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Is it worth it to learn traditional characters?

#1
I'm coming from Japanese so I already know quite a few characters. I downloaded a deck for Anki that has the most common 5000 words. There is a field for both traditional and simplified Chinese, as well as an example sentence in both. I was thinking about creating both a traditional and simplified card of each word. Does this sound like a good idea? Or should I just stick with simplified?
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#2
The answer to your question is in your motives to learn Chinese characters.  Wink

When it comes to usefulness in communication, I would suggest learning simplified. From my personal experience, signs, menus, etc. in Chinatown or Chinese restaurants are almost always in simplified rather than traditional. The majority of TV subtitles seem to be in simplified, too.

If you are interested in Taiwan however, obviously traditional would make more sense. If you have Taiwanese friends or have a thing for Taiwanese media, traditional would be worth it.

And if you are learning because you just love to learn, you may as well do both.  Smile A lot of knowledge is transferrable between traditional and simplified, so once you know one, the other will be easy.

I hope this helps!
Edited: 2015-11-21, 1:38 pm
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#3
(2015-11-20, 4:22 pm)kameden Wrote: I'm coming from Japanese so I already know quite a few characters. I downloaded a deck for Anki that has the most common 5000 words. There is a field for both traditional and simplified Chinese, as well as an example sentence in both. I was thinking about creating both a traditional and simplified card of each word. Does this sound like a good idea? Or should I just stick with simplified?
That will depend on your objective of learning Chinese characters. What is the purpose?

Some traditional characters are similar with kanji but others are different.
Example:
試驗 (CHT) 试验 (CHS) vs 試験 (JPN)
繁榮 (CHT) 繁荣 (CHS) vs 繁栄 (JPN)

A lot of Japanese words (examples: 手紙、汽車、娘、etc...) do not have or carry the same meaning at all in the Chinese words even though the written form words looks alike.

For software usage and programming languages, it is preferable to have 3 sets of Chinese characters because Taiwan, Hong Kong and Mainland China have different characters to say the same thing.
Example:
這樣的話題 - Taiwan (Chinese Traditional)
咁樣既話題 - Hong Kong (Chinese Cantonese)
这样的话题 - Mainland China (Chinese Simplified)
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#4
I agree that the Chinese & Hanzi topics should probably go on the Recent topics list.

They are not that many anyway, and that will help them get some attention. Should be fixed today.

edit: the deed is done.
Edited: 2015-11-23, 10:33 am by fuaburisu
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#5
Thanks for the responses.

(2015-11-23, 4:20 am)eslang Wrote: That will depend on your objective of learning Chinese characters. What is the purpose?

Some traditional characters are similar with kanji but others are different.
Example:
試驗 (CHT) 试验 (CHS) vs 試験 (JPN)
繁榮 (CHT) 繁荣 (CHS) vs 繁栄 (JPN)

A lot of Japanese words (examples: 手紙、汽車、娘、etc...) do not have or carry the same meaning at all in the Chinese words even though the written form words looks alike.

For software usage and programming languages, it is preferable to have 3 sets of Chinese characters because Taiwan, Hong Kong and Mainland China have different characters to say the same thing.
Example:
這樣的話題 - Taiwan (Chinese Traditional)
咁樣既話題 - Hong Kong (Chinese Cantonese)
这样的话题 - Mainland China (Chinese Simplified)

So I guess my deck probably has Mainland & Taiwan versions do you think? I thought people in Cantonese read Mandarin (Mainland) with traditional characters but just used different pronunciations or something like that? I'm not quite sure how it all works.

I'm already about 200 words into the deck, I'm just not sure how useful the traditional characters will be. I've obviously not started reading anything so I really don't know.

If learning Taiwanese is as simple as just learning the equivalent of every word in traditional characters then I might stick with it.
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#6
Cantonese is Traditional with a completely different pronunciation system. Mainland Mandarin has the same sounds as Taiwanese (well, aside from the tremendous amount of dialectic variation) but they use simplified characters. I find it quite easy to read simplified, knowing Kanji&Traditional, and mainland Chinese people have no problem reading traditional characters (they will make fun of you for doing it the hard way tho).
Personally, traditional was easier to approach with a background in Japanese, and I am only casually interested in the language, so i am going with traditional. It really depends on what you want to do with the language. If you want to go to Mainland China or do anything formal with the language, go simplified. If you are interested in Taiwan, go traditional. If you are just doing it for the kicks then choose whichever appeals more to you.
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#7
Zgarbas, love your new avatar, btw.
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#8
Just want to add that you might want to avoid calling Taiwanese Mandarin just Taiwanese, since that usually refers to a different language altogether.

