I am a 20-year-old guy studying Chinese Translation at college here in Turkey. Currently I am taking preparatory Chinese classes to pass to actual ones (just started).

I have been studying Chinese for quite some time, and I loved traditional characters so chose to start with the traditional set. I learned a lot of traditional characters, and now all my professors are from PRC and no matter what they don't accept traditional characters (I must write by hand). She told me with a kinda angry voice 寫現在的字. Others say they won't accept it either.

Obviously this will affect my grades etc. and I don't want to change it. What should I do ? I thought of learning both together, writing simplified to materials they use and writing traditional to my own individual studying materials. This preparatory classes will take 1 year, 3 exams, some little tests. If I can't pass the barage they set I must get HSK 4.

We will be learning 1500-1600 words. Here they see China as only PRC, meaning my university only has connections with mainland universities so I will be going there early on until I can finish it or do something else. What should I do?

  • 4
    人在矮簷下,不得不低頭. Unless you switch to a Taiwan based Chinese class, you'll have to learn simplified characters in order to pass the test. And it is not a bad thing to know both
    – Tang Ho
    Oct 4, 2018 at 19:54
  • Your “professors” are of very low 素質. Maybe they can’t even read 繁體. What embarrassing examples of human beings...unfortunately I’ll have to vote to close, as this is off topic. Try a forum like Reddit (/r/chineselanguage), where personal experience topics often come up. As a final note, HSK accepts 繁體 answers, although (1) their tests are all in Simplified and (2) writing 繁體, if you’re not familiar with 行書, may negatively affect your time constraints.
    – dROOOze
    Oct 4, 2018 at 20:19
  • @Tang Ho, i would quote the verse "不經一番寒澈骨.焉得梅花撲鼻香" (^ o ^) Oct 5, 2018 at 13:30
  • 1
    Even in Mainland China, knowing traditional Chinese characters in addition of simplified characters is an advantage. Know more is always better. I have three nieces in Canada. All have English as first language. One of them can speak but cannot write Chinese, one cannot speak nor write Chinese. Only the oldest one can speak and write Chinese. And she is the one who has the highest paying job among them.
    – Tang Ho
    Oct 5, 2018 at 14:47
  • 1
    Agrees with Tang Ho and others, learning both Simplified helps with traditional and vice versa. Simplified Chinese are more used in PRC and it's more..simplified, or user friendly in terms of faster writing, but traditional helps understanding the word itself and the story behind, which is highly recommended. For your exam just go with simplified, don't let anyone stop you from learning more.
    – Alex
    Oct 5, 2018 at 19:58

2 Answers 2


Young man drop everything to follow his heart.

Others drop his personal to do his responsibility.

Few do both.

  • 1
    Man! This is deep!
    – Agnes
    Oct 5, 2018 at 14:27

.traditionally, against one's mentor / tutor, is severe wrongdoing in chinese culture.

.when you enrol in the course, there must be some documentations, read the fine print, what's the language requirement.

if it's written in black & white, that traditional chinese should be used / accepted; then ask your university,why they hire "unqualified" tutor for the course.

if you can't find anything mentioning "traditional chinese", change yourself :(

She told me with à kinda angry voice 寫現在的字

i doubt that your tutor understand traditional chinese. frankly, if you need to read books printed before 1949, traditional chinese is a must. otherwise, simplified chinese is widely used in "that area".

her angry attitude would be interpreted as "you're smarted than her, cause you can read literature of yores directly"

without knowledge of traditional chinese, how can one inherit the traditional culture, history? all of these are recorded in traditional chinese.

last, an chinese verse for encouragement:


roughly "without the continuous bone-chilling cold, there can be no fragrant plum blossom"

behave carefully :)

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