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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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L-F-J

Not only on computer screens, but in newspapers or anything printed... Traditional characters just give me a headache. It really strains my eyes to look at them. I do not find them pleasant at all and couldn't do any reading comfortably. They are only nice when they are individual words or short phrases used in artwork and maybe classical poetry, but not at all for modern pieces of writing, like novels, or daily communication... of course in my opinion... 

 

I guess it seems there's some sense of value attached to it when they're called "traditional", and less when they're called "simplified". In Chinese, we just call them "simple form" or "complicated form". Language, including the written form, is for communication. Why keep it complicated?

 

K.I.S.S.

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imron

The problem with computers is more that everyone seems to use font sizes that work well with English and apply them to Chinese.  A slightly larger font solves many of those issues.

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OneEye

It's also a matter of what you're used to. I find traditional characters easier to read on a screen simply because I find them easier to read in general. They're what I'm used to. I'd be willing to bet that XiaoXi and L-F-J are both more comfortable with simplified characters, regardless of the medium.

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imron
It's also a matter of what you're used to.

That's true to a certain degree, but there is also an objective difference due to extra white space and less cramped characters.

 

e.g. At standard font sizes the difference between 寶 and 實 is far less obvious than the difference between 宝 and 实.

 

In normal situations, you'd have context to help disambiguate, so it's unlikely you'd ever confuse those two characters, but even with that being the case, if I'm reading Traditional on a computer screen, I typically like the font size to be a couple of points higher than what I can comfortably use with Simplified.

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lechuan

 

 

寶 and 實

 

Hi Resolution display also makes a big difference. Characters too fuzzy to read clearly on my non-retina PC, but much better on the retina iPad.

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Yang Chuanzhang

Hi Resolution display also makes a big difference. Characters too fuzzy to read clearly on my non-retina PC, but much better on the retina iPad.

 

 

I agree with this, retina does make a big difference (although 宝 and 实 will of course always be easier to read at small font sizes).

 

I personally don't have a strong preference for one over the other but it seems to me that computers and phones have taken the main advantage away from simplified characters away: that they are faster to write by hand.

 

It's never been clear to me what people mean when they say simplified characters are easier to learn. Everyone breaks new characters down into components in one way or the other, 國 is 囗+或 , 国 is 囗+玉 that's two components in both cases. The difficulty of memorising slightly more complex traditional components is totally dominated by the difficulty of memorising thousands of combinations of these components.

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L-F-J

It's not so much a resolution issue for me. I don't have astigmatism or anything. My vision has always been at 20/15, which is above 20/20. I used to always win games in elementary school where students would stand against the blackboard and compete at reading small print on objects on the opposite end of the room.

 

I just find traditional characters too busy. There's just too much going on in that little space, then bunching them all together in a sentence or paragraph is just too much. Looks terrible and dizzying, even if it's large print. Simplified are just more comfortable to look at.

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imron
It's not so much a resolution issue for me. I don't have astigmatism or anything

It's not about your eyes though, it's about what the screen is physically capable of displaying.  With a low resolution screen, trying to fit too much in to too small a space just results in a black blob.  Regardless of how good your eyes are, it will still be a black blob.  With a higher resolution screen, there are more pixels and so there is room to add white space.

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L-F-J

That's true, but I get the same feeling reading large print traditional on newspapers for example, where each stroke is clear. I still just think they're too busy. There's plenty of white space for most simplified characters, regardless of the medium, and that's more comfortable to me for reading in paragraphs.

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imron
There's plenty of white space for most simplified characters, regardless of the medium, and that's more comfortable to me for reading in paragraphs.

No disagreement with me on that point.

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Meng Lelan
I just find traditional characters too busy. There's just too much going on in that little space

 

 

 

Exactly the reason why I enjoy traditional so much, the feeling of 熱鬧. A lot of hustle and bustle. 

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Shelley

I appreciate traditional or full form as I was taught to call them. I like the information they contain, I like the history they embody and I like them from an artistic point of view. I don't have a problem with viewing them on PC screens of tablet screens. (I can usually make them a larger font if I need to).

 

Why I don't use full form and am learning simplified? cos that is what was recommended to me by all the people I could ask in 1986 when I started learning. Simplified is the way to go I was told, "full form is only used in Taiwan and that is not really part of China so if you want to learn the language of the real China you need to learn simplified". So here I am nearly 30 years later with simplified as my choice for learning characters.

 

If I knew then what I know now I would have opted for full form, but I don't have any regrets because I have also learned that its not too difficult to add full form when you have grasped simplified form.

 

The part In quotes and italicized is because I want to make clear this is what I was told and not what I believe, I don't want to turn this in to yes it is or no it isn't argument.

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AdamD

I was told the same, and if you want to be China-certified (e.g. HSK) you need to know simplified. I'm now trying to pick up recognition of traditional, although I couldn't write most of the ones I've learnt.

 

All Chinese is a sod to read at work because of the low-res screens we have, but traditional is almost impossible unless I blow it up. On my phone, everything is fine.

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XiaoXi
It's also a matter of what you're used to. I find traditional characters easier to read on a screen simply because I find them easier to read in general. They're what I'm used to. I'd be willing to bet that XiaoXi and L-F-J are both more comfortable with simplified characters, regardless of the medium.

 

Not that's not true at all. Simplified characters are literally 'clearer'. If we had an impartial 'robot' to view and judge them that's surely the outcome it would arrive at. I think that traditional characters are certainly more beautiful and great to look at painted in large from on paper....but not practical for day to day use - especially on electronic devices. Its kind of like singing a slow and beautiful song to each other as a communicative method instead of just talking normally at normal pace.

 

Simplified characters still contain a lot of characters that haven't been simplified and could really do with it. If they were all clear then that would be really great. They haven't lost any of the meaning and are very easy to differentiate. If they hard to tell apart then foreigners certainly wouldn't like them and we seem to.

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imron
but not practical for day to day use - especially on electronic devices.

That's a tad exaggerated.  They're plenty practical for day to day use and tens of millions of people use them with electronic devices everyday without any trouble.

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OneEye
Not that's not true at all.

 

What's not true? Are you in fact more comfortable with traditional characters? Or do you think that which set a person is more comfortable with reading has no bearing on which one they prefer to see on a screen? I think it's quite obvious that if you're more comfortable with one set vs. the other, you'll almost certainly prefer that set over the other, no matter the medium. Individual simplified characters may be easier to make out on a screen, but I still have an easier time reading traditional.

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Yang Chuanzhang
Simplified characters still contain a lot of characters that haven't been simplified and could really do with it.

 

At some point you'd probably run the risk of making the characters too similar to each other.

Consider  → 广 → 

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imron

That's just par for the course with Chinese characters though.  Consider for example, these two traditional characters: 末 and 未

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skylee

And of course there are also 戌/ 戍/ 戊.

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Yang Chuanzhang

That's true, although I would argue that simplification has made this problem even worse.

At a quick glance and at small font sizes, 氵and ⻈ are much harder to tell apart than 氵and訁.

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