臺語 pronounced as tâi-gí in "Taiwanese" and táiyǔ in "Taiwanese Mandarin"
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#9
(2015-11-23, 5:52 pm)Taishi Wrote: Just want to add that you might want to avoid calling Taiwanese Mandarin just Taiwanese, since that usually refers to a different language altogether.

臺語 pronounced as tâi-gí in "Taiwanese" and táiyǔ in "Taiwanese Mandarin"

Thanks for pointing that out. I find that there's such a discrepancy between how people refer to the chinese languages depending on their standpoint. People who don't know anything about then just refer to them as 'chinese', then you get into it and start labelling them properly, then you talk to Chinese/Taiwanese people who are all 'just call it Chinese and be done with it, it's too troublesome'
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#10
(2015-11-23, 10:21 am)kameden Wrote: So I guess my deck probably has Mainland & Taiwan versions do you think? I thought people in Cantonese read Mandarin (Mainland) with traditional characters but just used different pronunciations or something like that? I'm not quite sure how it all works.

I'm already about 200 words into the deck, I'm just not sure how useful the traditional characters will be. I've obviously not started reading anything so I really don't know.

If learning Taiwanese is as simple as just learning the equivalent of every word in traditional characters then I might stick with it.
No idea about the Anki deck that has the most common 5000 words since I have not seen it, I won't be able to tell you either.  Besides, I do not use Anki at all.  If you can upload screenshots or better still, have convert it to Excel spreadsheet, perhaps I can take a look at it and let you know later.

蘋果日報 (Apple Daily News) - Cantonese, traditional characters [Hong Kong]
http://hk.apple.nextmedia.com/

Yahoo奇摩新聞 (Yahoo News) - Mandarin, traditional characters [Taiwan]
https://tw.news.yahoo.com/

中国日报 (China Daily Bilingual News) - Mandarin, simplified characters [Mainland]
http://language.chinadaily.com.cn/news/n...ngual.html

Feel free to take a look and listen to the some of the news.  
Do you find any differences (from your perspective as you see and hear it)?
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#11
(2015-11-23, 4:18 pm)Zgarbas Wrote: I find it quite easy to read simplified, knowing Kanji&Traditional, and mainland Chinese people have no problem reading traditional characters (they will make fun of you for doing it the hard way tho).
Switching from traditional characters to simplified characters is usually quite easy.  The younger generation of Mainland Chinese that I have encountered so far, they seemed to lack the ability to understand Chinese classics and poems.  

I would say that the simplified character Chinese word for 爱 do not have the 心 unlike the traditional word 愛, therein lies the subtle "hidden differences" between them.
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#12
This is the deck. The first column is traditional, the second is simplified. If they are the same the second one is deleted.

https://mega.nz/#!OMlDFYZA!gSubvMyn5lxpA...2xNmp7TEtM
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#13
(2015-11-24, 1:07 pm)kameden Wrote: This is the deck. The first column is traditional, the second is simplified. If they are the same the second one is deleted.

https://mega.nz/#!OMlDFYZA!gSubvMyn5lxpA...2xNmp7TEtM
Glancing through, from 1 to 100, it is a pretty good deck you've got there.
The deck looks quite comprehensive with two types of pinyin sound as well.
The first column is traditional characters (Taiwan),
the second column is simplified characters (China).

Traditional characters [Hong Kong]
like 唔 and 佢 in Cantonese are not in the deck.
Japanese characters (more or less, close to the Chinese Hanzi meaning) in this color shade.

@ [Cantonese] 不 (ふ)   no; not (adverb) un*~~ / in*~~ / im*~~ (negative connotation)
@係 [Cantonese] 是 (ぜ)   1:right/agree with <a person> (此れ)2:this/these/such
@ [Cantonese] 彼 (かれ) he; him [pronoun]
@既 [Cantonese] ノ (の)   ~'s (possessive particle) auxiliary
Edited: 2015-11-25, 2:40 am
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#14
So the characters in Hong Kong are different? But don't they usually just read in a non-Cantonese written text anyway? So do they learn Hong Kong characters, and traditional mandarin or something like that? I'm really confused.

