December 14, 2010, 09:35 PM posted in General Discussion

Hello, does this website teach simplified, traditional or both?

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December 14, 2010, 11:19 PM

There is the option to display either Simplified or Traditional characters, so you could effectively learn either or both! :)

I find it is easier to stick with one or the other to begin with though. If you are living in or plan to travel to Hong Kong and/or Taiwan where Traditional characters are used, then I would suggest Traditional as the one to learn.. and if you are going to live in or travel to Mainland China then go for Simplified..

..at a later stage you can start to learn both as I feel it is important to understand where the Simplified has come from as well as the fact that Traditional characters do make more sense in many ways..

..but starting out, better to pick one and stick with it.

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December 15, 2010, 11:19 AM

I think this is good advice regarding where you plan to travel.  If taiwan or hong kong, then traditional are used.  However hongkong speaks cantonese, so its not much help learning traditional mandarin unless you only wish to read and write there.

Also, the characters have evolved over many 1000s of years, and I think the shift to simplified is just another evolution.  I dont think traditional have any special meaning.  You could of course go back 3000 years and write 日 as a circle with dot in the middle!

Also, the official language of china is simplified character mandarin, and by law over 1billion people are expected to speak this.  I think this means that simplified really is the way forward, but of course Taiwan and Hong Kong people may disagree :)