Simplified vs. Traditional Chinese

Simplified vs. Traditional Chinese

Unlike English, the Chinese language has many dialects. The two most popular forms of Chinese are known as Traditional Chinese and Simplified Chinese. The latter form was officially developed in 1949 under the order of the Peoples Republic of China in an effort to increase the literacy rate. The process began with the simplification of roughly 2,000 words. Traditional Chinese is a very distinct looking language and to simplify the language, characters were edited with the aim of reducing the number of strokes needed to generate a character. Further, linguists also merged some words from Traditional Chinese that they believed were unnecessary to make the language easier to learn. Simplified Chinese has helped make the language accessible to a wider audience and is considered the standard in both mainland China and Singapore. Although Simplified Chinese is easier to learn, the more detailed nature of Traditional Chinese has greater legibility and also offers some guidance in regards to pronunciation. Despite the fact that the majority of the population uses Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese remains the prominent dialect in areas such as Hong Kong, Taiwan and Malaysia.