Grammar Lesson 1:

Traditional vs Simplified characters

In Mainland China simplified characters are used while in Taiwan and Hong Kong traditional characters. Characters were simplified to increase literacy rates in China.

Here is a side-by-side comparison of simplified and traditional characters:

Traditional / Simplified / Pinyin

嗎 / 吗 / ma5 = (particle indicating a question)
學 / 学 / xue2 = to learn
中國 / 中国 / zhong1 guo2 = China
愛 / 爱 = to love

Not all characters have been changed:

我 / 我 / wo3 = I, me
你 / 你 / ni3 = you
很 / 很 / hen3 = very

On this website traditional characters are displayed in black, while simplified ones are in green.