The past century has seen changes to the written Chinese language, resulting in the use of two Chinese character sets, Simplified and Traditional, within the Chinese community. Both sets of characters, though similar in meaning and pronunciation, can look vastly different, due in part to the simplification or reduction in number of strokes. Simplified Chinese as its name implies, contains fewer strokes in its formation.
To write a Chinese character, one needs to know only 8 basic strokes, all found within the single character “永”. Reading and understanding the language, however, requires long periods of study and proficiency.
Chinese characters are made up of radicals or components that can be arranged horizontally, vertically or a combination of both. The arrangement and relative alignment of the written strokes and the sequence in which they are executed can be personal to the individual and are important characteristics that the forensic expert examines.
Besides the type of penmanship acquired in their formative years, the writer’s familiarity with different calligraphic styles (e.g. 楷书, 行书 and 草书) and the use of abbreviated forms of the Chinese characters further contribute to variations in their formation. These factors pose a challenge to the decipherment of characters or sequence of strokes for those unfamiliar with the language.
It is challenging to examine handwriting in an unfamiliar script as natural variation may be misinterpreted as differences, or class characteristics incorrectly differentiated from individual characteristics. Hence, the Forensic Document Examiner examining Chinese writing is required to possess a firm understanding of the language in order to grasp intricacies in the formation and strokes of the characters.
HOW WE CAN HELP YOU
If you have concerns regarding the Chinese handwriting or signatures on your documents (e.g. wills, cheques, letters), do not hesitate to look for our forensic experts. Our experts are fluent and proficient in both reading and writing Chinese and have years of experience working on cases involving forensic examination of Chinese handwriting and signatures.
Contact us at 6459 0494 or email us at email@example.com.