One of hardest parts of learning Mandarin (apart from speaking the correct tones) is being able to read and write Chinese characters. It’s a slow and painful progress, with no real short cuts. (Although I am hoping reading Remembering Simplified Hanzi will help, but you still need to study hard to learn this way). However, every time I feel myself getting frustrated with my progress I remind myself that at least I am learning simplified Chinese. Traditional Chinese is the original version, which is still using in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. Simplified Chinese was developed during the 1950s to make characters easier to read and write and to increase literacy across China. You can see from the highlighted example just how simplified many of the characters are from their original traditional form. The word ‘to know’ (rènshi) looks like this 认识 in simplified Chinese and like this 認識 in traditional Chinese. So hooray for Simplified hanzi and thank goodness I don’t need to learn traditional Chinese characters.
(Blog posted by Ray on April 1, 2014. You can see the original article by following this link to rayallychina.com)