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.


Learn Chinese and other languages online with our audio flashcard system and various exercises, such as multiple choice tests, writing exercises, games and listening exercises.

Click here to Sign Up Free!

Or sign up via Facebook with one click:



Watch a short Intro by a real user!