Which one do I give my friend?
GoodSeed has several resources in Chinese both in written and audio formats. Consult the tables below to see which version best suits the Chinese person you want to give to.
Written Format: Traditional vs Simplified Chinese
The Chinese script has two forms: Traditional and Simplified Script.
The simplest way to check which form your friend prefers to read is to share with him or her (via printout, email, text message, etc.) the following image:
You can right click and download the above image.
Once you know which script your friend prefers to read, consult the following table on the available resources:
Traditional Chinese Script
Used primarily by the Chinese in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau.
Simplified Chinese Script
Used primarily by the Chinese from mainland China, Singapore and Malaysia.
Audio Format: Mandarin and Cantonese
While there are two forms of the written script, the characters of the script can be pronounced in a number of ways because there are many Chinese dialects. When two Chinese people read aloud the same script, the characters can sound very different because they are reading aloud in their own dialects.
GoodSeed has resources in two commonly spoken dialects.
Primarily spoken by the Chinese in mainland China, Taiwan,* Singapore and Malaysia.
*Mandarin is also known as Taiwanese in Taiwan.
Primarily spoken by the Chinese in Hong Kong and Macau. Also spoken by people from Guangdong, China.
These tables present a simplified view of the spectrum of different types of Chinese people. To complicate matters, the Chinese diaspora in places like Australia, Canada or the United States may have come from mainland China, Hong Kong or Taiwan. In addition, the older generation of the Chinese diaspora may still only read Traditional Chinese, even if their children have moved on to use Simplified Chinese.
So you need to check with your friend where he is from or where her family is from. Then consult the tables above to help you make the appropriate choice.
If you are completely unsure which script your friend can read or which dialect he speaks, ask him. Or present your friend with options. Show him or her the books and ask which script he or she can read. Or present both versions of the audiobook and ask which one he or she can understand.
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