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Which Chinese to choose?

November 28, 2016


As a key international trading partner, as well as a major source of tourists, migrants and students, China continues to be a key target market for many of NZTC’s customers around the world, many of whom translate their content into Chinese to communicate more effectively with this ever-expanding market and perhaps, more importantly, stay ahead of their competitors. Our experienced in-house Chinese department is of course more than happy to oblige!


Previous blogs have touched upon translations for the Chinese market. However, with the need for this continuing to grow, we are still often asked the question “which form of Chinese should I translate into, Mandarin or Cantonese?”, which is not surprising given that these are the two better-known spoken languages of China. However, when translating documents into Chinese, the most important decision is which written form of Chinese to choose.



There are two forms of written Chinese; Simplified Chinese, which is the written form of Chinese used in the People’s Republic of China (PRC – also known as Mainland China) and Singapore. The second form is Traditional Chinese, which is used in Taiwan, Hong Kong and many Chinese-speaking areas of the world outside the PRC.


When in doubt about the origin of the Chinese reader for your documents, the safest option is to choose both forms of Chinese. If budget or other factors do not permit, some choose to use Traditional Chinese because a Chinese reader familiar with Simplified Chinese is likely to also understand Traditional Chinese, whereas a Traditional Chinese reader may not be able to understand Simplified Chinese characters. However, this may not always be the best choice for you, so if you are ever unsure of which version of Chinese to choose, contact our sales team and they will be happy to advise you with expert input from our Chinese department.

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