Also I think の's kanji is 之.
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#15
(2015-11-25, 5:29 pm)kameden Wrote: So the characters in Hong Kong are different? But don't they usually just read in a non-Cantonese written text anyway? So do they learn Hong Kong characters, and traditional mandarin or something like that? I'm really confused.

For Written Cantonese, the Hong Kong Supplementary Character Set will be required.

What is the Difference Between Mandarin and Cantonese?
http://mandarinhouse.com/difference-betw...-cantonese

Chinese Character Database
With Word-formations
Phonologically Disambiguated According to the Cantonese Dialect
http://humanum.arts.cuhk.edu.hk/Lexis/lexi-can/

Learn Cantonese
http://www.cantonese.sheik.co.uk/

Example:
Murakami Haruki audio readings in Cantonese and Mandarin

Cantonese Version
- reading starts around 00:48" mark
- text in Simplified Chinese [Not in Written Cantonese]
- narrator "ad-libs" to Cantonese when reading
粤语版:名叫彼得的猫(文/村上春树 主播/何唱)
http://www.lizhi.fm/59520/20627659342898054

Mandarin Version
- reading starts around 00:48" mark
- text in Simplified Chinese (translation)
- narrator reading to the chinese text
名叫彼得的猫(文/村上春树 主播/云袭)
http://www.lizhi.fm/59520/20510862539673478

村上朝日堂日記漩渦猫的找法 (うずまき猫のみつけかた村上朝日堂ジャ-ナル)
Murakami Haruki : List of Bilingual (Chinese-Japanese) Books Title
http://www.ato-shoten.co.jp/search/fsear...B4%A2+&ctg[0]=0
中国書籍の亜東書店 | 中国、台湾、香港、韓国の輸入図書販売

(2015-11-25, 5:29 pm)kameden Wrote: Also I think の's kanji is 之.
訓読み 1.ゆく 2.これ 3.この
音読み 1.シ  

換言すれば          (换言之   huànyánzhī)
不明点             (不明之处 bùmíng zhī chù)
平凡男             (平庸之辈 píngyōng zhī bèi)
恥知らずやから  (无耻之徒 wú chǐ zhī tú)
それだけでなく      (加之 jiāzhī)  [接] 《前の文を受けて》 その上,それだけでなく
恨み骨髄徹す    (恨之入骨 hèn zhī rù gǔ)
Edited: 2015-11-25, 11:40 pm
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#16
(2015-11-25, 5:29 pm)kameden Wrote: So the characters in Hong Kong are different? But don't they usually just read in a non-Cantonese written text anyway? So do they learn Hong Kong characters, and traditional mandarin or something like that? I'm really confused.

Also I think の's kanji is 之.

I'll try to explain it in as simply as possible. Taiwan and Hong Kong write using traditional characters. It doesn't matter if they write in Mandarin or in Cantonese, they always write in traditional.

Written Cantonese use a different set of characters than Mandarin, but this has nothing to do with simplified/traditional. It's just a different language and needs some other characters in order to write certain words (or the words simply have different roots and are thus written differently). Just like in Japanese, the meaning of some characters are different in Mandarin and Cantonese (e.g. Cantonese 係 = Mandarin 是).

About の, it is true that の can be written 之, but you can't say that の=之, since 之 has some specific rules of usage. Also の can also be written 乃. I also believe some usages of の does not follow the connotations of any of the kanji it can be written with. And as eslang pointed out, 之 has meanings that are unrelated to の. Anyway the point I think you missed was that the word that most closely follows the usage of の in Japanese is 的 in Mandarin and 嘅 in Cantonese.

I'm sorry if anything I said is incorrect, as I do not speak Cantonese, and only speak from my own experience.
Edited: 2015-11-26, 3:09 pm
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#17
Thank you for the responses, I think I understand now. So it is true about written Cantonese being somewhat rare compared to just traditional Mandarin in Hong Kong? Or am I mistaken?
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#18
(2015-11-26, 3:08 pm)Taishi Wrote:
(2015-11-25, 5:29 pm)kameden Wrote: So the characters in Hong Kong are different? But don't they usually just read in a non-Cantonese written text anyway? So do they learn Hong Kong characters, and traditional mandarin or something like that? I'm really confused.

