China sets down standards for Chinese characters

Updated: 2013-08-27 20:43


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BEIJING - An official list standardizing the appearance of commonly used Chinese language characters has been published, the Ministry of Education revealed Tuesday.

The 8,105 characters included in the list were chosen based on their frequency of use from hundreds of thousands of characters that have emerged since ancient times, according to the expert team that compiled the list.

"Multiple standards released previously have failed to meet the demands of current use. An expansion and re-selection of frequently used characters was called for and the use of Chinese characters on the Internet is in urgent need of regulating," said Zhang Haoming, a senior official with the ministry.

The list, which took a decade to compile, aims to regulate the appearance of these characters, most notably in print form, and also adopts many rare characters that occasionally appear in names.

According to Zhang, the standard, which also includes a table for conversion between the simplified and traditional forms of these characters, will also facilitate Chinese language communications between countries and regions.

Many Chinese characters have two written forms: the traditional form, usually containing many strokes, is widely used in Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, while the simplified form has been in use on the Chinese mainland since the 1950s.

According to the ministry, the list will be revised in accordance with future circumstances.