Last Updated on June 13, 2023 by Flavia Calina
Both Traditional and Simplified Chinese are used in China today, but their writing styles differ greatly. Traditional still holds a special place in the hearts of many Chinese people, even though Simplified is commonly used for everyday communication. The following are the five reasons that will answer the question why should i learn traditional or simplified chinese.
Take up this beautiful language if you want to better understand China and stand out from the crowd!
What is Traditional Chinese?
People have used Traditional Chinese for centuries, and it is still the primary script in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and other areas outside mainland China. Its characters are more elaborate than those in Simplified Chinese, which has fewer strokes. Should I learn traditional or simplified chinese? Learning Traditional Chinese may take longer, but it provides a deeper understanding of the language.
The art of calligraphy, which involves brushstrokes on paper or silk, is an intriguing aspect of Traditional Chinese. Traditional characters can be challenging to learn, including memorization and stroke order, but they improve overall reading comprehension skills in the end. Moreover, if you are interested in traveling or conducting business in Taiwan or Hong Kong specifically, you will certainly benefit from knowing Traditional Chinese!
What is Simplified Chinese?
As a modified variant of the written Chinese language, Simplified Chinese was introduced by the Chinese government in the 1950s to improve literacy rates.
As a result, Simplified Chinese has fewer overall characters than Traditional Chinese as it has a reduced stroke count per character. China’s mainland, Singapore, and Malaysia are currently heavily reliant on Simplified Chinese.
However, it hasn’t been universally adopted, as regions such as Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, and various overseas communities continue to use Traditional Chinese exclusively or alongside Simplified Chinese. Many individuals find Simplified Chinese more accessible because of its simplified characters, but others believe learning Traditional Characters provides a deeper understanding of Chinese culture and history. In the end, should I learn traditional or simplified chinese depending on my own language learning goals?
Reasons to Learn Traditional Chinese Over Simplified Chinese
Should I learn traditional or simplified chinese? Consider these compelling reasons to learn Traditional Chinese if you’re contemplating learning Chinese:
Traditional Chinese Can Help You Understand China Better
Learning Traditional Chinese is essential for gaining a comprehensive understanding of China’s culture and history. Unlike Simplified Chinese, which was introduced in the 1950s, Traditional Chinese has been in use for thousands of years. By mastering Traditional Chinese characters, you can delve into ancient texts, literature, poetry, and calligraphy that have shaped China’s cultural identity.
Many famous artworks also feature traditional characters. Additionally, Traditional Chinese provides insights into modern-day China, as historical sites still employ this writing system. Familiarity with both Traditional and Simplified Chinese is advantageous when interacting with people from different regions, as Taiwan exclusively uses Traditional Chinese. To truly grasp all aspects of China’s vast cultural heritage, learning Traditional Characters is crucial.
Traditional Chinese Can Make You Stand Out
Should I learn traditional or simplified chinese? Choosing to learn Traditional Chinese instead of Simplified Chinese can set you apart and provide unique advantages. Mastering Traditional Chinese characters demonstrates dedication and a deeper understanding of Chinese culture and history, making you stand out among other learners. It can also offer an edge in certain job fields like art or literature, where traditional characters are still prevalent.
Furthermore, Traditional Chinese is often considered more aesthetically pleasing, with its intricate strokes and complex shapes contributing to beautiful calligraphy artwork. While learning Traditional Chinese requires time and effort, the benefits extend beyond basic communication skills, showcasing your commitment and distinguishing you from others who have only studied Mandarin with simplified characters.
Traditional Chinese Can Help You Learn Other Languages
Learning Traditional Chinese not only opens doors to other languages but also enhances cognitive skills. Traditional Chinese characters serve as the foundation for writing systems in other East Asian languages, like Japanese Kanji and Korean Hanja. Acquiring traditional Chinese will familiarize you with language structures, facilitating the learning of related dialects such as Cantonese or Taiwanese.
Studying traditional Chinese sharpens memory and attention to detail through intricate stroke order and character memorization, improving spatial awareness and mental discipline. If you seek to master East Asian languages or develop cognitive abilities through language study, investing time in learning Traditional Chinese characters is a worthwhile endeavor.
Traditional Chinese is More Useful for Business and Travel
Learning Traditional Chinese provides an advantage in business and travel in China. While Simplified Chinese is more common in mainland China, Traditional Chinese characters are still used in Taiwan and Hong Kong. In business, knowing Traditional Chinese demonstrates effort, and cultural respect, and helps build stronger relationships.
When traveling to Taiwan or Hong Kong, Traditional Chinese eases navigation and locals appreciate your language efforts. Traditional Chinese is also valuable for calligraphy and literature enthusiasts, deepening language and cultural understanding. While Simplified Chinese may seem practical, learning Traditional Chinese enriches both professional and personal experiences in China.
Traditional Chinese Has a Richer History
Traditional Chinese offers a deeper understanding of history compared to Simplified Chinese. With over 2,000 years of evolution, Traditional Chinese script carries complexity and depth. Its calligraphy showcases meaningful strokes, reflecting China’s cultural heritage.
Classic literature, like “Dream of Red Mansions” and “Journey to the West,” was originally written in Traditional Chinese, providing insights into the country’s history. Learning Traditional Chinese also exposes you to idioms rooted in ancient beliefs and philosophies, enriching your understanding of China’s vast past. By learning Traditional Chinese, you appreciate the cultural heritage and enhance your language skills simultaneously.
How to Learn Traditional Chinese?
Should I learn traditional or simplified chinese? Even though learning Traditional Chinese may seem intimidating at first, you can master it with the right approach. To achieve this, it is important to dedicate dedicated time each day or week to studying and honing your skills. Consistent practice is one of the key factors to bear in mind when learning Traditional Chinese.
Learning Traditional Chinese can be more effective if you are taking classes or seeking a tutor who can guide you through the fundamentals. This approach not only facilitates faster learning but also provides access to tailored resources and materials. Using online resources like interactive apps and websites can enhance the learning process by providing engaging lessons and quizzes that reinforce what was learned in class and allow learners to study at their own pace.
Engage in the language as much as possible by actively participating in it. You can do this by listening to music, watching movies, or interacting with native speakers. By doing so, learners not only gain a deeper understanding of the language’s associated culture but also improve their speaking abilities.
Making mistakes is part of learning a new language. By keeping motivated and persevering through difficulties, you can succeed in learning Traditional Chinese.
Should I learn traditional or simplified chinese? The article presents compelling reasons for favoring the study of Traditional Chinese, emphasizing its unique advantages, when choosing between Traditional Chinese and Simplified Chinese. You will receive valuable returns on your investment of time and effort if you learn Traditional Chinese. In addition to exploring China’s rich history and culture, it opens up opportunities for business and travel in regions such as Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, and other parts of Asia that are influenced by Traditional Chinese.Furthermore, mastering Traditional Chinese can facilitate the acquisition of other languages more easily. Should I learn traditional or simplified chinese? It is ultimately up to you to decide between Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese. Nonetheless, if our arguments have convinced you to consider Traditional Chinese, or reinvigorated your enthusiasm for this captivating ancient script, now is the perfect time to begin learning. Don’t hesitate to get started!