https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jb_in_tw

甚麼 or 什麼

OK, maybe things are different in Chinese Beijing, but I live in Taiwan and have for some time and I have never seen "What" written like "甚麼" before. Maybe it is an error in the traditional add-on. In Taiwan, "什麼" is the way it is written and AFAIK, it is the same on the other side.

It would be all inclusive if the icon for the Chinese course included both flags. In the same vein that websites use the UK and US flag together for English.

April 4, 2018

4 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/garpike

Both forms are correct, but '甚麼' is mostly confined to older literature; it's still readily understood, however, unlike some variant forms that have have completely fallen out of use.

April 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OmegaGmaster

Wiktionary says that it is a variant of the regular word 什么. Perhaps the creator of whatever traditional addon you use comes from a region where this variant is used. That's an issue you'll have to take up with the addon creator.

It would be all inclusive if the icon for the Chinese course included both flags. In the same vein that websites use the UK and US flag together for English.

The reason for this is to show which variety Duolingo teaches. Duolingo teaches American English, so it wouldn't make much sense to use the UK flag, would it? While British English answers should be accepted in those courses, the course doesn't focus on that variety. Same with Chinese. It uses the Chinese flag to show that they teach Mandarin Chinese spoken in China, which is why Simplified characters are used.

April 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kyrura

I don't think I've written "what" as "甚麼" once in my life in a casual paragraph, and I grew up in a Taiwanese household. I think it's used in a context that isn't used much in written script, because I hear a lot more in oral conversation.

April 5, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/momo-wuwen

I have never seen 甚麼 either. According to Yellowbridge Dictionary https://www.yellowbridge.com/chinese/dictionary.php 甚麼 is a variant form of 什麼, perhaps dialectal. Anyways, 什麼 is definitely the correct form and the one you want to study.

As per the flag, the course teaches putonghua, which is mutually intelligible- but different enough from taiwanese- to warrant a single flag, at least in my (uninformed) opinion. Just like the english course has an american flag because it's teaching standard american english (Where you'd find words like "truck" rather than "lorry", so to speak)

April 5, 2018
Learn Chinese in just 5 minutes a day. For free.