心言水木

心言水木 is a Chinese phoneticization with two main goals in mind: (a) it must look and speak natively “Chinese” so that it fits comfortably besides present-day characters if need be and also be able to do anything conventional Chinese characters can do; in this vein, it continues to use the sound components from present-day Chinese characters so as to allow existing readers and writers to be able to switch easily, and (b) it must depict the entire sound of each syllable (tone, consonants and vowels) accurately and unambiguously and reading and writing must be easy and deterministic.

Thus, each character in this system has two parts: a tone component and a consonant + vowel component which carries the remainder of the sound. On the top, bottom or left side will be one of 心言水木 as the tone component, 心 (xīn) indicating the first, 言 (yán) the second, 水 (shuǐ) the third and 木 (mù) the fourth tone respectively. The neutral tone would be indicated by omitting this tone component.

Given below is the list of phonetic components that will go on the right side of each character and convey the sound minus the tone. In all, there are only 435 characters to be learned, including a few very common characters which are excluded from the phoneticization, such as those required for numbers and dates. The emphasis with this script is not on having the least number of strokes in the character, but rather on having a consistent system that, once learned, can be used deterministically to read and write sounds. Thus, many characters in this script will have more and many will have less strokes than their current counterparts; however, this is only because stroke count was very marginally considered during its making.

Numbers and some time words are still as is: 一二三四五六七八九十百千万亿年月日

Conversion Examples

  • 让 = 欀
  • 我 = 涐
  • 酒 = 氿
  • 可惜 = 淉恓
  • 但是 = 柦是
  • 敏感 = 泯汗
  • 变化 = 楄杹

And here is an entire sentence, which has been carefully concocted so that it can leverage existing Unihan characters:

析桇 二〇〇八年 椷杍 懦楆 杕 楄杹, 梛 朹是 《心言水木》 泻杍 栖洞。(心言水木)
进入 二〇〇八年 汉字 需要 大 变化, 那 就是 《心言水木》 写字 系统。(简体汉字)
Jìnrù èr líng líng bā nián Hànzì xūyào dà biànhuà, nà jiùshì “Xīn Yán Shuǐ Mù” xiězì xìtǒng. (汉语拼音)

The Phonetic Components

a           阿

ai          艾

an          安

ang         卬

ao          敖

ba          巴

bai         拜

ban         半

bang        邦

bao         包

bei         北

ben         本

beng        崩

bi          比

bian        扁

biao        表

bie         别

bin         兵

bing        并

bo          白

bu          卜

ca          祭

cai         采

can         参

cang        仓

cao         曹

ce          朿

cen         岑

ceng        曾

cha         查

chai        柴

chan        毚

chang       昌

chao        巢

che         车

chen        辰

cheng       成

chi         尺

chong       重

chou        周

chu         出

chua        欻

chuai       耑

chuan       川

chuang      囱

chui        垂

chun        春

chuo        辵

ci          此

cong        从

cou         奏

cu          卒

cuan        串

cui         崔

cun         寸

cuo         昔

da          大

dai         代

dan         旦

dang        当

dao         刀

de          得 (the right side)

dei         得

den         扥 (the right side)

deng        登

di          氐

dia         嗲

dian        点

diao        吊

die         枼

ding        丁

diu         丢

dong        冬

dou         豆

du          度

duan        段

dui         对

dun         盾

duo         朵

e           恶

ei          矣

en          因

eng         弇

er          儿

fa          发

fan         反

fang        方

fei         非

fen         分

feng        丰

fo          佛

fou         否

fu          畐

ga          戛

gai         改 (the left side)

gan         干

gang        冈

gao         高

ge          各

gei         给

gen         艮

geng        更

gong        共

gou         勾

gu          古

gua         圭

guai        乖

guan        关

guang       光

gui         鬼

gun         昆

guo         呙

ha          哈

hai         亥

han         感

hang        巷

hao         号

he          可

hei         黑

hen         很

heng        亨

hm          噷

hng         哼

hong        工

hou         后

hu          乎

hua         化

huai        不

huan        奂

huang       黄

hui         回

hun         昏

huo         火

ji          几

jia         夹

jian        见

jiang       井

jiao        交

jie         介

jin         斤

jing        京

jiong       冋

jiu         九

ju          居

juan        卷

jue         角

jun         军

ka          卡

kai         开

kan         看

kang        亢

kao         考

ke          果

kei         克

ken         肯

keng        巠

kong        空

kou         口

ku          库

kua         夸

kuai        夬

kuan        宽

kuang       匡

kui         亏

kun         困

kuo         阔

la          立

lai         来

lan         兰

lang        郎

lao         劳

le          了

lei         雷

leng        令

li          里

lia         俩

lian        连

liang       良

liao        尞

lie         列

lin         林

ling        另

liu         卯

lo          咯

long        龍

lou         娄

lu          录

luan        乚

lun         仑

luo         罗

lü          率

lüe         畧

m           呒

ma          马

mai         买

man         滿 (the right side)

