New answers tagged writing
Chinese is not an official language of Malaysia, but there are many Chinese-education schools and they use simplified Chinese exclusively. All newspapers and official documents also use only simplified Chinese. I think the change from traditional to simplified Chinese happened in the 80s.
Hate to be pedantic, but Hongkong and Macau are not countries, but administrative regions within China. Furthermore, Taiwan’s status is a bit blurred because of the one China principle. As for your question, Chinese is not official language in Malaysia, Philippines, and Indonesia, so the issue boils down to actual usage, which is mixed and differs by ...
I think we can name the parts of Chinese characters as "suffixes", which are also called "radical", such as "left-fix", "right-fix", "top-fix", and "bottom-fix". Do not think they have meaning. They do not. Those suffixes only have some information of categories. It is not as strictly logical as in math. It is just about right. For example, 林，树，杆，梁，柴 are ...
迹 is not a simplification of 蹟. 迹 is a simplification of 跡, though. 蹟 is a variant character of both. It can be used in either script, as one pleases.
Chinese characters can be broken up into a number of categories, only one of which are pictograms like you described. 象形字, or pictograms, are simple characters like 日, 山, 口 that are visual representations of the words that they mean. 指事字, or simple ideograms, are simple characters like 上 and 下 which are visual representations of more abstract concepts, ...
You can look in zhongwen.com for character analysis. I've heard they may not always agree with other experts, but I like it. Just click search and put the pinyin in the box, it gives you a break down of most characters. The 'logic' may be lost in history!
There are general guidelines listed in the Stroke order article at Wikipedia. Even still, there are varying standards (also noted by that same article) on what is considered the "correct" stroke order. The article goes into further detail on some of the differences, but practically speaking, the guidelines should generally serve you well.
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