The Difference between Traditional and Simplified Chinese Characters

By Sujanti Djuanda – LingoLearn Chinese Teacher

Mainland China has officially simplified their traditional characters for easier learning and writing. Simplified Chinese Character is used in Mainland China, Singapore, Malaysia, United States (colleges and universities), Australia and New Zealand (schools, universities and TAFEs), South Korea (universities), etc whereas Traditional Chinese Character is used in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau. Not all characters were simplified, only the complicated ones.

Here the difference between them in the following examples:

1. Coffee

咖啡因(kāfēiyīn) Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese

2. Will

a. 会(huì) Simplified Chinese

b. 會(huì) Traditional Chinese

3 Stimulate

刺激(cìjī) Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese

4. Brain

a. 脑(nǎo) Simplified Chinese

b. 腦(nǎo) Traditional Chinese

5. Part

部(bù) Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese

6. ~’s (possessive particle)

的(de) Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese

a. 中枢(zhōngshū) Simplified Chinese

b. 中樞(zhōngshū) Traditional Chinese

8. Nerve

a. 神经(shénjīng) Simplified Chinese

b. 神經(shénjīng) Traditional Chinese

9. System

a. 系统(xìtǒng) Simplified Chinese

b. 系統(xìtǒng) Traditional Chinese

a. 中枢神经系统(zhōngshūshénjīngxìtǒng) Simplified Chinese

b. 中樞神經系統(zhōngshūshénjīngxìtǒng) Traditional Chinese

11. Awake

清醒(qīngxǐng) Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese

12. Time

a. 时间(shíjiān) Simplified Chinese

b. 時間(shíjiān) Traditional Chinese

Now you can see the difference between them in the sentences:

A. Simplified Chinese

咖啡因(kāfēiyīn)会(huì)刺激(cìjī)脑(nǎo)部(bù)的(de)中枢神经系统(zhōngshūshénjīngxìtǒng), 延长(yáncháng)脑(nǎo)部(bù)清醒(qīngxǐng)的(de)时间(shíjiān)。

B. Traditional Chinese

咖啡因(kāfēiyīn)會(huì)刺激(cìjī)腦(nǎo)部(bù)的(de)中樞神經系統(zhōngshūshénjīngxìtǒng), 延長(yáncháng)腦(nǎo)部(bù)清醒(qīngxǐng)的(de)時間(shíjiān)。

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