Note: It is not necessary to read this. I wrote this very poorly and very quickly. You can skip it if you like and go straight to my other posts.

Hello everyone. This is my first blog, so it will be a work in progress

As to why I am making this blog… I wish to share my love for traditional Chinese characters with the world and I hope to spread knowledge and break stereotypes.

Here is a little intro about myself and how I became interested in learning traditional characters.

I am American and currently living in France. In 8th grade I began learning French and right away I knew it was for me. I learned it with a great passion and took it all the way to the end of high school. I now speak it fluently and live just outside Paris with my lovely fiancée.

In 2005, I decided to take up learning Japanese. I studied on and off for a couple of years and was able to recognize a good number of kanji from playing video games and letting my curiosity get the better of me every time I saw a kanji I did not know. To make a long story short, I decided to move to France to study (college here is practically free, if not free). I was required to take a course on learning the different scripts in Japanese before the first semester began, so I took the opportunity to take the required pinyin class for Chinese as well. It was during this two-week class learning pinyin and how to properly pronounce Mandarin that I fell in love with Chinese. I immediately changed to a double degree in Mandarin and Japanese.

Come the end of the first semester, I found that the double degree was taking its toll on me and I was unable to handle so many classes at once (the commute to Paris is quite tiring). I decided to stop learning Japanese and to focus solely on Mandarin.

So where do traditional characters fit into this? Well, it was at the end of my first semester that I finally decided to make the switch. Having already learned a good bit in Japanese, I had much exposure to traditional characters already. I must admit though, in the beginning, I strongly disliked traditional characters and made it a point to get pissed at teachers who would print out worksheets with any traditional characters in them.

One of my teachers is Taiwanese, and she helped motivate me and made me realize that it was very possible for me to learn them. My main concern was that I would not have any use for them and that the 1.3 billion Chinese people who use simplified characters would not understand what I write and that I would not understand what they write. I soon realized however that it is not at all difficult to understand simplified once knowing traditional. Going the other way around, however, it not as easy. I will get more into that later.

So anyways, after my first semester I decided to use traditional characters on my tests and in everything I did in school. My teachers support my decision, and several students have actually followed me and have made the switch as well.

I suppose I’m done then. Let’s get right down to it, 繁體字!