Put the Heart Back in Love: Chinese Symbol for Love

Often, we hear people say, “Honey, I love you with all my heart!”


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.


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


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 Chinese Communist Party gained control and 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 (kanji), Korea (hanja), and most Chinese communities in North America. Unless otherwise specified, Good Characters uses traditional characters for their classic and artistic value.


Please don't write, don't use, don't buy the heartless love. Support “Put the heart back in love”.



“Simplified” Chinese?


Sim char r fewer in # n were cre8ed 2 mk the wrtn lang ezr 2 learn cus the char hv fewer strokes. (Simplified characters are fewer in number and were created to make the written language easier to learn because the characters have fewer strokes.) That is what many people in China believe and have been taught.


But is it true?


If it were, we could similarly raise the literacy rate in American by using abbreviated words and sentences. Unfortunately, this is not how language works.


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

Also, if you're familiar with the Bible, I am sure you will remember that Jesus once said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.” It is the most important commandment of all.


Chinese character for heart.

Simplified Chinese character for love.


The heart is gone!

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Some research even indicates that learning simplified characters makes learning harder. Simplifying the characters has removed many of the relationships between characters. Many characters were simplified merely for the sake of simplifying. Often the connections between characters were broken as a result. Try eliminating some English prefixes, roots, or suffixes and use abbreviated words in their place and see if that helps in learning the language.

Simplified characters are used in China and traditional characters are used in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and overseas Chinese communities. Simplification is actually making life a little more complicated. One now has to know both sets of characters in order to communicate with Chinese from different regions.

Furthermore, reducing the number of strokes in a character reduces the contrast between characters. Readers have difficulty distinguishing simplified characters from one another. It can take more mental effort to read a paragraph written in simplified Chinese than in traditional characters.


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