Wah Nam Hong (華南行) in Rotterdam

Here in Rotterdam we have a Chinese supermarket called in Dutch phonetic Cantonese 'Wah Nam Hong', which in Jyutping (waa4 naam4 hong4) stands for the hanzi <span lang="zh">華南行</span>. Literally translated <span lang="zh">華南</span> stands for South China and matches the obvious Cantonese heritage. The <span lang="zh">行</span> stands for a profession or business line.

What is interesting to me is that in Japanese (<span lang="ja">日本語</span>) you read <span lang="ja">華南</span> as <span lang="ja">かなん</span> and it means South China as well. However, <span lang="ja">行</span> would be <span lang="ja">こう</span> or <span lang="ja">ぎょう</span> and has not retained the profession/business line meaning at all.

So simple or why the bone character is written differently

In a previous entry I wrote about how the bone radical is written differently in some Chinese cases. Well, thanks to John H. Jenkins of Apple I found out that the People's Republic of China made a switch from the traditional character to the one that has the corner on the left side. This way the stroke count is reduced by one. But for font designers it offers a small problem, since it means that you have to know your target audience quite well.

To sum it up: PRC uses the newer character, most likely Singapore does so too being another simplified Chinese user. Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Macao, and Taiwan use the older character.