Even if most people understand Mandarin, there are major regional differences, which need to be taken into account during translation.
The main differences are between:
- Chinese translations for Northern China/Beijing (People’s Republic of China)
- Chinese translations for Southern China/Hong Kong (People’s Republic of China) and Macao
- Chinese translations for Taiwan (Republic of China)
- Chinese translations for Singapore
Today the People’s Republic of China and Singapore use Simplified Chinese, produced when the writing system was reformed in the 1950s. In contrast, Taiwan and Hong Kong continue to use the Traditional Chinese writing system today. However, it is not enough to just ensure that the right writing system is used during translation into Chinese. Sometimes, other words, expressions, or grammatical structures, which differ from Mandarin, are also used. This is especially true in Hong Kong and Taiwan. Cantonese, which is spoken in Hong Kong, among others, not only differs from Mandarin by still using the Traditional Chinese writing system. Expressions and writing systems that are typical of particular regions also need to be taken into account when translating into Chinese. The same applies to Taiwan, where the official language is Mandarin, but the Traditional Chinese writing system is also used, and the language is also influenced by various other different national languages.
Due to all these differences that affect the linguistic features and writing of Chinese, it is recommended that translations into Chinese are only entrusted to native-speaker translators who have a sound grasp of the subtleties and special regional features of the Chinese language.