The differences between – Traditional Chinese and Simplified Chinese

The differences between Traditional Chinese and Simplified Chinese

Traditional Chinese

As its name implies, Traditional Chinese is a more traditional version of Chinese that has been written by people for thousands of years. Its a very complicated writing system  as you may know, Chinese doesnt use letters the way Western languages do  they use characters that can stand for a variety of things. This character set uses the original, traditional characters and is used outside mainland China (Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao and other oversea areas).

Simplified Chinese

Simplified Chinese is exactly that simplified. This character set is used in mainland China and among people of Chinese origin in Singapore. Simplified Chinese characters have fewer strokes and are simpler to remember and write. The Chinese government has encouraged their use in an attempt to increase literacy. This has made significant difference in literacy rates.  They have official status in the People’s Republic of China and Singapore.

The Difference between Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese

This refers to Chinese writing  which is in characters.

Traditional Chinese characters date back 2,200 years ago to the Han Dynasty, some characters requiring as many as thirty-three separate strokes. During the 1950s the government in China implemented the First Chinese Character Simplification Scheme, with reduced number of strokes this is what is now more commonly referred to as Simplified Chinese, it was done in order to encourage literacy.

The simplified set replaces around 2,000 characters with versions that use fewer strokes and eliminate a number of variants.

Key difference between Traditional Chinese and Simplified Chinese:

Simplified Chinese has less strokes, i.e. Traditional: Simplified:

One Simplified character could have the meaning of several Traditional characters (polysemy) i.e. one Simplified character of could subtitle a range of Traditional characters including and

Since not all the characters are different, most of the readers could guess the meaning by only understanding parts of the sentence. However, there is a risk of misunderstanding.

Are you confused between Simplified or Traditional Chinese

You dont need to be a futurist to see that Chinese consumers, with their ever increasing wealth, will be even more important customers in years to come. If you are targeting a particular region for translations, the decision to use simplified or traditional Chinese is easy. Simplified Chinese is used in mainland China (PRC) and in Singapore. If you are translating your final document to be used in Hong Kong, Taiwan, or Malaysia you need traditional Chinese.

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