Simplified or Traditional Chinese, Which one should I learn? Well…It depends!

Have you ever heard that Chinese people don’t understand your Mandarin even though you have been learning Mandarin for years because they speak different dialects in different cities of China?

Have you ever thought about switch to learning Taiwanese Mandarin because they don’t have this dialect problem or not as much as they do in mainland China? But wait, think bout it. You have to relearn Taiwanese Mandarin characters, which can be very different from Chinese ones,  and that sounds like A LOT of work ! So, which one should you learn ….? It depends!

First of all, I want to make it clear that people from mainland China and Taiwan have no problem understanding each other and the relationship between simplified and traditional Chinese is sort of like American English and British English. So the good news is you really DON’T need to change to Taiwanese Mandarin if you are learning or plan to learn simplified Chinese ( unless you really like Taiwanese accent, and it’s also beautiful).  Yeahhhh!! 😀

But here is another problem : How can I deal with so many dialects of Mandarin in China ?

🙁 You know what? Even Chinese people can’t fully understand each other either ! No kidding !  For example, I am from Zhengzhou, Henan Province, which is in the middle part of China. When I travelled to Changsha, Hunan Province, which is in the South, I couldn’t understand a single word of their dialect, and I am pretty sure if I spoke my dialect to them, they wouldn’t understand either, which is basically the reason why Chinese education system require Chinese people to learn the standard Mandarin so that Chinese people all over China can understand each other.

So if I say I am a Chinese and I even have a hard time understanding different dialects of Mandarin, don’t you feel more confident about your Mandarin now? 😀

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