When to add both vs just trad or simplified

So I am curious about peoples opinions. There is alot of debate on learning simplified vs traditional and which one to learn first, but in my case I started learning in taiwan so I went traditional first. I am crossing 2k characters and am starting to work through a few books but I was curious when people would recommend flipping on simplified to study as well. I have been doing skritter about a year but studying chinese on and off for many years so the first 1000 were pretty fast.

I have read a few things in simplified and am somewhat familiar with alot of the radical simplications so I find I can kinda read simplified I just occasionally get hung up and have to guess which character it is.

I was kinda leaning towards adding simplified in once I hit 3k but I was just curious about the about people opinions and thoughts.

I don’t think it matters much in terms of what is most effective, because practical considerations are going to be more important in almost all cases anyway. Do you need to write simplified characters now? If the answer is yes, go ahead, it’s not very hard, there are only a few hundred tricky cases. There is a nice website that aims to teach simplified to people who already know traditional. It’s old and doesn’t have a fancy interface, but is still useful: check it out here. If you don’t need them right now, switching later doesn’t hurt. I tend to think that the better you know one set, the easier it will be to learn the other, but you’re already beyond the basics, so any difference is bound to be very small.

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Fair enough, thanks for the feedback. That site looks good I will probably file it away and revisit simplified in a while once I have more of a need for simplified. Now that amazon has traditional ebooks it isn’t as urgent as it once was

Can I ask a technical question: what happens in Skritter when you have learned maybe 2000 characters (simplified) and then you also turn on traditional characters? Does my backlog now have several hundreds unknown characters, do they come back only when corresponding simplified characters is due in review or what will happen?

Perhaps SkritterOlle can correct me if I am wrong but if you go look at your lists the version of the character that you didn’t learn looks just like a skipped word. When you make the change it gives you an option to reset the learning on all your lists, this won’t lose you any progress on words you learned but it will start the process of adding your “new” characters and words just like any other word on an unfinished list.


The change will take effect from that point on and isn’t retroactive, however as @qianyilong mentioned you can have your lists set to scan back from the very beginning, which will add any parts that had been skipped (traditional characters in this case) until the list is caught up. This won’t affect the progress of anything already added / learned.


I wrote about this under the new app topic thread, but am copying the gist of what I said here in case it is helpful:

“It is much easier to learn simplified characters after one knows the traditional version. This is because traditional characters have more of a story and history within them, and thus give insight as to how they have been simplified.

“As strange as it sounds, traditional characters may take longer to learn but they are much easier to remember (and lend themselves to better mnemonics); simplified characters are quicker to write, not necessarily easier to learn, and are forgotten more readily.”

My request in the other thread was, after five years of asking and being promised this change, when will Skritter allow those who choose to learn both versions the option of having traditional characters appear first while studying, so that they can be thoroughly learned before simplified versions appear.