What you need to know about Chinese

We get daily queries regarding the appropriate language choice, or to explain the differences between Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese, for instance. Translating into the wrong language for a particular region can seriously damage your chances of gaining traction in the market. 

Make sure you understand who your target market is.

Some examples:

Simplified vs Traditional Chinese and Indonesian vs Bahasa.

Simplified Chinese:

Simplified Chinese involves the usage of a standardised set of Chinese characters.

  • The characters are mostly used in mainland China (The People’s Republic of China) and Singapore as a methodology to increase literacy levels due to the highly detailed characters used in Traditional Chinese.
  • The simplification of the character sets were aimed at structural simplification of the characters as well as a reduction in the total number of characters available, allowing for wholesale simplification and greater accessibility to language for the uneducated.
  • Simplified characters have a decreased number of downward strokes and a decreased total number of characters.

Traditional Chinese:

Traditional Chinese uses the unsimplified, traditional Chinese character set. Mainland Chinese citizens would generally use Simplified Chinese characters whilst overseas Chinese citizens would use traditional characters.

  • Traditional Chinese still has a stronghold in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.
  • The traditional characters are harder to learn and more detailed, whilst offering far more characters than Simplified Chinese.

Bahasa – Indonesian:

Bahasa is actually the Indonesian word for language, therefore, we do not refer to the Indonesian language as Bahasa, but rather as Indonesian.

  • Indonesians would refer to the language as Bahasa Indonesian, meaning, ‘the language of Indonesia’.
  • It’s actually a standardised form of Malay, spoken throughout the Indonesian archipelago.

If you and your business require some insight or clarification regarding the correct language and translation for your particular brand, product, service or website, please do not hesitate to give us a call on (021) 789 0690, or e-mail us info@web-lingo.com and we’ll be glad to assist.

Yours sincerely,
The Language People

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