Joint dictionary for simplified and traditional characters

The article “China and Taiwan ‘first joint dictionary'” from the BBC is a rather long article. However, the length is justified as it takes a lot to explain the differences between simplified and traditional characters. The difference between the characters can be boiled down to a linguistic difference, but it comes with history and cultural differences as well. I think the article does a good job of conveying the difference to the reader. Hopefully it also makes sense to readers who are not familiar with Chinese characters and do not know any Chinese.

I think having a dictionary with both character types will be helpful. People who learn simplified characters and learn Chinese calligraphy already have a grasp of both forms. There are no conversion rules from traditional characters to simplified characters, so I tend to get dizzy trying to figure out simplified characters. I’m not going to make an active effort to learn simplified characters as I am very comfortable with traditional characters. I can anticipate the dictionary coming in handy when I do run across simplified characters.

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2 thoughts on “Joint dictionary for simplified and traditional characters

  1. I think such a simplified/traditional Chinese dictionary is way overdue, even for Chinese people such as myself who (because of various reasons) don’t read or write Chinese.

    What would be even better is to have a proper dictionary of simplified/traditional Chinese characters that contains both Mandarin/Putonghua and Cantonese pronunciation. It seems to me that many (if not most) people have forgotten that Cantonese is the second-biggest segment of Chinese speech still in widespread use around the world.

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