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I study Mandarin as I enjoy the language and especially characters themselves and I've considered pursuing a future in China but I'm really a steadfast supporter of Traditional Characters. While I don't mind reading in Simplified and having to deal with them as it's fun to see how the PRC commission handled simplifying characters, I much prefer to write in Traditional and use them. I have heard stories of people using Traditional characters in Mainland China just because they prefer it an no one cared. Is this true? I know most Mainland Chinese can read them fine and haven't much difficulty with them. But would I get weird looks or come off as odd/eccentric for using them in daily life such as to text a friend, colleague, etc. or write a document for someone?

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zgw3kszo is a new contributor to this site. Take care in asking for clarification, commenting, and answering. Check out our Code of Conduct.
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  • I am wondering the same thing too. My impression is, traditional characters are toleranced everywhere in China except for official documents (e.g. government documents, news articles), which would treat Traditional characters as typos (not approve but not a big deal) . Even then, It is ok. to use them when quoting from classical text or text sources that are originally in Traditional characters. BTW, you can find many store signs, book titles are in traditional characters for artistical reason – Tang Ho Feb 21 at 23:47
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some tidbits as i known, or heard:

  • calligraphy must be in traditional chinese, no matter in which scripts (cursive, regular, or seal)

so, signboards, billboards could be in traditional chinese, such as:

enter image description here

it used “報”, instead of “报”; anyway, it’s mr mao’s handwriting 🙀 no one dares to change it

  • classical / literary text should not be changed into simplified chinese, any reprint of “old books” (古籍) must be in traditional chinese.

there was an incident, quoted in the book “毛澤東晚年過眼詩文錄”: that in 1973, during cultural revolution, books complied for mr mao’s reading were printed in traditional chinese

enter image description here

another “incident” is, from 2003 to 2018, the book “全宋筆記”, 102 volumes, are also printed in traditional chinese.

back to your question:

people using Traditional characters in Mainland China just because they prefer it an no one cared. Is this true?

yes, most of the time, no one cares.

would I get weird looks or come off as odd/eccentric for using them in daily life such as to text a friend, colleague, etc. or write a document for someone

most likely, just tell them that you were/are learning chinese language in traditional script 😼

edited.

  • niche, or revelation

the logo of the some universities in mainland china:

enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

these are in traditional chinese, so, the interpretation of such phenomenon would be . . . 😼

replying to a “disinformation” comment:

The company seal or personal name seal must go with simplified Chinese in mainland cn

even the national seal (國璽) of mainland china is in traditional chinese:

enter image description hereenter image description here

it’s “華”, not “华”; “國”, not “国”

it’s mentioned in another thread: Why are traditional and simplified different in such small manner?

the “Law of the People's Republic of China on the Standard Spoken and Written Chinese Language” (中华人民共和国国家通用语言文字法)

第十七条 本章有关规定中,有下列情形的,可以保留或使用繁体字、异体字:

  (一)文物古迹;

  (二)姓氏中的异体字;

  (三)书法、篆刻等艺术作品; (art works, such as calligraphy and seal carving)

  (四)题词和招牌的手书字;

  (五)出版、教学、研究中需要使用的;

  (六)经国务院有关部门批准的特殊情况。

seal must be in traditional chinese

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  • I've seen seal script written in Simplified Chinese, 漢 is written as 水 + 又, it's unrecognisable D:. – dROOOze Feb 22 at 10:40
  • @dROOOze, omg, it shouldn’t be, it shouldn’t be 🙀 – 水巷孑蠻 Feb 22 at 11:56
  • The company seal or personal name seal must go with simplified Chinese in mainland cn, which could be used officially. – Shaw yesterday
  • @Shaw, it’s too long for a comment, please read the edited answer :) – 水巷孑蠻 yesterday
  • I don't think there is any contradiction. What I meant to say is "公章" should be in simplified Chinese (not for government or university). 关于《发票管理办法》, "发票专用章所刊汉字,应当使用简化字,字体为仿宋体", and also mentioned "印章使用简化的宋体字" in 百度百科:公章. The personal name part is probably not correct. – Shaw yesterday
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Yes, it is allowable for unofficial occasions. However, such preference might lead to criticism from some Internet users. In principle, this is nobody's business except for the one adopt this typing convention, but there always be somebody jump out and berate him/her for being too condescending hence felt "deeply offended" ["You think you are better than me just because you type in Traditional Form?" "You think you are better than me just because you know how to read characters 'correctly' under different circumstances even though everybody [the truth is, those people that got educated earlier did learn these subtleties, which was extensively tested by so many paper-based examinations, so not "everybody" in fact] don't care about that anymore, while you are still jumping around and being annoying like a pain in the ass?" ]. I myself find this criticism unnecessary at all, but there are always somebody attack everything s/he does not like, even though that is actually not a big deal to most readers.

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Every major input method software used by Chinese people has a simplified/traditional switch button. I use simplified words in my daily life but totally accept traditional words and the people who like to write with traditional words. but if you are writing formal documents, simplified words are much better.

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riverlet is a new contributor to this site. Take care in asking for clarification, commenting, and answering. Check out our Code of Conduct.
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  • I type using ZhengMa IME both on phone and computer so Traditional, Simplified, etc. aren't any easier or harder to type – zgw3kszo 4 hours ago

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