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Traditional vs Simplified characters

Do you prefer traditional or simplified characters?  

62 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you prefer traditional or simplified characters?

    • Traditional
      94
    • Simplified
      83
    • dou keyi (no preference)
      51


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wushijiao
Well I understand the debate side but in it's section where it is introducing the systems as a reporter giving the whole picture should be a necessity and that would mean talking about the systems and there usage in certain other parts of the world too.

Yes, I agree that they should have mentioned that Hong Kong uses traditional, as a means of background. But, it does seem like the main issue is more the ideological debate. Just to be clear, I think ideological debates are worth having, but it doesn't follow that the symbol of the debate (a script) should necessarily be conflated with the debate itself (if that makes any sense...).

The wikipedia page is pretty interesting.

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atitarev
Except the poor kids who have to learn both :mrgreen:

I mean, if they can't ever reconcile, at least allow for the choice, maybe different groups? It's terribly hard within one school, I admit. Of course, this will create Taiwanese and mainland clans at schools.

The Wikipedia article is very biased towards traditional, every paragraph is full "evil-doings" of the Communist China, even if the topic at hand has nothing to do with politics. I know a few stubborn editors there.

It looks pretty hopeless, doesn't it? Neither side will ever give in. So we all have to deal with the dual system.

Chinese schools and media in Malaysia and Singapore generally use simplified characters, instead of traditional. You'd think that as overseas Chinese they'd favor traditional, but apparently they chose in favor of simplified as better communication with the PRC was of more practical value.

Same in Australia, they teach simplified in Chinese schools here. TAFEs and Universities teach jiantizi in Chinese classes.

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sakigake

Hi

When i started learning chinese, we learned with simplified ones, but i had knowledge about the traditional ones because i learned japanese before.

Now im studying chinese both in a language center and with a particular teacher. I use with her traditional ones and the simplified at the course (we only learn that there and must use it, and our teacher for some reason he hates too much people from Taiwan and the south).

I prefer to use the traditional ones, because they look more beautiful to me and they aren´t too hard to memorize, but i sometimes use the simplified when i must take a note quiclky. in my country the most chinese inmigrants come from Taiwan, so im used to the traditional ones.

anyway, i was amazed when i started learning the traditional ones, because i thought japanese uses all traditional, but at the most traditional characters i learn, the most i realize in japanese use most simplified (altough they are different from the mainland ones).

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Meng Lelan

Yeah, I know what you mean. Those simplified characters look so frail. I like traditional but I have to teach simplified at my school, blah.

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morganie

1. About how many of the 3000 most commonly used characters have both traditional and simplified forms?

2. Can a person who only has studied the simplified forms read a modern traditional text without too many conflicts, or is that not possible?

Thank you!

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renzhe
1. About how many of the 3000 most commonly used characters have both traditional and simplified forms?

Quite a few. The goal of simplification was to make the most common 2000 characters easier to write, so many common characters have been simplified.

On the other hand, often the simplification is a straightforward substitution, for example: 詞 -> 词, or 飯 -> 饭, and not a radically new character.

2. Can a person who only has studied the simplified forms read a modern traditional text without too many conflicts, or is that not possible?

No, at least in my experience.

On the other hand, my own experience also shows that only about 500 characters are different enough to warrant closer learning. You can read this thread, especially from post #30 on for a list. Chrix later posted a more comprehensive and detailed list.

Personally, I found that if you can read simplified characters well, it will only take you about a month or two of flashcarding these 500 characters before you can read traditional texts without much trouble.

So, it's not as tragic as some people think.

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Caidanbi

I can read them both, so I really don't care. I think traditional characters look prettier, but simplified ones are sometimes faster to write. But yeah, either way is fine with me :)

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imron
2. Can a person who only has studied the simplified forms read a modern traditional text without too many conflicts,
I would say pretty much yes. I've only learned simplified, and don't have too much trouble with traditional. In any event, as Renzhe mentioned, once you've learnt one, it's pretty easy to learn the other.

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skylee
I would say pretty much yes. I've only learned simplified, and don't have too much trouble with traditional. In any event, as Renzhe mentioned, once you've learnt one, it's pretty easy to learn the other.

