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Simplified Chinese

Simplified Chinese is one of two forms of contemporary Chinese language writing. The other form is Traditional Chinese[?]. This form of writing is most popular in Mainland China (where it was developed) and Singapore. It is used very sparingly in Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan.

The People's Republic of China government tried to improve the literacy rate of its people by reducing and simplifying the character set in the Chinese language in the 1940s. The number of brush strokes required to write many words were reduced. (e.g. 葉 maps to 叶; 萬 maps to 万). Sometimes many complicated characters were folded into one simpler character.

Its effect on the language is still controversial decades later. Some complained that the simplification jeopardised the study of ancient literature by creating a disconnect between daily used text and the literal text. After a few more generations, some fear the Chinese general population will not be able to appreciate the complexity of ancient literature. Others praise the simplification because it allowed lesser-educated people to read.

In computer text applications, Simplified Chinese is most often rendered using the GB character encoding scheme.



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