Category Archives: history

Silk [the word] in Chinese Characters

Traditional Chinese Characters Simplified Chinese Characters
Silk Standard

The modern shapes of traditional Chinese characters first appeared with the emergence of the clerical script during the Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD), and have been more or less stable since the 5th century during the Southern and Northern Dynasties (420 – 589 AD). The term "traditional" is used to contrast traditional characters with another standardized set – simplified Chinese characters.

Simplified Chinese Characters [from 1956] are one of two standard sets of Chinese characters of the contemporary Chinese written language. They are based mostly on popular cursive (caoshu) forms embodying graphic or phonetic simplifications of the "traditional" forms that were used in printed text for over a thousand years. The government of the People’s Republic of China has promoted them for use in printing in an attempt to increase literacy. They are officially used in the People’s Republic of China or Mainland China, Singapore, and the United Nations.

Traditional Chinese is currently used in the Republic of China or Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau. Overseas Chinese communities generally use traditional characters, but simplified characters are often used among mainland Chinese immigrants. However, the majority of the Chinese-speaking world uses simplified characters.

Simplified character forms were created by decreasing the number of strokes and simplifying the forms of a sizable proportion of traditional Chinese characters. Some characters were simplified by applying regular rules; for example, by replacing all occurrences of a certain component with a simpler variant. Some characters were simplified irregularly, however, and some simplified characters are very dissimilar to and unpredictable from traditional characters. Finally, many characters were left untouched by simplification, and are thus identical between the traditional and simplified Chinese orthographies.

From the Internet, I found and used the simplified Chinese Characters you see to the right for the word Silk [to add another dimension to the graphics for my Catrike 700, which I call "Silk"]. My good friend [and BROL Member thenhbushman] MJ Klien says:

Jim, the Chinese word for silk is 絲. That should make it easier to fit on the fairing. I think your version is simplified Chinese whereas this is traditional Chinese.

From my study of this, and the information presented above [taken from Wikipedia], as well as MJ’s comments, the use of one character set versus the other is a matter of "political" history. There are additional comments with this post of exchanges between MJ and me which verify that I selected the correct traditional Chinese Characters for the word silk.

For $4.00 and a download, I now have 3 styles [Standard, Li Book, and Stone Engraving] of the traditional Chinese Characters for Silk [above, left].

It is interesting what I learn just from the effort to place graphics on  my trike. Thanks MJ.

Some may wonder how this trike acquired the name "Silk." I’ve posted this before. Let me find it…

I‘ve decided to dub My Catrike 700 “Silk“

Why Silk? Having lived in Germany and buying a black Catrike [referred to as cat], I’m using the letters [S & K] from the German words for Black Cat [Schwartz Katz]. I inserted the il to make the word Silk. Of course silk is smooth and I think fitting for the trike I am creating.

So, I guess I have an International 3-wheel recumbent HPV of sorts [made in America, a name with German roots, with Chinese Characters to represent the roots of the word Silk, and ridden by an African-American.

This post is a bit long. I hope you find it interesting as well…

Now, it will be up to Eric of ABCWings Graphics to do my graphics right.


About these ads

Additional Mike Higgins’ Blogs

Mike Higgins has three blogs, in addition to his 25th Infantry Bicycle Corps Blog:

I find his interest and research compelling. His blogs all relate to the riders and experiences of the 25th Infantry. For history buff, there’s a lot to read here. Michael is a teacher, currently living in Wyoming. This summer he plans to retrace the route ridden by the soldiers of the 25th. I’ll follow and wouldn’t mind riding with him.

Link-back to my BROL Thread.

More information on the 25th Infantry Bicycle Corps

25th Inf BC

Thought you might enjoy a blog I’m putting together. It has a lot of primary source information about the 25th Bicycle Corps. Try my blog if you’d like to dig a little deeper in your knowledge of these riders.

A few minutes ago, I received a comment [above] from Michael Higgins added to my 12/08/08 post on the 25th Infantry Bicycle Corps. I appreciate Mike bringing his blog to our attention. The information he presents is invaluable and from my initial review, his blog is definitely a site that I must revisit, again and again. Click on Mike’s banner above or “my blog” in his comment to go to his site. Thanks Mike!