Please take note of the following:
- Examples are given in the following order: Simplified Chinese (SC) vs. Traditional Chinese (TC).
- The same characters/components’ only refers to characters/components that are identical in graphical look, i.e. characters with the same meaning but differ in appearance between TC and SC are referred to as ‘a pair’.
Generally there are several differences between characters in TC and SC:
1. Within a character, editors should pay attention to the component that refers to the meaning, i.e. the Pianpang(偏旁). Pianpang can be at different place of a character, depending on the structural type of the character, but usually for characters of left-right structure (there is a component on the left and the other one on the right), the left one is the Pianpang; for characters of up-and-down structure, the upper component is the Pianpang. There are common pairs of Pianpang in which TC and SC are different. The following table lists the most common ones, editors should bear in mind the differences.
(Note: the last three ones are Pianpang that occupies the right position of a character)
2. For characters without a Pianpang, i.e. Single character (独体字), or for characters that share the same Pianpang, usually as a common rule, the character in TC has more total number of radicals than SC, i.e. the character with the same meaning in TC looks more complicated than SC. e.g.:Without Pianpang: 参 vs. 參 (the upper component)；长 vs. 長 and 见 vs. 見 (more lines in TC); 亚 vs. 亞 (SC doesn’t use that much ‘folded lines’ as TC, it’s common that the folded line in SC is replaced with the combination of a point and a straight line); 业 vs. 業(the SC is only a component of TC); Sometimes TC and SC can look pretty similar, but again TC is more complicated in terms of the ease of writing. e.g. :壮 vs. 壯; 妆 vs. 妝；虚 vs. 虛
With the same Pianpang: 迟 vs. 遲 (the component within the Pianpang 辶; 陈vs. 陳 (the component on the right of the Pianpang 阝, i.e. 东 vs. 東, which are Single Characters themselves)
3. Because a great amount of Chinese characters are combinations with a Pianpang and a Single Character, based on 1 & 2, it is understandable that there can be pairs in which Pianpang and the other component (if it is a Single Character itself) are both different. e.g. 证 vs. 證; 厅 vs. 廳
4. There are also character pairs that use different Pianpang in TC and SC, or in TC there used to be a Pianpang, but in SC it was omitted, then the editor need to accumulate some knowledge of such pairs by experience. e.g. 托 vs. 託 in the word ‘托辞(託辭)’; 咏 vs. 詠; 表 vs. 錶.