Why traditional Chinese characters imported become simplified characters


I have imported a lesson with traditional Chinese characters. But when I view the lesson, it becomes simplified characters. Can I display the lesson with traditional characters?


1 Like

That’s a good question; I just confirmed what you said. It seems it would be more difficult to perform the conversion, rather than just leave the traditional text alone, so I wonder why they don’t allow this.

1 Like

You can easily convert between simplified and traditional using this Chrome extension: New TongWenTang - Chrome Web Store

It’s not a 1 to 1 mapping. Multiple traditional characters were simplified into single simplified variants. E.g. 麵 → 面 while 面 remains 面. Other conversions 髮 and 發 both map to 头. Even worse is how 隻, 衹, and 只 all merged into just 只. Amusingly, 乾 and 幹 both being simplified into 干 is what lead to this famous sign: http://i.imgur.com/h9B0hf4.jpg

;tldr You should definitely store traditional characters on the back end where possible. If you do, automated conversion to simplified is easy. If you store simplified on the back end, the opposite is not true.

1 Like

I know it’s not a 1-to-1 mapping, but the converter seems decent at guessing the correct traditional characters based on context. For example it changes 干嘛 to 幹嘛 and 干净 to 乾淨. Also 一只狗 becomes 一隻狗 and 只有 stays 只有.

But I agree that LingQ should store the original characters.

1 Like

I already commented on hedgehogking’s comment below, but just tried LingQ with Chinese tonight and I have to say I’m shocked at how it’s implemented. Destroying information by forcibly simplifying 正體字 is actually a minor problem compared to inserting spaces into texts!

Unlike some SE Asian languages where parsing is a seriously complex issue, Chinese is already broken up into syllables! Why oh why insert extra spaces into guessed word groupings? This makes it impossible to link single characters within words or to change boundaries or link longer phrases. Well, you can link the longer phrases, but you’re stuck with spaces in them at random places and they break dictionary lookup. I can’t even imagine what it must kind of meeting lead to this particular implementation decision and I’m really glad I’m using LingQ for a european language!


You can hide spacing in settings, but it’s true you can’t link individual characters if they are parsed into a word. Sometimes I just write each character’s definition in the word’s definition.

I totally agree, I was also shocked about the automatic and unchangable word grouping when I started using LingQ and I asked in the forum (How To Determine Word Grouping In The Lesson? - Language ...). They said they want to improve the splitter, but this doesn’t seem to have a high priority, since in the last 7 months nothing has changed. I hope they will do something about this soon.

Also the conversion to simplified really annoys me and I don’t understand why they do it? If I import a text in 繁体字 for learning the traditional characters, it does the conversion to simplified and tells me I know these words, although I only know the simplified version.

1 Like

Hi everyone,
Unfortunately we only support Simplified Chinese characters so we have to convert the Traditional characters to Simplified in order to enable that text to function on the site.