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Chinese Language Tip Sheet

The Chinese language is one of the fastest growing language groups in Australia.

When you need interpreting or translation services for your Chinese clients keep these points in mind:

  • The majority of clients from China will speak Mandarin, but a minority will speak other varieties.
  • Those from elsewhere in South-East Asia are far less likely to speak Mandarin, and Cantonese, Hakka, Hokkien or other smaller varieties will predominate.

The written forms of the Chinese language

For translation it is a somewhat easier choice. If someone asks for a ‘Chinese’ translation, there are two standard written varieties – Traditional script and Simplified script.

The People’s Republic of China simplified the historic Traditional script, and this Simplified version is the one used in China today. Traditional script is still used in Taiwan, and by many Chinese in South-East Asia. As a rule, Mandarin speakers will be more familiar with the Simplified; luckily, many readers of Traditional will be able to follow the Simplified script, so this is the variety increasingly used in translations.

Read more about the intricacies of Chinese translation on our Translation Services blog – Meaningful Exchange.





This Language Tip Sheet is one in a series of informative publications published by InterpreterLine and All Graduates Interpreting and Translating Services.

The downloadable Language Tip Sheet may be an abridged version of the information published here.

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