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Learning Traditional Characters after Simplified

shinyspoons   January 9th, 2011 6:53a.m.

I am thinking about starting to learn traditional characters and would like to get up to a decent level of around 3500 or so.

If already know simplified, how many new characters, not including ones that have small consistent changes to radicals like 饭-飯 and 红-紅, would I have to learn to get there.


wb   January 9th, 2011 7:55a.m.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simplified_Chinese_characters see "Extent", it's probably around 500 characters...I haven't found a list to study those yet...

shinyspoons   January 11th, 2011 1:02a.m.

Its probably about time someone made one then.


ChrisClark   January 17th, 2011 12:50a.m.

I have found such lists in the past, but I don't know much use they would be. You might look at the number 500 and think it's small, but:

1) These are among the most difficult characters to write - that's why they were simplified
2) There's extra mental overhead in keeping the two systems straight in your head
3) You'll have to do extra reading practice with traditional texts

Because of these factors, I would guess that studying both systems increases my study time 50% or more. Because of this, it's not for everyone, but for you, @shinyspoons, definitely go for it. In return, it's awesome! Whether in Beijing or Taipei, Kuala Lumpur or your local Chinatown, you'll feel right at home.

As a side note, I found it most helpful, after I got my traditional characters caught up, to fully commit to most systems, and learn all new characters and words in both systems. I believe that helps me keep them straight.

Good luck,


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