Chinese Variants

One very common problem involving Chinese translation is the choice of Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese or both. The answer is both if your budget can afford it, or Simplified Chinese if you can only afford one.

Why the Simplified Chinese is preferred? Please see the study Chinese Character Usage in New York City done by Mathew Kane, which was published in ATA Chronicle Nov/Dec 2012 Issue.

Mathew Kane used DataFerrett tool to determine the total population of Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese people and found a surprising result: at present three-quarters of Chinese speakers prefer simplified characters with a quick change of Chinese populations. Based on Mathew Kane’s research and recommendation, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in New York City switched Traditional Chinese to Simplified Chinese in its subway notice.

We give the specific geographic distributions for Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese, both of which refer to written Chinese, not oral Chinese that is divided into Mandarin and Cantonese.

 Location Mainland China Taiwan Hong Kong Macaw
Written Simplified Traditional Traditional Traditional
Oral Mandarin

**Some southern provinces, including Guangdong, often speak Cantonese. However, their official oral language is Mandarin.

Mandarin Cantonese Cantonese
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