When a client has a request for English to Chinese translations, there are two key questions that we ask: ‘Who is the target audience?’ and more specifically: ‘Where is the target audience located?’ This is due to the differences between Traditional Chinese and Simplified Chinese.
Simplified vs Traditional Chinese
Chinese has two writing systems: Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese. Simplified Chinese was introduced in the 1940s by the Chinese government as a way to make the language easier to learn and read. Traditional Chinese is the older writing system. The modern shapes of traditional Chinese characters first appeared during the Han Dynasty, (206 BC – 220 AD) and have been more or less stable since the 5th century. There are 1,000’s of Traditional Characters.
The main difference between simplified and traditional Chinese is the way that some of the characters are written. In simplified Chinese, many of the characters have been simplified by removing strokes or changing the shape of the characters. For example, the simplified Chinese character for “person” is made up of only 3 strokes, while the traditional Chinese character for “person” is made up of 5 strokes.
Where is Each Chinese Writing System Used?
Simplified Chinese is the official writing system of mainland China, while Traditional Chinese is the official writing system of Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan. Singapore uses a mix of simplified and traditional Chinese, with simplified Chinese being more common in government and education, and traditional Chinese being more common in the media and in everyday life.
Google Translate and Chinese translations
Google Translate can be used to translate between simplified and traditional Chinese, but it is not always accurate. It is important to use a qualified translator if you need a high-quality translation.
Here are some of the reasons why Google Translate may not be accurate when translating between simplified and traditional Chinese:
- Google Translate does not always understand the nuances of the two writing systems.
- Google Translate does not always have the latest versions of the simplified and traditional Chinese character sets.
- Google Translate is not always able to distinguish between the different meanings of a character.
Do You Need Help With Chinese Translations?
If you need help with Chinese translations, please contact Accurate Language Services. We have a team of experienced translators who can help you with any type of Chinese translation, from business documents to marketing materials.
We also offer a free consultation, so you can get a quote for your translation project without any obligation.