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Lesson Transcript

Intro

Hi everybody! Yinru here. Welcome to Ask a Teacher, where I’ll answer some of your most common Chinese questions.
The Question
The question for this lesson is: What are traditional and simplified characters in Chinese? Do I need to learn both?
Explanation
Traditional characters are the original Chinese characters. They were used in China before the 1950s and are still in use in many areas outside mainland China, including Hongkong, Taiwan, and other Southeast Asian countries that speak Chinese. To increase literacy, simplified Chinese, which has less strokes, has been adopted. It was established as the official writing system by the government in mainland China. Therefore, nowadays simplified Chinese is used in mainland China, and traditional Chinese is used mostly outside of mainland China.
Let’s look at how traditional Chinese and simplified Chinese are different from each other:
“Happy” - 快乐(simplified) - 快樂 (traditional)
“Study” - 学习 (simplified) - 學習 (traditional)
“Weather” - 天气 (simplified) - 天氣 (traditional)
Due to the similarities between the two writing systems, someone who is familiar with one writing system may be able to decipher characters in the other. Traditional Chinese is often considered to be more authentic because it’s rooted directly in the ancient forms. However, it's not necessary to learn both at the same time; just pick one depending on where you want to visit or live.

Outro

How was it? Pretty interesting, right?
Do you have any more questions? Leave them in the comments below, and I’ll try to answer them!
我们下期再见!我們下期再見!(Wǒmen xiàqī zàijiàn!) See you in the next episode!

7 Comments

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😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Tuesday at 06:30 PM
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What Chinese learning question do you have?

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Sunday at 08:09 PM
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Hello Stephen Prescott (Liu3 Da2 Long),


Thank you for your comment. 了 (le) is used to indicate that an action is completed, in this sentence it means that the student studied some time in the past. Note that 了 does not equal to past tense.


As always, let us know if you have any questions.


Ngai Lam

Team ChineseClass101.com

Stephen Prescott (Liu3 Da2 Long)
Tuesday at 09:04 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

高中生在图书馆学了习。

gāozhōngshēng zài túshūguǎn xué le xí.

Why is le inserted within xue1xi1

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Monday at 06:00 AM
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你好 robert groulx,


谢谢 for posting and studying with us. If you have any questions, please let us know.😄


Kind regards,

雷文特 (Levente)

Team ChineseClass101.com

robert groulx
Monday at 05:53 AM
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thank you for the lesson transcript


“Happy” - 快乐(simplified) - 快樂 (traditional)

“Study” - 学习 (simplified) - 學習 (traditional)

“Weather” - 天气 (simplified) - 天氣 (traditional)


robert

ChineseClass101.com
Wednesday at 02:57 PM
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Hello Daniel,


Thank you for your comment. There are advantages and disadvantages in using both traditional and simplified Chinese. It's good that you're learning both!


As always, let us know if you have any questions.


Ngai Lam

Team ChineseClass101.com

Daniel
Sunday at 10:26 AM
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The traditional characters make more sense, are more beautiful, carry the meaning more clearly since they don't omit the original ideas that formed them, and preserve the art of writing. So I'm learning traditional, they make more sense. And I'm learning some simplified equivalents as I go along, just to be able to read modern Chinese.

Less strokes doesn't mean the characters are easier, on the contrary, they obscure the meaning. You can simplify even an alphabet if you want, that won't make more people literate. If you can't read you just can't read, you won't learn any alphabet because you can't, you are just not interested or your brain is not capable of processing the written language. Simplification does not make a lot of sense.

Anybody else think that traditional characters are better in many ways?

Thanks.