What do you recommend for a person living in the United States and learning Chinese for personal growth and does not expect to ever travel to China or do business with any Chinese companies. Most or all of the conversation would be for pleasure with Chinese Americans or other Chinese language students. Reading would be the local Chinese papers or restaurant menus and any opportunity to speak the language would probably be in Chinese restaurants or in the Chinese markets, culture centers or China town. I took one semester of Mandarin Chinese and the instructor seemed adamant that we learn both simplified and traditional and at the time didn't seem so overwhelming in a classroom setting. However the class was cancelled after the one semester and learning both styles on my own has become rather tedious. I am just wondering if I should buckle down and keep learning to read and write both or if it would be a better use of my time and energy to concentrate on one or the other, and if so which would be smartest given my current interest in learning. I noticed that the lessons give .pdf in both simplified and traditional so it is apparent that even after more than 50 years of simplified coming to be that traditional stills seems to have some place in Chinese language. Does anyone have any practical experience as if both are important or should one study just one or the other. And if I were to ever have an opportunity to visit some part of China would I be kicking my self for not studying both or find that I wasted my time studying both? What about school children in China, do they still learn both or is it just simplified? Are there other regions that do not recognize simplified besides Taiwan?
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