Traditional Chinese vs Simplified Chinese

Posted by Julia Song on 04/05/2016 7:09 PM 898

simplified and traditional Chinese

Look at the picture above. You will find that simplified Chinese and traditional Chinese characters are relative. If there are more than two Chinese characters forms of one word, then the one with more strokes form, we call it traditional characters, the less strokes one is simplified characters. There are many debates about traditional and simplified Chinese in recent year. What is the difference between traditional and simplified Chinese? And which one is better to learn? Keep reading and you will find your answer.

Difference between traditional and simplified Chinese

Traditional Chinese: Traditional Chinese refers to Chinese characters that does not contain newly created characters or character substitutions performed after 1946.

Where are traditional Chinese characters used: Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau.

Advantage: The traditional Chinese, most of them are hieroglyphic. It conveys more significant than simplified Chinese. Here are some examples:

traditional and simplified Chinese

爱 ài (love) : As we saw it in the picture, left one with many strokes form is traditional characters and right one is simplified characters. In the traditional characters of love, there is a heart (心 xīn) in the mid of word, but the simplified character is without heart (心 xīn). So a lot of people will say, now the love is not the same as before, they love someone or something without heart.

乡 xiānɡ (Native place ): When i return to my native place, but my darling (郎lánɡ) is gone.

鱼 yú (fish): 60 years ago, the most of fish in the water, but 60 years later, the fish almost in the plate.

Disadvantage: Some traditional Chinese characters are too complicated to write. Complex strokes make writing Chinese more difficult.

Simplified Chinese: Simplified Chinese refers to standardized Chinese characters prescribed in the Xiandai Hanyu Tongyong Zibiao 现代汉语通用字表 (List of Commonly Used Characters in Modern Chinese) for use in mainland China.

Where are simplified Chinese characters used: Chinese mainland, Singapore, Malaysia.

1. Use more widely: simplified Chinese is an inevitable trend of the development history of the Chinese characters. Now only in Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan North America used traditional characters, and the number is about more than three thousand. Simplified Chinese used in mainland China, Malaysia, Singapore and southeast Asian Chinese community, using the number of more than one billion three hundred million. In addition, like Japan, South Korea also has some characters, simplified characters have been appeared in recent years.
2. Simplified decreases the number of Chinese character strokes and the number of Chinese characters, which reduces the difficulty of learning Chinese characters, accelerate the speed of writing at the same time, is beneficial to popularization education, and easy for public to communication.
3. In computers, cell phones, PDA, digital equipment, limited size, simplified Chinese characters stroke are relatively simple, show more clearly.

Disadvantage: It is not good for spreading the Chinese culture. After characters simplified, lots of Chinese people cannot read the ancient classical literature. It also lost the original aesthetic of the traditional Chinese characters.

How to tell simplified Chinese from traditional Chinese? Here is a list of the most common simplified and traditional Chinese:

Traditional or simplified Chinese, which one is better to learn?

After comparing the traditional or simplified Chinese, you may have a basic understanding about them. Choose the better one according to your specific learning needs:

If you are a Chinese learning beginner and if you are going to use Chinese in mainland, you had better learn simplified Chinese. It is easy to recognize and write.

If you want to know more about Chinese culture and appreciate the aesthetics of the Chinese characters, then you should choose traditional Chinese. It conveys more significant and culture.

No matter traditional or simplified Chinese, learning Chinese character is very challenging for Chinese learners. You may feel it is really hard and boring for you to learn it all by yourself. Why don’t you join our Chinese character courses and learn it with our teachers? Register and schedule a free trial class now!

About The Author

Julia Song

Julia’s cheerful attitude and close attention to her students’ progress make her an excellent Mandarin teacher for students of all levels. Holding a bachelor’s degree in language instruction and several years’ teaching experience, Julia excels at linguistic pedagogy and one-on-one instruction. Learn Chinese online with Julia Song >>