Best writing system for Chinese in North America
Thread poster: Alan Lambson
Alan Lambson  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:59
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Jun 14, 2007

Dear colleagues:

For a translation into Mandarin Chinese to be read by people in the United States and Canada, which is the best character system to use: traditional or simplified?

Thank you for your inputs, and kind regards,

Alan Lambson

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Esempi  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:59
Chinese to English
Probably Traditional. Jun 14, 2007

In view of the long history of immigration from Southern China, Hong Kong and Taiwan and the relatively short history of immigration from the PRC, North America has more readers of traditional characters than simplified. Most Chinese newspapers in North America are in traditional characters.

Therefore, if your document is for a general readership, you will probably want to use traditional characters. On the other hand, if the document is for a specific readership or organization, you should use whatever is normally used by that group.

No matter which characters you use, MS-Word has a function to convert from one style of character to the other, so as long as you provide a soft copy, the reader will be able to read it in either style of character.

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Jarosław Zawadzki  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:59
Chinese to Polish
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MS-Word has a function to convert Jun 14, 2007

Well, provided that the "Chinese translation" funtion is installed and the user knows it exists, which is often not the case.

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Kevin Yang  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:59
Member (2003)
English to Chinese
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Use Traditional Chinese Characters in the United States and Canada. Jun 14, 2007

Hello, Alan, Esempi and Jaroslaw

Thank you for the question and responses. Yes, you should use the Traditional Chinese Characters, which uses Big5 code, in the United States and Canada, if your target readers are the Chinese people in North America, even though many people here are Simplified Chinese Character readers. It is a historical issue. By the way, in Chinese writing system, we have TCH and SCH options, but for speaking part, we have Mandarin, Cantonese, and thousands of other regional dialects and accents.

Hope this help!


[修改时间: 2007-06-14 14:49]

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Ming Gao  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:59
English to Chinese
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Simplified and Traditional Chinese Both Fine Jun 15, 2007

Hello Alan,
Despite the long history of immigration from Hong Kong, Taiwan and Canton, the number of immigrants from other parts of China are increasing at fantastic speed in recent years. The proportion of simplified Chinese readers may have gone equal or well beyond those of traditional Chinese readers. Even the younger generation of those traditional Chinese readers have begun to learn simplified Chinese system. The Chinese community in North America is a very diversified group in terms of language systems. Therefore, it is fine to use any written system in North America. Just choose whichever is available and easy to use on your computer system

I hope this different voice is not confusing you.

Ming Gao(echinesetrans)

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Best writing system for Chinese in North America

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