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variant of 禪


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Here is a link to a Hanzi Smatter post


If you click on the 禪 you get to this link


for some reason my IME (4.0 actually) renders this with 2 口 above the 甲 on the right hand side of the character. But my plecodict has 2 "dian", or dots above the 甲. If you look at the

rendering at the unicode.org link, it looks like there are 2 dots under "The Unicode Standard," but I see, under the heading "your Browser" there are 3 dots above the 甲 which just looks totally strange to me. Is this version with 3 dots a legitimate variant?

I saw it on a kids menu/placemat at a restaurant(see attached jpg), which some may find interesting.

Note: I have no plans to blog pictures of all the placemats my kids eat off of at Asian restaurants, even though it's obviously a huge untapped opportunity for ad revenue.


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The three dots version is found more commonly if not exclusively in Japanese than in chinese, explains the tie with the "zen" pronunciation.

edit: I just put my computer back to english(US) and my google search yields the opposite of my statement so :oops:

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For the newbies, the "interesting" thing about the placemat is that there is no radical for "zen". See http://zhongwen.com/d/193/x73.htm for a breakdown.

Edit: see Hashirikata's comment below. 禪 has a radical, the part on the left hand side. But the English in the placemat seems to confuse character with radical.

Is the 2 口 version the traditional, and the 2 dots the simplified version? If that is true, then why does my IME, which is set to "Chinese(PRC)" render it as 2 口?

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I don't agree with Raye Zhang, the character 禅 with 3 dots is NOT a Chinese Hanzi but a Japanese Hanzi. If we lokk at the prononciation in kudra's pic, it sign as "zen", it is the prononciation in Japanese, not Chinese prononciation.

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I think the three-dot version was common in pre-simplification China and Japan as a handwritten variant of the two-mouth official character. It was then adopted as the standard form by the Japanese when they simplified their characters, whereas the PRC some years later adopted the two-dot version as the official simplified form. That's why nowadays the three-dot version is nearly always found in Japanese texts.

By the way, wix, a member of this forum, uses the three-dot character as his/her avatar.

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I think the three-dot version was common in pre-simplification China and Japan as a handwritten variant of the two-mouth official character.

I don't agree with this, there is no evidence shows that the 3-dots one have been used in old China,

and the 3-dots one can't be found in any Chinese charset such as GBK ro GB18030.

Hanzi in Japaese and Hanzi in Chinese are unexchangeable, such as 氷 and 冰, which mean ice.

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@ Hashirikata

Kudra, that's not quite correct. The radical is the element on the left-hand side of both 禪 and 禅. They look different but they ( 示 and 礻) are variants of the same radical 示.

Actually I knew that. :) But explained it ambiguously :( . What I meant is that the whole character 禅 is not itself a radical, as the placemat seems to imply.

Asian text is made up of characters called "radicals." Here are the radicals for "Ten" and "Zen."

And then they show the characters. The placemat seems to confuse "radical" and "character." The other example on the placemat, 十 (unlike 禅) is a radical in its own right.

Mind Reading exercise: Here's how I think the hip designers did this.

We want a cool placemat for the kids. Luckily the word "radical" features in describing hanzi. Make a pun on that. Ok, somehow the theme worked off the fact that in English, Zen, and Ten rhyme. Cool, let's write the hanzi for those words, and explain about radicals. Phonetic part, that's nerdy not radical, leave that out. Now edit a bit.

And presto, you have a placemat (and a discussion thread).

Going back and editing the bit that offending Hashirikata.:wink:

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