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The differences between – Traditional Chinese and Simplified Chinese

 

Traditional Chinese

As its name implies, Traditional Chinese is a more traditional version of Chinese that has been written by people for thousands of years. It’s a very complicated writing system – as you may know, Chinese doesn’t use letters the way Western languages do – they use characters that can stand for a variety of things. This character set uses the original, traditional characters and is used outside mainland China (Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao and other oversea areas).

 

Simplified Chinese

Simplified Chinese is exactly that – simplified. This character set is used in mainland China and among people of Chinese origin in Singapore. Simplified Chinese characters have fewer strokes and are simpler to remember and write. The Chinese government has encouraged their use in an attempt to increase literacy. This has made significant difference in literacy rates.  They have official status in the People's Republic of China and Singapore.

 

The Difference between Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese

This refers to Chinese writing – which is in characters.

 

Traditional Chinese characters date back 2,200 years ago to the Han Dynasty, some characters requiring as many as thirty-three separate strokes. During the 1950s the government in China implemented the First Chinese Character Simplification Scheme, with reduced number of strokes – this is what is now more commonly referred to as Simplified Chinese, it was done in order to encourage literacy.

The simplified set replaces around 2,000 characters with versions that use fewer strokes and eliminate a number of variants.

 

Key difference between Traditional Chinese and Simplified Chinese:

 

      Simplified Chinese has less strokes, i.e. Traditional: Simplified:

      One Simplified character could have the meaning of several Traditional characters (polysemy) i.e. one Simplified character of  could subtitle a range of Traditional characters including , and

Since not all the characters are different, most of the readers could guess the meaning by only understanding parts of the sentence. However, there is a risk of misunderstanding.

 Are you confused between Simplified or Traditional Chinese?

You don’t need to be a futurist to see that Chinese consumers, with their ever increasing wealth, will be even more important customers in years to come. If you are targeting a particular region for translations, the decision to use simplified or traditional Chinese is easy. Simplified Chinese is used in mainland China (PRC) and in Singapore. If you are translating your final document to be used in Hong Kong, Taiwan, or Malaysia you need traditional Chinese.

American Language Services stands the test of time in providing translation, interpretation, transcription and media services (dubbing, voiceovers & subtitling) to private industry, government at all levels, and educational and non-profit organizations. Our thousands of linguists around the world and teams of dedicated professionals are ready to serve.

Call Us Now: 1-800-951-5020 for further information or a quick quotation for your next project.

 

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