Traditional Chinese characters (正體字) are one of two standard character sets of printed contemporary Chinese written language. The other form is Simplified Chinese. This form of writing is most popular in Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, and overseas Chinese communities.
Among Chinese people, Traditional Chinese characters are also called Complicated Chinese characters (繁體字) or orally Old characters (老字).
When printing text, people in Mainland China and Singapore use mainly the simplified system, which was developed by the People's Republic of China government in the 1950s. However, the PRC also prints material intended to be read outside of Mainland China using traditional characters. When handwriting text, most Chinese will use informal individual simplifications, and there are some characters in which an informal simplified form is more common even in traditional Chinese text.
In computer text applications, Traditional Chinese is most often rendered using the Big5 character encoding scheme.
See also: Chinese character