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Chinese Symbol for Love (愛)

Love. Traditional Chinese character, also known as kanji in Japan and hanja in Korea.

Traditional Chinese for Love
Chinese symbol for love with a heart
Love with all my heart
Heart
Chinese symbol for heart

Often, we hear people say, "Honey, I love you with all my heart!" Sir Phillip Sidney wrote "My true love hath my heart." Also, have heard that Jesus said, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul?" It is the most important commandment of all.

It is no doubt how closely love and heart are related. Guess what? When you pay close attention to the Chinese character, or hanzi, for Love you will notice a heart right in the middle of it! Amazing, isn't it? Also, it is very easy to pronounce. It sounds like the English word "I" or "eye", in both Mandarin Chinese and Japanese.

How do you write love in Chinese?

Above: Flash animation. Click on "Play" to learn how to write love in Chines character.

Sometimes you might find Love written resembling Simplified Love below. What happened to the heart?

Simplified Love (爱)
Simplified Chinese character for love
What? No hearts. Just "friends"

It is gone! This kind of character is a simplified character. It is new, but not necessarily better, at least in this case.

The Chinese have been using the traditional characters for several thousand years. About 50 years ago the government of China changed the writing system. It was a stepping-stone towards eliminating characters and eventually replacing them with the Western Roman alphabet. Fortunately, this plan is no longer in place. However, simplified characters are here to stay.

Simplified characters are fewer in number and are designed to be easier to learn because the characters have fewer strokes. At this time, simplified characters are used officially in China and Singapore. The traditional characters are still in use in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan (as kanji), Korea (as hanja), and most Chinese communities in North America. Unless otherwise specified, Good Characters uses traditional characters for their classic and artistic value.

You can read more about simplified characters from here.

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