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Differences Between Simplified Chinese Translation And Traditional Chinese Translation? (Version 2)

Posted by Ethan N. on June 29, 2023.

When it comes to translating content into Simplified and Traditional Chinese, choosing professional translation services is essential to ensure accuracy, cultural sensitivity, and high-quality results. The differences between Simplified and Traditional Chinese go beyond character structure and encompass vocabulary, sentence structure, punctuation, and text flow. 

In this regard, professional translators specializing in both forms of Chinese provide the expertise and knowledge required to handle these nuances effectively. This article explores the reasons why opting for professional Simplified and Traditional Chinese translation services is crucial for accurate and culturally appropriate translations.

1. The key difference between Simplified and Traditional Chinese translation

In The Difference Between Simplified Chinese And Traditional Chinese (P1), we have mentioned geography and writing systems which are two of different varieties in terms of the Simplified and Traditional Chinese translation. In version 2, we will explain deeply the differences and give examples to let you understand clearly.

Character Structure

The most apparent difference between Simplified and Traditional Chinese translation lies in the character structure. Simplified Chinese employs simplified forms of certain characters, reducing the number of strokes and simplifying the overall shape. 

Traditional Chinese retains the original complex forms. The character “著” is simplified as “着” in Simplified Chinese, whereas it remains as “著” in Traditional Chinese.

Number of Characters

In some cases, Simplified Chinese may use fewer characters compared to Traditional Chinese to convey the same meaning. This reduction aims to streamline the writing process and improve efficiency.

Take, for instance, the character 发 in Simplified Chinese, which can be translated as either 髮 (hair) or 發 (become/develop) in Traditional Chinese. When expressing the phrase 头发发白 (hair turns gray) in Simplified Chinese, the two characters in the middle are the same but carry distinct meanings. In Traditional Chinese translation, each word in this phrase is represented by a distinct character: 頭髮發白.

Vocabulary and Sentence Structure

Simplified and Traditional Chinese may also differ in terms of vocabulary and sentence structure due to historical, regional, or cultural variations. However, these differences are not strictly tied to the translation process but rather reflect broader linguistic disparities.

  • Here are a few instances that demonstrate how different characters can represent the same word:

default: 默认 (Simplified), 預設 (Traditional) video: 视频 (Simplified), 影片 (Traditional) speech: 讲话 (Simplified), 演說 (Traditional). In this case, when the Simplified Chinese term is translated into Traditional Chinese (講話), it only means “to speak” as a verb, not “speech” as a noun. 

  • These examples show the same word written with the same two characters, but with the order reversed:

Authentic: 地道 (Simplified), 道地 (Traditional) Late-night supper: 夜宵 (Simplified), 宵夜 (Traditional) Furthermore, we have an example of two characters that have distinct meanings:

土豆 means potato(es) in Simplified Chinese, but in Traditional Chinese, it means peanut(s).


The usage of punctuation marks can differ between Simplified and Traditional Chinese translations. While some punctuation marks are consistent, others may vary or have distinct forms.

For instance, the full-width comma “,” used in Simplified Chinese is often replaced by the half-width comma “、” in Traditional Chinese.

Text Flow

The text flow in Simplified and Traditional Chinese translations may differ due to the variation in character structure and word count. As Simplified Chinese characters generally have fewer strokes and simplified forms, the text may appear more compact and flow more smoothly compared to Traditional Chinese



2. Reasons to Choose Professional Simplified and Traditional Chinese Translation

Accuracy and Quality

Professional translators specialized in Simplified and Traditional Chinese translation possess in-depth knowledge and understanding of the language nuances, ensuring accurate and high-quality translations. They are well-versed in the specific requirements and cultural sensitivities associated with each form of Chinese, leading to more precise and contextually appropriate translations.

Cultural Sensitivity

Professional translators are aware of the cultural nuances and context-specific of Simplified and Traditional Chinese-speaking regions. They can accurately convey cultural references, idioms, and expressions, ensuring that the translated content resonates with the target audience.


Consistency and Terminology Management

Professional translation agencies often employ terminology management tools and adhere to established style guides and glossaries. This ensures consistent terminology used throughout the translation project and across different projects, maintaining brand consistency and accuracy.

Subject Matter Expertise

Professional translators often specialize in specific industries or subject areas, allowing them to have a deep understanding of the terminology and requirements related to those fields. This expertise enables them to provide accurate and specialized translations, particularly for technical or domain-specific content.

Time and Cost Efficiency

Professional translators have the necessary experience and resources to handle translation projects efficiently. They can meet deadlines, manage large volumes of content, and leverage translation technologies, such as CAT tools, to improve productivity. By outsourcing your translation needs, you can save time and resources while ensuring high-quality results.


3. GTE Localize is Your Best Choice for Professional Chinese Translation Services


GTE Localize is a reputable translation agency with a team of experienced and native-speaking translators specialized in both Simplified and Traditional Chinese. They possess linguistic expertise and cultural knowledge to ensure accurate and culturally appropriate translations.


Industry Specialization

GTE Localize offers translation services across various industries, including technology, marketing, legal, medical, finance, and more. Their translators are subject matter experts who understand the specific terminology and requirements of each industry, delivering accurate translations tailored to your needs.

Quality Assurance

GTE Localize employs a rigorous quality assurance process, including proofreading and editing by a second linguist, ensuring the highest level of accuracy and quality in their translations. They also follow industry standards and best practices to maintain consistency and precision.

Confidentiality and Security

GTE Localize prioritizes the confidentiality and security of client information. They have strict data protection measures in place and sign non-disclosure agreements with their translators to safeguard sensitive content.

Customized Solutions

GTE Localize understands that each project is unique and offers customized translation solutions to meet specific requirements. They are responsive to client feedback, providing personalized support and ensuring client satisfaction.

Timely Delivery

GTE Localize is committed to delivering projects on time and meeting tight deadlines. They have a streamlined workflow and project management system in place to ensure efficient project handling and timely delivery.


4. Conclusion

Professional Simplified and Traditional Chinese translation services offer numerous advantages that contribute to accurate and high-quality translations. The expertise of professional translators, their cultural sensitivity, consistency in terminology, subject matter specialization, and time and cost efficiency all ensure that the translated content resonates with the target audience and meets the specific requirements of the industry or domain. 

Among the various options available, GTE Localize emerges as a reliable choice for professional Chinese translation services, with its experienced team of native-speaking translators, industry specialization, quality assurance processes, and commitment to confidentiality and timely delivery. By opting for professional translation services, businesses and individuals can effectively bridge the language and cultural gaps, ensuring the success and impact of their content in Simplified and Traditional Chinese-speaking regions.