Traditional and Simplified Chinese languages not listed separately
Thread poster: Alexandra Bourne

Alexandra Bourne  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:29
Spanish to English
+ ...
Jul 16, 2012

Hello all,

I work for a software company, and recently we have started posting projects in Proz rather than using a translation agency.
One of the things that I have noticed is that there is no separate category for Simplified versus Traditional Chinese.

I have posted 2 Traditional Chinese projects, and added that information in the project, however, the only responses I get are from translators in mainland china and samples in Simplified Chinese (Even though the job mentions "Traditional".

One of my coworkers, who is from Taiwan, tells me that I really need to find a person who is native from Taiwan, because it he says both types of Chinese are quite different.

Any ideas on how to get the correct responses? Any thoughts about why there is no distinction between Simplified and Traditional?




Maria TC Chen
Local time: 10:29
English to Chinese
I also find it confusing not to differentiate simplified/traditional Chinese Jul 17, 2012

Hi Alexandra,

As a translator, I found myself perplexed by the non-differentiation (on translation jobs websites etc.) too.

I have just passed on a great simplified Chinese translation opportunity to other translators because I focus on the language pair of English and TRADITIONAL Chinese. And so when I look for jobs, I aim specifically at my pair.

I have worked on both Taiwan and Hong Kong traditional Chinese tasks when I know for sure that the words I used in that particular field of the content exist both in Hong Kong's and Taiwan's written Chinese. But then most of the time, I still stick to Taiwan's traditional Chinese because my training and knowledge of this language is thus that I can deliver the best result.

Now I understand that many Chinese speakers read and write/type both simplified and traditional Chinese; but when you require a quality piece, a native China/Taiwan/Hong Kong translator is definitely preferred because people from these regions might (and OFTENTIMES!) use different words for one single meaning.

Even though a translator can always Google for the right word, it's not always quite the same as having that word in mind that precisely fits the context ... unless this translator has immersed in that other particular Chinese environment and has specified that s/he has already done so.

To come back to your case, you said you have mentioned "traditional" in your post and still get "simplified" results. I guess as long as Proz does not provide "simplified Chinese" and "traditional Chinese" options separately, one can only HIGHLIGHT that the task is specifically for ZH_CN (simplified, China), ZH_TW (traditional, Taiwan), or ZH_HK (traditional, Hong Kong) etc. and that other pair(s) would not be accepted.

Just a thought on the confusion that I also have.

Maria Chen


Phil Hand  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:29
Chinese to English
Not so much traditional/simplified as mainland/Taiwan/HK/Singapore Jul 17, 2012

Traditional/simplified characters are just ways of writing (a little bit like upper case or lower case letters in English).

But the dialects used in mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong are noticeably different. It would be useful to distinguish between regions, I agree. Is English split up into separate categories? And Spanish? The same should be done for Chinese.


Natalie  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:29
Member (2002)
English to Russian
+ ...

"Language variant" box Jul 17, 2012

Hi folks,

It is easy to indicate the language variant using the appropriate box in the job posting form; it is located right below the language pair field. Just write in the language variant or dialekt there.



Alexandra Bourne  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:29
Spanish to English
+ ...
THnak you for your comments Jul 26, 2012

Hello all,

Thank you for your comments. I have been using the language variant box already, so I would just keep on trying.




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Traditional and Simplified Chinese languages not listed separately

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