mang        亡

mao         毛

me          么

mei         每

men         門

meng        孟

mi          米

mian        面

miao        苗

mie         灭

min         民

ming        名

miu         翏

mo          莫

mou         某

mu          母

n           嗯

na          那

nai         乃

nan         南

nang        囊

nao         惱 (the right side)

ne          呢

nei         内

nen         嫩

neng        能

ng          嗯

ni          尼

nia         嬢

nian        廿

niang       娘

niao        鸟

nie         圼

nin         您

ning        宁

niu         牛

nong        弄

nou         辱

nu          奴

nuan        爰

nuo         郍

nü          女

nüe         疟

o           喔

ou          区

pa          白

pai         派 (the right side)

pan         盘

pang        旁

pao         刨

pei         裴

pen         盆

peng        朋

pi          皮

pian        片

piao        票

pie         敝

pin         品

ping        平

po          叵

pou         咅

pu          甫

qi          奇

qia         臽

qian        佥

qiang       畺

qiao        乔

qie         切

qin         亲

qing        青

qiong       穷

qiu         求

qu          去

quan        全

que         却

qun         君

ran         然

rang        襄

rao         尧

re          热

ren         人

reng        艿

ri          日

rong        容

rou         肉

ru          如

ruan        软

rui         睿

run         閏

ruo         若

sa          卅

sai         赛 (the top)

san         散

sang        桑

sao         彐

se          色

sen         森

seng        僧/鬙

sha         杀

shai        傻 (the right side)

shan        山

shang       上

shao        少

she         舍

shei        谁

shen        申

sheng       生

shì         是 ('to be')

shí         时 ('time')

shi         十 (使 = 汁)

shou        手

shu         束

shua        刷

shuai       帅

shuan       閂

shuang      双

shui        水

shun        顺

shuo        兑

si          司

song        公

sou         叟

su          素

suan        算

sui         虽

sun         孙

suo         锁 (the right side)

ta          也

tai         台

tan         难

tang        唐

tao         兆

te          特

tei         忒

teng        疼

ti          替

tian        天

tiao        条

tie         失

ting        厅

tong        同

tou         头

tu          土

tuan        团

tui         退

tun         屯

tuo         乇

wa          凹

wai         外

wan         完

wang        王

wei         韦

wen         文

weng        翁

wo          我

wu          吾

xi          西

xia         下

xian        先

xiang       相

xiao        肖

xie         写

xin         心

xing        星

xiong       凶

xiu         休

xu          需

xuan        宣

xue         学

xun         旬

ya          牙

yan         炎

yang        羊

yao         要

ye          业

yi          乙

yin         音

ying        印

yo          唷

yong        用

you         又

yu          余

yuan        元

yue         戉

yun         云

za          杂

zai         再

zan         赞

zang        庄

zao         喿

ze          则

zei         贼

zen         怎

zeng        曽

zha         乍

zhai        宅

zhan        占

zhang       長

zhao        召

zhe         者

zhei        这

zhen        真

zheng       正

zhi         止

zhong       中

zhou        州

zhu         主

zhua        爪

zhuai       曳

zhuan       专

zhuang      童/壮

zhui        隹

zhun        准

zhuo        叕

zi          子

zong        宗

zou         走

zu          足

zuan        兼

zui         最

zun         尊

zuo         坐
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4 Responses to “心言水木”

  1. 1 Luke

    Although I understand where the desire for this system comes from I think that it is unlikely to be adopted

    In terms of writing (by hand) the tones take up half the space, making the characters hard to read and the extra three strokes will take twice as long to write. Tone markers could be included in cases where there would be ambiguity (e.g. wen). Even if “shi” was written as either: 师 时 使 是 it would significantly easier than learning the 90 or so different characters for “shi”

    Even after you create the 2000 characters needed, what would be your method of computer entry? You would have to return to some form of component alphabet.

    A system similar to Korean that merged the initial, final and tone into one symbol would resolve this problem but then it wont “look Chinese” anymore

    Ultimately, even though I like this idea, I think that people who are opposed to the enormous complexity of the character system wont like it because its not a romanized alphabet – and you will never be able to convert the people who already use either the simplified of traditional character sets.

    That said, as a Chinese student, I wish you luck and I would like to know how the progressed in the six months since you las posted.

    good luck,

    luke

  2. 2 minshirui

    Hi Luke,

    Thanks for your reply. I think you make some excellent points and I agree with most if not all of them. I definitely agree with your point about Hangul being a very well done East Asian writing system, one of the factors making it that being that you can type it directly without using some intermediary system like Pinyin, and yes certainly even this new system I’ve proposed does not solve this problem. Pretty much the only thing this solves is that it looks similar to the current script and is deterministic. And that it is a script I would be satisfied with. Sadly, as beautiful as characters are, they are very impractical for learners.


  1. 1 The Myth of Ambiguity « 閔士睿的日记
  2. 2 The Phoneticization of Chinese « 閔士睿的日记

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