FAQ

Find out how to work with translators and interpreters for effective communication.

 

Language

  • There are two versions: Simplified and Traditional Chinese. Like the names suggest, Traditional Chinese uses the same or similar characters that can also be seen in pre-modern historical scripts and books, while Simplified Chinese consists of simplified and re-organised characters.

  • Simplified Chinese is used in mainland China, Singapore and Malaysia. Traditional Chinese is used in Hong Kong and Taiwan. In Australia, due to migration over 150 years, both versions are used. Contact Chin to find the right language for your purpose.

  • In mainland China there are 8 main (spoken) dialects, each of which could be called a language. Mandarin is the official language of the People’s Republic of China. Cantonese is spoken in Guangdong Province, in part of Guangxi Province (west of Guangdong) and in Hong Kong and Macau. In Guangdong and Guangxi Provinces, most people understand Mandarin as well, but in Hong Kong, the main second language is English. The written language is basically the same, although there are old (complex) and new (simplified characters) used for writing. The old characters are still used in Hong Kong and Taiwan.

  • Mandarin was the language spoken by the Mandarins in the palace. It was greatly influenced by the Manchu foreign invaders in 1644 when the Ming Dynasty was overthrown and the Qing Dynasty rose. Foreigners coined the term ‘Mandarin’ for the language because it was the language of the officials. Many Chinese, however, are not familiar with the word ‘Mandarin’, and refer to the language as Putonghua, or Guoyu, or simply Chinese.

  • Like English, Chinese writing is read from top to bottom, left to right, and in specialised formats and materials (eg. creative and marketing), Chinese can be read vertically.

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