Also I think の's kanji is 之.

I'll try to explain it in as simply as possible. Taiwan and Hong Kong write using traditional characters. It doesn't matter if they write in Mandarin or in Cantonese, they always write in traditional.

Written Cantonese use a different set of characters than Mandarin, but this has nothing to do with simplified/traditional. It's just a different language and needs some other characters in order to write certain words (or the words simply have different roots and are thus written differently). Just like in Japanese, the meaning of some characters are different in Mandarin and Cantonese (e.g. Cantonese 係 = Mandarin 是).

About の, it is true that の can be written 之, but you can't say that の=之, since 之 has some specific rules of usage. Also の can also be written 乃. I also believe some usages of の does not follow the connotations of any of the kanji it can be written with. And as eslang pointed out, 之 has meanings that are unrelated to の. Anyway the point I think you missed was that the word that most closely follows the usage of の in Japanese is 的 in Mandarin and 嘅 in Cantonese.

I'm sorry if anything I said is incorrect, as I do not speak Cantonese, and only speak from my own experience.
Ohhh... You took my breath away. なんて素敵 Heart
I think you put it across so much better than me. (;--)
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#19
(2015-11-26, 5:50 pm)kameden Wrote: Thank you for the responses, I think I understand now. So it is true about written Cantonese being somewhat rare compared to just traditional Mandarin in Hong Kong? Or am I mistaken?
Are you asking about the Cantonese (spoken?) and/or (written?) in China (Mainland) Canton Region compared to China (Special Administrative Region) Hong Kong?

Hmm... Rare -- it depends on how one defines it -- would you care to elaborate further?  

I could be mistaken, somehow it seems that you are interested to know more about Cantonese based on your responses in this thread, or rather it tends to lean in that direction.  I don't mean to pry or encroach on your privacy, but it would be helpful to know : where your interest lies, the objective of learning Chinese traditional characters, and whether it is for leisure or business?  

I don't wish to come across as being pedantic, however, to minimize misunderstanding and in order that we can communicate on the same page, so to speak, it would be useful to know and use the right terminology regarding Chinese/Mandarin/Cantonese/Taiwanese -- that is, the "Chinese diaspora" :

Suggested terms for describing the Chinese-diaspora
http://www.chinese-forums.com/index.php?...-diaspora/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_emigration

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overseas_Chinese

Otherwise, we may end up going round in circles and leading to misconception or misunderstanding.
Edited: 2015-11-27, 12:05 am
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#20
I think I have already made up my mind to learn both simplified and traditional versions of the Mandarin written language, I am now just asking an off-topic question.

I was just curious what written form they use in Hong Kong (aka native Cantonese speakers). Do they use written Cantonese or written Mandarin (traditional)?
Edited: 2015-11-27, 9:34 am by ファブリス
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#21
(2015-11-27, 2:24 am)kameden Wrote: I think I have already made up my mind to learn both simplified and traditional versions of the Mandarin written language, I am now just asking an off-topic question.

I was just curious what written form they use in Hong Kong (aka native Cantonese speakers). Do they use written Cantonese or written Mandarin (traditional)?
Just scroll back up to post #10, and the answer is :
蘋果日報 (Apple Daily News) in Hong Kong
http://hk.apple.nextmedia.com/
Click on that link and take a look at the written form (i.e. characters and the way most native Cantonese speakers in Hong Kong are using in this modern age, at present time.)
They are using both the written Cantonese and written Mandarin (traditional).

If the material is in the format of say, entertainment magazines and websites in Hong Kong, then one may find other queer written form or colloquial way of expression depending on that age-group, discussion topics and so forth.  And if the material tend toward academic fields (e.g. classics or poems) or older form of entertainment like Cantonese opera, then the olden written form might not be able to display properly on some computer or software programs.

In Japan, there are  若者言葉 ranging from 2ちゃんねる用語、 ギャル語、 KY語、 略語 to 業界用語 in the modern age; as well as 能楽、歌舞伎、和歌、等など where some of the spoken and written form could be a few hundred to a thousand year ago.
Edited: 2015-11-27, 9:24 am
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#22
Thanks.
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#23
A Rishel avatar, that's rare.
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