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Using traditional Chinese in China


redmini

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Just curious... do universities in China accept students who can only write in traditional Chinese and not simplified? Would teachers force students to learn simplified Chinese? Would they all be able to recognize traditional Chinese in the first place?

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Well what type of program are you applying for? If it is not a degree program they would for sure have no problem (you probably want to start learning the simplified a bit though). I had a friend that learned traditional in the states and had no problem with the switch over. If it is a specific degree (or depending on the school) they may want you to REALLY take a semester and get to know simplified but it shouldn't be a huge issue what so ever.

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1) Universities accept students who can pay. Your ability to write simpified, traditional or nothing at all, is irrelevant.

2) It makes sense to learn and use the local writing system.

3) Yes.

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The answer to the third question is not a simple. They may be able to read a text of traditional Chinese, but are often unable to recognise many less common characters in isolation. Also they often won't be able to correct your usage of the traditional system.

An example of this is the two characters that are now written as 发 fa1 or fa4/3 the first one meaning "to emit" and the second "hair" (sorry, I can't input them at the moment to show you) most PRC Chinese (including teachers) won't be able to tell you which one is which.

Another example are the little differences in stroke number. Characters like 以,骨,鬼 have one extra stroke in their traditional versions.

I actually thing it doesn't matter so much any more. All the people who you'll have dealings with in China can usually read a text of traditional Chinese even thought they can't actually actively use it correctly for writing. So long as you can recognise the right simplified character when it pops up on your mobile phone or computer from the pinyin you input, you won;t have any problem here. If you can only use bopomofo phonetics to input Chinese then you'll be in trouble though...

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I wish I could give examples with writing. The first stroke in 以 is a hook (one stroke) in simplified standard, and a downward stroke with a separate upward slash (like the bottom stroke in the 三点水) The extra one in 骨 is in the little box on top. The traditional character has a small T shape (two strokes) where it is one bent stroke. The "left leg" of a mainland ghost 鬼 is a continuation of the vertical stroke in the box, bur in other places (including Japan) you finish writing the (dot plus) 田 first, and then add the "legs" making one extra stroke, time for bad pun

The detail is in the devil.

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Are you sure about that 以? I learned trad first, then simp, then trad again, and never wrote it any differently. (Never learned 鬼 had a simp version either, but that could just be me.)

As to the OP's question, if the course is in Chinese your friend would have to learn to at least read simplified. Many people can read traditional with not too much trouble, but this does depend on the person, apparently some people can't read it at all. In any case, the transition is not too hard, if your friend has a sound basis in trad, she should be able to master simp in a matter of weeks.

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1) Universities accept students who can pay. Your ability to write simpified, traditional or nothing at all, is irrelevant.

For foreign nationals, this is indeed true.

Most universities only put up HSK requirements, and for that, you'd be able to write simplified or traditional characters according to your choice. You'd have to be able to read simplified characters, though, and you'd probably be in some trouble if you're attempting a university course w/o being able to read simplified.

Yet, as mentioned above, familiarizing yourself with simplified characters for reading purposes - if you have strong grounding in traditional - is just a matter of weeks.

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Are you sure about that 以? I learned trad first, then simp, then trad again, and never wrote it any differently.

Yes, I am quite sure because my teacher was ver conscientious about these things, and then the students I taught simplified characters later on pointed out that I wasn't writing it according to the order of the "Practical Chinese Reader" so I went and checked it out. A Taiwanese stroke-order dictionary shows it as two different strokes and it is classed in all traditional dictionaries published in HK and Taiwan under the "man" radical with three extra strokes. There are some traditional character dictionaries and books published in the CCP adminstered area like the traditional version of the 古代汉语常用字字典 which use a simplified character stroke count for their indexes. Rather amusing really, as I would have thought that by promoting simplified script the Communists would have given up all authority over the traditional forms, but they have even gone so far as to simplify those too. I think it is probably a case of making the traditional form more accessible to Mainland readers without making them have to re-learn stroke counts.

Another different stroke count can be found in 者 which has an extra dot and therefore nine strokes in a traditional dictionary.

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