Chinese Character Writing
A large part of the beauty in Chinese is its writing. Chinese writing is pictographic, so in its earliest form, the old Chinese characters look very much like what it is depicting. Even to this day, you can still see the image that the character represents. For example, the character for mountain,山, do you see the peaks of a mountain in the character? However, not to make things even more complicated, but there are two different types of Chinese writing: simplified and traditional. How do you know which one to learn? Read on for more information.
This is an older version of Chinese writing, but it is still used in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau. Several carved monuments in China also have traditional writings on them. This type of writing requires a lot more attention to its details, and it is more time consuming to write. So...why do you want to learn the traditional type of writing? The beauty of Chinese characters can be expressed more through the traditional style of writing. Many calligraphers still choose to write his/her scrolls in traditional characters because it requires more strokes and makes it look more like a piece of art. Additionally, if you could read traditional writing, then you can usually figure out the simplified writing simply because it is simpler! Simple enough, right? Ha! I learned traditional writing when I was growing up, but as I started teaching Chinese, I taught simplified.
This type of writing is easier to read and write. It has less number of strokes and is widely used in China, Singapore, and Malaysia. Many people choose this type of writing to learn. The simplified form of writing is more commonly taught in the US school system. However, keep in mind, it would be more challenging for you to read traditional characters if you happen to come across them. Both writings have their values, and it all comes down to which one you would like to invest your time in. Now, let's take a look at a few characters in its different forms.
Can you tell which ones are in its traditional writing and which ones are simplified? Indeed, simplified writings are represented on the right side of each set. Let's examine the set in the middle. The character means "door." Take a look at the left character of this set, doesn't this look more like the door the cowboys enter through in a saloon? The right one looks more like a door frame. Let's "scroll" down to see another example.
Whichever form of Chinese writing you decide to learn, they are both valuable. I hope this post has given you a more clear understanding of the 2 different types of Chinese writing.
Posted: Feb. 07, 2019