In Mandarin Chinese, there are two sets of characters used in writing. In China, simplified characters have been used since the 1950s. In Taiwan, traditional characters are used. Some people who want to learn Mandarin are unsure on which set of characters to study.

First here is an example of the difference.

Simplified-我是从美国来的

Traditional-我是從美國來的

That sentence means :I am from the United States. The writing is different, but the standard Chinese pronunciation would be the same.

Here are some points to keep in mind

Where do you want to go?- For anyone who is sure they want to go to Taiwan, I would recommend learning the traditional characters. Learn simplified first if you want to go to China.

Amount of users- Far more people use simplified characters. This is because of China’s high population in comparison to Taiwan.

Having both is best- I would recommend learning both. It helps to know that you can read anything from Taiwan,  from China or before simplified characters began to be used.

I would recommend learning simplified first and then learning traditional later on. It is nice to have both, but I recommend learning simplified characters first.

The ultimate answer is that it depends on individual circumstance.

Simplified vs Traditional Characters: Which Should You Learn?
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