Link Exchange

Versions of Chinese

Written Language

Simplified Chinese (CHS): China and Singapore
Traditional Chinese (CHT): Taiwan, Hong Kong and overseas Chinese communities

In the computer realm, Simplified Chinese uses GB2312 encoding and Traditional Chinese uses the so-called Big5 encoding. They have different Windows, Mac OS's and application software. Technical terminology and the way people speak about them are also quite different. Translation departments of large corporations, therefore, treat the two versions as two different languages and typically have different teams of people handling each of them.

Spoken Dialects

Mandarin or Cantonese
Mandarin or Cantonese is a dialect of the Chinese language, not a written language and should not be used when requesting written translation, though it is quite correct to use them if you are looking for an interpreter. When these terms are used to denote a written language, however, they can easily cause confusion or misunderstanding. You also run the risk of getting the wrong version. For example, Mandarin is spoken both in China and Taiwan, and increasingly in Hong Kong. Many people in the US Chinese community also speak Mandarin. When a client from Taiwan requests Mandarin translation, s/he is actually asking for traditional Chinese. If a project manager from a US agency asks for Mandarin translation to be used in Mainland China, what s/he wants is Simplified Chinese. Therefore, the best way is to verify the target region, then offer the correct version from the above list and ask the client to confirm. This way, you will never end up with a wrong version.


We appreciate your expertise and are following your advice. We feel that you do impart a rare combination of techno-logical aptitude along with a great artistic flair. Just wonderful!
Rick Short, Director
Corporate Communications
Indium Corporation of America
This is a consulting project to name a company that they are setting up in China. The client is very happy with the names that we came up with for the new company.

Hello Bin: Here is what the editor told me which pleases me a lot: Here is the edited file. The translator did a very good job. The only omission I discovered is corrected with tracking. After that one is corrected, you have a very good work to deliver!
Marcela D. Pinilla, Latino Medica Consultants Inc.


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