If you are not stubborn. I know some people who are used to traditional characters find reading simplified characters very challenging and uncomfortable and are quite unwilling to try. I definitely prefer reading traditional charcters though I have no problem reading simplified. And I have found that I can't really write in simplified script completely (I don't know how to properly simplify many words). But then writing long hand is getting more and more difficult no matter if it is Chinese or English (I just wrote two lines to my big boss and I had to use correction fluid twice). :)

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leosmith

I'm learning both at the same time. I suppose traditional are more interesting, but I see nothing wrong with simplified. If it were up to me, and I was asked to simplify the writing system, I'd get rid of the homonyms:lol:

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Hofmann
I'd get rid of the homonyms

If you want fewer homonyms, Traditional is the way to go. 后 is an example.

Or for even fewer homonyms, speak Cantonese :twisted:.

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smartmandarin

I'm not really sure if this certain topic has been discussed before.

But I'm really curious about your point of view  :)

 

As we know that most people choose to learn simplified characters cause it's being used in China.

And traditional characters is being used in Taiwan, Hong Kong and in many overseas Chinese communities.

 

Most of the textbooks usually provides simplifed instead of traditional.

 

My question is, as a non Chinese native speaker, a Mandarin learner.

Which one you prefer learning?

And learning which one do you think helps you more?

which one is easier to learn or remember?

Do you expect to see your traditional or simplified characters in the textbook?

and the reaons.

 

Thank you!

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mouse

This has been discussed before, and can often become a heated discussion due to the different writing systems standing in for one's political views of China. Also people tend to prefer whichever they learned first.

 

For me personally, I think it's much of a muchness either way.

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renzhe

I agree that this is the most discussed topic on any China-related discussion forum, and that it inevitably degenerates into political bickering. As a result, there is rarely any meaningful discussion on the topic. Unfortunately, most topics related to China end up with political bickering due to the deep divisions from the 20th century.

Which one you prefer learning?

No preference. I learned simplified because my girlfriend is from the Mainland, and because there is more learning material for it. I taught myself traditional later.

And learning which one do you think helps you more?

For me, simplified characters are more useful, because of my ties to the Mainland. I loved Hong Kong and I'm planning to visit Taiwan at some point, but most of my travelling is still going to be related to the Mainland, and that is also where I get most of my (reading and video) materials.

Any serious learner will eventually have to deal with both, so it's only a matter of priorities, IMHO.

which one is easier to learn or remember?

Overall, traditional characters often retain more of the original etymology, but IMHO, this rarely plays a practical role when learning Chinese characters.

I find simplified characters easier with small fonts and computer screens, and they are also easier to write. In terms of how easy they are to learn or read, I don't think that there's a major difference.

Do you expect to see your traditional or simplified characters in the textbook?

I don't understand this question. Could you explain it in more detail?
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mouse

 

Any serious learner will eventually have to deal with both, so it's only a matter of priorities, IMHO.

 

Agreed. This trumps any particular preferences one might have in the end.

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roddy

Merged with an old, old topic. 

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Koxinga

My observation is that most (90%) of Chinese learners prefer simplified characters. I've talked to learners from many different backgrounds, so I'm really surprised to see an almost equal amount of votes for both sides on the topic's poll.

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roddy

A poll I ran with a different slant found more what you were expecting, Koxinga.

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OneEye

I prefer traditional, but that's mostly because I live in Taiwan and learned most of my Chinese here. I can read simplified characters just fine (albeit more slowly), and can write them reasonably well, but I make a point of buying the traditional version of whatever I'm buying if I have the option, even if it's more expensive. I agree that any serious learner needs to learn both.

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XiaoXi

All writing systems evolve over time. Even traditional characters are 'simplified' versions of more ancient Chinese writing. As the world evolves and changes its only logical that writing systems will become improved and simplified over time. With the advent of computers its clear (or not clear to be precise) that traditional characters have no place on a computer screen. I've even heard natives say that they can read traditional characters on screen because they can guess what they are based on the context....?!

 

Characters on computer screens should look like 文字 and not like 蚊子. Regardless of any of your other arguments about handwriting, political reasons, history etc, its evident that simplified characters are the way forward with current technology. In fact I'm sure that simplified characters will need to be simplified further still at some point in the future.

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