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Sim char r fewer in # n were cre8ed 2 mk the wrtn lang ezr 2 learn cus the char hv fewer strokes. (Simplified characters are fewer in number and were created to make the written language easier to learn because the characters have fewer strokes.) That is what many people in China believe and have been taught.

But is it true?

If it were, we could similarly raise the literacy rate in American by using abbreviated words and sentences. Unfortunately, this is not how language works.

Some research even indicates that learning simplified characters makes learning harder. Simplifying the characters has removed many of the relationships between characters. Many characters were simplified merely for the sake of simplifying. Often the connections between characters were broken as a result. Try eliminating some English prefixes, roots, or suffixes and use abbreviated words in their place and see if that helps in learning the language.

Furthermore, reducing the number of strokes in a character reduces the contrast between characters. Readers have difficulty distinguishing simplified characters from one another. It can take more mental effort to read a paragraph written in simplified Chinese than in traditional characters.

Simplified characters are used in China and traditional characters are used in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and overseas Chinese communities. Simplification is actually making life a little more complicated. One now has to know both sets of characters in order to communicate with Chinese from different regions.

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