Differences Between Taiwan Chinese and Mainland Chinese
Chinese language is probably the most famous language which uses
characters instead of letters. However contrary to popular belief
Chinese is not just one language but there are many different dialects.
In Hong Kong for instance people speak Cantonese which is so different
that someone from Beijing would not understand it. Also there are two
different sets of Chinese characters. The original traditional
characters and the simplified characters. The simplified characters
were introduced to promote literacy by decreasing the number of strokes
required for some characters. Not all characters were simplified
however, like some characters which are already very simple (2 or 3
strokes). Traditional characters are still used in Taiwan, Macau and
Hong Kong. In Mainland China and Singapore simplified characters are
Someone who wants to learn Chinese
is normally best advised to learn Standard Mandarin and simplified
characters which are used in Beijing (Peking) for instance. However if
you also want to do business or stay in Taiwan
for instance you should also learn traditional characters. Traditional
characters are considered to be the "more beautiful" characters, even
by some mainlanders. Since simplified characters are relatively new, it
means that many historic texts can not be read by the new generation.
Also if learning Chinese
the questions is which romanization system should be used. Hanyu Pinyin
(or short Pinyin) is the most common system. This system uses the Latin
alphabet to represent sounds in Chinese. In Taiwan a different system
is used called Zhuyin. Zhuyin does not use the Latin alphabet like
Pinyin and is therefore more difficult to learn for Westerners. Zhuyin
is also known as Bopomofo.
China is emerging as a major economic power. For that reason it
is becoming more popular to learn. Some schools in Europe have changed
their curriculum and Chinese competes now with French, Spanish and
Oliver Antosch is the owner of Chinese-Course.com
and many other websites.
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