Dialects & Regional Variations

Many people seeking a Chinese translation may be unaware of the differences between its many dialects.

Please consult the following chart to determine which dialect you require based on the geographical location of your target audience:

CountrySpoken DialectWritten Dialects
Mainland ChinaMandarinSimplified Chinese
SingaporeMandarinSimplified Chinese
TaiwanMandarinTraditional Chinese
Hong KongCantoneseTraditional Chinese

It is important that you note the differences between the dialects, both written and spoken, that are used in countries in which it is spoken, as a translation into the wrong dialect will cause difficulties for the target audience. The spoken forms of Mandarin and Cantonese are so distinct as to be mutually unintelligible, while the written forms of simplified and traditional Chinese differ sufficiently to cause difficulty of understanding when used in the wrong target audience.

Moreover, since the governments of Mainland China and Singapore use simplified Chinese for official documentation, and those of Hong Kong and Taiwan use traditional Chinese, generating translations into those specific languages for those specific target audiences is desirable; beyond increasing users’ comprehension of the translation, it also accords with local custom and culture.

Given the sizeable differences between the various forms of spoken and written forms of the language, it is important that you tell us in which language you would like your translation to be rendered. Please follow the following rubric for simplicity’s sake:

  • For translations aimed at Mainland China, please signal your target language as “Simplified Chinese for Mainland China”
  • For translations aimed at Hong Kong, please signal your target language as “Traditional Chinese for Hong Kong”
  • For translations aimed at Taiwan, please signal your target language as “Traditional Chinese for Taiwan”
  • For translations aimed at Singapore, please signal your target language as “Simplified Chinese for Singapore”

We look forward to providing you with top-notch translations into whichever dialect suits your needs.

Contact us to have your text translated not only to the language but also to the dialect of your target audience.

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