Chinese Language Learning – Introducing 改革字 Reformed Chinese Characters, an in-the-middle alternative to Simplified & Traditional Chinese

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TLDR: 改革字是介於簡体字和繁体字之間的替代方案 Reformed Chinese is an answer to the seemingly unending Simplified versus Traditional debate. Its purpose is to unify Simplified, Traditional, and potentially Japanese kanji too into one same 漢字 hanzi standard. Reformed combines Traditional’s beauty and Simplified’s legibility, the best of both worlds. I’ve unexhaustively compiled [795 Reforms out of 3700 characters]( and provided [500 illustrative example sentences](, you are encouraged to ask questions or provide feedback in the Google Sheets, don’t forget you can filter the columns too. You may also request that I convert any Chinese sentences in the comments here into Reformed (to the best of Unicode’s ability).

I spent way, way too much time on this project but am happy with the outcome and am curious what others think 🙏 Photos: #1 Flag, #2-4 Reforms (excerpt), #5 How left-side radical 糸 like in 統、純、練 appears, #6-10 Example Sentences (excerpt)

Quick Links

– [什庅是改革字 What is Reformed Chinese?]( (Full article detailing the process)
– [改革字縂表 Reformed Chinese Characters List]( 795 Reforms / 3700 漢字 Hanzi
– [改革字例句 500 Example Sentences]( in order of Reformed, Traditional, Simplified
– Also on [GitHub](, [Instagram](, [Medium](, and r/ReformedChinese where I’ll convert Chinese Reddit posts into Reformed

Below are brief excerpts from the full article ([GitHub](, [Medium]( which provides much more details about the Reform process. I heavily consulted several sources which I listed in full article, big shout-out to [教育部異體字字典 Dictionary of Chinese Character Variants]( and Pleco add-on [Outlier Linguistics Dictionary of Chinese Characters]( (u/OutlierLinguistics)!


If you’re familiar with written Chinese, you most likely know about the endless, heated [debate between Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese]( regarding which is the superior character set, both of which have their own pros and cons. Simplified reduces character strokes often at the cost of beauty while Traditional preserves Chinese culture and aesthetics but may be a hassle to handwrite. In today’s digital age, handwriting is not as much of a high priority versus in the past because most people type and typing Traditional takes the same amount of effort as typing Simplified. For example, pinyin inputting “ma”, just two letters, yields both 馬 and its Simplified form 马 depending on the preferred character set. However when the displayed text size is small, certain complex Traditional characters such as 舊、體、寶 may appear illegible compared to their Simplified counterparts 旧、体、宝. At the same time, Simplified set contains too many visually unpleasing characters e.g. 见、专、风 far off from their historical orthodox forms and it’d be a deep cultural loss to completely discard Traditional for Simplified. Therefore after much meticulous research, I am introducing a new character set, 改革字 **Reformed Chinese**, to capture the best of both worlds: Traditional’s **beauty** *and* Simplified’s **legibility**.

Notable Features

– **Overlap** e.g. 会、点、国 in both Simplified and Japanese
– **Resemblance to Traditional** e.g. 變→変、齊→斉
– **Historicity** e.g. 俻 is a variant recorded in Liang dynasty dictionary *Yupian* (玉篇)
– **Consistency** e.g. 儈→侩、澮→浍、檜→桧、etc
– **Logic** e.g. 心 “heart” in 愛 “love”
– **Frequency** e.g. 个、几、从
– **No oddly regularized cursive**, nothing like 东、发、図
– **No cluttering** e.g. 鑿→凿、釁→衅
– **No drastic component omissions**, nothing like 广、产、乡
– Unhooked Chinese Unicode 糸 when left-side radical not 糹, closely similar to what’s found in Kangxi Dictionary (康熙字典) and modern Japanese, Korean printing typefaces


Please remember you are encouraged to comment, critique, ask questions about [Reformed Chinese characters list]( in the Google Sheets itself or here. You may also email me at Thank you!

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