Second round of simplified Chinese characters

Second Round Of Simplified Chinese Characters

Second round of simplified Chinese characters

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The second round of Chinese character simplification, officially known as the Draft for the Second Chinese Character Simplification Scheme (Second Scheme or Second Round for short) was an aborted orthography reform officially promulgated on 20 December 1977 by the People's Republic of China. It was intended to replace the existing (first-round) simplified Chinese characters that were already in use. The complete proposal contained a list of 248 characters that were to be simplified immediately, as well as another list of 605 characters for evaluation and discussion. Of these, 21 from the first list and 40 from the second also served as components of other characters, amplifying the impact on written Chinese.

Following widespread confusion and opposition, the second round of simplification was officially rescinded on 24 June 1986 by the State Council. Since then, the People's Republic of China has used the first-round simplified characters as its official script. Rather than ruling out further simplification, however, the retraction declared that further reform of the Chinese characters should henceforth proceed with caution. Today, some second-round simplified characters, while considered nonstandard, continue to survive in informal usage. The issue of whether and how simplification should proceed remains a matter of debate.

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The traditional relationship between written Chinese and vernacular Chinese has been compared to that of Latin with the Romance languages in...
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