UCL Logo

Versions Compared


  • This line was added.
  • This line was removed.
  • Formatting was changed.


Until this section is more complete, use

MDBG or yellowbridge

to look up characters and a textbook such as Reading & writing Chinese: simplified character edition by William McNaughton and Li Ying.


In this course's Conversation vocabularies and Dictionary, Traditional Characters are written in brackets, except for easily recognisable Simplified elements such as: 讠(言),贝(貝),见(見),金(金),马(馬),鸟(鳥),门(門) and 鱼(魚).

Frequently one Simplified character results from two or more Traditional characters. Note:

  • Traditional characters make this difference depending on whether 'you' is male or female: 你 (male), 妳 (female), both nǐ.
  • 侄子 zhízi 'nephew' and 姪女 zhínǚ 'niece' are simplified as: 侄子 and 侄女.

Sometimes usage is just different:

  • 老闆 lǎobǎn 'boss' is 老板.
  • 藉口 jièkǒu 'excuse' is 借口.

Do you just have to memorise them?