Why are there ‘Simplified’ and ‘Traditional’ Chinese characters?

Updated on May 19, 2016 in Learn Chinese
8 on May 15, 2014

I know Taiwanese people use the traditional characters. The traditional one looks very beautiful, but simple one seems much easier. Should I learn both?

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0 on May 15, 2014

Both Simplified and Traditional refer to written systems of Chinese that have been used in China since ancient times. The Simplified set or style was derived from the Traditional style by the government of the People’s Republic of China circa 1949 to 1964. The majority of “common” people in China could not read their system of writing, it was too complex. As with other developments that took place during this era it was deemed necessary to make a system of reading that was easier to learn and use. Hence “Simplified” Chinese was born. Simplified Chinese consists of an entirely different set of characters with simpler strokes and making them easier to remember as well as read- but this has led to a few problems regarding their original framework.

Today, Singapore, Malaysia, and Mainland China use the Simplified Chinese character set in an official capacity and the mandarin style. In HK that would be Traditional Chinese text, Cantonese style and for Taiwanese readers: Traditional Chinese text, mandarin style.

For everyday use, both sets have been used in nearly every Chinese community at one time or another.

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0 on May 19, 2014

I learned traditional characters in HongKong. Now I can read most of the simplified characters. And some of my friends who are from Chinese mainland also know the traditional version, though they learned simplified version. I think if you already know one character version, no matter it is traditional or simplified, you will soon acquire the other. But for me, writing is a problem.

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1 on May 19, 2014

I prefer the traditional character. it`s more beautiful and meaningful.

It`s love. But how to love even without a heart?

on May 19, 2016

but , the traditional Chinese is very hard to  Chinese simplified . Now I learn Chinese simplified and it is very simple , for me, and I know few character in the traditional Chinese , it was very beautiful , but heavy .I  don’t know in what areas they speak in simplified Chinese but I heard you speaking area . I as there locuies in China and has relatives there only are language courses Chinese and I find it a lb wonderful for icepup I ‘d say people inceama with the simplified after to teach the traditional one because if you teach ‘ll combine both when writing characters

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0 on March 18, 2016

Generally speaking, People in mainland China are using Simplified Chinese, And people in Taiwan, Hong Kong are using Traditional Chinese.  Actually it is standard in each area. And basically only if a website wants to cover all mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong market, they will provide both Simplified version and Traditional version. To most Chinese they can recognize both Simplified and Traditional Chinese, but the one they learned at primary school will be more comfortable to them.

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0 on March 29, 2016

It depends on your future plan to use Chinese, if you would like to use Chinese with HK people or TaiWan people, you can choose traditional Chinese. But in mainland China, you can decide to learn Simplified Chinese. Anyway, no matter it’s simplified Chinese or Traditional Chinese, the pronunciation is the same.

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0 on April 28, 2016

I think pick one to start.  Don’t try to learn both right away.  I learned simplified in china, now I live in japan and the Kanji in the japanese writing is almost always traditional characters so I’m kicking myself.

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0 on May 9, 2016

Simplified are used in China, mainland, while traditional Chinese are used in HongKong, TaiWan,Macau.

If you are going to learn Chinese, simplified Chinese is more recommend, because it is easier to learn and used more widely.

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