Chinese is one of the most widely spoken languages. Over 15% of the population speak Chinese. There are many Chinese speakers in Southeast Asian countries such as Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines. There are also many types of Chinese used in different regions of Southeast Asia.
Chinese Variations: Spoken and Written
Mandarin and Cantonese are the two main styles of Chinese. Mandarin is spoken in Mainland China, Taiwan and Singapore. Cantonese is spoken in Hong Kong.
The types of spoken Chinese is different from written Chinese. There are two types of written Chinese: traditional and simplified.
Both spoken Chinese can be written in either traditional or simplified. It depends on the region.
Mainland China adopted simplified Chinese. Traditional Chinese is used by Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Mandarin and Cantonese share nearly all characters. Cantonese do have characters that are unique.
Learn more variations of the Chinese Language.
Mandarin Chinese is a collection of Northern Chinese dialects. It’s spoken in major Chinese cities. It is the official language of China, Singapore and Taiwan.
Mandarin Chinese is spoken by over 800 million people. 25 million people speak Mandarin outside of China.
Schools and businesses all over Mainland China use mandarin. It is the language used in formal settings. Regions far away from big cities still understand some Mandarin.
Only Cantonese is widely spoken in Hong Kong. Businesses for the Hong Kong market should use Cantonese.
Cantonese is a dialect from Southern China. It is now commonly used for a group of dialects.
70 million people all over the world uses Cantonese. Chinese immigration helped spread Cantonese abroad. There were many immigrants from Hong Kong. They helped spread Cantonese.
Localization for Chinese Speakers
Mandarin and Cantonese should be considered in translations. Use the type of Chinese used by the target market.
You can use Mandarin Chinese for the Singapore market. But you cannot use the Mandarin translations for the Hong Kong market.
Taiwan and Mainland China use Mandarin Chinese. But they use different written Chinese.
Effective translation for business goes beyond using a different language. Marketing materials need to be localized for the target market.
Localization makes products and services more attractive. It will help connect the product to the consumers.
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