What is the correct way to call one of the scripts used for Chinese? Chinese simplified, or simplified Chinese?

  • If anything it should be Chinese, simplified. – Humphrey Bogart Aug 24 '10 at 10:53

Anecdotally, all the Chinese learners that I know refer to it as "Chinese simplified" or just "simplified" or "traditional".

According to google, it's the most common phrase.

  • Interestingly, this ngram from Google Books lists the opposite, with "simplified Chinese" dramatically more common. – Nonnal Nov 14 '15 at 0:41

"Simplified Chinese" is the normal way to describe this. But as far as I know, it refers to the system of writing, not the language. Hence it is "Simplified Chinese characters" (link to Wikipedia article).

  • That's correct; it would be like to say that Cyrillic is a language. Thank you for the note; I fixed the question. – kiamlaluno Aug 21 '10 at 8:18
  • The answer is the same. – delete Aug 21 '10 at 9:22
  • +1 Your are right they simplified i.g. bird from 鳥 to 鸟. – stacker Aug 21 '10 at 9:34
  • @stacker: still doesn't look like a bird to me.. – Claudiu Nov 17 '10 at 18:32
  • @kiamlaluno: Hmm. I'm actually not sure that you are right; while alphabetical writing systems certainly do not qualify as languages, it's a bit fuzzier with ideograph-based writing systems: each ideograph actually has its own meaning. In fact, "Chinese" is arguably not the name of a spoken language (though the Party may disagree!): rather, there are such languages as Mandarin, "Wu", and "Yue" (to pick the first three listed in the Wikipedia article), all of which share a common written language (which is Chinese). – SamB Jan 14 '11 at 20:58

I've studied Mandarin for years and all references I've come across, from course titles to textbooks have been to simplified Chinese. Incidentally, I wish that I'd had the option to study traditional Chinese at a local university.

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