got a little question regarding fonts and characters. While looking at the characters for bread, ie mian4 bao1, I noticed that bao1 is rendered differentely using different fonts. I noticed that MS fonts (eg ms arial unicode, ms gothic or ms mincho) tend to render it one way, while other fonts (eg simsun, mingliu, stxihei...) render it differently. That different fonts render characters differently comes perhaps as no surprise, but to the point that one would, without knowing any better, think they were different characters makes me wonder. So is this an error in the MS fonts, or is it just an example of "artistic freedom" (and thus making life harder for a poor chinese student)?

Here is what I'm talking about:

clipboard01rr4.png

Thanks for any comments

/Sympa

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seesaw

Strictly speaking, I think it is an error in your ms fonts. I was told many times when I was a child that, it is very important to differentiate between structures like 己, 已, and 巳.

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Long Zhiren

I routinely use ms fonts and have once before encountered somebody saying that such and such character is not quite correct. I didn't know well enough myself to judge. I suspected "artistic freedom" at the time but now I am getting suspicious.

Maybe SimSun or something else is better.

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HashiriKata

If a variation created by us, the mere mortal, it is an error.

If it is by Microsoft, it is either an expression of "artistic freedom" or a "soon-to-be standard".

:mrgreen:

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Long Zhiren
If it is by Microsoft, it is either an expression of "artistic freedom" or a "soon-to-be standard".

:shock:

Did you notice that Google (instead of say...Yahoo) got the front end for mainland's 110 million computer users?

Here's a character that looks suspicious:

I've seen the left radical written in different ways. Is there a correct way?

I simply did a cut and paste here from an "arial unicode ms" but I'm not sure how to transform it into other fonts for comparison.

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Oriphia

包 (with 巳 inside) is a Chinese Hanzi, 包 (with 己 inside) is a Japanese Hanzi.

PS:I don't think 祂 is a hitoric character, I search on google, 90% results are the pronoun means "the One" in Christianism, I just thinking that it is a character had been created while Christianism brought in China. On the other hand, those characters with the radical "礻" (come of 示) usually relate to religion, faith and belief, such as 神 means "God", 福 means "Fortune", 社 means "altar(original meaning)", 祖 means "ancestors"

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Sympa

ok, thanks for the clarifications

somehow it reassures me that it was just an error....

As a side note I have another question on the same theme. This time it's about han2 as in bao1han2, more precisely the stroke under the "roof" (sorry, no offence, I just don't know the terminology :wink: ). Is it common to "alter" characters like this?

clipboard01yf4.png

/Sympa

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kudra

I think the space should be closed up in bao, see

http://www.csulb.edu/~txie/azi/page1.htm

interestingly, on txie's page, the annimated form closes the space, and the font over the link does not close it.

For 含 han, that seems like legitimate latitude by the font designer. But for writing by hand the top version is closer to what you want. I'm no authority on variants though.

This brings up an interesting point: It is hard to learn to write by hand if all you have is printed characters to go by. Eventually one learns the translation between the various fonts and the handwritten version. However, your post that started the thread points out that even if you know the "translation" rules from printed fonts to handwritting, you can't always trust the font as the authority.

I'd be interested to know a source with explicit hand writing directions for lots of characters, say 3000, including variants and simplified/traditional. One gets that for the first 1300 or so characters in the Written Standard Chinese series by Huang and Stimson, but it takes up a lot of space (20 characters per page, 1300/20=53+say another 10 for variants and simplified forms = 60 pages in 4 vol series) If anyone has a link handy....

There is probably a chinese-forums post on all this already.

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Long Zhiren
礻" (come of 示)

Thank you for pulling up the other form of this radical.

This was my point. Sometimes, you see this radical written the first way and other times the other way for the same character. Is one radical form more correct than the other?

I'll start putting more examples on when they come to mind.

was just an example use of the radical 礻 (or 示). Any other character that uses this radical becomes game for the same question.

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Weronika
Sympa

... Is it common to "alter" characters like this?

Yes I saw it, and it's very useful. For example see the attachement. yan2

592_thumb.attach

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kudra

in IME(4.0) I see it rendered with the 口 spread across the whole bottom part of the character, but see here

http://zhongwen.com/d/177/x210.htm

where the 口 is only on the bottom of the left hand side. The simplified version, uh, simplifies this issue.

I'm guessing these are both acceptable variants, and it's just that the font or ime designer chose one or the other.

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