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Chinese Translation: Chinese to English Translation, English to Chinese Translation

Chinese is a very diverse language. Simplified (SCh) and Traditional Chinese (TCh) are two writing systems used for the spoken form of Chinese. Simplified Chinese characters are officially used in Mainland China, Singapore and Malaysia. Traditional Chinese characters are used in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau and in many overseas Chinese communities, such as San Francisco and New York City. At TCA, we understand both forms of writing and the regional dialect differences between Chinese communities that have influenced those forms. The result is that we can more effectively translate into and out of both Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese.

The Traditional and Simplified Chinese writing systems have both important differences and similarities. Their roots are in ancient Chinese language pictographs. What is now called Traditional Chinese took its modern form centuries ago. Simplified Chinese is the more accessible derivative of Traditional Chinese and was established as the official language of Mainland China in 1950. Political differences between Mainland China and Taiwan have not only arguable lead to the introduction of the Simplified form, but have also influenced written language differences as well. Regional differences have shaped dialectical differences across the Taiwan Strait. Some of these dialect differences are reflected in the writing systems although they are minimal. Dialect differences are most prevalent when it comes to more modern terminology such as computer-related terms, and social and political topics. The terms used for computer, is a common example. "Computer" is translated into "電腦" ("electronic brain") in Taiwan and "计算机" (computing machine) in Mainland China.

Traditional Chinese

Traditional Chinese Characters have a long and rich history that dates back to the 5th century. The characters not only impart meaning, but hold clues to pronunciation as well. The complex character sets are based upon a foundation of 100 pictographs, from which all remaining characters build. In the early 1950s, the simplified Chinese characters now used in Mainland China, were established.

Simplified Chinese

Simplified Chinese Characters originated in the 1950s, when the Chinese government sought to simplify its writing system in order to increase literacy. The Simplified Chinese characters have greatly reduced strokes in many instances. For example, the word dragon is formed using 16 strokes () in Traditional Chinese. In Simplified Chinese, the same word requires only five (). Some of the simplification was the result of standard rules. In other cases, the changes were irregular, creating brand new symbols. Additionally, a large number of characters remain unchanged and are identical in both the Traditional and Simplified Chinese orthography.

Understanding these Chinese language nuances is not necessary for many translations. However, you want your localization and translation expert to be able to identify differences that most accurately communicate your message.