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What are Simplified Characters?

The Chinese have been using traditional characters for several thousand years. About 50 years ago the Chinese Communist Party gained political control and changed the writing system. It was a stepping-stone towards their goal of eliminating characters and eventually replacing them with the Western Roman alphabet. Fortunately, this plan is no longer in place. However, simplified characters are here to stay. At this time, simplified characters are official in China and Singapore. The traditional characters are still in use in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan (as kanji), Korea (as hanja), and most Chinese communities in North America.


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